Our third son had asked for a Bearded Dragon for ages. He has read so many books on reptiles and is a really mature and responsible young lad. When I saw one on Facebook for sale for £50 including all the set up I decided to see if he wanted to spend his money on one – I never realised how complicated such an easy to care for pet could be – because there is just so much conflicting information.
The Bearded Dragon Set Up
Firstly we are lucky that it came with everything it needs which is great for helping him to get used to everything. The Bearded Dragon needs a hot area (with lamps and lights), a cool area, a rock to climb on/hide underneath and some pretend greens – as well as a feeding bowl. This came complete with the Bearded Dragon – and the sand that lines the floor. The viv we have is 3ft and the Bearded Dragon still a juvenile – but this will need to be replaced as he grows to at least 4ft. We heard that the bulbs need replacing but apparently it is really important to change the UV light yearly too. That if he seems to be lethargic and off his food this could be the reason why. Our son also bought a separate water bowl because we didn’t feel that his Bearded Dragon was getting enough water by squirting it on the walls/on his nose and if too much water is put into the big bowl it can raise the humidity.
Feeding The Bearded Dragon
There is such conflicting information on this and I think that every Bearded Dragon is different. We believe that our son’s Bearded Dragon is around a year old and apparently they need more live food than greens to help them grow. We got these milo worms and he brought them back up. We discovered that really they are too big and have since got him hoppers.
It is best to try to get him to chase them and you can coat them in this protein powder. The guy in the shop said to open the hoppers in the viv so they couldn’t escape and just get used to feeding before dipping them in powder. Once the Bearded Dragon knew what they were though this proved difficult! It was amazing how still they were when he was around though and the hoppers played dead.
Bearded Dragons do not need feeding every day as in the wild they would have to hunt for food. As he gets older then he will need to up the greens/salad but again this is conflicting with some people saying give it him daily.
Handling The Bearded Dragon
To get the most out of the Bearded Dragon is to interact with him. We are still really new to it all and I am frightened of my own shadow when it comes to pets as the only thing I was allowed was goldfish. I have been encouraging our son to touch his Bearded Dragon build up confidence getting him out. Bearded Dragons like the warmth from our skin. We read that it is important not to pick him up from above or he thinks he is being attacked – so go from the front or the side. It is clear he also does not appreciate his tail being held.
The Bearded Dragon wasn’t used to been out too much in his previous home as there were a lot of small children. Next our son wants to give his Bearded Dragon a bath – which he says he needs to do because it has shed some skin.We have bought some ice-cream in order to have a tub big enough for him, but he has to make sure the water isn’t too deep.
I had also bought our son a book on Bearded Dragons and I am really proud of how seriously he is taking his responsibilities. He is listening to advice (the guy at our local pet store was absolutely amazing) and generally getting to know his new pet so he can understand and meet his needs: Like when he indicates that he wants to come out and go back in to the viv.
Have you had a Bearded Dragon? Do you have any advice?