Bearded Dragons Basic Caresheet - ABON
few words about Bearded Dragons...
Lizards from Pogona genus are commonly named as Bearded Dragon. They
have broad triangular heads and flattened bodies. They reach a manageable
average size of about 18-22 inches (46-56 cms). The
average weight is about 10-18 ounces (283-510 gm)
species of Bearded Dragons get their name from a distinctive series of
lateral spines (specialized scales) radiating horizontally from the head and
base of the tail. As juveniles, they are semi-arboreal. As adults, they are
mostly terrestrial, but climb to bask and search for prey.
most popular among the bearded dragons belongs to the species Pogona Vitticeps. The genus Pogona was known earlier as Amphibolurus.
This Bearded Dragons Care-sheet
will try to provide the basic guidelines on caring the Pogona
Vitticeps. However, caring the other genus it's
Inland bearded dragons inhabit areas from open woodlands to arid scrub and
desert regions located in Australia’s interior. They spend a lot of their
time perched on logs, rocks or tree trunks, constantly on the look out for food. Bearded dragons are naturally
accustomed to hot, dry conditions and need to be kept in an enclosure that
supports that environment.
dragons are omnivorous, and feed on a variety of insects, flowers, greenery
and fruits. They are accustomed to extremely harsh environment and thus can
eat almost any food that is available. Besides, they can also store nutrients
in their huge abdominal fat bodies, and dig into the ground and hibernate for
long periods in hostile conditions
The other species, all from the Australian continent, are:
• Pogona brevis.
• Pogona barbata.
• Pogona henrilawsoni,
• Pogona minima.
• Pogona mitchelli.
• Pogona mullarbor.
• Pogona microlepitoda.
Bearded Dragons can puff out the spiny protrusions under their chin beard
when they feel threatened or angry, making the dragon look more intimidating
and giving them the appearance of having a humanlike beard. They may bob
their heads or wave either of their forearms as communication.
While the species of Bearded Dragon is native from Australia, they have been
exported worldwide, and due to their convenient size, hardiness, and
omnivorous diet, have become very popular reptile
pets. They are now one of the most popular pet lizards in the United States
(although their popularity is increasing in Japan, Great Britain and Europe
Do Bearded Dragons Make Good Pets?
Dragons generally are very tame and very friendly. They are one of the most
friendly, outgoing, and docile lizards. Bearded dragons have a four chamber
stomach so you can handle them even just after they have eaten, unlike
other reptiles such as snakes.
dragons make some of the best reptile pets. They have the friendly personality
of a iguana, but are
only about one third of the length. They have a wide range of interesting
and entertaining behavior. If you take the time to get to know the
personality of your bearded dragon you will not regret it.
are several reasons why you should choose a Bearded Dragon as your pet:
The Definitive Guide on Bearded Dragons.
• They are quite easy to take care of;
• Bearded Dragons reach a manageable size of about
• They are very gentle and loyal;
• They are docile, hardy and tame. They are one of the few reptiles that seem
to enjoy this type of attention;
• Bearded Dragons are easy to handle. he more often
you hold your bearded dragon, in general the more calm and friendly he will
become. however if your dragon seems agitated, it
may be a good idea to put him down ;
• They are manageable, due to their small size;
• It’s a very suitable pet if you have kids;
• Bearded dragons are easy to keep and handle, though it is recommended that
a beginner owner start with a juvenile rather than a hatchling.
How to Choose a Bearded Dragon
you decided to buy a Bearded Dragon, whether from a breeder or pet store, you
need to look it over carefully. Some things you should notice right away is
how alert and active the dragon is. Do not buy a Dragon which looks to be
lethargic and is unable to lift its head. The animals should watch you with
interest as you walk up to the enclosure and should also have bright and
when choosing your beardy not to compromise the quality of a dragon over price.
Saving money by buying the cheapest dragon, could end up costing you a lot of
money in vet bills, as well as be frustrated for you. Take your time and look
around at all the options instead of deciding on price alone. The cost of a
bearded dragon generally falls in the range of $75 to $400, with a average of $175.
bearded dragons are most expensive, though strong color variations will fetch
up to $400. Enclosure set-up, including heating lamps, UV lights,
thermostats, thermometers, shelter, ornaments and surface material can cost between $300 - $1000. The type of breed or morph, as well
as seller (breeder, independent or pet store) can all dictate price.
buying a dragon, look for these good signs Good signs:
- No missing toes
or tail nip.
- A tail curled
up towards the head.
- An active
animal or basking - attentive to its environment.
- The eyes are
clear and open. There should be no mucus or crust.
alertness. When you pick it up, it should show some movement and alertness.
around hip bones and spine.
- Fat tail base.
- Head is up and
dragon is perky.
- There is only
one species to a terrarium
- Perched under
basking light with head up and body raised.
- No bones
- Rounded body
- It is a good
sign if there are only a few lizards in a terrarium
is a good start. If the dragon can claim these signs, then you might have
found your new pet.
check for these bad signs Bad signs:
- Any form of
excretions around the eyes.
- Missing toes, tail
- No movement.
- Depressions in
back of head.
- Head and body
- Eyes closed or
half closed. Also check for dark circles under the eyes? If so, it’s
possible that the dragon is becoming dehydrated.
- Hip bones
showing, spine prominent.
- Fecal smearing
- Open wounds,
- The conditions
of the place where the dragon live: is it a dirty place, Parasites improper lighting and/or heating,
feces left in cage, too many dragons crowded in small cage?
bones at the base of the tail.
- Make sure the
Dragon is able to walk normally. If it is dragging its back legs it
could be indicative of a skeletal weakness.
- Look for signs
of dehydration. Just pull upwards the skin of the dragon and if it
doesn't go back into place, it is dehydrated.
a bearded dragons. The cage and all the accessories
bearded dragons need
cage is obviously the most important part to build a BD habitat. Dimensions
vary depending BD size and age and, also, the number of bearded dragons you
have. You can buy an already fabricated cage from a pet store or, if you
already are in possession of a larger tank, you can simply section off a
portion of the tank for the bearded dragon until the right sizes that will
make your friend feel comfortable.
Bearded dragons can be housed in a variety of enclosures as long as their
basic requirements are met. All glass aquaria with wire tops are commonly
used and are inexpensive to obtain. Custom built enclosures are also very
popular and can be sized appropriately.
The enclosure should have a basking spot with temperatures ranging from 90 to
105 degrees Fahrenheit, which can be provided by an overhead light in a
reflective hood. Under tank heating can be used for night time use, supplied
by a heating pad or tape. The enclosure should be large enough to allow the
lizard to retreat to a cooler area (known as thermoregulation) as needed. A
tree branch or log should be supplied for climbing and basking. Popular
commercial enclosures are "Glass Aquarium", "Apogee Reptarium "and "Plastic Aquarium".
The first days in his new habitat can cause a lot of stress to the Dragon,
and because of this they could refuse to eat for some days. To help them
- Use the first
weeks to only watch the dragon and learn the behaviors and feeding
habits. Read books on Beardies. Your children
will want to play with their new friend. Do not allow anybody to pick up
the dragon at this moment.
- For a while
you can cover the cage with some milky white panes which won't let the
Dragon see to many things outside.
The substrate (sometimes called flooring) is the material used to line your
dragon's housing. In their native environment, Beardies
live in sandy desert areas. Playground sand is often used because it is
relatively dust free and easy to maintain, although there have been reports
of intestinal impaction. Substrates can also include wheat bran (pest free
and rated for human consumption), outdoor carpeting, non-stick padded shelf
liner, and paper towels. Other good substrates are newspaper, pea rock or
Be careful if you use any type of loose substrate when decorating, as many
dragons will try to dig under their cage furnishings and can become trapped
or crushed if furnishings are not wellplaced. Good
substrate should be clean and safe. Be careful of substrates that could cause
harm to your dragon.
Materials to Avoid as Substrates:
The following are bad for one main reason - impaction. A lot of stores may try
and tell you that they are suitable, they may even be using them themselves,
but they are wrong.
Each of the following has been proven to cause impaction and death to Bearded
Dragons (as well as other reptiles) and should be avoided:
- Corn Cob: Hard, large and indigestible for Beardies.
- Walnut Shell: It looks harmless enough, but the edges are very sharp and it
could kill your dragon very easily. There have been documented impaction
deaths in Bearded Dragons from this. Also goes under a variety of brand
names, so check package labeling careful before listening to and buying from
- Calcisand: The problem with this product is
twofold. First, they like the flavor of it and may eat it if they are lacking
adequate calcium in their diet. Second, it can clump and form an indigestible
bolus in their digestive tract.
- Repti Bark: very fibrous and could easily end up
causing impaction and has been known to end up lodged in the vent.
- Original lizard litter (made from the kenfa tree)
and Jungle Blend.
Substrates such as mulch, shredded tree bark, or corn cob should not be used
as they can hold moisture and promote bacterial growth.
Any of the wood shaving like cedar or pine should also be avoided - cedar had
dangerous aromatic oils and pine can get impacted if ingested.
You should be also be very cautious using bleach on
Dragon's enclosure, the heat from their lights can cause toxic fumes from the
Substrates to use:
There are several good substrates. The use of one or another depends of severall factors - like the age of the dragon(s), their
numbers and others.
And one very important tip: It is extremely important to make sure you
never use sand in your beardy' s cage until they are bigger then 6 inches in length - not including the tail.
Feeding a Bearded Dragon
Normally, bearded dragons are omnivorous, meaning that they eat both animal
and plant matter. Any food items that your bearded dragons eat should respect
clear conditions, to avoid impaction and/or leg paralysis. There are also
some foods you shouldn’t feed your pet.
Alfalfa Pellets, Bok Choy, Chicory, Clover, Collard Greens, Dandelion Greens,
Escarole, Kale, Mustard Greens, Parsley, Spinach-Only Occasionally, Beet
Greens-Only Occasionally, Swiss Chard, Turnip Greens
Acorn Squash, Bell Pepper, Broccoli, Butternut Squash, Frozen Mixed
Vegetables, Grated Carrots, Green Beans, Okra, Parsnips, Peas, Snow Peas,
Spaghetti Squash, Squash, Sweet Potato, Yellow Squash, Zucchini
to make a bearded dragon eat more veggies?
A common problem many bearded dragons have is when the dragon refuse to eat veggies. Here are a few tips you can try to
convince the pet to eat them:
- Put the
crickets in his/her greens. I would also try some supersworms
over their greens. If there is a petsupplyplus
by you. They sell worms in small qty, it
usually work with most dragons. You can also
shred something your dragon likes and gradually mix with a lot of greens
- Make sure the
dragon sees the greens by placing them in a shallow dish-which it can
easily see. Pay attention also that the greens are bite-sized.
- Try to attach
a big leaf, using a clip. Let the dragon have the fun of tearing it into
- Start feeding
greens from the very first week. Then, it will begin to relish them.
- Set your light
timers to turn on the lights an hour before you get out of bed in the
morning. When you get up, give your beardie
salad. After having basked for an hour, the dragons will be hungry
enough to eat the greens.
should completely solve this problem.
Apricots, Bananas (With Skin), Dates, Figs, Grapes, Kiwi, Melon, Papaya,
Peaches, Plums, Raspberry, Strawberries, Tomatoes
Insects and worms
can use roaches, mealworms, waxworms, grasshoppers,
silkworms, katydids, moths, butterflies, flies, beetles, mayflies (shadflies)
but must be very careful. Roaches can be quite large and too tough for Beardies. Mealworms should only be used if they are white
and freshly moulted, because they have very thick
indigestible skins and could cause impaction. Superworms
are a better choice as they have a greater meat to chitin shelling ratio. Waxworms are much too rich to be used for anything other
than occasional treats and too many will lead to such complications as fatty
liver disease or kidney failure in later years.
not to feed your Beardie
- Do not feed
wild insects or insects found around the house to your Bearded Dragon.
They may carry diseases that could be deadly to your pet.
- Lightning bugs
(also known as fireflies) are deadly poisonous (they contain
- Avoid also
spinach as calcium binds to it and will not be digested by your animal.
- Avoid feed
citrus fruits (oranges, lemons, grapefruits).
- Do not feed
dog or cat food to your Dragon.
- Carrots should
only be used as a treat though due to the high amounts of vitamin A. Any
food with high amounts of vitamin A should be avoided, as reptiles do
not absorb a lot of vitamin A.
- Never iceberg
from Florian Ross's Bearded
Dragons Secrets Revealed)
good starting point on finding more about bearded dragons is the
Bearded Dragons Newsletter. You can learn a lot of usefull
tricks about them. If you have a burning question about Bearded Dragons just
enter it bellow and you'll get your question answered in the newsletter.
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