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Caring for a Bearded Dragon

March 1 2020

Are you interested in adopting a bearded dragon? These cute little lizards are actually quite charming and captivating little pets! A Bowmanville, ON vet offers some tips on caring for a beardie below.

Habitat

If you have a baby beardie, you may only need a 75-liter tank for now. However, when your pet is fully grown, you’ll need one that is at least 284 liters. For substrate, you can use reptile carpet or butcher paper. Sand is okay for adult beardies, but not for young ones. For accessories, you’ll want to add dishes, a hide, and a water bowl, as well as rocks, plants, hammocks, and climbing branches.

Conditions

Beardies need both UVB and UVA lighting, which require special equipment. You’ll also need to get your tiny dinosaur a basking light. Your pet’s cage should be set up so that there are two different temperature zones, so he can move back and forth between them. During the day, the warmer end should stay between 35 and 40°C, with the cooler end around 30. Nighttime temperatures can be a bit lower. It’s also important to maintain proper humidity levels. Ask your vet for more information.

Health

Your beardie should be examined by a vet regularly. In between appointments, watch for signs of illness. If you notice anything amiss, such as diarrhea, lethargy, lack of appetite, and discharge from the eyes, ears, or mouth, call your vet immediately.

Diet

If you were wondering why more people don’t have bearded dragons, well, their diet may have something to do with it. Beardies eat mostly live insects, supplemented with some fresh produce. You’ll need to dust the bugs with nutritional powder, which is called gut loading. Needless to say, if you’re squeamish about creepy-crawlies, you may want to choose another pet.

Handling

Although bearded dragons are typically pretty docile, you will need to handle your scaled buddy regularly to keep him tame. You may find that your reptilian pal is more entertaining and more cuddly than you expected. It isn’t uncommon for these guys to recognize their owners’ voices, and respond to them. Some beardies even like hanging out with their humans’ laps or shoulders! Just wash your hands after handling your pet: these guys do carry salmonella.

Please contact us, your Bowmanville, ON vet clinic, for all of your bearded dragon’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!

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