Bearded dragons make great pets as they generally have a good and docile temperament once they are well cared for and handled. Originating from Central and Eastern Australia, most bearded dragons have a lifespan of 10 to 12 years.
As with most other reptiles, bearded dragons have specific habitat needs and requirements. Their tank should be about 4×2 ft long in the case of 2 adults and it should contain a heated basking area.
One UVB light and one basking light are required and these lights should be on for 12 to 14 hours during the daytime to ensure an optimum temperature of 27-35 C in the habitat. During the night-time, the temperature should be allowed to drop down to approximately 21 C. Humidity should be maintained between 20 to 30%.
Bedding materials may include ceramic tiles, reptile carpet or paper towels. Sand and other types of loose bedding should be avoided as these can lead to impaction (not being able to pass faeces).
Similar to terrapins, juvenile beaded dragons are more carnivorous than adults and so a young bearded dragon should be fed roughly 80% live prey and 20% greens and vegetables until 12-15 months old.
The live prey may include crickets, roaches or mealworms with the greens consisting of vegetables which are high in calcium such as rocket, kale and romaine lettuce.
Once your pet beaded dragon has reached 12-15 months of age, protein intake can be gradually reduced until their diet consists of a higher quantity of greens (80% of adult diet) compared to protein (20% of adult diet).
Fresh, clean water should also be provided in a small shallow dish.
Should you require any further information on looking after your pet bearded dragon, please contact any of our team at Moycullen Vet Clinic and we will be happy to provide you with direction.