What vegetables can i feed my baby bearded dragon
Bearded Dragons - Feeding | VCA Animal Hospital
There are eight species of bearded dragons, but the most popular one is the inland or central bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps) from the arid to semi-arid southeastern parts of Australia. Pogona vitticeps is the spcies discussed in this handout.
What do bearded dragons eat?
Bearded dragons come from a habitat where food may be sparse, so they accept a wide variety of different foods. Bearded dragons are omnivorous, meaning they eat both plant- and animal-based foods, including insects.
"Bearded dragons eat both plant- and animal-based foods."
They have a sharp eye and keen sense of smell. Young, growing bearded dragons tend to be primarily carnivores, and adults tend to be more herbivorous. As a guideline, depending on its age, a bearded dragon's diet should be about 50% plant-based material and 50% animal-based material. Be sure to discuss a specific diet for your pet lizard with your veterinarian.
How often should I feed my bearded dragon?
Most young bearded dragons eat once or twice daily, while older lizards can be fed once daily, depending upon each pet's individual appetite.
What are some types of plant material I can feed my bearded dragon?
Most (80-90%) of the plant material should be vegetables and flowers, and only 10-20% should be fruits. As a rule, anything dark green and leafy can make up a large part of the diet. Yellow, red, and orange vegetables may also be included. Avoid fiber-rich, nutrient-poor and vitamin-deficient light green vegetables, including iceberg or head lettuce and celery; these vegetables are mainly composed of fiber and water with little nutrient value. The inner, light colored parts of some vegetables are less nutritious than the darker green, outer leaves.
Acceptable vegetables that should represent a high percentage of the diet include collard greens, beet greens, mustard greens, broccoli, turnip greens, alfalfa hay or chow, bok choy, kale, parsley, Swiss chard, watercress, clover, red or green cabbage, savory, cilantro, kohlrabi, bell peppers, green beans, escarole, and dandelion. A lesser percentage of the diet can include cactus, various squash, sprouts, cooked sweet potato, parsnips, okra, cucumber, asparagus, mushrooms, carrots, peas, and corn. Fruit can include apples, pears, bananas (with skin), mango, grapes, star fruit, raisins, peaches, tomato, guava, kiwis, and melons. Fruits that are particularly healthy include figs (high in calcium), apricots, dates, raspberries, and strawberries. Fruits may be eaten preferentially, but are generally mineral-poor so they should be fed sparingly as top dressing. As a treat, flowers such as geraniums, carnations, dandelions, hibiscus, nasturtiums, and roses, may also be offered.
"Fruits are generally mineral-poor, so they should be fed sparingly as top dressing."
Vegetables can be offered cooked or raw, although raw is more natural and retains more nutrients. Thoroughly wash all fruits and vegetables. Flowers can be home grown or purchased from floral shops. Often, floral shops throw out older, wilted flowers. While these may be unacceptable for sale to the public, bearded dragon owners can often get them at no charge. Before feeding them to your dragon, be sure that no chemicals have been applied to the flowers or water.
Swiss chard, spinach, and beet greens should be fed sparingly, as they contain oxalates that can bind calcium and other trace minerals, preventing their absorption. Diets composed primarily of these can lead to nutrient deficiencies. Caution should also be exercised when feeding cabbage, kale, and mustard greens; these vegetables contain goitrogens (substances that suppress thyroid gland function by interfering with iodine uptake), and excessive intake may lead to hypothyroidism.
"Swiss chard, spinach, and beet greens should be fed sparingly, as they contain oxalates that can bind calcium and other trace minerals."
Food should be presented in a shallow clean dish that is not easily tipped over. Vegetables should be finely chopped and mixed together to ensure your bearded dragon eats a wide variety of food types and to discourage selection of a single preferred food item.
What types of animal-based proteins can I offer my bearded dragon?
Appropriate animal-based protein sources include grasshoppers, gut-loaded (i.e., fed nutritious food that is then passed on to the lizard) or calcium-dusted crickets and mealworms, spiders, wax worms (occasionally, as they are high fat), silk worms (occasionally), tofu, moths, slugs, and earthworms.
Live prey, such as crickets and various worms, may be raised by owners or purchased from pet stores, bait stores, or reptile breeders. Collecting insects from outside or from the home garden is not recommended, as fertilizers and insecticides may be present in or on these insects and may be toxic if fed to bearded dragons. Fireflies should never be fed to bearded dragons, as these flies are generally toxic to lizards. Larger bearded dragons may be fed pinkie or young "fuzzy" mice sparingly.
Remember to feed a healthy and wide variety of food items from all of the food categories listed above for balanced nutrition.
Do I need to give my bearded dragons vitamins and minerals?
Bearded dragons have a higher need for dietary calcium than phosphorus, especially when they are young and their bones are growing. Generally, veterinarians recommend that 2-3 times per week, you LIGHTLY sprinkle food offered to bearded dragons with a calcium powder (calcium gluconate, lactate, or carbonate) not containing vitamin D3, and an additional 2-3 times a week, you LIGHTLY sprinkle food with a calcium powder containing vitamin D3. In addition, once a week, you should provide a LIGHT sprinkling of a general reptile mineral supplement on the food. Supplements should be dusted onto small portions of salads or moist foods, and those portions should be fed first to ensure that the bearded dragon consumes them.
A common problem seen in pet bearded dragons is inappropriate supplementation with calcium and vitamins (especially vitamin D3) and minerals. Check with your veterinarian for specific recommendations about supplementing your pet's diet.
What about water?
Fresh water in a crock that will not easily tip over should be available at all times. Provide fresh water daily and ensure it stays clean; wash and disinfect the water bowl daily.
Bearded dragons in the wild get most of the water they need from rain or morning dew on plants and the other food they eat; some do not seem to recognize a dish of water. Misting vegetable matter fed to pet bearded dragons is another way to help keep them hydrated. In addition, pet bearded dragons may be misted directly with water from a plant mister or soaked a few times a week, too, to ensure they are hydrated.
Different types of bearded dragons may have slightly different nutritional needs. Opinions vary regarding the most appropriate diet for captive bearded dragons, and our knowledge and understanding of this subject continues to grow and change. Please discuss your bearded dragon’s specific dietary needs (based on his age, weight, and health status) with a reptile-savvy veterinarian familiar with your lizard.
Remember – always WASH YOUR HANDS THOROUGHLY after feeding, cleaning, and handling a bearded dragon, as they can carry bacteria and parasites that may not be harmful to them but that may affect us.
What to Feed a Baby Bearded Dragon
When you first bring your baby Bearded Dragon home it’s a really exciting time but you are also likely to have lots of questions that need answering such as what to feed them?
I’ve written this post to help answer all your feeding question so you can get back to all the excitement of having a new member in the family and be sure you are bringing up a healthy and happy Bearded Dragon.
So what should you feed a baby Bearded Dragon? Baby Bearded Dragons should be fed a combination of prey food such as Pinhead Crickets and greens such as Kale. It’s also important to feed your baby Bearded Dragon vitamin and calcium powder. Any prey foods that are offered should be smaller than the babies head and any greens that are offered should be finely chopped to aid digestion and eliminate the risk of choking.
Read on to find out in more depth exactly what a baby Bearded Dragon can eat, how many times a day they should eat, if you can overfeed then and much more.
First, let’s take a deeper look at what baby Bearded Dragons can eat and what they should stay away from.What Can a Baby Bearded Dragon Eat? a Closer Look
When your Bearded Dragon is a baby the nutrients that you feed it are so important. They are growing at such a rapid rate and they need to eat the rights foods to support that growth.
Bearded Dragons are omnivores which basically means that they need to eat a combination of insects, plants and veg accompanied by calcium supplements. Knowing the right foods to feed them and the ones to stay away from will play a huge part in their development in the early months of their life.
You should feed your baby around 40-60% protein from insects and 20-40% of the rest of their diet should come from vegetation. This is backed up by beardeddragon101 who also give out the same advice.
Let’s take a closer look at what they should eat so you can be sure of having a happy and healthy baby Bearded Dragon.What Prey Feed to Feed a Baby Bearded Dragon?
You should never feed your baby Bearded Dragon any prey food that is bigger than it’s head. It can cause choking and digestive issues that are very serious and sometimes even fatal so it’s important that you stick to this principle.
A recommended range of prey food includes but isn’t restricted to:
Remember: You should only purchase any of these live feeders if you get them smaller than your Bearded Dragons head. Most stores offer a good variety in size for most of their prey foods.
Something else to note is that you shouldn’t leave live prey in your Bearded Dragons tank for very long after feeding. Always count in how many live feeders you have placed in the tank, how many have been eaten and then make sure you remove any live prey that hasn’t been eaten after meal times.What Vegetables to Feed a Baby Bearded Dragon?
Feeding your Baby Bearded Dragon vegetables is important. You should offer them veg at least 3 times a week but every day is better. Offering them veg from a young age will help them to get a taste for it and help them to enjoy it when they are older.
It also won’t hurt to offer veg every day as this will help them get accustomed to it a lot faster and also help to keep them healthy.
You need to make sure you chop any veg up small so you eliminate the risk of choking and make the eating process as smooth as possible.
You can also leave the veg in the tank after feeding times so your baby Bearded Dragon can come back to it when it wants.
Are recommended rage of vegetables includes but isn’t restricted to:
- Artichoke Heart
- Bell Pepper
- Butternut Squash
- Mustard Greens
- Yellow Squash
- Bok Choy
- Sweet Potato
- Green Beans
Greens are very similar to vegetables in the fact that they should be offered at least 3 times a week and i would think about offering them daily.
It’s important to get your Bearded Dragon liking veg and greens as soon as possible so when they are older eating them daily will be a natural process for them.
Just like veg, you can leave greens in the tank after meals times so they can munch on them whenever they feel like it.
It’s also a good idea to offer a mix of veg and greens together and don’t forget to chop them all up small to stop the risk of choking and help with digestion.
A list of recommended greens includes but isn’t restricted to:
- Dandelion Greens
- Turnip Greens
- Mustard Greens
While there are a lot of fruits that are safe for Bearded Dragons to eat, they also contain high amounts of sugar.
If your Bearded Dragon consumes high amounts of sugar then it’s not healthy for their teeth and can also cause obesity.
Bearded Dragons don’t actually need fruit if they eat veg and greens as that is where most of the nutrients will come from.
If you do want to let your Dragon eat fruit that is fine, however, just make the portions sparing and there is no need to feed fruit daily.
Fruit that is safe for your Bearded Dragon includes but isn’t restricted to:
Bearded Dragons should ideally be given vitamin and calcium supplements at each stage of their life starting when they are a baby.
Bearded Dragons are notorious for lacking in calcium and this can lead to long term health problems much as metabolic bone disease.
By simply dusting their prey food daily with Vitamin D3 and Calcium you can easily boost their vitamin and calcium levels to the required amounts to assure they are fit and healthy.
As they get older you will be able to reduce the amount of supplementation they need.
There are plenty of low-quality calcium supplements out there. I highly recommend you use Rep-Cal for various reasons.
Because of all the low-quality supplements on the market, I’ve written a post that shares all the supplements I recommend based on quality and effectiveness.What Foods Not to Feed a Baby Bearded Dragon
It’s also important to you know what foods you need to avoid feeding your baby Bearded Dragon.
Most of the foods on the list below will apply at all ages of their life, so it’s important to understand if they are off the list when they are a baby then they are most probably off the list when they are an adult too.
Here are some common foods and plants that are off the menu to Bearded Dragons:
Mealworms (fine for adult Dragons but the hard shell can be hard to digest for baby Bearded Dragons)
- Fireflies (or any insects that glow)
- Insects that are caught in the wild (they can carry parasites)
- Elderberry Tulip
There is quite a long list of plants that you should keep your Bearded Dragon away from, the bottom line is if you are unsure then always seek advice room your Vet before feeding your Dragon anything.
What Is a Baby Bearded Dragons Favourite Food?
Your Bearded Dragons favourite food will largely depend on its own personal preference.
There are also other things to consider such as what it has been fed from a young age and sometimes they simply get fed up of certain food and become fussy about what they eat.
With all things considered usually a Bearded Dragons favourite food will be either Pinhead Crickets or Wax Worms in my experience.
Having said this, if your Bearded Dragon loves something totally different then that is both common and fine, they’re not robots and have their own personality.How Many Times a Day Should You Feed a Baby Bearded Dragon?
Baby Bearded Dragons will grow to 90% of their full length in the first 12 months so to support that rapid growth they need to eat a lot of food.
It’s common for baby Bearded Dragons to eat between 3-5 times a day and each sitting will normally last around 10-15 minutes.
You should feed them as much live prey as they can eat in this time and you may see them eating somewhere in the region of 20-60 insects per day.
This will obviously depend on the age of your baby Bearded Dragon and the insects you are feeding them.When is a Baby Bearded Dragon Actually Classed As a Baby?
It’s important that you know at what age your Bearded Dragon is actually classed as a baby and when they become a juvenile and finally an adult.
This is important because the dietary requirements of each age group are different and you will need to know how to feed each age group.
Here is a chart that explains the different age groups:
Bearded Dragon Age Chart
One of the most important things you can do for your baby Bearded Dragon to ensure they grow happy and healthy is to make sure they have a high-quality basking bulb and basking area.
If you are feeding your Dragon good quality food this is great but if they can’t bask especially after the meal then the chances are that they will become unhealthy, not grow and even become sick.
The basking lamp plays a hugely important role in the health of your Bearded Dragon and in the early stages it is probably more important than ever.
Your Dragon needs to be at their optimal body temperature in order to digest the food that they have just consumed. If this doesn’t happen then the food just won’t get digested and they won’t get any nutrients and therefore struggle to grow.
They will also run the risk of getting something called impaction. This is where their gut becomes clogged with undigested food and they can become constipated.
This, in turn, can cause them a lot of pain and make them lose their appetite.
The bottom line is, you need to provide a high-quality basking area and lamp if you want your baby Dragon to grow healthy and happy.
Here’s a step by step post that explains how to set up the lighting with the correct temperatures for your Bearded Dragon and what equipment you should use to get the best results.How to Get Your Baby Bearded Dragon to Eat more Veg
Some Bearded Dragons will gladly eat fruit and veg while others will be more reluctant.
For the ones who are reluctant, there is a little trick that you can try to get them to eat more fruit and veg without them realizing.
Chop up some fruit of veg very small and in fine pieces and place it in a bowl. Then add some of your babies Bearded Dragons favourite prey food on top of the fruit/veg.
They will often try and grab the prey food so quickly that they will also pick up some of the fruit/vegs at the same time and not even notice.
The hungrier they are the better this often works. Give it a try and you might be surprised how much fruit/veg your Dragon will actually eat without even noticing.Can You Overfeed a Baby Bearded Dragon?
Technically speaking you can overfeed a baby Bearded Dragon or any age Bearded Dragon for that matter.
For example, if you fed your Dragon between 5-8 times in a day then they would probably gladly eat the food on offer as babies are hungry most of the time due to their need to support growth.
The problem comes when they struggle to digest the large amounts of food they are eating.
After they have eaten a meal they will usually go to bask to raise their body temperature so they can digest the food in a fast and efficient manner.
If they are eating all day there will be a tipping point where they can’t digest the food from the last meal before they are eating again.
Sticking to eating 3-5 times a day max should be fine and give your baby Dragon all the nutrients they need and as well as allowing them time to digest their food.What Is The latest a Bearded Dragon Should Eat?
This is something that not many people actually think about but it is very important.
Most people lead a very busy life and having time to feeding their Bearded Dragon is something that they do around their busy schedule.
This is fine and something that i totally understand, however, you will want to be mindful that you shouldn’t feed your Dragon their last meal any less than 3 hours before the basking lamp goes off for night time.
This is important because the way Bearded Dragons digest food is when they are at their optimal body temperature and if you feed them and then shortly after you turn off the basking light they will struggle to digest their food.
This can leave them with problems like impaction where they have undigested food in their stomach and end up getting constipated as a result.
This can also lead to loss of appetite, so being mindful of this in your feeding schedule can be very important for the health of your Bearded Dragon.Do Bearded Dragons Need Water?
In the wild Bearded Dragon live semi-desert areas and water is often hard to come by.
This means they are very efficient at utilizing water from any source they can such as the insects they eat.
In captivity, however, you need to provide them with a water source that is available to them at all times.
You should give them a small water bowl so they can drink when they need to hydrate themselves. Another good option is to spray fruit, veg and greens lightly to give them an extra opportunity to consume the water they need.
You can also mist your Bearded Dragon directly with a spray bottle to increase their hydration levels. Usually, your Dragon will lick the water from around its face, this is a great way to increase its hydration levels.
Take a look at this post that details the 4 ways that Bearded Dragons can get water and a step by step process for getting stubborn Dragons to drink from water bowls.Are There Any Reasons Why a Baby Bearded Dragon Might Not Want to Eat?
Sometimes your baby Bearded Dragon might not want to eat and it can be hard to understand why.
Let’s look at some of the most common reasons why your Dragon could be off their food.Stress
Stress is actually one of the most common reasons why a Bearded Dragon of any age can suddenly stop eating or at least have a decreased appetite.
There are many reasons why a Bearded Dragon can get stressed, here are the most common:
- In the same tank as another Bearded Dragon
- Getting intimidated by other pets in the house
- New to the house and getting used to the new surroundings
- The tank is near a window and things outside such as birds are intimidating
- Small objects such as toys, socks and ornaments look like a predator
All of these reasons can cause a Bearded Dragon to lose their appetite through stress so you need to remain vigilant at all times and make sure that your Dragon is feeling happy with their surroundings.Shedding
Shedding is a natural process for Bearded Dragons and every Dragon will go through it.
Shedding can also be a process that is painful and uncomfortable. This can cause your Dragon to become moody and lethargic at times.
The discomfort that shedding causes can also force your Dragon to lose their appetite until the process is over.
There are a few things you can do to help your Dragon when they shedding, to learn them please view our post on this topic.
To learn about shedding in full go to and check out my ultimate guide to Bearded Dragon shedding here.Illness
If your Bearded Dragon is ill they can easily lose their appetite. It can often be hard to determine if a Bearded Dragon is ill and what exactly is wrong with them.
If you suspect that your Dragon is ill then you should get in contact with your Vet.
Getting advice from a professional who can see your Dragon one on one is the only way to ensure you get a correct diagnosis in this kind of situation.
If you’re worried about vet bills then you may want to think about getting health insurance for your Bearded Dragon. I’ve researched the best options and alternatives for health insurance here.Wrapping Up
I hope you now have a better understanding of what to feed you baby Bearded Dragon. There are lots of options but making sure they get a well-balanced diet containing prey foods, veg and supplements is a must for any baby Bearded Dragon.
If you are ever unsure if a certain food is toxic for Bearded Dragon then you should always seek advice before giving it to your Dragon, never take the risk.
If you stick to these principles and you have high-quality lighting then your Bearded Dragon will the beast platform the grow happy and healthy.Related Posts
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Keeping and Feeding Bearded Dragons
- Keeping Bearded Dragons
- Feeding Bearded Dragons
The Bearded Dragon is a stunningly beautiful reptile that is great for keeping in a city apartment, good contact with people and can become a real pet.
In the wild, these lizards live in the deserts of Australia. Almost all agamas that can now be bought are bred in captivity. The average life span of bearded dragons in captivity is 10-15 years. nine0009
Keeping a bearded dragon
Before you bring your dragon home, prepare a place for it. Of course, like any reptile, dragons are cold-blooded animals, so they should be kept in a terrarium. For agamas, it is better to purchase a horizontal glass terrarium, the optimal size is 180 cm wide, 50 deep and 50 high. The terrarium must be closed with a lid so that the lizard does not escape.
Since bearded dragons are hermits, they need a humidity level of 30-40%. The temperature in the terrarium should be at the level of 26-29gr. C, temperature under the heating lamp 36-38gr. C. For this, you can use incandescent lamps or ceramic lamps, you need to hang them at a distance of 45 cm from the place of heating, so that the agama cannot get burned. To monitor the temperature, you need to attach a thermometer to the wall of the terrarium, and you can also use a thermostat.
An ultraviolet lamp must be lit along with the heating lamp throughout the day. Reptiles require UV A and B spectrum lamps. These lamps are available from terrarium and aquarium stores. Day mode: 14 hours - daylight hours, 10 hours - night time. nine0009
Sand and pebbles at least 10 mm in diameter are most often used as soil. Sand is poured in a layer of 10 cm, so that, if desired, the lizard can burrow into the ground. There are also ready-made terrarium mats that are sold in pet stores (not rubber mats).
The terrarium should be equipped with branches (no bark), rocks (from the pet store) and a shelter where the dragon can hide if desired. It is better not to put artificial and live plants in the terrarium, as the agama will eat them. nine0009
To improve life processes (prevention of diseases, help with molting), the agama can be bathed in a small bath, so that the head is always on top, with a water temperature of 29-32 gr. C. This procedure should be done 1-2 times a week.
General cleaning in the terrarium is enough to carry out once a month (wash the entire terrarium, equipment, change or clean the soil). Food and faeces should be removed as soon as they appear.
Bearded dragon feeding
In the terrarium, you can put a container with water to maintain the optimal level of humidity, a drinker, but not all lizards drink from it. You can spray the agama once a day, and she will lick the droplets from her body, or give moistened greens.
Bearded dragons are omnivorous lizards. In nature, they eat everything from leaves and stems to small mice and chicks. Therefore, at home, it is quite easy for them to choose the right diet.
For plant food, leafy vegetables (Chinese cabbage, lettuce, spinach), vegetables (carrots, green beans, peas, peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant), fruits (pitted apples, bananas, grapes in small quantities) are suitable for them. , juicy green food (dandelion, clover, wheat leaves, germinated oats). nine0009
Mealworm, zoophobus, crickets, cockroaches and newborn mice are suitable for animal food. All these "products" can be bought at the pet store. For feeding worms, you need a bowl with high edges so that they cannot crawl out and burrow into the ground. It is better to feed crickets and cockroaches in a separate small terrarium or a plastic jig, a basin is not suitable for this, as crickets can jump out. You can also feed insects with tweezers. You just need to do it carefully so that the agama does not bite on the tweezers themselves, otherwise it can break its face. nine0009
Ready-made food for lizards and vitamin-mineral complexes for reptiles can be added to these feeds as top dressing. In Russia, such drugs as Reptilife (Agrovetzashchita), Reptolife (Tetra), Wordley (Calcium and Multivitamin) are common.
Young bearded dragons (up to 5 months old) should be fed 3 times a day so that animal food makes up more than half, and vegetable food less. "Teenagers" can be fed once a day, adult agamas (after 18 months) should be fed every other day so that they have less than half of animal food, and more vegetable food. nine0009
Bearded dragon keeping at home, care, feeding, photo
Bearded dragon or bearded lizard (lat. Pogona vitticeps) comes from Australia, which is now quite accessible, as it is bred in captivity without problems. It is well suited for both beginners and experienced reptile lovers. Due to its complaisance and small size (40-50 cm), ease of maintenance, it has become very popular in recent years. In this article, you will learn how to care for, maintain and feed a bearded dragon. nine0009
- 1 Handing in nature and description
- 2 Choosing agama
- 2. 1 Examine for wounds and damage to
- 2.2 Check the integrity of parts of the body
- 2.3 Inspect the head 9000 4 Terrarium size
- 5 Lighting
- 6 Terrarium heating
- 7 Water
- 8 Soil
- 9 Shelter
- 10 Decor
- 11 Feeding and diet
- 11.1 Insects
- 11.2 Vegetables and fruits
- 12 Conclusion
Habitat and description
Arid habitat, terrestrial and semi-arboreal, and active during the day.
These are fairly large lizards, and adults can reach a size of 45-60 cm in length and weigh 300 grams or more. Life expectancy is about 10 years, although there is evidence that lizards have lived twice as long. nine0009
They have triangular heads and flat bodies, and they got their name from a special neck bag located under the lower jaw, which they inflate during danger or mating games.
It is dark in color, and a sharp increase in size scares off predators.
The usual color is gray or brown, but there are also many different variations that can be either red or orange or white.
Common morphs :
- Black Morphs
- Red Morphs
When choosing an agama
Before buying, make sure that the animal is healthy, because it is not cheap. Luckily, there are several signs by which you can understand that she is not sick.
Examine for wounds and damage
Carefully inspect the lizard for any scars or signs of injury, even if they have healed. This can create problems in the future, and if there is a choice, then take an animal without scars. Also inspect for fresh lesions, wounds, ulcers. nine0009
Check the integrity of body parts
Many lizards quickly regenerate lost body parts, but this is not possible for bearded dragons. If her tail or paw is torn off, then she will remain so forever (no matter what the sellers tell you).
However, if she is missing a toe or the tip of her tail, this is common and can be considered normal.
Examine the head
There should be no foam or liquid around the mouth, which may be an indicator of disease. Eyes should be clear, nostrils clean. nine0009
Healthy individuals are always on the alert, because in nature they catch fast insects, and without attentiveness they would die of hunger. An active and fast dragon is the first sign of a healthy animal.
True, they can be lethargic and inhibited, even when they are completely healthy, since they are not active 24 hours a day. Observe the selected lizard for a while. How she behaves, how she eats, how she moves.
They are desert reptiles and live in a dry, hot climate, so you need to recreate them to be healthy. nine0009
In this part, you will learn how to make your terrarium not only a decoration, but also an ideal home for it.
Young dragons can be kept in a terrarium from 100 liters and long enough. However, they grow quickly and will require more volume in just a few months.
Adults should be kept at least 200 liters, and if the terrarium is even larger, then only better.
It is better to cover the terrarium with a grill, as glass, plastic or wood will not allow air to circulate normally and moisture will accumulate in the terrarium. nine0009
Grilles will allow you to light and heat the terrarium without problems, besides, they do not retain moisture.
Both glass and plastic aquariums and terrariums designed specifically for reptiles can be used for keeping. The main thing is that they do not have sharp edges and burrs.
It is very important for bearded dragons to have 12-14 hours of daylight.
The light falling into the terrarium from the window is not enough for her, even if it is under direct rays. nine0009
To keep the lizard healthy, it is necessary to light the terrarium with special ultraviolet lamps (UVB 7-8%) for at least 12 hours.
Since they live in the desert, they need the sun or its substitute for care and health. It is under ultraviolet rays that they can synthesize vitamin D3, which is necessary for the normal absorption of calcium. This means that you have to recreate the spectrum of sunlight.
Luckily, this is easy to do now, any pet store will offer you a variety of reptile lamps. Lamps are best mounted inside the terrarium so that the loss of rays is minimal. nine0009
Again, bearded dragons come from the desert, which means they need heat. The temperature in the terrarium should not be lower than 30°C and not higher than 40°C. Do not use stones with a heating element inside for this, as they can cause burns.
The easiest way is to use ordinary incandescent lamps, but it is better to use special lamps for heating the terrarium, which again are sold in pet stores.
If you have a large enough terrarium, we can create a cool and hot zone. A lamp will be located in the heating zone and the agama will warm up in it, and cool in the cool one as needed. nine0009
The temperature and humidity inside must be constantly checked to ensure that they do not exceed the norm.
Thermometer and hygrometer are cheap enough and it is better to have two thermometers (in the cool and hot zones) and one hygrometer.
Combination thermometers and hygrometers for reptiles assembled in one instrument are now popular.
A spray can be used to make the dragons drink. Just spray the walls of the terrarium, and they are already licking drops from them and from the decor. nine0009
But don't overdo it, it shouldn't be too humid inside, after all they live in dry deserts.
You can also put water in drinkers, most often they are styled like stones, but make sure that the water in them is clean.
Humidity is important for shedding, as low shedding is more difficult. Sometimes you can practice bathing by lowering the agama into a container of warm water.
For young dragons, it is best to use plain paper, napkins, toilet paper or special mats (substrates) for reptiles. They are very affordable, cheap, and safe for reptiles. nine0009
If you choose a substrate, one that looks like grass looks best. Do not use sand, gravel, or sawdust on juveniles and juveniles!
They are very clumsy eaters, very curious and can swallow such soil.
And this is already a health risk, sand and other small mixtures clog their intestines, which can lead to death.
Your lizard needs a place to hide. There she can feel safe and rest in the shade. You can buy special shelters at the pet store that resemble natural stones, or you can make your own. nine0009
The main thing is that it should be spacious enough to turn around.
Some owners worry if the dragon hides too long and removes the cover during the day. However, it is better to leave it alone, and do not touch the shelter, the lizard will figure out when to hide and when to be active.
Agamas love to climb somewhere and bask in the sun, so it's better to add things to the terrarium that even the heaviest and largest can climb on. nine0009
It could be :
Branches and driftwood
Agamas are excellent climbers, so a good branch or two will not only greatly decorate the terrarium, but also make it feel comfortable.
It is not difficult to choose them, the main thing is that there is no bark on it (pieces of which agamas can swallow), and there are no insects. By the way, the old trick of aquarists - soaking will help get rid of the bark.
Submerge a piece of driftwood in water and some of the bark will peel off on its own. nine0009
Platforms placed under lamps for heating. It can be both artificial things and large stones. Best of all, the latter, such as dark rocks, they absorb heat and allow you to warm up more evenly.
For me, as a novice terrariumist, it was a big surprise that sexually mature females can lay "empty clutch". This happens in the spring, when the agamas breed. The female starts digging, a lot of digging. Eggs may or may not be, it all depends on the physiology. Also, during this period there may be problems with appetite. All these factors frightened me and I ran to the herpetologist, to which he answered me that everything was fine with the agama, it just “it happens”. nine0009 Ivan Evtushenko
Feeding and Diet
Feeding the right food will increase life expectancy, enhance color and activity. Here you will learn what and how to give agamas so that the diet is optimal and nutrition is complete.
Bearded dragons are omnivores, which means they eat both plant foods and insects. What to feed depends on the size and age of the individual. Young lizards are fed 80% insects and 20% vegetable food, but mature ones are vice versa. nine0009
When you feed a dragon, make sure the food is no larger than the distance between its eyes. This is especially true for pieces of vegetables, because if they are larger, there is a chance that she will choke. Before feeding, simply cut the vegetables into small pieces.
Young people grow very fast and because of this they need food more nutritious than fruits and vegetables. Owners complain that plant foods are difficult to eat, so just leave them in the terrarium during the day.
Young dragons should be fed crickets three times a day, as much as they can eat within 10-15 minutes. After this time, the excess must be removed.
But adults need much less protein food. How they eat vegetables is much less interesting to watch, but it's cheaper!
By the way, if you give too much, they will not refuse, but they will become fat and lethargic, so be careful.
The basis of feeding is vegetables, but once a day they can give insects. The principle of feeding crickets is the same as for young lizards. nine0009
Another important item is helminthization. It shouldn't be overlooked. Excessive content of helminths in the digestive system of an agama (and any other reptile) can lead to extremely sad consequences. It is necessary to carry out helminthization every six months.Ivan Evtushenko
Bearded dragons will eat any insect that crawls before their eyes, so make sure it's non-poisonous and nutritious.
First of all, it is not advisable to feed the beetles that you caught near the houses, but only those that you bought in a pet store. nine0009
They can carry parasites and be poisoned by insecticides. And you will buy normal insects without problems in the pet store or on the
- cockroaches (non -home)
- flour worms
and the last thing I would like to add, specific behavioral traits. If a dragon has stopped eating its favorite cockroaches/crickets, it does not mean that it is sick. Maybe she's just... bored! I noticed this feature in the fall, when very little attention was paid to this lady. I decided to diversify her “hunt” a little and move all the action to the bathroom so that the cockroaches do not run away. And here we are seeing a beautiful picture - an agama that ate 2-3 cockroaches without desire, now rushes around the bathroom and finishes eating on the 10th. The “owner”, the agama, needs to devote more time and attention to his pet. nine0009 Ivan Yevtushenko
Vegetables and fruits
Watching a agama eat vegetables is a rather boring activity compared to insects.