Saturday, May 23, 2020

Guide to Caring for Your Bearded Dragon


The bearded dragon affectionately referred to as “beardie”, is a reptile and one of the many lizard species. Its name is so-called because just like dragons, it has spiny reptilian scales and a beard of spikes that puffs up under its throat based on its mood. This beard also turns black for different reasons but especially when it is stressed. It is considered one of the best lizard species and among the easiest to care for, therefore, it is usually kept as a pet and in zoos.

Beardies are omnivores and can be found in bushes and tree branches and they like to stay on rocks and trees, basking in the sun. They are mostly native to Australia and can also be found in deserts, eucalyptus woodlands, and shrublands. Their average lifespan is 4 – 10 years and a fully grown one can reach up to 18 to 22 inches, weighing between 10 to 18 ounces. They range in color from red to yellow, white or brown

Beardies are mostly gentle, alert, inquisitive, hardy, and tame. They also exhibit behaviors like waving of their arms as a sign of submission, especially by females. Also, when alarmed or anxious, their spiny beards get extended and can turn black. Many owners of bearded dragons like to watch them for fun while they feed or as they chase crickets. You can check out this article to learn more.

How to Care for Your Beardie


Provide it with a Home

As an owner of a bearded dragon, there is a need to care for it if you want it to live well and live long. You need to set up a home, called a terrarium, for it with a screened lid and a source of heating as they are from warm and dry habitats. To make sure it is comfortable, you should line the bottom of the terrarium with calcium sand or a reptile carpet especially if it is a young one. At least once a week, clean up its wastes and provide a clean and fresh living. You should also add a few branches and rocks for climbing and hiding.

Heating

Beardies are ectotherms which means that they need both hot and cool environments. As a result of this, endeavor to put thermometers at the different ends to measure the temperature. Also, a hygrometer to measure humidity. Its humidity should be between 20 to 30%. The heat source should be over the beardie’s basking spot; the warmest area of the terrarium at around 100 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit while the cooler end should be about 38 to 29 degrees Fahrenheit. Note that the basking light should be turned off at night. Remember that they are active in the day and sleep at night. To view your pet at night, you may need to use a night specific source of light so as not to disturb it.

You can learn more about how to properly light your pet’s space here: https://reptile.guide/bearded-dragon-lighting-guide/.

Feeding

Being omnivores, they eat both plants and insects. A bearded dragon should be fed at least 2 to 3 times daily. You can feed it vegetables such as carrots, leafy greens, and insects like mealworms, wax worms, and crickets. You can also feed it with fruits like apples, melons, and bananas. There are also pet stores that sell bearded dragon foods, you can get some of that for it. Also, make sure to always provide it with water and clean its feeding plates and bowls regularly.

Keeping Your Beardie Healthy

As much as possible, when you newly acquire your pet, try not to hold it for up to three or four days as it needs a chance to get used to its new home. If you keep handling it, it can fall sick. If you notice any symptoms of sickness, you need to take it to the vet. Some signs that your pet is sick include:

Not eating and drinking water.
Hiding more than is usual.
Shedding and discoloration of its scale.
Discharges from its mouths, eyes, and nose.
Watery and runny droppings that have continued for more than two days.
Swollen joints.

Taking care of this creature requires some knowledge. Thankfully you can find several resources online that will provide you with sufficient bearded dragon guidance. Take advantage of these.

Where Can You Get a Beardie?

If you are interested, you can purchase a bearded dragon from reptile expos, pet stores, and breeder websites. Captive-bred specimens are healthier and easily adapt than those caught in the wild, so it is recommended to get those.

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