Simple care sheet for keeping bearded
By: Jason Couch

Bearded dragons are becoming the most popular exotic
pet to have in the 21st century! They are very interactive
and love attention from humans. Bearded dragons are
great pets for adults or children, and are often used in
schools as class pets. A Bearded dragon takes up much
less space than a dog or cat and is much less messy. I
have composed a basic care sheet covering the major
areas involved with keeping a happy and healthy
bearded dragon.

Hatchlings can be kept in as small as a 20 gallon long
aquarium. Soon they will outgrow that and move to a
larger aquarium/cage. Adult bearded dragons must have
a minimum of a 40 gallon cage, preferably 50 gallon or
larger. You can line the cage with new paper, paper
towels, or reptile carpet. However we prefer to use
Wheat bran as a substrate instead. Simply put an inch of
wheat bran in the bottom of the cage. The reason is that if
you dragon accidentally injests some, it is easily
digestable. Some people use washed play sand as a
substrate, but this can cause deadly intestinal
impactions. For this reason we don't suggest using play

Bearded dragons need a full spectrum (UVB) light as
well as a basking light. You can use a Zoo Med Reptisun
10.0 UVB reptile bulb, or the exo-terra Reptiglo 8.0 for a
full spectrum light. For the basking site you need a
basking (UVA) lamp available at pet stores. You can
keep track of when you UVB bulbs need to be replace
with a UVB meter. This will save you money by not
replacing your bulbs early. Also this will make sure that
you bulbs are still giving off enough life sustaining UVB
for your bearded dragon. Get a timer and set it for 12-14
hours of light. Both the basking light and the UVB light
need to be set to go on and off with the timer.

Remember bearded dragons must be able to
thermo-regulate. That means they alter their temperature
by going from the basking spot at the hot end of the cage
to the cool side of the cage. This allows them to properly
digest their food and also cool off when necessary. Make
sure that you place the basking site at one end of the
cage, not in the middle. The important thing with the
basking lamp is that directly under it at the basking site
the temperature reaches 100-110 F within an hour. Place
a reptile thermometer directly on the rock or stick they will
be perching on to bask. If the temperature is too low get
a larger wattage lamp or lower the lamp an inch or two
and try again. If the temperature is too high then get a
lower wattage lamp or raise the light an inch or two from
the basking site. Now you need to make sure that the
cool side of the cage is around 80-85 Ferenheit or less. If
your bearded dragon can't cool off they can dehydrate
and die. If it isn't warm enogh under the basking site, your
dragon can't properly digest their food. Therefore it is
essential that your temperatures are set correctly.

NO MEAL WORMS! Bearded dragons need the correct
size crickets for the size dragon you have. The crickets
can't be longer than the width between the eyes of your
dragon. Too large of prey can harm or even kill your
dragon. Hatchlings eat crickets 3-4 times per day starting
an hour after the lights come on. Juvenile dragons eat 1-2
times per day, and adults eat once per day. Every day
dust the crickets with rep-cal calcium supplement and
use herpavite once a week. Also offer a variety of finely
chopped greens for hatchlings once a day, i.e.. mustard
greens, collard greens, romaine lettice, leaf lettice. For
juvenile to adult bearded dragons chop into 1/4 inch
pieces and you can add frozen vegetables, or fresh fruit
chopped into bite-size peaces mixed in with their greens.
Remember that only a little vegetables or fruit mixed with
the greens.

To keep your dragon hydrated give them a bath 1-2
times per week. You can use a rubbermaid container, fill
with luke warm water up to the the dragons shoulders, or
only up to their knees for babies. Also you can mist your
dragon on the head once per day. Mist and then wait a
few seconds. Then mist again and until they drink, mist
until they stop licking. It is extremely important to keep
your bearded dragons hydrated to insure their health.

Follow these simple guidelines to keep your bearded
dragon happy and healthy for years to come. It is
extremely important to make sure your setup is correct
before getting a bearded dragon. Check to see that your
basking temperature is correct, and also that the cool
end of the cage is cool enough. Keep your dragon
hydrated with weekly baths. Also make sure you feed the
correct sized crickets, and feed your dragon fresh leafy
greens daily. Thank you for take the best care possible of
your bearded dragons.

Article Source:

Written by Mr. Jason Couch a breeder of bearded
dragon. He is a recognized expert in the reptile industry
with over five years of breeding experience. He can be
reached through his website:
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