How to Care for Your Bearded Dragon

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Saahil Babur, Author

Have you ever considered owning an exotic animal? If so, you are not alone. The trendiness of exotic animals appears to be on the rise, and one of the most popular of those pets are bearded dragons.

The popularity of bearded dragons has greatly increased over the last twenty years. As exotic pet ownership increases, it is important to know how to properly take care of them.


When you first find yourself purchasing your new lizard friend, you will have to provide it with proper living arrangements.

For your bearded dragon, you will need a glass tank. Your tank will need proper lighting. Additionally, though these tanks range in size, a 40-75 gallon tank will do. Bearded dragons need a home that resembles a habitat, so make sure to add décor, desert backgrounds, and rock dens.

Diet and Nutrition

Providing proper nutrition and access to water is essential to keeping your scaly pet alive. Include shallow bowls containing easily accessible clean water in its tank. You will also need to obtain spray bottles to mist beardies, as they are good for keeping them hydrated.

As for their diet, bearded dragons eat a variety of insects and vegetables. Acceptable insects to feed your pet includes crickets, phoenix worms, horn worms, butter worms, and super worms. Acceptable greens include collard greens, turnip greens, squash, carrots, kale, Brussels sprouts, mangoes, and okra. Your dragon should be getting essential nutrients, and may potentially need to take vitamins.

Beware of foods that bearded dragons cannot eat. Foods to avoid include lettuce, spinach, avocado, wild-caught insects, citrus fruits, and rhubarb.

Interacting with Your Dragon

Now that you know how to feed it, we can discuss how to treat it. When owning a bearded dragon, you will obviously pick it up, right? Hold on, first you need to take some proper steps to keep it safe and comfortable.

Always wash your hands before touching them. Approach your dragon slowly, and remain calm and gentle. Do not reach from above, and hold them with the palm of your hand.

After playing with your beardie, wash your hands. For your safety (and everyone else’s), washing hands removes bacteria and prevents salmonella contamination.

Keeping Your Beardie Healthy

As for the health of your dragon, bathing is essential.

To do so, fill a tank with shallow water. Use cups to pour water on your pet. Make sure that the water is the right temperature. Do not use soap. Remove old skin. Finally, dry and warm your beardie.

In order to keep your pet’s environment healthy, you need to clean its tank. When cleaning the bearded dragon’s tank, always remove any waste or uneaten food daily. Clean hard surfaces once a week, and replace accessories once a month.

Many bearded dragons go through a brumation period in the winter, much like a hibernation state for bears. Beardies that are active and alert are healthy, but brumation is a natural process.

In Case of Emergencies

“First, Google what is possibly wrong. Second, if it is serious, take it to an exotic animal vet. Third, if not [a] major [issue], take care [of it] at home and let [the issue] pass by,” says Arden Plett, a bearded dragon owner.