A quick Guide for Caring for Bearded Dragons

Caring for bearded dragons (Pogona spp.) requires attention to their habitat, diet, health, and behavior to ensure they thrive in captivity. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to keep bearded dragons:


  1. Enclosure:

    • Size: Adult bearded dragons need at least a 40-gallon tank, but larger (75-120 gallons) is better.
    • Material: Glass or Wooden tanks are commonly used.
  2. Substrate:

    • Safe Options: Reptile carpet, newspaper, or paper towels.
    • Avoid: Loose substrates like sand, wood chips, or gravel, which can cause impaction if ingested.
  3. Lighting:

    • UVB Lighting: Essential for calcium metabolism and overall health. Use a 10.0 UVB bulb, placed 12-18 inches from the basking area, and replace it every 6 months.
    • Basking Light: Provides heat and light. The basking spot should reach 95-110°F (35-43°C).
  4. Temperature:

    • Basking Area: 95-110°F (35-43°C).
    • Cool Side: 75-85°F (24-29°C).
    • Night: 65-75°F (18-24°C). Use ceramic heat emitters if needed.
  5. Humidity:

    • Keep humidity levels between 30-40%. Use a hygrometer to monitor.
  6. Decor:

    • Include branches, rocks, and hiding spots to create a stimulating environment. Ensure decor is securely placed to prevent injury.


  1. Staple Foods:

    • Insects: Crickets, roaches, and mealworms (for adults). Dust with calcium powder without D3 4-5 times a week and with D3 once a week.
    • Vegetables: Leafy greens (collard greens, mustard greens, dandelion greens), squash, and bell peppers.
    • Fruits: Occasionally (berries, apples, and melons).
  2. Feeding Schedule:

    • Juveniles: Feed insects 2-3 times daily and offer greens daily.
    • Adults: Feed insects once a day or every other day and offer greens daily.


  1. Hydration:

    • Provide fresh water daily. Bearded dragons often get their hydration from food, but occasional soaking in shallow water can help.
  2. Handling:

    • Handle regularly to socialize and build trust. Be gentle and support their body.
  3. Shedding:

    • Bearded dragons shed their skin periodically. Provide rough surfaces to help them shed. Increase humidity slightly during shedding.
  4. Veterinary Care:

    • Regular check-ups with a reptile-savvy vet. Watch for signs of illness like lethargy, lack of appetite, or abnormal stool.


  1. Observation:

    • Monitor their behavior and appetite. Changes can indicate stress or health issues.
  2. Enrichment:

    • Provide a variety of climbing and basking spots. Rotate decor periodically to keep their environment interesting.
  3. Interaction:

    • Spend time with your bearded dragon daily to build a bond. Be patient and gentle.

By providing proper care and attention, bearded dragons can live healthy, happy lives in captivity. Always continue learning and stay updated on the best practices for their care.

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