Bearded Dragons, like all pets, have needs that are specific to them, but they make an excellent choice for novice or beginning reptile Pet Parents because they are easy to care for and are quite hardy. In their native home of Australia, Beardies live in rocky and arid regions of the country and are efficient climbers. In the wild, they can often be found hanging out on tree branches or in bushes or even perched on fence posts. In addition, basking in the sun on rocks or branches is a favorite pastime for Beardies. They enjoy spending the hottest part of the day in underground burrows and are well adapted to the cool desert nights. With the right products and know-how, plus a little creativity, you can care for your Beardie while making him feel right at home in your home.
Do feed your bearded dragon a variety of foods. They'll eat live insects like "gut loaded" crickets, mealworms or wax worms. Veggies should be 25% of a juvenile Beardie's diet; 50% for adults. Choose kale, collard and mustard greens, zucchini and shredded carrots.
Don't let your terrarium get direct sunlight from a window. Remember though: Indirect sunlight benefits your reptiles. Because glass filters out of 95% of the beneficial UVB rays your reptile needs, supplement with an appropriate store-bought bulb.
Do support your local reptile (herpetological) society and attend a show. You will see a variety of captive-bred reptiles and learn a lot! These groups are also a great resource for finding veterinarians that can treat Beardies.
Don't suddenly grab your bearded dragon or handle them by their tails or limbs. Instead, hold your Beardie in your hand and support its tail with your arm.
Don't leave terrarium lights on at night. Reptiles need a "photo period" so turn the light off at night so they can sleep. If your Beardie needs heat at night to maintain the proper temperature, you can buy a specially-designed night bulb that doesn’t emit visible light. Doing this will ensure that your reptile maintains its normal day/night cycle.
Do buy a book on the reptiles so you can better understand and care for your Beardie.
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