What’s up dragon keepers! Bearded dragons have skyrocketed in popularity over the last couple decades, and for good reason. These docile reptiles make fantastic pets with their chill temperaments, manageable size, and lifespans over 10 years when cared for properly.

Originally from the wide open Australian Outback, beardies have adapted well to captivity and human interaction. They come in a variety of morphs, from classic sandy yellow and red to more exotic translucent, leatherback, and hypo breeds.

In this guide, we’ll be droppin’ knowledge on everything you need to know to keep a happy, healthy beardie. Let’s get into it!



Adult beardies need a minimum enclosure size of around 4 feet long by 2 feet wide by 2 feet tall. This gives them space to stretch out and regulate their temperature by moving between warmer and cooler areas. Proper lighting and ventilation are clutch for replicating their native climate. Glass tanks or wood cages both work.


Skip loose substrates like sand or tiny pellets. Impaction is a risk if accidentally ingested when going for food. Your best bets are textured tile, reptile carpet, or plain paper towels. All are easy to clean and remove waste from.

Temperature & Humidity

One end of the tank should have a basking spot heated to 95-100 degrees. The cool end can dip to 70-75 degrees. Measure with thermometers and adjust heating lamps as needed. Low humidity around 30-40% is ideal. Advanced Bearded Dragon Lighting and Heating

Diet & Nutrition

In the wild, beardies feast on a mix of greens, veggies, fruits, and insects. We’ll break down how to provide a varied captive diet.

Vegetables & Greens

Offer a salad of leafy greens, squash, peas, carrots and more every day. Rotate through staples like collard greens, mustard greens, and kale.

Insects & Protein

Gutload feeder insects like crickets, worms and roaches by feeding them quality guts beforehand. Then serve 2-3 times per week.


Dust food with calcium and vitamin D3 powders 5-6 times weekly for growing dragons, 2-3 times for adults. This helps prevent bone disease. Follow dosage on packaging.

Handling & Bonding

Herpin’ with your dragon is one of the best parts of owning one. Here’s how to form a bond and interact safely.

Handling Best Practices

Start handling frequently as youngsters to get them comfortable. Always fully support the body rather than letting them dangle. Limit handling to avoid overstimulation.

Signs of Comfort

You’ll know your beardie likes you if they watch TV with you, sleep on you, come willingly from their enclosure, and recognize your voice.

Daily Interactions

Hand feed insects or veggies, provide free roam time in a safe area, and offer gentle cuddles during TV time. Just keep handling low-key.


A few key husbandry practices will keep your buddy looking fly.

Hygiene & Cleaning

Spot clean droppings daily, disinfect the tank monthly. Use pet-safe disinfectants like chlorhexidine or F10. Provide baths 1-2 times weekly.

Nails & Shedding

Trim nails as needed if they get overgrown. Soak in warm water to help loosen stuck shed skin. Boost tank humidity to aid shedding.

Potential Health Issues

Monitor for appetite changes, lethargy, or unusual appearance of skin, eyes, or stool. Be proactive about vet visits to diagnose illness early.

Costs & Time Commitment

Wondering what it takes to own this exotic lizard? We’ll break it down.

Startup Costs

The essential enclosure setup will run $200-300 for a suitable tank, substrates, decor, heating, lighting and more. Prices vary based on size.

Ongoing Monthly Costs

Expect to spend $20-40 monthly for salads, live food, and electricity to power heat lamps and lighting. Vet visits add additional potential costs.

Time Commitment

Daily needs like feeding, spot cleaning and handling take 30-60 minutes. Weekly baths and tank cleansing need another 30 minutes. Monthly deep cleans take 1-2 hours.

Frequently Asked Questions About Bearded Dragon Care

There ya have it dragon masters! Let me know if you have any other bearded dragon questions. Until next time, keep on herpin'!

With proper setup and care, beardies are totally manageable for first time or experienced owners. Their relaxed personalities and straightforward care make them a great intro reptile.

Focus on getting the tank set up correctly, feeding a varied insect and vegetable diet, providing adequate heat and UVB lighting, handling regularly, and maintaining cleanliness. Vet visits for checkups and if any issues arise.

No daily handling isn't required, but frequent gentle interactions will lead to the strongest bond and a dragon more comfortable with captivity. Start young and go at their pace.

Aim for baths 1-2 times per week. The water should be shallow and barely warmer than their body temperature. This aids hydration and shedding. Never leave them unsupervised in water.

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