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20.07.2014
There are eight species of Bearded Dragons but the most popular one is the Inland or Central Bearded Dragon (Pogona vitticeps), from the arid to semi-arid southeastern parts of Australia, which we will be discussing in this handout. We also offer free, instant access to over 1,500 related articles on your pet's health including preventive medicine, common and not so common diseases, and even informative case studies. Bearded dragons do not require grooming, however, they will enjoy a shower now and then; a light misting with water will also help keep the skin humidified to make it easier to shed. Bearded dragons should be fed a combination of live bugs and vegetables along with some fruits. If you provide a large enough home for the beardie it should give itself adequate exercise all on its own. A male and a female dragon should not be kept together until they're at least 2 years old, and then ONLY if you intend to breed. The Inland Bearded Dragon, Pogona vitticeps, is native to eastern continental Australia, but most of the beardies in pet stores are now captive bred. The Material contained herein may not be reproduced without the prior written approval of the author. Appropriately sized crickets or roaches must be offered to baby and juvenile dragons two to three times per day. Gut loading your live feeders Live food is only beneficial if the prey itself has good nutritious food to eat. Processed Meats - There is very little for a dragon to gain from inside turkey, ham, chicken, beef and any other meat that you can think of. Dried pet food - This is poisonous to them and will lead to dehydration and severe calcium deficiency. Spinach - Calcium binds with spinach and that is why it should be avoided because the bearded dragon cannot digest it.
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With over 600 hospitals and 1,800 fully qualified, dedicated and compassionate veterinarians, we strive to give your pet the very best in medical care. With one of the best temperaments of all lizards, they are generally docile, and many seem to actually enjoy being handled.
Other housing that is sometimes used are custom wood cages (which can be hard to clean), cages made from molded plastic, which can be pricey but they are lightweight and easy to clean. Vegetables need to make up a significant part of your dragon's diet: 10-25% for hatchlings and juveniles, 30-50% for an adult.
Given the proper food and care a bearded dragon can live out its life without facing any problems. Before the age of two years a female dragon's bones are not developed enough to lose the calcium and pass the eggs easily. The UV lights gives out very little heat, therefore the end with the UV light will be the cooler end of the tank. At first, they may seem scary but at the same time, one will find that they are interesting as they may appear.
This can be usually located in the eastern and southern parts of Australia and in contrast to the other breeds of bearded dragons; this type is not often preferred by pet enthusiasts.
If the Coastal Bearded Dragon can easily be located in the eastern coast of Australia, this on the other hand usually lives around Queensland, most on the central area.
Like the Inland bearded dragon which has a very distinctive spot, the Coastal, which is hard to tame, and the Rankin dragon that lives in Queensland. With this post we are going to have a look at a list of safe foods that can be fed to your bearded dragon. Fish is like a farm of bacteria and parasites so it is not a good choice as it is also poisonous to your bearded dragon. This is not so bad for bearded dragons but is just a waste of your bearded dragon’s digestive system because it is mostly water. Not good toward boarding, grooming, prescription and non-prescription medication, and retail items. They are diurnal (up during the day and sleep at night), which means you can watch them during the day. A wide variety is the key, however crickets and dark leafy greens should be two of the main choices especially for babies. Emerging from different parts of the globe, they are somewhat adorable despite the fact that they may look intimidating. This type is the rarest of all the existing bearded dragons in the world; therefore it is very difficult to acquire even a single Rankin Dragon. Do not forget that meat has been prepared with oils and preservatives and this is also toxic.
They will watch your every move, sometimes pacing their tank as if begging for attention and to be fed (they love to eat!). Keeping a baby in a larger area can sometimes cause problems as the baby may have a hard time finding his food, water, basking sites and shelters.
The live food consists of commercially-bred crickets, meal worms, wax worms, and juvenile Madagascar hissing cockroaches, which can usually be found in your local pet store. Inland dragons are rather chosen because they are easier to tame compared to the coastal ones, and they are also larger in terms of size.


Their spikes make them look like dinosaurs, however, they are usually quite tame and easy to handle. Other health problems can include mites, internal parasites, respiratory infections, gastroenteric infections, pseudomona, coccidia, egg-binding, partial paralysis associated with hind leg extension.
With these differences, there are several types of bearded dragons that fit every animal lover, breeders, hobbyists and the like. Pet enthusiasts are utterly fascinated with its breeding characteristics, making them attractive for breeders to hold them captive. Vegetables and greens must be chopped up in small pieces because if not they may end up dragging the veggies around, this can be funny to us, but frustrating to them. Make sure that you feed your insects, worms and roaches safe, nutritious foods from the list that you bearded dragon can eat as well. Young, growing Bearded Dragons tend to be primarily carnivores and adults tend to be herbivorous. They can even make good pets for children, if properly supervised, and their relatively small size makes them very manageable. The smallest enclosure for one or two adult bearded dragons is either a 4-foot x 2-foot tank or a 6-foot x 18-inch tank.
Outdoor bugs may have been exposed to pesticides; even if you do not use pesticides, your neighbor might, which may kill your bearded dragon.
If you house several baby bearded dragons together with an inadequate food supply available, they may start to nip each other’s tails or toes and fingers. Among all other types, the coastal bearded dragon appears to have a very strong physical structure, higher resistance to temperature change, including coldness and high levels of moisture in the environment. The demand for them is very high and likewise cheap, so they are made available in the market.
As a guideline, depending on the age, your Bearded Dragon's diet should be about 50% plant-based material and 50% animal-based material. A single adult should not be kept in a tank smaller than a standard 55-gallon (48-inch x13-inch) tank. Green vegetables and fruits can be offered in appropriate-sized pieces, usually finely chopped is best. They do not regenerate their tail or their toes or fingers if lost, however infections usually do not result. Inland bearded dragons have a very obvious spot in the neck area, making it easy to distinguish them from the other types. Bearded dragons exist all throughout central Australian desert, and in regions where food is not abundant. A good rule of thumb is to chop veggies and fruits no larger than the space between the dragon’s eyes. A couple of weeks before the dragon is due to lay their eggs a cat litter type tray of bird sand and peat with a piece of bark covering the top should be placed in with the bearded. Dragons are primarily omnivorous and are adept to digest many food sources.What Do Bearded Dragons EatBearded dragons predominantly feed on vegetables, non-citrus fruits, leafy greens, and also insects. Wood chip bedding is not always recommended as the crickets will find places to hide, making it difficult for the beardie to find its food. Leafy greens high in calcium should be offered such as kale, arugula, collard and mustard greens, parsley, dandelion greens and flowers, endives, radish, carrot and turnip tops, escarole and chicory endive. They also supplement their diet with gastropods (seemingly from 40 to 75% of their diet contains protein), fruits, berries, and other greenery.
These hiding crickets will then come out during the night hours while your beardie is trying to sleep, harass him and stress him out. Finely chopped squash, corn, peas, carrots (shredded), sweet potato, cucumber, zucchini, green peppers, chard, chopped fruit such as cantaloupe, apple, blueberries, peaches, pears, grapes, plums, raspberries can also be fed. In captivity, leafy dragons are very fond of eating chopped greens such as beet, mustard, green cabbage, kale, little escarole, and collard. Sand and fine gravel are not only their natural desert bedding but are also easy to keep clean. Plants from fields and lawns that have not been treated with pesticides and herbicides can be fed as well. Newly hatched dragons should be left in the incubator for a period of 24 hours to allow the yolk sac to be absorbed. Some owners also suggest blossoms and dandelion leaves together with nasturtiums which is good. Avoid fiber-rich, nutrient-poor and vitamin-deficient light green vegetables, including iceberg or head lettuce and celery; their composition is mainly fiber and water with little nutrient value. Some types of grass and petals from rose blossoms, hibiscus and calendula can be offered as a treat along with finely chopped fruits such as apples. The inner light colored parts of some vegetables are less nutritious than the darker green outer leaves. Not all insects are suitable for the dragon’s health such as a mealworm which is the common feeder and it has a tough chitin exoskeleton which is, of course difficult for the dragons to consume. Some also like to use newspaper or even rabbit pellets or alfalfa pellets, but you must watch so that it doesn't mold if it gets wet. Acceptable vegetables that should represent a high percentage of the diet include collard greens, beet greens, mustard greens, broccoli turnip greens, alfalfa hay or chow, bok choy, kale, parsley, Swiss chard, watercress, clover, red or green cabbage, savory, cilantro, kohlrabi, bell peppers, green beans, escarole and dandelion.


Nor should iceberg lettuce be fed; iceberg lettuce has very little nutrition and may lead to the runs causing dehydration. A lesser percentage of the diet can include cactus, various squash, sprouts, cooked sweet potato, parsnips, okra, cucumber, asparagus, mushrooms, carrots, peas and corn.
You can, however, serve your dragon with Superworms and waxworms but this should be fed sparingly since they are highly fatty.Some dragons can only fancy eating specific items out of their regular offerings.
Fruit can include apples, pears, bananas (with skin), mango, grapes, star fruit, raisins, peaches, tomato, guava, kiwis, and melons. The specific selection might be difficult when vegetables are finely chopped or mixed in a food processor. All food that is offered should be smaller in width than the dragon’s mouth to avoid choking and blockage while digesting. Fruits that are particularly healthy include figs (which contain high calcium), apricots, dates, raspberries and strawberries. The young dragons might insist on eating large food items like beetles or fruit-chunks but these are not good for them as they can lead to tremors, hind leg paralysis, or tetanic shocks in them. Crickets and mealworms purchased from the pet store are usually not high in nutrients directly from the pet store.
Fruits may be eaten preferentially, are generally mineral poor and should perhaps be used sparingly as top dressing.
Some breeders also do not recommend vegetables for the young dragons but we feel that the dragon must rely on veggies from the very first day. Some choose to use a heat pad, however beardies like to bask in the sun and a heat lamp provides a good replica of the sun.
As a treat, flowers such as geraniums, carnations, dandelions, hibiscus, nasturtiums and roses may be offered. This is only due to the fact they become used to eating these greens all throughout their lives. If you place a rock under the lamp, the lamp will also heat the rock which will also warm up the dragon’s underside. Gutloading means you feed your mealies and crickets a high nutrition diet 24 hours before feeding them to your dragon.
Things such as dark greens, oranges, carrots, potatoes for moisture, and a mixture of baby cereal are some examples of things that should be fed to your crickets and mealies before feeding them to your dragon.
Bearded dragons are primarily desert dwellers, however, they do spend the hottest part of the days in relatively cool areas; as with all desert animals, too much heat can be just as dangerous as too little. You can also purchase a product called Gutload from the pet store which is loaded with nutrients that will be passed on to your dragon. Reply lakestral August 25, 2014 at 1:11 am If monarch caterpillers eat curled parsley or carrot tops can my bearded dragons eat them. UV light activates the synthesis of vitamin D3, which is a prerequisite for the absorption of calcium and other minerals from the diet. Since we can not eat red Lilly beetles without illness, it is likely your beardies could not eat them either.
Remember that glass filters out virtually ALL of the beneficial UV rays needed by reptiles for vitamin D3 conversion.
Always place your fixtures above the tank, preferably on the screen, to allow the light to pass with no filtering! Keep all lighting and fixtures out of the tank to prevent your dragon coming into contact with the hot fixture and possibly causing severe burns. Your lighting cycle should run between 12-14 hours of light per day, and the use of a timer is recommended.
If you choose to put your beardie’s cage near a window for a natural source of sunlight, be sure to carefully monitor the temperature! Beardies are diurnal (up during the day and sleep at night) while crickets tend to be nocturnal.
The crickets will hide during the day and come out at night while the beardie is trying to sleep. Vegetables should be finely chopped and mixed together to ensure your Bearded Dragon eats a wide variety of food types, and to discourage the eating of a single preferred food item.
It should be in a bowl or dish shallow enough for your lizard to see easily into and drink out of; deeper bowls can be half-sunk into the bedding. Vitamin and mineral supplements can be offered, being careful not to overload them with vitamins but on the other hand providing an adequate amount. Live prey, such as crickets and various worms may be raised by the owner, retrieved from a nearby field or purchased from a pet store, bait store or reptile breeder. Care must be exercised when collecting insects, especially from the home garden, as fertilizers and insecticides can be toxic to Bearded Dragons. Remember to feed a healthy and wide variety of food items from all of the food categories listed above for balanced nutrition. Check with your veterinarian for specific recommendations about supplementing your pet's diet.



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