Bearded Dragons, also known as Beardies are one of the most popular of the pet lizard species. Bearded Dragons need special care to ensure a happy, healthy life. When considering your Beardie’s enclosure, it is best to start with a larger aquarium, preferably a 75 or 120-gallon aquarium with a screen top. Bearded Dragons can grow to be 18-22 inches.
Choices to use as a substrate (surface material for the enclosure) are; newspaper, reptile carpet, or tile. We advise avoiding wood chips, cat litter, sand and/or walnut shells as beardies can potentially eat the bedding, which can result in impaction or foreign body. Bearded Dragons enjoy spending time on low branches for climbing, rocks to bask on and shelter as a hiding area. Beardies go through sheds on a regular basis, so providing a shallow water dish for drinking as well as to help with their sheds is key.
Bearded Dragons are ectothermic, meaning they require outside heat sources to thermoregulate properly. They require a basking light as well as a UVB light to synthesize Vitamin D, which then absorbs calcium properly. Without a proper UVB light, Bearded Dragons can develop metabolic bone disease.
Juvenile Bearded Dragons eat mainly protein, such as mealworms, crickets, or super worms and eat little veggies. As your Beardie gets into his or her adult stage, they will eat mainly veggies and legumes and only have protein as a snack.
Although Bearded Dragons have some special requirements, they make great pets! They are curious and intelligent, and they are social creatures. They can be by themselves, or with another bearded dragon.
Written by: Arlene (RVT) and Victoria (RVT)