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Bearded Dragon Care for Great Health

February 21, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 155

Bearded dragons can make wonderful pets, but it's crucial that you understand just what caring for one entails, in order to give it a happy and healthy life. Given that these unique creatures do require quite a bit of upkeep, daily care can be a bit tricky if you haven't previously owned a bearded dragon. You'll need to make sure that their housing is kept at the right temperature, that their dietary needs are met, and that their habitat is always clean. You will also need to recognize the signs of an ill bearded dragon, so that you are able to determine whether or not a vet is required.

Enclosure Temperatures and Lighting Conditions. It's important that your bearded dragon receives an adequate amount of light each day (approximately 12 to 14 hours).There are a variety of fluorescent bulbs which are made specifically for reptilian habitats, and you should choose one that spans the entire length of the habitat. You must also provide a basking area within your enclosure, which shouldn't exceed 110 degrees Fahrenheit. You can buy a heat emitter to serve this purpose, or simply use a household light bulb. There should also be a cooler area within the enclosure that is around 85 degrees during the day and doesn't drop below 65 degrees during the night. If you think that the temperature might drop below these specified temps, then you may want to consider purchasing a tank heater to use at night. Temperature and humidity are not something you can guess - it is important to get a good gauge and check the habitat often.

Daily Dietary Needs of a Bearded Dragon. A bearded dragon's diet consists of vegetables, fruits, leafy greens, and insects. It's diet should only be made up of around 25% fruits, vegetables, and greens, with insects being the main nutritional staple. Ideal insects include: crickets, various types of worms, pinky mice, and cockroaches. Make sure to buy freshly molted insects, and coat them with a calcium supplement a few times a week. When it comes to fruits, strawberries with the seeds removed, as well as grapes, melon, and apples are good choices. It's important to note that your bearded dragon's diet should only include about 10% fruits though. Vegetables and leafy greens that are suitable are: broccoli, bell peppers, zucchini, green beans, parsley, kale, and escarole. Iceberg lettuce should never be given to bearded dragons. Fresh water should also be provided on a daily basis.

Hygiene and Habitat Upkeep. In order to keep your beardie healthy and happy, it's a good idea to bathe them once a week in a shallow, lukewarm bath. Remember to disinfect the tub or sink when you're through, however, as bearded dragons may defecate within the water. To clean the enclosure and food dishes, mix ¼ cup of bleach with a gallon of water and pour some of the mixture into a spray bottle. Spray the surfaces and let sit for around 15 minutes, before wiping off with a rag or towel until you can no longer smell bleach. Make sure your bearded dragon is safe in another enclosure before you begin cleaning so he is not exposed to any chemicals.

Signs of Ill Health to Look Out For. There are a number of things that you should be on the look out for to determine if your bearded dragon is ill. If they don't seem to have an appetite, are lethargic, are having difficulty breathing, or their eyes appear sunken in, then you should take your bearded dragon to a vet immediately. Also, if there is any discharge coming from their mouth or nostrils, or their feces has an odd smell or texture, then these are additional reasons to seek immediate medical help.

The daily care of your bearded dragon is a crucial part of ownership. If you do not feel as though you have the time or resources to adequately care for your new pet, then you should probably consider holding off on adopting one until you feel that you are ready to make a commitment to ensuring that they receive the necessary care.

With the right care your bearded dragon will be a wonderful pet and great addition to your family. I've devoted a website to the basics so you can get off to the right start - and have a resource. Please visit and bookmark the site - you'll want to visit frequently as we offer new free reports, and update information frequently.

Source: EzineArticles
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