The Ultimate Chinese Water Dragon Care Sheet


Chinese Water Dragon Care

Have you ever thought of getting a pet that is different from a normal cat or dog? You do not hold any grudges against dogs and cats. They are very cute and fun, but they are also too mainstream. You are looking for something different, something that wows your guests when they visit your house or surprises your friends when they know you own one. If you are looking for something like that, look into amphibians and lizards.

They are becoming more and more popular among the pet community in the recent years and they become popular for good reasons. Furthermore, if you look for a fun, vibrant looking lizard in particular, like something you would see in a rainforest documentary since you were a kid, then you may like a Chinese Water Dragon. What is a Chinese water dragon? Are Chinese Water Dragons good pets? Green, vibrant color looking and not too tricky to take care of, the Chinese water dragon has captured many pet owners’ hearts and become increasingly popular over the years. If you are looking for one for a pet, this Chinese water dragon care sheet will help you with the first steps of the journey.

What is a Chinese Water Dragon?

Chinese water dragons (Physignathus cocincinus) or also often called Asian Water Dragon originate from the Southeast Asian area (Thailand, southern China, Vietnam, and Cambodia). They are largely diurnal, arboreal lizards, living mainly in tree and bushes branches. Sometimes they are also found in burrows in sandy places. They are semi-aquatic. Thanks to their tail, they can swim well on the water surface.
Many of the Chinese water dragons are still exported to Western countries directly from the Asian countries. A few years ago, it was difficult to find locally bred Asian water dragons and you could only go with the imported one. But that number is fast decreasing due to the increase in captive breeding by private owners, reptile-related businesses and pet shops in America and Europe. If you are not an experienced lizard owner, I would suggest going with the captive bred dragons since they are more likely to be healthier and less stressed from being removed from the wild and the long way of shipment.

Chinese Water Dragon Description And Appearance

Hatchlings

Chinese Water Dragon hatchlings are not very big. They are 1-inch snout to vent and 5 to 6 inches in total length. Their bodies often have two shades of colors. The upper half of their body is often brownish green in color while the lower abdominal area is ranging from pale green to white. There are white or beige color stripes running vertically on either size of their bodies. The tail is banded and brown and green in color. They also have very large eyes and a short snout make up the rest of their features. They will constantly keep this color scheme until they grow approximately 10 inches. After a few times of shedding skins, the upper body that used to be brownish green will become bright green, ranging from aqua to a mint color of green. It is difficult to tell the sex when they are hatchlings.

Adults


How To Care For Chinese Water Dragons

Starting off small in size as hatchlings, the dragons can grow quite large when becoming an adult. Adult males can grow up to 3 feet in length and the adult females go up to 2 feet. Most of the length of the body is made up of the tail of the lizard. The tail is laterally flattened, banded in brown and green and ends in a fine point. The length of the tail makes up to at least 70% of the whole body length.

Being an adult, Chinese water dragons become even more colorful than when they are just hatchlings. The upper section of their bodies ranges from a dark forest green to a light mint green. The lower body color does not change much, ranging from white to very light yellow. The white or beige vertical stripes are now pale green, mint green, aqua or turquoise in color. The throat of juvenile and adult water dragons is the place that changes the most in color. It can be a wide colorful range of very pale yellow, orange, peach, fuchsia, dark purple or even bright pink.

The head is triangular. A male’s head will become particularly large and wide. Large, rounded, white scales cover the area just below the mouth and all the way to the larger pointed scales where the head and neck meet. There is a dark stripe running from the lower corner of the eye toward the ear. The dragon’s tongue is thick and wide and ends in very small forks, with a sticky surface so it can hold prey. Together with the tongue, the teeth are small and pointed so they can maintain their omnivorous diet, drawing blood from its prey or holding them tight. Luckily, the Chinese water dragons are even-tempered and rarely bite. Throughout this Chinese water dragon care sheet, you will see that they are not at all aggressive towards their human keepers.

Both males and females have well-developed nuchal crests above the neck, but the males tend to have higher and longer spiked crests. Besides, the male in particular also has what is called the parietal or ‘third eye’, which is a prominent mid-sagittal crest, a small round shiny scale on top of the head, between the two eyes. It is believed that this third eye is to help water dragons to sense the differences in light. This ability lets them decide upon a good basking spot or they can sense the decreasing light level at nights so they can start finding overnight shelter. It is still a wonder why such necessary adapting feature only exists in the male but not both male and female water dragons.

Water dragons have well-developed and uneven legs. Generally, the back legs are much bigger and more developed than the front legs. The front legs climb and grasp branches so they need to be flexible rather than strong. Meanwhile, the back legs are muscular because of its usage in climbing, swimming, jumping and leaping. They can also run with their back legs alone. And we all know how fast lizards can be. That speed is all thanks to the strong hind legs. The front and hind feet are five-toed. In the hind feet, the middle toes are the longest.

As said earlier, when the water dragons are still hatchlings, it is difficult to determine their sex. They will appear to be female until they grow to at least 14 to 16 inches in length. The development makes their sex easier to recognize to us human keepers because of the developing of larger heads, jowls, and higher nuchal crests. The femoral pores of adult female are smaller than males. You can start telling the dragon’s sex when they are about 14 to 16 inches long, and they will not be mature enough to breed until they are about 2 years old and at least 2 feet long.

Chinese Water Dragon Life Span – Wow!

Different from what you may expect, Chinese Water Dragon can live from 10 to 20 years. They are qualified for being a very long term pet.

Where To Buy Chinese Water Dragons?

Most of the time, there are 3 places you can purchase a Chinese Water dragon from. A pet store, a supplier and a breeder.

Pet Store: Pet store is the easiest option for first-time buyers and inexperienced pet owners to look for a Chinese Water Dragon to purchase. Not all pet stores will have Water Dragons but they are likely to have them. You can call beforehand to check with the store. The bad thing about pet stores is that most pet stores do not take care of the water dragons properly. Mostly because they are not experts in these lizards and they don’t know how to take care of a chinese water dragon properly. The bad treatment often results in injuries, stress, and ill health. Sometimes, it is not even the pet stores’ fault. Most of the available dragons they receive at their stores are wild caught so when they purchased them, they might already be in poor health. Of course, there are two sides of a coin. There are pet stores that don’t know how to take care of the dragons. There will be other pet stores that take excellent care of the dragons. I show you how to choose a healthy water dragon below.

Supplier: Suppliers can be a person or a large company that sells and trade water dragons. Many of them often claim that they sell captive bred dragons, and some really do. But you will not be able to know for sure. You must be careful when buying your dragon. Ask many informed questions then make your decision based on the answers and guarantees that you get.

Private breeder: In my opinion this is the best option to get a healthy water dragon. However, it is not as accessible as the other two options. Still, I would recommend you try your hardest to find a private breeder in the area you live so you can buy directly from them. Check online or ask around to see if there are any known breeders in your local area. You don’t have to worry about whether or not your dragons were shipped, and you will be able to see how they are cared for by the breeders and ask all kind of questions you want.

How To Choose A Healthy Water Dragon?


How To Take Care Of A Chinese Water Dragon
  • Look for an active dragon whose eyes are bright and alert. Chinese water dragons, similar to many other lizards and dragons, are pretty territorial so they are always highly alert of their surroundings. Make sure you choose one that looks and act alert.
  • Body and tail of the dragon should be slightly rounded and filed out.
  • Watch out for wounds, damages, or swelling of their arms, feet, digits or anywhere in their bodies. Use your hand to feel along the dragon’s body and tail to check for swellings and unusual lumps.
  • Check the snout! It is normal if the area has some kind of markings on it since the Chinese water dragons often bump their heads against the glass but those marks should not appear too swollen or badly damaged.
  • Tap on the snout gently and you will see the dragon opens its mouth for you. Check along the gum line, see if there is any sign of swelling, bubbly mucus or caseous deposits. Those signs are often indicators of some common Chinese water dragon illnesses.
  • Along the dragon’s vent, there should not be any smeared or caked diarrhea or swelling.

Size and age: For wild caught water dragons, young ones, about 10 to 16 inches in length are the best choice. Wild caught adult dragons don’t adapt to captivity well and they are often pretty damaged once they arrive in their new home. The young adults do not often have many problems adjusting to captivity. For captive dragons, any size will be fine. They are usually not skittish, eat well with provided food and have fewer health problems due to stresses and change in habitat. They also tend to have less tendency to bang their snouts against the glass tank, which an adult wild caught does quite often.

Color: The benefit of Chinese water dragon having bright skin color is that those color can be a good indicator of the dragon’s health status. If the dragon has a nice green then it is relaxed, happy and healthy. If the color is dark brownish color then it is probably stressed, cold or ill. Always pay close attention to the skin color as well so you can catch any distress and illness of your dragon early.

Reptile Vet: You may think finding a vet the moment you bought a water dragon is too early, but that is not true. Most water dragons from pet stores are wild caught, which make the chance you need to bring them to a vet not long after purchase is very likely. Also, even if your dragon is not wild caught when bringing your dragon home, you are changing its living environment which can cause stress. Water dragons, when stressed, can stay stressed for a while. In serious cases, they may need medical attention from the vet.

Chinese Water Dragon Tank Size


Exo Terra Allglass Terrarium

Taking care for these reptiles is not tricky, and pretty straight forward. However, their needs are all very specific. In the wild, water dragons are arboreal lizards, which mean they are climbers. So unlike other lizards who mostly run on the surfaces and climb rocks, therefore, need a shallow tank, the Chinese water dragon needs height in their tank.
Water Dragons need a space that is at least two times their total length in order to live comfortably. That means for an adult male, for example, the enclosure should be at least 6 feet long (from side to side) and since they need height, the tank needs to be about 2 to 3 feet deep and 4 to 6 feet high. For example, as said earlier, the best size for newly purchased water dragon is 10 to 16 inches. With a size like that, they will live very comfortably in this tank on the right

Water dragons are very territorial. So you need to think carefully before deciding to keep multiple dragons together. They can be kept together, just be very careful. Adult male water dragons are especially territorial, which means they can fight each other to injuries or death inside the same tank. Female water dragons are less territorial, but that does not mean they are completely non-territorial. Some of them are domineering and do not want any other females around. If there are new dragons around, the Chinese water dragon behavior can become aggressive towards the new comers. Some can cohabit with 3 or 4 other female without blood shed, others don´t.

It is important to keep in mind that when you put the water dragons together inside the tank if they haven’t fought immediately, that does not mean they won’t fight or are not territorial. You must monitor to assure all dragons in the tank are eating and basking properly. Even though they do not fight directly, intimidation can still happen. If that happens, you need to create more feeding spots or separate them, depending on the situation.

You could also increase the tank size or offer more hiding spots.

Chinese Water Dragon Lighting


Zoo Med T5 HO Reptisun Terrarium Hood

Natural is best. Natural sunlight would be best for the water dragons. However it is not that easy for many people to let their dragons have access to natural sunlight. If you can get sunlight for your dragon, that´s awesome. If you can´t you need some UVB lighting. I always say, there are only two things for Chinese Water Dragons and most other reptiles when it comes to UVB lighting. One of them is the sun and if the sun is not an option, then there only is the ReptiSun Lamp, which you can see in the picture above. I would never go with another UVB bulb.

The UVB or the ultraviolet B light, especially the one with full spectrum provide the similar type of light waves to the sun. The UVS needs to be in the form of fluorescent lighting. Incandescent bulbs do not produce UVB rays and the water dragon needs UVB for vitamin D so they can process the calcium in their food. The UVB lights should be set up not more than 10 inches away from the light source when basking. The further the UVB is from the dragon, the less effective it is. You should always place the lighting above the tank on a screencover.

The Right Temperature

Chinese Water Dragons came from tropical climate countries, they would like their surrounding environment to stay warm, about 80 to 90F. You need to get some Chinese Water Dragon accessories and one of them are basking lamps.

Unlike the UVB lights, you don’t have to be too specific with basking lamps. A regular bulb or incandescent light will work. You will need from one to two for a tank. You can choose the wattage to decide how warm the lights will be, anywhere from 50 watts to 150 watt bulb. Besides, another good heat source is a Zoomed or Pearlco ceramic bulb. The nice thing about these bulbs is that they provide heat only, no light. So at night, they will be perfect for keeping your dragons warm, especially if you live in the colder climate area. These lights produce heat so the bulbs themselves can get very hot. Build a protective wire cage or something similar to prevent the dragon from touching the bulbs. They can be severely burnt if they touch the hot light bulbs. I recommend to place the bulb above the tank and use a screen lid.


Zoo Med Economy Analog Dual Thermometer and Humidity Gauge

Ventilation of the tank is also very important. You should have good ventilation in the cage, you can use some wood to cover 3 out of 4 sides of a tank to trap heat. The temperature should also be gradient: warmer to cooler or dividing the tank vertically with warm and cool side so that the dragon is able to regulate its own temperature in the tank. The dragons like warm temperatures but sometimes when they happen to find the basking lamps too hot, they can have cooler place to go to cool down.

The Right Humidity

Chinese water dragons are from tropical humid climate, they need a humid environment. Humidity inside a tank for Chinese water dragon should be around 80%. This high level of humidity is hard to be contained naturally. There will be water body and plants inside the tank to increase the humidity. But sometimes, that alone is not enough. You may need to mist the enclosure twice a day to keep the humidity up. To be sure you know what the humidity level is, be sure to install a monitor inside the tank. Whenever you see the humidity goes down lower than the desired level, you can mist the enclosure to make the tank more humid. The Thermometer Humidity Gauge on the right works perfect and it is very cheap. Do not waste your money on too expensive accessories.

Chinese Water Dragon Bedding – They Need Water

Chinese Water Dragon is semi-aquatic so you can line the bottom of the tank with soil, maybe with a little bit of playground sand (not too much) and some water. Try to have about one third of the bottom space filled with water so they have some space to swim. Chinese water dragons love swimming, I mean they are water dragons. 🙂

You can use a large plastic container or make a nice water area using an aquarium. Whatever you use you need the container to be large enough for the dragon to easy to come in and exit out. The water body should be deep enough so the water dragon can immerse at least 50% of its height. The container should also be set so it is easy for removal. You need to be able to clean out the pond as regularly as possible, ideally everyday. Or you can also keep a filter in the water container to keep it clean longer. Remember to also wash the container with soap, not just changing out the water. Besides, have a small ‘pond’ inside the tank is a good way to keep the high required humidity level for the inside.


Black Gold 1302040 16-Quart All Organic Potting Soil

Besides the pond, for a Chinese water dragon, plants are necessary inside the tank as well. The enclosure is pleasant to look at and the water dragons will have more hiding and climbing spaces. Plants should be repotted in a safe soil mix that does not contain fertilizer so the soil will not negatively affect the dragon’s health. Besides, to be safe, before inserting the plants inside the tank, you can rinse the plant one or a few times in the shower to make sure all the pesticide on the leaves is washed out. Better be safe than sorry. Also when watering the plants, using a mix sprayer will also increase the humidity of the tank.

Chinese Water Dragon Substrate

Substrate is very important to hold and release humidity. Don’t go for something too complicated, but do not take sand or something similar. Simple substrates like newspaper and paper towel are easy to clean and replace even though they are not the prettiest materials and I absolutely do not recommend them.

You should go with non-fertilized potting soil, as I already said above, or sphagnum moss. Click here to see which soil is recommended. They are pretty and they will not cause impaction if your dragon eats some of it. However, they take lots of work to clean and replace since you need to clean out and replace these substrates every few months. It is very important that you only use soil on the top of your bedding.

Chinese Water Dragon Diet

What to feed a Chinese water dragon? The answer is many things. Chinese water dragon is omnivorous. Hatchlings eat a LOT. So they will be mostly on a high protein, insect diet. When they grow a bit older, they can decrease the level of protein in their diet. The Chinese water dragon food can include both insects and vegetables.

You can feed a baby water dragon anything that fits into its mouth, including crickets, worms, super worms, goldfish or even small mice. When feeding them, let them eat as much as they want for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove any leftover prey items.

When they are about one year old, their food level can decrease. You only need to feed the adult water dragon about 3 times a week. They now can eat bigger prey like mice, fish, and roaches. They can still consume smaller prey like super worms, crickets, food as they eat when they are younger if you like. Together with insects, you should feed vegetables with the insects every feeding. Chinese water dragons like carrots, sweet potatoes, and especially yellow squash. And do not feed them the whole food. Remember to chop down the vegetables into small cubes that are big enough for the water dragon’s mouth. Sometimes, give the water dragons some fruits as sweet treats. They really like strawberry, blueberry, raspberries and bananas. (Pretty much like humans, huh?)

Chinese Water Dragon Illness

Dealing with the Chinese water dragon illnesses, sometimes you need to base on your common sense. There are a few common illnesses that often happen with Chinese water dragon. Use your common sense, care and ability to observe to recognize the symptoms when they appear so if necessary, you can take your dragon to the vet as soon as possible.

  • Is you Water Dragon not eating? Most of the dragons’ illnesses can be detected through Chinese Water Dragon’s behavior. When a water dragon does not eat, it is very likely the dragon is sick. Most often the case, there would be infections in the mouth, snout damage or parasite. The infections can go as light as mouth infection or as bad respiratory infections. The sign of not eating should not be taken lightly. In serious cases, you need to bring your dragon to the vet as soon as possible.
  • Listlessness and inactive. If your dragon refuses to eat and become listless, inactive and lethargic, that can be a serious sign of respiratory infection. Respiratory infections are usually caused by inadequate heat and stressful conditions. Water dragons with respiratory infections will not demonstrate obvious signs until the disease has progressed further. So when you catch the signs, you need to bring him/her to the vet as soon as possible.
  • Change of skin color. As said earlier, the color of the skin indicates the general status of health of the water dragon. If you catch a change of color of your dragon skin, look closer for any more obvious signs like infections, wounds, or swollen. Feel around the body to see if you can catch anything that might be the source of the bad health status.
  • Trust your sense. Water dragons are very good at hiding their illness and usually do not act ill until they are too sick to be helped. Do not hesitate to take it to a reptile vet as soon as possible. You may not have as much time as you think you do.

Why Chinese water dragons are great pets

I often times get asked if chinese water dragons are good pets. My answer is always that they are more than good pets, they are amazing pets. Not only because they look stunning, but also because of their great behaviour towards their owners. After your water dragon really gets used to you, you will have the feeling that you bought a dog instead of a reptile.

It will run around in your room, chew on some stuff it is not allowed to and it will climb on all kinds of stuff. Most Chinese water dragons are tame right from the start, but to make them calm you will have to spent some time with them.

Conclusion

Chinese Water Dragons are vibrantly beautiful. They are large and active lizards that enjoy swimming and climbing. They will live with you for 10 or even 20 years and be your wonderful companion. They have lots of personality. They eat lots of food and need lots of space. Many factors in the tank need to be changed regularly. Taking care of a Chinese Water Dragon is not an easy thing to do. However, it is not tricky either. They have many needs but their needs are specific. They take lots of work but their companionship and beauty make it all worth it. But be sure to do your homework before starting on this journey.

You can also alway ask me in the comment section if you have any problems with your chinese water dragons. I am always happy to help.

 

 

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How Big Do Chinese Water Dragons Get? A Little Iguana?


How Big Do Chinese Water Dragons Get

During the last couple of years the famous yet troublesome iguanas have been somewhat replaced by chinese water dragons. Chinese water dragons, if taken care of properly are fairly tame and wonderful pets. As amazing as chinese water dragons are, they do require a fair share of attention and care. So if you are looking to become a chinese water dragon owner, you need to be fully committed.

I have written this article especially for the thousands of wonderful chinese water dragon owners such as yourself and the people who are looking to get a chinese water dragon, so that you are aware of what to do and what to expect from your water dragon beforehand.

A chinese water dragon owner should be aware of how big his pet is going to get to figure out things like the perfect size for his water tank and when will it need a mate (to name a few). So if you had the question“how big do chinese water dragons get?” then read on below to find out.

Size and description

When the babies of chinese water dragons hatch they are approximately 1 inch from snout to vent and in total their length is approximately 5 to 6 inches. Whereas when they turn into adults, male chinese water dragon size gets around 3 feet, as for female chinese water dragons the size gets around 2 feet. The color of adult Chinese water dragons is of course green. There is a variation in the color green which ranges from darker shades of green to light mint green. A difference in the color of the upper body and the lower body of the chinese dragons can be seen. While the upper body has shades of green, the lower body consists of colors ranging anywhere from white to light yellow.

The babies of chinese water dragons have a brownish green color on the top of their body whereas on the bottom of their body the color is usually pale green.

It is a very common observation that the tails of chinese water dragons are quite large. It almost makes up for around 70%-75% of the total size of the water dragons. The tail is usually of green or brown color and it is flattened. In addition to wagging their tail, chinese water dragons also use their tails to provide themselves with stability and control while they are climbing as well as to fight off attackers when there is a fear of being attacked by a predator.

Size and living conditions

When chinese water dragons are born they are small enough to be kept in a 10-gallon aquarium but a full grown chinese water dragon should be kept in a large space which is adequate enough for it. 

One of the main reasons why there is a need for large containers as chinese water dragons grow, apart from the increase in their size, is that they are swimmers and they’d enjoy living in a space which is large enough for them to swim in.

Size and diet

There is a different kind of diet that a chinese water dragon requires with every age. When a chinese water dragon baby hatches you want to take care of it and feed it daily because that’s the point in his life when he is vulnerable whereas, if you have an adult chinese water dragon you can feed it every 2 – 3 days as per requirement.

However if you are one of those people who like to feed their pets everyday then perhaps you can feed small portions of food to your chinese water dragon so that it doesn’t become overweight.

If your water dragon is frail or seams weak then you can completely ignore this feeding schedule and give him food as per his own requirement so that he puts on some weight.

Conclusion – The Small Iguana?

As a child, my dream was always to keep a green iguana. I thought that those reptiles were THE reptiles, however as most of us know, adult green iguanas are huuuge. Further not all of them are really friendly to their owners, especially when they are not used to be touched.

The chinese water dragon really is the better alternative for the casual reptile owner. A full grown chinese water dragon requires less space, it is easier to handle and the little water dragons will become tame easily. Especially for kids, this is in most cases the better reptile in my opinion. However do not get me wrong here, green iguanas still have a special place in my heart and I am sure I will add one to my little home zoo in the near future …lol.​

I hope that this article has answered your question about how big do chinese water dragons get. For a pet owner it’s important to know the diet and shelter requirements for his water dragon and size plays an important role in determining that!

Bearded Dragon Harness: 5 Masterpieces You Must See


bearded-dragon-harness

Bearded dragons are THE pet reptiles in my opinion. As soon as they get used to you, they are extremely calm and you can almost do everything with them. I guess that is why you can see more and more bearded dragons lovers walking in the park with their dragon on a leash.

Further I eplained in this article why it is very important to give your bearded dragon the oppotunity to do something, to be active. It is very important for the reptiles since they can get “bored” and depressed easily when they do nothing except sitting in a tank.

I already reviewed a bearded dragon leash here. The leash worked absolutely great, but I also wanted to try a reptile harness for a bearded dragon, just to compare what´s better or what I like better. Further there are also harnesses without a leash, which are more like a costume.

For those of you who want a product that is more “compact” than only a leash, or if you want something with a little bit more style like the the The Walking Dead harness you can see below, you came to the right place. I had a look at some cool harnesses and I want to share with you my opinion on it.

Details

So below is a table with the 5 best bearded dragon harnesses (in my opinion and based on the customer reviews). If you want to see more images of one of the harnesses or more details to the product, simply click on the image.

I know, I know you probably do not want to read this stuff, you only want to see those great harnesses first and I absolutely understand this. So first things first, here are the harnesses.

The Flowers harness leash and the Daryl Dixon harness are my favourites. Of course I had a look at the customer reviews for these products before. Most of the harnesses have over 150 customer reviews and all those customers rated these products 5 stars. So now you can imagine, why I was so excited about trying out a harness for my bearded dragon.

Shipping

All the customer reviews on Etsy said, that the shipping was super fast and it really only took a few days to arrive, of course I was very happy about that. I know from experience that shipping bearded dragon articles can take some time, since they do not always have the items in stock.

You have to keep in mind that all the harnesses are handmade. So it is understandable that sometimes shipping can take a little longer.

Material

I wanted to make sure that the material is okay for my dragon and that there is no chance that my dragon gets hurt. The material looked absolutely great on both harnesses. It was stable but on the other side soft enough. Further the harness was really thin and light. I did not expect that, really cool.

The leash

Yepp, as you might have seen above, you get a dragon harness and a leash, for most of the products. So you do not have to buy that leash seperately. There is nothing really spectacular to say about the cord to be honest. It does the job and it isn´t too long, so you can use it inside your house too.

Putting it on my dragon

Well I am a very careful person when it comes to my bearded dragons. When I got the harness, I placed it near the terrarium for a few days first, so that my bearded dragons could get used to it.

I mean, my bearded dragons are totally relaxed, but you never know. After a few days I put it on my dragon and I think I am very lucky that my dragons are so calm and relaxed. It was no problem at all to put its legs through the holes.

The holes might be very big, but I can imagine that this could be a pain for people who own a dragon that is not calm and relaxed at all.

If you have such an “active” beardie or a beardie that basically hates you (lol), I would recommend to go with the dragon leash which I reviewed here: Dragon Leash.

It is a little bit easier to put on.

Did my dragon like it?

One of my dragon got used to it very quickly. However the other one really needed a few days to get comfortable with it. Now both of my dragons are absolutely fine with wearing the harness.

Want to buy a harness? Here are some tips for you!

There are a few things you should know before buying the harness.

Measure your dragon

The harness comes in different sizes, so you need to know what size fits your dragon. Therefore you can click above on the image of the harness you like to see how to messure your beardie. The manufacturers on Etsy provide instructions on how to measure your beardie to get the right harness.

What you should not do!

You should never pull on the leash. The material might be very soft, but if you pull on it forcefully you might hurt your bearded dragon. If you really need to pull, do it very gently and slowly. However I think I do not need to tell that to a bearded dragon lover 🙂

Don´t use it if your dragon doesn´t like it

I tried it for a few days on my bearded dragons and they got used to it. However it can happen that a dragon absolutely hates it. Try it a few days, if your dragon does not get comfortable with wearing a harness, you shouldn´t use it.

My Verdict – Why I like the harness

So the material is absolutely awesome. It is very thin and light and it does not hurt my dragons. Further my dragons got used to it relatively quickly.

The shipping was super fast!

Further you can buy this harness in a lot of colors and variations. There is even a bearded dragon harness with wings, lol really funny. Of course I had to buy those wings as well. Here is the article about the 10 best wings you can find.

If you have a bearded dragon that is hard to handle, you should rather have a look at the leash I reviewed.

I just love to give my dragons the opportunity to run around outside and enjoy the sun. What about you? What do you think about a harness for a bearded dragon Do you use a harness or a leash? Do your dragons like it?

Tell me about it in the comment section below 🙂

The 10 Most Amazing Bearded Dragon Wings You Have Ever Seen


the-10-most-amazing-bearded-dragon-wings

Bearded dragons are not only one of the best and most popular pet reptiles, they are also one of the calmest pet reptile you will find. Most dragons do not even need to be tamed down, they are already calm right from the start and don´t mind to be petted or handled.

With such a calm and friendly reptile, you can do a lot of funny and cute stuff. At least that´s what I have seen on the internet recently. There are a lot of people who add the last and missing piece to their bearded dragon to make it a real dragon. Yes, I am talking about some cool bearded dragon wings here guys.

I mean how awesome is that? Especially in the time of Game Of Thrones, everyone wants to be Khaleesi and have some baby dragons for protection and cuddling. Heck, even I want to be Khaleesi and I am a man, lol.

The first wings for bearded dragons I have seen were pretty bad to be honest. The wings did not look really good, it was just a piece of cloth hanging down. However after I have seen the first dragon wings I did my research guys… and what I found was awesome… to be honest it was more then awesome. People really put some effort in creating epic looking wings these days and I have compiled the 10 best looking beardie wings for you in this article.

Hope you enjoy!

Before Putting On The Wings

If you buy some bearded dragon wings, I totally understand that you probably freak out when you get them in the mail and most probably you also want to put them on your bearded dragon immediately, get your Khaleesi dress (no matter if you are a girl or a boy) and take some epic selfies with your little dragon.

However please do not forget, even if bearded dragons are really, really calm, you should always let your bearded dragon get used to new stuff.

If you buy something like wings, leashes or harnesses for your bearded dragon you should always keep in mind that having something on their back or around their neck is a completely new experience for your beardie. Even if your dragon is totally calm it can happen that your dragon freaks out.

So here is what I do to get my bearded dragon used to new stuff. (And yes, I also bought some dragon wings – guilty, lol)

When I get something new like a leash or wings I place it near the terrarium so that my bearded dragon can get used to its presence over time. After a couple of days your beardie is completely used to that new weird object and that will make it easier to put on the wings.

You can even place the object inside you bearded dragon tank if you have enough space for that.

Even if you have a bearded dragon that does not like leashes, costumes or wings, that might help.

The 10 Most Awesome Wings

Alright guys, here it is. I compiled the coolest looking wings for your dragon I could find. However there are also a lot of other wings on Etsy. If you do not find anything below, which I highly doubt, head over to Etsy and check out what those amazingly creative people offer there.

I Just want to let you know, all wings very made in the U.S. and can be purchased there. However even if you live in another country, you can always ask the vendor if they ship to your country. In most cases they even tell you in the description where they ship to and that if you have any problems or questions, you can contact them.

I live in Germany and ordered like 4 wings for my bearded dragon and it was no problem.

Image

Name

Size


dragon-in-smoke

Feature: Glow In The Dark!

Available in many different sizes


dragonfly

Feature: Glow In The Dark!

Available in many different sizes


chibi-in-mario

Feature: Glow In The Dark!

Available in many different sizes


flutterby-in-ripe

Feature: Glow In The Dark!

Available in many different sizes


dragonfly-in-phoenix

Feature: Glow In The Dark!

Available in many different sizes


brown-wings-with-leash

Brown Wings With Leash

Feature: Including a Leash!

Adjustable


translucent-fantasy-wings-dragon-in-soot

Feature: Glow In The Dark!

Available in many different sizes


translucent-fantasy-wings-dragonfly-in-bubblegum

Feature: Glow In The Dark!

Available in many different sizes


translucent-fantasy-wings-dragon-in-valley

Feature: Glow In The Dark!

Available in many different sizes


translucent-fantasy-wings-flutterby-in-camille

Feature: Glow In The Dark!

Available in many different sizes

Alright guys, here it is. I compiled the coolest looking wings for your dragon I could find. However there are also a lot of other wings different colors on Etsy. If you do not find anything below, which I highly doubt, head over to Etsy and check out what those amazingly creative people offer there.

Which wings do you like the most? Did you purchase some wings? What do you think about a bearded dragon with wings? Do you also feel like you are the Mother Of Dragons no matter if you are a man or a woman?

Did you have any problems putting your bearded dragon those wings on?

Tell me about it in the comment section below,. I am excited to hear your stories and chat with you.

The 10 Most Awesome Bearded Dragon Costumes You Have Ever Seen


Bearded Dragon Costumes

A lot of people who want to own a reptile decide to go with a bearded dragon and let´s face it … bearded dragon owners (me included) are a little bit different from normal people.

Most of us love dinosaurs, dragons and weird creatures in general and I guess that´s why we got a bearded dragon, right?

Further a lot of us are geeky (me included). Star Wars or Star Trek is our religion, we love series, we watch Game Of Thrones, Sons Of Anarchy and The Walking Dead all night.

What happens when geeks like us decide that our very dangerous, huge dragons should be a little more like us? Right! We decide to create some really cool bearded dragon costumes!

To be honest, I think 3 weeks ago I did not even know that stuff like bearded dragon costumes exist. Here in Germany nobody would buy those costumes for their bearded dragons, since everybody here tends to only observe their bearded dragon and handle them as little as possible.

Fortunately in the U.S. people like to handle their bearded dragons more often. They cuddle and play with them, which is absolutely great and of course, that´s also great because otherwise nobody would create those awesome costumes for bearded dragons.

Okay enough about geeky stuff and german culture. I bet you only want to see those extremely creative and gorgeous customes and you want to know where to get them. Don´t worry I did my research for you …and while I did my research I think I bought 6 bearded dragon outfits, lol.

Here Is My Top 10 Beardie Costume List

All of the bearded dragon clothes below are handmade and from the U.S. but fortunately they ship to a lot of other countries. Otherwise I would not have been able to buy them. Click on the image to see more pictures of the costumes you like.

​The Great White


shark-costume-for-bearded-dragons

There are a lot of trash movies where sharks are the dangerous creatures that terrify some teenagers. You can see sharks in a supermarket, sharks in tornados, two headed sharks, but have you ever seen a dragon shark? No? Well, here it is and I bet it is almost killing you with cuteness! Absolutely amazing costume.

The Black Swan?


bearded dragon tutu

Bearded dragons are not elegant? Those days have passed. For everyone who owns a bearded dragon with a secret passion for ballet, here comes the dragon tutu. …If your bearded dragon really has a passion for ballet please email me… no, seriously the world needs to know that.

College!?


graduation-costume

Did your bearded dragon just graduate from college? No problem! With this costume your bearded dragon is ready for the big day …. hmmmm, they grow up so fast, don´t they?

Clint Beardwood


cowboy-costume-for-bearded-dragons

Yes, it is a cowboy dress. No, it does not come with a little gun, BUT the vest comes with a little sheriff´s star. Just click on the image to see the other pictures. There you can see the star. Ah and the vest is probably bullet proof… just saying.

The Bearded Dragon Knight


knight-costume

A bearded dragon dressep up as a knight is ready to defend your home, which is your castle and ready to kill evil dragons…. Wait, what?

Beardess Leia


princess-leia-costume-for-bearded-dragons

Star Wars fans get your hands up! Your bearded dragon can now be Princess Leia, I mean how amazing is that? It is almost like Princess Leia is sitting in a terrarium in your house, holy Yoda! I´m telling you, my asthma inhaler was used after finding this costume. I´m such a Star Wars fanboy.

Luke Beardwalker


luke-skywalker-costume-for-bearded-dragons

A Luke Skywalker costume for beardies? Wouldn´t it be great if you could pick up your dragon and say: “Beardie, I am your owner!” after you slashed it´s hand… no, stop! Do not do that!

The Wedding-Ready Dragon


wedding-ready

I really had to laugh when I saw this costume. The idea itself is funny as hell, but when you see how perfect this bearded dragon in this costume looks, it is soo hilarious. Another awesome costume!

The Dragon From Hawaii


bearded-dragon-hawaii-costume

In my opinion a perfect costume for our little dragons. Beardies are so calm and relaxed. I am really starting to believe that bearded dragons must be from Hawaii. Can you imagine how it would look when your bearded dragon does a head bob in this costume? lol.

Spike!


spike-collar-for-bearded-dragons

This is a very simple costume, … can we even say costume to this? Whatever! In my opinion this is one of the best costumes I have seen. It is just a collar, but I think it fits sooo good.

What to do if my dragon is too skittish for that?

Normally bearded dragons are pretty calm right from the start. I once had a bearded dragon that jumped on my hand when I purchased it from the breeder.

However there are some individuals that are more shy and do not want to wear costumes, leashes or harnesses. There are definitely ways to get your dragon used to the costume.

I always do it like this: If I purchase new costumes for bearded dragons, a leash, a harness, or any other new thing I want my bearded dragon to get used to, I just place that object near the terrarium of my bearded dragon.

I think I mentioned this technique pretty often in my articles, but I do that, because it is so effective. After a couple of days near that object, your bearded dragon will get used to it and you won´t have such a hard time to put it on your dragon.

Always remember, if your bearded dragon absolutely do not want to put the costume on and completely freaks out, you should respect that. Reptiles can get stressed easily and that can cause health problems and I am sure that is not what you want.

However most of you won´t have any problems putting the costume on, since your beardies are probably calm as hell, lol.

What do you think about bearded dragons in costumes?

Are you also a little bit geeky and bought some costumes for your dragon? Which one did you buy? Which one is the best in your opinion? Tell me about it in the comments below!

Hope this article was fun for you and that you enjoyed looking at bearded dragons in costumes 🙂

The Ultimate Bearded Dragon Care Sheet


Bearded Dragon Care Sheet

Are you often the odd/cool person in your friend group? Are you a person that like to do things differently from the rest of the world? Do you find yourself wanting a pet but find dogs and cats are just too generic? They are ‘cute’, but not ‘cool.’ You want something different. If you are one of those people, you should consider having bearded dragons as pets. They are magnificent creatures.

If you are an newbie or never even heard about the bearded dragons, this bearded dragon care guide will tell you everything you need to know about this popular pet reptile, from what they are, how to choose one, to taking care of them.

What Are Bearded Dragons?

Bearded dragons are non-toxic, non-dangerous reptiles. Where do bearded dragons come from? They are Australian native who come a long way from their original continent and spread around the world right now. They get their names from a special territorial behavior of the male. The male, when protecting their territories while stretch out the skin in his throat and the throat turns black, making the dragons look like they have a beard.

Bearded dragons sound pretty wild so do bearded dragons make good pets? The answer is yes. For the last 20 to 25 years, they are the most popular reptile pet in the world. There are thousands of people having pet bearded dragon, and this number does not show any sign of stopping. They are non-toxic, non-aggressive creatures and very animated and entertaining to watch. Bearded dragons are much more popular than you thought.

Getting A Bearded Dragon

Choosing a type of laundry detergent from grocery store is already difficult, not talking about choosing a live creature that will live with you for a long time. Choosing a perfect-for-you bearded dragon baby is not an easy task. It will take patience, carefulness and sometimes luck as well. This bearded dragon care sheet will start off showing you how to find a great reptile friend for yourself.

Where To Buy Bearded Dragons?

Bearded dragons are not that rare in the States, but they are also not that ubiquitous of an animal to find. You can find them at some of these following species:

Breeders – This is the place you can often find the best quality bearded dragons. Breeders are normally experienced and they will support the dragons with the best and most suitable living and breeding environments. Thanks to that, the bearded dragons from breeders are not only healthy but also can be especially exotic with multiple shades and colors. However, the bearded dragons from breeders are more expensive than other places. The breeder is a type of exclusive bearded dragon collectors club that deliver the best reptiles with the highest price.

Pet Stores – If you don’t have any interests in your bearded dragon pets being the most stand out ones, you can simply visit your local pet stores. This would be the easiest way to find a bearded dragon pet. There is no guarantee that every pet store will have bearded dragons so try the bigger ones instead of smaller stores. However, there are downsides of pet stores. The beardie will be cheaper at the pet stores than at the breeders’, yet they are still expensive. You won’t have much variety of color to choose from the pet store. Besides, just like cats and dogs, people often concern that pets from pet stores are normally not as healthy as the beardie from professional breeders.

Reptile Rescues – This option is for more experienced beardie owners. If you have experience taking care and owning a bearded dragon before, you can find yourself an extra precious pet while doing a good deed by adopting a beardie from the reptile rescue centers. Because rescued pets are often more sensitive and fragile than usual due to long history of neglect and mistreatment, you need to know well what you are doing before adopting one.

Online Stores – One of the newer options here. More and more online pet shops offer shipping of reptiles. You can watch a lot of videos on Youtube where people unbox their reptile that they have ordered at an online pet shop. Other than expected the reptiles always arrive healthy and without a scratch.

Adult or Juvenile Bearded Dragons?


Juvenile Bearded Dragon

Now come the question of age. Should you get a young bearded dragon or a more mature one? we can’t answer this question. There is not really a should or should not option for this question. This totally depends on your taste, needs and preferences.

Juvenile bearded dragons are often cheaper. You also don’t have to worry about their history with the previous owners: whether they were neglected, mistreated or malnourished. However, they require more care. Since, we all know that babies have more needs than adults. And you also need to be flexible and accompany their changes in need due to their growth: more food over time, new habits, bigger and different tank, etc…

Adult bearded dragons are easier to care for. They are less fragile to the environment. You have to check their owner’s history for complete information about their past though. But they are older so you may have less time to spend together with your precious pet, because of life span.

In general, we recommend first time owners to choose adult bearded dragons since they do require less care. However, again, this all depends on you. Choose what you feel is best.

How to choose a healthy bearded dragon?

You would want to make sure you can get the best bearded dragon before actually purchasing it. It will take a thorough inspection, looking at every aspects of the beardie that you can see. However, the inspection may take a little time but they are not difficult. You just need to know what to look for. And that is what this bearded dragon care guide is here for.

Check the missing body parts

You remember those stories you were told when you were a kid about how when a lizard loses its tail, it will grow back again? Yeah, that is not the case with our bearded dragon. If the beardie loses a tail or a limb, he will stay that way forever. That’s the truth. Don’t believe if the seller tells you differently. However, it is also not unusual that the bearded dragon loses a little tip of their tails of toes, and choosing to go with their perfect imperfection or not is totally your call. Besides the obvious effects of losing a limb or tail, losing a body part does not affect the animal’s internal health or general wellness.

Look for the obvious: injuries and wounds

You need to check for injuries or wounds of the bearded dragon that may affect his/her future. If there are some wounds, check to see if those are completely healed and whether or not they are infected. Wounds, if not treated carefully can severely affect the beardie’s health in the future.

Head check-up

Unlike cats or dogs, bearded dragon behaviors are not the obvious clue about their health. You need to check their heads to see if they are sick or not. Look for any puss or fluid around their mouths. The presence of puss and constant fluid around their mouths often indicate some bearded dragon illnesses. Besides, you also need to check whether or not their eyes are droopy, that can also be a sign of bad health. And finally, don’t forget to make sure that their mouth and jaw are not swollen or in ill-shape.

Level of Alertness

Because of their lifestyle in the natural habitat, bearded dragons are very alert. A perked up and highly aware of their surrounding bearded dragon is often a healthy bearded dragon. Yet, on the other hand, not even the healthiest dragon can stay fully alert 24 hours a day. They get tired as well. So checking for alertness is a job that takes more effort than just a 5 minutes quick check up.

Here is our checklist for new bearded dragon owners that you should read before buying a bearded dragon.

Creating a habitat for bearded dragons

Bearded dragons are Australian native. They are used to living in hot and dry desert environment. So just having them crawling around in our human air-conditioned environment won’t do them any good. You need to create a living environment that mimic the bearded dragon’s natural habitat in the wild to keep them alive and healthy. That is what this bearded dragon care sheet will show you next: showing you how to create the best environment tank/habitat for your precious bearded dragon?

You could also save you some time and just have a look at our Bearded Dragon Tank Setup Guides. We compiled a complete habitat for you, including the right lighting and the right substrate for your dragon. No need for doing tons of research as a beginner. We did that for you!

Bearded Dragon Tank Size

Like a fish needs a tank, a dog needs a cage, a bearded dragon will also need a tank. The first thing you need to pay attention for when choosing a tank is its size. It is absolutely important to not choose too small of a tank. The tank needs to be big enough for the beardie to be able to not only moves around easily but also has some extra spaces to feel comfortable. Having too small of a tank can cause anxiety issue for the bearded dragon and negatively affect their growth. The bigger the tank is the better. However, there will be some minor downsides of having too large of a tank. While caring for bearded dragons, you will realize that too large of a tank will give more space for the beardie to run around and also for their food (worms, insects, etc…) to hide. Besides, a tank needs to go with a few other accessories. So going big with the tank means having to also go big with all other accessories or else you can’t control the environment in the tank the way you want it to be, especially with the suitable temperature for your bearded dragon.

For the most basics, you always need to choose a rectangular tank. They only need to be about 16 to 20 inches in height. It can be as wide as you want, but it doesn’t have to be very high. Bearded dragons are not really big jumpers so you don’t have to worry. So mostly you just need to concern about the width of the tank. Here are some guidelines regarding size of the dragons and the tank size.

Baby bearded dragon will ideally need about 20 gallon tank size. 10 to 16 inches dragons will require 40 gallons or larger. 16-20 inches dragons need at least 50 gallons minimum. The most ideal sizes for them is 75 gallons. With dragons that are longer than 20 inches, they need to have at least 75 gallons space or even 120 gallons and larger.

Types Of Tanks For Bearded Dragons

Bearded dragons enclosure come in many different types. Besides the most basics shape, there are many options you can choose for your tank. You can go as classic, simple or as fancy, showy as you want.

Classic Glass Aquariums

You will recognize this tank immediately since they are the typical fish tank you often see. They work great for bearded dragons as well. They are by far the most popular because they are cheap, good looking and easy to find. The downsides of this tank are that they are pretty heavy, you probably won’t be able to move it after you set it up, and they don’t hold heat too well.

Melamine Cages

The melamine tanks are great bearded dragon cages. They are often made from melamine board which is a type of wood. You can buy these melamine cages pre-made online or have yourself a DIY project. Melamine boards can be easily purchased from your local hardware store. Because of the white color of the melamine, these cages reflect the light making the beardie’s color looks very vivid and some owners even say these cages make their dragons happier.

PVC Cages

PVC cages are technically just melamine cages but with plastic instead of wood. Made from plastic so these PVS cages are light and easy to move. You can even stack them up on top of each other to save space if you have more than one dragon. Also, since they are made from plastic, you can choose pretty much any color you want as well.

Vision Cages

These are the most ‘professional’ looking cages that the bearded dragon breeders often use to display their dragons. They are made out from molded plastics (not just PVC and you most likely can’t self- build this cage) to give you 100% viewing of the dragon. They are light, easy to clean and often come with bearded dragon lighting built in the cage.

Bearded Dragon Tank Accessories

To build a good bearded dragon terrarium, you will need more than just a tank. You will need other accessories such as lights, flooring, covers, etc…Remember you need to build a mimicking living habitat for your dragon, not just dropping it in the tank. So choosing appropriate bearded dragon supplies and accessories is very important.

Tank Covers and Lids


Zilla Fresh Air Screen Cover

If you have an open top tank or cage, you need to get your tank a lid or else your bearded dragon will escape from the tank. Also, having a lid will help keep other pets, insects or objects getting into the tank and annoy or harm your dragon.

This lid cannot just be a solid piece of plastic or wood panel. You need to let air easily flow in and out of the tank so your dragon can survive. Any type of lid that restrict air flow is a huge no-no for your tank. Having a solid lid also captures the humidity within the tank and for a creature that is used to living in dry environment, the high level of humidity can easily make the dragon sick. Get a specialized screen cover for your tank.

Tank UVB lighting

bearded dragon lights

Bearded dragons are originally from deserts where there is a great amount of sunlight. They rely on the light heavily to stay healthy so you can just leave them next to the window and hope some weak sunlight will be enough for them. You need to install a full spectrum UV light (which emits all types of UV rays like the sun) inside the tank and turn it on for 12 to 14 hours a day for your dragon to be healthy. Besides the lighting, there needs to be another light inside the tank to keep the dragons warm so keep that in mind while installing the lighting to give enough space for both lights later.

The best rated full spectrum light for bearded dragon is the Reptisun 10.0. The light receives many positive reviews from bearded dragon owners claiming that the light does not help with the dragons’ health but also with their color.

Tired of doing your research about the best dragon lighting? Click here for our bearded dragon lighting guide. We compiled the perfect lighting setup for you there!

Bearded Dragon Heat Lamp

As you already know by now, bearded dragons’ natively live in desert environments. They can’t handle cold and prefer warm to hot temperature. His/her surrounded environment in the tank cannot be cooler than 85F and no warmer than 110F. That is definitely not your house’s temperature. So you will need to install a heat lamp inside the tank to provide suitable temperature for your dragon. You will need basking lights in this situation, to be exact.

If you tank is long enough, you can virtually split the tank into two sections: one with the basking light, and one without so the beardie can run between the two for comfort.

Choosing Basking Lights

Basking lights are technically just heat lamps that focus all their heat into one specific section instead of spreading the heat around. It is important to have good basking light since this is vital to your dragon’s health. You often here stuff like: “Do not use just regular light bulbs since these lights need to be turned on for more than 10 hours a day and they can get really hot or even explode and injured the bearded dragon. We recommend only high quality basking light bulbs only.”, but in our opinion all that can happen with the popular reptile heat lamps as well. In fact the most popular basking lights are known for burning out quickly. Read our lighting guide for more information.

Monitoring


Zoo Med Economy Analog Dual Thermometer and Humidity Gauge

You will need to monitor both temperature and humidity in the tank. You don’t have to do any extra step to control the humidity level inside the tank. Yet, you still need to keep an eye on it to solve any issues if the humidity levels suddenly skyrockets. We recommend you to get a temperature and a humidity gauge. If earlier you separated your tank into a with-basking-light and without-basking-light sections then you should get an extra temperature gauge: one for each side of the tank. Or instead of having to buy every gauge separately, you can just get one gauge that displays both temperature and humidity on one screen. Choose whatever works best for you.

Tank Bedding and Flooring


Zoo Med Excavator Clay Burrowing Substrate

You will also need to build a flooring/bedding for the tank. You can’t just let the poor bearded dragon run around on a glass surface. However, you also should not go too far decorating the floor. We recommend you not decorate your floor with loose materials such as sand, wood chips, pebbles or something of the sort because bearded dragons can eat the substrate. What you can do is layering the floor with reptile carpet. If you can’t find any, newspaper, paper towels or butcher paper will work as well. However we really recommend the substrate on the right – The Excavator Clay does the job better than all the other substrates or carpets. If you wanna know more about it and why it might be the best substrate for bearded dragons – Click Here!

Optional: Under Tank Heater


Zoo Med Repti Therm Under Tank Heater

This is not necessary if you already have the basking lights. The under tank heaters allow you to heat up the tank from the bottom. The heat will rises up and keep the whole tank warm. Many owners use these heaters to keep their dragon warm overnight without the lighting from the light. Generally, this is optional. However, they are more important if you live in somewhere very cold or often let your house’s temperature fall below 60F.

Hideouts


 Zoo Med Habba Hut

Living in an exposed tank is hard, even for a bearded dragon. So inside your tank, you should have a hide places so the beardie can have some privacy. The beardie can go into the hide for some privacy, feeling secure or hiding from the lights. They are important for the mental life of your beardie. You can purchase pre-made hides that looks like real rocks in the future or make some yourself. Remember to make or choose hides are large enough for the dragon to move around inside. If the hide is too small, it is uncomfortable and the bearded dragon will not use it.

Hammocks


Zoo Med Mesh Reptile Hammock Small

An extra accessory for a happy life for bearded dragon is a reptile hammock. Bearded dragons love climbing and parching on things. They love having somewhere to do that in their habitat. Getting them a reptile hammock will let them have something to climb on and even rest on. The reptile hammocks are relatively cheap and very easy to install. They have suction cups that can be attached on the tank walls easily. Click here to read further why hammocks are so great for bearded dragons and what you can do with them to train your dragon.

Branches

Besides hammocks, you can also put some wood branches inside the tanks so the beardie has more places to climb. The branches are also great for decoration so you can customize your tank as much as you want so the tank looks natural and the dragon feels more at home. Of course, you should not overdo it because that will leave no more space for the dragon to live. Before putting a branch inside the tank, make sure to clean it thoroughly, and strip off all wood chips and insects inside the branch.

Basking Platforms

A basking platform is a place right underneath the basking light that can hold heat, so the bearded dragon can sunbathe on it for warmth. It can simply be a rock, a tree branch or you can combine by placing the hide right beneath the basking light and the bearded dragon can just rest on top of the hide. If your basking platform is a rock or a hide, choose the dark rocks since they absorb heat better and they will stay warm to the touch. Bearded dragon once laying on it can get warmer.

Backgrounds


Universal rocks Ledge background

The most important point of the bearded dragon tank is that it mimics the reptile’s natural habitat. So you should not let the poor creature has to keep looking at the blank white wall all the time. Get a scenario background for your tank so the bearded dragon can feel like it is living in a desert. Many bearded dragon owners claim that their dragons are happier with a background. Click here to see our favourite backgrounds!

Bearded Dragons Diet

After you are done with setting up the perfect tank for your dragon, let’s move on to the dragon’s food and diet. Feeding the right food with a reasonable amount will help the bearded dragon be happier, lives longer and be healthier in general. This section in bearded dragon care guide will show you what you need to know to feed your dragon best.

The Basics

What can bearded dragons eat? Bearded dragons are omnivores, which mean they can eat both insects and vegetables. Each dragon differently will have its own preference but health-wise, neither type of diet is better or worse for your dragon. Your bearded dragon’s diet will depend mostly on age. Younger dragons will eat more insects and less vegetables, about 80% insects and 20% vegetables. The adult dragons are the opposite: 20% insects and 80% vegetables. Besides the types of food, you also need to pay attention to the size of the food. If you feed your dragon anything wider or larger than the gap between his or her eyes, he or she is very likely to be choked or injured by the piece of food. So you need to make sure the vegetables are cut into small pieces and the insects can’t also be too large.

Young Bearded Dragons Food

Young bearded dragons need lots of nutrients to grow, that is why they will need more insects. Young bearded dragons do not only need more insects, they also prefer insects over vegetables. Like human kids, it is sometimes difficult to make young bearded dragons to eat their vegetables. Every day, you should feed the young reptile as many crickets or insect within 10 to 15 minutes. Do that 3 times per day. After these feeding sessions, remove all uneaten insects out of the tank and leave vegetables inside when they are still awake. You can expect young bearded dragon to eat about 20 to 60 insects a day.

Adult Bearded Dragon Food


Bearded Dragon Diet

Adult dragons eat less insects and more vegetables than the young ones. It is less entertaining to watch but it will save you much money since vegetable diet is much cheaper. The main diet for an adult will mainly be vegetable and once a day insects. You should not overfeed the adults with insects since they can be overweight and unhealthy. You will feed them insects the same way you do with the young ones. Feed them once a day but during the 10 to 15 minutes period, let them eat as many insects as they can. Remove excess insects after the meal.

Insects for Bearded Dragons Diet

Bearded dragon live food should be safe and good for them to consume. However, you bearded dragon will be like your kid. He/she will not know what is good for them and what is not. They will eat just about any insects or bugs that crawls by them. So you need to know what is good for them to keep them healthy. You cannot feed bearded dragons the bugs you randomly find in your house or the ones you buy as baits in Fish shops. These bugs can carry parasites or filled with insecticide. Eating them can be lethal to bearded dragons. Do not risk it. You should only buy bugs that are specifically breed for feeding pets from pet stores or insect breeders online to make sure your bearded dragon will not end up being poisoned.

Safe Insects To Feed

Here is the list of the most popular and easy to find insect feed for your bearded dragons.

  • Black Soldier Fly Larvae
  • Butterworms
  • Crickets
  • Dubia Roaches
  • Earthworms
  • Locusts
  • Redworms
  • Superworms

You can find more information on our article about feeding bearded dragons.

Plants, Vegetables and Fruits Food Option

To be honest, watching your beardie eating vegetables is nowhere near as exciting as watching them eat live insects. However, vegetables and fruits contain necessary vitamins and minerals in order to keep your beardie healthy. That is why even young beardie whose main diet is insects still need to eat a certain amount of vegetables. Not to mention, vegetables are much cheaper and easier to obtain than insects. Bearded dragons can eat both vegetables and fruits.

Safe vegetables for bearded dragons

Here is the list of most popular vegetables for your bearded dragons. You can feed any of these vegetables at any meal of the day for your dragon. There is much less restrictions on feeding vegetables to your dragon than insects.

* Safe fruit for bearded dragons

Compared to vegetables, fruits can be more tasty since they are sweeter and more flavorful. Combining fruits in the meal can encourage some picky bearded dragons to eat more plants in general. Here is the list of popular fruits fed to bearded dragons.

  • Apples
  • Melon
  • Prickly pears
  • Strawberries

Need more information about this topic? No problem! Here are 88 things your bearded dragon is allowed to eat.

Insects, vegetables and fruits to avoid

We have talked about the to-do. Now, let’s not talk about the Not-to-do with feeding your bearded dragons. Not all insects and vegetables will work with feeding bearded dragons. There are some dietary restriction.

  • Insects In the Wild
    We have mentioned about this earlier. Do not feed your bearded dragon insects that you catch yourself from the wild. These insects are not ‘clean.’ They very likely contain parasites and pesticides that can make your dragons very sick.
  • Fireflies or any bugs that glow
    Basically, do not feed any insects that can make itself glow to your bearded dragons. The chemical that cause the glowing in those insects are highly toxic and lethal to your bearded dragons.
  • Avocado
    Avocado is toxic for bearded dragon. Why it is toxic and what is its toxic level for bearded dragon is unknown but if sometimes, it can be dangerous enough to kill your dragon.
  • Poisonous Plants
    There are plants that are toxic for bearded dragons. Some of these plants are easy to guess since they also have toxic effects on human like: marijuana, poison ivy, tobacco, poppy, etc…But there are more plants that can harm your bearded dragon like daffodil, poinsettia, sweet pea, tulip, etc…We highly recommend you to check thoroughly before deciding to feed your dragons with something off-track from the usual diet.

Bearded Dragon Supplements (Vitamins and minerals)

Your bearded dragon needs a stable supply of vitamins and minerals to stay healthy. Here is how you can be sure to give your dragons the right amount of vitamins and minerals.

Vitamin A

Bearded dragons can be vitamin A poisoned. However, it is not common and also not likely to happen if you feed them organic, natural products such as carrots as the main source of vitamin A. Bearded dragons most likely be having too much vitamin A from multivitamins containing synthetic vitamin A. When eating natural food, if the dragon happens to consume too much vitamin A, its body will automatically excrete the excess amount of vitamin A to keep itself healthy. However, with synthetic vitamin A, vitamin A will be absorbed directly to their body without having a chance to ever be excreted, which can cause a toxic level of vitamin A.

Iron

Normally, just the vegetables in their meal is enough iron for the dragons. However, if you bearded dragon is still young and does not eat much vegetables, you should consider getting an iron supplement to maintain a healthy iron level for your pet.

Calcium and Vitamin D3


Zoo Med Reptile Calcium without Vitamin D3

Normally, in the wild, bearded dragons can just get vitamin D3 from sunlight but since we are keeping the dragons indoors all day, we need to supply them with some vitamin D3 and calcium supplement. If your dragon often has contact with direct sunlight or you use a full spectrum UV light inside the tank then you don’t have to give your dragon this supplement.

(It is highly recommended to setup the right lighting instead of giving your dragon this supplement, because you do not have the right lighting for your bearded dragon. Read our lighting guide for more information.)

Calcium and vitamin D3 are very important for bearded dragons since they help develop strong bones and they provide important nutritional value for gravid female dragons (carrying eggs). The bearded dragons cannot consume calcium without vitamin D3 so make sure you give your dragon both

Generally, for baby bearded dragons, you need to feed them the supplement daily. With juvenile bearded dragons, the supplement only needs to be fed 3 to 4 times per week, and with adult dragons, one dose per week is enough.

Most vitamin D3 and calcium supplements will also have phosphorus, and you don’t want your dragon to have too many of those. So before purchasing, choose the supplement that contain low level of phosphorus.

Bearded Dragons Health

Common Bearded Dragon Behavior

Bearded dragons are generally very resilient and healthy animals. However, they can still be sick sometimes. Before looking into potential sickness-related-behaviors, let’s look at a few common behavior of bearded dragons that can cause false alarms for inexperienced owners.

Brumation

Brumation is like semi hibernation routine for bearded dragons. In late fall or early winter, bearded dragons often brumate due to changes in lighting and temperature. During brumation, bearded dragons will become less active, decreased appetite. They may sleep for days and skip multiple meals. They do wake up once in a while to eat and walk around though. However, their main purpose during this period is rest. So you should not wake them up while they brumate since it can make the brumation cycle gets longer and your dragon becomes tired due to lack of proper rest.

Shedding

Bearded dragons can shed from twice a year to once every month depends on their age. Younger dragons shed more often since they need to grow more frequently. When the bearded dragons begin to shred, their eyes will seem more puffy and their color gets dull. Don’t be alarm and mistake those as signs for ill health. If you want to help with the process, you can bath them more often of use warm damp washcloth to exfoliate the already loose skin that do not really attach to their body anymore. Do not peel off or picking at their skin since it may damage the new layer of skin.

Other

Further bearded dragons often time wave or bob their heads. As long as they do not do that all the time, it is absolutely okay. It is a sign of submission (waving) or dominance (head bobbing).

Unusual Bearded Dragon Behavior

Unusual behavior can be caused from internal sickness or health problems. Here are some common health problems that you can recognize from observing your bearded dragon’s behaviors.

Impaction


Bearded Dragon Behavior

If your dragon eats well but has not used the bathroom for several days, it is likely that he/she has impaction issue. Most of the time, impaction issues can be minor and can be helped by gently massaging your bearded dragon’s stomach in a warm bath. If this does not solve the problem, you need to bring your dragon to a vet for more medical attention.

Diarrhea

If diarrhea happens once in a while then it is normal. However, if it happens often, you need to get more medical attention for your dragon since it can be a parasites or worms problems.

Dehydration

Proper hydration is very important for bearded dragon since they live in hot and dry environment. If the skin doesn’t return to normal instantly once you press on their skin, it’s a sign of dehydration.

Droopy eyes

When your bearded dragons’ eyes begin to droop, you need to contact your vet as soon as possible since it can be a kidney issue.

Bearded Dragon Diseases

Sometimes, bearded dragons can have some diseases that are more serious than others. In those cases, you need to seek proper medical attention as soon as possible.

Respiratory infection

If the dragon’s habitat is too cold or too humid, he or she can have a respiratory infection. Symptoms are gaping mouth, breathing difficulties, puffy throat and sometimes whole body and excess mucus around the mouth and nostrils.

Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD)

MBD is the weakening of bones due to poor diet and lack of calcium and vitamin D3. Symptoms are: bumps in the legs and vertical columns of the back and tail, swollen lower jaw, twitches and spasms, and jerky movements.

Mouth Rot

When your bearded dragon has a decreased appetite and there is a yellowish/white substance around the mouth, your bearded dragon likely has mouth rot since their mouth is swollen or some of their teeth are loose.

Bearded Dragon Activities

In order to have a healthy and happy bearded dragon, feeding him or her with good food and setting him/her up with good lighting and temperature is not good enough, you need to find your pet some things to do. Here are 5 activities and toys you can buy for your pet or do with your pet dragon.

Get a ball

We know, we know that a bearded dragon is not a dog, and there is no scientific proof in anyway but apparently bearded dragon seems to like playing with balls. So buying a simple squeezy ball for your dragon to play with is not only good for his/her mood but also good exercise for him/her to move around.

Get long tweezers

Yeah, tweezers are for the weaks. You guys feed your bearded dragons bare hands. Just kidding, that is not true. Feeding your dragons bare handed or with tweezers are just simply choice of preferences. However, you can use a pair of long tweezers to play catch and chase with your dragons. Grab a insect with the tweezer and let your dragon chase you as if he/she actually has to does it in the wild.

Get a mirror

Place a mirror near the bearded dragon tank and you will see he/she start bobbing its head or doing the bearded dragon wave. Bearded dragons are very territorial so seeing its own reflection will make them think there is an intruder in the area. It is healthy to keep the dragon stay in touch with its natural behavior. However, don’t over do it. Make sure to only expose the mirror a few times a day max. Cover it up for the rest of the day.

Get a leash


Adjustable Reptile LeashTM Harness

Imagine you can take your dragon on walks. That is the amazing power of having a leash. Give your dragon a few days to get used to the leash so it won’t hurt itself on the actual walk. But after that, you are free to take him/her to infinity and beyond. Have a look at this awesome leash here.

Swimming

Whether you believe it or not, bearded dragons are great swimmers and they love to swim. You can let your dragon swim in your swimming pool, bathtub, big bucket of water or better yet, a real pond. Just remember to keep your eye on the dragon while he/she swims just in case.

Conclusion

So there it is, a bearded dragon care guide that will definitely help you with your future in owning one or a few bearded dragons. Those are all the most basic knowledge you need to know to not stumble on any surprises or heartaches when you first start. You can slowly enjoy the process while keep your little pet healthy and happy as well. However, this is just a beginner guide. Like anything else in life, practice and time will give you the most experience, and you can wander around more and upgrade yourself.

Now, if you already have a bearded dragon, take good care of the little baby. If not yet, what are you waiting for, go get one and start this wonderful journey with us.

If you need any help, we are always there for you. Just leave us your question in the comment section below and we will respond as fast as we can.