Are you thinking of getting a baby bearded dragon? Caring for these curious lizards is a lot of fun, and they begin to develop intricate personalities at a young age. Before bringing home your little friend, however, make sure you learn the basics of proper care.
Baby bearded dragons are delicate creatures that need specialized care and diet. They require the right kind of habitat, temperature, lighting, and food in order to thrive.
In this article, we’ll go over how to properly care for a baby bearded dragon so that it can live happily for many years and be a healthy companion. We will look at the most important aspects such as habitat requirements, dietary needs, health concerns, and more.
Baby Bearded Dragons: The Ultimate Care Guide
Most pet Bearded dragons are brought home for the first time when they are still babies. The first few days are the most important time for baby Bearded dragons to adapt in their new environments. Here are some important tips for new baby Bearded dragon keepers.
Keep the temperature & light cycles constant
Because of their size, baby Bearded dragons are very sensitive to temperature and photoperiod changes. The recommended temperatures and day-night cycles for baby Bearded dragons are similar to those for adults, but it is more important to only allow natural/gradual changes.
Frequent opening of enclosures allow for warm air to escape which can cause sudden temperature drops. During the first few days, the enclosure should only be opened during feeding and cleaning times and should be done as little as possible.
A strict routine should be kept for the photoperiod of the enclosure. For baby Bearded dragons, the correct heating and UV lighting should be constantly on for about 14 hours and off for 10 hours during each 24-hour day period. A time table or an electric timer can be used to keep this routine constant.
Apart from also risking large variations in temperature and light intensities out of the enclosure, handling baby Bearded dragons also causes stress and increase the risk for fall injuries. Handling baby Bearded dragons, especially during the first few weeks, should be kept to a bare minimum. It is important for first time Bearded dragon owners to know that they should wash their hands with an appropriate disinfectant after handling babie Bearded dragons.
Stimulate food intake
By adding food in a flat container within site of the basking and sitting areas of the enclosure, food intake can be improved and even stimulated. Ultraviolet (UV) lighting plays a vital role in the ‘presentation’ of food and makes it look more appealing. By adding food to the warmer parts of the enclosure, baby Bearded dragons will be more inclined to be nearby.
Distractions to non-adapted baby Bearded dragons can lead to eating abnormalities and stress. To prevent distractions, keep movement in front and around enclosures to a bare minimum. The same goes for noises.
Give the right greens
In order to stimulate its intake, an assortment of fresh, finely chopped greens should be supplied. A variation of allowable leafy greens, fruit and vegetables will allow for variation (of which favourites can be identified from) and might look more appealing. When chopped, try to prevent too much moisture as sogginess/mushiness might be deterring for baby Bearded dragons. Small distinguishable pieces will be easier to eat too.
Feed crickets correctly
Although crickets should be the main food source for baby Bearded dragons, they can also cause many problems when not given correctly. Only a few (two or three) live crickets should be fed at a time. More crickets should only be added, one or two at a time, if the baby wants more. Baby Bearded dragons should be fed crickets two to three times a day.
In order to improve the quality of food, crickets should be gut-loaded and dusted before feeding. Initially the smallest possible crickets should be selected and gradually increased to the maximum recommended size (dictated by the space between the eyes of the baby Bearded dragon. Fresh, (chopped,) dead crickets can be added to the greens mixture in order to decrease their size and to encourage eating behaviour in scared Bearded dragons.
Important Things to Consider When Purchasing a Baby Bearded Dragon
Buying a Baby Bearded Dragon should be taken with extreme caution, as it can be both good and bad that they are so popular.
If you decide to make the purchase, it is important to get one bred in captivity from a reputable breeder. Do your research and find out who you’re dealing with! You don’t want to buy something that was wild-caught, as this is illegal.
Before making the purchase, you’ll want to make sure that the Beardie looks happy and healthy. Signs such as bright eyes and skin, standing on all four legs and an overall reactive disposition are signs of health.
Avoid any lizards with swollen hind legs or rubbery jawlines, lethargic behavior or runny/watery stools — these could be signs of sickness.
Doing research pays off in the end — don’t rush into buying a Bearded Dragon until you have done your homework!
Baby Bearded Dragon Price
If you’re looking for a new pet, a Baby Bearded Dragon might just be a perfect choice! These adorable reptiles can generally be purchased for between $45-$100, depending on their species, color morphs, and other factors.
However, to keep your bearded dragon healthy, you will also need to invest in an appropriate enclosure setup. This includes purchasing a 20-gallon juvenile terrarium, lights, substrate, hides, and food which can cost you between $200 – $1,100.
There are also starter kits available which would cover most of the supplies for about $200. However, sometimes these kits may not include everything needed for setting up a suitable home for your bearded Dragon.
Best Baby Bearded Dragon Habitat
When it comes to finding the best habitat for your baby bearded dragon, size matters. To get off on the right foot, you need to purchase a 20-gallon tank as this is appropriate for babies. As your little one grows, so should their tank size and eventually you’ll need to get them a 120-gallon tank for when they’re an adult.
|Age||Minimum Tank Size|
|3 – 6 months||50-gallon|
|7 – 9 months||75-gallon|
Baby Bearded Dragon Lighting
The UVB tube shaped light needs to stay on for 12 hours a day, from 7AM to 7PM, which can be achieved using a Light Timer. The UVA bulb should be within a dome shaped fixture and either sit on top of the screen lid or hang inside the terrarium.
It’s important not to use a coiled UVB bulb, as this doesn’t give your dragon enough space to properly bask in the warmth and light provided by the UVA bulb. Keeping these tips in mind will help ensure that your baby bearded dragon gets all the lighting it needs for its healthy development.
Proper heat and basking temperatures are essential for a healthy Baby Bearded Dragon.
In order for your baby dragon to feel comfortable, it’s ideal to provide them with a temperature gradient – this means that there should be an area where the temperature is warmer (the basking area), and one on the other side which is cooler.
For the former, this should fall between 95-105℉ degrees, and for the latter something around 75℉ degrees is ideal.
When setting up a suitable basking area, it’s worth placing it on either side of the tank to allow your dragon some choice in how they use their space. It’s also prudent to buy two thermometers – one placed on either each end of the tank – in order to monitor temperatures more accurately.
If night time temperatures dip below 65℉ then you may want to add a ceramic heat emitter just so that your pet stays nice and warm!
Baby Bearded Dragon Humidity
When it comes to providing the right environment for your baby Bearded Dragon, humidity is key. You want an enclosure that’s set at a humidity level between 30-40%. This can be achieved by investing in a top-notch hygrometer to accurately measure water vapor levels.
A great way to regulate the humidity of the enclosure is to add a shallow water dish. It should be shallow enough that your baby dragon can easily enter and exit on their own, with no more than an inch (1 cm) of water above their chin level. The evaporating water will help maintain the optimal environment for your pet’s health and comfort.
Baby Bearded Dragon Substrate
When it comes to finding the best substrate for your baby bearded dragon, many owners get confused. One big mistake you want to avoid as a new owner is using reptile sand in their enclosure.
Although wild bearded dragons live on sand, keep in mind that commercial reptile sand is different than their natural environment and can be dangerous – particularly for babies.
The best substrate for a bearded dragon is reptile carpet.
If you can’t find a reptile carpet, there are multiple other options available:
Newspaper, paper towels, and non-adhesive shelf liners are all items you need.
Baby Bearded Dragon Setup Tips
If you’re thinking of getting a baby bearded dragon, then you want to take the time to set up their home properly. The first thing to do is get a 20-gallon terrarium and make sure it has a secure screen lid.
Then you’ll need to add some lighting – specifically, one UVB light tube for 12 hours per day (not a coil), and a 50-75 watt UVA bulb inside of a dome light fixture.
The basking area should be between 95 and 105 degrees Fahrenheit, while the overall humidity level should stay between 30 and 40%.
And lastly, a reptile carpet is best if you want to choose an appropriate substrate – not sand or wood shavings. That’s all there is to setting up a great home for your new baby bearded dragon!
Baby Bearded Dragon Diet
When it comes to feeding a baby bearded dragon, the diet is quite different compared to an adult. In the wild, they mostly eat insects while they are young and as they age their diet shifts more toward plants and vegetables.
What food do baby bearded dragons consume?
When it comes to feeding a baby bearded dragon, it’s important to get their diet right. Babies should be fed a combination of crickets and plants, with the ideal ratio being 75% protein (usually from Dubia roaches) and 25% greens.
Veggies like collard greens, dandelions, mustard greens, beet tops, carrots, squash, peas, and zucchini are all great options – although lettuce, spinach, and celery should be avoided due to their lack of nutrients.
What is the recommended amount of crickets to feed a baby bearded dragon?
When caring for a baby or juvenile bearded dragon, it is important to make sure you feed them the right size and amount of insects. Babies should have 20 to 40 small crickets every day – no larger than the distance between their eyes.
The best way to do this is by allowing your lizard 10 minutes of eating time – they will normally eat a cricket every minute or so. Afterward, remove any uneaten food from their enclosure.
|Time||Insects||Greens* (all chopped**)|
|9 AM||10+ small crickets||2x collard greens, 1x bell pepper slice and 1x strawberry|
|12 PM||10 + dubia roaches||2x kale, 1 slice of squash and 1x blueberry|
|3 PM||10 + small crickets||2x dandelion greens, 1 slice of pumpkin and 1 slice of banana|
|6 PM||10+ dubia roaches||2x collard greens, 1 bell pepper slice and 1x grape|
For optimal development, dust their food with calcium several times a week. For safety and easier digestion, all food should be cut into small pieces.
Baby Bearded Dragon Care Sheet
Ensuring your baby bearded dragon lives a long and happy life starts with providing the proper care from the get-go. That’s why it’s important to follow the guidelines laid out in the baby bearded dragon care sheet.
With this handy guide, you’ll be sure to set up their cage correctly and make sure they’re eating a nutritious diet that will help them reach their full potential for the lifespan of 7 to 12 years (or more!).
Baby Bearded Dragon Care Sheet
- House in a secure 20-gallon terrarium with screen lid.
- Spot clean cage daily, clean substrate weekly and entire cage every two weeks.
- Include a shallow water dish small enough for them to enter and exit by themselves.
- Include Both UVA (50-75 watt UVA bulb) and UVB (light tube not coil) for 12 hours during the day.
- Provide a hot basking area (95 to 105℉ degrees) and a cold side (around 75℉ degrees) for your dragon to thermoregulate.
- Make sure cage is 30 to 40% humidity.
- Feed 20 to 40 crickets a day.
- Dust food with calcium (3 times a week) and cut into small pieces.
- Vegetables should be misted with water to prevent dehydration.
- Wait at least a week before attempting to handle him.
- Hold him underneath his belly and support his weight.
- Handle him daily but never leave your baby beardie unsupervised while roaming outside of their enclosure.
Techniques for Training a Baby Bearded Dragon
Taming a baby Bearded Dragon may seem like a daunting task, but with the right approach and knowledge, they can be wonderful companions! Before attempting to handle your baby dragon, you should wait at least a week just in case they’re still too skittish.
As Baby Bearded Dragons are small, it’s important to exercise care when holding them and make sure not to grab them from above or by their tail.
Once your lizard has begun eating regularly, you can start the process of taming them. Introduce your hand gently and coax them forward. When they get close enough, hold them securely underneath their belly while supporting their weight.
With enough patience, love, and gentle handling, your Bearded Dragon will learn to trust you and eventually become very relaxed when being held.
Baby Bearded Dragon Hydration
Keeping your baby bearded dragon hydrated is paramount for their health and well-being. Although these creatures come from the dry deserts of Australia, they still need to drink water every day to stay healthy.
Unfortunately, baby beardies are especially prone to losing moisture and because of this should be kept in an environment with higher humidity levels than adults. To remedy this, having a shallow water dish in their enclosure not only helps your pet to drink from but adds vital humidity as well.
On top of providing them a water dish, it’s also important that you mist your baby beardie daily with room temperature water. While your pet may dislike this process at first, eventually they will start lapping up the liquid; this is particularly critical during the first month of ownership when you should spray twice daily.
After four weeks, however, misters can reduce their spraying as certain food items like vegetables can provide an adequate source of hydration as well.
Common Errors Made in Caring for Baby Bearded Dragons by New Owners
When new owners take on the responsibility of caring for a baby bearded dragon, it’s important to be aware of the potential for mistakes that can be made in its care.
Uneducated reptile owners without the proper guidance tend to make more errors when looking after this small and delicate pet, which can easily lead to health problems if not addressed properly.
Buying without prior knowledge
If you’re considering buying a baby bearded dragon, the most important thing to do is educate yourself beforehand. Buying on impulse without prior knowledge can lead to disastrous and costly consequences.
You might end up with an unhealthy reptile or one sourced unethically.
Purchasing a small enclosure
When buying an enclosure for a baby bearded dragon, it’s important to consider the size it’ll reach as they grow. Although it may seem appealing, purchasing a tiny cage will soon become impractical since these little reptiles grow so quickly!
Making sure your new buddy has enough space is essential for their health and wellbeing, so resist the urge to get the tiniest possible version!
Getting cheap, low-quality supplies
Getting cheap, low-quality supplies for your baby bearded dragon isn’t always a good idea. Sure, the price might seem attractive—but when it comes to your pet reptile’s wellbeing, you don’t want to skimp.
Since these supplies will most likely need frequent replacement, the reduced cost isn’t worth it. Always choose proper supplies that are high quality for your bearded dragon, as this will ensure their long shelf life and an optimal environment for them to thrive in.
Substrating with reptile sand
Reptile sand, while popular in pet stores, can potentially be very dangerous for your bearded dragon. Not only can it make them sick and make them potentially die, but it can also cause long-term health issues too.
Thus, using reptiles or calcium sand as a substrate is strongly discouraged.
Feeding too many insects
Feeding too many insects, or even just a diet of only insects, to your bearded dragon can be extremely detrimental to their health. Insects should only ever be a part of the baby dragon’s diet – not the whole thing.
For optimal health, owners should always ensure that their dragons are getting enough vegetables each day and keep insect consumption at a safe level.
Not giving vitamins and supplements
Baby bearded dragons require a balanced diet for optimal health, which includes vitamins and minerals. Without this nutrition, your pet can become weak and sick over time.
That’s why it is absolutely essential to provide these reptiles with multivitamins and calcium supplements to cover all their nutritional needs.
Using improper lighting
When caring for your dragon, you should provide both UVA and UVB rays. This can be done by placing a UVB-emitting light at an appropriate distance from their basking spot.
Additionally, you should use bulbs that emit both UVA and UVB light for further assurance.
By using the proper lighting in your dragon’s enclosure, you can ensure that they are getting all the vital nutrients they need while avoiding any negative health effects due to improper lighting.
Not monitoring their health
Monitoring your bearded dragon’s health is essential for proper care. Consider your pet’s weight, appetite, activity levels and how often it goes to the bathroom when determining its wellbeing.
If any of these things start to deviate from normal, it could be a sign that something is wrong.
Keeping two baby bearded dragons in the same habitat.
As a bearded dragon owner, it might seem like a good idea to put two baby dragons in one enclosure in order to save on space and cost. However, this is actually not advised since there is a high chance that one beardie will always dominate the territory over the other.
In turn, the weaker one will be attacked by its alpha companion and be forced to submit.
In addition to this potential issue, if you keep two baby dragons in an enclosed space with improper care-taking such as inadequate lighting, too low or too high temperature, hunger, or even overcrowding, there is a chance of them possibly developing problematic behaviors like glass surfing.
This is due to stress and often leads to health issues if it’s not addressed from the start.
What signs indicate that your beardie is getting the right amount of food?
Know your bearded dragon is getting enough to eat by monitoring their growth and checking the nature of their poop. If your baby beardie is pooping each day and steadily growing, they’re likely having no issue regarding food.
The type of their feces can also tell you whether they’re having trouble digesting a certain food item or if runny stools indicate avoidance of that particular type of food.
Is it appropriate to feed your bearded dragon from the same plate?
Some pet owners enjoy giving their animals a bite of whatever they are eating, such as vegetables or a Bearded Dragon-safe fruit.
For a bearded dragon, raw fruits and vegetables are best as they are low in sugar. It is not recommended to give them cooked food that may contain additives, spices, or starch.
Is it safe for a baby bearded dragon to consume adult-formulated food?
The good news is that while baby and adult bearded dragons may not have the same exact diet, they do eat the same types of food. That means yes, it is perfectly safe for a baby to eat adult food if that’s what you choose to feed them.
Ensure that you check the sizing and proportion of the food before giving it to them- you’ll want to make sure that the gap between their eyes is wider than the food you’re giving them so they don’t choke.
Remember that adults tend to consume mostly plants as their main source of nutrition while babies require more insects- this means you should provide a higher proportion of insects in their diet as opposed to vegetables or other plants.
What indications would a baby bearded dragon have if it lacked nutrients or vitamins?
The most common deficiency in baby bearded dragons is calcium. If your beardie has a lower than normal calcium intake, you may eventually spot some signs such as strange deformations on their tail, legs, or spine (known as metabolic bone disease or MBD), persistent crouching due to weak limbs, swollen jaws that feel rubbery to the touch, swelling in back legs, bent bones and trembling when walking.
Fortunately, there is something you can do about it! You can provide them with liquid calcium supplements and replace their UVB bulb at least every six months to promote better absorption of these supplements.
By providing your baby bearded dragon with the right balance of vitamins and minerals, you will ensure that they stay healthy for many years to come!
What are the signs that my baby bearded dragon is content?
If your baby bearded dragon is not shying away or running away from you, has an alert expression and always seems active and willing to bask in the heat lamp, and is generally willing to be held without any negative reactions such as biting, hissing or trying to escape–then chances are he’s quite happy!
The truth is that like most reptiles, bearded dragons don’t usually show big emotional reactions but by observing their behavior and seeing if they meet these criteria –you can get a good idea of how contented your pet is!
What are some techniques for forming a strong connection with a baby bearded dragon?
Bonding with a baby bearded dragon can be a rewarding experience. One of the best ways to form a special connection is during bath time.
As beardies love lukewarm baths, use this opportunity to gradually gain their trust. Moving slowly and speaking in a gentle tone will let it know that you mean no harm.
Furthermore, handling your pet lizard helps create an even stronger bond in the long run as it grows accustomed to your touch and presence. As they grow older, they may also become more open to offering food rewards as an incentive for being so close.
By doing all of these things, you’re sure to have an even stronger relationship with your furry friend!
Is it usual for baby bearded dragons to spend a lot of time sleeping?
If you’re the proud owner of a baby bearded dragon, you may have noticed that they seem to sleep an awful lot. This is perfectly normal! Due to their developing bodies, baby dragons tend to rest more than adult dragons. Typically, this can be seen for the first 10 months or so of their lives.
Of course, it’s important to bear in mind that there could be more going on if your dragon is sleeping an abnormal amount. It could be because they are starting to become sensitive to changes in temperature and lighting in their environment – so if you are concerned it’s best to talk to your vet for advice.
Raising a Baby Bearded Dragon can be a rewarding experience. With a lot of love and care, your Beardie is sure to provide entertainment and happiness for years to come. Make sure to do your research on the best habitat, diet, and health care habits so that your little reptile companion can enjoy the best possible quality of life.
With proper care, you will have no trouble raising a happy and healthy Bearded Dragon that will quickly become part of your family.