Bearded Dragons (Pogona Vtticeps)

Location: Australian desert, scrublands & eucalyptus woodlands

Size: 16-24 inches

Lifespan: 11-15 (min: 10)  (max: 16) 


Housing Requirements


Adult bearded dragons require an enclosure that is a minimum of 40 gallons, but  60 gallons or larger is preferred for a permanent home.


Juvenile  dragons should be kept in 20 gallons until they outgrow it, usually  after a few months. Bearded dragons are SOLITARY animals, housing more  than one dragon together, no matter the gender can result in stress and  serious or fatal injuries.


Substrate &  Decor


Bearded dragons are very curious and lick their surroundings to  smell and feel, this makes a non-loose substrate ideal. Some suitable  substrates include: reptile carpet, reptile grass, sand mat, large  stones, papertowel, newspaper, shelf liner, blankets and my personal  favourite, ceramic tiles. 


Their enclosures can be decorated using logs, rocks, fake plants, branches, hammocks and even beads. Be creative!


Temperature


The basking  area for a bearded dragon should be around 110-115F,  while also providing a cooler basking area of 95-105F to give them options. The  colder end of the enclosure should be around 85-75F. Nighttime  temperatures should be between 65-75F.   A red or blue bulb is not recommended for nighttime.  If the enclosure's temperature drops below  65F a CHE (ceramic heat emitter) can be used to bring it back up to the  desired temperature.

 

UVB


Providing your  dragon with UVB is essential. Without UVB they will develop MBD  (metabolic bone disease) and many other fatal diseases. The best UVB for  bearded dragons is a 10.0 fluorescent tube UVB that covers over half of  the tank. Coils or compact bulbs are not recommended for bearded  dragons. You can also use a MVB (Mercury vapour bulb) which is heat, UVA  and UVB in one bulb.  These are better for smaller tanks.  Another option is pairing a tube UVB and a MVB together for maximum UVB  exposure.


Water &  Humidity


You can provide them with a water dish, but since bearded  dragons can't see still water they will most likely not use it. A bath once a week or dropping water on their snout to drink is sufficient,  plus a variety of leafy greens. Misting should not be done often to  decrease the risk of respiratory diseases. Humidity levels should stay at about 25-40% in the enclosure. 


Feeding


Adult dragons  (1-6y) should be fed a salad daily, with 1 day of fasting a week. They  should be fed a protein source once a week. (70% salad, 30% insect)  Senior dragons (6y+) can be fed protein once every week and a half to  two weeks, and fed salads daily with 1 day of fasting a week. (85%  salad, 15% insect) Juvenile (ages 2m-1y) should be fed a salad daily and  insects daily (70% insect, 30% salad).  A good feeding schedule is:

  

    Monday: salad

    Tuesday: nothing

    Wednesday: salad

    Thursday: treats (Repashy Veggie Burger or fruit salad)

    Friday: salad

    Saturday: worms or crickets

    Sunday: salad


*** adjust according to age ***


Supplements


In  captivity, bearded dragons often don't get enough nutrients. To ensure  good health dragons should be given a multivitamin and calcium powder.  Juveniles should have their food dusted with calcium almost daily and  multivitamins at least twice a week.  Adults can have their food dusted  with calcium every second day and a multivitamin at least twice a week.


Another good supplement (optional) is bee pollen.  This powder has loads  of nutrients and can be given daily. It has been known to increase  alertness, stimulate appetite (great for picky eaters!), help sick dragons regain health and can even replace a multivitamin. Plus, it  tastes good to them. 


*** Fasting should be  monitored, if the dragon didn't eat enough the day before, feed them on their fasting day as well to prevent malnutrition. ***


The best source on nutrition is at this site; trusted by VBR and other experts.

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