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2M Reptiles, Specializing in Bearded Dragons

Basic Dragon Care

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Vet checkups

Before purchasing any animal, you should alway make sure you have a vet lined up that will see your pet. Some vet offices do not specialize in reptiles, it’s always a good idea to have one you trust that will see reptiles.

It is a good idea to take in a fecal sample around 6 months of age and again at a year old (annually after 1 year of age) unless you suspect illness, in which case, always try to collect a fresh fecal sample for your vet appointment.  Fecal samples will stay good in the refrigerator for no more than 24 hours, the sooner you get it into the vet.. the better.

Food

Size: The general rule is, no bug bigger than the space between the eyes. Anything larger than the space between the eyes could cause choking.


Bug Diet: A variety of bugs such as super worms, calcium worms (aka Phoenix worms)  wax worms, dubia roaches, locusts, silkworms and blue hornworms are all acceptable feeders for your dragon. Hornworms are a rare treat as they are high in moisture content as well as fat.

you can offer a pinkie mouse every couple of months to adult dragons also as a rare treat. (the pinkie has no bone, but has cartilage which dragons can digest)


Greens Diet: Fresh greens should be offered daily as a source of vitamins and hydration. 

Safe greens include: Arugula, collard greens, endive, field greens as well as dandelions (flower and greens) lettuce is mostly water but can be added to the greens weekly for good hydration. 

Bearded Dragons bodies can be a lot like humans and they also suffer many of the same diseases such as gout, liver failure, cancer or even periodontitis (gum disease). Their health largely depends on a nutritious diet rich in alkaline foods (namely fresh vegetables). They also need to have their calcium with D3 supplement and multivitamin because the calcium helps to strengthen their skeletal structure (and prevent Metabolic Bone Disease). And it also helps with their nervous function and is essential for pregnant females to lay healthy eggs.

As a new owner it can be frustrating to get them to eat their greens or food because bearded dragons are very sensitive to changes – such as their diet, their tank set up or even where they live! So they may go off food for a day or two, this is fine and fairly common in many cases.


Dragons get most of their water intake from greens but will also drink water in the bath or if you drip it on the tip of their nose. *NO WATER DISH IS NEEDED IN THE ENCLOSURE* it will cause humidity to rise, which will cause health issues.

NEVER FEED WILD PLANTS

Lighting

Bearded dragons light and heat requirements are pretty easy to understand. They require UVB which is best provided with a T8 linear bulb that spans 2/3 of the enclosure  mounted  inside  the  screen  top  (t8  bulbs  are  not  strong  enough  to  penetrate  the  screen  and  the  uvb  your  dragon  needs  gets  filtered out)  starting on the hot side. It will need to be replaced every 6 months, even if it still works, it will lose potency resulting in very little UVB output.  A t5 high output 10.0 uvb bulb is also good and its  what we use in all of our tanks.  It can be mounted on top of the screen top,  being a high output bulb,  the uvb does not get filtered and your dragon gets pleanty of uvb.  Also,  a t5 high output bulb is good for 1 year.

The hot side should have a basking platform near the heat bulb.. best used with a dimmer switch to control heat. Babies require a basking spot of 100-110 degrees. Adults only 95 on the basking spot.  A good ambient air temp is about 95 on the hot side and 80 on the cool side. 

Minimum enclosure requirements

A 36” long x 18” wide x 18” tall is going to be the minimum size you will need for an adult bearded dragon.

Babies can be kept in that size as well, but anything bigger is not recommended for a baby.

Exo-Terra sells tanks with opening front doors which allows for easier access to your dragon and less chance of stressing them out or spooking them.. they have a “third eye” on top of their head which senses shadows and anything coming from above them, they think is a predator.

It is visible as an opalescent gray spot on the top of some lizard's heads; also referred to as "pineal eye” or "third eye." The parietal eye is the white spot on the top of the dragons head. 

Be sure to provide a hiding spot for your dragon to escape the light/heat if needed and provide multiple levels so they can get the exact temp they like.

Supplements

Supplement are important to your bearded dragons health.. Your dragon does not get all of the vitamins it needs from its food sources alone, vitamins suppliments are essential. Calcium w/ D3 and vitamin/mineral supplements are imperative for dragons of all ages. Dragons need calcium and a multi-vitamin to ensure proper health and to reduce the chances of getting MBD (Metabolic Bone Disease). Calcium w/D3 needs to be given along with using a fluorescent UVB bulb. We use Rep-Cal Vitamins which you can find in local pet stores or order online.

Want to join the best dragon group on Facebook? Check out Bearded dragons and common sense care 😊

Full of facts and information for a happy, healthy dragon! Make friends, learn and have fun! Everyone is very friendly and the group is drama-free! It’s the best group out there! 

Please check out these food charts for your dragons most accurate diet needs. 

Click to enlarge each photo.


(Green - Staple food)

(Yellow - Occasional food)

(Orange - Rare food)

(Red - Toxic food)