How To Care For Your Dragon

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Back to Article
Back to Article

How To Care For Your Dragon

Advertisement


Bearded Facts

The bearded dragon or Pogona Vitticepts is the most widely known of the genus Pogona, which also includes the Thorny Devil and the Frilled Lizard; there are 8 species in total. The name “bearded” refers to the underside of the throat that will puff out and turn black when the dragon feels threatened. Males will also turn their beards black to attract a female and use it as a warning to other males.

DSC_0474reBearded Dragons are native only to Australia and it has been illegal to export native wildlife since the 1960s. All pet bearded dragons today have been bred in captivity. It is suspected that the founding population of breeding pet bearded dragons, breeders, seen outside of Australia today was smuggled out of the country between 1974 and 1990. Over the decades selective breeding has produced a number of “morphs” (the different “styles” or forms) including Italian Leatherback, Silkback, Hypomelanistic (a.k.a. hypo), and Translucent.
Bearded dragons are viewed as easy beginner reptiles for those interested in owning a cold blooded pet. However, these reptiles can live to be 15 years old, if properly taken care of, so it is a long term commitment. To properly care for your dragon some basic things are needed: a tank or terrarium, a heating pad, heat lamp (day and night bulbs), a UVB/UVA light (ultraviolet), proper balanced diet, a basking spot, water bowl, along wit a spray bottle for frequent misting, and a form of shelter for hiding. An important part of setting up the tank, is to have a warm side and a cool side; the warm side having the basking heat lamp and the heating pad, and the cool side typically having the water dish.
 DSC_0465reFor hatchling and juvenile dragons a 20 gallon tank is adequate, however, adults need at least a 40 gallon tank. If there is a desire to own two dragons and put them in the same tank, at least a 55 gallon tank is recommended. Two males should never be placed together, as they will fight and often wound each other. There is the possibly that one will kill the other. Two females however, are typically okay to keep together; they will develop a hierarchy where one is dominant over the other. A male and female can be kept together, if they are a breeding pair. The male can still be aggressive and harm the female, in such cases, the female should be kept separate except when mating.

How to feed your dragon
Bearded dragons in the wild are opportunistic omnivores. Often living in desert habitats, they cannot afford to be picky eaters. In captivity the staple diet is crickets, mealworms, lettuce, and collared greens. Bearded dragons can also be fed superworms, wax wormsCSC_0486, hornworms, grasshoppers, bell peppers, and carrots. A crucial aspect of feeding your dragon is making sure the food is not too big. If the food is too big, it can cause impaction which can lead to death. You should not feed your dragon food that is wider than the space between their eyes. This is especially important in hatchlings as they have not learned to chew well yet. With older juvenile and adult dragons the food can be a bit larger as they should know how to chew their food up well.
Bearded dragons make wonderful pets for those willing to make the commitment. They are one of the best starter reptiles, especially because they are active during the day. These fun reptiles make a wonderful companion. If you give it the proper love and care, your dragon can be a best friend for many years.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Kate Ratliff, Author

Kate is an enthusiastic 12th grader, most interested in animals and nature. She is a girl’s lacrosse player and a student of martial arts. Kate aspires...

Tyler Vetter, Writer

Tyler is a geeky junior who does geeky things. He play’s Magic The Gathering along with a variety of other video games. Tyler often spends is free time...

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




*

Navigate Left
  • How To Care For Your Dragon

    Showcase

    2018 Bijou Graduation Ceremony

  • How To Care For Your Dragon

    Showcase

    Recycling Initiative at Bijou

  • How To Care For Your Dragon

    Career Pathways

    FCCLA Competition

  • How To Care For Your Dragon

    Schools

    Teens, Phones, and Focus

  • How To Care For Your Dragon

    Showcase

    Juniors Graduating Early

  • How To Care For Your Dragon

    Showcase

    Library Maker Space

  • How To Care For Your Dragon

    News

    End Of Year Barbecue: What You Need To Know

  • How To Care For Your Dragon

    Opinion & Editorial

    Should Roy J. Wasson Academic Campus Schools Start Later?

  • How To Care For Your Dragon

    News

    Students Join National Walk Out

  • How To Care For Your Dragon

    Showcase

    Parker Earns Full Ride Scholarship

Navigate Right
How To Care For Your Dragon