New Bearded Dragon Owner Advice?

BettaFishObsessed

Hi all, I’m planning on getting a bearded dragon in the near future. Before I start setting things up to get one, however, if any experienced bearded dragon owner could review my notes here I would appreciate it. This is pretty much all the basics I know of bearded dragon care. Is there anything I’m missing/is incorrect/should know/advice/tips? Thank you!

Bearded dragon care

Diet:
Babies(~5months):
80%(or more) protein 20%(or less) veggies
Feed as many dubias as they can eat in 5-10 minutes 4-5 times daily
Give some greens

Juveniles(5-12months):
Around 50% protein 50% veggies
Feed as many dubias as they can eat in 5-10 minutes 3 times daily

Young adults(12-18months):
Around 60%veggies 40% protein
Feed as many dubias as they can eat in 5-10 minutes 2 times daily

Adults(18+months):
80% veggies 20% protein
Feed as many dubias as they can eat in 5-10 minutes once daily
Give more greens than anything else

General Info:
Make sure food is smaller than the size in between their eyes to avoid impaction
Feed live insects nutritional food to give more nutritional value for dragon
Feed at same times each day
Have lights on at least 60 minutes before and after eating so they can digest
Always leave salad out for them to eat
Slowly wean the amount of protein they eat to be less as they get older
Remove feeders that are left in cage after they are done eating
If the dragon has trouble hunting the live food, you can put them in a bag and shake it (also good way to coat in supplements)
Slowly switch the amount of bugs to be less and increase the amount of veggies to work toward their adult diet

Foods for them:

Insects (daily) : dubia roaches, crickets

Insects (less often): super worms, silk worms, butter worms, phoenix worms, earthworms, wax worms, Goliath worms, mealworms, locusts, red worms

Greens (daily): dark leafy greens in general, kale, collard greens, dandelions, mustard greens, turnip greens, squash

Greens (less often): Alfalfa Artichoke (heart, uncooked) Arugula Asparagus Basil Bell pepper (green, red, yellow) Bok choy Cabbage (red and green) Carrots Celery (leaves and stalk) Cilantro Cucumber (peeled) Kale (uncooked) Leeks (uncooked) Lemon Grass Okra Parsnip Pumpkin (uncooked) Radish (uncooked) Seaweed Turnips (uncooked) Zucchini (uncooked)

Greens (rarely): Beets Broccoli (uncooked) Brussel sprouts Cauliflower (uncooked) Corn Lettuce (red leaf, Romaine) Parsley Peas Rutabaga (uncooked) Swiss chard

Fruit (less often/treat): Apples (peeled) Apricot Blackberries Blueberries Cantaloupe Cherries Cranberries Figs Grapes (red & green) Grapefruit Guava Honeydew Mandarin Orange Mango Melon Nectarine Papaya Peach Pears Pineapple (fresh or canned) Plum Prunes (canned) Raisins (seedless) Strawberries Watermelon

Fruit (rarely)- banana, kiwi, olives (pitted), pomegranate, raspberries, starfruit, tomato (uncooked)

Supplements:
-sprinkle on feeders
-Calcium supplement (w/ d3 if you have normal uvb, w/o d3 if you have mvb)(should say it has cholecalciferol in it) (without phosphorus)
-multivitamin with beta-carotene


Babies:
-Should have food dusted with calcium supplement 4 times a week (once a day)
-multivitamin 2 times a week (once a day)

Adults:
-calcium on food 2 times a week (once a day)
-multivitamin on food once a week (once a day)

Babies should have their feeders dusted 5 times a week, but never more than once in a single day.
Juveniles should have their feeders dusted 4-5 times a week, but never more than once in a single day.
Adults should have their feeders dusted 2-3 times a week, but never more than once in a single day.

Babies should be given a multi-vitamin twice a week on days when they are not given calcium and never more than once in a single day.
Juveniles should be given a multi-vitamin twice a week on days when they are not given calcium and never more than once in a single day.
Adults should be given a multi-vitamin just once a week and ideally on a day when they aren’t given calcium.

Keep the baby supplement routine until 12 months old, then lower it to calcium 3 times a week multivitamin 2, then change to adult when 18 months

Brumation (hibernation)
Some may never do it, do it every year, not do it in winter, etc.
Some will go into sleep for weeks on end, some will take naps on and off, etc.
Feed them about once a week when they are awake during brumation
After eating, encourage them to bask in UVB, give bath and wake them up daily until they go to the bathroom
After coming out of brumation, try to wean them back on to their old diet
Signs of brumations: loss of appetite, lethargy, going to the bathroom less, dont want to be handled, refusing to bask, sleeping on cool side of enclosure, burying themselves, not wanting to be woken up
Leave them alone when they start to brumate
Should not brumate if under a year old, usually they wait until theyre a year and a half old
If baby starts to brumate, try and prevent it, if they have to then wake them up weekly to eat and wake them up daily until they go to the bathroom if they ate
Note: signs of brumation in babies may just be growth spurts sometimes
To tell if dragon is sick or going to brumating, check for physical health signs. Bad health signs=sick
To tell if brumating or dead, see if they smell like rotting, or turn them on their back and see if they move
Usually brumate for a few weeks to a few months
Provide them with a hide thats JUST big enough for them
Take them to vet and get stool sample before if possible to make sure their healthy
Turn on light for less time (8 hours) (optional, if not just leave light and temps alone)
When they wake up, drip water on snout or give them bath
If they dont wake up for baths, this is normal
Make sure they have no wet scales when they go back to sleep to stop fungus
If they eat when they wake up, encourage them to bask in UVB, and then wake them up daily until they go to the bathroom
If under a year old or too sick to go without food (bring to a vet to judge) try to keep them from brumation by: increasing handling, increasing daylight hours,
*should not be losing weight

Weight:
Age (months) Weight (grams) Length (inches)
1 4-6 3-4
2 8-40 5-9
3 22-110 8-11
4 41-115 9-12
5 102-115 11-16
6 183-188 11-18
7 230-280 13-15
8 252-357 14-17
9-10 280-360 16-19
11-12 350-465 16-20
12-14 380-470 20-22
14-17 380-510 22-24
18+ 380-510 around 24


Lighting:
(all temps in Fahrenheit)
UVB and UVA light tube
UVB and UVA bulb light on warm side of enclosure
Ceramic heat emitter if night temps get below 70
Should have a basking spot 6-8 inches away from light

Temperatures:

Humidity: less that 40%

Babies:
Cool side- 85
Warm side- 95-100
Basking spot- 105-110
Night- 75-80

Juveniles:
Cool side- 80-85
Warm side- 95
Basking spot- 100-105
Night- 75-80

Adults:
Cool side- 80
Warm side- 90-95
Basking spot- 95-100
Night- 70-75

Shedding
6 months- sheds every few weeks
12 months- sheds every few months
Adult- sheds a couple times a year
Shedding should take a few weeks
Dont do anything about them shedding just let them shed their skin
Do not pull off shed yourself
Give them more regular warm baths to help skin come off if its stubborn
If there’s a piece that is retained them rub aloe Vera or cocoa butter on the area and brush with a soft bristle toothbrush during bath
*brush in same direction as scales*
If shed is stuck on tail, warning sign 1: tail shriveling up warning sign 2: tail changing color (or limbs)
While shedding, their appetite may decrease and they will seem a little lazier
If they are extremely lethargic and barely moving take them to a vet

Necessary things in cage:
-at least 2 hides: one on cool side, one on warm side
-substrate: reptile carpet, tile, newspaper, (sand and soil can cause impaction- not good for beginners)
-things to climb on and lay on
-only one glass side to reduce stress
-toys
-thermometer/humidity measurement on each side of tank
-infrared heat thermometer
-basking spot
-lighting

Tank size:
Baby- 20 gal minimum
Juvenile-40 gal minimum
Adult- 75-100 gal minimum

Cleaning routines:
-deep clean once a month
-clean things before putting in
-use a vet grade reptile cleaner
-clean off decorations/toys about once a month
-spot clean substrate
-change out/completely clean substrate once a week
-give dragon a bath once a week-ish
-only trim nails if they are not wearing down themselves and getting too long

Enrichment/toy ideas:
-balls
-cat wand toys
-going for walks with leash and harnesses
-swimming in kiddie pools (shallow and supervised)
-laser pointers
-crinkled wrapping paper
-cat tunnels
-pool floaties for baths
-watching tv
-let them hunt in a large area
-ball pit for adult bearded dragons
-cuddle with them
-taking a wiffle ball, taping over all the openings except one, and filling it with live food
-stuffed animal friend for them
-hanging out with them


General:
-when bringing them out of cage, have a heat lamp set up for them so they can use it if they need
-bearded dragon proof a room so they can’t get hurt before letting them out
-do not let them eat wild bugs while outside
-keep away from other animals like cats and dogs
-make sure they stay warm while traveling


Signs of health:

Fat pads raised
No runny nose or eyes
Mouth normal color
Normal coloration
Moving normally
Not lethargic
Normal colored scales and skin
Tail normal color

Signs They Are Healthy
Happy to bask
Will alternate between going to the basking area and the shade
Muscles are well-rounded and Dragon stands high and tall on all four limb

Vocalizing distress
Only spends time in basking area
Random weight loss
 

mimo91088

Looks like you've done a good bit of research. You're certainly looking good!
 
Upvote 0

BettaFishObsessed

Looks like you've done a good bit of research. You're certainly looking good!
Thanks!
 
Upvote 0

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