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Caring for a Bearded Dragon

October 1, 2015

Are you considering adopting a reptile? If so, a bearded dragon may be a good choice for you. These pretty, colorful lizards are super cute, and are fairly easy to care for. A Niagara Falls, ON vet discusses Bearded dragon care below.

Beardie Basics

Beardies can live well into their teens with proper care. Before adopting one, make sure you can commit to your pet for his entire lifespan. These adorable lizards are generally very docile, which is one reason they are so popular. If your tiny dinosaur feels threatened, he isn’t likely to attack. Instead, the little guy will freeze and puff out his throat, and may even change color. With proper socialization, Beardies can become quite friendly. Many like being petted, and some even enjoy resting on their owners.

Home Sweet Home

Your scaled buddy will spend lots of time in his habitat, so make sure it’s comfortable. Many of the costs of caring for reptiles are one-time fees associated with buying proper equipment, so invest in quality items. Baby Beardies need at least a 20-gallon tank. As your pet grows, he’ll need a bigger home. Full-sized adults require about 75 gallons. When setting up the tank, you’ll need to add a suitable substrate, such as reptile carpet; proper heating and lighting elements; a hidey-hole; and two thermostats, so you can monitor hot and cool zones. Your little dragon will also need some furniture, such as hammocks, branches, and rocks, and a background.

Food

If insects make you squirm, you may want to reconsider adopting a Beardie, because bugs are an important part of their diets. Your scaled pal can have store-bought blackfly larvae, crickets, butterworms, and earthworms. Before giving the creepy-crawlies to your pet, you’ll need to dust them with nutritious powder to make them more nourishing. Bearded dragons also need fresh produce, such as Bok Choy, acorn squash, endives, celery, and mustard or dandelion greens. Never feed your scaled buddy wild insects, avocados, lettuce, or spinach. Fireflies are on the no-no list as well. Beardies can also benefit from specific vitamins and minerals, such as Vitamins A and D3, calcium, and iron. Keep in mind that your dragon’s exact nutritional needs will depend on his age. Ask your vet for recommendations.

Please contact us, your Niagara Falls, ON vet clinic, for more information about bearded dragon care. We’re here to help!

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