Bearded dragons are among the most popular pet reptiles, known for their friendly nature and unique appearance. However, caring for these creatures is not always straightforward. Misinformation and common misconceptions can lead to mistakes that may harm the health and well-being of your bearded dragon. This article aims to shed light on some of the most common bearded dragon care mistakes, providing you with accurate information to ensure your scaly friend thrives in your care.
- Size Matters: Choose a larger, well-established bearded dragon over a smaller, prettier one.
- Proper Housing: Bearded dragons require an arid environment, not a tropical one.
- Watering: Mist your bearded dragon instead of using a water bowl to maintain the right humidity level.
- Feeding: Live insects, including mealworms, are a preferred food source for bearded dragons.
- Co-habitation: Housing different reptiles together can lead to stress and health issues.
- Choosing the Sex: If you’re not interested in breeding, choose a male to avoid the risk of egg-binding.
- Essential Vitamins: Ensure your bearded dragon gets enough Vitamin D3 and Vitamin C.
Understanding Your Bearded Dragon’s Basic Needs
When choosing a bearded dragon, size is an important factor to consider. Young bearded dragons are delicate and require careful handling. If you see a cage full of baby dragons, it’s advisable to pick the biggest one, not necessarily the prettiest one. Larger dragons are typically healthier and have a better chance of thriving in a new environment. For more information on selecting a bearded dragon, check out our guide on how big do bearded dragons get.
The Importance of Proper Housing
Bearded dragons originate from arid environments and have specific housing requirements. They should not be kept in a tropical environment like many other reptiles. High humidity levels can lead to respiratory infections in bearded dragons. Therefore, maintaining the right environment is crucial for their health. Learn more about creating the perfect habitat for your bearded dragon here.
Watering Your Bearded Dragon
Contrary to what you might see in some pet stores, bearded dragons should not have water bowls in their enclosures. The evaporation from the water bowls can increase the humidity level in the enclosure, which is detrimental to the health of your bearded dragon. Instead, mist your bearded dragon with a spray bottle, allowing them to drink the water droplets, similar to how they would in their natural environment. For more on this, check out our article on whether you should spray your bearded dragon with water.
Feeding Your Bearded Dragon
One of the biggest wastes of money when caring for a bearded dragon is buying dead insects. Bearded dragons are attracted to the movement of live insects, and they are less likely to eat insects that are not alive. Additionally, there’s a common misconception that bearded dragons cannot digest mealworms. This is false. In fact, mealworms can be a convenient and easy-to-keep food source for your dragon. For more on feeding your bearded dragon, check out our article on bearded dragon diet.
Advanced Care Tips for Your Bearded Dragon
It’s not uncommon for pet owners to want to house their bearded dragon with other reptiles. However, this is not recommended. Different reptiles have different habitat requirements, and housing them together can create an unhealthy environment for at least one of the animals. For instance, the humidity requirements for a ball python are much different than those for a bearded dragon. This can cause undue stress and even lead to dangerous situations, such as one animal eating the other.
Choosing the Sex of Your Bearded Dragon
If you’re only buying one dragon and you’re not interested in breeding, it’s advisable to choose a male. Female bearded dragons can ovulate without the presence of a male, and this can lead to egg-binding, a condition where the eggs get stuck inside the female. This can lead to expensive vet bills and surgery to remove the eggs. Learn more about this in our articles on bearded dragon eggs and egg-binding in bearded dragons.
Vitamin D3 and Vitamin C are essential for bearded dragons. Vitamin D3 is produced by natural sunlight, and there’s nothing better for your dragon than natural sunlight. If possible, get your dragon out a few times a week to get some natural sunlight. However, be mindful of the humidity in your area as high humidity can lead to respiratory infections. As for Vitamin C, it promotes a good, healthy immune system. One way to introduce Vitamin C to your dragons is by feeding oranges to their feeder insects.
Caring for a bearded dragon is a rewarding experience, but it’s not without its challenges. By avoiding common mistakes and providing the right environment, diet, and care, you can ensure your bearded dragon thrives. Remember, every bearded dragon is unique, and what works for one might not work for another. Always observe your pet and adjust your care routine as needed. For more information on bearded dragon care, check out our other articles here and here.
Remember, the key to a healthy and happy bearded dragon is understanding their needs and providing the right care. Happy dragon keeping!