The bearded dragon is a stunning type of reptile. Popularly known as beardies, it is moderately sized and is native to Australia. It is among the most common reptile pets kept at home.
Now, if you are considering having one as your pet, you will need to get all the necessary supplies to make life easier for both of you. In this article, we will discuss everything bearded dragon supplies related and also recommend the best products for your beardie.
About life span, bearded dragon has an average lifespan of about 10 years with some going to up to even 20 years of age. Most beardies are averagely about 16 to 24 inches long, typically brown or tan but you can find a few with other color variants.
Bearded dragon pets live in a terrarium, and you will need to have a conducive one for your lovely pet.
Terrariums are made from different materials and depending on your budget you can get; a pure glass terrarium, or you could get one made of PVC plastic, this is quite lightweight, and it holds heat nicely which is an essential factor to consider.
ABS plastic is also lightweight thus easy to move around. Again, Melamine terrariums can also be a great choice since it's an excellent insulator thus keeps your dragon warm; it also reflects more lights.
It is also essential to get a good sized terrarium for your bearded dragon depending on its size and age. A juvenile bearded dragon needs about a 20-40 gallon tank who ile adult dragons need about 75 to 125 gallon tank depending on its size.
The humidity levels in a terrarium should also be checked regularly. It should resemble that of its natural environment in the deserts. The levels should be between 35 to 40 percent. One should, therefore, avoid full plastic or glass covers on the terrarium as this would trap humidity and stagnate the air inside that would most likely lead to higher humidity levels in the terrarium.
You need to mimic your pet’s natural habitat by including plenty of light in their terrarium. You need to ensure the enclosure has sources of both UVA and UVB rays and also basking light. Most commonly used sources for the needed lights and heating are fluorescent bulbs and mercury vapor bulbs
Beardies need UVB rays output of about 8 to 10 percent. Also, ensure you replace them as per the manufacturer’s recommendation even if the bulbs are not yet burnt out.
The bulbs should also be approximately 8 inches from the beardie to ensure proper absorption of the rays. Choose fluorescents with a reflector built to it, if not place aluminum foils inside the fixture so that more rays can reach your dragon.
Mercury vapor bulbs provide heat to the terrarium as it allows for both UVA and UVB rays. The distance between the bearded dragons and the bulbs should be about 24 inches. It’s therefore suitable for larger terrariums.
Before getting the bulbs, you need to note that bearded dragon babies need more heat compared to adult bearded dragons.
It's also important to closely monitor the temperatures in the terrarium to ensure your bearded dragon gets enough heat. It’s recommended you have at least two thermometers in an averagely sized terrarium one around the heat source and one on the cooler side and more than two in larger terrariums.
While setting up a habitat for your bearded dragon, there are a lot of beautiful things you could add to it to make it appealing to the eye. Some of the things you could add to spice it up are;
Plants; Artificial plants could be perfect because they’re clean and low maintenance.
You could also add wood branches for climbing; especially around the basking area.
Rocks could also be a good decor. You could get beautiful ones from pet stores.
Hideouts are essential both as decor but also could be useful as a place for them to hide when they feel threatened. Place the hideout in a secluded area so that they can feel safe.
You’d think its only humans that love lounging on a hammock, but beardies too love some quality hammock time. A good hammock could be made from different materials like soft nylon mesh, seagrass fiber or even seaweed fiber.
A hammock will not only keep your beardie happy but also more active as they’ll have to climb to reach it. Bearded dragons will also enjoy rubbing themselves on the hammock when it’s time to shed off some skin.
You can even get more than one hammock with different textures for your pet, and you could place them at different levels so that they jump from one to another. You need to get one that is specially made for them.
You can also easily DIY one from a t-shirt or also crotchet one if you are good at crocheting.
Sand & Substrate
Different opinions have been made about sand being a substrate for a bearded dragon. Some believe sand is the best while others think something different like liners or even newspapers could be better.
Ensure the sand you use to create an environment that seems natural to the dragon with no artificial colors or dyes or even chemicals that could pose harm to the beardie. It should also be made of fine particles and not large coarse particles.
Always ensure that you sift the sand once in a while as they often contain shredded skin, feces and food particles that could create a bad odor if left there for a long while. You could look around for the area with the feces or shredded skin, scoop it out, sift it then return it to the terrarium. Something to note is that you should also replace the sand substrate once in a while for the comfort of your pet. Remove any food leftovers from the terrarium before they decompose and smell.
Make sure the environment is clean, moist-free and always as dry as possible.
You can provide water to bearded dragons in different ways.
One of the ways is by presenting it in a bowl. As bearded dragons are not naturally wired to drink water from a bowl, you'll need to train them. You can do so by adding things that will sweeten the smell of the water, and this could be strawberry or even papaya juice. You can also put a water dripper a little above the water bowl.
Another way to give water to your bearded dragon is by misting them. In the wild, when it rains the dragons would reach out for the rainwater drops that would drip from their nose and drink it. You could mimic this by misting your dragon lightly a few times in a day, and they sure will lap the water.
You can also mist fruits and even vegetables with a little water before feeding it o the dragons. This is a sure way of getting them to hydrate some more.
Treats & Food
Bearded dragons are omnivorous hence feed on both plants and animals. They feed on a variety of fruits, insects, and vegetables. When very young they mostly feed on bugs and eats less of plants but as they get older that tends to change, and they tend to feed more on plants.
They eat the majority of the insects that move. Some common insects they feed on are earthworms, waxworms, kingworms, crickets, phoenix worms, silkworms, roaches, hornworms.
Most of this can be found at home, but it is important to note that they could contain parasites or even pesticides that may pose health risks for them. You should therefore not feed them with bugs from your property.
Majority of the vegetables are also safe for bearded dragons to consume. Some of the common ones for them are pumpkins, raw yams, kale, cooked lentils, celery, carrots, cabbages, butternut squash, peeled cucumbers, raw asparagus, chicory, parsnips, spaghetti squash, corn squash, turnip green endive, yellow squash, and fresh zucchini.
Fruits are not only good for humans; they are also quite important for your pets. The bearded dragon can eat melons, figs, grapes, mangoes, grapefruit, cherries, pineapples, strawberries, papayas, peaches, plum, cranberries, apricot, and even blackberries among many others
As you feed bearded dragons ensure they don't ingest the substrates around the food, they are feeding on. You should be specifically extra careful with the young dragons as the substrates could affect them more than they could the bigger ones.
Specific Playpens for bearded dragon aren't as common as you would wish, but the good thing is that you can always DIY the playpens from a lot of things. A small swimming area would also be ideal as bearded dragon love to play with water.
In the playpen you can throw in a small ball, place a mirror nearby but not too close, you can set it on the outside of the area but in a place that can see its reflection. You can also build caves where they can play and hide around.
Majority of pet stores stock a variety of toys that can also be added to the playpen.
A leash is a line for restraining, leading or controlling an animal or a pet. It could be a chain or a strap. It is becoming a lot more popular to see a pet owner with a leashed pet these days. As a pet owner you most definitely once in a while need a leash for your pet.
With a leash, you could easily take the dragon out and let it enjoy the natural sun, and it can explore the environment and work out a little more. You could also use it inside the house without having to worry the bearded dragon will hide or even escape
The leash you get should be easily adjustable for the comfort of your bearded dragon. You should also ensure you use a material that is soft enough not to hurt your dragon’s skin as you move around.
Also, get one that is easy to put on and to take off when need be. You wouldn't want it to be a struggled every time you want to put it on, the struggle would also be uncomfortable for the bearded dragon, or they would even freak out.
While using the leash ensure you never pull the leash as it could hurt your bearded dragon but if you have to in instances of getting it away from something pull it gently and slowly.
Before getting yourself a bearded dragon, you need to know about all the supplies that are required for the proper care of this lovely pet. Mentioned above are the supplies required to ensure caring for your pet is a lot easier and that the bearded dragon is comfortable.