Bearded dragons are cute, exciting, and easy to keep pets! They’re also ideal for novice pet owners and require comparatively little care.
However, just because they don’t require a lot of care doesn’t mean that taking care of a baby bearded dragon is like looking after any other pet. There are special considerations you’ll need to take into account.
In this article, we’ll look at the best ways to take care of a baby bearded dragon so it can grow up healthy and happy! We’ll be covering everything from its diet to its housing environment.
How to Take Care of a Baby Bearded Dragon
Caring for baby bearded dragons doesn’t have to be complicated! In order to ensure that your baby beardie is happy and healthy, there are a few key points to keep in mind.
1. Baby Bearded Dragon Habitat
Creating an appropriate habitat for a baby bearded dragon is essential. It is advisable to take the following factors into consideration.
Baby Bearded Dragon Tank
Baby Bearded dragons need at least a 20-gallon tank for when they are first born and as they grow, the size of the tank should increase accordingly.
When fully grown, an adult bearded dragon will require a 120-gallon tank and due to this rapid growth, some owners opt for purchasing an adult cage from the beginning. This way, there is no need to buy numerous tanks in a short space of time.
|Age||Minimum Tank Size|
|3 – 6 months||50-gallon|
|7 – 9 months||75-gallon|
Baby Bearded Dragon Lighting
Having the right lighting is essential when it comes to setting up a habitat for baby bearded dragons. They need 12 hours of light daily, including both UVA and UVB lights. It is recommended to use a UVB tube-shaped light and operate it for 12 hours daily from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm for optimal results. The best way to do this accurately is by getting a light timer.
Alongside this, you must also have a UVA bulb inside of a dome light fixture. This can sit on top of the screen lid or can also hang inside the terrarium – whichever works best for your setup.
It’s important to get both tube-shaped and dome-shaped UVA lights so that your precious dragon can properly bask and soak up all its necessary light exposure!
Baby Bearded Dragon Heat and Basking Temperature
When it comes to Baby Bearded Dragon habitats, heat is an important factor. The temperature needs to vary throughout the tank and should include a basking spot that ranges from 95° to 105°F. This will be located on either the left or right side of the tank and is the hottest area in the cage.
On the other side, temperatures should reach around 75°F. To make sure your dragon’s temperatures are correct, it’s best to buy two high-quality thermometers for each side of its habitat.
At night time, temperatures may drop below 65°F so you can use a ceramic heat emitter to keep them warm until morning time. It’s essential that these range and temperature settings remain consistent so that your baby bearded dragon remains safe and healthy!
Baby Bearded Dragon Humidity
Keeping the right humidity in your baby bearded dragon’s enclosure is critical for its health. The humidity level should be between 30% and 40% and a high-quality hygrometer should be used to monitor it.
The best way to maintain proper humidity is to provide a shallow water dish that your baby can easily enter and exit. Fill the water no higher than their chin level – for babies, this may only be 1 cm! As the water evaporates, it will help increase and maintain the required level of humidity inside the enclosure.
Baby Bearded Dragon Substrate
When it comes to the best substrate for a baby Bearded Dragon, it is important to be aware that many commercial reptile sand products are not suitable as they do not provide the same qualities found in sand in their natural habitat. Sand can get into their eyes, water, and food and if consumed too much, can cause impaction issues.
The ideal solution is a reptile carpet that offers the perfect balance of safety and convenience for owners caring for young beardies.
However, if reptile carpets are not an option, there are still ways to create a suitable environment. Newspaper, paper towels, or non-adhesive shelf liners all make great alternatives that provide an easy-to-clean and practical substrate for your young dragon.
One of the best ways to keep your baby bearded dragon happy and healthy is to provide them with a few fun accessories in their habitat. Not only can they be entertaining, but they also give younger lizards a place to climb and hide like rock outcrops, Habba Huts, grapevine, and cork rounds.
You can also provide them with an Exo Terra Cave structure or even craft a homemade cave if you’re feeling adventurous. Just make sure it’s sturdy enough so that it won’t collapse and injure your pet. With the right accessories, you can make sure that your baby dragon gets lots of stimulation in its environment and has plenty of places to explore!
2. Baby Bearded Dragon Diet & Hydration
Baby Bearded Dragons require a very specific diet in order to stay healthy and grow up strong. In the wild, they typically eat mostly insects, but their diet shifts to mostly vegetables and greens as they age.
For baby bearded dragons, their diet should consist of a 75/25 ratio of protein to green vegetables in order to provide them with the optimal nutrition they need to thrive and develop.
A varied mix of live insects (such as crickets, mealworms, and superworms) as well as the fresh vegetable matter should be offered daily.
Insects are an essential part of a baby Bearded dragon’s diet. They love catching and consuming black soldier fly larvae, butter worms, earthworms, red worms, super worms, cockroaches, Dubia roaches, crickets, and locusts – all of which offer a great source of protein.
It’s important to only buy these insects from a reputable pet store however; bugs caught in the wild can potentially be contaminated with pesticides or other harmful chemicals. Feeding your dragon the proper diet with healthy amounts of insects is essential for it to stay healthy and properly grow.
Vegetables are essential for baby Bearded dragons, and they should be included in their diet. Not only do they provide essential nutrients but they also add variety to their diet, which is key to their long-term health and happiness.
You can offer your baby dragon broccoli, cabbage, kale, mustard greens, pepper, squash, zucchini, pumpkins, potatoes, sweet potatoes, dandelion greens, collard greens, peas, carrots, and beet tops.
These should either be served raw or lightly boiled at room temperature so that it’s not too difficult for them to chew. If needed you can chop them into smaller pieces so that they are easier to digest as well.
Fruits are a great way to treat your baby bearded dragon while also giving them the essential nutrients they need in its diet. Apples, peaches, bananas, grapes, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, and watermelon make tasty options that your beloved reptilian will truly enjoy!
However, it is best not to use fruits as the majority of their meals; instead, use them as an occasional reward for good behavior.
For an extra nutrient boost, you can find supplements at local pet stores. Before using any kind of supplement though, make sure to read the directions carefully and consult with a veterinarian before feeding them to your dragon.
Food Avoid to Feed Baby Bearded Dragons
When it comes to feeding baby Bearded dragons, certain food items must be avoided. Fireflies should never be fed to your dragon as they contain toxins that can have a lethal impact even in small doses. Similarly, any kind of venomous insects such as wasps, spiders, bees, and scorpions should not be fed to your dragon.
In addition to this, bread, oranges, and avocado are poor food choices for a baby Bearded dragon as they boast too little or no nutritional value at all.
Eggplant, garlic, and onion should also be avoided due to their acidity which may cause stomach irritation when ingested by the dragon. Meat and fish have an excessively high phosphorus content and are therefore not advised either.
How Many Crickets to Feed a Baby Bearded Dragon
Baby Bearded Dragons need a specific diet in order to be healthy and happy. The best way to feed your baby lizard is to 20-40 small crickets each day. It’s important to ensure that the crickets you feed your dragon aren’t bigger than the distance between its eyes, so you get the right size of food for your pet.
When it’s meal time, it is best to give your baby dragon 10 minutes with as many crickets as they can eat. Usually, they eat a cricket every minute or so. Afterward, remove any excess food from the tank. Make sure you don’t leave any insects in the enclosure, as they could harm your beloved pet.
This is a suggested feeding schedule for a baby bearded dragon.
|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|
Baby Bearded Dragon Dietary Supplements
Bearded dragon dietary supplements are an important part of ensuring a healthy and happy pet. To keep your baby scale lizard living longer than they would in the wild, you’ll want to add the right supplements to their diet. These include calcium, phosphorus, vitamin D3, and probiotics.
Calcium is essential for strong teeth, bones, and scales development and can be provided either in the form of powder or drops via syringe. Meanwhile, both calcium and phosphorus need to come in 2:1 ratios with food in order to ensure the successful absorption of all minerals into the body.
Vitamin D3 helps the bearded dragon’s bodies absorb and process calcium which can be acquired from direct sunlight or viable UVB lamps. Lastly, probiotics should always be given as part of a multivitamin supplement to balance out your beardie’s biome by flushing out parasites and harmful bacteria.
How Often Should You Feed a Baby Bearded Dragon
When caring for a baby bearded dragon, you must feed them five to six times per day until they’re three months old. During this age, offer your baby one bug at a time, taking no more than 10-15 minutes for the session.
Once your furry friend turns three months old, you should reduce the frequency of feedings to 3 or 4 times per day and still limit the length of each feeding session to 10-15 minutes.
At each mealtime, provide your beardie with small insects like crickets and mealworms along with veggies and leafy greens. You can also add in an occasional portion of fruits like bananas or pears as long as their sugar content is not too high.
Keep in mind that after every 10-15 minute feeding session, it’s essential to remove any leftover food since these can cause parasites and diseases within the tank. For a quicker clean-up, consider swapping out loose substrates for paper towels while feeding your baby bearded dragon outside of its tank.
3. Track Their Growth Rate
Tracking your baby Bearded Dragon’s growth rate is essential for ensuring it gets the proper care and nutrition it needs. On average, baby Beardies grow 1 to 3 inches per month during the first two months of their lives, reaching full size 18 to 24 months after being born.
Females are generally smaller than males and reach 12 to 20 inches in length, while males measure 16 to 24 inches when fully grown.
It’s important to monitor your dragon’s progress as they grow quickly during the first 12 months of life. Regularly checking their size will let you know if they’re getting the right diet, or if something else may be hindering their development.
With proper care and nutrition, you can ensure that your Bearded Dragon reaches its full potential in size and health!
|Age (months)||Size (inches)||Weight (grams)|
|1 month||3 to 4 inches||4 to 6 grams|
|2 months||5 to 9 inches||8 to 40 grams|
|3 months||8 to 11 inches||22 to 110 grams|
|4 months||9 to 12 inches||41 to 115 grams|
|5 months||11 to 16 inches||102 to 115 grams|
|6 months||11 to 18 inches||183 to 188 grams|
|7 months||13 to 18 inches||230 to 280 grams|
|8 months||14 to 20 inches||252 to 327 grams|
|9 to 10 months||16 to 22 inches||280 to 360 grams|
|11 to 12 months||16 to 24 inches||350 to 465 grams|
If your lizard is not showing signs of growth or appetite, it may indicate a health problem.
4. Baby Bearded Dragon Care Sheet
Creating a baby bearded dragon care sheet is essential for keeping your new pet healthy, happy, and living a long life. An adult beardie can live anywhere from 7-12 years, but with proper attention and care their lifespan can be greatly extended.
It’s important to watch young dragons carefully for any signs of metabolic bone disease, respiratory infections, or abnormal shedding, as these can all be fatal if left untreated. Regular visits to the vet and providing a diet rich in leafy greens, proteins, and vitamins can go a long way in preventing such health issues.
Make sure to provide them with ample light and time to bask in UVA/UVB rays every day as well. Additionally, providing clean drinking water at all times is extremely important for maintaining good hydration levels.
Please follow the instructions in the care sheet to correctly set up the cage and provide a balanced diet.
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.
5. How to Handling a Baby Bearded Dragon
Handling a Baby Bearded Dragon isn’t as difficult as you would think! Before handling your baby dragon, it’s important to wait at least a week so it can adjust to its environment and surroundings. Remember, babies are more skittish than adults – so handle them with extreme care and support their weight when holding them.
Once your lizard is eating regularly, you can start to tame him by gently offering your hand. Without making any sudden movements, hold the dragon underneath its belly and do not grab it from above or by the tail.
With some time and patience, they can become very relaxed and happy when being held. Proper and gentle handling will go a long way in helping them get used to your touch, which is one of the reasons why these dragons are so popular as pets!
Is It Hard to Care for a Baby Bearded Dragon?
Baby Bearded dragons are relatively easy to take care of, but proper supplies need to be acquired for them when establishing a habitat.
Can a Baby Bearded Dragon Eat Adult Food?
Bearded dragons should be fed according to their size, with food that is no larger than the gap between their eyes.
How Do I Know If My Baby Bearded Dragon Has a Vitamin or Nutrient Deficiency?
If a baby bearded dragon does not receive enough calcium in its diet, it may show signs of metabolic bone disease, such as protrusion or deformities along the tail, limbs, or spine.
In conclusion, taking care of a baby bearded dragon is never an easy experience. From food to shelter, and even handling and general health care, it can often feel quite overwhelming. However, with proper knowledge and preparation, you can make sure that your baby bearded dragon will have all the necessary care it needs to thrive.
The most important thing to remember is to be patient and compassionate as your lizard grows into its full adult size, for this journey should be filled with joy and adventure!