Frequently Asked Questions
A list of frequently asked questions regarding Bearded Dragons, click on a link to display more information.
The answer to this question really depends on your financial situation as well as your overall free time. Basically, the startup cost a Bearded Dragon can be really expensive. Aside from price, taking proper care of a Bearded Dragon will not only require money (for feeding, cleaning, and so on), but it will also require plenty of your time. In other words, you will need to spend time taking care of and interacting with the reptile daily. Long story short, ask yourself this, do you have enough money and free time to take care of a living animal?
Yes, Bearded Dragons are amazing pets for a few reasons. First, they can live for a very long time under proper care. Second, they are very docile. Third, they can be just as emotionally supportive as other pets (in my opinion).
Bearded Dragons can live for a very long time under proper care. In fact, captive Bearded Dragons have been known to live past 10 years. Again, how long they live really depends on their overall care. In short, the average lifespan of a captive Bearded Dragon ranges between 5-12 years.
The startup cost can be cheap, but it can also be very expensive. Overall, it depends on what you need. For example, do you need a small 20 gallon terrarium or a large 60+ gallon terrarium? Do you prefer a standard Bearded Dragon or a fancy Witblits? Again, the startup cost will depend on what you want to get. In brief, the startup cost can be as low as $200 or it can be as high as $600+.
It is possible to identify the sex of your Bearded Dragon as soon as it is two months old. However, the younger the reptile is, the harder it might be to tell. Although, the older the Bearded Dragon is, the easier it should be to tell. To identify the sex, place your Bearded Dragon on a flat surface such as a table. After that, gently lift the Bearded Dragon's tail while lowering your head to look above its vent at an angle. While looking, you should see one or two bumps. If you see two vertical/symmetrical bumps, then the Bearded Dragon is a male. If you see one horizontal bump, then the Bearded Dragon is a female. See the picture below for an example.
The max length of a Bearded Dragon is around 2 feet from head to tail. Keep in mind, captive Bearded Dragons can have stunted growth from improper care. If you suspect that your Bearded Dragon is not growing, then make sure that all of your care methods are correct. Aside from length, Bearded Dragons start out as small as your finger and grow to be bigger than your palm.
Yes, Bearded Dragons carry salmonella in their feces. It is safe practice to wash your hands before and after handling a Bearded Dragon. Of course, don't touch your mouth or eat food after handling one of these reptiles without washing your hands. In addition, don't let your Bearded Dragon crawl around on your pillows or bed. Overall, the salmonella from a Bearded Dragon can be passed to humans, but it is rarely heard of.
A Bearded Dragon is a lizard that originates from Australia. There are over several different species of Bearded Dragon. Although, it is the Central (also known as Inland) Bearded Dragon that is most common in the pet industry.
Bearded Dragons are omnivores, this means that they eat food of both plant and animal origin. To be more specific, Bearded Dragons can eat live food such as dubia roaches, crickets, phoenix worms, silkworms, hornworms, and superworms. Furthermore, they can eat greens such as turnip, mustard, dandelion, or collard greens. Of course, there are other things that they can eat, but this is a quick list of the recommended foods for reference.
Proper lighting is extremely important for a Bearded Dragon's well-being. Without proper lighting, a Bearded Dragon can develop health issues such as metabolic bone disease. In addition, other issues could occur such as lack of appetite and growth. With that said, you will need a few bulbs. First, a heat bulb . The heat bulb that you get should be capable of providing the right temperatures. To be more specific, the hot side needs to be around 100F and the cool side needs to be around 80F. Second, you need a reputable UVB bulb. In addition, this UVB bulb should be properly installed and mounted within the Bearded Dragon's enclosure. A UVB bulb that is often recommended is the Reptisun 10.0 fluorescent UVB . Finally, you might need one more bulb if your night temperatures are too cold. If so, then you will need a ceramic heat emitter . In brief, the night temperature should be around 66-79F and you should only use a ceramic heat emitter at night (not a colored bulb) since lighting at night can disturb their sleep.
Before I talk about enclosure size, I want to point out that a terrarium is better than an aquarium, when it comes to Bearded Dragons. In brief, Bearded Dragons require more horizontal space than they do vertical space (since they grow up to 2ft in length). With that said, for baby Bearded Dragons, a 20 gallon terrarium is best. Why you ask? Well, the smaller enclosure sizes makes it easier for them to hunt for their food. Unfortunately, Bearded Dragons do grow fast, so you will need a larger enclosure eventually. For juvenile or adult Bearded Dragons, a 40 gallon or larger terrarium is best. Of course, anything larger is better. If you are building a custom enclosure or purchasing one, then aim for dimensions of 4ft long, 2ft deep, and 2ft tall.
In the Bearded Dragon community, there is a lot of debate between using loose substrate such as sand or non-loose substrates such as reptile carpet. In my opinion, you should avoid loose substrates since they come with too many risks such as impaction or unsanitary living conditions. In fact, there's a lot of research out there to support the belief that loose substrate is dangerous. All you have to do is a Google search on, "What substrate to use for my Bearded Dragon?" Anyways, I would recommend using any of the following: non-adhesive shelf liner, tile, paper towels, reptile carpet, or even newspaper.
First off, yes it is important to make sure that your Bearded Dragon is hydrated. With that said, there are multiple ways to provide drinking water. First, use a syringe or eye-dropper to drop water onto your Bearded Dragon's nose and he/she should lick it off. Second, mist greens before your Bearded Dragon eats them. Third, offer hornworms or other foods that are high in moisture. Finally, provide a water dish and hope that your Bearded Dragon drinks from it. Overall, the syringe/eye-dropper method is my favorite way to provide water.
You should offer a warm bath at least once per week if not more. When offering a bath, make sure that the water stays warm (never cold). Of course, make sure that the water is not scorching hot. If your Bearded Dragon poops in the bath (which is normal, since warm water helps them poop) then replace the water with new water. Overall, it is important to have a clean Bearded Dragon.
No, they are not safe to use for Bearded Dragons. For Bearded Dragons, it is best/natural to provide heat from above, not below. In other words, you should avoid using heat rocks or even heating pads. In brief, heating rocks or pads can be dangerous and cause burns to your Bearded Dragon's belly. Why you ask? Well, Bearded Dragons do not sense heat well in this area of their body. As a result, they might not move off of the heat source when they should which results in severe burns.
A Bearded Dragon needs to bask within its enclosure for around 12-14 hours per day. However, it is OK to take your Bearded Dragon out of its enclosure for some exercise or to simply explore. Although, if it is too cold out (or if your Bearded Dragon starts to get cold), then you should put it back into its enclosure. On a side note, if you take your Bearded Dragon outdoors, make sure the sun is shinning and the temperature is warm. Also, I advise using a reptile leash or a proper outdoor enclosure if you take your Bearded Dragon outdoors.
Since Bearded Dragons are solitary in nature, it is not recommended to cohabitate these reptiles. Unfortunately, cohabitation can be very dangerous or detrimental to Bearded Dragons since these reptiles often act dominant and territorial when around each other. In other words, they tend to fight over, "who is the boss". Overall, if you have multiple dragons in one enclosure, then you will gamble with the risk of serious injury (fighting or tail/toe nips) or even death. Yes, death! Especially if you pair an adult Bearded Dragon with a juvenile. In fact, adult Bearded Dragons have been known in the past to eat younger ones in forced captivity. Aside from physical harm, you will create a competitive environment if you force Bearded Dragons to live with each other. To clarify, they will have to compete for the better basking spot (stacking) or compete for who catches the most food. On a side note, the presence of a dominating Bearded Dragon alone can cause frequent stress for the submissive Bearded Dragon. Of course, stress itself can lead to other issues such as lack of appetite. Again, I do NOT recommend cohabitation for all of the above reasons.
No, lettuce is not recommended because lettuce offers little to no nutritional value (it's mostly water). In addition, it may cause diarrhea.
No, it is not recommended to allow your pet Bearded Dragon to eat wild bugs or plants. In short, there is a risk of your Bearded Dragon consuming parasites or pesticides. In addition, some wild bugs are toxic for Bearded Dragons, such as the lighting bug. Overall, there are too many risks.
No, avocado is known to be toxic for them.
No, Rhubarb is known to be toxic for them.
Behavior (Body Language)
A Bearded Dragon will bob to display its dominance over another Bearded Dragon. Basically, it's like they are saying, "I am the boss". Heading bobbing often occurs when two males see each other or when a male sees a female Bearded Dragon.
A Bearded Dragon will arm wave to show submission or recognition. In other words, it's like they are saying, "I am aware of your presence" or "I am aware of your presence, but I am not a threat to you."
A Bearded Dragon should only bite if it feels threatened by something.
This behavior is often referred to as glass surfing. Glass surfing is a common behavior with Bearded Dragons. Basically, this behavior occurs when a Bearded Dragon leans up against the wall of its enclosure and scratches at it or even jumps at it. In brief, this type of behavior could mean that something is wrong. For example, the reptile might be stressed out, too hot, or it might even see another Bearded Dragon outside of its enclosure (or even its own reflection). On the other hand, it could mean that the reptile just wants to come out.
For a Bearded Dragon, arm waving is usually a submissive behavior. When a Bearded Dragon waves one of its arms, the reptile is trying to say that, "I am aware of your presence, but I am not a threat to you."
Digging is a behavior that a Bearded Dragon may do if it wants to make a comfortable spot to lay down and sleep. Keep in mind, if the Bearded Dragon is digging non-stop, then the reptile may be trying find a way to hide or escape due to stress. Furthermore, the Bearded Dragon might be a female ready to lay eggs.
When a Bearded Dragon starts to feel too hot, the reptile will open its mouth and hold it open for as long as it needs to in order to regulate its body temperature. In short, this is a normal behavior and there is nothing to worry about unless your Bearded Dragon shows symptoms of a respiratory infection (visit the health page). Also, you may want to double check the basking temp which should be around 100F.
Eye bulging often occurs when a Bearded Dragon has shed around its face. In other words, a Bearded Dragon will pop out its eyes in attempt to break shed that is around its face. Soon after, the eyes should return back to normal size.