Lethbridge Pets Expert -Sandra

KEEPING YOUR PET BEARDED DRAGON

The bearded dragon came by his name because of the darkened patch under his chin, resembling a beard. When puffed out, the beard is quite a unique feature, with his appearance bearing a striking resemblance to prehistoric dinosaurs. These reptiles are hardy, resilient and have an even temperament, making them a favourite among reptile lovers. The bearded dragon has an exceptional personality and will happily greet their owner each time they enter the room. Unlike many other reptiles, they love to be handled, which is ideal, even for the beginning reptile enthusiast.

One, Two or More? Bearded dragons enjoy company; it is not uncommon to find them piled one on top of each other. Caution should be taken when housing unsexed bearded dragons together, since males may become very territorial and will spar if kept in the same enclosure.

Natural Habitat-Bearded dragons are from the family Agamidae. The bearded dragon, most commonly kept as a pet, is the Inland Bearded Dragon. All bearded dragons originate from Australia. It is no wonder that your bearded dragon requires a warm, dry enclosure that resembles native Australia. Bearded dragons are desert dwellers that typically reach lengths of 18 – 23 inches (46 – 58 cm), so they will require a roomy, dry land enclosure, which is no smaller than 4 feet (1.2 m) long. They will also need many climbing and hiding areas to be completely comfortable.

Food Sources- Bearded dragons are omnivorous, which means they feed on both animal and vegetable substances. Special care must be taken with juveniles. For example, juvenile beardies should not be given mealworms. Crickets (the cricket should not exceed the distance between the eyes of your baby beardie), silk worms and phoenix worms are good choices for small beardies and must be offered daily. As well, 20–30% of your baby beardie’s diet must be made up of dark, leafy vegetables (no iceburg lettuce or spinach and not too much fruit) cut into reasonable, bite-sized pieces.

Watering – Much of Australia is hot and dry, which means the animals living there have adapted to their environment. Therefore, bearded dragons do not seem to drink large quantities of water. For this reason, many owners spend a lot of time watching and waiting for their bearded dragon to drink.

Come in today and let one of our Pet Experts® tell you all about these amazing animals!

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