Bearded Dragon Care
The Bearded Dragon requires specialized care to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. These exotic lizards require a specific diet, adequate amount of light and heat. These are important areas that must be covered in order to have a healthy bearded dragon. Bearded dragons used for breeding should also have adequate care to ensure that the females remain healthy for producing and laying their eggs.
Bearded dragon care depends on a proper diet for the bearded dragon, as well as adequate fresh water. Adult bearded dragons may be fed on a daily basis. A healthy bearded dragon diet consists of crickets, Madagascan hissing roaches, mealworms and newborn mice. They should also be fed an adequate amount of vegetables and fruits twice a week. The bearded dragon enjoys kale, collard greens, carrots, bananas, apples and mustard greens. Bearded dragons should also be fed on a consistent basis. This is especially true for hatchling bearded dragons. When the bearded dragon is hungry, it is not uncommon for them to bite off a tail of their fellow bearded dragons.
To ensure there is enough vitamins the bearded dragon’s diet, owners should supplement the diet with vitamins and mineral supplements. These vitamins and minerals can be added to the vegetables and fruits. During the breeding season, female bearded dragons should be rich in calcium and vitamins. Calcium supplements may be purchased and dusted on food. Adequate calcium will ensure that females are able to maintain proper health during egg lying, as eggs require a large amount of calcium. This calcium will be pulled from the female’s bones.
Exposure to sunlight is very important for proper bearded dragon care. Natural sunlight is important in bearded dragon care. The bearded dragon should be exposed at least three times per week. Enclosures should be well ventilated to ensure that the bearded dragon does not overheat in the sunlight. Shade is also important and the bearded dragon should have the option of moving in and out of natural sunlight. Dragons will benefit from thirty minutes, three times per week. Indoor enclosures should include a high quality full-spectrum light as well. These lights, however, will not replace the important sunlight that the bearded dragon requires. Natural sunlight will help the bearded dragon to produce natural Vitamin D, which is important to proper bone health. Indoor enclosures should also contain a basking light at one end of the cage. The temperature should reach around ninety degrees and the rest of the cage should remain a consistent seventy-five degrees.
The bearded dragon’s enclosure should be lined with a natural substrate such as peat moss. Peat moss is natural and is safe for the bearded dragon to consume and also maintains adequate moisture. Peat moss is also excellent for absorbing odours. Peat moss should be soaked with water and packed into the bottom of the enclosure. The peat moss should then be allowed to dry under a heat lamp or in the sun. Once dry, peat moss will dry into a hard surface.
To insure that your bearded dragon is properly hydrated, the bearded dragon should have access to adequate water. Bearded dragons may also be soaked in about half an inch of water for twenty minutes once a week. This will help to ensure that your bearded dragon remains hydrated as well as clean. Soaking the dragon is a good way of cleaning faeces off of the bearded dragon. They will also enjoy having the chance to splash around a bit as well.
As a reptile owner, it is important that you remain healthy as well. Following specific hygiene patterns will ensure that you do not catch any diseases that reptiles are prone to having. As with other reptiles, the Bearded Dragon can be a non-symptomatic carrier of Salmonella. Salmonella can be lethal to humans, especially children. Because of this it is important that you take measures to minimize the risk of catching Salmonella. Do not kiss your dragon and always wash your hands with soap or use a hand disinfectant. Disinfect any areas you used to clean cages, dishes, etc. If you use any sponges or scrubbers for cage cleaning, you should have a different set for you dragon and a set for your own dishes. All utensils used should be disinfected in 100% bleach. Children may also be more susceptible to catching Salmonella than adults and special care should be taken when they handle reptiles. If you are pregnant or have an child with an immune suppressing disease or disorder, it is not recommended that you own a reptile. If you become pregnant, you may need someone else to handle and clean your reptile’s enclosure.
Owning a bearded dragon can be a fun and rewarding experience for the reptile lover. Taking proper care of your dragon and using proper hygiene techniques will ensure that your dragon is healthy and happy.
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