Bearded Dragons are one of the easiest reptiles to handle and have become very popular in recent years with both adults and children. Originating from central Australia where they enjoy an arid environment with plenty of heat and sun, it is important for those who wish to keep a bearded dragon to recreate those conditions as much as possible.
Your new pet will live for up to 10 years, growing to a maximum length of between 55 and 60cm. It will be active during the day and rest at night, displaying a non-aggressive personality that will ensure that the bearded dragon is soon a firm favourite in your family.
Here are some easy to follow steps on how to get ready for your new bearded dragon pet.
What features does the vivarium need?
Though the conditions within your bearded dragon’s habitat must be monitored closely, setting up a vivarium is actually quite simple. Vivariums are specially designed to create climate controlled environments; often with sliding glass doors for security and fixtures for heat and lighting equipment. Single adult bearded dragons require a vivarium with a minimum length of 90cm with the minimum length increasing to around 120cm for pairs and trios of dragons. With a suitable sandy substrate and some decoration to provide the bearded dragon with somewhere to hide, the habitat is almost ready for a bearded dragon to move in.
What lighting levels should the vivarium have?
A UV light must be installed in the vivarium and set on a timer for 12-14 hours per day. This provides your pet with the optimum levels of UV they need to absorb calcium and grow healthily. Since these animals originate from the desert, a basking lamp must also be installed to create an area of increased light and higher heat.
What temperature should the vivarium be?
The temperature within the vivarium should vary because of the basking lamp. Underneath the lamp temperatures will reach around 35oC, with the rest of the habitat set at around 20-25oC. At night the ambient temperature will be cooler, but should not fall below 15oC. If you are concerned about the temperature at night or at cooler times of the year, heat mats or stones can be purchased to offer your pet additional heat.
What will a bearded dragon eat?
Unlike most other reptiles, bearded dragons enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables as well as insects, which should be provided in a shallow dish for easy access. It is advisable to give adult dragons live insects every other day, but young dragons can have them each day, as they will need more protein. Water should also be provided in a shallow dish for bathing, though bearded dragons actually drink small droplets of water – as they would drink morning dew in the wild – and young dragons should be sprayed with water until they learn to bathe.
We offer a wide range of various live food options for your reptile, check out our new page on our website.
Your bearded dragon shopping list:
Bearded dragon care is fairly simple. Take a look at our range of bearded dragon vivariums and supplies – we even have vivarium starter kits which include everything you need to get started with these exciting exotic pets!