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How to Keep Your Bearded Dragon a Happy Reptile

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Bearded dragons are a popular choice for those who want a reptilian pet. With a docile temperament and easy-going nature, these lizards are a great choice for people who are new to caring for reptiles. If you recently adopted a bearded dragon or are thinking of getting one, Blue Lake Animal Hospital can help you ensure your pet is properly cared for. Here are our top tips for helping your bearded dragon stay happy and healthy. 

Choose the Right Housing

All pets need proper shelter. Smaller pets especially need the right enclosure for their safety and emotional health. In order to keep your bearded dragon comfortable, you’ll need to keep it in an enclosure that recreates its natural environment. Choose a large glass vivarium with a screen at the top. The measurements should be about six feet long, two feet in width and around three feet high. A bearded dragon’s natural habitat contains wood, branches and rocks where they can hide if needed. 


Bearded dragons are diurnal, meaning they are most active in the daytime. Ideally, your pet should receive 12 hours of daylight in total. Ultraviolet lights are also important for keeping your bearded dragon warm. A UVB bulb is essential to maintaining a properly heated environment. Monitor its light exposure using a UV radiometer. Your lizard will happily bask under a 40 to 75-watt infrared bulb as well. Be sure to turn off the lights at night to provide around 12 hours of darkness. 

Provide a Well-Rounded Diet

Nutrition is a critical part of an animal’s well-being. Bearded dragons need a varied diet and plenty of water for maximum health. They are omnivores, so you’ll need to provide vegetables and insects for their meals. Brown crickets are a standard choice, and other insects like mealworms make for an excellent treat. Kale, peppers and carrots are all appealing to bearded dragons. Consider grating the vegetables for different textures. Furthermore, bearded dragons are cold-blooded, meaning they need to be warm before they can properly digest their meal. Let your reptile heat up a bit under its lights before giving it breakfast. 

Avoid Overcrowding Your Bearded Dragon

Bearded dragons feel best when they have plenty of space to maneuver. A large tank is important so they can grow comfortably. Generally, you should keep only one bearded dragon in a vivarium. Be sure to place its vivarium somewhere quiet and away from other pets to keep it from getting stressed out. As your bearded dragon grows, you may need to remove accessories in the vivarium so it has enough room. 

Discuss Your Pet’s Needs With a Veterinarian

Bearded dragons make wonderful pets, and with a little knowledge of how to care for them, your reptile will be happy for years to come. Blue Lake Animal Hospital is here for you when you need our advice. We can help you determine a suitable diet and perform regular checkups to ensure your pet is healthy. Call our office today to begin. 

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