How to Care for your Bearded Dragon Pet
If you keep a beardie as a pet, you already know that it requires a great deal to keep them healthy and happy. Unlike other common house pets, the bearded dragon is a reptile, and this means that you want to be extra careful with having one around. While you may not need a close watch on your dogs and cats, reptiles and fishes need close observation at daily intervals.
Caring for your bearded dragon begins by providing the right diet and environment to support healthy growth, but that’s not all there is to care for your reptile. If you are thinking of getting a new pet, you want to learn all there is to know about bearded dragons before getting yourself one. For starters, you should know that there are eight different species, and they are all native to Australia. That said, you can check the section below for how to care for your beardie.
Understanding Gender Difference
The first step to owning a bearded dragon is knowing the difference between the sexes. As with other animals, you can expect male and female beardies to exhibit different character traits. Males are more aggressive and agile than their female counterparts. They are also quite fast and are usually hostile to other beardies. So you don’t want to have more than one should you go for a guy.
On the other hand, the females are more accommodating and a better choice if you are looking for a reptile friend for a kid. But this doesn’t mean that the guys are trouble. You will need to bond with males genuinely to get them to relax more, but this is easy for kids to do, which is why both male and female beardies make good pets for kids.
Creating the Perfect Environment
As mentioned earlier, you have to provide a conducive environment for your beardie to thrive. As reptiles, they respond better in a warm environment and need occasional heating when the temperature is low. Since you would need to keep them indoors, you want to provide a makeshift home where they can rest and exercise. The ideal settlement should be spacious and well ventilated, not forgetting to keep it secure to prevent them from getting out unsupervised.
The best option would be to get a terrarium or fish tank for your pet. Remember that it has to be spacious, and a 50-gallon may be okay for a small reptile to grow up in. While it would cost you to get a brand new quality tank, there is the option of getting a used one from a previous owner. There are more tips here, Beardeddragonguidance.com on raising a bearded dragon. Once you have the perfect container, the next step will be to get in the home equipment to make the place cozy. Some of the things you will need to include are
- A substrate which is usually a wooden or stone flooring so the animal can move around freely.
- Heating pads to increase the temperature when it is low
- UVA/UVB lighting to help provide lighting and heat, which is essential to survival. Without the right lighting in place, your pet could suffer from weak bones and growth problems.
- Dishes and bowls for serving meals, and you don’t want to use just anyone. The edges have to be high to prevent food from falling out, and it also has to be accessible for the reptile to get inside.
- Branches and toys should also be provided for recreation. Beardies need to exercise daily, and it helps if you have the right set up for stretching and running around.
Serving the Right Diet
Your pet’s diet is also something you should take seriously if you want to see your beardie in the best shape. As you already know, as omnivores, the reptile’s diet differs from mammals and requires a mix of plants and animals in their meal bowl. They need a regular supply of protein, and you can provide them with insects, fruits, and veggies to keep them satisfied. The common insects that a bearded dragon feeds on are crickets and roaches.
Fruits and veggies can also be presented occasionally, and you should know that each animal has its preference, so you may have to try several options to find one your pet enjoys. Leafy greens such as collard, dandelion, arugula, and kale seem to be the favorite among many reptiles, so you should start with those. You can find more on this website about the right food to feed your bearded dragon.
There also has to be water in the terrarium for when the animal gets thirsty. You should refill the dish daily, and if you notice your pet isn’t interested in the water bowl, you should use a mist spray on the face to keep them hydrated.
Reptiles are a calm and friendly pet companion, and the bearded dragon is the right choice if you need a tiny and stress-free buddy with minimal care. You also don’t have to worry about cleaning up the mess they make around the house, as they are rarely a nuisance, unlike dogs and cats. With the right care, you would rarely need to get them any medication or check them with a vet. However, due to their tiny nature, you have to be careful with handling the animal and not leave them around kids without supervision.