The bearded dragon is undoubtedly one of the most interesting pets one can own. Even if you don't like lizards, the bearded dragon's playful disposition and unique characteristics might just win you over. If you are already a proud owner of a bearded dragon (or “beardie" for short), or are thinking about purchasing one, then please read on for some crucial info on how to care for these unique lizards.
The most significant element of bearded dragon care is to have the right type of environment ready and assembled for your new found friend once he arrives in his new home. First, make sure that the cage is large enough. If you're buying a baby bearded dragon, then he is definitely going to grow. So, make sure that you've allowed plenty of room for your bearded dragon to develop properly. Ideally, you want a tank that is a minimum of forty gallons, but a 50 gallon tank is even better.
You’ll need to think about what kind of substrate you want to put into the tank as well. Substrate is a hotly debated subject and there are many different options. If you are going to have a young lizard, it’s highly recommended that you avoid any loose substrate, like sand. Paper towels, newspapers, or indoor/outdoor carpet are better choices. As your pets grow and get older, the risk of digestion of loose substrate decreases and washed play sand can be used. This type of substrate make it easier to scoop out feces from the cage. Any bark, corncobs, or nut shells should always be avoided as they can cause severe problems if accidentally swallowed.
Furnishing your pet's home is very important as well. Beardies prefer both shade and light, so it's important to give them both options. They also are a sub-arboreal animal, so they like to perch off the ground. So, a silk plant or greenery from your local pet store for lizards will make a great addition to the tank.
Artificial rocks and branches make great additions to a bearded dragon habitat, as do reptile boxes which are made especially for bearded dragons and similarly sized reptilian pets. Water should be provided in a shallow dish. The tank can occasionally be misted, but not so much that it causes the environment to cool or become humid in any way.
The bearded dragon is cold blooded, so it’s important to have an adequate heat source for “basking. " There are lamps especially designed for reptiles, which you can find at the pet store. The proper
lighting for a bearded dragon habitat would be a low watt bulb with a mirror reflector on it. For optimum health, make sure your bearded dragon has a properly balanced diet of leafy greens, fresh vegetables, meal worms, and gut worms. Crickets and pinky mice are also good choices as food.
Bearded dragons are truly magnificent creatures, but they require very specific care. They aren’t necessarily high maintenance; however, like most reptiles there are certain things they need, and more importantly lots of things they cannot have. Hopefully, the above guidelines give you a good idea of what is involved in owning and caring for a beardie.
For more information on bearded dragon care , try visiting http://www.beardeddragoncenter.com , a popular website that provides tips, advice and resources on caring for bearded dragons.