Bearded Dragon Care Sheets
The proper care is essential when it comes to the health and well-being of your bearded dragon.
That’s why we have put together these bearded dragon care sheets. You can use these bearded dragon care sheets as a reference guide until you get the hang of things.
Bearded Dragon Care Sheets
Recommended Bearded Dragon Feeding
Bearded dragons eat a variety of live insect feeders and daily greens! Safe bugs for your beardie include crickets, superworms, mealworms, discoid/Dubia roaches, BSFL (black soldier fly larvae), hornworms, wax worms, and silkworms.
Check out the recommended feeding schedule below.
- Babies eat 2-3 times a day.
- Juveniles eat once a day.
- Adults eat every 2 days.
- Wax worms
Here are some important details to be aware of when feeding your beardie worms.
When Feeding Superworms and Mealworms
Always be careful when feeding superworms and mealworms! Superworms are extremely high in fat and can quickly cause an obesity problem. Mealworms are okay in smaller quantities as well, but they have a harder exoskeleton, so too many too fast has the potential to cause regurgitation or even impaction. These are both safe as long as other bugs are being fed as well!
Everything in moderation & variety is the spice of life!
- Feeder Bugs
Feeder bugs should be no bigger than the space between their eyes! This is the best way to determine if your bugs are an appropriate size for your beardie at any age! Bugs that are too big for them are much harder for them to digest properly.
- Uneaten Bugs
Make sure you remove all uneaten bugs from your beardies enclosure every night; otherwise, they will start to chew on your beardie causing stress and scale damage.
All About Greens for Bearded Dragons!
Greens should be offered DAILY from baby through adulthood. The rule of thumb is 80/20. As babies, they eat 80% protein and 20% greens. As they grow and get older this flips, so they should eat 80% greens and 20% protein. Fruits are okay in moderation, but not required. The staple greens I use include mustard, collards, turnip, arugula, parsley, Bok choy, and kale.
Again, variety is key.
Watch your beardie and trust your instincts. If your beardie is on the thin side and looks like it could gain some weight, feed it as much as it will eat within its feeding schedule. If your beardie is looking a little large and in charge, limit its protein intake to a certain number of bugs each feeding. It’s your animal and you know what it needs more than anybody else.
Calcium for Bearded Dragons
Calcium is super important! Your beardie does not get enough of it to thrive with just its lights, so calcium needs to be supplemented into the diet! We dust one meal per day with calcium d3 which can be found at any pet store or online.
Bearded Dragons Recommended Hydration
Bearded dragons need a weekly soak. You can put them in the bathtub, sink, plastic tote, or whatever works for you. This is when your beardie will drink and hydrate! Most dragons do not benefit from water inside their tank, and it could even raise humidity levels causing lots of problems. We usually do 15–20-minute soaks once a week. With the babies, we tend to offer water more often. Sometimes I also spray their salads with water for added hydration!
Recommended Enclosure and Substrate for Bearded Dragons
There are lots of options out there for beardie enclosures! For starters, avoid the reptile kits found in pet stores that include a tank with a bunch of accessories, most of those things are actually all wrong for your beardie!
You want an enclosure no smaller than 36x18x18 or 40-gallons. You can have it as big as you’d like, as long as you can keep a proper heat gradient (details on temperature below).
For substrate, you will also find many options. Some things that are acceptable include tile, reptile carpet, non-adhesive shelf liner, paper towels, newspaper, vinyl flooring, or a plastic liner. These are all great options for beginners!
Calcium sand or any of those other sands sold in pet stores do more harm than good! If you are an experienced keeper, children’s play sand is acceptable ONLY if all other husbandry is perfected. Message us if you would like some links to flooring options that can be found on Amazon!
Recommended Lighting and Temperature for Bearded Dragons
Getting the lighting and temperature right is probably the MOST important part of raising beardies! Having the proper lights and temperature are a big part of how well your beardie will grow and thrive!
Let’s talk about lighting first.
You will need two lights: a UVB light and a heat light. The best and most effective UVB are the strip lights. They come in either a T5 or a T8 option. The small coil bulbs do not put out enough UVB for your dragon to thrive!
What you are looking for is a T5 10.0 UVB bulb and fixture. This is our recommendation and what we use for all our beardies. If you decide to go with a T8 option, we advise research as they cannot go on top of the tank, and they need to be closer to your beardie. A T8 must go INSIDE of the tank, whereas the T5 can go inside OR can be placed on the top of the tank! The T5’s last for one year and put out exactly what the animal needs! Message us if you need help finding ANYTHING!
During warm seasons, the lights are on for 12-14 hours per day. In the colder months, the lights are only on for 8-10 hours per day! Bearded dragons do not need any type of light at night unless your house gets colder than 65°F. In that case, you would use a CHE (ceramic heat emitter) which lets off no light, only heat! Beardies need darkness in order to get some good rest.
Next, we’ll talk about temperature.
Please refer to the temperature recommendations below.
- Basking temperature 95-110°F
- Babies need temperatures closer to 110°F
- Adults need temperatures closer to 95-105°F on the warm side and 75-85°F on the cool side
These temperatures are all subject to change depending on where you live, as well as the temperature inside and outside of your home! You will find exactly what temperature within these ranges works best at your house for your beardie!
These temperatures are easy to achieve with the proper heat output. You will need a heat dome and basking bulb! The wattage all depends on the enclosure size and what it’s made of, but we’ve had the most success with 50-watt halogen bulbs.
The best, most accurate way to check your temperatures and make sure everything is correct is with a temperature gun! With this, you are able to check both the basking spot and the cool side with one device and you will always know if your beardie is at optimal temperatures.
Relocation Stress When Shipping Bearded Dragons
Your new friend has just been taken away from all its ever known, stuck in a box, and shipped to a new place! Sometimes, they are STRESSED, it all depends on the animal. Some don’t skip a beat, and they go with their life as nothing ever happened. Others will be very upset causing them to not eat for a few days, hide, etc.
Give them time and don’t panic right away! If your temperatures and lighting are correct, and your beardie is in a suitable environment, he/she will warm up to their new home very soon! Handling them right before bedtime is a good way to get them used to you while not adding extra stress.
You Are Now Officially Ready to Be a Proud Bearded Dragon Owner!
That’s it! You are ready to raise a beardie! It may seem intimidating at first, but we promise once you have these basics down, beardies are really simple to care for and so much fun to have around.
If you need information you didn’t find on this bearded dragon care sheet, we would be happy to help you find anything you are looking for, recommend products that work for us, or answer any questions you may have.
And remember you can Contact Us anytime…we are always here for you and your beardie—ALWAYS!