Baby Bearded Dragon – Diet and Care!
12 May, 2017
If you or your children want to bring a lizard home, you might consider the Baby Bearded Dragon. These amiable lizards are one of the few species that are naturally tame which makes them great pets. The spiny “beard” from which the lizard gets its common name may also be extended when they become alarmed. They even have been known to raise their arms to say hello!
Bearded dragons can be found in many pet stores
Bearded dragons are commonly available at stores, reptile expos and breeders’ websites. Captive-bred specimens are highly recommended because they are usually healthier and more acclimated to captivity than wild-caught animals. They come in various colors.
The ideal habitat for your baby bearded dragon
A 75-gallon aquarium or equal-sized enclosure is OK for one or two adult dragons. Screening should be used for proper ventilation, whether as a top on an aquarium enclosure or in the construction of a custom enclosure. During warm weather bearded dragons can be kept in outdoor cages. Be sure the outdoor enclosure provides both sunny basking areas and shady retreats, as well as shelter from rain. Having access to the sun outdoors provides healthy UV. Bearded dragons like to climb, so some sturdy branches are welcome in their enclosures.
Check out this video that gives you some of the basics:
What to feed your baby bearded dragon
Bearded Dragons do a lot of growing from their first day to about a year old with the majority of that growth happening while they are still quite young. They need to be fed almost constantly. Ideally, you want to be able to offer a small feeding of a protein source such as pin-head to baby crickets twice daily and a small portion of greens daily to every other day.
If you have crickets, it’s ideal to put the crickets or worms in a bag with a little bit of calcium powder to cover them in a nice light coating. This will help your dragon grow as well as get them in the habit of eating food covered in the powder.
When feeding, prepare your greens and size your food options appropriately. You want to feed your dragon on a little bit. Anything larger and you risk feeding your dragon something it may not be able to swallow.
How to handle your baby bearded dragon
When picking up a baby bearded dragon, especially at very young ages, try and scoop them into a palm. You can usually coerce them into your palm and they will climb in when they feel the heat of your hand near them. Try not to pick up a baby bearded dragons by his or her tail. This seems like the easiest method but with their tiny size the strain could be harmful to their bodies. Be patient and understand that like any young pet, it is hard for them to stay still.
Your enclosure should not have sand as your baby bearded dragon might swallow it
Sand which is typically used for other reptiles can cause impaction in your dragon and lead to his or her demise. As your dragon eats, there is always a chance of them catching a mouthful of sand. Impaction is basically the buildup of something hard to digest such as sand in the dragon’s stomach then intestines and finally bowel system which leads to an inability to pass waste which can ultimately end up killing a dragon.
Instead try using the reptile carpets, newspaper, paper towels or something similar to minimize the risk of unwanted soils being digested. You can even use cut up old towels or rags or anything else that is almost impossible to digest.
These are just the basics to get you started. You will be surprised at just how friendly these cute lizards are!