Bearded Dragon

     

 There are three common species of bearded dragon kept as pets in Australia: The Eastern Bearded dragon (Pogona Barbatta), the central bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps) and the Pygmy bearded dragon (Pogona henrylawsoni). They are an active diurnal (day time) lizard that provides for good entertainment and make a great pet. The full size bearded dragons can grow 50-60cm living 12-15 years. Below are the basic requirements for the health and wellbeing of bearded dragons.

 

The Enclosure:

  • Bearded dragons can easily be housed indoors with a minimum enclosure size of approximately 1m L x 0.5m W. The size of the enclosure will need to be adjusted as the lizard grows to allow for free movement and exploration.
  • It is important to provide adequate hides and branches/logs. / rocks to climb on and bask under the heat lamp.
  • Substrates ideally should be a combination of easy to clean (newspaper and recycled kitty litter) to something that provides suitable environmental enrichment such as digging (reptile sand etc). It is important for it to be easy to clean to prevent the spread of disease and parasites.
  • Disinfect cages with a 1:10 dilute bleach to water solution weekly, with spot cleaning as needed after defecation.

 

Heat and Lightings:

  • Reptiles need a variety of temperatures to control their body temperature as they are ectothermic. They require a gradient spanning over their ideal body temperature.
  • There should be a warm end of the enclosure with a hot basking light which the lizard can reach and a cool end of the enclosure
  • Ensure the heat source is controlled by a thermostat, and both the warm and the cool end are measured by a thermometer to aim for the below temperatures. Thermostats help prevent overheating and thermal burns.
  • Temperature gradiet should be : 36-40oC at the basking spot to 28oC at the cool end and temperatures at night shouldnt drop below 21oC.
  • Dragons require UVB light to promote proper foraging behavior and to allow for vitamin D3 synthesis and calcium metabolism.
  • The main ways to provide UVB are below
    • Sunlight – 20-30 minutes of unfiltered sunlight 2-3 times a week in a predator proof enclosure with access to water and shade.
    • UVB globes – These should be changed ever 6 months and be 20-30cm away from the basking spot and not through any glass or Perspex.

Handling:

  • Allow all new dragons to settle into their new environment for a few weeks before you begin handling them. As over handling can cause stress
  • Most dragons will become used to being handled. Provide support under the full length of the body especially under the limbs.

Diet:

Bearded dragon diets change as the dragon gets older. They are omnivorous, eating more insects at a younger age and progressing to 75% vegetable matter when fully grown. Insects fed should not exceed 1/3rd the width of the lizards head. All food items should be dusted in calcium powder regularly.

 

Age

Frequency

<1-month-old

2-3 times a day

1-4 months old

1-2 times a day

4 months to adult

Once a day

Adult

2-3 times a week

 

 

Healthcare and Veterinary Attention:

  • It is important to get an annual health check with a fecal float and annual bloods to monitor for any early signs of disease in your pet bearded dragon.
  • Any new dragons should be examined prior to introducing them into your collection to prevent the introduction of disease and parasites.

 

If you notice any abnormal eating patterns, reduced food intake, lethargy or any unusual behaviour in your bearded dragon please call us on 9652 1338 to book an appointment.