Total Care Info for your new pet

Care info once you have your new lizard home. (This section will be updated with links for care items soon!)

9/26/20235 min read

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Enclosure: A young bearded dragon requires, at a minimum, at least a 40 gallon “breeder” style enclosure (36”x18”x18”). The bigger the enclosure and the more floor space provided, the better. You can start with the 40g breeder tank (36”x18”x18”) but you will need a larger one by the time they are getting close to adult size (before a year old).

Basking bulb: Providing an adequate basking temperature for your animal is important. Room temp, enclosure style and enclosure size all factor into how high of a wattage of basking bulb you will need. Start with a lower wattage bulb and work up in wattage until appropriate temperature is achieved, or get a higher wattage bulb and hook it up to a thermostat/dimmer to achieve proper temperatures. NEVER DIM A BULB MORE THAN HALFWAY! Basking temps should be maintained at around 100-110 degrees. “Cool” side should be around 80 degrees. Watch your animal. If your animal isn’t basking, your basking area may be too hot. If your animal is constantly basking and never moves away from its basking area, your enclosure is too cold for the animal’s preference. Each animal is different and has different preferences.

Timer: Its extremely important to have a consistent light schedule for your animal so it doesn’t go off feed. A 12 hour on/ 12 hour off cycle works great. An even better way to maintain this is to get a timer that turns the light on and off automatically. We use mechanical timers from Walmart and they have never failed us and they are very inexpensive. They also have electronic timers you can check with your phone if you want to spend a little more.

UVB: Linear fluorescent UVB and fixture is best for your new pet (tube uvb). Your UVB should span about ½ of your enclosure total length. We recommend Zoomed Reptisun 10.0 T5HO bulbs or Arcadia 12% T5HO bulbs and fixtures. Bulbs need to be changed yearly for optimal UVB output IF you are using the one of the two types of bulbs listed above.

Basking platform: It is important to have a solid flat/semi flat surface that can absorb heat under your basking bulb, that your animal can easily fit its entire body on to. We use a flat piece of granite or slate under the basking bulb. Branches and/or cork should also be used to provide cooler surfaces for your animal to sit on. Make sure any items in the tank (decor) enclosure are secure and will not fall on your animal.

A way to check your temperatures: At the very least, you need a digital probe thermometer for your “cool” side (side opposite the basking area) and an infrared temperature gun that you can read your basking area with. The infrared temp gun can be found on Amazon for less than $20 is an a 'must have' to get your temps dialed in. I keep a digital probe on my basking spot too just for quick checks once it is dialed in with the infrared temp gun.

Substrate: If this is your first dragon, we recommend using a solid substrate that is easily changed out for your convenience and the cleanliness of the enclosure. Newspaper and paper towel are the easiest to work with. People also use tile, shelf liner (non-adhesive), reptile carpet, sand-textured mats and butcher paper. When you are comfortable with your husbandry and confident in your knowledge of your animal’s requirements, loose substrate can be used. We recommend a mix of washed play sand and topsoil. Calcium sand, crushed walnut, and colored sand marketed for reptiles should never be used due to sharp edges and dyes that are dangerous to your lizard.

Supplements: Supplementation of vitamins and minerals is extremely important. A quality calcium should be used,as well as a quality vitamin supplement. We use ReptiCalium supplement for all of our dragons, and Reptivite Vitamin Supplement. We suggest using calcium on at least one feeding every day, and vitamin supplement at least once a week. Another important supplement is ReptiCalcium with D3. Never give supplements with D3 on more than two feedings a week since it can build up in their system and cause issues.


Baby dragons require a lot of protein in order to grow properly. We feed small, frequent meals to our hatchlings and juveniles. Ideally, babies should be fed 3 times a day, 5-7 appropriate sized insects per sitting. Throw a few insects in at a time, and remove any excess after feeding. Loose feeders in an enclosure can stress your animal out. We also provide collard and mixed spring greens dusted with calcium. Your baby may not eat a lot of the greens and simply pick at them. This is perfectly fine and normal. Continue to offer them since it can help with hydration.

Size of the feeders should be smaller than the distance between their eyes although they can eat larger mealworms or superworms since they have a small round profile. I usually start my hatchlings on 3/4” mealworms, med/large BSFL, small dubia and/or crickets. Always watch how your bearded dragon eats when offering a new size feeder to make sure the size is appropriate.

Provide your animal with a variety of live feeder insects. Crickets, superworms, mealworms, black soldier fly larvae, feeder roaches such as dubia etc. are all great feeders. When feeding mealworms and super worms, only offer 2-3 at a time, offering less overall in a feeding to avoid regurgitation. Try to avoid only feeding one feeder. Each feeder has its benefits and its drawbacks. Your animal will thrive with variety.

Bearded dragons are not social animals as far as getting along with other reptiles. You and your family are the only friends they need!! House your animals separately. They will compete for resources and fight which can lead to serious injury. Larger animals have been known to eat smaller ones. Dragons are extremely prey driven and anything smaller than them is a potential meal. Cross species cohabitation is also not recommended.

Soak your dragon once or twice a week in room temp water up to its “elbows” to provide additional chances for hydration. For young dragons that shed a lot it will also help loosen shed. It definitely helps keep your animal clean and removes feces from its cloaca, feet and belly.

It is recommended to take your pet at least once a year for a “well dragon” visit with your local vet that has experience and the means to see and treat reptiles. A fecal test will be done to make sure your animal does not have an overgrowth of parasites, and the overall health of your animal will be assessed. This is especially important to do in winter, as your animal once it reaches adulthood has a chance of going down for reptile hibernation, referred to as brumation. If your animal is exhibiting symptoms of illness such as loss of appetite, weight loss, lethargy, loose watery stools that smell sour, or your animal is very young and exhibiting signs traditionally associated with brumation, please schedule a vet visit to assess your animal’s condition.

Bringing Your New Pet Home:

Make sure that your animal’s enclosure is set up properly, and you have everything you need to help your animal grow and thrive with you. Your husbandry is extremely important. An ill-kept bearded dragon will not eat or bask correctly.

Your new animal can take a week or two to settle into its new environment. Limit handling for the first couple of weeks to cleaning the enclosure, feedings or soaking your little one. It may act scared and hide or run from you and may go off food in its new environment. This is normal behavior. Be patient with your animal. Offer food in small amounts. Drop insects into the enclosure to stimulate a feeding response. Offer greens every day. Take your time with your animal and don’t force interaction.

Please feel free to contact me at any time if you have issues or questions! I care about all my dragons and my customers! Email me at or contact via my facebook page at

Enjoy your new pet!