Essential Things All Bearded Dragons Need As A pet

14 Essential Things All Bearded Dragons Need

Hey there, reptile enthusiast! Are you the proud parent of a bearded dragon? If so, you already know that these fascinating creatures require special care.

From providing the right temperature and lighting to understanding their behavior, it’s essential to have all fourteen of these things in order for your bearded dragon to live a happy, healthy life.

Read on for more information about how you can give your pet the best possible care.

Key Takeaways

  • Bearded dragons require an appropriate cage size, non-toxic substrate, and proper temperature and humidity levels in their enclosure.
  • Their diet should consist of a balanced mix of live insects, fresh greens, and occasional fruits, with a focus on providing protein sources and a variety of greens.
  • Adequate lighting and temperature regulation is crucial, including the use of UVB bulbs for Vitamin D3 synthesis and a basking spot lamp to create a heat gradient.
  • Regular veterinary visits, monitoring of diet and activity, and addressing potential health issues early on are important for their overall health and well-being.


Bearded dragons need a balanced diet of live insects, veggies, and occasional fruits. Protein sources like crickets, mealworms, and waxworms should be included in the diet for optimal health. To ensure their diet is varied enough, offer your dragon different types of greens such as kale or collard greens and yellow squash or bell peppers.

As a treat every now and then, give them small pieces of fruit like strawberries or blueberries. Providing a healthy variety of food items will keep your bearded dragon looking and feeling its best.


Proper temperature is critical for a bearded dragon’s health. You should provide a heat gradient and temperature range that allows your pet to choose the environment they prefer, giving them the freedom to regulate their own body temperature. Here are two ways to ensure that:

  • Heat Source: Provide a basking spot lamp with UVB light and a ceramic heat emitter for nighttime warmth. Adjust the wattage and distance from your dragon according to room size.
  • Temperature Range: Monitor temps in both basking and cooler areas of the enclosure using two thermometers. The ideal range is between 85°F–95°F during the day, and 65°F–70°F at night.


You’ll need to provide the right lighting for your dragon’s health and wellbeing. UVB bulbs, basking lamps, and light cycles are essential components of bearded dragon care.

A UVB bulb gives them their required daily dose of Vitamin D3 and calcium, while a basking lamp warm up basking spots to optimal temperatures.

Dragon owners should set up a light cycle that mimics the sun’s natural cycle for 12-14 hours per day during the warmer months and 10-12 hours in winter.

Providing proper lighting is one of the most important things you can do for your pet dragon!


Creating an appropriate enclosure for your dragon is crucial for their health and wellbeing. You’ll need to consider:

  • Substrate safety: opt for non-toxic, dust-free materials such as wood shavings or carpeting.
  • Temperature regulation: use a thermometer to monitor the temperature in the enclosure and adjust accordingly.

This will ensure your dragon has enough space to thrive in a safe, regulated environment where they can explore freely and happily.


Keeping the humidity levels in your dragon’s enclosure at an appropriate level is important for their health and wellbeing. Water levels should be monitored regularly, with misting frequency adjusted accordingly.

Aim to keep humidity between 30-50%. Too much can lead to respiratory issues, while too little can cause skin shedding problems. Use a hygrometer to measure accurately, and adjust misting system or water bowl as needed.

Don’t forget that proper ventilation is also key to keeping moisture levels balanced.


When it comes to accessories for bearded dragons, the cage size and substrate choice are key considerations. Depending on the age and size of your beardie, you’ll want to make sure that the cage is big enough to give them plenty of space while also providing an appropriate level of humidity.

When it comes to substrate, there are a variety of options available in pet stores; just make sure you choose one that’s easy to clean and won’t be harmful if ingested.

Cage Size

Choosing the right size cage for your bearded dragon is essential. There are different enclosure types and cage furniture available to meet their needs, so consider factors like:

  • Space: Will your pet be comfortable?
  • Size: Is it large enough to provide freedom of movement?
  • Furniture: Does it have branches, rocks, or hideaways that will enrich its environment?

Make sure you find the perfect fit to give them a happy home!

Substrate Choice

Selecting the right substrate for your bearded dragon is critical, as it can have an impact on their health and wellbeing. Choose a safe substrate type, like paper towels or newspaper, for young dragons. For adult dragons, opt for a loose substrate such as reptile sand or coconut husk fibers.

The substrate should be at least 1-2 inches deep to allow enough burrowing space. Make sure to clean the cage weekly and replace the substrate every six months to prevent bacteria build-up.


Handling bearded dragons correctly is essential for their health and wellbeing. Follow a gentle approach: use reward-based training, avoid sudden movements, and never pick them up with just one hand.

Make it enjoyable and rewarding to ensure a positive experience. Provide treats, speak calmly and softly, and let them get used to your presence.

Respect their comfort level. If they seem scared or uncomfortable, put them down. With patience and understanding, you can build trust over time.

Health and Medical Care

Taking care of a bearded dragon is not only about providing for its basic needs, such as diet and nutrition, but also making sure it receives proper medical care.

Regular veterinary visits are essential to ensuring your pet’s health, providing the opportunity to detect any potential issues and address them before they become serious.

Additionally, monitoring your beardie’s diet and activity will help ensure that it remains healthy and active over time.

Diet and Nutrition

Feeding a bearded dragon a balanced diet is essential. A good diet should include:

  • Fresh Greens: collard greens, mustard greens, turnip greens
  • For vitamins and minerals
  • Live Insects: crickets, mealworms, waxworms
  • For protein and other nutrients.

Providing them with the proper nutrition helps ensure their health and happiness.

Veterinary Visits

It’s important that bearded dragons receive regular veterinary care to ensure they stay healthy. Veterinary visits should occur at least once a year, with more frequent visits if necessary.

During these visits, vets will assess your dragon’s overall health and take blood tests or perform physical exams as needed. Vaccine selection and health insurance can also be discussed with the vet when appropriate.

Be sure to ask any questions you have about your dragon during the visit so you can make informed decisions for their wellbeing.


Bearded dragons naturally shed their skin as they grow, so it’s important to provide them with a warm environment and moist substrate to help facilitate the shedding process. This includes:

  • Bathing: Regular baths can keep your bearded dragon clean and hydrated, which helps with the shedding process.
  • Molting cycle: Bearded dragons usually molt every 2-3 months. During this period, extra humidity and warmth can help speed up the molting process.

It’s essential for bearded dragons’ health to have an environment that encourages natural shedding – freedom from stress is key!


Bearded dragons can be bred when they reach sexual maturity at 12 to 18 months. To ensure successful breeding, you’ll need to make sure that your bearded dragon is the correct sex for mating. Males have a prominent hemipenal bulge on their underside and females are generally larger than males.

Additionally, you should also provide a clean enclosure with ample room to ensure successful mating behaviors.

Age: When

When it comes to age, bearded dragons typically reach adulthood at around 1 year old. They can live up to 10 years with proper care and nutrition.

It’s important to keep in mind the aging process of a bearded dragon and what that means for their health. Age related diseases such as metabolic bone disease, renal failure, and kidney stones can become a concern.

With proper nutrition and veterinary care, your dragon should have a long life expectancy. Providing them a safe environment free from stressors is crucial for their well-being and ability to thrive.

Sex: How?

Determining a bearded dragon’s sex can be tricky, but there are a few methods to help you figure it out. Look for gender differences in the size of the beard, tail shape, and vent area.

You may also want to consider getting DNA testing done – it’s 99% accurate.

As long as you handle any sex determination with care and respect each individual animal’s freedom, your bearded dragon will thank you!


Supplementing a bearded dragon’s diet is essential for ensuring it receives all the nutrients it needs. Types of supplements include calcium, multivitamins, and reptile-specific supplements. The dosage amounts depend on the age and size of the dragon, so it’s important to properly research before administering. However, it’s crucial to remember that too much of any supplement can be toxic to your dragon. Therefore, always ensure proper dosage amounts are followed for your dragon’s health and safety.


When it comes to your bearded dragon’s well-being, reducing stress is just as important as providing supplements.

Bearded dragons are emotional creatures and need plenty of emotional support.

Providing a calm environment with toys, hiding spots, and even a companion can help reduce the amount of stress they experience.

Additionally, interacting with them daily will give them the love and attention they need for their mental health.

Behavioral Issues

Bearded dragons can sometimes display behavioral issues that need to be addressed. Here are a few things you should know:

  • Prevention:
  • Provide adequate space and hideaways
  • Handle your dragon often and carefully
  • Solutions:
  • Identify triggers and avoid them when possible
  • Spend time with your dragon daily for play and socialization


Cleaning your bearded dragon’s habitat is an important part of keeping them happy and healthy. This includes cleaning the substrate, dishes, and tank regularly.

Substrate should be cleaned once a week by spot-cleaning any soiled areas with a paper towel or reptile safe cleanser, then replacing all of it at least once every two months.

Dishes should be washed daily in warm water and tank surfaces wiped down occasionally with a damp cloth to remove dirt and debris.

Substrate Cleaning

It’s important to regularly clean the substrate of your bearded dragon’s habitat. Sanitation tips and cleaning techniques should be implemented for a healthy environment.

  • Freedom: Allow your bearded dragon to explore without worrying about their safety in an unclean enclosure.
  • Health: Keep the habitat clean and free from debris, bacteria, and fungi that can cause health issues in your pet.
  • Comfort: A clean substrate allows them to move around easier and more comfortably so they can fully enjoy their home.

Dish Cleaning

Now that you’ve learned the importance of cleaning the dragon’s substrate, it’s time to tackle dish cleaning!

Be sure to soak your dragon’s dishes in hot water and soap after every use. This helps to sanitize any supplies used for food and water.

Additionally, be sure to rinse all containers thoroughly before refilling them with fresh water or food.

Doing this will help ensure your bearded dragon is healthy and happy!

Tank Cleaning

Keeping your dragon’s tank clean is crucial for their health and wellbeing. You’ll need to pay attention to two aspects of the tank setup:

  • Cleaning:
  • Daily spot cleaning
  • Weekly deep-cleaning
  • Maintenance:
  • Filter
  • Lighting & Heating

With regular maintenance, you can provide your bearded dragon a safe, healthy environment that allows them freedom!

Frequently Asked Questions

How Often Should I Bathe My Bearded Dragon?

Bathe your bearded dragon weekly to help regulate its temperature. Use warm water at a comfortable temperature for them. Make sure you are gentle and do not leave them in the water too long. Enjoy the bonding experience!

What Kind of Food Should I Feed My Bearded Dragon?

Feed your bearded dragon a variety of live food, such as crickets, dubia roaches, and mealworms. Provide a tank setup that includes adequate warmth and humidity to mimic their natural habitat.

How Do I Know if My Bearded Dragon Is Sick?

Recognizing symptoms, making vet visits, providing emotional care and stress relief are all important for knowing when your bearded dragon is sick. Pay attention to their behavior and look out for any changes. If you’re concerned, contact a veterinarian for advice.

How Often Should I Change the Water in My Bearded Dragon’s Enclosure?

You should change the water in your bearded dragon’s enclosure every 1-2 weeks to maintain good water quality. Make sure the new water is the same temperature as before and that it is exposed to UV light, just like your dragon!

What Temperature Should I Keep My Bearded Dragon’s Enclosure At?

You should keep your bearded dragon’s enclosure at a temperature between 75-85°F, with proper ventilation and light cycles. If you provide the right environment, your dragon can stay happy and healthy.


You now have the essentials to provide your bearded dragon with a happy, healthy home.

Diet, temperature, lighting, and enclosure are all important factors that need to be taken into consideration.

Humidity, supplements, and stress can also affect their well-being, so make sure you monitor these as well.

If you keep an eye out for behavioral issues and clean their habitat regularly, your pet will thank you for it!

With a bit of effort from you, your little reptile will have the best life possible.

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