Bearded Dragons are one of the most popular pet reptiles in the UK and across the world!
They are known for being great pet lizards as their temperaments make them ideal for handling and are active during the day. They are known as Bearded Dragons due to the rough scales on the underside of their throat giving a beard appearance.
Bearded Dragons, unlike some reptile species, are very successfully bred in captivity and have a wide range of morphs (scale colours and patterns). Bearded Dragons normally grow to 45cms in length and with proper care can live from 10-15 years (and sometimes longer!)
They are active in the daytime and need a large amount of space to explore, exercise and utilize the large temperature gradient. A 4 foot vivarium is recommended as a minimum for Bearded Dragons. They are a territorial species and it is safer to keep them alone to prevent fighting, injury and stress.
Kept correctly Bearded Dragons make brilliant life long pets, but unfortunately a lot of these pets suffer due to a lack of correct care.
There is a lot of conflicting advise out there on how to care for your scaly friend. We have condensed some information around the main areas of Bearded Dragon care here, but for a more in-depth look at their husbandry you can download our free Bright Side Vets Bearded Dragon Care Sheet!
Some of the most common health issues for Bearded Dragons are directly related to an error in care. If one or a few of the basic requirements above are not met correctly your Bearded Dragon will begin to show signs of illness.
What does an ideal Bearded Dragon environment look like?
The basics are always needed to keep your pet happy and healthy but the general presentation of the vivarium is very individual! The enrichment materials and look of your pets vivarium is completely up to you.
Get creative using safe materials to create a mini wilderness for them in your home!
Bearded dragons originate from dry, hot areas in Australia, our weather and climate are not suited to what they need to stay healthy. Therefore, we must create a ‘mini-Australia’ for them in our home. This means getting the temperatures, humidity, substrate and lighting as close to their wild habitat as possible. These factors make sure your pet is happy and healthy throughout their life with you.
Reptile safe materials
Your pets home doesn’t have to by a mini masterpiece, but there are lots of very simple things you can add. Adding natural textures and additional levels in your vivarium creates the environmental enrichment you pet needs to stay happy. Remember your pet spends the majority of their life in their vivarium so making it as interesting as possible keeps them happy and healthy.
Reptile safe materials you can use are:
- Drift wood – This come in all shapes and sizes. They often have interesting natural curves and bends making them great features to any vivarium!
- Cork Bark – These pieces often come in long but curved shapes making them ideal for creating hides.
- Synthetic vines – These man made vines are normally lined with wire, allowing your to position them exactly how you need them, while also bring strong enough to hold many different shapes and sizes of reptile. Being synthetic, they are easy to disinfect when needed.
- Live plants – Live plants are a great addition to any vivarium, while you create your reptiles own personal environment there are also native plant species that thrive in the same environment.
- Fake Plants – Fake plants are great for adding a pop of colour and interest. They do not require any maintenance, unlike live plants, and are easy to disinfect.
- Tiles – These are great for a basking spot and they are flat spread heat evenly.
- Stone Slate/Large River Pebbles – Like tiles these are great for basking areas and add smooth surfaces with climbable height.
- Sphagnum Moss – This natural material is ideal for your moist hide, most needed when shedding. This Moss holds humidity very well.
All of our further in depth care advise can be found here in our free downloadable REW Care Sheet!