How to Take Care of a Bearded Dragon

So, you want to own a bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps)? I remember having the same feeling not all that long ago. I first got interested in reptiles, but then soon narrowed my focus to the popular ‘beardie’. The bearded dragon had ingrained itself on me.
If you’re new to owning bearded dragons or are just thinking about it, then you came to the right place. I’ve set this site up with the new dragon owner in mind. I know when I started I could’ve used all the help I could get, but unfortunately there wasn’t all that much.

I realize that it’s the beginner that needs the most help. That’s why I cover the basics a little more thoroughly. I also understand that experienced dragon owners probably aren’t reading this site. So, welcome beginner! I’m glad you made it and I hope that you find this sites information useful in learning how to care for a bearded dragon.

Where’s the Caresheet?

You may have noticed that I don’t have a caresheet on my site. It’s not that I don’t like them, but I wanted to provide a little more in depth information than a care sheet provides. Think of this site as one huge bearded dragon care sheet.

You also might be thinking, “There’s too much information to read at once.”

Don’t worry this site isn’t going anywhere, so read what you can and come back whenever you want. I will be adding new content all the time, so when you come back there will be tons more to read.

What are the Basics of Bearded Dragon Care?

The basics of bearded dragon care are:

  • Housing

  • Feeding

  • Heating

  • Lighting

The guidelines for these four topics are a little more important than other topics.
Don’t get me wrong, there are other important topics such as breeding and handling, but these first four will get you started.

These guidelines aren’t just mine, but have been tried and tested by many others before me. I have found these guidelines work great for me, but I’m always learning new things and adjusting my husbandry techniques accordingly.

Some bearded dragon care guidelines are more important to follow than others, such as proper temperatures and housing size. Though, all of them will come in handy at some time.

I just want to add that most bearded dragon illnesses are caused by poor care, so get to know the basics well. Knowing these will put you on the path to being a successful bearded dragon owner.

More Beginner Information

Wait, there’s more information to look at besides the basics. Now that you know the basics and have your cage set up, you need to find a dragon. Not any old dragon will do. We need to find the right dragon.
If you need some tips on picking a bearded dragon, check out my page on What to look for when buying a bearded dragon. This will help you know how to spot that perfect dragon.

If you need some tips on where to find the best dragons, check out my page on Where to buy a bearded dragon. This will help point you in the right direction for finding quality dragons.

I hope that this page has helped you get started in your quest to own a bearded dragon. Check out some of the sources listed on this page. They contain some great tips for the first time bearded dragon owner.

Are bearded dragons easy to care for?

That’s a relative question. I have read quite a few sources that say bearded dragons are easy to care for and are great beginner reptile pets.

While I agree with most of these statements, there are some challenges involved with owning a bearded dragon. If you already own one, you might know what I’m talking about. They aren’t as simple to care for as it may seem. They require some specialized equipment and knowledge.

Bearded Dragons and Other Reptiles

What do you compare the care of bearded dragons with? The answer to this is with other reptiles, at least I think that’s the answer. Compared to other reptile petsbearded dragons are hardier and easier to care for.

This includes a wide range of reptiles that are for experienced keepers only.

There are some great pet reptiles that require quite a bit of knowledge and care. Some of these other reptiles include, but are not limited to, chameleonslarge snakes (pythons, boas), monitorstegus, and just about any other large reptile pet. I didn’t include venomous species, because it should be a given that these reptiles are more difficult to care for.

Putting these things into perspective, bearded dragons are good beginner reptiles. However, they aren’t a total care free pet. Keeping reptiles is a very involved hobby, and most people understand this before starting.

These “exotic pets” require far more attention and knowledge than domestic pets such as cats and dogs. This is the case for most any “exotic pet”. If you have ever owned birds, ferrets, tropical fish or any other exotic pet, you already know this.

Are they easy to care for?

So, are bearded dragons easy to care for? Yes and no. They are easier than most other reptile pets, but they will also provide a beginner with some tough challenges at times.

Bearded dragons are, however, good beginner reptiles. They are hardier in captivity than other reptile species and they will provide a certain buffer level for our mistakes when caring for them.

This can be seen by all the different ways people prefer to take care of their dragons. With so many differing in opinions on care, it’s amazing we don’t all kill our bearded dragons.

Even though they provide a buffer for mistakes, bearded dragons are not bullet proof. If certain care is not given over a period of time, dragons will become sick and may even die. Almost all serious dragon illnesses span from poor care.

Conclusion

If you don’t own a bearded dragon yet, really consider the time and money that it takes to care for these amazing animals. I don’t want to discourage anyone from owning one, but help perspective owners know what to expect.

Having said all of that, bearded dragons are amazing pets. They will definitely get you acclimated to the world of herpetoculture.

Even though it takes some effort to care for beardies, it really isn’t all that bad. It is a very rewarding experience when you have success raising and owning a bearded dragon.

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