Caring For Your Bearded Dragon: Part 2
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Caring For Your Bearded Dragon: Part 2

Diet

A proper diet is essential for maintaining health in all living beings. A bearded dragons diet is varied, and is critical to their health and well being. For starters, a juveniles diet is different from that of an adult. A baby and juvenile bearded dragons diet consists of 90% insects. Crickets are the most common insects to give. Adults, on the other hand, have a diet that consists 90% of leafy greens and veggies. Insects can still be given, but not as much as when they were young.

A variety of vegetables may be fed to your dragon. Some safe choices are:

  • acorn squash
  • peeled cucumbers
  • raw bell peppers
  • mustard greens
  • butternut squash
  • raw cabbage
  • carrots
  • bok choy

Dragons also like to eat fruit. As with veggies, a variety can be given, such as:

  • apples
  • pears
  • grapes
  • cherries
  • cranberries
  • raisins
  • strawberries
  • water melon

Some foods, however, should be avoided. Lettuce has no nutritional value (being made of mostly water), and should not be given. Spinach, being high in calcium, is difficult for dragons to digest, and should be avoided as well. Many wild insects have pesticides and parasites. These can make your dragon sick. Always get your insects from a trusted pet store. Also, insects and bugs that glow can be lethal, along with avocados.

Giving your dragon the proper food is not the only part of their healthy diet. Many dragons need additional minerals and vitamins. Vitamin A, Calcium, Iron, and Vitamin D3 may need to be given on a regular basis.

When giving the Calcium, remember to give it with the Vitamin D3, as the Calcium cannot be absorbed without it.

Behavior

Bearded Dragons are just like any other living being: they have distinct personalities, and a wide range of behaviors. Learning to read your dragons behaviors will ultimately lead to more effective care of your dragon.

Arm waving: This is something you may see your dragon do quite often. It is used for showing recognition, or submission, to other dragons or larger creatures. Head bobbing: This is seen mostly in males, and can have several different meanings. If your dragon is slowly bobbing their head, it usually means submission. But, if the bobbing is fast, it is meant to show dominance.

Bearding (Fluffing Beard): Both males and females can expand their beards. Sometimes they do it without any provocation. However, if the beard expands, or even turns dark or black, it is usually a defensive mechanism to appear bigger. Digging: Bearded dragons will often dig holes, usually to create small, more comfortable basking areas. If it is a female, the hole could be a place to lay her eggs.

Lying on top of each other: If you have more than one dragon, you may find one lying on top of the other. This is a sign of dominance, and also places the dominant dragon closest to the UV rays from the lamps. Open mouth (Gaping): Bearded dragons don't sweat. When the ideal temperature in the habitat has been reached, they regulate their body temperature by opening their mouth.

Tail twitching: Bearded dragons twitch their tails when they are under stress, or when they are hunting prey. Biting: This is a sign of aggression. It is important to still handle your dragon, even if they bite. Make sure you wear gloves, and handle your dragon at least once a day. This will help you bond, and reduce the aggression.

Health

Making sure your bearded dragon is healthy is another essential element to a happy dragon. They should be active while awake. Their heads should be perked up when awake, and if someone approaches the tank, the should be alert and watching you. Be sure they are clean and well hydrated. When shedding, keep their skin hydrated by using a spray bottle. There should be no puss or fluid around the mouth or eyes, and their joints and mouth should not be swollen. And make sure they are defecating on a daily basis. If any of these signs or symptoms occur, please call your veterinarian for help.

Bearded dragons are wonderful animals that make fantastic additions to any family. With the proper amount of care and love, they can live a full life, and add years of enjoyment to your family!


Street Talk

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