Bearded Dragon 101
LIFESPAN: Approximately 8-10 years
SIZE: Up to 24” (61 cm) long
EXPERIENCE LEVEL: BEGINNER
Socialization & General Care
- Bearded dragons are generally docile and inquisitive and can be easily handled with minimal socialization.
- Be certain to scoop them up from under the belly and support their belly in the palm of your hand.
- Allow your bearded dragon 3-4 days to adjust to his new habitat before handling.
- Bearded dragons will shed their skin every 6-8 weeks, more often for juveniles. The first sign of shedding is usually dulling of the skin (milky coloured).
- Reptiles may transmit disease to humans; make certain to wash your hands after cleaning your pet’s habitat or after handling.
DID YOU KNOW? Bearded dragons originate in Australia.
- Bearded dragons are omnivores, meaning that their diet consists of vegetables and insects.
- Insects and/or a commercial diet should be fed daily in addition vegetables and fruit.
- Insects (crickets, mealworms and waxworms) and vegetables should be dusted with a calcium and vitamin D supplement.
- To dust crickets, simply add 1/4 of a teaspoon of the calcium powder to a small plastic bag and shake crickets gently to coat them.
- Crickets should be fed a commercial nutrient-dense diet (gut-loaded) prior to being fed to your bearded dragon. Putting pieces of vegetables (potatoes, sweet potatoes or apples) into your cricket enclosure will help provide the necessary nutrients.
- Insects should be offered daily to juveniles, and daily to every other day for adults.
- Fresh vegetables should be offered daily. Acceptable choices are dandelion greens, collard greens, romaine lettuce, zucchini, broccoli and shredded carrots.
- Fruits can be offered sparingly (once a week). Acceptable choices are papaya, mango and banana.
- Never feed your bearded dragon anything that cannot fit into its mouth all at once.
- To avoid accidental ingestion of substrate, food should be offered in a shallow bowl.
- Fresh water should be available at all times and food and water dishes should be cleaned daily.
Health Issues to Watch For
- Swollen joints and limbs
- Eating or drinking less
- Runny, discoloured or pungent stool
- Weight loss
- Gasping or forced breathing
- Discharge from nose, eyes or mouth
- Discoloured skin
- Shedding difficulties
- Seek veterinary care if you notice any of the above signs.
Fun Bearded Dragon Facts
- The bearded dragon got its name because of the dragon’s ability to flare out the skin in the throat region like a beard when it is excited, threatened or territorial.
- Bearded dragons in the wild will often stand up on their hind legs to run from danger.