Bearded Dragon Care Guide

Share

MegatronBearded Dragons (Pogona vitticeps) make excellent pets for reptile lovers.These lizards are called Bearded Dragons due to their ability to puff out and blacken the flap under their chin. They are active, entertaining, amusing, reasonably sized (adults are typically 18-20 inches), tame, hardy (they can live from 8 to over 12 years), and have great personalities! They tend to be easier to handle and care for than other lizards like iguanas, because they are more docile reptiles and tolerate being held well although there are always exceptions. Most bearded dragons do not bite or show any signs of aggression. They can come in a variety of different morphs including normal (grey/brown), German giant (with males sometimes exceeding 24 inches), red/gold, sandfire (red/orange), tiger, striped, citrus, leather back, silky smooth, hypomelanistic (bleached appearance and clear toe nails), leucistic (grey-white), green, gold iris, and more morphs are emerging as Bearded Dragons are becoming one of the most popular pet reptiles. Bearded Dragon can cost anywhere from $30 to over $150 depending on the morph, size, age, and color. Also, the set-up for these reptiles can run a few hundred dollars, and crickets can cost about $0.05-$0.12 a piece and dubia roaches can cost over $0.50 each at a pet store. (You can order crickets, dubia roaches, waxworms, and superworms in bulk at some websites, which can save you a lot of money). Also, any new adult reptile pet should have a parasite test which usually cost around $50. Good hygiene is essential when handling Bearded Dragons, because, like other reptiles, Bearded Dragons can carry Salmonella. It is best to wash your hands both before and after handling a reptile. You do not want to expose your pet to anything on your hands that might be harmful, and you do not want to contract Salmonella after handling a reptile.

MARGE IMG_5547 IMG_5452 IMG_6554 IMG_7341

Enclosures and Supplies:

Bearded Dragons are native to the arid desert regions of Australia, thus enclosures must be warm and dry. Below is a detailed list of supplies you will need to properly set-up an enclosure for your Bearded Dragon.

  1. At least a 40 gallon tank for one adult Bearded Dragon and at least 90 gallons for two Bearded Dragons. Enclosures should be long and wide rather than tall and narrow. If you have more than one Bearded Dragon, you will probably need to separate them at times although some females can get along together. This means you will need an additional cage and set-up. Two males should not live together, and a male and a female should be separate except for breeding times. IMPORTANT ADVICE: If you plan on using an old, second-hand, or used cage, you must thoroughly clean it with a bleach solution to kill any parasites and/or organisms. Use 1 part bleach to 5 parts water and let it soak for at least 20 minutes then rinse thoroughly. You can look at local classified ads for a used tank to save a lot of money, but again it must be thoroughly clean and sanitized before you use it. The tank does not need to be completely water tight.
  2. A quality UVB 10.0 desert light and lamp or hood. You can get a Mercury Vapor light or a quality fluorescent tube light. The best is 10.0 ReptiSun. Avoid coil bulbs. UVB light should span the length of the cage. Bearded Dragons need UVB light to make D3, which they need to absorb calcium. UVB bulbs need to be replaced about every 6 months to 1 year to maintain maximum effectiveness. TIP: On warm days, bring your Bearded Dragon outside on a screened in area or mesh enclosure. (Don’t use glass or plastic enclosures outside, since UVB light cannot penetrate thru them and they can amplify heat to very dangerous levels). Beardies love natural sunlight, and it is the best source of UVB for them. Some people in warm climates even house their bearded dragons outside permanently.
  3. A secure lid for the cage. Bearded Dragons are good climbers, so you will need a cover to keep your beardie from escaping. You CANNOT use a glass or plexiglasss hood, because UVB light cannot penetrate them.
  4. A basking light and lamp. The basking site temperatures should reach 90-100 degrees. Lights should be no further away than 1 foot in to be effective. Bearded dragons are cold blooded and need warm temperatures to properly digest their food. You get reflective lamps at a hardware store instead of a pet store to save some money, but try to get one with a ceramic base not plastic.
  5. Substrate. For babies, juveniles, and sub-adults, use newspaper (black and white only), blank paper and/or paper towels, which are cheap and easy to clean out. Ceramic, porcelain, or slate tile may also be used. For adults, sand may be used with caution do to the risk of impaction. Bearded Dragons are from the Australian desert, and they enjoy digging and burrowing. Some people use newspaper, paper towels, tile, or other substrates for adults, but I find my adult Bearded Dragons enjoy sand or a mixture of sand and soil best. They like burrowing under their caves and digging themselves a little bed almost every night. Sand substrate can be safe as long as the enclosure is set up correctly, beardies are always fed in a dish or other clean surface, and the enclosure is kept clean. Precautions must be taken to avoid ingestion which can cause impaction. It is a great idea to have the part of the cage where the bearded dragon feeds from to be tile or to lay paper down or a plastic bin to feed from to ensure beardies do not ingest the sand as it can cause problems. Just using tile is also a great alternative to using sand, and it is much easier to clean. TIP: Go to a hardware store and tile and buy natural filtered play-sand for adults (DO NOT use calcium-sand as it can cause impaction). Play-sand is cheap (about $4 for a 50 lb bag), and it can be safe if the necessary precautions are taken. They are also easy to clean and replace. (Make sure you have a good poop scoop for daily cleaning. NOTE: NEVER shift the sand! It will get dust everywhere and is unhealthy for you and your pet to breath. You may only scoop the sand and try to get as much soiled sand as possible). Sand also needs to be completely cleaned out and replace at least every couple months. I do not recommend using reptile carpet, as it is difficult to clean throughly, can hold parasites, can smell, and should be replaced often.
  6. Thermometers and a humidity meter to insure proper temperatures and humidity levels are maintained. There should be a cooler zone with temperatures in the 80s, and a warmer basking area with temperatures 90- 100 degrees. It is best to have a thermometer in both the cool side and warm side to ensure temperatures remain in range. Their environment should never get below 60 degrees at night. Bearded Dragons must be able to regulate their body temperature in order to digest their food properly. They must be able to expose themselves to warm temperatures near a basking/ heat lamp, so you should have basking rocks and sticks near the source of heat. Your beardie should be able to get within one foot of the heat lamp; lamps that are too far away are much less effective. Humidity should be relatively low and remain around 40%. Humidity of 60% or higher are too high and can sometimes cause respiratory infections.
  7. A timer to turn lights on and off regularly. I recommend digital timers, because they tend to last longer, are more durable, and many have a battery back-up. Lights should be on about 12 hours every day, and an hour or two longer in their active/ mating season usually in spring and summer.
  8. Climbing decor including branches, sticks, and basking rocks. Bearded Dragons enjoy climbing and basking on sticks. Do not use sticks or branches from outside as these may be toxic to pets and contain chemicals or organisms that may be harmful. Never re-use old sticks or logs unless you are absolutely positive they are parasite free. They cannot be cleaned thoroughly if there is any parasite infection and must be thrown out.
  9. Hiding and shading areas like caves and tunnels. Bearded Dragons like to get away from the heat sometimes and hide in shady areas, especially during brumation.
  10. Calcium Carbonate supplements should not contain D3, because your pet should be getting it from UVB bulbs and sunlight and high levels of D3 can be toxic. Without proper nutrition and calcium, Bearded Dragons can develop metabolic bone disease, deformities, broken bones, and become more prone to other illnesses. Calcium carbonate is the best supplement for Bearded Dragons, and you can get it at a health food or nutritional store. My vets have advised to avoid supplements at a pet store, because they are not regulated and may even be harmful or toxic at high levels for your beardie. TIP: The best way to give your Bearded Dragon calcium is to put several crickets in a plastic bag or small container and put some calcium carbonate in. Then gently shake to lightly coat the crickets and feed your Bearded Dragon the dusted crickets.
  11. A shallow food and water dish and clean, filtered, chlorine-free water. Bearded Dragons enjoy the occasional dip in the water, especially when they are shedding. NOTE: Bearded Dragons are desert reptiles and don’t need to be misted every day, because it can raise humidity levels. However, some baby bearded dragons need help finding their source of water and may need to be sprayed on occasion. It may also be necessary to drip water on the tip of their nose with an eyedropper so they lick it off. It is very important that you make sure your pet gets enough water without raising humidity levels in their enclosure, because they can easily and quickly become dehydrated (especially babies).
  12. A feeder container(s) to keep roaches/crickets/other insects in and quality feed to give them. Feeders must be kept clean, because sometimes reptiles can get mites or other parasites from insects kept in feeders. Roaches should be “gut loaded” with quality calcium fortified feed.
  13. Night time source of heat if your home gets below 60 degrees. These include black lights, under tank heats, ceramic heat emitters, etc. Don’t use red night light bulbs, because they are not good for reptile’s eyes and bearded dragons don’t like them. (Mine threw a fit and would not sleep when I tried to use one). Also, don’t use hot rocks, because they can sometimes cause serious burns.
  14. The Bearded Dragon Manual” by Phillippe de Vosjoli is the best book available about bearded dragons.
  15. An accurate scale like a digital kitchen scale or letter scale will help you keep track of your bearded dragon’s weight. A significant weight-loss can indicate a health problem like parasites, poor nutrition, or other health problem. For a young bearded dragon, it’s a good idea to record his/her weight and length on a weekly basis. A dip in weight and/or no gain in length over the course of a couple weeks may indicate a health problem like parasites, which unfortunately is very common in beardies, especially young, newly acquired beardies. It’s best to note your bearded dragons health before other problems develop. Parasites are easily treated with medication if caught early.

Food:

SAM_1030 download (7) download (11) download (9) download (8) download (10)

Bearded Dragons are omnivores and eat a variety of food including mustard greens, turnip greens, dandelion greens, collard greens, romaine lettuce, some fruits and vegetables, super worms, waxworms, roaches, and crickets. It is best to feed bearded dragons in the morning and/or at least 4 hours before their lights turn off for the night. This will give your pet time to properly digest his/her food. Adults should be fed approximately 80% greens (adding in some fruits for variety) and 20% crickets and other insects (this is a source of fat and protein). Baby Bearded Dragons should primarily be fed size appropriate crickets or roaches (no bigger than the space between their eyes) in addition to being offered fresh leafy greens every day. It is very important to expose them to a variety of fruits and vegetables when they are young, so they get used to eating other foods. Baby and juvenile beardies should eat approximately 80% crickets and 20% greens (some fruits). Food should be finely chopped up to an appropriate size for them to eat easily.

  1. Greens should be offered every day. These greens include turnip greens, mustard greens, dandelion greens, collards greens, and romaine lettuce. They should be washed thoroughly and chopped up to an appropriate size before offering it to your pet. DO NOT give your beardie iceberg lettuce as it contains no nutritional value. Beardies should only be given spinach and kale in moderation, because calcium binds to the iron in it. TIP: spray greens with water before offering them to your pet. This will help keep your pet well hydrated.
  2. Fruits should be occasionally and sparingly offered and experimented with to what fruits your beardie likes. Bearded dragons tend to have different tastes in foods. I’ve found that all of my beardies enjoy chopped up peaches. Some will also eat chopped up mango, papaya, kiwi, banana, pear, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, honeydew melon, cantaloupe, grapes, and apples. They may also eat red hibiscus flowers on occasion as long as they have not been treated with any chemicals. Too much fruit can cause watery poop, so only give them fruits as treats in moderation.
  3. Roaches, crickets, wax worms, and superworms should be offered to adults 3 to 4 times a week. Babies, juveniles, and sub-adults should be offered smaller size appropriate dubia roaches or crickets daily. Feeders should be no larger than the space between the bearded dragon’s eyes, because larger food can cause impaction and/or paralysis in hind legs. Beardies should be allowed to eat as many crickets as they want in 5- 10 minutes, and when they have stopped eating remove the crickets. Before giving crickets to your pet, put them in a plastic bag or small container with some calcium carbonate. Shake and then feed them to your pet. Crickets should be dusted with calcium every other feeding. Roaches should be “gut loaded” by eating a diet rich in calcium. This will ensure your beardies gets an adequate amount of calcium in their diet. Dubia roaches are the best feeder for beardies as they contain more protein and are more nutritious. Babies may each be fed separately in another small cage to ensure that uneaten crickets do not feed on your beardie. Also, baby bearded dragons that have to compete for food are likely to nip/attack each other, which can result in toe nips, missing toes, tail nips, tail deformities, and other injuries. Feeding each baby separately will ensure than each beardie is getting an adequate amount of food and eliminate competition for food. Do NOT feed your baby bearded dragon mealworms. The mealworm’s chitin is too hard for them to digest. Only give adults freshly malted mealworms and cut them in half before feeding them to your beardie if you choose to give them mealworms at all since there are more nutritious alternatives.eyes
  4. Commercial pebble diets may also be offered to Bearded Dragons in moderation. I’ve had some beardies that like Bearded Dragon food pebbles and others that don’t. I usually only offer it to them in addition to their regular diet.
  5. Some people also give their adult bearded dragons pinky mice. This should only be done once or twice a month at most due to the high fat content in pinkies. It is also best to only offer them thawed out frozen pinkies to avoid any possible parasite infection.

What to Look for When Purchasing a Bearded Dragon:

    • Look for a larger, plump, alert Bearded Dragon. Don’t buy a Bearded Dragon unless it is at least 6 weeks old and at least 6 inches in length. Younger Bearded Dragon babies are very cute, but they have a greater chance of becoming ill or dying. They can also suddenly stop eating and may have to be force fed. It is definitely worth it to pay a little more for a bearded dragon that is at least 6 weeks old.
    • Look closely at the Bearded Dragon’s limbs, tail, and toes to make sure they are not swollen or broken. Broken bones may be a sign of metabolic bone disease. Also, limbs and toes that twitch or tremble are a sign of metabolic bone disease.
    • Make sure the Bearded Dragon is active and alert and is eating regularly on a proper diet.
    • Make sure it has clear and bright eyes that are NOT sunken in. Sunken eyes are a sign of dehydration, and the animal may be near death.
    • Look for fullness in the limbs and tail especially in the base. Make sure you cannot see the tail or hip bones. Lizards store fat in their tails.
    • They should have healthy clean skin with no lesions.
    • Watch the bearded dragon run around and make sure he/she is using all of the limbs and not limping or stumbling. Look for any deformities. A missing toes and tips of the tails is not a big deal if it has healed properly. These injuries usually happen from nips from cage mates or improper shedding.
    • Look at the enclosure the bearded dragon has been kept in to make sure it is clean and the food is fresh. Make sure the bearded dragon has gotten proper expose to UVB light and has been given calcium supplements.
    • DO NOT purchase a Bearded Dragon if it is skinny, listless, or the eyes are sunken in.
    • When you bring a new bearded dragon home it is normal for him/her to be nervous and timid for the first few days. He/she may not eat well for the 2-3 days. They usually warm up to you quickly though and get used to getting handled.
    • Example of healthy beardies:
      http://dragonrancher.com/available/
    • IMG_7167

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tips and Interesting Facts:

  • Bearded Dragons have unique personalities, and some even like different foods than others. For example, my adult male Bearded Dragon likes banana and Bearded Dragon pellet food, whereas my other Bearded Dragons refuse to eat them. Some Bearded Dragons are more active, easier to handle, heavier sleepers, more social, etc. This is part of what makes owning Bearded Dragons so much fun! They are all unique and interesting!
    • Bearded Dragons communicate with each other with head bobs (asserting dominance), hand waves (which means “please leave me alone”), and other behaviors. It is fun to watch them interacted with each other, and it is a good idea to get more than one Bearded Dragon so these behaviors may be observed (although they may need to be kept in separate enclosures).
    • Bearded Dragons go through a “winter shutdown” phase called brumation, in which they are much less active, sleep a lot, eat less, and may remain hiding in shelters. During this time, the temperature should be lowered to 60-70 degrees with basking temperatures of 75-85 degrees. Brumation can last from a few weeks to 5 months. The bearded dragon should not lose much if any weight in this period and will remain in good condition. Adult bearded dragons that are about 18 months or older go through brumation every year. Younger bearded dragons most likely will not go through brumation the year they have hatched.
    • Many lizards have a “third eye” on the top of their head also known as a parietal eye. This eye is sensitive to changes in light and is used to detect predators above. You will notice that your Bearded Dragon is always aware of what is above him/her. Bearded Dragons also have a small flap to cover their nostrils to protect it from sand and other objects. Additionally, Bearded Dragons have small sharp teeth and a lot of power in their jaw. If an adult bites you for any reason, it is likely that it will hurt and may draw blood. Also, never use glass eye droppers to give fluids, supplements, meds, etc. to your beardie, because he/she can easily break them in his/her mouth.
      download (12)IMG_9319 Gape2 IMG_1332
    • Bearded Dragons sometimes use “gaping” to control their body temperature. They will open their mouth when basking in light to cool down their body. Short periods of gaping is usually not a sign of alarm as long as his/her breathing remains normal and is not heavy or labored. Prolonged heavy or labored breathing could be a symptom of a respiratory infection, which would be need to treated as soon as possible. Prolonged periods of gaping can also mean the enclosure is too hot and the temperature needs to be adjusted immediately.

      e

      Gape1ee
    • Bearded Dragons will spread out like a pancake when basking in light (especially natural sunlight). They also lean into the light and may even change to a lighter color.
    • Bearded Dragons may dig a ditch or burrow in sand to sleep in.
    • Bearded Dragons can sleep in some very awkward and uncomfortable looking positions. This is completely normal and entertaining. TIP: The best time to hold your Bearded Dragon is at night when he/she is sleeping, because it wouldn’t try to run away. Also, they tend to snuggle you!
    • 111 111111111 1111 11111aaaaa
    • Bearded Dragons can become a lighter shade that is often their prettiest color when they are sleeping. You may also notice that young bearded dragons become brighter and develop more intense coloration after they shed.
    • A bearded dragon’s skin may become grey or white when it is about to shed:
    • IMG_6471 IMG_6514shed
    • It is normal for a Bearded Dragon’s closed eyes to bulge out for a few seconds on occasion, especially if he/she is shedding or about to shed. It is also normal for your beardie to be in a bad mood while he/she is shedding. They may also rub up against things to shed skin. They usually enjoy a bath at this time, and it helps soften their skin and makes it easier for them to shed.
    • They lick their surroundings (although not as much as some other lizards, including iguanas).
    • Keep a bottle of hand sanitizer next to the cage so you remember to sanitize your hands after handling your pet.
    • Reptiles need the proper conditions and environment to reach their full genetic growth and color potential. The better you take care of your bearded dragon, the bigger and more attractive he/she will become.
    • It is very important to handle Bearded Dragons often starting at an early age, so they get used to people.
    • The white solids in a bearded dragons feces (or any reptiles’ and birds’ waste) are urates (like urine) and are completely normal. If the urates are not white or light yellow, it could be a sign of a serious health problem like organ problems, dehydration, parasite infection, etc. The urates can also slightly change color in breeding season (usually becoming more red).
    • It is not uncommon for a bearded dragon to point up or curl his/her tail while running around, excited, in warm water, or hot surroundings.
      tail tail1
    • If you see your adult female bearded dragon digging a lot in her cage during the day, she might need to lay her eggs. Put her in a large container with at least 1 foot of sandy soil. I use a couple bags of chemical-free topsoil and some play sand. Then pat down the soil and moisten it with water. Start a hole for her with a small shovel and check on her after awhile to see if she’s laying eggs. She might not lay her eggs if the conditions are not to her liking, so may have to make some adjustments. Some people also let their bearded dragons lay their eggs in water, although this may not work with all beardies.
    • SAM_1177 SAM_1174
    • Some female bearded dragons may lay eggs without being mated.
    • The tip of a bearded dragon’s tongue is usually white (or lighter pink) and a little sticky. This helps them catch prey.

      b

    • It is normal for a Bearded Dragon’s beard to puff out and/or turn black if he/she is excited, ready to mate, ready to fight, scared, or spooked. Males tend to do this much more often. However, if the black beard is constant it could be a sign that the bearded dragon is in pain or something is wrong with his/her habitat. The skin under the scales of a bearded dragon’s beard is jet black.
      Megatron1STP83710IMG_9322
    • You may find your Bearded Dragons love water! Some of them really enjoy playing in shallow baths of 1/2″ – 1″ of water. (Although prolonged expose to water could cause your beardie to develop a respiratory infection). They can be very entertaining in water! A warm bath can also help your beardie when he/she is shedding or if he/her has become constipated. Giving your beardie a few drops of olive oil and rubbing your pet’s belly will also help if he/she is constipated.

      SAM_0119IMG_9309

    • Baby bearded dragons grow up fast. They can easily grow more than an inch in a month and can even grow as much as an inch in one week!

Warnings:

    • You will read a lot of information about Bearded Dragons and some of it might be conflicting. It is best to use your own judgment in deciding what is best for your pet.
    • Be aware of chemicals and objects around the house that a Bearded Dragon might come into contact with when it is out. Bearded Dragons (and other reptiles) are very sensitive to chemicals and can die quickly if they are exposed. They can absorb liquids through their skin, so they can be exposed without even ingesting the poison. Make sure you wash your hands both before and after you handle your Bearded Dragon.
    • DO NOT expose your bearded dragon to temperatures that are too hot or too cold. Temperatures should range from 80-100 degrees during the day and never get above 110 degrees, and never fall under 60 degrees at night. Reptiles are cold-blooded and need proper temperatures to digest their food.
    • DO NOT leave objects on the floor if your Bearded Dragon is out and be aware of household plants that might be poison. Bearded Dragons tend to eat (or try to eat) anything that looks like it might be food, so be careful what your pets are exposed to. TIP: Potho plants make great house plants and are edible and safe for Bearded Dragons to eat as long as they have not been treated with chemicals.
    • DO NOT feed or let your Bearded Dragon eat a Dragon Fly or fireflies! They are poisonous and will kill your dragon!
    • Avocados are toxic to beardies!
    • DO NOT feed your beardie insects from outside as they might have been exposed to parasites, pesticides, herbicides, or other chemicals that can be very harmful or deadly to your pets.
    • Be careful not to get any hairs in your pet’s food or cage. Longer hairs that are ingested by your pet are very dangerous, because they can tear your pet’s intestines, cause impaction, or other digestive problems.
    • When your bearded dragon is outside, you must keep an eye on them. They are trouble makers and will climb the walls, screen, furniture, etc. They are good climbers, but not great ones. They may suddenly fall when climbing and could seriously injury themselves. They always keep things interesting.
    • Avoid feeding Bearded Dragons mealworms. The skin on mealworms cannot be digested by Bearded Dragons, and mealworms that have not been digested or killed while being eaten can eat their way out of your Bearded Dragon. Also, mealworms do not offer much nutritional value for your pet. Crickets are much better for your beardie.
    • Keep other pets away from your beardie’s cage and surroundings, because they will likely stress out your dragon.
    • Never pick up your dragon by the tail. This can injury your pet. Also, if your Bearded Dragon losses his/her tail, it will NOT re-generate. You should pick up your beardie by gently putting your hand under their belly and lifting them up by supporting their stomach and legs.
    • DO NOT use hot rocks since they can sometimes cause serious burns.
    • Stress can increase the potential for illnesses, diseases, parasites, and other organisms to spread, so it best to make sure their cage is set-up properly and kept clean and tidy.

Warning Signs- See you exotic veterinarian immediately if you observe any of the following behavior:

    • Sunken eyes- This is a serious sign of dehydration and your pet may be near death.
    • Decreased Appetite and/ or Weight-loss
    • Lethargy / Listlessness
    • Swollen limbs, bumps, sores, lesions
    • Paralysis- This is a sign of broken bones, nervous system disorder, or poor nutrition.
    • Discharge/ mucus in mouth, nose, or eyes- This is a sign of infection.
    • Heavy /labored breathing- This is a sign of a respiratory infection.
    • Abnormal / runny or watery feces – This is a sign of parasites and dehydration. Also, especially foul smelling feces can be a sign of parasites. Also note that some fruits and greens can cause runny feces, so keep their diet in mind when analyzing their waste.
    • NOTE: Bearded Dragons are prey animals and may not show any signs of being sick or ill until he/she is near death. It is very important to prevent illness and keep your Bearded Dragon in good health, because it may be too late to do anything when you start seeing signs of illness. Find a vet that is qualified and knowledgeable about your exotic animal, and always ask questions when you need to. Finding a good vet might take some work on your part. Many vets may say they work with exotics, but many are not familiar or well-informed about specific species like bearded dragons. DO YOUR HOMEWORK AND FIND A QUALIFIED VET! (If you live in the Tampa, FL area, the best exotics vet around is Dr. Teresa Lightfoot, DVM, DABVP at Florida Veterinary Specialists & Cancer Treatment Center (FVS)).

Ages of bearded dragons:

Baby: 0-2 months. Hatchlings are normally about 3-4 inches in length. They should be fed size appropriate roaches and/or crickets 2-3 times daily. They should be allowed to eat as many roaches or crickets as they want in a 10 minute period. Feeders should be dusted once a day. They should also be introduced to a variety of chopped up greens in a shallow dish. (I like to use inverted plastic container caps). Water should be available in a shallow container, and the walls of the cage may need to be misted.

   bbb IMG_3696 bb
bbbb bbbbb bbbbbbb bbbbbb

Juvenile: 2-4 months. After 2 months, bearded dragons should be at least 6-7 inches and could even be as large as 9 inches! Young bearded dragons grow quickly and it is very important that they have a nutritional diet at this stage so they reach their genetic growth potential. They should be given roaches or crickets twice a day. They should be dusted every other time. They should also be introduced to a variety of different greens daily and fruits on occasion. Greens include turnip greens, mustard greens, romaine lettuce, and occasionally kale and spinach (the iron in kale and spinach binds to calcium, so avoid giving your beardie too much too often).

IMG_7288IMG_5546

Sub adult: 4-maturity (usually around 18 months). They should be offered crickets once or twice daily, which should be supplemented every second or third day. Greens should make up a more substantial part of their diet. You can introduce other food like superworms, fruits, and commercial bearded dragon food in moderation.

IMG_7558IMG_755311

Adult: 18 months +. Adults are typically 18-20 inches and German Giant morphs can be as large as 24 inches. They should be offered greens and crickets every day or every other day. They should be allowed to eat as much greens as they want. Small amounts of fruits can also be offered. You can also offer them commercial bearded dragon pellet food in addition to their regular diet. It is important to make sure they still get an adequate amount of calcium, so it best to supplement their food every other day.

 IMG_7341IMG_7550

The Importance of Parasite Testing in Reptiles:

Unfortunately, parasites are common in reptiles and are the most common disorder with Bearded Dragons, so testing your pet is extremely important. Some reptiles may show signs of a parasite infection like diarrhea, abnormal stool (usually watery), particularly smelly or foul feces, decreased or increased appetite, weight loss, dehydration, and with some parasite infections you may even see things moving in the animal’s feces. Others may not show any signs of parasites until it is too late to do anything to save their lives. Also, it may be hard to detect the signs of parasites if your pet was infected before you got him/her (as is the case in many incidences), since you would not see changes in appetite or stool. Parasites can be easily spread and can quickly infect an entire collection. They spread through ingestion of feces of an infected animal, contact with a contaminated object or environment, and from contaminated food. It is also possible for hatchlings to have coccidia even if they were never exposed to the environment of the parent.

Having your pet tested for parasites may save your pet’s life. To have your pet tested, you must collect a very recent fecal sample from your pet and bring it to your vet for testing. Some vets may require your pet to stay at their office until a fecal sample is produced. The sample will be examined under a microscope to determine the type(s) of parasites and the best course of treatment. The most common parasite in Bearded Dragons is coccidia, which replicates in the lining of the intestinal tract. Bearded Dragons are also susceptible to pinworms, tapeworms, hookworms, and other parasites. Fortunately, the parasite test is not very expensive or invasive (usually costing anywhere from $10 to over $60), and there are effective de-wormers and anthelmintics (primarily Albon and Panacur) that can help eliminate parasite infections. If a parasite is present, it will also be essential to thoroughly clean your pet’s enclosure and throw out all porous objects that cannot easily be cleaned like climbing sticks, rocks, organic decor, etc. It is also a good idea to house you pet on newspaper and paper towels and used cardboard accessories until the infection is cleared up, so the cage can be easily cleaned daily and every time your pet defecates. The cage and non-porous accessories should be meticulously cleaned and soaked with a water/bleach solution for at least 20 minutes, rinsed thoroughly several times with clean water, and dried. If an object cannot be cleaned thoroughly, it should be thrown out to ensure it does not re-infect your pet. The cage will need to be cleaned thoroughly every day until the infestations has cleared up (usually taking 6-8 weeks). It may be necessary to do more than one round of treatment to eliminate the parasite infection. If the infection cannot be eliminated completely, a de-worming schedule may be advised by your vet.

It is necessary to quarantine any new reptile before introducing it to other health pets to avoid spreading a possible parasite infection. Every new reptile needs to be tested for parasites. Even pets that you’ve had for awhile should be tested. I found this out the hard way. My first and favorite female Bearded Dragon that I had for 3 years died from a parasite she had the whole time I had her. She was active, alert, eating regularly, mating, laying fertile eggs and then she suddenly died. I was heartbroken especially since I had taken her to a vet  before she died, and the vet told me she was perfectly healthy. I had even brought up parasite testing during the appointment with the vet, but I was led to believe there was no reason to be concerned, since there were no obvious signs of parasites and her behavior was normal. Had the test been done, she would still be here today. Please don’t let this happen to you. Please find a knowledgeable vet, and insist on getting your pet tested for parasites.

Metabolic Bone Disease and Calcium Deficiencies:

Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD) and calcium deficiencies are also common it reptiles. MBD is caused by a calcium deficiency in the form of low blood calcium (hypocalcaemia). This happens when there is not an adequate amount of calcium in a reptile’s diet, and this is why a balanced diet including leafy greens and supplement roaches/crickets/waxworms/superworms is so important. MBD and calcium deficiencies can cause soft bones, multiple fractures, deformities, bloating, constipation, muscle twitching, and in extreme cases seizures and death. The good news is MBD is completely avoidable as long as your pet is fed a healthy diet supplemented with calcium carbonate and getting the vitamin D3 from sunlight and/or UVB lights.

Vitamin D3 Deficiency:

Vitamin D3 deficiencies are also common in captive reptiles since most of them are housed indoors and natural UVB light must be substituted with artificial UVB bulbs. Vitamin D3 deficiencies will cause problems with the absorption of calcium since vitamin D3 is critical to the process. The good news is vitamin D3 deficiencies are also completely avoidable as long as your reptile gets adequate exposure to quality UVB light (preferable the natural kind). This is wy it is so important to have a quality UVB light (as discussed in the “Supplies” section). Also, on nice warm days take your pet outside on a screened in area or mesh enclosure for at least 20 minutes 3 times a week. I also recommend buying a mesh enclosure that can easily be brought outside on warm sunny days (like a mesh doggy playpen, which are inexpensive and foldable. Don’t use a glass enclosure outside since the it can amplify the light and get too hot). Always supervisor your pets when they are outside and never leave them unattended. Just 20 minutes 3 times a week outside or more will make a huge difference in your pet’s life.

Determining the Gender of a Bearded Dragon:

It should be easy to determine the gender of an adult Bearded Dragon if you very gently lift up the bearded dragon’s tail and look at the base of his/her tail and thighs. (There are more invasive methods to determine the gender, but these techniques should only be done by an expert). Males have dominant femoral pores on their thighs and have bulges on the sides of the base of their tail. Also, males tend to have larger and broader heads than females (although this is not always the case). Females have much smaller femoral pores and have one small bulge in the middle of the base of their tail. You may also notice the differences in male’s and female’s behavior. Females tend to do a slower head bob than males. It is usually difficult to determine the gender of baby bearded dragons, since males have not developed large femoral pores and any bulges may be difficult to see and distinguish.

ssIMG_0374 sssIMG_0378 s
Share

388 comments

  1. antje says:

    hi there, thanks for all the info- that is all very informative. I’m hoping you or someone else might be able to advise me on a question regarding my bearded dragon. I’m really worried and sick she is ill as I found her this morning with her beard black, as well as her tail turning black, her tongue is white instead pink and even her teeth are black. She is 6 years old and I never had any issues with her. every now and then she stops eating, but that’s normal for her. I just recently gave her a bath to help her with her constipation- which was successful and always helps. She has been sleeping lots lately and hiding out but I blame it on the heat as it is very warm these days. My vet is closed for the weekend and there are not many experienced vets here who look after reptiles. Do you have any idea what it might be??? Thanks for your time!!!!!

    • Mary says:

      I’m so sorry to hear about your ill beardie. The best thing you can do for her is to get her to a vet as soon as possible. Many areas have vet offices that are open 24 hours (in the Tampa area, Florida Veterinary Specialists now called BluePearl Veterinary Partners are open 24 hours). Any vet office should be able to get her started on an IV, because she’s probably dehydrated. They should also be able to give her antibiotics or parasite medicine depending on what they find. The constipation makes me think it could be a high load of parasites, while the black tail sounds like it could be an infection. Is her stomach tense? Are there lumps in her belly? Without proper testing and most likely an x-ray, it’s almost impossible to tell what it is. If it is not possible to get her to a vet right now, give her fluids in the meantime while continuing to give her baths to help with the constipation. Also, make sure she gets something to eat to keep up her strength and keep her warm and as comfortable as possible. In the morning if you still can’t take her to a vet, make sure she gets a lot of natural sunlight outside. I really hope this helps. Best of luck with everything.

  2. krissy says:

    thank you for the help. do you know if it better to have a female and a male or a female and female? do not care if they mate.

    • Mary says:

      It is probably best to get two female bearded dragons and preferably females that have been kept together for awhile and are relatively the same size. Many females get along just fine together but others don’t. Every beardie is different. Just keep in mind that not all bearded dragons will have a harmonious relationship, and you may end up needing separate cages for them. I have a female that refuses to share a cage and will attack any cage-mate. If you have a male and a female, you will definitely need to separate them during mating season, because the male will continuously try to mate with the female. This can be very stressful and unhealthy for the female. A male and a female tend to get along okay during non-breeding times, but again every beardie is different. I had a male and female that would snuggle each other and were absolutely adorable together.
      Having two females is the only way you might be able to avoid having two cages and set-ups. If having another set-up and cage isn’t a problem, then you can have either two females or a male and a female. I hope this information helps.

  3. Kris says:

    How do I decrease the humidity level in my habitat (40 gallon tank)?

    • Mary says:

      You can decrease the humidity level by removing any water dishes from the cage if you have any. Adult bearded dragons don’t need a water dish, since they should get most of their water from their food. If you do choose to have a water dish make sure it can’t be tipped over and only contains a small amount of water (less than 1/2 inch). Bearded dragons also don’t need to be sprayed with water in their cage, which will significantly increase the level of humidity. (They tend to enjoy an occasional bath instead for getting sprayed). Use a substrate that doesn’t hold water like sand or newspaper, and remove any soiled or wet substrate promptly. If you are already doing these or if the humidity is still significantly too high, you may want to keep the cage in a room with a mini dehumidifier. In my experience as long as the cage is kept dry and clean and the bearded dragon isn’t exposed to an excessive amount of humidity for a prolonged period, humidity hasn’t been a problem if the bearded dragon is otherwise healthy.

      • Jen says:

        I’m sorry to say this, especially because by your care sheet on bearded dragons you seem to know quite a bit, but to suggest that people use sand for a substrate is not a good idea. For people who know the risks it would be ok, I guess, but for Bearded Dragon owners who don’t know the risks/symptoms of impaction that can be caused by sand as a substrate suggesting it could be dangerous.

        • Mary says:

          Hi Jen,
          I agree that sand is not safe if the necessary precautions are not taken and if it is not cleaned throughly and regularly, but sand is more natural for beardies and they enjoy it a lot more. I have used sand for more than 10 years with my adult beardies and have never had any problems, but I do take precautions to avoid ingestion and impaction and keep the enclosure clean. I have update my care guide to reflect the changes and necessary precaution that must be taken and have implied the risk of impaction if the sand is ingested. I have also suggested tile as a great alternative and is also easier to clean.

          Thanks,
          Mary

          • philip says:

            I have just rescued 2 beadrdies and the female one is pregnant and digging a lot, i have a lay box ready i was just wondering what i should do with the male, should i put him in a separate viv?

          • Mary says:

            Hi Philip,
            Yes, he needs to kept in a separate enclosure. Otherwise he will mate with the female continuously, and it is very dangerous, stressful, and potentially deadly for her. She needs time to recover and take a break from him. Make sure you feed her really well and give her extra calcium carbonate for a few weeks. Laying eggs takes a lot out of a female, and she need time to recuperate.

            Best wishes with your new beardies! Please let me know if you have any more questions.
            Thanks,
            Mary

  4. […] For Your Pet AboutBearded Dragon Care GuideCleaning TipsPet ProductsPhotosBearded DragonsShelters var AdBrite_Title_Color = '191919'; […]

    • Julia says:

      I have two 9 month old bearded dragons, one male the other female. The male is often showing dominace but now he’s biting her. Is that normal? What should I do?

      • Mary says:

        Hi Julia,
        A male and female of this age need to be separated. A sub-adult or adult male can never be kept with another bearded dragon, because he will attack (or try to mate with a female). Some male bearded dragons cannot even be kept in the same room within site of another bearded dragon, because he will charge the glass and become stressed out. You need to separate them and keep them in different enclosures.
        Thanks,
        Mary

  5. Sophie says:

    I have a 6 month old bearded dragon, she is healthy in every sense of the word. However, her tail is grey compared to the rest of her, and the grey colour has a cut off point at the base of the tail, its been like that from a couple of sheds ago, I know its not due to shedding as it was like that straight after a shed.

    • Mary says:

      Young bearded dragons grow up fast and it can sometimes takes awhile for their tails to catch up to the rest of their body. It is completely normal for a young bearded dragon to have a grayish tail, because the tail grows and sheds differently than the rest of the dragon. It is also normal for the tail to be one shed behind the rest of the body. If the tail ever starts to turn black, hard, and/or brittle that is a sign that the tail is starting to or has already died, and you would need to bring the dragon to the vet immediately. Bearded Dragons do not regenerate their tails like some other lizards.

    • Megan says:

      This is because she is going to shed

  6. John says:

    Hi u really know if stuff. I’m worried bout my bearded dragons he’s bout four months old he’s eating well very alert and active. But when he does the toilet it’s watery and greenish in colour. Also it absolutely stinks and I mean stinks. Do you think it’s anything to worry about.

    • Mary says:

      Watery and stinky poop can be a sign of parasites. You should bring a fresh stool sample (2 hours old or less) to vet to have it checked out. The vet may prescribe albon and/or panacur depending on what type of parasite(s) (if any) are found. It is important to get the dosing right especially for a young bearded dragon. Sometimes baby bearded dragon are born with parasites from their mother, but they can also get them from their diet or environment (like used cages or accessories). A bearded dragon may not show any other signs of parasites. Watery poop is especially concerning, because it can dehydrate a beardie very quickly. Parasites can kill bearded dragons if they have a heavy load of them. Parasite testing should be a part of regular care for any beardie and should be done at least once a year and preferably twice a year.
      Watery, stinky, and green poop can also sometimes be due to their diet. Turnip and mustard greens are known to cause smelly and green poop. Green poop can also be caused by some bearded dragon commercial green pellet food. Water poop can be caused by too much fruit in their diet. Fruit should only be given as the occasional treat. You should have your bearded dragon checked for parasites and then adjust his diet to see if that clears up the problem. Hope this helps. Best of luck with your beardie!

  7. John says:

    Hi thanks very much for your advice we will get him to the vet to be checked out.We have been feeding him cockroaches then locusts and crickets he has a mixed diet we were told to give him spring greens which he loves he has no fruit at all in his diet.All his surroundings were bought from new and we keep it as clean as we can nothing is left lying in his tank.Thanks again

    • Mary says:

      It sounds like your bearded dragon is very well taken care of. Parasites are the most common illness in bearded dragons, so chances are that’s what’s wrong if there turns out to be any problems at all. You never know what a beardie was exposed to before you got him, and they can also get parasites from feeders. It’s best to have a bearded dragon tested to be sure parasites aren’t a problem, especially since if left unchecked parasites can kill a beardie. You might want to also change up his diet to include more turnip and mustard greens, because they are better for beardies than spring greens. You start to cut back on giving him insects to a few times a week. Again, best of luck with everything!

  8. John says:

    Hi sorry to bother you again,what is the best substrate that is edable and safe and also looks good?We have been looking in different pet stores but are unsure what to buy.

    • Mary says:

      The best substrate for beardies is filtered play sand that you can get a hardware store for only a few dollars per 50 lbs bag. It’s cheap, easy to keep clean, easy to replace, safe for adult beardies, looks good, and they LOVE to dig in it. I also sometimes make sandcastles with play sand for my beardies to enjoy and destroy. If you use play sand or any other sand, you will need feed your beardie using shallow bowls or a flat clean surface to minimize the risk of sand getting into their food and ingested. There are no suitable edible substrates that I’m aware of. Calcium sand should be avoided, because it can cause impaction if too much is ingested. You may also use reptile carpet, tile, or newspaper if you like, but it’s harder to keep clean and beardies will miss out on being able to dig. Baby beardies should be kept on paper or paper towels to avoid the risk of ingestion and impaction.

  9. Derek says:

    I just got my first dragon three days ago. He is very active and has a healthy appetite, but I haven’t seen any feces in his cage. I gave him a warm bath, and rubbed his belly but that didn’t work. Am I being paranoid or is this normal for young beardies?

    • Mary says:

      How old is your beardie and does he have any hard/large lumps in his belly? Is there any discharge? It is normal for adults and sometimes sub-adults to go several days without defecating especially during brumation. Also, moving a beardie to a new home can be stressful for any reptile and may slow or delay the digestion processes a bit which is normal. Young bearded dragons should defecate at least a few times a week. If the bearded dragon is two months old or less, it could be a sign that something is wrong if he/she doesn’t defecate every day or every other day, because some babies are born with deformities or other problems that make it difficult or impossible to void. Also, very young beardies can become impacted very easy and will usually have a large and/or hard lump in their belly. They may also have some discharge but no stool. This would definitely be a cause for concern. Another problem that could delay a void is improper temps and/or dehydration.
      It sounds like your beardies behavior is normal, and he may just need a few days to settle into his new home. The fact that he is very active and eating well is a very good sign. You should just ensure that the temps in his habitat are appropriate, so he can properly digest his food. You might even want to give him a little bit of water and sometimes Acidophiliz+ can help.

  10. Susan says:

    Hi. Great site and info. I have two young beardies purchased about two months ago. They were roughly 4 inches long and now are between 6-7″. Both have always had a voracious appetite for crickets and recently started eating their greens and veggies. One is noticeably smaller than the other in overall size/width and three days ago refused all food. Nothing visually unusual other than on occasion it will gape (which I’m familiar with)but followed by extending it’s tongue and mimics a retching motion. Otherwise, active, alert, basks in it’s hammock. I have given it a warm soak and stroked it’s belly, which is not hard or protruding. Any ideas or is this normal from time to time? I am a first time beardie owner and have fallen totally in love with these little guys! Any help would be great. Thanks!

    • Mary says:

      It is not normal for a baby bearded dragon to stop eating and refuse all food for several days. (It can be normal for adults to not eat for several days especially during brumation). It looks like you bought a baby that just hatched since they hatch at about 4 inches. Reputable breeders and pet stores shouldn’t even sell bearded dragons that young, because some of them just don’t make it. Bearded dragons should be at least six to eight weeks when sold and at least 6 to 7 inches long. It is sometimes normal for some baby beardies to be bigger than others the same age. For example, I have some babies that are over 10 inches long at 3 months and one baby that is only 8 inches and healthy. Although, if you buy a beardie you should always try to get the biggest and more robust one in the group. Some bearded dragons are just more vigorous eaters than others and some eat more crickets and some may eat more greens. For the baby beardie that isn’t eating you can try to force feed him/her; I have saved a few that way. Buy a can of small crickets at a pet store and try to force a few small crickets into his/her mouth anyway you can safely without injuring the baby. Do not feed your beardies mealworms, because they are too hard for them to digest. You should also try to give him/her some fluids. He/She may be extending his/her tongue due to dehydration. Get a plastic (don’t use glass) eye dropper or syringe, fill it with water, gently slip it into his/her mouth, and give him/her as much water as he/she can safely and easily swallow. You should also get Acidophiliz+ if you can find it at a pet store and follow the same instructions. Also, light mist your beardies with water daily and check the temps and humidity in the cage to ensure they are not too high or low. This will ensure than your beardies can properly digest their food. If it’s warm enough where you are, bring your beardies outside to get some natural sunlight, which can help perk them up and is really good for them. I really hope this helps, and your beardie starts eating on his own again.

  11. Allshewrote says:

    So I got my baby beardie about three weeks ago first reptile studied up on him before I bought him he is very active and alert I noticed the last few days though his head is the same color as it was when I bought him but the rest of his body is greyish almost ashy i know probably a stupid question but is it because he is shedding or stress because I not seeing any loose skin his hot side of his cage is about 90-95 cool side about 70-75 eats a lot of crickets he also seems a little moody

    • Mary says:

      Yup, you’re right. He’s definitely about to shed. The head, tail, and limps can shed awhile before or after the rest of the body. Beardies can also be more moody when they’re going through a shed. Misting him with water, vita-spray, a shedding aide or giving him a warm bath might improve his mood and help him shed.

  12. beth says:

    Hi, i’m a bit concerned about my beardie, she/he (we can’t tell lol) is 3 years old, havn’t really had any problems until now with her, the last week shes been going black whilst in her tank and running to one side of it and sctraching and jumping and flicking her substrate everywhere and jumping up the glass etc, i take her out and shes fine, but then she sometimes runs up to the outside of her tank and starst stratching at it lol, shes eating and pooping fine, temps are fine, the pet store said this was normal behaviour and might be in season? but im worried, please help. x

    • Mary says:

      It could be a lot of things. It could just be normal beardie behavior. Sometimes they are just act a little crazy, and sometimes they just need more time outside of the cage. Try to take her out as much as you can and if possible take her outside to get some natural sunlight. You may also want to try a different UVB 10.0 light too. (Some UVB 10.0 lights only provide adequate UVB light for about a year and then need to be replaced). It could be that she is preparing for brumation (winter shut-down), and if she is only about 3 years old this might be the first time she goes through brumation. Sometimes before brumation beardies become very active. They can also do this after they come out of brumation. If she is about to go through brumation, make sure she has somewhere comfortable to stay like a cave she can dig in with playsand. Has there been any change in her appetite or diet? Sometimes beardies go crazy after they poop or if their cage is dirty trying to get away from it. You might want to clean out her cage and accessories and use just regular filtered play sand (from a hardware store) as the substrate. Has she been checked for parasites? Parasites can cause their stool to be especially smelly and cause changes in their behavior. It’s definitely a good idea to have her checked or treated if you haven’t already. Is it possible that she has eggs? Pregnant females will frantically look for a suitable place to lay their eggs and may cause they behavior you’re writing about. Usually, you can see lumps in the beardie’s belly if she has eggs and a suitable place to lay eggs will need to be provided to her. I hope this information helps.

  13. beth says:

    Hi Mary, Thank you for the quick response. I will try changing her UVB light, i cleaned her tank out a few days ago but no change there, her poop is normal still expect it’s smaller than usual but other then that no difference and its not really that smelly, she eats as nrmal too. She hasn’t mated so she couldn’t be pregnant unless i’ve heard of something called a phantom pregnancy? If it is brumation how long will it last for would you say? Thanks for the reply it’s really put my mind at ease x

    • Mary says:

      It could also be breeding season where you are, which could be what the pet store is talking about. (I’m in the US and it’s winter here, but I’m not sure what season it is where you are). Breeding season here is during the spring and summer. Adult bearded dragons can become more active in this time and some can even become more aggressive (mates especially, but females too). A male’s beard and even belly can become black. They may also head bob. Females may become restless during this time. One of my female bearded dragons even became aggressive towards other females. It should be easy to tell if you have an adult male or female. Males have larger waxy femoral pores on their thighs (please refer to the pictures in the guide above).
      Getting some new accessories, more things to climbs, and moving things around might help your beardie become less restless in the cage for awhile. I also like to give them a warm bath on occasion to help calm them down afterward. Try to keep things interesting for your beardie. You can also keep things interesting by trying different foods on occasion, etc. The more healthy distractions and entertainment you can provide, the better.
      Sometimes females can lay unfertilized eggs, so it’s something to consider if your bearded dragon is digging a lot. Although, they usually have a change in appetite.

      If it’s brumation time, the temperature should be dropped to the lower 80s and the lighting should be gradually reduced to about 10 hours a day and 14 hours of darkness for about 2 months to stimulate natural sunlight. A bearded dragons brumation can last anywhere from a few days to a couple months and during this time they eat a lot less.
      Again, I hope this helps.

  14. beth says:

    Okay thanks a lot for your advice, it’s stopped me worrying a lot lol, i worry about any change small or big in my animals. I live in the UK and we’re just sort of passing out of winter now.She does go black on her beard after shes been trying to scratch and jump for a while but the spots on her legs are pretty small so i would guess probably female? I will make sure to get some more stuff for her to keep her entertained :) thank you again x

  15. Beth says:

    Hi me again, i’m starting to worry again as dracos now stopped eating and poopin gbut is still as restless and scratchy jumpy at glass as before, i tried taking her outside and she didnt like that i tried giving her a bath and she almost fell asleep in it, but it seems like she only does this when she sees glass, she went up to my front door earlier and started jumping up at it, please any advice would be helpful im so worried :( x

  16. Mary says:

    Bring her to a vet that specializes in exotics right away. Being that restless and not eating then almost falling asleep in a bath is not normal. Make sure she gets checked for parasites. Also, make sure she gets some fluids in her ASAP.

  17. Beth says:

    The vet near me wont be in for another few days, shes calmed down for the last half an hour which is nice, and she was eyein gup a locust but didnt go for it, she’s basking at the moment, a little bit after a bath she had what looked like white wattery stuff come out, like whats usually with the brown poop but it was just tehw hite stuff and very watery, someone told me this was okay but i dont no :/

    • Mary says:

      That definitely sounds like parasites to me. It will cause watery poop, and it’s not okay. They get dehydrated really fast. I don’t think she can wait a few days for a vet. Find someone that can treat her now

  18. reghardt says:

    hey i need advise my female bearde dragon is 1 year old i got my male bearded dragon a week ago he was alone for 2 years and my female always had a partner i am scared to put them toghter if i bring the female near the male he charges to the window and the he lick his lips can i put them together or not thanks

    • Mary says:

      Unfortunately, you can’t put them together. The male will continuously mate with your female, which is not healthy for her. Adult males and females should be kept separately. Females should be at least 2 years old before they are mated, because otherwise it can cause stress, shorten their lives, stunt their growth, or other problems like metabolic bone disease, ect.

  19. Steve says:

    My females love to watch Internet TV (Hulu) and I do mean they LOVE it, It is a form of entertainment for them and gives them something see when i am not around. Image you stuck in a small room and nothing to do, you go nuts, so to avoid them from going stir crazy, the TV is great.

    • Mary says:

      Great advice! The more entertainment and distractions you can give them the better. I gave my adults a big sand castle the other day, and they had a great time destroying it and digging in it. It kept them entertained for about a day and a half!

  20. Kirsteen says:

    Hi just wondering if you could help please we have got a male beardie and we are getting a female we are going to keep them apart but then put them together to mate how long should we leave them together and when we have the babies we are looking to keep one of the females would it be ok to house it with it’s mother and if so at what age can we do that.Thanks.

    • Mary says:

      Usually, if you put a male together with a female he will get the deed done quickly (like in seconds). If not, you can leave them together for about a day. Just don’t leave them together for an extended time, because the male will continuously mate with the female and stress her out.
      If you keep a female baby, you can probably keep her with her mother when she is full-grown at about 18 months. Although, not all females are accepting of other females especially when they have previously been kept alone and sometimes they can become more aggressive at certain times of the year (like breeding season). You should be prepared to keep them separate if need be.
      I hope this helps.

  21. vicky says:

    Hi,

    I have a beardie who is about 10 months old. Over the last eighteen weeks she has laid eggs twice, 6 weeks apart, she is now digging again and I think she is ready to lay again. She is a lone female, is this normal??
    The petshop has recommended that I put her with a male, but I feel she is too young for this.

    Any advice ??

    Many thanks

    • Mary says:

      Your instincts are right, she is too young to be mated. Females should be full-grown and about two years old before being mated. Mating a female that is too young can cause a shorter life-span, stunted growth, and nutritional problems. Laying eggs can take a toll on her body, so make sure she is getting plenty of calcium and eating a healthy diet with more protein and fat than usual. It is possible for young females to lay eggs. (I had a 10 month old from a breeder that laid two clutches when none of my other females had done that before). How old was she when you got her? If she was seven months or older and had been around a male, it is possible that she had been mated before you got her. It is also possible for females to sometimes hold sperm for several months and lay more than one clutch from one interaction. I hope this information helps.

  22. Maggie says:

    HI, we have had our beardie for almost a year now…he has shed a few times. Eats lots of veg and fruit with crickets or super worms all covered in calcium powder. He goes outside into the sun most days. It may be that he is about to shed but I havent seen this happen or maybe not taken notice before..his head has turned a greyish colour. What does this mean? PLease give me good news..although he is my teenage son’s pet I am the one who feeds him and takes him outside and basically he has become my 3rd son!!! Please help! Regards Maggie

    • Mary says:

      It sounds like you’re taking really great care of your beardie, and he’s just about to shed. They usually turn grey shortly before they shed and sometimes they can be grey for days even weeks before they shed. This is an example of what one of my dragons looked like shortly before he shed and after: http://dragonrancher.com/2010/11/before-and-after/ The change in color can be quite drastic especially as they’re growing up. There’s usually no change in appetite, but they sometimes become a bit more moody during this time. They usually enjoy a bath and being misted daily with water to help them shed.

  23. […] If you’re considering a bearded dragon as a pet for the first time please read this care guide: http://www.helpforyourpet.com/?page_id=1683 […]

  24. kyrell says:

    great advice i just need to know this i got my beardie about 5weeks ago and when i first fed him a horned worm when he went to the bathroom it was white now his neck is turning yellowish greenish please help and reply.

    • Mary says:

      Has he been tested for parasites? Have him tested/treated for parasites. Parasites can cause abnormal and changes in stool (like white or watery stool) along with other potentially serious and deadly health implications. Also, make sure he’s getting enough fluids and greens. Turnip greens and mustard greens will usually make stool become more green in color. Without a picture and more information, I can’t tell you why his neck is changing color. If you noticed any concerning change in behaviour, you might want to take him to a vet that specializes in exotics. Beardies can turn different shades due to medical conditions, stress, mood, shedding, and other reasons. You can also try getting him some natural sunlight outside and try giving him a bath to make him feel better in the meantime. Hope this helps.

  25. kyrell says:

    Well i cant take him outside because its winter its way to cold im in Michigan and i only had him for 5 and a half weeks so i dont think he really showed any behavior changes also will chlorine water kill him and if so where can i get some chlorine-free water?

    • Mary says:

      You can used bottled water, and it only needs to be about 1/2 inch deep in a container that fits the whole bearded dragon’s body (you don’t need to fill a whole bath tub). Water with too much chlorine in it can dry out a beardie’s skin and harm him if he drinks it. A small amount of chlorine in the water is okay, so it just depends on your area’s water.
      It is very important to test for and treat parasites. Parasites are the most common health problem in bearded dragons, and if left untreated they can kill bearded dragons. It can definitely cause the changes in stool that you have described.

      • kyrell says:

        1 more thing my beardie keeps sticking its tongue out and moveing its throat or swaloing for no reason i just dont know whats wrong im going to take it to the vet this week but now every since that 1 time when it wrnt to the bathroom its now have been black it was white that one time i just dont know how to get it to drink i read the advice i just have some of the materials listed for it to drink he only goes in the water and sit there is that how it drinks or something im going to petsmart to get this mini waterfall will that help it drink i dont really see sunken in eyes i dont do you have any examples if that please reply right away!!

        • Mary says:

          Bring him to a vet ASAP! It cannot wait. Black stool can be a sign of very serious medical conditions such as a hogh load of parasites, blood on stool, organ failure, ect.
          The best way to make a beardie drink is to fill a plastic eye dropper or syringe (never use glass) with water, liquid supplement, medication, ect., gently slip it under the beardie’s lip, and carefully force the dropper/syringe into his mouth, and then release the liquid into his mouth.
          I really hope you help your beardie in time and he is okay.

        • debbie says:

          Hi! We went out and bought him a 20 long tank . he been doing good he is eating. I noticed his tail was black so what does that mean. We had him out and he is doing fine but I was worried because his tail was black .

          • Mary says:

            Hi Debbie,
            How old is he? Has he shed recently or been injured? Have you tried giving him a warm bath? A bath may help soften a bearded dragons skin and help it shed and keep it hydrated. Is the tail stiff, hard, or feel brittle? If not, it’s probably normal. Some beardies have tails that are darker than the rest of their body and can be black. Their tail may turn slightly darker depending on the beardies mood and/or temperature. If the tail is black, stiff, hard, shriveled, and/or feels brittle, then the tail may have become necrotic, which can happen due an injury to the tail or a poor shed. When the circulation to the tail has been cut off it will become black as it dies and will eventually fall off. This is a common problem with beardies especially young ones. Usually if only a small part of the tail has been effected, it doesn’t cause a big problem but should be evaluated by a vet. Sometimes the necrosis can spread, and it needs to be amputated by a vet. Keep an eye on his tail and make sure it continues to look healthy. If you notice it looking like it’s dying and the injury is higher on the tail, then bring him to a vet. I hope this information helps, and his tail is normal.

            Thanks,
            Mary
            http://www.DragonRancher.com

  26. jake says:

    i have a female and a male beardy they seem to be mating but the female is a fair bit smaller will she be alright

    • Mary says:

      Females should be full-grown and about two years old before being mated. Mating a female that is too young can cause a shorter life-span, stunted growth, and nutritional problems. Laying eggs can take a toll on her body, so make sure she is getting plenty of calcium and eating a healthy diet with more protein and fat than usual. How old is she, how much smaller is she, and is she smaller due to any medical problems (like a nutritional problems, parasites)? The male should be kept apart from the female after they have been mated to prevent the male from continously mating with the female, which is extremely stressful for the female and can lead to the health problems. If she’s very healthy, is fed a very nutritious diet, and is separated from the male, she should be okay. I hope this information helps.

  27. Rae says:

    hey my bearded dragon had a black neck and now its starting to get white, hes also digging like crazy into the sand, just earlyer he was trying to climb up the side of his cage! hes cute though likes to bob his head and it looks like hes dancing!

    • Mary says:

      Beardies definitely have a lot of personality! They can also get stir crazy sometimes. The more distractions you can give them the better. Take them outside, give them a bath, rearrange their cage, what ever you can do to entertain them.

  28. kyle says:

    my BD hind right leg looks swollen and hes been very weak i also havent seen him eat for two days his spine looks slightly curved to causing an arch when he walks has anyone got and idea whats this is or how i could help him?

    • Mary says:

      It could be a few things, but this sounds like metabolic bone disease (MBD). Take him to a vet asap to confirm and give him some liquids in the meantime since he hasn’t been eating. He will need to be put on liquid calcium, and it will be a long recover period with special care and attention. He will require a special diet rich in calcium, protein, and fat. Also, the more natural sunlight you can get him the better. I really hope this helps.

  29. amanda says:

    I have a 6 month old beardie and she jus went through a shed but she has been sleeping a lot more then she use to her tail has turned a dark grey and she seems to be hiding a lot as well. This is my first beardie and I’m worried that something may not be right

    • Mary says:

      Beardies can become moody when they’re shedding. It sounds like her tail still needs to shed (it is usually the last part to shed and will be grayish until it sheds). It is also normal for the tail to be a slightly different color than the rest of the body when they are young. You can try to help lift your beardie’s moody by giving her a warm bath, giving her a few extra treats, and if possible bring her outside for natural sunlight. Also, check the temps and humidity in her cage and make sure her cage is kept clean and comfortable for her. If all this fails to improve her mood, you should bring her a vet the specializes in exotics and make sure she gets a parasite test. I hope this helps.

  30. Jessica says:

    My beardie is probably about a year old and recently we noticed that he walks funny when he is in his cage. its almost as if he drags his belly along the floor and flops his limbs around. I cant think of any other way to describe it. We dont take him out of his cage as much as we should but when we do he seems to run around fine. We have the reptile carpeting on the floor and a few rocks that he gets on and off of fine. He just seems like sometimes he doesnt know what to do with his limbs. We are not sure if this is a normal thing or a medical issue. He also gets poop stuck on his butt quite often and it looks as if its plugging him up. I give him a bath to loosen it and then try to get it off with a damp towel. Is there a way to avoid this happening? Also, one more thing. I feel like I am such a bad mom with all these problems but he also has a bump on the very tip of his lower jaw. It almost looks like a giant pimple. He lets me touch it and its hard, It doesnt seem to bother him but it doesnt look right. He gets crickets every day dusted with calcium and some greens depending on what we got at the store, though he never seems to be too interested in the greens. Any insight would be very helpful!

    • Mary says:

      I strongly recommend you change the flooring in his cage to sand, newspaper, or something else that can easily be cleaned and replaced. Reptile carpet cannot be cleaned thoroughly and can hold odor and parasites. This can cause stress for beardies. If stool is getting on a lizard the will try to get it off by rubbing/dragging their lower limbs and body trying to scrap it off. This is probably they behavior you’ve been seeing. Make sure his cage is big enough for him (adults need at least a 40 gallon tank and accessories to climb on) and is being kept as clean as possible. Also, do your best to take him out as much as possible and try to get him natural sunlight when it’s warm out.
      As for the bump on his chin, it could be a few things including an infection, mouth rott, an abrasion from rubbing, ect. It needs to be checked out by a vet that specializes in exotics. You should also get a parasite test, because lizards with parasites will also drag/rub their lower body to try to scrap them off. Parasites are very common in bearded dragons, and can cause a lot of behavior changes and health problems. I hope this information helps.

  31. Eric says:

    Hi, first off I’d like to thank you for all the information you have put up, it has been extremely helpful. I have recently gotten a baby bearded dragon, and was wondering if you had any good ideas to keep him entertained. ps. he loves to chase. anything along those lines you might have an idea?

    • Mary says:

      Thanks! I’m glad you like my site! Bearded dragons definitely love to chase things! Make him work for his treats by having to chase them (like I did in this video: http://dragonrancher.com/2011/12/bearded-dragon-christmas/ ). Some bearded dragons will also chase a laser or the cursor on the computer (http://dragonrancher.com/2009/12/baby-bearded-dragon-tries-to-eat-a-mouse/), although they usually loose interest fast. Give him a variety of foods to keep things interesting. You will find that they like some insects and fruits more than others. (Mine like cantaloupe and organic peaches and enjoy super worms more than some other insects). Move things around in his cage and get some new accessories to climb on that you can switch out on occasion. When he’s an adult, give him some sand to play and dig in. Mine also enjoy sand castles in their cage that they can destroy.
      Take him out of the cage as much as possible. They love to run around, climb, and explore new places and really enjoy time outside on warm days. They usually also enjoy the occasional bath (my beardies also love playing in shallow puddles on our patio).
      When you’re not around during the day, try play some videos for him to watch. I’ve heard some beardies really enjoy this. The more things you cam do to entertain and distract them the better. I hope this helps. Enjoy playing with your beardie!

  32. Eric says:

    Thanks, these are great ideas. I’ve also noticed he loves to hunt and stalk the crickets, so I’m going to put some more obstacles in his tank so he has a challenge.

  33. Casey says:

    Hey, I got my lovey BD when he was 3 months old. He’ll be 5 in 10 days. But I’m worried about him. He seem to be very stressed when he is in his tank, but when I take him out he’s fine. I used to have him in a 20 gal when I got him. and he was stressed in that so I switched to my older sisters snake tank (after cleaning ofc)I figured a bigger space would make him happy. But its been awhile since the change and he is still stressed out when I put him back. The only thing that I haven’t changed was lighting ( I have a heat bulb, UVB bulb and a heat bulb that has UVA) that stays at 100 in his hot spot and 90 in the tank, 80-70 in the cool area where his water is. And He has been on repti-carpt in both tanks. I’m not sure what is stressing him out and I really hate seeing him like so. He eats fine and LOVES to run and look around anytime he has the freedom to. I just want him to be happy in his tank when I’m at work or hes not on my shoulder.

    Is there anything you think that might be the issue?
    Thank you.

    • Mary says:

      The more things you cam do to entertain and distract them the better. Move things around in his cage and get some new accessories to climb on that you can switch out on occasion. How big is his cage now? He needs at least a 40 gallon tank. They love to run around, climb, and explore new places and really enjoy time outside on warm days. They usually also enjoy the occasional bath (my beardies also love playing in shallow puddles on our patio). Switch out his reptile carpet for some play sand. They love to dig in sand, and it’s much better than reptile carpet which can hold parasites and is impossible to completely clean. Mine also enjoy sand castles in their cage that they can destroy. Give him a variety of foods to keep things interesting. You will find that they like some insects and fruits more than others. (Mine like cantaloupe and organic peaches and enjoy super worms more than some other insects). Make him work for his treats by having to chase them. When you’re not around during the day, try play some videos for him to watch. I’ve heard some beardies really enjoy this.

      You might also want to get a check-up at a vet that specializes in exotics and have him tested/treated for parasites. Parasites are very common in bearded dragons and can cause a lot of changes in behavior and health. They can also make a bearded dragon very uncomfortable in his own cage. Make sure his cage is kept very clean and it should be thoroughly cleaned every couple months with a disinfecting agent (I use a bleach solution, let it soak for at least 20 minutes, then thoroughly rinse with water, and clean the glass with a vinegar solution).
      Adult bearded dragons can also get stressed out if they don’t go into brumation (winter slow down). You can artificially simulated this by turning down the temperature a few degrees in the winter for several weeks.
      Also, adult bearded dragons can get stressed out in breeding season typically in the spring. The best thing you can do for them then is to keep them distracted with the above suggestions and taking them out as much as possible.
      I hope this information helps.

      • Casey says:

        Thank you Mary :] and his tank is 4 feet long and about 2 feet deep (1 foot across). But I put some boxes under the carpet so his heating spot can reach 100-110. I wasn’t sure if I should put him on sand till he was older, since He likes to lick everything, I was scared he would eat the sand. Maybe I should try and see what he will do. I’m just scared that he’ll die because of something I did.

  34. Solenta says:

    Hi
    My beardie leg was bitten off Like 4 months a go. I just wanted to know what i can do to help him. The tip of the leg is black and when he lost his skin the leg turnd white. When he gets sun or hit the leg get black spots like he gets on his hole body to absorbs the hitte. what can i do?

    • Mary says:

      You should bring him to a vet who specializes in exotics. He will most likely need antibiotics and possibly some surgery to repair the wound, help it heal, and prevent it from spreading. The only thing you can do on your own is use iodine on the area to help it heal and keep it clean. Do not use any other chemical.

  35. Mary says:

    You’re right, you should wait till he’s older for sand if you’re not sure he’s ready or big enough (I wasn’t exactly sure if you meant 5 years or months. Some of my suggestions are for when he’s older). I like to keep young beardies on newspaper, because it’s a lot easier to clean and it makes me have to clean the cage often and move things around in their cage. Young bearded dragons love to chase things and they should have a great appetite, so make sure he gets a good variety of foods and get him used to eating greens in a dish. I usually feed young beardies a couple times a day. First with greens, then insects, and sometimes again in the afternoon if I’m around. It’s good to mix things up for them whenever possible. Try to also get him natural sunlight whenever possible. Young beardies can be very active and curious; this is a sign you have a healthy bearded dragon, and it sounds like you’re doing a great job with him. A parasite test should be done when he’s an adult.

  36. Kelly says:

    Hi, my BD is 3 years old now and I’ve had her since she was 6 months old. Was just wonderung if you had any suggestions… She isn’t interested in bugs anymore and barely touches her veggies. Also, the tip of her tail has started to go black. Any idea what that could be from?

    Many thanks,

    Kelly

    • Mary says:

      Hi Kelly,
      The change in appetite could be due to parasites. Parasites are very common in beardies and can cause a lot of changes in behavior and health. Without seeing her tail, I cannot tell you what it is. It could be a bad shed, an injury, an infection, etc. Bearded dragons cannot lose and regenerate their tails like some other lizards, so it could be a serious problem and it could spread. It really needs to be checked out by a vet that specializes in exotics, and you should also get her tested/treated for parasites. I hope this helps.

  37. Eric says:

    Hey Mary, I’ve been having great fun with my beardie. He’s about 4 months old, and I’m just wondering how long should I handle him for at a time?

  38. Louise says:

    Hi I have a 5 yr old male bearded dragon, took him to the qualified Vet last week as he wasnt heating and i was worried. Vet did blood test which came back all healthy, the last 2 days his beard has been black and all puffed out alsmost swollen looking and his poop is green and runny – he is also starting to shed but still not heating and just lays with his head on his basking bark looking at his light, both have just been changed and his temps are correct, night time is between 34 and 37 deg C and the night time i lower it slighty, I also bath him every second day to help with his shedding. – Should I take him back to the vet?

    • Mary says:

      Did the vet do a parasite test? The vet needs a very fresh stool sample (with in two hours) to test for parasites. The runny stool and change in appetite definitely sounds like it could be a high load of parasites. You should definitely take him back to the vet with a fresh stool sample and have him tested/treated for parasites. Parasites are very common in beardies and can cause all the problems you’re describing.

      • Louise says:

        Hi – Thanks for your reply, he took blood from him and sent that away and it came back all clear.
        He still isnt eating and his beared is not black anymore but he is still pretty puffy! His poop is not green anymore but a normal brown colour and it doesnt help that he seems to only poop when i give him a bath. I have been told by a breader that he is going into adult hood and sometimes they go up to several weeks without eating and become very grumpy and non responsive.

  39. kyrell says:

    Hi its me again my last beardie died the 1 i was talking about…… i got two babys from petsmart they are very active but sometimes thet close their eyes it looks like their eyes are about to pop out o.o and just swallow alot i tried the dropper and they still wont drink the water what kind of bottled water can they they drink can it be purified or can i use tap water from my sink………… also is it bad if their is a little white in their poop or green their just staring to eat their veggies and actually like it i got them on friday about 4 or 5 days ago they do have their tempature at the right heat i atleast think its sometimes in thee high 90’s to the high 80’s and they just wont drink water for some reason……….. you said they absorb liquids through skin they splash in their water dish and sit there sometimes if you can post some pictures to show example of sunken eyes or if you have baby beardies post a vid of them and is it okay when they close their eyes sometimes it looks like their eyes about to pop out 😮 and they swallow like for no reason i just seat their throat moving up and down…………..

  40. Shona says:

    I have a 10 month old baby bearded dragon, I used to have 4 older ones too, she came from one of my older ones so I have had her since she was born and have taken very good care of her, I’m not sure how big she should be, but she still looks very small. I’m very worried about her as I checked on her this morning and half of her head is a very greyish bubbly texture, It has never been like that before, and I know she isn’t shedding her skin. I’ve bathed and let her swim around in luke warm water in the bath for a little while to see if that would help, but it’s stayed the same. She hardly ever eats her food, I normally feed her cucumber with calcium sprinkled over it as a friend of the family breeds lizards and told me to do that, I keep her hydrated and take very good care of her too. She’s been lying under her log for weeks and hardly ever moves unless I pick her up to check she’s still alive. I live in the UK and it is very hard to find an experienced reptile vet, and it costs a lot of money too. Any idea’s on what it could be that is wrong with her?

  41. Cylie says:

    Hi,
    i have two beardies, their like siblings they came from the same beardie parents but one is old by an egg hatch then the other, the older one isn’t mines but i keep “it” in my room to give it food, water, lovins, and everything else it’s owner doesn’t give, but the younger one is mine. Now i’m a a new owner so i look a lot of stuff up on the inter-web to make sure their healthy and get what they need. i have many other animals i take care of, and is known to give my animals “human chara..” such as feeling, and moods. Which i think is also healthy for them. When they we’re young they shared a “room” together until the older one started “attacking” the younger one (mine) so we had to move them from one another because mine {the younger one} was kinda losing limbs { he had no tip tail, lost toes, ect..}. But i heard it was also healthy for beardies to interact with one another and sense i know no other owner i try to see if these two will interact but all the older one wants to do is attack! so i was wondering what this could mean and what i am to do?
    thank you so much,

    • Cylie says:

      Ooh and when the older beardie was young she never really got the attention she needed, unlike the younger one {mines}, so now as shes older shes mean”er”, she puffs up a lot more and will open her mouth at u, so it scares people away from her, i still try to get her out and give her the attention but to tell the truth sometimes she scares me when she starts to jump, she has never been known to bite but i can never know. Plus i want to let them out around the room to strach their legs

  42. Cylie says:

    .. Sorry i meant to run around but i have cats and is scared that the cats will mess with them, what else do i do?

    Thank you, even more

  43. paulo says:

    hello my baby bearded dragon last night was with a dark beard and his throat was swollen and it appeared that the thenar swallow something, it seems better this morning but still did not eat anything, what should I do.

  44. kyle b says:

    my beardie is almost 2 1/2 months old. she has stopped moving, eating and, drinking. i am very worried about her. we don’t know whats wrong. do you know what it could possibly be? thank you.

  45. Bryn says:

    My bearded dragon died Saturday morning after a very brief eposode Friday night; he war around 6 or 7. I noticed that he was acting strange in his cage, and his beard was very black which I have only seen once before. He also was making a gasping noise a couple of times, and defeacted when I picked him up. My daughter said that I just scared him when he was getting ready to go to the bathroom. The next morning we found him dead, with some blood coming out of his mouth. I took him to the Vet for an Autopsy, haven’t yet heard back. I am devastated. I think I am more upset with this lizard than when my parents died. I feel very guilty, and can’t get him out off my mind. Thought we were doing everything right.

    • Mary says:

      I’m so sorry to hear about your bearded dragon :( They always die so suddenly and with so much heartache. 7 years is a great life for a beardie. You did an excellent job with him. Did the Vet find out what happened and give you some peace of mind?
      Sending my condolences,
      Mary

  46. julia kechnie says:

    hi i have a 7 month old bearded dragon. he’s a boy and lately I’ve noticed that he hasn’t been able to go to the bathroom on his own. everyday other day i soak him in warm water then he poops and when he does rock like objects come out with it and then once the rock like objects absorb water i can squish them open and it reveals a powder, i think it may be the calcium powder that i dust on the crickets every other day. What should i do? I’m really worried about him

  47. Matthew says:

    Hello I am a new owner of this fantastic creature and I am wondering what the maximum age difference between Youths should be? Kira is currently 10 weeks old and we are looking at getting a second one but are unsure if we should get a second tank or if she will be fine in the same tanks as her new friend. I appreciate the help P.L.U.R.

    • Mary says:

      Sorry for my late reply. If you get any another female beardie, you may still need another cage even if they are a similar size and age. Every beardie is different, and they have different personalities. Not all female beardies get all with each other all the time. For example, I have two females that I normally keep together except during certain times of the year (one gets very mood during mating season and will not tolerate another beardie in the same cage). The rest of the year they are fine together and even snuggle eachother. Some female beardies may be fine together all the time, but it is best to have a back-up plan if things don’t work out. Best of luck with a new bearded dragon!

  48. Jonna says:

    Can a bearded dragon travel in a small airplane??

    • Mary says:

      As long as the bearded dragon is not exposed to extreme conditions (like cold temps, extreme heat, too much pressure, ect.) it should be safe to travel in a small airplane.

  49. Catherine says:

    Hi. I’m new here and I need your help. I got a baby bearded dragon last week and I was wondering how I can find out if my beardie has salmonella or not.

    • Mary says:

      You can get a bearded dragon tested for salmonella at a vet that specializes in exotics. You would have to bring a fresh fecal sample for testing (within two hours). It is usually best to assume a bearded dragon (or any reptile or amphibian) carries salmonella and always take precautions. Salmonella is spread by ingesting the bacteria. Don’t let anything that has touch a reptile touch your mouth. Always wash your hands with soap and water after handling any reptile. Bowls, accessories, housing, and reptiles should NOT be cleaned in your kitchen sink or near any surface you might eat off. Sinks or tubs that have been used to clean or bath a reptile or its supplies should be cleaned with bleach. Avoid letting a reptile roam free in your home, unless you plan on sterilizing the surfaces it has walked on. By following these rules, you can safely enjoy your new pet.

  50. Jenn says:

    Hi Mary,

    So I have two adult beardies in separate tanks one had a respitory infection and it has cleard up, but now my other beardie is showing signs of having the same thing. I had thought that my one male beardie was going to dye as he was really struggling and so i put the female in his take so he could say good by to her ( I now that sounds weird but I’m sentimental like that) Any way I was wondering if respitory infections can be spread from one beardie to another and if perhaps that is what occurred here?

    The female who is now showing signs of a respitory infection has a temp of 90- 100 on her hot side which I know I should increase. Her humidity I believe got mess up because she was continuously knocking over her water dish and spilling water everywhere thus increasing the humidity. I have taken steps to increase her heat and have removed her water dish this made a big difference in our male, is there any thing else you might suggest in regards to helping her heal faster from this respitory infection?

    Thanks

    • Mary says:

      Jenn,
      Yes, respiratory infections are contagious so that could be what happened here. You can bring her to a vet to get antibiotics and fluids. You should keep her cage as clean as possible, and it might be a good idea to keep her on newspaper or paper towels to keep her cage clean, warm, and dry. Try to make her as comfortable and stress free as possible. You might also want to use a plastic eye dropper to give her some fluids and make sure she is well fed (if she’s not eating you might have to force feed her).

      You may find this information helpful: http://www.anapsid.org/rti.html

      I really hope this helps and your beardie recovers quickly,
      Mary

  51. Payton says:

    I have been trying to figure out why my bearded dragons hip bones are showing… and i mean they are sticking out far.

    • Mary says:

      If the hip bones of a lizards are sticking out, it usually means the lizard is significantly under weight and may have other health problems (like parasites, MBD, other nutritional problems, etc). He/she should be fed a more nutritional diet that includes more insects, and he/she should be evaluated by an exotics vet to check of other health problems. He/she may need to be put on additional supplements and/or medications.

  52. BL32K says:

    Hi…my beardie is about 3 months old and he appears to be healthy…..but his underside has been black more often then usual….temps are fine he he great and well hydrated I can’t think of anything that can be wrong except for he stays in his basking spot like all day except to feed….can u think of anything???

    • Mary says:

      Hi,
      A black underside for a young beardie can be a sign of stress. Something is probably a bit off in his environment, diet, or health causing him some stress. How often do you take him out of the cage? Sometimes just being in the cage too long can stress them out. Try taking him out outside on warm days in a safe area (like a screened in porch). Also, make sure he has plenty of hiding places in his cage, and it is kept as clean as possible. Give him a warm bath every few days or at least once a week when he’s young. Beardies usually show their best color in a warm bath and it can help them shed more easily. Make sure he’s getting a healthy diet and dust his crickets with calcium carbonate every other feeding. Parasites can also cause a black under side, so if notice any other changes (like in his appetite, behavior, or stool) have a vet test/treat him for parasites. It sounds like your beardie is just a little stressed and needs some more stimulation in his life. Hope this helps.
      Mary

  53. Jennie says:

    I have a young bearded dragon and at night it seems to act very lithargic is this normal?

    • Mary says:

      Bearded dragons are great sleeper and are usually ready to sleep as soon as their lights turn off. As long as your beardie is active and alert during the day, it is normal for him to be lethargic during the night. This is a good time to snuggle your pet, because they don’t try to run away.

  54. Tanya says:

    I have just got two bearded dragons, they were in a basic viv and I am adding to it to make it a lot more interesting for them. I keep reading that it’s not ok to keep them together. they do not fight when inside but once out the larger one becomes vey aggressive , chin blackens and ‘he’ (not sure yet!) goes for her. is it ok to carry on keeping them together or should I look at separating them? He has also been digging in the sand and scratching at the lass to come out. they are both eating well but I’m not sure how to get the to drink, any Eli would be appreciated.

    • Mary says:

      Unfortunately, you will have to keep them separate. The male will stress out the female by trying to mate with her and will make her more vulnerable to health and stress problems. Also, laying eggs is very stressful for females and can take a lot of energy and nutrition out of their bodies. Males can also become violent towards females and seriously injury and scar them. You should definitely separate them. If an adult bearded dragon will not drink water and is healthy (not already dehydrated), they can absorb it through their skin, so you can try to give them a bath, spraying their skin with water, or keeping a shallow bowl of water in their cage. Just don’t spray the whole cage with water because it can raise humidity to unhealthy levels. If a bearded dragon is already dehydrated, you can try to give him water using a plastic eye dropper or syringe and slipping it gently into his mouth. I hope this information helps. Best of luck with your new beardies!

  55. Taylor says:

    Hello There ! Well To Start Off I Have A Male And Female Beardie. I Was Having Problems With Them At First About There Eating Because I Was Told To Feed Them Greens. By Doing So They Stopped Shedding And Their Stool Was Watery. I Changed Their Diet To More Crickets And Meal Worms And They Finally Shed All The Way ! No How, Their Feet Are Turning Black And Both Have Black Underneith Their Chin. Is This Normal ? I Have Read To Give Them A Bath (Which I Was Planning On Doing Tomorrow) Because I May Be Dead Shedding ? I Have no Idea What It Is Though And It Scares Me. Bother Are 8 Months Old And Both Have Been Kept Together Since They Were Little. I Just Hope They Dont Have Parasites Because Their Old Cage Now Holds My Ball Python.

    • Mary says:

      Hi,
      It is not normal for their feet to turn black, and it’s not normal for their beard to be black almost all the time. A black beard and belly can be a sign of stress and possibly health problems. Watery stool is also a sign of health problems like parasites Are their feet hard, stiff, or difficult to bend? If they are, it could be a sign that the toes or foot is dead or dying and they would need to see a vet that specializes in exotics as soon as possible. If their feet are black because they are stained with feces, it is a sign of parasites. You should have them checked out at a vet that specializes in exotics and have them tested/treated for parasites. Continue to give them baths to help them shed. The male and female should be kept separate to avoid stressing out the female. You will also have to keep their cages as clean as possible and make sure they continue eating a very health diet. Some greens can also make their stool watery. It is probably best to use only turnip greens and mustard greens for the time being. I hope this information helps. Best of luck with your beardies.

  56. Darren says:

    hi, i have a 12 week old bearded dragon got it 2 weeks ago as a birthday present from my friends, hes very active, eats regularly etc and has a good enclosure but the past few days ive been noticing his white underside and beard area developing black lines, like vein looking structures they only appear sometimes and go away again but its being prominent the past few days and only goes away for like an hour or so. i have noticed he mostly gets them when he goes in the water. i was just wondering if this is common or am i being too paranoid

    • Mary says:

      Hi Darren,
      These lines can be normal for bearded dragons. Some people call them stress lines, but they are very common for young beardies as long as they don’t have them all the time. If the water is inside the enclosure, you might want to keep an eye on the humidity level and make sure it doesn’t get too high. Bearded dragons are desert reptiles and are comfortable with humidity levels around 60%. If your beardie is eating well, healthy, and active, it sounds like you don’t have to be too concerned about the lines.
      Best of luck with your new beardie!
      Mary

  57. Darren says:

    hi, for about the past half hour or so my bearded dragon has been puffing his beared and then opening his mouth making a clicking or cracking sound, i have noticed he is shedding around his mouth area, is that just his way of getting rid of it? because he wasnt eating either.
    P.S he wasnt puffing his beard or opening his mouth everytime i went near him, i just heard the sound when he was on my bed and i went to investigate and thats what he was doing.

  58. Elizabeth says:

    I have a beardie, female that is about 6 months old. She is 12″ and a regular. She is in a 20gallon enclosure. About a week and a half ago she had a shed, and ever since then she charges at anything that moves past the glass or anywhere close. A couple of nights ago she was on my lap and charged up my chest towards my face with her mouth open. Not all of the time, but sometimes she has charged at your hands or any movement outside of her tank. She has a healthy appetite, she eats about 50 to 60 crickets a day. I feed her in the morning and again at night. She is not fond of any vegetation, but she likes if I give her fruit. Up until her shed she was real lovey and liked being taken out of her take. She has now made me very leary of her. I haven’t been able to find any information about why she is acting this way. Please maybe you could give me some advice as to what to do. Thanks

    • Mary says:

      Hi Elizabeth,
      It’s definitely time to move her into a larger enclosure at least 40 gallons and change her diet to include primarily greens. It might take her some time to adjust to a new diet, but that’s normal. Give her calcium dusted crickets only a couple times a week. Also, make sure her enclosure is as comfortable and clean as possible with lots of hiding spots like caves. It sounds like she’s getting a little stressed out in her current set-up. It will also help to give her a warm bath in shallow water and spritz her skin with water when she’s shedding. Beardies can definitely get a bit moody before, during, and after they shed, but making sure they are as comfortable and well fed as possible will help them feel better. Hope this helps.
      Thanks,
      Mary

      • Elizabeth says:

        Mary,
        Thank you for the information. As a matter of fact….My husband saw and 55 gallon tank and stand on Craigslist for $20.00 we went and got it today. It is in really good shape. Tommorrow we are going to get sand and a screen for it. Greagoir does love a bath, so I do give her one. I have started putting more greens in her tank and I will start feeding her less crickets. She defiantley loves her crickets, but I’m sure when she gets hungry she will eat the veggie stuff. I will keep you posted on her behavior. Thanks again, Elizabeth

        • Mary says:

          That’s great! I hope she likes her new set-up and her behavior improves. If she continues to charge at things, you should probably bring her into a vet that specializes in exotics and have her tested for parasites. Sometimes changes in behavior and appetite are due to parasites or other health problems, but shedding and stress can also change behavior. Hopefully, her mood will improve soon with all the great changes you’re making for her.

          • Elizabeth says:

            Well Greagoir has defiantely started loving her veggies, but only one problem still remains. She is still charging at the glass and now even goes after me when I try to put food in her enclosure or take out the dish to give her more. At night she was curling up to me and sleeping and lastnight everytime I moved my hand to do anything she was ready to charge. It seems now she doesn’t even want to come out of her tank. I am at a loss as what to do, except for taking her to a vet, now just to find one. I’ll keep you updated.

          • Mary says:

            Any update on how she’s doing? Did she get tested or treated for parasites? Parasites can cause changes in appetite and charging behavior.
            Some adult females can also get moody at current times of the year. Usually in the spring and summer (one of mine goes crazy and can’t be around another female that she is normally okay with). Have you tried adjusting the light timer to stimulate fall/winter? I hope her behavior is improving.

  59. David says:

    Hi there, My beardie is now 14-18 months old (we not 100% sure) and just coming into spring he’s gone wild, his beard is black and he is glass dancing all day, then when you let him run around the room he literally runs around trying to climb like he’s searching for something or trying to escape, if he gets tired he finds a warm spot for a while then continues, He has also gone off his food a bit but other than that he seems strong and healthy, how can I stop his crazy antics?

    • Mary says:

      Hi David,
      It can be normal for some beardies to become more active and aggressive in the spring and summer especially males. The more distractions you can provide him the better. Take him out as much as possible, make sure his enclosure is big enough (at least 40 gallons), comfortable, and clean, move things around or put new hiding places in his enclosure, give hims sand to play in, give a bath on occasion, try giving some new foods, or anything that might make his life a little more interesting and entertaining. If you have any other lizards in your home, make sure he can’t see them while he’s in his home. He’s going crazy trying to find a mate. Some beardies also just have personalities that are a little more crazy than others. I have one male similar to yours, and I try to keep him as entertained and distracted as possible.

  60. BeardyLover says:

    I have a bearded dragon that is about 6 weeks old and I have a few questions.
    First, I am not entirely sure how often to feed him/her crickets. I have heard from once a day to twice a day, even every other day. I usually give crickets every other day (I let him eat up to 12 small pinheads or as much as he wants in 5 minutes). Should I be feeding him more?
    Also—I alternate greens with crickets so his poo will not be runny. I always have juvenile bearded dragon pellets out at all times.

    Second (and last!) He is very active inside his cage, but when I get him out, day or night, he usually goes to sleep on my shoulder or chest. Is it normal for him to behave this way?

    He behaves normally and LOVES his greens. I think he may even prefer them to crickets!!

    • Mary says:

      It sounds like you have a very healthy and lucky bearded dragon! I usually give 6 week old beardies as much fresh greens they want every day in addition to as many crickets they can eat in 5 minutes every day (and sometimes twice a day if they’re hungry later and it’s not too late in the evening for them to digest it). I also sometimes leave bearded dragon pebbles in their cage too. When they are that young, it is important they get as much nutrition as possible and it’s okay to have more fattening foods like crickets. As a beardie gets older, I slowly transition them to more greens and only give them crickets only a few times a week. You might just want to give him a few more crickets for a few months to ensure he’s getting enough fat and protein in his diet when he’s young. It is great that he is already eating great on greens and is very active. It is completely normal for him to fall asleep on your shoulder or chest especially at night. Some beardies love to snuggle and warm up on you!

  61. BeardyLover says:

    Thank you so much for your help Mary!

    He is my first juvenile bearded dragon. I recently lost my 6 year old beardy, Sidney, ( I adopted him when he was full grown) and couldn’t think of being without another dragon. I really appreciate your advice; it is great to know that my young friend is doing ok! (He is currently racked out across my shoulder taking a nap!)

  62. paul says:

    Hi thank you for all this information….
    …ive had my beardie since 07 when he was just a lil baby and always kept him in nice big tanks well heated, variety of foods, crickets, taken out pretty much daily, everything has been done to keep my lizard healthy and live happy
    Just recently I noticed my lizards eyes are bulging out but after a bit they go back to normal state but it happens daily and they stay bulged for quite a bit
    Its says above tht its ok if the lizard does it on occasion for seconds but this goes on about everyday…sorry for the ling message would appreciate a quick reply

    • Mary says:

      Is he about to shed? Older beardies shed a lot less often than younger beardies, and it can take them a lot longer too. He may even bulge out his eyes to help ease shedding weeks before showing signs of shedding. Older beardies shedding skin is sometimes thicker than younger beardies skin making it harder for them to shed. You can try giving him a few baths to help him soften his skin and make him more comfortable. Also, during this time of year many adult beardies may be about to go into brumation (winter slow-down) and may be sleeping a lot more now and need their lights adjusted to make them more comfortable. Sometimes eye bulging can happen in the morning or evening them they are waking up or about to go to bed. As long as the behavior and health of your bearded dragon is normal and has not significantly changed, the occasional eye bulging is most likely normal. I hope this helps.
      Thanks,
      Mary

  63. cori says:

    Love your site…I had a 2.5 yr male,Gator,since 6wks old,in may we got 3 yr old female Jani,in May. Last weekend Gator suddenly got sick and within 4 days died in my arms. We areheartbroken! We have cleaned their enclosure. Now Jani is looking very sad,she is friendly,eating drinking,actively chasing food,but when she is basking,she looks as if her heart is broken. Do you think she misses him? Also how long after mating does it take for her to lay eggs,we suspected she may be pregnant(a couple weeks ago) thanks for any advice!

    • Mary says:

      So sorry to hear about Gator :( Do you know what he died from? If not, you should probably bring Jani into a vet that specializes in exotics to have a health check and parasite test just to make sure she’s okay. She might miss him, but they tend to get over it fast when they get used to their new routine. Giving her a little extra of her favorite foods, taking her out some more, giving her a bath, moving some things around in her cage, getting her some new climbing/hiding accessories, and other distractions might help in the meantime.
      It takes about four weeks for a female to lay her eggs after being mated. You will notice her getting bigger and will probably see and/or feel lumps in her belly a few days before she lays eggs. She will also start digging excessively in the cage if she’s about to lay eggs.
      Again, so sorry to hear about Gator.
      Mary

  64. Bai says:

    HeyI had a REALLY important question, I think one of my Bearded Dragons is really sick, her hip bones are showing she’s always dark under her neck and is barely eating a thing. As well as her feces is smelling really bad. I’m worried it may be a parasite, she’s also been acting unlike herself by trying to escape and sleeping and lounging around all day. What is the best thing I should do for her? And she also is sharing a space with a male about the same size and age, they get a long well but I feed them separately, she is typically very calm and docile but today she has been charging about, glass dancing and very fidgety, I’m very worried about her, Any help/suggestions ?

    • Mary says:

      It sounds like she has high load of parasites based on the info. you provided. Bring her and the male into a vet that specializes in exotics as soon as possible and bring a fresh stool sample with you so they can to a parasite test. If it is parasites, the vet will most likely put her on Albon for coccidia (the most common parasite in beardies). Bearded dragons must be well hydrated when on this medication. Separate the male and female asap to avoid stressing her out any more than she already is. Give her lots of fluids and a bath. Make her as comfortable as possible and feed her as much as she’s willing to eat.
      I hope she is okay and this information helps.
      Thanks,
      Mary

  65. tony says:

    ive had my beardie paul for almost a year. im not sure if its a male or female, but ill just say male to make it easier. i was highly misinformed when i got him, and from reading your info im surprised hes still alive. i was told only to feed him a few times a week, and not to give him any greens until a year old. luckily i gave him some romaine this morning and he seemed to enjoy it very much. i had him in a 10 gallon tank until about a week ago because i couldnt find another one. now hes in a 40 gallon. he seems healthy, he poops at least 4 times a week, its pretty large and a light brown color. the problems i have are that he is very small and he is very skittish. i havent measured him, but id guess hes not much more than 8 inches. according to everything ive read he should be several inches longer. and hes only shed twice since ive had him, both in the first few months. also, his belly and beard are often dark, not necessarily black, but gray, and it was pure white when i got him. id like to know everything i can possibly do to make him healthy and so he lets me hold him without having to chase him around the cage and not fear him jumping out of my hands. thank you.

    • Mary says:

      Hey,
      Sounds like your beardie has a lot of catching up to do. In a bearded dragon’s first year, he should shed about every month and grow as much as an inch a week in his first few weeks. You should offering him greens every day and supplement (calcium carbonate) crickets every other day for now. (For adult Bearded Dragons in the winter it might be okay to feed them only a few times a week, but babies and juveniles need more). Feed him as many crickets as he can eat in five minutes, and you might even want to feed him twice a day to try to help him catch up. The best way to tame your beardie is to try to make each experience with you a positive one. You can do this by feeding him crickets and occasional other treats like some fruits or wax worms, etc. You can also take him out to enjoy warm days in the sun in a safe location like a screened in patio, letting him climb and explore a little, or giving him a bath if he enjoys them. Some beardies are very difficult to tame; they all have different personalities. They can even like different foods and activities so try a variety of things to find out what yours likes.
      It sounds like he is also a bit stressed out now given his gray belly color. Try to make things more comfortable for him. The bigger enclosure you got is a great start, but also make sure the temps and humidity are right and he has plenty of hiding and basking places. For young beardies, I usually put a shallow bowl of water in their cage so they take a dip when they like. He’s too small for sand now, but when he’s larger (at least 12″) you can put cleaned and filtered play sand in his enclosure.
      I really hope this information helps and your beardies grows longer and becomes more comfortable.
      Thanks,
      Mary

      • tony says:

        thank you very much. should i just keep feeding him and make his environment comfortable before i try to bathe him? cause hes jumped out of my hands before, luckily on some clothes while i was sitting, so he didnt get hurt. and also what types of fruits and other live feed can he have or not have?

        • Mary says:

          Yes, you should continue feeding him greens daily, crickets a few times a week, and some treats. Make him and his environment as comfortable as possible. He may be finicky now, because he is uncomfortable or anxious. As he becomes more comfortable he should warm up to you although sometimes beardies stay skittish. Some beardies like cantaloupe, melon, kiwi, peaches, maybe strawberry… you can start with these and see what he likes. All of mine really enjoy peaches, but only give it them in moderation as it can give them watery stool. Fruit should only be an occasional treat. You can try wax worms in addition to crickets. When he is older and larger, he can have super worms, roaches, and large crickets. Don’t give him meal worms. Don’t give him any food larger than the space between his eyes. Hope this helps. Best of luck with Paul.

  66. Katrina Curry says:

    I am a new bearded dragon owner, this is my first one and she’s now 2 years old. The pet store I got her from said I was supposed to get the setup kit for them which came with a day lamp and heat lamp. She seems fine, she eats well- crickets and greens both, poops often, but she’s very small. I spoke with a lizard lady at a new cricket place-she owns a ton of bearded dragons and they’re huge compared to mine. She asked if I had a UVB light, but I said I had the day light from the store. After all this time, I haven’t had UVB….will my beardie be ok when I get one in 2 days or is it too late?

    • Mary says:

      Hi Katrina,
      Your beardie should be okay now that she will have a UVB light. Just make sure she continues to get a healthy diet with greens everyday and insects supplemented with calcium carbonate every other day for now. Also, make sure you get a UVB 10.0 light for desert reptiles (not a UVB 5.0 light), and try to avoid getting a coil light. Tube and mercury vapor lights are usually better. Take your beardie outside in a safe area on nice warm days to get natural sunlight, because that is what’s best for them; nothing can compare to the real thing. Unfortunately, your beardie might not ever catch up in size since she is already an adult (beardies are considered full grown at about 18 months). She might still grow some, but it’s impossible to say how much if any. The above suggestions will give her the best chance to catch up. She may also be smaller than some other beardies due to genetics, diet, being a female (males are normally larger), and breed (some beardies are or are part German Giants, which can be larger than 2 ft). I hope this information helps and your beardie starts to catch up.
      Thanks!
      Mary

  67. Katrina Curry says:

    I shouldn’t say too late, what I mean is, will she grow and get recover at this point in time with the proper UVB light. Sorry…

  68. Michele says:

    I have a dragon who is about 2 yrs old, typically normal activity, healthy eating and such, and in a big enough case to house the dragon. After the last shed (about a month ago), I noticed a few days ago that one of the sheds on the spike area has not let loose- my fear is that if it does not come off will this cause damage to the new skin under the spike area? I have tried using a soft brush to help remove or loosen the shed but the dragon seems irratated with the attemps.
    Thank you in advance for any suggestions or advice or signs to watch out for that are health related.
    m

    • Mary says:

      Hey Michele,
      Try giving your beardie a warm bath to let the spike area soak and soften up. You may also spray the skin with water a few times a day to soften it. They should come off on their own in time with no damage to the new skin. You can also try a shed ease spray from a pet store which helps to soften up and loosen up the skin. It may take a few times to make a difference, but I’ve found them helpful. Don’t try to pick at or peel off the skin yourself, because that can cause damage to the skin underneath. This is a common problem with some reptiles and is not usually a sign of any health issues. Although some reptiles can become more moody when they are in shed, but this usually passes when they are done. I hope this information helps.
      Thanks,
      Mary

  69. Lisa says:

    I have a new beardie, Kermit, about 12 weeks old now. He is healthy, eating fine, stools are normal, loves his veggies, crickets, and other live insects, his temperatures are correct and loves to be outside of his cage. The question that I have is that in the mornings when I go into the room where I keep him to turn his lights on, I have noticed that his skin is a darker color than normal. Once his temperature is back to about 90 degrees or warmer, his skin color changes back to normal. Should I be concerned about stress or parasites? He is friendly, and very tame although at times he doesn’t want out or to be picked up. I am just wondering. I have done a lot of research but still havent found the answer. Hoping you can help me understand Kermit a little better.
    Thanks,
    Lisa

    • Mary says:

      Hi Lisa,
      What you are describing is perfectly normal for a beardie. They can change different shades of color when they are sleeping, changes in temperature/humidity, moody, or other reasons. being darker in the morning might just mean he’s ready to absorb more light and warm up. As long as he is not always dark, it is not a sign of any health problems. Changes is appetite and/or stool are the most common signs of parasites. If a beardie is dark all or most of the time it can be a sign of stress due to health problems, environment, light/heating problems, etc. If you see dark lines on a beardie’s belly all or most of the time, those are stress lines and something is wrong in his/her environment or health.
      A bath for a bearded dragon should be about the same temperature that is comfortable for you at around 100 or so degrees F. The bath should not be too much warmer than the beardie is kept at on the warmest part of his/her cage. Make sure the change between the temperature the of beardie himself and the bath water is not to great; do not put a too cold beardie in a too warm bath.
      I hope this information helps. Please let me know if you have any more questions.
      Mary

  70. Lisa says:

    also how warm should the temperature of his water be if i wanted to give him a bath?

  71. Heather says:

    Hi I got a bearded dragon and she or he is about 4-5pmths old has not growen thy much I was also told crickets Andean worms are great to feed do not give super worms as they eat the insides but today I gave 2ealworma and found it later it pooped it out but was not digested I have not ever had that problem NAND a part of the skin of the worm was still stuck to his tail. What can I do. I’m worried about size and my cat always jumps and sits on cage I have no other place to put him as I have a 2 year old that can reach other then that eats fine drinks fine and temps are normal I also put the heat lamp on at night special black light so they are warm and have proper sleep

    • Mary says:

      Hi Heather,
      Continue to give him size appropriate crickets and greens every day. Put greens like mustard greens, turnip greens, etc. (never iceberg lettuce) in his cage every morning. Feed him as many crickets as he wants in 5 minutes and dust his crickets with calcium carbonate powder with every other feeding. If you’re really concerned about his growth, you could even feed him crickets twice a day till he starts to catch up in size. Never give him live mealworms! They are too hard for him to digest, and they can even eat their way out if they are not digested properly. Super worms are okay for adults (about 18 months old) but only a few a day and only as treats. Depending on the size of your beardie, you could try wax worms. As a rule of thumb, always keep food you give a bearide smaller than the space between their eyes. Try to give him a warm bath in shallow water. Most beardies like warm baths after they get used to it and it can help keep them hydrated. The cat being on his cage can be stressful for him. Try to cover up parts of him cage so it’s harder for him to see the cat and make sure he has a good hiding spot in his cage like a cave. If you can, try to take him out in a safe area when possible and get him real sunlight on warm days. Make sure you have a good UVB 10.0 light for him and a good basking spot. Beardies need a lot of UVB light to grow properly.
      Hope this information helps,
      Mary

  72. kara jensen says:

    okay i have i question i have a bearded dragon now she hasnt been with a male but she keeps diging at her bedding and i dont know why she is doing this could someone tell me why

    • Mary says:

      Some females lay infertile eggs, so they can lay eggs without being mated. Look at and feel her belly for eggs. If she has eggs, make sure she has a comfortable place to lay them with at least a foot deep of clean sand/dirt. Make sure she is also getting a nutritious diet with plenty of calcium.
      If she does not have eggs, she might just be digging herself a comfortable place to sleep especially if she is about to go into brumation (winter slowdown).
      I hope this information helps. Please let me know if you have any more questions.
      Mary

  73. Amy says:

    My son just got a bearded dragon for Christmas. We’ve had it 2 days. Earlier today we noticed him sleeping and hiding in his rock. Thought this to be unusual, so we sprayed him and fed him. He immediately became active. The. As the day progressed, I noticed him rubbing his head on the rock a few times. We left for about an hour and a half and came home to blood strewn throughout then cage. It even appeared it was sprayed on to the walls. It was his eye area. What do you think has caused this and what should we do? Thanks for your help in advance.

    • Mary says:

      Hi Amy,
      Sorry to hear about your beardie. Poor guy. How big is his enclosure? He should have at least a 40 gallon enclosure to be comfortable otherwise they can become very stressed out and may start to rub and dig to get out. They can also get stressed out with new situations and may take a few days to recover. Sometimes it is best to not handle them much and let them become acclimated to their new home. Also, when lizards shed they usually rub against objects to help loosen the skin. Their head is usually one of the first body parts to shed. Make sure there are no sharp or rough surfaces in his cage that he can hurt or injury himself on. If he is shedding, his skin should look grayish or more white and it might help to give him a warm bath. It can sometimes take a while for a beardie to get used to baths, but they tend to really enjoy baths in shallow water. If there are wounds from the rubbing, you can very carefully treat it with iodine (don’t use anything else as it burn or make things worse). I hope this information helps. Please let me know if you have any more questions.
      Best of luck with your new beardie!
      Mary

  74. Jennifer says:

    thanks for the Info,

    I have a concern with my male beardie though and unfortunately cannot afford at the moment to take him to the vet so i was hoping to gain some perspective on here as to what might be going on thanks.

    my one year old male bearded dragon has worms, we started a treatment yesterday of 100 mg of panacur orally. We also moved him to a freshly cleaned tanks with new paper towel substrate. What I would like to know is, erratic behaviour common with parasite infestations?

    Why I ask is, Yogi (my male with the worms) has been acting erratic, running around his tank and flinging himself at the glass trying to climb as if needing to escape. This has been happening for about two weeks or so and is freaking me out.
    We had at first thought this had to do with too hot of temperature. You see we had recently changed his tank to one that was longer but not as deep. So instead of sitting at 100 on his basking side he was at 111 or around there. We now have him in a much larger tank were his basking temp is a normal 100 on the hot side and 82-85 on the cool side, but he is still displaying the same behaviour. Does it sound like his behaviour could actually be a symptom of his parasite infection? Or does it sound like something else?

    Please help!

    here are some weird behaviours and physical changes Ive noticed that might help explain whats going on.
    1)There has been a darkening of his skin color recently.
    2)his food intake dropped off and Food choices changed? he only wants superworms and only eats about four a day where he used to eat 15 crickets a day.
    3)Defecating less often? It is very smelly and of course there are worms in it (but I already took care of that!
    4) He is Spending more time in hiding or in the cooler end of his tank.
    5)More active, especially at odd times?
    6)Increased tongue-flicking when handled or enclosure is opened?
    7)he is gaping more as of today jan17th he wasnt doing this before.

    • Mary says:

      Most of these behaviors sound like they are related to parasites. Parasites can cause a lot of problems like changes in behavior, appetite, defecation, stress, etc. In addition to the changes you already made to help him recover from parasites, you should also make sure you change and clean his cage every time he poops. You need to keep his enclosure as clean as possible. When a beardie has parasites, they desperately try to get away from their poop to get away from the parasites in it. If an accessory cannot be cleaned thoroughly (like anything wood) get rid of it. Also, take him out of the cage as much as possible and if you can feed him the live food in a different cage to prevent the chance of his food getting infected with parasites. Make sure he is getting as much food as possible and supplement his food with calcium carbonate. Continue to give him as many crickets as he wants, but try to lay off the superworms. Give him a bath every day if possible to get rid of anything that might be on his skin making him uncomfortable. Make sure he gets plenty of water, since panacur can dehydrate a beardie. It is normal for him to hide more often while he is trying to recover. Parasite are very stressful. Try to make him as comfortable and distracted as possible while he is recovering.

      I hope this information helps and your beardie recovers quickly.
      Mary

  75. Jennifer says:

    Hi Mary,
    thank you so much for your input it really helped :)
    I removed him from his tank today and disinfect it as well as all of his accessories. I am going to try what you suggested and take him out and put him in a different tank to feed and see how that goes. I am also going to try to give him a bath later this evening and continue doing this on a regular basis. As for taking him out as much as possible that might be tricky as we have cats, but I might take him out and let him hang out in the tub some times that could work.
    We have several reptiles in one room do you think I should cover the sides of his tank so that he is not stressed by the other lizards?
    I was wondering if there is anything other then paper towel I might use as substrate while he is recovering? I am concerned that with him flailing himself around he might injure himself on the hard glass surface of his tank.
    Again thank you so much, you eased a lot of my stress about the situation.

    • Mary says:

      Hi Jennifer,
      You can try covering some of the sides if you think the other reptiles are stressing him out, but sometimes covering up the sides can be more stressful for beardies. They usually like to look around. If possible, it might be a better idea to move him into another room while he’s recovering. For substrates, you can also use black and white newspaper, pieces of unmarked (no print) cardboard, egg crates, in addition to paper towels. Unmarked paper products that can be removed and replaced daily work great and can also give your beardie places to hide. Obviously, just make sure none of it can get close to the lights or other heat sources.
      I hope he makes a quick recovery. The most important components of his recovery is to keep him well hydrated and on a healthy diet while minimizing stress. Best of Luck with Yogi!
      Mary

      • Jennifer says:

        Thanks Mary,

        To my surprise he has been a lot calmer for the last two days and has not been freaking out barley at all. I think he has adjusted to his new tank and that the de-wormer is finally starting to kick in, or at least i hope so. I am giving him his second dose on tuesday hopefully this will really help improve his erratic behaviour. But if he starts up again I will be taking your advice and putting in some egg cartons and newspaper to soften his substrate in case his falls.
        Oh I decided to do a good over haul cleaning of the rest of my lizard tanks and there accessories with vinegar just to be on the safe side. I think i’m going to use a squirt bottle of vinegar and water solution to spot clean their tanks every day for now on. I also plan on being meticulous with the cleaning of the cricket tank as i think that was the real culprit. Hopefully all this will prevent parasites from starting up again in the future.

        Thanks you for all your help and kind words. I will keep you posted on his recovery!

        • Mary says:

          Thanks for the update Jennifer!
          It’s a great idea to clean-up the tanks of the other reptiles. The feeders are commonly the source of parasites, so it’s very smart for you to cleaning them up too. Parasites can be a serious and even deadly problem if it gets to a high load. If you think the feeders are the culprit, it might also be a good idea to treat all the lizards with medication. The most common parasite in bearded dragons is coccidia which is treated with Albon. It’s a good idea to also treat them with Albon (it also treats pinworms). You will need to weigh your beardie and look up the dosing, or go to a vet. Some sites also sell it with out a prescription (http://www.beautifuldragons.com/Albon.html). It’s definitely worth looking into if you think parasites are a problem. I hope this helps!
          Best of luck with Yogi and your other lizards!
          Mary

  76. Jenn says:

    Thanks for the great info Mary as always :)

    Unfortunately Yogi wasn’t doing much better so we took him to the vet on saturday. She did a fecal and proved that yes he does in fact have worms (roundworms) she also saw one coccidia egg. The vet confirmed that we were using the right medicine to treat the worms but that my dosage was quite off (we were giving way less then needed) She gave us liquid panacur ( i was using the cream formula at home). The bottle was enough to dose all my lizards, as she agreed with you that if the feeders were infected then its better to dose them all. She gave me the formula for doing the correct dosage so we gave Yogi and his sister phoenix their medicine today. We will be taking Yogi back in two weeks to see if the worms have cleared up and to check if their is still signs of coccida and if so the vet will be giving us Albon to treat it. We will be giving Panacur to the rest of our lizards following the vets formula tomorrow and see how that goes. The vet also suggested that once a week instead of using vinegar to clean the tanks that i switch to using Stabilized Chlorine Dioxide (oxyfresh) to disinfect the tanks and accessories. Obviously I must take Yogi out and put him in another tank to do this, but its suppose to be the best at killing parasites and other pathogens, so i will give it a try. She also suggested i clean the cricket tank with this once a week when the crickets are removed.
    I thought id share the formula for giving the correct dosage of de-wormer as it might be helpful to others who might not be able to take their pet to the vet right away so here is an example of my pet Yogi:
    take 75 ml divide it by 1000 this = X divided by 472g (yogi’s weight) then take 75mg times it by (472 his weight) this = 354 mg
    divide 354 mg by 100 this equals = 0.35
    So the dosage of panacur for Yogi is 0.35cc’s
    * note this is only an accurate formula for 100 mg/g bottles of medicine if your bottle contains a different amount then you substitute the 100 by that number.

    I know that at first this formula may look confusing it is to me too, fortunately my boyfriend is really good at math so he figured it out for me. For people doing the dosing at home for there pets I found the best way to get a proper weight of your lizard is to use an ordinary food scale we picked ours up for about $10 at a kitchen store they also have them at Walmart. (We confirmed that are scale was accurate as our beardie Yogi weighed the same at the vet.)You can find de-wormer: Panacure(Febendazole or Safe-guard) at farm supply stores, they also sell it surprisingly at Lamlies western wear its around $20. You will need to pick up plastic syringes from a drug store their about $2.00

    Next get someone who is strong in math to do work out the formula for you. If you still cant figure it out you can try calling the vet and giving them the weight of your pet and they might provide the dosage amount for you, though they are more likely to do this for you if you have taken your pet to them before. De-worming is suppose to be done once a year but remember not to use this medicine as a preventive at home method, only do it yourself at home if you are certain that your lizard has worms and you cannot afford the vet, good luck everyone!

    P.S. It cost me $114 at the Britannia veterinary clinic in calgary. *note if your going to take your pet here, you should try to book an appointment during the week as on the weekends you only get to see the vet for 15 minutes as they are incredibly short staffed and usually over booked.

    • Mary says:

      Thank you for the update. Also, thank you for all the helpful information. I never knew oxfresh was better at getting rid of parasites than bleach, which I normally use. I’m glad Yogi is now on the proper medication and dosing. You’re lucky to a good vet in your area. It can be very hard to find good vets that are knowledgeable in exotics like Bearded Dragons. My vet cost me a lot more and wasn’t able to save my beardie; this is why I started this blog. Hopefully, this information will help other bearded dragon owners. Luckily, it sounds like you caught things in time and all your beardies will benefit. Parasites are the most common health problem in bearded dragons and need to be taken seriously. With the right preventative measures, parasite problems can be completely avoided. Keeping enclosure as clean as possible, thorough regular cleanings with disinfecting solution (bleach or oxyfresh) of the enclosure, accessories, and feeder cages, regular bathing of beardies, annual parasite preventative treatments, and proper diet, nutrition, and light can all together help to prevent parasites from becoming a serious or deadly health issue.
      Thank you again for all the information,
      Mary

  77. Gaige Crabtree says:

    I have a question about my beardie he’s my first one and I’m worried about him he doesn’t eat his veggies no matte how I prepare it plus he won’t drink water is there any tips to get him to drink he’s almost 4 months old in a week

    • Mary says:

      Hi Gaige,
      To get your beardie to start eating greens, offer them to him first thing in the morning before offering any other food. Rinse the greens first, chop them into bite size pieces, and spray them with water to help keep him hydrated. At first, you may want to mix in some other more desirable foods like some fruits like peaches, cantaloupe, or papaya chopped up in very small pieces. Just be careful not to give him too much fruit because that can give him watery stool. Fruit should only be an occasional treat. You can also try to hide his insects under the greens to get him interested in the greens and associated them with food. When he finished the insects and realizes that he’s still hungry, he should start eating the greens too. If these tips don’t work, you can also try some sprays from a pet store that are suppose to make food desirable and usually contain some vitamins, minerals, and/or electrolytes.
      To keep him hydrated, give him a warm bath about every 4 days. Reptiles can absorb water through their skin. I also find that my beardies will sometimes drink the water while they are in the bath. Make sure the water is safe for beardies to drink (chlorine-free) and the tub or container used for bathing is clean, since reptiles are very sensitive to exposure to chemicals. You can also spritz your beardie with a little bit of water every few days to help keep him hydrated. Be careful not to spray him too often in his enclosure, because it can raise the humidity too high. Some bearded dragon owners also put a water dish in their beardie’s enclosure for them to drink and bath in. Some owners also put a little bit of organic fruit juice in their water to get their beardie to drink it, but if you try this make sure you change the water every day. Since bearded dragon are desert reptiles, you may not see your beardie drinking water from a dish, so I find it is best to bathe them to ensure they stay hydrated. Bathing a beardie also has the added benefits of keeping your beardies skin softer and easier to shed, helps a constipated beardie poop, entertains your beardie, gives him some exercise and time outside of this enclosure.
      Hope these tips help,
      Mary

  78. Cynthia says:

    Hi there Mary! Love all the info on the beardies(:! Im crazy about them too, unfortunately I need your help! Please, tell me do you think my adult male beardie likes when I keep both curtain shades for him up as soon as he wakes up to look outside and take it all in? or should I keep them down or only have one shade up? I see he always staring outside, sometimes gets wild if they arent up, but its been a bit colder lately and hes been bored it seems, do you think maybe shut or leave open shades?

    • Mary says:

      Hi Cynthia,
      Yes, it is a good idea to leave both shades up during the day so he can look outside. Beardies need some distractions during the day, and they tend to enjoy looking outside and watching things happen around them. The only time you might have to be careful about leaving the shades up is if enough light is coming in through the window to heat up the enclosure, especially a glass enclosure since glass amplifies the heat. On really warm and bright days, you should probably leave the shades down a enough to prevent the enclosure from getting too hot.
      Please let me know if you have any more questions. Thank you for visiting my site!
      Best of luck with your beardie,
      Mary

  79. Malie says:

    One of my bearded dragons died. They were in the same tank and got along famously. Is there anything I can do to help the other adjust? Can I introduce another? Should it be the same size? Please help.

    • Mary says:

      I’m so sorry to hear about your beardie. Do you know what your bearded dragon died from? To help your other bearded dragon, it is a good idea to thoroughly clean out his cage, get rid of and replace his/her substrate, move things around in the enclosure and maybe get some new accessories to keep your bearded dragon distracted. Also, try giving him/her a bath and giving him/her a few extra treats for the next few days. This will keep your bearded dragon entertained and will change his/her routine enough to distract him/her to help cope. I don’t recommend introducing another bearded dragon at this time. Not all bearded dragon get along, especially if you try to introduce a younger bearded dragon to an older one. Sometimes it can cause even more stress for a beardie to have to adjust to a different bearded dragon. Some bearded dragons fight each other too. If you do choose to introduce another bearded dragon, I recommend waiting at least a few weeks and make sure they are the same size and they are both female. A male and female should not be kept together all the time, and two males should never be together. If or when you introduce another bearded dragon, watch them careful for awhile to make sure they don’t fight and be prepared to separate them if they do. Bearded dragon can seriously hurt or even kill each other if they don’t get along especially if one is smaller than the other.
      Again, I’m so sorry to hear about your bearded dragon. I hope your other bearded dragon adjusts quickly. Please let me know if you have any more questions.
      Thanks,
      Mary

  80. Rachel says:

    Hello! I have a quick question. I got my bearded dragon about 2 months ago. She is around 5 or 6 months old and came from a breeder who was feeding her about 2 crickets a week (EEEK, I know). She has grown so much since I have had her and just had he first shed with me. She shed everything very well except for her leg and a lot of her head. I am not so much worried about her leg because it looks like it will shed any day now. I bathe her regularly to help loosen it up but her head has had the shed on it for about 2 and a half weeks now. Is there anything I should do and should I be worried?

    • Mary says:

      Hi Rachel,
      It can be normal for a bearded dragon to take a long time to shed especially as they get older. The head may be taking longer to shed, because it hasn’t grown as much as the rest of her body has since you’ve had her. You should not be concerned about her head or legs. They will shed on their own in time, but if you want to help it shed faster, continue to give her baths, feed her well, mist her with water in the morning, and if you want you can use a spray called “Repti Shedding Aid” by Zoo Med which helps keep their skin moist. Also, on warm days take her outside to get natural UVB light, which can help your beardie grow faster and be healthier. Natural UVB light is the best for reptiles. The only areas of the body a bearded dragon owner might need to be concerned about when shedding are the toes and tail. If the toes and the tail aren’t shedding well, it can sometimes cause the blood flow to be constricted resulting in other problems. You definitely don’t need to be concerned about that with the legs and head.
      I hope this information helps and your bearded dragon sheds soon. Please let me know if you have any other questions.
      Thanks,
      Mary

  81. Rachel says:

    Thank You that was very helpful! Now that u mentioned shedding on the tail though I have one more question. Since I have had her she has had a completely normal tail except for the VERY tip of it. It is not much darker than the rest of her tail but it is round instead of pointy. It’s not noticeable by just looking at her, but when I touch her tail I notice it. It is not bend like tail rot, but if I had to guess I would guess excess shed was left there by her previous owner. Is there anything to worry about?

    • Mary says:

      Her tail doesn’t sound like anything to be concerned about. Unfortunately, it’s fairly common for bearded dragons to have some damage on their tails or even toes usually occurring as babies or juveniles, and their tails don’t regenerate like some other lizards. Their tails can be damaged several different ways including getting caught on or in something (like the lid of an enclosure), nips from cage mates, bad sheds, etc. It is very easy for baby bearded dragons (especially silkback beardies) to get some damage to their toes and tail, because they are so tiny. It doesn’t take such at all for the blood supply to their toes and tail to get pinched or cut off resulting in the loss of the affected part of the tail or toe. They tend heal well and are usually not a problem. Based on what you wrote, it sounds like your bearded dragon tail’s might have has some very minor damage to the tip and healed very well.
      Hope this helps and please let me know if you have any more questions.
      Thanks again,
      Mary

  82. Madison says:

    Im adopting a 2 year old beardie and Im concerned what do i check for? Its a she and is there always babys in eggs when they lay them? Just need some basic info! please reply ASAP!

    • Mary says:

      Hi Madison,
      Congratulations on adopting a beardie! They are so much fun! Most females will not lay eggs unless they have been fertilized, but some females will sometimes lay unfertilized eggs. If your beardie is going to lay eggs, she will get a really big belly and a few days before she lays eggs you should see and feel lumps in her belly. Then she will start digging a lot in her enclosure. If you not sure if she has been mated, you might want to incubate the eggs to see if there are babies inside (you should also see blood vessels in the eggs if they are fertile, and the eggs will be full and firm). If they’re not fertile, the eggs will probably go bad in a few days. If you’re sure she has never been mated, then the eggs will definitely not have babies in them.
      When you get her, make she has a full and plump tail and you cannot see her hip bones. Also, look at her eyes and make sure they are not sunken as this is a sign of dehydration and other serious health problems. Look at her limbs and digits to make sure they have not been broken as this may be a sign of MBD (metabolic bone disease). You should also have her checked or treated for parasites, because this is a very common problem for beardies.
      I hope this information helps. Please let me know if you have any more questions.
      Best wishes with your new beardie!
      Mary

  83. Nichole says:

    Hi! My bearded dragon is about 1 year old. Her age is estimated because the pet store did not know her exact age when I got her. I guessed around 2 or 3 months. She has had no problems at all since I got her but recently her habits have changed. She has little to no energy. She wont eat greens or crickets. She stays on the cool side of her tank instead of basking and naps during the day. Does not explore when out of her tank. She is still having bowl movements, although this has only been going on a week or so. I mist her several times a day. I don’t use sand as a substrate. Her basking temp is at 98 degrees at her highest perch, 87 degrees on the floor and stays around 75 degrees on her cool side. I dust her food with calcium every day. Her veggie diet consists of kale, collard greens, mustard greens, carrots, green/red peppers, a few grapes and apples occasionally. She is also bathed about once every week. I know that once they reach a year in age they consume more veggies than crickets. Im not sure if this could be causing the behavioral change. But she doesn’t seem to be acting like a healthy dragon.

    Thanks!

    • Mary says:

      Hi Nichole,
      You need to take your beardie to a vet who specializes in exotics like bearded dragon. You will have to do some research first to find a good vet, because most vets don’t know much about beardies. Make sure you have your beardie tested and/or treated for parasites. Parasites are the most common health problem for beardies (especially if they came from a pet store). Parasites can cause the behavioral changes you are seeing in your beardie, like a change in appetite, becoming lethargic, etc. The change in diet would not cause the changes you are describing; something is wrong, and it’s probably parasites. It looks like you have or temps and diet right. Make sure you also have a good UVB light. Adult bearded dragons are much less active than baby and young beardies, but they don’t sleep all day and they eat normally although a lot less than babies. Your vet will probably put your beardie on Albon and/or Panacur depending on what type(s) of parasites she has. Make sure you keep your beardies very well hydrated. Also, you will need to sanitize her enclosure and keep it spotless along with her feeders. If you can, take her outside to get natural UVB light, which is best for them. Parasites are a serious health problem for reptiles, and need to be taken seriously as they can cause a lot of problems and can even kill a reptile.
      I hope this information helps and your bearded dragon recovers quickly. Please let me know if you have any more questions.
      Thanks,
      Mary

  84. tj says:

    Yes my bearded dragon is a light tan and light brown color. And i happened to take it out of its cage and it turned dark colors, as in brown, black, and tan. Is that something i should worry about cause its always been a light color?

    • Mary says:

      Hi TJ,
      It can be normal for a bearded dragon to turn dark colors from time to time. It can mean the bearded dragon is stressed out, cold, uncomfortable, etc. It is nothing to worry about as long as your bearded dragon is normally a light color most of the time.
      Thanks,
      Mary

  85. William says:

    Hello there,

    I had just moved my girlfriend in with me along with her female bearded dragon named Riddik 3 days ago. Riddik is constantly flailing her arms against her glass tank and is almost refusing to eat when we attempt to feed her. We have no clue what to do and we are both extremely worried about Riddik’s health. Please get back to us ASAP!

    Thank you
    William

    • Mary says:

      Hi William,
      Any change can be very stressful for most reptiles, and Riddik is clearly very upset with her new living situation. Do you have other animals in your home? Other animals can sometimes really stress out a beardie. Also, some times something in a room can stress out a beardie (ex. I had a beardie that freaked out about a duster!) If you can, move her into a quiet room by herself where there isn’t a lot of action going on around her. She needs to take a break until she can calm down and feel at home. You might want to take her out to give her a warm bath to help her feel a little better. Keep her cage as clean as possible and make sure she has several good hiding and basking spots in her enclosure along with a UVB light and heat light. Check the temperatures in her cage to make sure it’s not getting too hot or cold. How big is her enclosure? She needs at least a 40 gallon tank. Give her more of her favorite treats for the next few days. It will take her a few days to adjust to her new home. Try to keep things as stress-free as possible for her. If her behavior doesn’t improve in a few days, take her to a vet who specializes in exotics to make sure there’s nothing wrong with her health that would cause her stress. Make sure she gets tested/treated for parasites, because they can cause changes in behavior. Also, check her for mites, because they can cause a beardie to freak out too. I hope this information helps and Riddik’s behavior improves really soon.

      Thanks,
      Mary

  86. Cindy says:

    Hello! I read many many comments and question on here! Great site!! :) I was wondering if you could help me. I rescued a baby Beardie (Actually 3 of them..one died the same day.. the other grew Fast and was re-homed). This one, I kept. She seemed to need more care. She is probably close to 12″ and is over a year and half old. Her growth was stunted from such poor conditions. They were found in the basement of a moved-out tenant next door. I took them and tried to save them. I hired an online reptile vet to help. The suggestion was to bath them in Pedialite (For dehydrated babies).. and it save this two lives!!! :) Anyways.. my question now is that I AM scared of her! LOL I am not a reptile nut. I have now bonded with her.. I pet her through the glass… and she closes her eyes and loves it! I want to REALLY pet her.. but I am scared! What is the best way to get over this and let her know that I am friendly as well?? When i put my hand in.. she always thinks I have FOOD as that is the normal situation. But I want to PET her!! I want to take her out and not call my SON to get her for me… I Know she knows my voice and loves my Pets through glass 😉 She was VERY nervous for a long time.. I supposed from what she had been through.. I want to bond with her in a one and one.. Please help us if you can? Many thanks!!

    • Mary says:

      Hi Cindy,
      Those beardies were lucky you saved them and gave them a chance. I can’t believe someone would just leave 3 bearded dragons in a basement! Poor beardies! Please don’t be afraid of your bearded dragon! They are harmless and most of them are very docile. It is normal for them to associate their owner’s hands with food, but it’s very uncommon for them to actual bite. When you try to pick her up, always go from behind (don’t stick your hands in front of her face) and gently slide your under the side her belly to lift her up. The best time to hold a beardie is a night while she is asleep or about to go to sleep. Put her on your shoulder or torso, and she will snuggle you! They love the warmth of a human body! She will likely fall asleep on you then you can pet her all you want with no worries. Another good way to bond with your beardie is to bathe her. It might take her some getting used to, but take her out for a bath a couple times every week. They tend to enjoy a warm bath on occasion, it helps keep them hydrated, helps them relax, can help them if they are constipated, keeps them clean, gives them some exercise and time outside their enclosure, and has other benefits in addition to giving you a chance to bond with your pet. Also, on warm sunny days take her outside in a safe area (like a screened-in patio) to let her bask in natural UVB light. Natural UVB light is the best for beardies and helps keep them healthy. It might even help her catch up in her growth a little. I also like to give my beardies treats while they are out getting natural UVB light, so they enjoy being taken out and handled even more.
      I hope this information helps you bond with your beardie. Please let me know if you have any more questions.
      Thank you for liking my site!
      Mary

  87. Ally says:

    Hi, my beardie, Bruce, is about 3 months old now and seems to be doing really well! I was wondering if there was any advice you could give on how to entertain him? He has plants and rocks to climb in his tank, but only runs around after his crickets and locust, but reading this, other people’s beardies run around for fun? I have tried him with fresh greens and fruit, but to no avail, he just throws it around his tank. Also, he only seems to like me and not my partner…are they a one owner kind of reptile?
    Any help and advice you can give would be greatly appreciated!

    • Mary says:

      Hi Ally,
      To keep your beardie entertained, try to take him out of his enclosure as much as possible. Let him run around in a safe and supervised area. If you can, on nice warm days take him outside in a safe area (like a screened in patio. I also got a mesh playpen for my beardies). Natural UVB light is best for reptiles and helps keep them healthy. Also, try giving Bruce a bath a couple times a week. They tend to enjoy it (although it might take him some getting used to) and it helps keep them well hydrated. Try to give Bruce some new experiences outside of his tank like let him lay on a window sill while you watch him. Take him out in the evening to snuggle you (beardies love the warmth of our bodies and they tend to snuggle and fall asleep on you). I’ve heard that some bearded dragon owners play videos for their bearded dragons when they are not home to entertain their beardies. My adult beardies also enjoy a sand castle in their tanks that they can climb on and destroy (but your beardie isn’t big enough for this yet).
      To get him to start eating greens, offer him the greens first thing in the morning before offering him anything else. Chop the greens up well and mix in a small amount of different fruits like cantaloupe, melon, peaches, prickly pears, dandelions, etc. to make the greens more appealing to your beardie. Also, spray the greens with a little bit of water and leave it in the cage for at least an hour before offering him any thing else. When Bruce is older, start feeding him less and less crickets and locust and more greens. At his age, it’s common for a bearded dragon not to eat much greens, but if he’s hungry and thirsty enough in the morning he will start to eat the greens.
      Bearded dragons tend to like the people who feed them. They are not usually a one owner kind of reptile, but the might not like everyone. They also sometimes remember if someone hurt them or was rough with them and tend to not like that person. You can try to get a bearded dragon to like someone by having that person give him his favorite treats.
      I hope this information helps. Please let me know if you have anymore questions.
      Thanks,
      Mary

  88. Leann says:

    Hiya you know a lot of bearded dragon info I need some advise I have 2 beardies and they eat greens and some fruit and they eat crickets and hoppers but I’ve just bought them some soft pellets to try them out but I don’t know if I should put the bearded dragons calcium powder on them also do I still keep giving them there crickets and hoppers as normal and do I keep giving them veg n fruit it’s says complete nutrition etc.. But I don’t know if it means complete food all round look forward to hearing from you thanx

    • Mary says:

      Hi Leann,
      The pellets should only be fed to beardies in addition to their regular diet, so continue to give your two beardies greens, some fruits, crickets, and hoppers as usual. The pellets don’t have as much nutrition as their regular diet and have not been thoroughly tested to provide adequate nutrition for bearded dragons. I don’t recommend putting calcium powder on the soft pellets, because they may not eat them. I recommend putting the calcium carbonate powder on the crickets or hoppers only, because beardies almost always eat their insects making it easy to control how much calcium they get.
      I hope this information helps. Please let me know if you have any more questions.
      Thanks,
      Mary

  89. April says:

    Hello,

    So from day 1, my dragon has never been fond of eating her veggies. She may take one bite and then she’s done with them. Is there a way I can get her to eat more of her veggies.

    She is about 2 years old. I keep the humidity and temp lvls at normal. She has fresh water daily. etc.

    • Mary says:

      Hi April,
      To get her to start eating greens, offer her the greens first thing in the morning to give her plenty of time to eat them during the day. Rinse the greens well, chop them up a little bit, and mix in a small amount of different fruits like cantaloupe, melon, peaches, prickly pears, dandelions, etc. to make the greens more appealing to your beardie until she gets used to eating them. Start feeding her less and less insects and more greens. At 2 years old, her diet should consist of primarily turnips greens, mustard greens, and dandelion greens. You can also give your beardie acorn squash, yellow squash, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, and endive daily. Try different greens and squashes to find out what she likes and mix things up on occasion by putting in different fruits and giving her different greens. Adult bearded dragons may not eat every single day, so it’s okay if she doesn’t take to it right away. If she’s really hungry, she will learn to eat her greens and get used to them. Adult bearded dragons also eat a lot less young bearded dragons, and eating only a few bites might be normal for her on some days.
      I hope this information helps and your bearded dragon get used to eating her greens and veggies. Please let me know if you have any more questions.

      Thanks,
      Mary

  90. Karen says:

    I really appreciate this site!! I have a 2 year old beardie that I have a couple of questions regarding. First, his urates are usually white but sometimes have a faint pinkish or orange tinge to them. I worry he might have parasites but then they are white again. He does not like to eat squash which I know can colour them. He eats mostly collards and superworms. Second question is do beardies settle down at this age? After he came out of brumation he was wild just like all last summer but then after about a month of silly beardie he just wants to bask. He is still eating and pooping just not as active. I would really appreciate any advice you can give me. Thank you :)

    • Mary says:

      Hi Karen,
      Thanks for liking my site! Parasites are the most common health problem in beardies, so it is a good idea to have him tested and/or treated annually as an adult to make sure it never becomes a problem. The urates can sometimes become a very faint pink in breeding season which is usually in the spring and summer and can be the cause of some behavior changes. Also, as you mentions, some foods can very slightly tint the urates temporarily; however, sometimes tinted pink urates can be a sign of a serious health problem like internal bleeding. If the faint pink urates color went away after a few days and didn’t cause him any pain or discomfort, it was probably a sign he is an adult in breeding season. Parasites usually cause runny/watery and/or very foul smelling stool.
      Adult bearded dragons (18+ months old) are usually less active than young beardies. They do settle down as adult except usually during breeding season, when they may become wild or even aggressive. Adults usually like to lay around most of the day and bask. It is also normal for adults to sometimes eat less and poop less often too.
      I hope this information helps. Please let me know if you have any more questions.
      Thanks,
      Mary

      • Karen says:

        Thank you!! I will keep a close eye on those urates…we do have a good reptile vet so if I see them discoloured again I will definitely take him in. I appreciate your advice :)

  91. andrew says:

    do I take water from my bearded dragon at night?

    • Mary says:

      Hi Andrew,
      Yes, it is a good idea to take the water dish out of a bearded dragon’s enclosure at night, so the beardie doesn’t spill it or sleep in. Many beardie owners don’t even keep a water dish in their enclosure and instead give them regular baths and/or lightly mist them with water in the morning. Adult bearded dragons rarely drink out of a water dish and usually get most of their water from their diet and absorbing it through their skin when bathing or being sprayed.
      It is okay to have a fan in the same room as a beardie as long it is not blown directly at the beardie’s enclosure. Just ensure the temps in the enclosure are in a normal range and the bearded dragon is not being disturbed by it. They usually don’t mind fans as long as it is not blowing things around in their enclosure and it remains a normal temp. Ceiling fans are almost always fine as long as they don’t disturb things in the beardies home.
      I hope this information helps. Please let me know if you have any more questions.
      Thanks,
      Mary

  92. andrew says:

    it gets really hot in my house is it ok to have a fan on in the same room as my beardie?

  93. kellie says:

    hey there my bearded dragon died a few days ago and im not sure what of, he wasnt looked after properly at first as i just got given him, but he got better when i brought him all he needed at my mothers, he started shedding, i then got given crickets which i think were to big as he was scared so i gave him meal worms instead, when hed passed i turned him over and his stomach was black, what was that?? also he had swollen feet and had for a while and lost half of his tail a while back, can u tell me what he died of please as im distraught x

    • Mary says:

      Hi Kellie,
      I’m so sorry to hear about your bearded dragon. While it’s impossible for me to know for sure how your bearded dragon died without more information and without seeing your beardie, there are a few possibilities. The most likely being impaction. Impaction can happen when a beardie eats something that is too big for him or he’s not suppose to eat (like sand or substrate). How old was your beardie? Bearded dragons should only eat crickets that are smaller than the space between the beardie’s eye. Anything larger can cause impaction. Impaction can cause paralysis of the hind legs (which might have caused the swelling) and if it is not promptly addressed, it can cause death. Mealworms can also cause impaction and other problems, because the chitin (exo-skeleton) is very difficult for a bearded dragon to digest. Additionally, if the mealworm isn’t killed before the bearded dragon swallows it, it can sometimes eat the its way out!
      Do you know why he lost his tail? Bearded dragon do not regenerate their tails like some other lizards. When bearded dragons loses their tail as an adult, sub-adult, or juvenile, it can be a serious problem. If the tail had become necrotic before it fell off, that can spread through the rest of the beardie’s body causing death (gangrene). This could have caused swelling in the affected limbs and possibly a black belly. Although sometimes the underside of a bearded dragon can turn black when a they are stressed out, cold, or in death.
      Other common causes of death for bearded dragons are parasites (which can cause a swollen belly) and metabolic bone disease (which can cause deformities).
      Again, I am very sorry to hear about the death of your bearded dragon. I hope this information helps bring you some closure. Please let me know if you have any more questions.
      Thanks,
      Mary

  94. Michael says:

    thank you so much! i recently bought my first dragon, and this has answered so many of my questions and made me more at ease knowing why it does things.

    • Mary says:

      Thank you Michael! I’m glad you found my site helpful! Please let me know if you ever have any questions.
      Best of wishes with your new beardie!
      Mary

  95. Lin says:

    Hello, I have had my bearded dragon for about 10 months- 1 year now and he has had a very good appetite. I fed him crickets for a long time, and then slowly introduced him to veggies. He used to love romaine lettuce, and would eat an entire bowl full. Now, he doesn’t like lettuce, and if I put some in his cage he won’t eat it. He has gone back to crickets, which really worries me. He also is extremely hyper and will scratch at his cage as if he is trying to get out, so I let him run around the house all day and he falls asleep somewhere. Do you think I should get a bigger cage? I am worried he is not getting enough heat during the day. I would really appreciate some advice. Thanks!

    • Mary says:

      Hi Lin,
      How big is his enclosure? If he’s in a 20 gallon tank or small, he definitely needs a larger enclosure. He will be an adult in a few months and should have at least a 40 gallon tank as an adult to be comfortable. Has he ever been tested for parasites? If not, you should definitely get him tested and/or treated. Some of the behavior changes you’re describing could be symptoms of parasites. It best to make sure that parasites are not a problems. Beardies who have parasites sometimes run around in their cage trying to get away from the parasites in the cage. Beardies who have parasites may also sometimes eat more insects, because parasites deplete them and they need more fat from foods like crickets to keep up. You should also clean his enclosure thoroughly and get some new accessories he can hide in and climb on to make him more comfortable. The basking site temperatures should reach 90-100 degrees.
      Also, try to only give him turnip greens, mustard greens, dandelion greens, and squash. Romaine lettuce doesn’t have much nutrition in it; it’s mostly water. You can mix in a small about of fruit to make the greens more appealing to your beardie. Beardies usually like cantaloupe or peaches. Always offer him greens before offering crickets and don’t offer him crickets every day. It’s normal for beardies to not enjoy the greens as much as crickets, but as adults they should be eating more greens than insects On warm sunny days take him outside in a safe screen in area (I have a mesh doggie play pen for my beardies to use outside) to get natural UVB sunlight which is best for him and might help calm him down in time. Also, give him a warm bath a couple times a week to help relax him and hydrate him. Spring and Summer time is usually mating season for bearded dragons, so they can sometimes be more active during this time especially males.
      I hope this information helps and your beardie’s behavior and appetite improve. Please let me know if you have any more questions.
      Mary

  96. neil sullivan says:

    “HELLO” i have a bearded dragon who is about 3 years old, we think she is pregnant (yes she has been with a male about two weeks ago.) For some reason she hasn’t ate for about 4 days now, she is doing a lot of straining but not a lot of poop only tiny little bits now and again. her diet is mealworms, locusts and crickets she will not eat fruit or veg at all to compensate for this we give her komodo bearded dragon adult veg diet premium. we give her warm baths and she drinks in the bath, she is very livley when she is out of her viv (runs every where) any advice would be helpful. regards neil. ps i’m in liverpool england

    • Mary says:

      Hi Neil,
      You need to bring her to a vet who specializes in exotics ASAP. She is in pain and needs help. The vet might do an x-ray to see what’s in her belly and probably put her on an IV since she hasn’t been eating. It could be a few things. It could be egg binding, but that would probably happen 3 weeks or so after being mated when females typically lay their eggs. It could also be impaction causing her to be unable to pass her food. Impaction happens when beardies eat things that they shouldn’t eat. The chitin (exo-skeleton) of mealworms is very difficult for bearded dragons to digest, so mealworms should not be fed to bearded dragons. They can cause impaction. Another problem that can cause the symptoms you’re describing are parasites. Parasites are the most common health problem in beardies and in high loads, they can kill a bearded dragon. Parasites cause a number of problems including changes in appetite, in stool, behavior, and even death. All of these conditions require immediate vet care.
      When you were giving your bearded dragon a bath, did you gently palpate her belly to try to feel anything hard inside or eggs? If she has eggs, you would have been able to feel them easy. You may have even see them in her belly. If she has impaction, you would have felt something hard and/or solid in her belly. If she has parasites, you probably would not feel anything.
      I hope this information helps, and you bring her to a vet as soon as possible. Please let me know if you have anymore questions.
      Thanks,
      Mary

      • neil sullivan says:

        hi mary thanks for your advice but this afternoon my beardie has laid 28 eggs, i’m not sure if these will be fertile or not and i dont have an incubator yet will get one in the morning. have put the eggs in tubs of sand and put my two table lamps on them to keep them warm. will they be ok like this for a while or not? thanks again. neil

        • Mary says:

          Hey Neil,
          That’s great! I’m so glad to hear she laid eggs. Poor girl! She’s probably exhausted, hungry, and dehydrated. Make sure she gets extra crickets supplemented with calcium carbonate with every feeding and greens for the next few weeks. Keep giving her baths to keep her hydrated.
          The eggs should be okay for a day as long as they are kept at about 80 degrees F (about 26 C). If they get over 90 F (32 F), they will probably fail. Be very careful not to turn the eggs when you move them into the incubator. If the eggs are fertile, you should be able to see a blood vessel inside them if you hold them up to a candlelight. If the eggs are not fertile, many of the eggs will fail in a few days.
          Thanks again for the update! Take good care of the new mommy beardie! She had a very rough few days! Please let me know if you have any more questions.
          Glad every thing worked out,
          Mary

  97. Chris says:

    Hi! Wow this site is very informative! I would like to know your thoughts about beardies taking meloxicam for pain. My beardie had a prolapsed / traumatized hemipene that happened last night. He went to the vet today and unfortunately they needed to surgically remove the right side hemipene. He’s doing great at this time, about 5 hours post op. the vet prescribed 0.03ml of 0.5mg/ml of metacam daily for pain. I have read a few websites that say this medication is dangerous for beardies and I’m afraid to give it. He’s eating, and is very alert, obviously not moving around a lot. Should I give this med as a preemptive pain relief? Or see how he is tomorrow? Thanks for your thoughts.

    • Mary says:

      Hi Chris,
      My personal opinion is not to give him the medication unless you really think he needs it because he’s in so much pain he’s not eating and not active. Many reptiles don’t respond well to medications, and it’s better to be safe than sorry. Your beardie should get over the pain in a few days. If he appears to be in a lot of pain later, you might want to try the meds at that time, and I would give him slightly less than the recommended dose to be on the safe side.
      I hope your beardie makes a quick recover and doesn’t need the medication.
      Thanks,
      Mary

  98. Chyna (Ch-eye-na) says:

    Thanks for all that info I’m going to get my Bearded Dragons a cheek up with a vet for anything out of the ordinary Thnx. I have a question for you what do I do if I don’t know what morph my Beardies are? I wan’t to breed them but I wan’t to know of all the possibe babies they could have like in colour? HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) :) :) :) :) :) :)

    • Mary says:

      Hey Chyna,
      You can try to figure out the morphs of your beardies based on their coloring, smoothness of their skin, and size if you don’t know the morphs of your beardies parents. If your beardies are brown/tan/grayish with scaly skin and spikes, they are considered normal. If your beardies have clear nails, they are hypos, etc. This is a helpful guide that might help you figure out what morphs your beardies are and what they might have for babies: http://www.thebeardeddragon.org/types-of-bearded-dragons.php

      I hope this information helps and you can determine the morphs of your bearded dragons. Please let me know if you have any more questions.
      Thanks,
      Mary

  99. stella says:

    What about pygmies? My little man Valcore is crazy. I made a terarrium for him which became his cage but now he jumps out so i put the brand new dog bed that my dog has always refused to use, under his cage so doesnt hurt himself. He always ends up just mobbin around my room ending up in few different spots he likes best. My daughter calls him suicidal lizard cause hes nuts. He thinks hes invincable. I may sound crazy but i think sometimes he understands when i say no no Valcore. We dont know how old he is. We got him from pet store after coming back from kindergarden class with no tail and a broken cage. He used to flip over in his water at the pet store and he was skin n bones. Weve had him 8 minths now and altho hes grown fat he can still fit in my shirt pocket, probably cause his stub tail. He sleeps with me in bed every night. He only potties on his wash clothes i put around for him and in his smaller water bowl. Hes this best pet ever next to my dog..he likes my dog and my beagle deals with Valcore being around tho he gets jealous sometimes. My little schnooger booger is spoiled and loves life now. Anything specific important with pygmies? Oh and he has that third eye…can he see out if it? I pet his head all the time does it hurt him…he seems to like the attention.

    • Mary says:

      Hi Stella,
      I’ve never owned a pygmy bearded dragon myself, so I’m sorry but I don’t know much about them. I know Pogona henrylawsoni (pygmy bearded dragon) can be much more energetic at times than Pogona vitticep and tend to need more space and accessories to climb on. They appreciate changes like new accessories every few weeks and a variety of basking spots. They are very hardy and make great pets (as you know already!) They (along with all other reptiles) are very sensitive to chemicals like household cleaners, so be careful with what you use around the house. Also, be-careful of small objects that he may accidentally swallow and make sure he gets plenty of exposure to UVB light. Impaction, parasites, and metabolic bone disease are some of the most common health problems with these beardies.
      Most lizards have a third eye known as a parietal eye. They use this eye to spot changes in light and can detect predators above them. They don’t see out of it like their other eyes and it doesn’t hurt them to touch it. So you can keep petting his head especially if he seems to enjoy it!

      I hope this information helps and please let me know if you have any more questions.
      Thanks,
      Mary

  100. Gabriel says:

    Hey, so i got my first bearded dragon earl on december 26, 2012 and originally he would…produce waste everyday or atleast every 2 days but for the past month or 2 he has been going almost once a week. I have the bulbs, i use a reptile carpeting and i can only feed him insects from a fluker’s buffet blend for juveniles. His waste smells and it sticks into the carpeting(i had to scrape it off then scrub the carpeting). I keep his water and food bowls in his tank, he has a tree in the heat spot, a log inbetween(mostly in the cool side, oh and hes been curling up in there during the day more) and a cave rock my grandpa got in illinois(forgive my spelling) we both scrubbed it with hot water and soap(hes had the rock about 2-3 months now. As for the greens i had him eating romain, peas, corn, and carrots but we got kale(had extra fiber in hopes we’d unclog him). Im 15 with no job so i cant get him to a vet without begging the right relatives(we dont have alot of money). Please help.

    • Mary says:

      Hi Gabriel,
      How old is Earl? If he is not an adult, he needs to eat live insects almost every day (the fluker’s buffet blend doesn’t have enough nutrition and fat in it), and adults need live insects a couple times a week. It’s a good idea to order crickets in bulk for him, because young beardies should eat a lot of crickets and you can save a lot of money by order them by the thousand. (I get mine from the cricket factory on ebay: http://www.cricketfactory.com/). You should also give him turnip greens, mustard greens, and collard greens. Romaine lettuce is mostly water and doesn’t have enough nutrition either. If he’s constipated, give him a warm bath to help relax him and help keep him hydrated. You can also very gently palpate his belly to help ease tension in his stomach and feel for any obstructions that might cause impaction. If a bath doesn’t help him, you can try to give him just a drop or two of olive oil to hopefully help move things long.
      A very common cause of smelly waste and constipation is parasites. If you think your beardie might have parasites, it is best to keep his enclosure as clean as possible. You should thoroughly clean his enclosure and accessories with a bleach solution and rinse with water until you can no longer smell bleach in his enclosure or accessories. If you think need to treat you bearded dragon for parasites, there is a website you can get parasite meditation for bearded dragons without a visit to the vet (let me know if you want the name of the site). Also, I recommend getting rid of the carpeting and using newspaper or paper towels instead, because they are easier to keep clean and replace. Reptile carpet can hold parasites, smell, and are difficult to clean thoroughly.
      I hope this information helps. Please let me know if you have any more questions.
      Thanks,
      Mary

      • Gabriel says:

        Thanks for the help. Yes i’d like the name of the site and how should i clean his tank?(the toys i could scrub or soak) and the carpet isn’t the kind that has fake plastic grass if that is what you were thinking(if not then please say so, so i can replace the carpet with paper towels untill we get him his new tank). Again thanks.

        • Mary says:

          Hi Gabriel,
          The site that sells the medication is: http://www.beautifuldragons.com/Reptilestore.html. Albon is the most commonly prescribed medication to treat parasites in beardies. It treats coccidia and pinworms, but sometimes a beardie can have other parasites and will need Panacur to treat it. I wrote suggestion on how to clean a beardies cage on my site: http://dragonrancher.com/cleaning-tips/ The accessories should be scrubbed with soap then soaked in a bleach solution for at least 20 minutes and so should the enclosure (if possible). Some people machine wash their reptile carpet (not the fake grass stuff, which should never be used for beardies). Sometimes the reptile carpet can still hold parasites even after being washed, so it might be best to just replace it with paper if your not sure if your beardie has a parasite infection or not. You can also try soaking it in the bleach solution then machine washing it, but again it might be easier to just replace it with paper for now.

          I hope this information helps. Please let me know if you have any more questions.

          Thanks again,
          Mary

          • Gabriel says:

            If i was to buy the meds, how would i give it to him? And the meds you suggested said to keep him hydrated but he does not drink his water. He will walk through it but not drink. Oh and how long would he have to be treated for?

  101. Lanora says:

    I have a bearded dragon and he has a cricket stuck in his throat, do you have suggestions on what I can do to get it out or down? Thanks anything will help!

    • Mary says:

      Poor beardie! Try to get the cricket out of his throat by very gently opening his mouth by slipping something slim and plastic (like a plastic syringe) into the corner of his mouth and carefully swiping his mouth and throat to move the cricket up into his mouth. Bearded dragons don’t have a gag reflex and cannot throw anything up, but if you can knock the cricket loose and out of his throat, he can shake it out of his mouth. Try to prevent him from swallowing it. If you aren’t able to get it out of his throat and he ends up swallowing it, give him some water and maybe even a couple drops of olive oil to help him pass it safely. He would probably also appreciate a few extra baths to help him pass it and relax too.
      I hope you are able to get the cricket out.
      Best of luck!
      Mary

  102. Lanora says:

    Thanks I will try it and keep you updated, somebody told me to give it baby food to soften the cricket up then maybe it would go down I have tried and my bearded dragon will eat the babushka slowly but the cricket still seems to be stuck, thanks again!

  103. Liam says:

    hi my bearded dragon has got about 10 creamy spots near his lower belly can you tell me what this is please? thanks

    • Mary says:

      Hi Liam,
      What you’re describing sounds like normal bearded dragon coloring, but if there are dark rings around the spots they can be stress lines. Stress lines can happen if something is making your bearded dragon uncomfortable, ill, cold, or stressed.
      Please let me know if you have any more questions.
      Thanks,
      Mary

  104. emma says:

    hi my bearded dragon is acting really strange I think he has some type of diease or illness cause hes really lifeless he doesn’t want to move and his belly is really hard and has black marks on his belly is this signs of paralysi,stress or bloated I don’t now and im really worried for him and I don’t want him to die please help

    • Mary says:

      Hi Emma,
      Sorry to hear about your bearded dragon. You really need to bring you beardie to a vet that specializes in exotics like bearded dragons. It sounds like he could have a high load of parasites and need treatment as soon as possible. The black marks on his belly are stress lines that can happen when a bearded dragon is ill, sick, stressed, or something is wrong. A hard belly can also sometimes be caused by impaction. Try to give him a warm bath and very gently palpate his belly to try to feel anything hard inside. If you find something hard, it could be a sign of impaction. If not, it is possibly parasites. A vet will probably do an x-ray to confirm a diagnosis. If you know he is impacted, continue to give him a warm bath, make sure he gets plenty of fluids, very gently and carefully massage his belly to relax it, and some people give their beardies organic baby food and/or a couple drops of olive oil to help whatever is causing the impaction to pass.
      I really hope your beardie makes a quick recovery.
      Best Wishes,
      Mary

  105. Laura says:

    I just got a juvenile beardie; I have a felt type mat in a portion of the tank and then put crushed walnut bedding in the rest of the tank (it’s 75 gallons or 4 ft long). I have a ceramic infrared 150w heat emitter for basking and warmth and a desert fixture strip light with a 50 UVB 17 watt bulb in it. this strip light covers 2/3 of the tank. I have driftwood and lots of terrarium fake plants in the tank too and a soaking dish and two food dishes for my beardie. I have pin head crickets with the calcium powder to feed him, baby beardie food and veggies. Am I proceeding correctly? Each store I go to gives me different information. I read what you said about the felt and may pitch that but I was told the juveniles had to have that type of flooring in part of their cage to build their chest muscles up correctly; however, I noticed in the shop I got my beardie at, they had the crushed walnut bedding in their tanks and my beardie seemed fine in it. Also, how can I tell what color he will be? He is about 10-12 weeks old right now and around 4.5-5″ long. He is greenish but has two parallel plates going down his back that are bright orange. Lastly, I will be taking him to my classroom. He will have a tank just like the one he has at home in the class. What is the best way to transport him home with me on the weekends? How about when the weather gets cold? Thanks for the information.

    • Mary says:

      Hi Laura,
      He’s a lucky beardie to have a owner that cares so much about him! The size his tank is great! Check the temperature under the heat emitter to make sure it’s not getting above 110 degrees in the basking areas. If it does, switch to a 100 watts or lower. A 150w heat emitter is usually too high, but depending on the dimensions of the tank it might be fine. You may just need the 150w on cold winter days. Get rid of the brushed walnut bedding; it is not safe for beardies of any age. They can easily ingest the crushed walnut and become impacted. The felt mat is safe for bearded dragons but is hard to keep clean and can hold parasites and smells. It’s probably easier to use paper, paper towels, or tiles instead. Make sure he gets turnip greens or mustard greens on a regular basis. It’s important for beardies to learn to eat their greens at an early age. Do you know what morph your bearded dragon is? If not, it is difficult at this size to tell what color your beardie will be, but most beardies bought at a pet store are a normal morph on less otherwise stated. Normal morphs are brown, tan, and/or light yellow. It takes several months for young bearded dragons to grow into their color, and they tend to show their best color when taking a warm bath. He may keep some of the bright orange coloring, or it might fade. Does 4.5-5″ include the tail? If so, he is probably closer to a month old. Baby bearded dragon hatch at about 4 inches long and can grow as much as 1 inch in a week! Usually the grow about 1/2 inch per week their first few weeks. Being kept in the incorrect condition without proper lighting and/or heat or having parasites can slow their growth. A bearded dragon that is 10 to 12 weeks old should be a lot bigger than 5 inches long.
      The best way to transport him is in a shoe box size with several holes in it and a hand towel lining the bottom. On cold days, wrap the box in a warm large towel or blanket. On very cold days, you wrap the box in 2 towels with a warm pack in between the towels. In the car, you can put the box on the floor any put the floor vent heat on or if your car has heated seats put the box on that.
      I hope this information helps. Please let me know if you have any more questions.
      Best wishes with your new beardie!
      Mary

  106. bko says:

    My bearded dragon has produced 119 eggs in five clutches in as many months, and is ready to lay again. I have allowed only 30 to hatch, but she demands a new box in a new location each time, and I am running out of space and takers for the little ones. How can I get her to stop laying eggs? Isolation from the male has not helped.

  107. bko says:

    How do I get my bearded dragon to stop laying eggs? Five clutches in five months and another on the way- well over a hundred eggs so far. I’ve kept about six from each clutch, but the real issue is that she demands a new box in a new place each time, and I’m running out of space- and takers for the little ones. Will it stop when winter comes? Will she still be fertile next year, despite isolation from the male?

    • Mary says:

      She should stop laying eggs in the winter, but they usually stop in the fall when it becomes colder. You can try to prevent her from laying more eggs by making it cooler in her enclosure, turning off the lights earlier in the evening to simulate fall and winter, and feeding her slightly less. Also, if the male is in the same room, move him to another room so she can’t even see him. She may still lay a clutch or two next year even if she isn’t mated, but they eggs should not be fertilized. Some females lay unfertilized eggs and some females don’t. (I have one female that does and one that doesn’t. This is one of my females laying eggs: http://dragonrancher.com/2013/07/07/laying-eggs/ ). Females can sometimes lay a couple fertile clutches after being mated just once per breeding season, because they can hold sperm until they have eggs ready to be fertilized. If you keep her away from the male all year, she should not lay any more fertilized eggs next year. They can usually only hold sperm for one breeding season.
      I hope your female takes a break from laying eggs, and you find homes for all the little ones.
      Please let me know if you have any more questions.
      Thanks,
      Mary

  108. Susan says:

    Hi,

    We rescued a bearded dragon when he wasn’t being well taken care of. Spike will be 4 in January. He is in the hospital because he was not eating and lethargic. He was also blocked up. His x-Ray was somewhat abnormal but they wanted to re x-Ray him when he was better. He was better for the first few days after getting home and then gradually got more and more lethargic again. He wouldn’t take food or water by mouth…not even in the bath ( he normally plays in the bath and drinks).

    They did another x-ray and they said it looked odd so they did an ultrasound. He has a 2 cm ‘something’ outside of his stomach. Possibly a tumor. Maybe an abcess. They took a sample and sent it out to the lab but they said he may need emergency surgery. The first time in the hospital his gums were ok and now they are pale.

    Spike had a rough start – his first owner didn’t do well by him. The poor thing couldn’t digest anything when we first got him. Everything was wrong – substrate, diet, lighting, and temperature.

    How common is cancer in bearded dragons? Any advice?

  109. Susan says:

    I forgot to mention that Spike had surgery last year because of a blockage. He was in bad shape when we got him and now I am concerned that his poor care (early on) is catching up to him.

  110. Sheila says:

    My bearded dragon’s tail is dark and firm at the tip with a bend in it-also he was having difficulty with shedding his tail. I reptile helper at a pet store recommended olive oil in water so added a teaspoon. This made him very slick so I bathed him again in water and twice today in water but he is turning a dark color. He is still eating well but I am worried about him. Please help!

    • Mary says:

      Hi Shelia,
      Continue to give him warm baths, so he can soak his tail. You don’t need to use olive oil. You can also try a shed ease spray on his tail to help him shed. Lightly mist him with water every morning in his cage. Is the tail turning black and hard? If it is, it may have become necrotic and may need to surgically removed to avoid spreading (like gangrene). It is a fairly common problem, and happens do to problems shedding, tail nips, getting caught in something like the cage lid, etc. Bearded dragons do not regenerate their tail like some other lizards. Sometimes the tail heals fine on its own, but it is usually best to have the affected area removed and put the beardie on antibiotics.

      Please let me know if you have any more questions.
      Thanks,
      Mary

  111. Amy says:

    I need help ASAP! I have a bearded dragon that is about 9 inches long. Last night he broke the tip of his tail. It is still attached to the rest of his tail….barely! It had been very hard and stiff for about a week. He eats just fine and drinks water, and I bathe him once a month in warm water and he enjoys that very much. I don’t know what to do from this point. Do I clip the rest off and bandage it up? Do I leave it alone? There is not a reptile vet anywhere near me so I am lost at this point. Please help me!!!!

    • Mary says:

      Hi Amy,
      Tail tip breaks are fairly common. Try soaking him a warm bath for at least 5 minutes to loosen up the skin and help separate the dead part of the tail. If you can separate the piece easily without bleeding, gently pull it off. If it doesn’t, let it start to fall of on its own. Either way, put some iodine on the affected area. Don’t use anything but iodine. You usually don’t have to bandage it if the area is small. It usually heals well on its own. You just have to make sure it doesn’t get infected, use iodine, and make sure the rest of the tail stays healthy. Hope he heals quickly!

      Please let me know if you have any more questions.
      Thanks,
      Mary

  112. helenetta says:

    hi, my son has just got a bearded dragon she is 4 month old only had her just over a week but she is scratching at her tank when I sit next to it its almost like shes following me and she curls her tail when am close too, when we took her out she almost came straight at me does this mean she doesn’t like me ??

    • Mary says:

      Hi, It probably means she is uncomfortable and needs to become more settled. Make sure her enclosure is large enough (a 40 gallon tank or larger), the temps are right, and she has plenty of hiding places in her enclosure. Let her settle in her new home for a while before trying to handle her too much. Handling a new beardie can be stressful for them. Also, make sure she’s getting plenty to eat. Beardies are usually in a better mood when they have been well fed and are comfortable in their enclosure. Sometimes beardies will follow and get excited when they see the person who normally feeds them. It can also be a sign they are still hungry. If you think she doesn’t like you, try feeding her the treats like crickets, wax worms, roaches, fruits, etc. She will learn to like you. Hopefully, your beardie will settle down soon and become more comfortable in her new home.
      Thanks,
      Mary

      • helenetta says:

        hi, thanks for the reply, her tank is fine so is the temp av gave her a wee tunnel if she feels the need to use it tried her with cucumber she seems to like that hopefuly she just needs time to settle I just want a happy beardie :-) x

  113. Amanda says:

    Hello I have a sick beardie who is very unresponsive and lethargic, she/he is very thin and not growing I think she/he is nine months but im not sure she is not eating or drinking will not open her mouth, and has tiny dark dents on the tip of her mouth, she is in a at least 30 long tank are vet will not be in tell Tuesday and the cats climb on her cage, she has a terrarium mate he/she is bigger then her and we cant get a new tank yet what do I do???

    • Mary says:

      She really needs to go to a vet as soon as possible; it can’t wait till Tuesday. There are some emergency vets that are open 24 hours. It is not normal to be lethargic and unresponsive. She will probably need to be put on an iv and will need to test/treat for parasites. If you really cannot bring her to a vet sooner than Tuesday, then try soaking her in a warm bath. You may need to hold or prop her head up. You can also try to force her to drink some fluids by very gently slipping a plastic eye dropper or plastic syringe under her lips and into her mouth. Just give her a little at a time. You may also want to try to some flavor free pedialyte or even organic baby food. Put her in a warm room where she can relax away from the cat and other cage mate. She needs to be comfortable, warm, and well hydrated. For now, it does not need to be a tank since it’s just temporary till you can bring her to a vet and keep her at about 90 degrees. When you do bring her into the vet, also bring in her cage mate so they can both be tested/treated for parasites. I hope you get her to a vet asap and she/he is able to make a quick recovery.
      Please let me know if I can help in any other way or if you have more questions.
      Thanks,
      Mary

  114. Amanda says:

    Ps she used to eat meal worms and crickets till I relised mealworms were bad
    and she used to have red sand but I found out it was bad and it kicked my allergies so we changed it.

  115. Amanda says:

    Hello again I have been trying to keep her hydrated and away from him/her , we also have been giving her warm baths and her beard turned grey as well as her tail, and I think it might be parasites or stress or both, and we have also just got a electrolyte and d3 supplement, and we got some baby food and syringe fed her some and my mom warmed a damp towel for her and she seemed to like it, plus we went to petco to get some repta aid/ repta+boost to help her but she is really worrying me so we are going to get her to a vet as soon as possible.

  116. Kari says:

    Hi Mary,

    My bearded dragon BIGFOOT/FAT FAT has been running into the sides of his cage/glass. She is in a 25 gallon tank and about 4 months old 6 inches long. She does this for quit some time. It worries me that she hurt herself. She is also trying to climb and dig around the side of the glass. I thought maybe because she is seeing her reflection. She is my bestest friend since I am disabled and home alone all day. She eats crickets and loves greens. She loves to soak in her bowl of water. Normal BM and very loving. Is this a normal activity for her?

    Thank you,
    Kari

    • Mary says:

      Hi Kari,
      It is not normal bearded dragon behavior to run into the sides of the cage and glass. Did you get her at a pet store? Have you had her tested for parasites? Sometimes beardies with parasites run into the glass trying to get away from the parasites in the cage and in their stool. Clean out the enclosure and accessories thoroughly in a bleach solution to get rid of any parasite that might be in there. You may also want to get some new accessories. What are you using as a substrate? You may want to use paper towels that can be clean out and replaced easily and often. A 4 month bearded dragon should be a lot bigger than 6″ from tip of nose to end of tail. Parasites can also cause stunted growth and are the most common health problems in beardies. You can get parasite medication at http://www.beautifuldragons.com/Reptilestore.html You will also need to get a larger cage for her when she is larger, so she doesn’t get stressed out. Do you have any other pets that may also be stressing her out? Sometimes beardies get stressed out with other animals around them. Beardies can hurt their nose and mouth by rubbing along the glass, and it is usually a sign they are stressed out and/or something is wrong. Have your beardie tested/treated for parasites, clean up the enclosure, use newspaper or paper towels as a substrate, get some new hiding/climbing accessories, and make sure there’s nothing around your beardie that may be stressing her out.

      I hope this information helps. Please let me know if you have any more questions. I hope your beardie stops running into the glass.
      Thanks,
      Mary

      • Kari says:

        Mary,
        Bigfoot is doing 100% better!! no more running into the glass. We put her in a 55 gallon tank added logs with “leafy vines” and half tank is desert looking and other is jungle looking. She is AWESOME!! Has grow 3 inches since her new cage and has shed. She is also starting a second shedding on her tail. She has been a joy and extremely happy and spoiled. She is a snuggler for sure!
        Thanks again for the input!!
        Kari

  117. Claire says:

    Hey,
    My son got his first beardie yesterday. I did loads of research. Or so I thought. I assumed they drank out of bowls. I have since found out absorption is the way. Also, my partner came down this morning and found ernie very floppy, cold and lifeless and she thought he was dead, is this normal for over night? I double and triple checked the temperature before we went to bed last night. Also, the heat lamp, does that get switched off at night and if it does how do we regulate the temperature so it doesn’t fall below 17degrees? Thanks for your help

    • Mary says:

      Hi Claire,
      Some adult bearded dragons are heavy sleepers and will remain somewhat limp when picked up, but most baby and juvenile bearded dragons should be more alert and perk up when picked up while sleeping. Does the beardie perk up when picked up while sleeping? Adult bearded dragon enjoy snuggling while sleeping and may not wake up. Babies, however, usually do wake up and become alert; it is not normal for a baby beardie to remain lifeless. I use a black light or ceramic heat light (that lets off no light) at night. Some people use under tank heat pads to regulate the temperature at night. You just have to make sure it doesn’t get too hot in the tank where the heat pad is located. (Never use a hot rock). The tank should be about 19-26 degrees at night.

      Hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any more questions.
      Thanks,
      Mary

  118. I always say that it’s SO important to get the temperature of your tank right. Moving into a new home can be stressful enough for your beardie, but it can be made even worse if it doesn’t have a suitable habitat.

    I always recommend having your vivarium set up, tested and ready well in advance of actually buying a bearded dragon.

    Quality guide man, great job!

  119. leah says:

    Hey there ive got a problem with my beardies ive got a male and a female living together and they have been together since birth.. they are nearly 3years old and the male keeps biting the females eye he keeps biting at the skin around her eye and today i noticed a bit of her lid missing i really dont know what to do ive seperated them for the time being while it heals by putting a divider in the tank.. what else can i do her eye looks fine and i bathed it in luke warm boiled water.. any suggestions many thanks leah..

    • Mary says:

      Hi Leah,
      They definitely need to separated permanently. Adults males can make living situations for a female so stressful it can kill her. They both need a break from each other and should only be together again if they are to bred. She should be taken to a vet to ensure that she doesn’t have an infection and the wound will heal well. She may need to be put on antibiotics (medications are also available here http://www.beautifuldragons.com/Reptilestore.html, but I’m not sure if they ship to the UK). You may also very carefully apply iodine to the her eye lid skin using a cotton swab. Continue to keep the area as clean as possible. The vet may also suggest eye drops to avoid irritation and promote healing. Try to keep her environment as stress free and comfortable as possible. You may also want to keep her new enclosure a few degrees warmer. I hope your beardie heals and recovers quickly.

      Thanks,
      Mary

  120. Victoria Aramanda says:

    Is it normail for my 6 month old girl bearded dragon to have white & brown poop ? Or is this parasites ? & also is it okay for me to use paper towels for her florring , if not what is the best type

    • Mary says:

      Hi Victoria,
      Yes, white and brown stool is normal. The white is urates (like pee). Birds do the same thing. Brown is normal. If it is watery and/or very smelly, than that is a sign of parasites. Although, some foods (like melon, cantaloupe, peaches, etc.) can cause watery stool temporarily. If a beardie always has watery and/or smelly stool, he/she probably has parasites and should be treated with Albon or Panacur depending on what type of parasite he/she has. The most common parasite in beardies is coccidia.
      Paper towels are great for flooring for a young beardie. That’s what I use for mine, and it’s cheap, easy to clean out, and replace. When she’s older and larger you may want to switch to tile like stale, but paper towels also work. Some people also use play sand for full-grown adults, but you have to take precautions to ensure they don’t swallow it. Sand can cause impaction if too much is swallowed, but adults love to dig in it.

      Thanks,
      Mary

      • Victoria Aramanda says:

        THank you , & i just got her a week ago and i have the heat lamp but not the uv , how long of a time frame do i have to get the uv light ?

  121. sammy says:

    Hiya. I have 2 18 week old beardies at the moment and a 9 month old bosc monitor, have had loads in the past and all were fine. We have only today rescued a 2 year old female beardie as she was neglected, tank to small, not hot enough, etc. She is very friendly and loves a snuggle, eating and pooping great, but ……. The end of her tail is missing( which I know can be normal) but it looks about 2″ missing, also her front left leg is missing up to her elbow, has a little stump that she keeps close to her body, im going to take her to the vet for a check over just incase, will this be causing her pain? The people I got her from didnt even know some of her tail was missing and said it was her mother that took of her leg when she hatched, feel so sorry for her, just need to fi d her a lovely name that suits her, they called her hook!!

    • Mary says:

      Poor beardie!! She as been through a lot! I can’t believe the previous owners had her around the mother when she just hatched. She’s lucky to be alive! It’s great you’re taking her to a vet to make she’s okay. It should not cause her any pain. Beardies tend to recover well from tail and limp injuries and adapt quickly. Make sure you bring a fresh (less than 2 hour) stool sample to the vet for them to test for parasites. It’s a very common problem in beardies especially if they come from poor conditions. She may have some nutritional problems too like low blood calcium levels, so she should have some blood work done. You should keep her quarantine and away from your other 2 healthy beardies until she gets a clean bill of health. Good luck with your new beardie! It’s wonderful there are people like you willing to save animals in need.

      Please let me know if you have any more questions.
      Thanks,
      Mary

  122. Nicki says:

    My female dragon has died, can I introduce another female to my male

    • Mary says:

      Hi Nicki,
      I’m so sorry to hear about your bearded dragon. You should probably wait awhile before you introduce another female to your male. Do you know what your female dragon died from? If not, you should probably get your male and any female you’re thinking of introducing him to tested and/or treated for parasites. Parasites are the most common health problem in beardies and can be spread easily. Any new beardie should be quarantined for at least 30 days before you introduce them, to avoid spreading any possible illness and ensuring all the beardie is healthy. It is also be a good idea to take both beardies to a vet for a check-up before introducing them.
      Best of luck finding a new female bearded dragon.
      Thanks,
      Mary

  123. Elaine says:

    I have Beardie who has started jumping around in place while shaking their head. I’m not as worried about this as the constant turning over round and around. The other day he actually did stay on his back a few seconds, so I turned him back over. I was just reading over some previous posts and am thinking of cleaning out the whole tank. It is about 65 gallons.

    • Mary says:

      Hi Elaine,
      Turning over is not normal for a beardie, and they can have breathing difficulties while on their back. You should bring him to a vet who specializes in exotics to have him check for health problems like a respiratory infection, parasites, something in his throat, impaction, etc. Is he bobbing his head up and down, or shaking it from left to right? Does he have anything stuck in his throat? Bearded dragons can’t throw up, so I they have something in their throat they will try to shake it out. Is he in an enclosure with another beardie? It is a good idea to also thoroughly clean out his enclosure, and clean it with a bleach solution incase he has a parasite or respiratory infection. Something is definitely wrong and your beardie needs help. You should have him checked out as soon as possible to find out why he is behaving this way.
      I hope this helps. Best of luck with your beardie.
      Thanks,
      Mary

  124. robert says:

    Hi I have a 4 month old beardie and all of a sudden this morning he got really aggressive im concerned im a first time owner and not completely sure on how they act I think he was just tired because he just wen to sleep after I shut his cage he eat regularly I feed him crickets and a veggie salad almost every day 2 times daily and I hold him daily im just concerned hes sick or something love the info btw super helpful

    • Mary says:

      Hi Robert,
      Bearded dragons, especially males, can sometimes become aggressive if they are in a bad mood, feel threatened, or ill. Bearded dragons tend to be in a bad mood if they are shedding, haven’t slept, haven’t eaten enough, are around another animal that is making them uncomfortable, etc. It tends to happen much more often in mating season, which is in the summer. If he’s around other animals, he should be separated. If he is fine now, he was probably just in a bad mood because he was tired or hungry. If he is ill, he will continue to be aggressive and would need to be checked out by a vet who specializes in exotics. Make sure he is getting turnip, mustard, or dandelion greens in his salads and calcium carbonate powder every other day. If he has been having watery stool, you should have him tested and/or treated for parasites as they are the most common health problem in beardies and can cause a lot of problems if a beardie has a high load of parasites. Hope this information helps.
      Please let me know if you have any more questions. Best wishes for your beardie!
      Thanks,
      Mary

  125. Corey says:

    I have an 8 month old beardie. He has never warmed up to anyone and always runs and attacks when you try to hold him or pet him. After months of trying I can pet him on his head and head only and only with only the lightest of touches. When I do get to pick him up and let him out, he jumps off me and takes off running. Last night after feeding him, i tried to get him out of his enclosure but he attacked my hand three times. Now I have read up on them and have him in a great setup. Hes in a 50 gal house with clean sand, a hammock, leaves for shade, plenty of crickets and water. He has warmth and sunlight bulbs as well as night bulbs to keep him warm at night. When I do try to hold him, I move slow as to not frighten him and I try to hold him from underneath. But with all that, I still cant hold the little dude for more than a few seconds before he jumps and runs. Im scared he’ll jump one day and hurt himself. This is the last thing im trying before putting him up for another owner.

    • Mary says:

      Hi Corey,
      Some bearded dragons are timid easily scared, especially if they weren’t handled much from the breeder shortly after they hatched. This problem is also more common in younger males. They sometimes become more tame as adults, but sometimes they can stay aggressive and/or timid. In general, bearded dragons don’t enjoy being touched on their head. It can feel threatening to them, and they may open their mouth and/or try to get away. The best time of day to handle a timid bearded dragon is at night after his lights have turned off and he’s ready for sleep. At this time, they tend to be less likely to try to run away and more likely to try to snuggle you and fall asleep. When you do take him out during the day, try to do things with him that he will enjoy like taking him outside in a secure enclosure (I use a mesh doggie playpen, don’t use glass as it will amplify the heat and light). Beardies love to bask in natural sunlight, and it is great for them too. Try to feed him his favorite foods and treats (beardies usually love peaches and cantaloupe as occasional treats) outside of his enclosure. For his enclosure, you may want to switch the sand for tile, paper towels, or newspaper, because sand can be dangerous if swallowed especially for a young beardie. Check the temps to make sure it’s not getting too hot, and it’s getting cool enough at night like in the 70s. Also, make sure he has plenty of places to hide like a cave. Start feeding him more greens like turnip, dandelion, and mustard greens and less crickets. You may also want to switch feeding him crickets for dubia roaches instead, which are more nutritious and cannot carry pinworms like crickets. You may also want to have him checked for parasites if you got him from a pet store, he has running stool, and/or his bad mood persists. Parasites are the most common health problem with beardies and can cause a variety of problems including behavior problems. I hope this information helps, and your beardie starts to become more tame.

      Please let me know if you have any more questions.
      Thanks,
      Mary
      http://www.DragonRancher.com

  126. Matthew L says:

    Hi my bearded dragon is 5.5 months old but he is still 7.5 inches long it’s like he won’t grow but other than that he is very healthy I feed him 15-20 crickets that are dusted with calcium he has a heat lamp during the day and UVB on at night he is in a 20 gall tank right now he is also hard to pick him up he’ll hiss at me and try to run away

    • Mary says:

      Hi Matthew,
      You may want to get your bearded dragon tested and/or treated for parasites. Parasite problems at a young age can cause stunted growth along with other problems including behavior problems. You may also get medication without a prescription at http://www.beautifuldragons.com/Reptilestore.html The most common medications to treat parasites are Albon and Panacur depending on the type of parasite(s) are present. Make sure your beardie is also staying very well hydrated. Take him outside to get natural sunlight in a secure enclosure (I use a mesh doggie playpen, don’t use glass as it will amplify the heat and light). Beardies love to bask in natural sunlight, and it is great for them too. The natural UVB light may help him grown too. Try not to handle your beardie too much as it can stress a young bearded dragon out. It is normal for a young bearded dragon to try to run away, but hissing is a sign of distress. Only use slow movements around your beardie as fast movements may frighten him. You may also want to switch feeding him crickets for dubia roaches instead, which are more nutritious and cannot carry pinworms like crickets. I hope this information helps, and your beardie starts to become more tame and starts growing.

      Please let me know if you have any more questions.
      Thanks,
      Mary
      http://www.DragonRancher.com

  127. marcie says:

    Hi mary, i am a new to beardies and bought one from my work (petsmart) ive probably had him a month and a half and growing constantly. He is on his second shed!. so im going to say hes roughly 3.5 months and have him in a 30 gallon. Was thinking of upgrading in about a month. Would that be ok Also what are your opinion on reptile hammocks? i had it fairly low to ground in case he jumps. i removed it though because i am worried about his legs or nails getting caught?!! Also for his diet i have A tiny bowl with pellets always availlable during the day as well as lettuce bok choy and i give him 5 crickets in morning 2 around early afternoon and another 5 at six… is that a good amount?

    • Mary says:

      Hi Marcie,
      Congratulations on your new beardie! They are so much fun. He’ll be fine in the 30 gallon tank for awhile longer. Young beardies usually love hammocks, and I’ve never had one injury himself on one. It is possible for them to catch a nail in the mesh but doesn’t usually cause any serious injuries. Lizards hammocks aren’t usually strong enough to hold an adult, so they should be removed and replaced with other climbing accessories when the beardie is more than 200 grams or so. I don’t usually recommend pellets for young beardies. They should primarily be eating insects and greens. You can give him more crickets, since beardies grow a lot at that age and need more fat and protein. You may also want to feed him primarily dubia roaches instead of crickets, because roaches have more protein and are more nutritious. They tend to also enjoy them more! Make sure you dust (or gut load roaches) with calcium carbonate every other feeding. Turnip, mustard, and dandelion greens are also more nutritious than lettuce and much better for lizards. You may mix in a small amount of chopped up fruit with the greens to make it more appealing. Beardies usually like cantaloupe and peaches, but too much can give them watery stool. Only give them fruits and carrots in moderation and only in addition to greens. Try not to feed them too late in the day, because they need time to digest the food before going to bed. I hope this information helps. Please let me know if you have any more questions.

      Enjoy your new beardie!
      Thanks,
      Mary

      • marcie says:

        hi mary! so how often should beardies shed? hes mostly grey right now.. i also have him in A 5 foot long wooden terrarium. He is active and still eats. Hes not eating as much veggies right now but still attacks his crickets would there be a reason for that. And i found out that the pellets i buy him he only likes the red lol! His poop is a little smelly but not terrible.. his urates are white. Is odour really bad when they have parasites?

        • Mary says:

          Hi Marcie,
          How often a beardie sheds depends on his age. An adult beardie may only shed once a year since he’s not growing much anymore, but a baby or juvenile should shed at least once a month. Beardies do turn grey before they shed and may remain grey until the skin flakes or peels off. A wooden terrarium can cause parasite problems because it cannot be cleaned out throughly enough to kill parasites inside it. Parasites usually cause smelly (sometimes fishy) and/or watery stool and are the most common health problem in beardies. Parasites can also cause changes in appetite and behavior. If you’re concerned out parasites, you can get medication here: http://www.beautifuldragons.com/Reptilestore.html. The most common medications used is Albon and Panacur depending on the type of parasite(s) present. Most beardies almost always prefer insects over veggies and greens, so it is normal for a beardie to vigorously eat crickets instead of greens. If he’s an adult, you may want to try to feed him crickets less often to encourage him to eat more greens. Adult beardies should only be fed insects a few times a week rather than every day. My beardies pick out certain colors of their pellets too, except mine seem to prefer green!(which also makes their stool more green colored, too). I hope this answers all your questions, but please let me know if you have more.

          Thanks,
          Mary

  128. Elizabeth says:

    Hi… I just purchased a 3 year old Bearded from a friend. I have made him a little runway from his cage to my window for day time sun…He loves it, however I noticed after the first week he has been more active and his beard is always black. When he goes into his cage his jumping and climbing into the glass. What could be happening with him?

    • Mary says:

      Hi Elizabeth,
      Your bearded dragon is probably stressed out about something in his environment. An adult bearded dragons should have an enclosure that is at least 40 gallons, and make sure his temps are right with about 80 degrees on the cool side and warmer side at about 100 to 110 degrees. He should also have lots of hiding and climbing accessories. Make sure his enclosure is kept very clean and if a problem persists, you should get him tested and/or treated for parasites. Parasites are a very common problem in beardies and can cause behavior changes. If you have other animals in the same room with him, it may be stressing him out. If you can, move other pets into a different room. Also, on warm sunny days take your beardie outside for natural UVB light. I use a mesh doggie play pen, which is completely enclosed, safe, and allows UVB light in. Your bearded dragon may be trying to get outside while he’s jumping in his enclosure. I hope this information helps. Please let me know if you have any more questions.
      Thanks,
      Mary

      • Elizabeth says:

        Thank you Mary… He loves to be by my window, I have made an area where he can come out of his cage and walk up to the window to enjoy the sun. I made sure to put sides up so he doesn’t fall.is this a bad idea?

        • Mary says:

          Yes, this is a great idea! Bearded dragons love to look outside and warm up in natural sunlight. It’s great to give them more stimulation rather than just hanging out in an enclosure all day. Natural UVB light can also make a beardie healthier and more active, because artificial lights just can’t compare to the real thing.
          Thanks again,
          Mary

  129. Kelli Simpson says:

    I recently moved my bearded dragon from one room down stairs to my bed room upstairs, after moving her I realized she became extremely active not even a few minutes after I moved her is that normal? Or should I move her back to the ordinal room she was in.

    • Mary says:

      Yes, this is can be normal. She should be settled down by now though. If not, she may be stressed out and you may want to move her back to where she was or somewhere less stressful. Any change in location or in their environment can cause a temporary change in behavior, but the beardie should become settled down in a few days.

      Thanks,
      Mary

  130. Dirk Diggler says:

    Hello I have owned bearded dragons for over 3 1/2 years, I have my giant morph cage with my three males and seven female adults, I have three other cages but they don’t concern what’s going on with one of my females who laid her first clutch which the eggs were bad surprisingly because I’ve hatched over 3/400 babies and all my clutches have been successful and raised all my dragons from babies, but my sweet heart mini who laid the clutch, I do not believe she laid all the eggs because there were fourteen eggs when she left the sand box, second smallest clutch I had but the other one is because the female is so small but any who, after this clutch she had been breathing funny like opening her mouth a lot more and has not been as active so I sprayed her in side of her mouth down held her over steam, bathed her and still she is not getting better, about ten days after the clutch she laid my fiancee found a poop with an egg in it and so I searched all my females and none of them are pregnant, then I check mini and she still has one more egg in her belly that I can feel??? I put her in the sand box to show her look you gotta get that last one out but lately she hasn’t been feeling good so I let her get special attention like horn worms, bring her out more often some nights I let her sleep on my belly, at first she was trying to tell my something was wrong but in a bad way but then I figured out something is wrong so she’s acting good again because she knows I know something’s wrong but I desperately need help please!!!

    • Mary says:

      Hi,
      The open mouth “funny” breathing could be do to a respiratory infection, especially if she has been exposed to more moisture than usual. She really needs to go to a vet who specializes in exotics like reptiles for evaluation. She may also have a parasite infection, which can cause problems pooping and cause a tense tummy and many other problems with appetite, activity, behavior, etc. Parasites are the most common health problem in beardies especially with bearded dragons who are housed together and may have come from different sources. Also, if she still has an egg in her belly, it needs to come out before it hardens and calcifies. The vet will most likely do an x-ray to evaluate what’s going on. If you cannot afford to bring her to a vet, you can order medication without a prescription here: http://www.beautifuldragons.com/Reptilestore.html You would need an antibiotic and parasite medication (most likely Albon and/or Panacur depending on the parasites present). If there is a parasite problem, all the beardies would need to be treated and medicated. I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any more questions.

      Thanks,
      Mary

      • Dirk Diggler says:

        It helped a lot and you are probably right about the infection or parasites that’s make sense since it has been a little more humid than usual, and even though I’m struggling on money I have no choice but to take her to my exotic animal veterinarian clinic because of the egg? If they notice there is an egg in the x Ray can they enduse labor on her to get the other egg out or will they be like there’s an egg here’s some kind of Dragon laxative to help her get it out? Because I thought I had a problem with inaction before and the guy at the pet store told me to use kod liver oil which that wasn’t the problem but letting her die isn’t an option but if there’s a way for me to get the last egg out without harming her that’d be great if not I have to do what I have to do, and I’m really good at feeling for eggs I’ve had over 20 clutches and I know when there a full belly of eggs or even one.

  131. Dirk Diggler says:

    Oh and it was her first clutch that she has laid and I don’t believe the eggs were do l fertile which is the first time that’s happened to me, and I don’t just breed my dragons I became obsessed with them after having my first one finding out about all the different morphs out there, I treat them likeppets and love how each one has there own personality, I buy a thousand adult crickets and a cup of horn worms and 200 super worms every week and kale collards apples every week and switch from live food one day with calcium powder to fruits and veggies the next I have all the proper lighting, these are more than pets to me they are family

  132. Dirk Diggler says:

    It helped a lot and you are probably right about the infection or parasites that’s make sense since it has been a little more humid than usual, and even though I’m struggling on money I have no choice but to take her to my exotic animal veterinarian clinic because of the egg? If they notice there is an egg in the x Ray can they enduse labor on her to get the other egg out or will they be like there’s an egg here’s some kind of Dragon laxative to help her get it out? Because I thought I had a problem with inaction before and the guy at the pet store told me to use kod liver oil which that wasn’t the problem but letting her die isn’t an option but if there’s a way for me to get the last egg out without harming her that’d be great if not I have to do what I have to do, and I’m really good at feeling for eggs I’ve had over 20 clutches and I know when there a full belly of eggs or even one.

  133. Mark says:

    Hi Mary , i bought a 4 months year old bearded dragon on 4th December at first he starts eat what ever i give him green veg , worms , crickets , but at the last 4 days he is like stops eating , the lights is good and the temperature is good , it is normal ?? cause i’m worrying , thanks mary .

    • Mary says:

      Hi Mark,
      It is not normal for a young bearded dragon only 4 months old to stop eating especially if the lighting and temperatures are correct. You should have your bearded dragon tested and/or treated for parasites, which can cause changes in appetite. Unfortunately, parasites are very common in bearded dragons (especially bearded dragons bought at a pest store) and can cause many problems including death if not treated in time. The change in appetite could also be caused by a different health problem, so it best to bring him into a vet who specializes in exotics like bearded dragon for evaluation and medication. A young bearded dragon should eat everyday and grow around an inch a month. Adult bearded dragons older than 2 years old may not eat every single day especially in winter when they may be in brumation (winter slow-down). As long as the adult bearded dragon is not losing any weight and staying plump and healthy, it can be normal for a full grown adult bearded dragon to not eat for a few days although they usually still enjoy eating their favorite foods like dubia roaches even in brumation.
      I really how this information helps and your young bearded dragon starts eating again. Please let me know if you have any more questions.

      Thanks,
      Mary

  134. Misty says:

    Hi there, we are pretty new bearded dragon owners and are learning new things with each day. Ours iLife Fluffy is 5 months old and has always eaten us out of house and home until two days ago. He seems pretty inactive and doesn’t want to eat. We went to the pet store we bought it at and they said to use this substrate that is very finely ground up walnut shells to resemble sand. So we changed to it a week ago. He or she :) was eating the news paper so we switched. Now of course it won’t eat anything and is not nearly as active. Any suggestions?

    • Mary says:

      Hi Misty,
      You should have your beardie treated and/or treated for parasites. Unfortunately, parasites are the most common health problem in bearded dragon especially beardies bought at a pet store that doesn’t know how to care for them properly. Do NOT use walnut shells; that was very bad advise and shows the pet store doesn’t know how to properly care for them. Use slate, ceramic, or porcelain tile instead or paper towels laid flat in the enclosure. You should take your beardie to a vet who specializes in exotics like beardies to get tested and/or treated for parasites, which is the most likely problem. Parasites can cause a host of problems including the issues you’re describing. You can also get parasite medication on this site: http://www.beautifuldragons.com/Reptilestore.html Albon and Panacur are the most common medication used to treat parasites in beardies depending on what type of parasite(s) are present. Another possible problem is impaction. The vet should do an ex-ray to see if there’s something in your beardie’s belly causing a problem. You may also be able to feel something if you gently palpate your beardie’s belly. If it is impaction, you can try warm baths, a tiny bit of olive oil, gentle massages of the belly, etc. to try to get the obstruction to pass. The vet may have other suggestion too. I really hope this information helps and your beardie gets the treatment he/she needs to recover quickly.

      Please let me know if you have anymore questions.
      Thanks,
      Mary
      http://www.DragonRancher.com

  135. John says:

    Hi, we have recently been given a bearded dragon, however, over the past 2 weeks a number of our other pets have been found dead. These are 2 gerbils, 2 lemmings, a leopardd gecko, a duprassi and the entire stick insect collection. There have been no other changes to either environemnt, foos / water, etc, just the introduction into the animal room of the dragon. Do you have any ideas?

    • Mary says:

      Hi John,
      I’m so sorry to hear about your animals. I’m not sure what could be causing their deaths. You need to bring your pets into a vet who specializes in exotics to try to figure out what the problem could be. They should be checked for parasites, mites, dehydration, etc. Parasites are a common problem in bearded dragons and can be transmitted to some other animals along with some other illnesses and/or mites. You also want to ensure the humidity and temps are appropriate for the other animals. It is easy for animals to become dehydrated with an additional source of heat in the same room. I hope you figure out what’s causing the problem and your other animals stay healthy.

      Thanks,
      Mary

  136. jeff says:

    I work unusual times. I noticed my beardie left its hide around 5am ish and went to cool side and stayed until lights came on at 8am. It was almost black looking from normal light brown. It is unusual for them to change colors like that during the night? As my beardie got warmer it changed back into normal colors.

    • Mary says:

      Hi Jeff,
      It is normal for a bearded dragon to change colors at night (or other times during the day) especially if they become cold or stressed/ agitated. Your beardie probably just got cold, turned dark as they normally do when cold (the darker color helps them absorb more light and warm up), and turned back to the normal color when comfortable and warm again.

      Thanks,
      Mary
      http://www.DragonRancher.com

  137. Samantha says:

    Hello, My best friend and I got a bearded dragon this past summer and we love him/her. Last night we saw him do something we haven’t seen before. He/she puffed out his/her beard, then relax it/deflated it a bit and then puffed it out again. Is that bad? What does that mean? Also we don’t know anyone else who has a bearded dragon and would love advise and tips on how to care for him/her and to make sure we are doing the things we need to do to make sure he/she is healthy and happy.

    Thank you for your time’
    Samantha

    • Mary says:

      Hi Samantha,
      It is normal for a bearded dragon to puff out his/her beard from time to time. They do this to stretch it out sometimes, to shallow some foods or after eating, when stressed out, or being threatened. As long as it is not frequently puffed out and the beardie doesn’t show signs of stress, it is normal bearded dragon behavior. As for advise, make sure you have a proper set up for your beardie with good temps and hiding and climbing accessories and keep the enclosure as clean as possible. I recommend using tile on the bottom of the cage instead of sand or carpet. It is much easier to keep clean and there’s no possible risk of ingestion leading to impaction. Also, the cleaner the enclosure is the healthier your beardie tends to be. Messy enclosures can cause stress, parasite problems, respiratory infections, among other problems. Take your beardie outside on warm sunny days to get natural UVB light, which is best for them. Keep beardie well hydrated by giving him/her a bath at least a few times a month. Feed him/her a healthy diet and give them occasional small amounts of treats like peaches or cantaloupe and make sure you supplement the diet with calcium carbonate. If you ever see any notable changes in appetite and behavior, seek help immediately from a vet who specializes in exotics like bearded dragons (many vets do not know much about beardies, so do research to find one in your area before you have a problem). The most common problem with beardies is parasites, so keep an eye out for watery and/or really smelly stool that persists despite a healthy normal diet. As you know, I have a lots more great advice and tips on my site: http://dragonrancher.com/bearded-dragon-care-guide/ and throughout the site including lots of pictures. Luckily, bearded dragons are probably the easiest lizard to care for and can live a long life and tend to have great personalities as well.

      Thank you,
      Mary
      http://www.DragonRancher.com

  138. Kimberly says:

    Hello Mary. I’m a new beardie momma and was wondering if you could help. Artemis is about three months old. She runs a bit, eats her crickets, climbs into her water bowl, but still won’t eat veggies. The temperatures in her terrarium are right and I take her out often. The top of her head looks like it’s turning black but her back (spine area) and lower region of her head look like they’re turning white. I don’t know if she’s about to shed or if it could be something else. Please help. x Kimmy

    • Mary says:

      Hi Kimberly,
      This sound normal to me. It’s normal for a bearded dragon to become more grey and/or white before he/she sheds. It can also be a stressful time for a beardie and he/she may become darker. Here are some pictures of shedding beardies so you can see what’s normal: http://dragonrancher.com/?s=shed It’s a good idea to give your beardie a warm bath and mist her with water every day to help soften her skin and make it easier to shed. To help her start eating her greens, you may want to mix in the insects with the greens in addition to small amounts of finely chopped up peaches or cantaloupe and always offer her greens in the morning before anything else. Mist the greens with water to help keep your beardie well hydrated. I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any more questions.

      Thanks,
      Mary
      http://www.DragonRancher.com

  139. Diana says:

    Hi! We’ve had our (we’re pretty sure) male beardie for just over a year, since he was about 3 months old. He’s fully grown and in a tank all by himself in our boys’ room (he is our oldest son’s pet), so he doesn’t have much activity during the day. He’s healthy (amazingly since I didn’t realize green things like cucumber and celery don’t count as greens-but he LOVES them), he eats his food-though dried crickets are something he doesn’t usually care for unless it’s the only protein we have-and he climbs and basks and loves a bath. I’m so glad I found your site! I’ve learned so much just from the comments, let alone the page! Now, I have several people who have beardies in my life, and they all use carpet. One is very adamant that sand isn’t recommended for beardies because their food could fall in it and cause impaction. But Spike doesn’t lick everything and has finally stopped throwing food around his tank.

    So, several questions: At all hours of the day and night, I hear him scrabbling at the glass. Is it because his cage is too small? Not enough stimuli? Both? I know now that I need to get him a larger tank since he’s currently in a 20 gallon (per the advice of another site and the fact that he’s only around 14 or 15 inches), but what are the things I need to watch for if he’s in sand? And is there a better kind of tank than one with a small opening on the top that the heat lamps and UVA/B bar lamp sit on?? It’s very hard to get Spike out to handle him because he doesn’t fit through the opening at the top at all and we have to let the lamps all cool in order to take them down, etc. So he doesn’t get out much. I’ve seen tanks that have doors on the front, but I don’t know if that is a good choice. And how deep should the sand be? And how often should he be tested for parasites?

    He freaked us the heck out tonight because he had a huge black beard-which he’s only done one other time. But it’s never been so big. It looked for a little bit like it was swollen, but he was just puffing himself up. I assume it’s because he doesn’t get enough attention. Once my son fed him up, he reached in to pet him and Spike just leaned into it and closed his eyes and went back to his normal color. We made sure he was fed well because he likes to try to sample fingers if he’s hungry. 😉

    And I do have a tip: In answer to questions about good water sources I’ve seen, we use the same water dechlorinator drops we used for the water we gave our hermit crabs when we had them. I was told it was safe, and so far we’ve had no issues. I even add it to his bath water when he gets a bath. We usually just put an inch of warm water in the bathtub and let him go nuts-he usually does.

    Thanks!

    • Mary says:

      Hi Diana,
      Thank you for your tip. Beardies definitely enjoy dechlorinated water to drink and play in, and the drops are a great idea to save some money and avoid buying bottled water. Beardies love playing in water, and it’s a great way to keep them hydrated. A 20 gallon tank is way too small for an adult bearded dragon. A tank that small can be very stressful for a beardie and makes it difficult for him to regulate his body temperature. An adult beardie needs at least a 40 gallon tank, and a breeder tank (wider rather than taller) is best. There are enclosures made for bearded dragons that have a sliding screen top, which makes it easy to get a beardie in and out with out having to touch the lights. I personally like tanks that open at the top rather than the front, but some people may prefer doors in the front. I also use glass tanks with a regular screen top, but you have to be careful and make sure the lights aren’t near any plastic parts of the cage. It might also be a good idea to use tile instead of sand or carpet, because it’s so much easier to keep clean and safe. Carpet and sand can hold parasites, while tile can be easily cleaned and bleached if needed. If you still want to use sand, you should use at least 1 inch and clean it all out and replace it about every 3 months along with daily pick ups. You have to make sure sand stays out of your beardie’s food, keep it as clean as possible, and watch for signs of impaction like constipation, straining, lumps in his belly, etc. It is recommended that you test for parasites every year or when ever a beardie has symptoms of parasites like water smelly stool, changes in appetite or behavior that persists, weight lose without a change in his diet, etc. It’s normal for a beardie to change different shades of color from time to time and puff up if upset or sometimes to stretch or eat. If they change or puff up too often, it can be a sign of stress and something might be wrong. Beardies prefer live food to freeze dried bugs and it can be hard to get them to eat greens if their not really hungry, so you may want to mix greens with live food like dubia roaches to make beardies more interested. Roaches can’t carry parasites like live crickets and some other insects can, and they are more nutritious. I hope this information helps. Please let me know if you have any more questions.

      Thanks,
      Mary
      http://www.DragonRancher.com

  140. rose says:

    Im very worried about my bearded dragon. I’m not sure how old he is im assuming 3 or 4 months… Still a baby but growing fast. I know he’s supposed to eat alot but his appetite more than doubled. He eats so much that I’m worried he could eat himself to death. His tank is at proper temps for his general age. no sand yet. Plenty of room in a 40 long tank for him. He’s alert and happy. He takes no interest its constantly provided greens… Usually kale. When he eats he hunts like a little preditor. But he eats so many crickets so quickly that he gets so round he might pop. I give him a daily bath to avoid impaction and make sure he is properly hydrated so he poops everyday. I guess my question is does he know when to say no to food or will he infact eat himself to death if I let him.

    • Mary says:

      Hi Rose,
      A young bearded dragon like yours will eat a lot, and they usually know when to stop. I’ve never heard of a bearded dragon eating himself or herself to death. Although sometimes, beardies eat a lot because they have parasites. If they have parasites, they usually have watery stool and/or very smelly stool. It looks like you’re doing a great job with your bearded dragon and he’s very well cared for. It is important to get him eating more greens. Try offering greens like mustard, dandelion, or turnip greens first thing in the morning before giving him insects. Beardies tend to like those better than kale and they’re better for them. You can also try mixing in a small amount of chopped up carrots, cantaloupe, and/or peaches to make the greens more appealing. Later put the insects in the greens, so he might eat some even if it’s just accidentally. Also, you may want to try feeding him dubia roaches as they are more nutritious than crickets and they tend to fill up faster on them and eat few of them. I hope this information helps. Please let me know if you have any more questions.

      Thanks,
      Mary

  141. Madison says:

    I have a 6th month old bearded dragon and this is the first time I’ve ever had one. My aunt gave me all the things I need to take care of him. I’m starting to really worry about him though because I think he has MBD because I didn’t use the UV-B light, I didn’t know he needed it. I was just giving him D3 calcium with his food. He getting to were he can’t really walk and he has spasms every now and then… I started using the UV-B light more and I was wondering if that would help save him

    • Mary says:

      Hi Madison,
      You should take him to a vet who specializes in exotics like bearded dragons. A vet can give him an injection and a prescription for liquid calcium carbonate, which is more easily absorbed. Also, take him outside to get natural UVB light whenever possible. UVB light is best for him and will help perk him up and hopefully reduce the tremors. I use a mesh doggie play pen as a safe place for beardies to play outside, Make sure he’s also getting a very healthy diet with lots of greens like turnip greens, mustard greens, and dandelion greens (No lettuce. Kale should be avoided because the iron in it can bind to calcium). Also, dubia roaches are more nutrition than other insects like crickets (more info. here http://dragonrancher.com/roaches/) and should be offered daily. I hope this information helps and your bearded dragon starts to recover. Recovery can be slow, but stick with it. Please let me know if you have any questions.

      Thanks,
      Mary
      http://www.DragonRancher.com

  142. Ashley says:

    Hi there,

    I’m new to owning lizards, I just got a little bearded dragon last week. I’m getting a bit frustrated because all the information I try to find in dealing with a bearded dragons is mixed but I really like the tips you have to offer. I know he’s just a little one still and hasn’t had much time with me but I’m very lost in how to bond properly with him. I’ve been told don’t hold him unless he comes to you, but then I was told handle them as much as possible or they won’t come to you. I’ve tried handling him and feeding him, but the past couple of days he’s started to puff and act more defensive. I don’t want him to be scared and I just want him to learn to accept me but I’ve very lost at how to go about this and all the conflicting information I get doesn’t help. Please, if you have any tips on how to befriend a new bearded dragon I’d love to hear them.

    • Mary says:

      Hi Ashley,
      One of the best ways to befriend a bearded dragon is by feeding him and hand feeding when possible. Bearded dragons tend to remember and like the people who feed them especially if they hand feed them treats. When ever you take him out, make it a very positive, enjoyable, and stress-free experience for him. Give him his favorite foods like dubia roaches and you can try small amounts of cantaloupe or peaches. Also, try taking him outside on warm sunny days for natural UVB light in a safe and secure area. (I use a mesh doggie play pen or screened in patio). I also found my beardies love to play in warm shallow water. In time, he will warm up to you and get used to being handled. If he puffs up and is more defensive, it might not be a good time to try to hold him, but you might want to try feeding him to show him you aren’t a threat. (Don’t try to hand feed him when he’s being defensive). Leave him alone if he’s too stressed out to be handled. Also, make sure his enclosure is large enough and warm enough with a UVB 10.0 light and plenty of places to hide. I hope this information helps and your bearded dragon starts to warm up to you. Please let me know if you have any questions.

      Thanks,
      Mary
      http://www.DragonRancher.com

  143. Kyralynn says:

    Hello, I have a 3 month old bearded dragon who eats well and has proper lighting. He doesn’t drink water much, so I’ve been misting abs bathing him regularly and he drinks the water from his nose. He seemed a little lethargic today, keeping his head down and not trying to hard to escape when I picked him up. I’m not sure if I’m just being paranoid, or if he might be sick. When I got him out of the cage he perked up a bit, but then rested his head when he was laying on my leg. Any advice you can offer is greatly appreciated. Thanks

    • Mary says:

      Hi Kyralynn,
      You should get your beardie tested and/or treated for parasites especially if you got him from a pet store. Parasites are the most common problem with beardies and can cause the behavior you’re describing. They can also dehydrate a beardie. A young bearded dragon should not be lethargic. Although, sometimes they can behave this way at night, but they should perk up quickly when picked up. Also, make sure the temps in his enclosure are correct, and he has plenty of places to hide and accessories to climb on. If he’s too hot or cold a beardie may become lethargic. On warm sunny days, take him outside to get natural UVB light, which is best for them and can help perk up a beardie. Make sure he’s eating plenty of insects like dubia roaches which are more nutritious than other insects such as crickets (crickets can also carry parasites). Young beardies should eat a lot and be very active. I hope this information helps and your bearded dragon perks up soon!

      Thanks,
      Mary

  144. Zhann meyer says:

    Hi, my bearded dragon’s head has started to turn a little bit orange. He has just shed but now I put him in his cage and when I came back I found this thing that looks orange and has liquid on it but looks like a part of a gut or something, it doesn’t look like normal poo.
    I’m very worried.
    Please help.

    • Mary says:

      Hi,
      You should bring him to a vet who specializes in exotics like bearded dragons. It could be a few things and without seeing it or having a lot more information, I can’t tell what it is with any certainty. It could be a prolapse, something he ate, parasites, hemipenis (usually pink and should never stay out more than a few seconds), or it could be something else. In any event it should be checked out by a veterinarian and addressed as soon as possible. I hope this information helps and your bearded dragon is checked out by a vet.

      Thanks,
      Mary

  145. Will says:

    I have had my bearded dragon for almost two weeks now and he’s in his teen years. As of today he has had a black beard all morning and I can’t tell whether it’s stress, annoyance, aggression, or illness/disease. He it’s everyday and doesn’t cause me any problems. The beard has been extreme jet black and I have absolutely know idea how to handle this matter. I have spoken to relatives and they have said it might just be stress from being in a new cage. Please write back as soon as possible! Thank you.

    • Mary says:

      Hi Will,
      His black beard could be due to a few things including stress. If he is also lethargic, weak, or not eating, he should be evaluated by a vet who specializes in exotics like bearded dragons and tested for parasites (the most common health problem in beardies and can cause a black beard). Also, check the temps to make sure he’s not too cold or hot. Make sure he also has plenty of places to hide and try to avoid handling him too much, because that may stress him out. If there are other animals in the same room with him, they may be causing him stress. Summer time is usually mating season, which can cause bearded dragons to get worked up and turn their beard black especially if there’s another animal in the room. Try giving him a warm bath in a stress free environment and see if that helps his coloring. If his black beard doesn’t go away in a day or two, bring him to a vet. Moving can be stress for a bearded dragon especially for an older one (bearded dragons typically live 8-12 years, but may live up to about 15 years). I hope your bearded dragon is fine now. Please let me know if you have any more questions.

      Thanks,
      Mary

  146. Votten says:

    Hello! We just got baby beardies 2 days ago and tonight when we were holding them my daughter notice a bad smell and then saw a little liquid on her shirt that smelled very strong (almost cat urine like). We smelled both of them and noticed that the smell was coming from their tail/bottom area. Is this normal? Should I be concerned? What can we do to try to get rid of the smell?
    TY!
    Concerned momma of new baby beardies.

    • Mary says:

      Hi Votten,
      This is NOT normal. Your beardies in all likelihood have a high load of parasites and need to be treated ASAP. Parasites cause smelly wet stool. Take them to a vet who specializes in exotics like bearded dragons and ask for a parasite test and medication. Unfortunately, parasites are the most common health problem in bearded dragon (especially bearded dragons from a pet store). You can also get parasite medication on this site: http://www.beautifuldragons.com/Reptilestore.html, but your beardies need to be treated ASAP. It is not normal for liquid to leak down their tail, and it is a sign they have a very large load of parasites. Albon and Panacur are the most common medication used to treat parasites in beardies depending on what type of parasite(s) are present. Wash your hands thoroughly every time you handle your beardies. Keep their enclosure as clean as possible (you probably want to use paper towels as few accessories as possible to keep things clean). Parasites can live on surfaces and reinfect a bearded dragon if not cleaned thoroughly enough (I have some cleaning info. here: http://dragonrancher.com/cleaning-tips/). Porous accessories such as wood should be thrown away, because they can’t be cleaned thoroughly enough to kill the parasites on them. Also, keep your bearded dragons as hydrated as possible as parasites and parasite medication can dehydrate a bearded dragon. Giving them a warm bath every day will help a lot and with the added bonus of keep them clean. I really hope this information helps and your beardie gets the treatment he/she needs to recover quickly.

      Please let me know if you have anymore questions.
      Thanks,
      Mary
      http://www.DragonRancher.com

  147. desi says:

    Hi is it ok for the humidity in the tank to be high at night

    • Mary says:

      Hi Desi,
      It is okay for the humidity to sometime be a bit high. If the humidity is always too high, it might cause a respiratory infection characterized by heavy or labored breathing.

      Thanks,
      Mary

  148. Travis says:

    Whats wrong with my dragon hes mean everytime i try and pick him uo he runs and open his mouth im scared to pick him up what should i do

  149. Travis says:

    What should i do i have a breaded Dragon that uve had for about 6months and got him from petco i just had a babygirl also so that took time away from him …. now when i first got him i picked him up all the time now when i try to pick him up he runs to the back of the 55gal tank he is in and open his mouth what should i do ? Has he turned on me do he not like me anymore what should i do buy another 1 and start off small again and give him more attention idk what to do im scared to even hold him now please help me with my dragon i love him but will have to let him go if he dont start to bond with me before he gets his adult size what should i do please help !!!!!

    • Mary says:

      Hi Travis,
      One of the best ways to gain a bearded dragon trust is by feeding him and hand feeding when possible. Bearded dragons tend to remember and like the people who feed them especially if they hand feed them treats. When ever you take him out, make it a very positive, enjoyable, and stress-free experience for him. Give him his favorite foods like dubia roaches and you can try small amounts of cantaloupe or peaches. Also, try taking him outside on warm sunny days for natural UVB light in a safe and secure area. (I use a mesh doggie play pen or screened in patio). I also found my beardies love to play in warm shallow water. In time, he will warm up to you and get used to being handled. If he puffs up and is more defensive, it might not be a good time to try to hold him, but you might want to try feeding him to show him you aren’t a threat. (Don’t try to hand feed him when he’s being defensive). Leave him alone if he’s too stressed out to be handled. Also, make sure his enclosure is large enough and warm enough with a UVB 10.0 light and plenty of places to hide. Summer time is usually mating season bearded dragons, so males may become more aggressive and active. You should not get another beardie and start over. You should be able to bond with your bearded dragon in time. I hope this information helps and your bearded dragon starts to warm up to you. Please let me know if you have any questions.

      Thanks,
      Mary
      http://www.DragonRancher.com

  150. javy says:

    I have alot of questions so you might see me here alot but one thing is I got my bearded dragon a really bad owner and she has a cage but it has a big branch which take up most of the space he is mainly on it but I guess its because he has a carpet but not a retile one I’m going to get one but should I put paper towels to see if he likes it? Please give me your best suggestions and a other question I have is is if bad if I touch my beardies belly by both sides n it wrinkles is that bad like it sinks in is this bad if it is what do I do? Please respond ASAP thank you!!

  151. javy says:

    My beardie is throwing up white stuff and corn stuck together!!!!! Please tell me what’s going on or what to do!!!! Please I’m worried!!! He’s throwing up like white stuff idk if its poop or throw up I’m not sure. I think it’s throw up though because its been happening for 4 – 5 days now. Please help ASAP!!! but he mainly does it 1 or 2 times a day. Please help.

    • Mary says:

      Hi Javy,
      Bearded dragons cannot throw up, so it has to be something stuck in his throat. He needs to go to a vet who specializes in exotics like bearded dragons. He should not have eaten corn. He needs help getting whatever is in his mouth asap. You might seriously hurt him if you try to get it out yourself.
      You should get him some new accessories and climbing decor. Try to get items that are easy to keep clean and big enough for him to hide in. Get rid of the carpet and use paper towels or tile instead. I like to use tile because it’s easy to keep clean and looks good. It can be painful for a beardie to be firmly touched on the sides of his belly, so pick him up by gently sliding you hand under his belly. Too much wrinkling on the sides of a beardies belly can mean he’s under weight and needs to be fed more. Beardies really enjoy eating dubia roaches and can help plumb them up quickly.
      I hope this information helps, and your bearded dragon gets the help he needs to get what’s stuck in his throat out.
      Thanks,
      Mary
      http://www.DragonRancher.com

  152. collette says:

    I got a 1 year old dragon 3 days ago and she loves been misted but yesterday I tried to mist her and she jumped and she run away then charged at me I made sure it wasn’t cold water or hot it was just warm also when I closed her habitat she kept following me back and forth in the habitat and thing to climb window or wall where I was .. I waited a few hours and attempted again but the exact same thing happened again can anyone tell me what it up please

    • Mary says:

      Hi,
      Sometimes bearded dragon do not enjoy being sprayed with water, but may prefer a warm bath or shallow puddle to play in to stay hydrated. My bearded dragons don’t like being sprayed either, but really enjoy a warm shallow puddle to play in on their own terms. If your bearded dragon isn’t enjoying being sprayed try a bath or a shallow pool. Beardies may also be more moody during breeding season which is typically in the summer.

      Thanks,
      Mary
      http://www.DragonRancher.com

  153. javy says:

    Well today nothing happened so it might have came out but he pooped in the morning corn. Should I still be worried? N today he finally got kale mustard greens n ramaine lettuce cucumber and baby carrots so it might not be a problem I think. I’m getting ghim 500 crickets to feed weekly is that a good idea? I got tile right now but I’m putting it in the morning because he’s sleeping. Should I put paper towels over it or not? Please give best suggestions!!? Thank you very much you are helpful. I don’t think it was stuck on his throat though because he has eating the things I listed. Should I still be worried? Thank you very much!!!

  154. laura says:

    Our baby dragon doesn’t really want to eat. She ate 1 waxworm covered in calcium and a Small carrot strip with calcium on it but that was it. Also she looked grey then we sprayed her and her color came back some. Also I’m not seeing stool in the cage. What should I do?

    • Mary says:

      Hi Laura,
      Most bearded dragons won’t drink from a bowl unless their dehydrated. They prefer a warm bath about every week and being misted every morning. They will sometimes drink water off glass when being misted. They should get a lot of their water from their food. To get her to eat greens, try mixing in a small about of chopped up fruits like peaches or cantaloupe in mustard, dandelion, or turnip greens. A baby bearded dragon should primarily eat size appropriate (smaller than the space between her eyes) insects. Many bearded dragons prefer dubia roaches over waxworms and crickets, so maybe you can try offering her dubia roaches. She should be eating a lot of roaches every day, and a baby bearded dragon should also be pooping just about every day. You should have your bearded dragon test and/or treated for parasites. Parasites are the most common health problem in bearded dragons (especially common in bearded dragon who came from a pet store) and can cause problems with both appetite and stools. You may also get medication here: http://www.beautifuldragons.com/Reptilestore.html without a prescription. I really hope this information helps and your bearded dragons starts eating a lot soon.

      Thanks,
      Mary
      http://www.DragonRancher.com

  155. laura says:

    Also haven’t seen her drink, we have had her almost a week. How can we get her to drink. She ate the worms good until this morning. She didn’t eat veggies every day.

  156. Camilla says:

    Hey, you seem to really know a lot about beardies! Perhaps you can help me out: mine is swollen, has popped eyes and is very lethargic. He doesn’t seem interested in food either. He’s a silkie and the other two babies (3 months old or so) are normal ones and seem fine. They get along well but I don’t know what’s up with my silkie. Any advice would be very helpful!

    • Mary says:

      Hi Camilla,
      You need to take your beardie to a vet who specializes in exotics like bearded dragons ASAP. A bearded dragon should never be very lethargic. Silkies require special care. They need to be bathed and moisturized daily and are more prone to problems and eye irritations. It could be several different problems. Without seeing him and having a lot more information, I can’t tell you what is causing the problem. A vet should be able to tell what the problems is and give him medication. I’m thinking it might be some sort of infection just based on the swelling, but I can’t be sure. I hope you take your silkie to a specialized vet and get the help he needs to feel better.

      Thanks,
      Mary
      http://www.DragonRancher.com

  157. Camilla says:

    Wow, response was quick and helpful. Ok, so it turns out the beardie has tail rot and isn’t eating/defecating much BUT he’s not quite as lethargic as originally thought. I don’t spend all day with him because he’s not mine but my friend’s. The tip looks really black and slightly bent so I fear there may not be much other option besides a vet (I found a good one 2 hrs away, as close as I could get). We gently force fed it some squash baby food to hydrate/fed it. But I read online of a treatment involving a diluted betadine solution dipped in gauze and wrapped around the tail for 5 min twice daily as well as applications of neosporin 4x daily. Would this be helpful? Also is panting a symptom of the stress of having tail rot or a sign of a different problem?? His sides are caving in when he breathes heavily, and his eyes are always bugged out and they look a little bruised. Not sure if normal for them to be purplish underneath…Thanks in advance!

  158. Jennifer Zimmer says:

    My 2 year old beardie just passed what looks like 2 obsidian stones. I inspected them…one I crushed to find inside gray with ashy,sandy texture. The other was so hard that I could not break it apart. Help

    • Mary says:

      Hi Jennifer,
      Sorry to hear your beardie is passing stones. The stones can be caused by several things. He/she could be dehydrated causing the urates to crystalize, blood being passed, parasites, sand or other substrate ingested and passed, too much of some mineral in the diet or something else in the diet, etc. All of these issues are serious and should be evaluated be a veterinarian who specializes in exotics like bearded dragons. They should be able to examine the stones and indicate the source of the problem. I’m sorry I can’t be more helpful without a lot more information and without seeing them. Hopefully, a vet can solve the problem quickly and your beardie will start feeling much better.

      Thanks,
      Mary
      http://www.DragonRancher.com

  159. Hannah says:

    Thanks so much for this! you helped me know what to look out for, my beardie used to be my older brothers, then he moved, so he had to give her to me! Her name is Squashie, she is super sweet and loved to cuddle, in her bath she just laid on her stomach, it was pretty great! Thanks!

  160. Elaine says:

    I’m worried about my beardie he recently cut the top of his tail and now his lost it totally I have been keeping his tail clean so it doesn’t get infected but I’m worried the rest of his tail will come off its Turning brown which I think is from his poop but now it is turning lumpy. Please help!

    • Mary says:

      Hi Elaine,
      You should bring him to a veterinarian who specializes in exotics like bearded dragon. If the cut was deep enough to cut off blood supply to the tail, he will most likely loose it. Limbs and tails may become gangrene and have to be surgically removed and treated. Take him to a vet ASAP. Loosing tails and limbs is a fairly common problem with bearded dragons, and they typically recover well if treated properly in time. Hopefully, the cut is not too high on the tail, and he can recover quickly.

      Thanks,
      Mary
      http://www.DragonRancher.com

  161. Eric says:

    Hi, i just bought my first beardie 3 days ago hes ver active loves his crickets and wax worms, but i cannot get him to eat any greens at all ive given him finely chopped collards and squash but he wont touch it, he also hasnt defecated since the night i got him (on my new couch haha) tried giving him a warm bath massage, no luck, havent tried olive oil with his veggies yet but as seen above he wont eat them, any advice? Thanks

    • Mary says:

      Hi Eric,
      It can take several days for a beardie to settle in his new home, so he might just be still getting used to things. To get him to eat greens, feed him only greens first thing in the morning and try mixing in a small about of chopped up fruits like peaches or cantaloupe (too much fruit might give him water stool) into mustard, dandelion, or turnip greens. Leave the greens in his cage for awhile before offering anything else. If he’s really hungry, he’ll eat the greens. It’s normal for a baby or very young bearded dragon to primarily eat size appropriate (smaller than the space between her eyes) insects like dubia roaches, waxworms and crickets and a smaller amount of greens until he is older. He should be eating a lot of roaches every day, and a baby bearded dragon should also be pooping just about every day. Sub-adults and adults might eat and poop a lot less often. If constipation persists, you should have your bearded dragon test and/or treated for parasites. Parasites are the most common health problem in bearded dragons (especially common in bearded dragon who came from a pet store) and can cause problems with both appetite and stools in addition to watery, foul smelling stool. I hope this information helps, and your bearded dragon settles into his new home and eats his greens soon.

      Thanks,
      Mary
      http://www.DragonRancher.com

  162. Maddy D says:

    Thank you for this helpful info. Im buying a dragon soon, and i was wondering, do you think it would be better to get a male or a female?

    • Mary says:

      Hi Maddy,
      If this is your first beardie, I would recommend getting a male instead of a female. With a male, you may see a little more “personality” like head bobbing, black beards, more curiosity, etc. plus you don’t have to worry about egg binding or other potential health issues related to females. Best wishes in finding your new pet bearded dragon!

      Thanks,
      Mary
      http://www.DragonRancher.com

  163. Dashaun says:

    I just bought a bearded dragon and I’m trying to figure If I leave the heating lamp on or off when he goes to bed? Because it says no more than 110° or lower than 82°

    • Mary says:

      Hi Dashaun,
      At night, you should turn off all bright lights, but you may use a black light or other heat lamp that emits heat but not light (light some ceramic heat lights). Under the tank heat mat also work well at night. It’s good for the temperature to be lower at night, but always keep temps above 65 F degrees for adults and above 70 F degrees for young bearded dragons. The temps for 110 and 82 degrees are for the day time only. They need a break from the heat at night. Best wishes with your new pet bearded dragon!

      Thanks,
      Mary
      http://www.DragonRancher.com

  164. Liane says:

    HI I have a 1 year old female bearded dragon she’s been acting very strange the last week she keeps scratching the glass on her tank and bopping her head all the time especially wen I walk into the room is this normal?

    • Mary says:

      Hi Liane,
      This behavior can be normal if the bearded dragon is stressed out. Bearded dragons can get especially moody during some times of the year and if something is not right with their environment or health. You may try to bond with your beardie by feeding her favorite foods like dubia roaches when you see her acting this way. Bearded dragons tend to really like the people who feed them. If the behavior persists, you should have your beardie tested/treated for parasites as they are the most common health concern in beardies and can cause the behavior you’re describing. In the meantime, it’s a great idea to thoroughly clean out her enclosure and ensure the temps, lighting, and humidity is correct and she has at least a 40 gallon enclosure with plenty of places to hide and climb. Beardies can get stressed out if their home isn’t cleaned enough or something else isn’t right. Many bearded dragons start to go into brumation at this time of year and need some adjustments made to their environment like an hour less of light per day and lower temps. I really home this information helps and your beardie starts behaving more calmly.

      Thanks,
      Mary
      http://www.DragonRancher.com

  165. Holly says:

    You mention sunken eyes. My dragon is drinking fine but one of his eyes he keeps closing. It looks fine when he does open it and he has it open most of the time but the past couple of days he closes it and uses only one eye to look around. It seems sort of puffy/swollen to me when it’s closed (though it has seemed to go down since yesterday) and is much darker in colour, almost like when a person gets a black eye. There’s no pus or gunk or anything and he seems in perfect health otherwise. Is this something to worry about?

    • Mary says:

      Hi Holly,
      Sorry to hear your beardie has a swollen eye. He may have just poked it, bumped it, or irritated it some how. Sometimes swelling also happens when a beardie is in shed. You may want to try to flush it out with distilled water in case there is something in it (like a piece of sand, dust, etc). Don’t to rub or touch it, just gently flush it with water. If the swelling doesn’t go down in a couple days and/or there is discharge, take him to a vet who specializes in exotics like bearded dragons. Eye infections are very common in reptiles, so if it doesn’t go way soon it’s worth looking at more closely.

      Thanks,
      Mary
      http://www.DragonRancher.com

  166. Don Rood says:

    Our Beardie is looking bad. Staggers around now after what we thought was a long brumation. Today, post bath in sink, is still all yellow but for the tip of the tail, full black beard, and gaping. Struggles to move. He’s about 5 years old. Can we send you a photo?

    • Mary says:

      Hi Don,
      He needs to see a vet who specializes in exotics ASAP. He needs medications to help him. There could be a few things including a respiratory infection, parasites, nutritional problem, dehydration, etc. He needs to be evaluated by a veterinarian and prescribed medication. He may even need an iv, an x-ray, and other emergency care. I hope with help he is able to recover.

      Thanks,
      Mary
      http://www.DragonRancher.com

  167. Sally says:

    Hi Our beardie is 2 months old. I think we’re doing a good job of looking after him/her so far! He is eating and pooing normally, and has shed. He loves squash but he doesn’t seem interested in greens and i was worried since you mention how important they are. Is he too young yet, and might show interest in other veggies later? Also, we got him while we were on holidays and were able to spend lots of time with him but now we’re all out at school and work all day and are only around him mornings and evenings. He has a lovely habitat but will our beardie get bored with no company/stimuli while we’re out? He is quite skittish when we stroke him. None of us have fully picked him up yet and he hasn’t been lifted out of his tank yet. Is he a bit young to be held and is just getting used to us? We really want to handle him and have him feel safe and comfortable with us. He has eaten veggies a few times from our hands. How old should they be when you take them outside? I’d appreciate your advice. Thanks :)

    • Mary says:

      Hi Sally,
      Congrats on your new beardie! You can start handling a new beardie a few days after you get one when they are starting to settle in. Make the experience fun for him by giving him his favorite foods like dubia roaches. You may even try giving him a bath in warm shallow water. Also, a great time to hold him is at night, because beardies tend to snuggle you for the heat and are less likely to run away. If they do try to run, they will probably just try to find a warm, comfortable spot to sleep and won’t go far. It’s normal for a young beardied dragon to be a bit skiddish, but he should get more comfortable the more often you handle him. To try to get him to eat his greens, you should offer chopped up turnip, mustard, or dandelion greens first thing in the morning before offering anything else. Spray the greens with water, because greens should be a good source of water for him. You may also mix in a small amount of finely chopped up carrots, cantaloupe, peaches, or other favorite fruit. If he is really hungry, he will start to eat some of the greens. When you do feed him insects like dubia roaches, mix them in with the greens too. Chances are he will eat some of greens too when he eats the insects. As your bearded dragon gets older and larger start offering less insects, but continue to offer greens everyday. He will get used to eating greens regularly as an adult. I hope this information helps, and your beardie starts eating more greens and has some fun outside his beautiful enclosure. Please let me know if you have any more questions.

      Thanks,
      Mary
      http://www.DragonRancher.com

  168. Julieta says:

    Hi i am so glad I found this site! My beardie tends to stand up on the glass walls of the cage and it almost seems like he wants to get out. He was given to us and I’m new to the beardie world but I love him, he’s about a 1.5 years old. He seems to do this a lot. It just seems weird other wise he eats great veggies and crickets and sometimes super worms, we did just change his black light to a regular red bulb, I’m thinking this might be it. He only does this at night. I’m worried about him. Thanks!

    • Mary says:

      Hi Julieta,
      My beardies hate red lights too! They get upset and are restless when I have tried to use a red light. For night time heat you can switch back to a black light, a ceramic heat light (that doesn’t emit light), or under tank heat pad. If that doesn’t fix things, he might need another change like at least a 40 gallon tank, more accessories and hiding spots, enclosure cleaning, changes in lighting and/or heat, or he could have parasites (the most common health problem in beardies and can cause a host of problems like restlessness, but can be effectively treated with medication and regular cleanings). I hope this information helps and your new bearded dragon settles down with a new source of night time heat. Please let me know if you have any more questions.

      Best wishes with your new beardie!
      Mary
      http://www.DragonRancher.com

  169. Raina says:

    Hi I wonder if anyone could give me some advice, I’ve had my bearded dragon for about 10 years he’s eating very well seems well but he’s got a lump on his back hip which is getting bigger it feels cyst like but not sure it doesn’t seem to hurt him that much and it’s not hindering him getting about. Thanks

    • Mary says:

      Hi Raina,
      Sorry to hear your beardie has a lump on his hip. He needs to go to a vet who specializes in exotics for evaluation. He will need an x-ray to tell what’s causing the lump. It could be a few things. Many health issues can happen as a bearded dragon ages, and 10 years is a great life for a beardie. Hopefully, it’s nothing too serious. It might even be metabolic bone disease if he hasn’t eaten enough calcium or been exposed to enough vitamin D. I hope the veterinarian says it’s nothing serious and your beardie recovers quickly.

      Thanks,
      Mary
      http://www.DragonRancher.com

  170. Brian says:

    Hello!
    I have had bearded dragons in the past, but for the first time I decided to get a baby. When I brought him into the terrarium, the first thing he did was jump right up onto the basking rock to catch some rays and hasn’t moved since. I’m just being a little uneasy, how long does a baby need within a new setting to feel acclimated? What can I do to make him feel less stressed out?
    Thanks!

    • Mary says:

      Hi Brian,
      Congratulations on your new beardie! It can take a couple days for a new baby beardie to settle into his home. Some beardies starting settling in and eating the first day. When you first brought him home, we was probably just tired and cold and need to warm up under the light and rest. This behavior is normal. Moving is stressful for beardies too. Feeding him his favorite foods like dubia roaches and letting him rest while leaving him alone for the first few days will help him feel comfortable in his new home. Also, try to keep any other distractions like other pets or children away from him preferably in a different room for a couple days. After he has settled in a while, try giving him a warm bath in shallow water. If he ever becomes lethargic or isn’t eating and/or has running stool, have him tested for parasites. Parasites are very common in beardies especially newly acquired beardies. Please let me know if you have any more questions, and best wishes with him!

      Thanks,
      Mary
      http://www.DragonRancher.com

  171. Kaleigh says:

    Isn’t the whole meal wormso eating their way out of a lizards stomach an urban legend? All the book I’ve read have said that meal worms are OK just not nutritional for the beardy (As for their shells you can wait till the mealworms have she’d their skin and are white to feed them to your beardy) I would think the acid in the stomach of the beardy would be enough to kill the meal worm especially since they don’t like too much moisture-The rest of your site is awesome and I thank you for putting such great information out there for people-I’d love to hear of your thoughts re the whole mealworm story Thanx again regards Kaleigh

    • Mary says:

      Hi Kaleigh,
      It is might be possible a live mealworm (not a superworm) to eat their way through of a lizard if swallowed whole uninjured. However, it is very unlikely and almost never happens. It is much more common for a bearded dragon to become impacted from eating mealworms. Mealworms have a hard exoskeleton, and the acids in a beardie’s stomach doesn’t always kill a mealworm and it’s hard for them to digest mealworms especially if they have eaten too many worms. I’ve heard of beardies passing live mealworms. I’ve also heard that smaller lizards like anoles or geckos have had been killed by mealworms eating their way out (these lizards may have already been sick and/or dehydrated). In any event, it’s best to not feed any lizard mealworms just to air on the side of caution. Plus, there are more nutritious and safer options. Thank you for enjoying my site! Please let me know if you have any more interesting questions!

      Thanks again,
      Mary
      http://www.DragonRancher.com

  172. Eric says:

    Hey! so my bearded dragon is about 5-6 weeks old and i just got him last Saturday (3/12/16) and he isnt eating right and he isnt energetic and his substrate is proper and everything is correct and he just isnt acting normal help would be awesome thanks!

    • Mary says:

      Hey Eric,
      Sorry to hear your beardie isn’t acting normal. You should bring him into a veterinarian who specializes in exotics like bearded dragons. Have him tested for parasites. Parasites are the most common health problem in beardies and can cause the problems you’re describing. A young beardie should be active with a big appetite. He will most likely need Albon or Panacur depending on the type of parasite. He may also need some fluids to help him recover. Keep his enclosure as clean as possible, and warm shallow baths will help keep him hydrated. Also, on warm days take him outside in a safe secure area to get natural UVB light. It should help perk him up to get real sunlight. I hope he recovers quickly and starts acting like a normal young beardie.

      Thanks,
      Mary
      http://www.DragonRancher.com

  173. Libby says:

    Hello, I am very confused with my neared dragon right now. I don’t know the sex of the dragon I just call it a he. He’s only about 6 months old, I had never seen him puff up and make his beard go black before but for some reason he has been doing it a lot lately ! He seems angry all the one he even opened his mouth and let out a hiss ! But he is still nice when I hold him. Why is he being so angry ? Is he going through puberty or something ?

    • Mary says:

      Hi Libby,
      Do you have another reptiles or other pets in the same room with your beardie? They may be stressing him out. Try to keep him in an area where there’s not too much going on around him. Even having too many people walking past him (especially children) may stress him out. Also, make sure his enclosure, set-up, temps, lighting, and humidity are right. At 6+ months old, a bearded dragon may become more aggressive and usually needs more space and hiding places. He should be kept in a 40+ gallon tank with plenty of places to hide and bask. An improper set-up can stress him out. Beardies also become more aggressive during breeding season which is in spring, summer, and early fall. Additionally, a hungry beardie tends to be an angry beardie, so ensure that he is getting enough nutritious food and start trying to transition him to eating less insects and more greens. If everything is set-up properly and he’s in an area without too much activity around him and his aggressive behavior continues, then have him tested and/or treated for parasites. Parasites are the most common health problem in beardies and can cause changes in behavior. Has he had any other changes like in appetite and energy? Hopefully, he will calm down with some minor changes to his home and diet. Please let me know if you have any more questions.

      Thanks,
      Mary
      http://www.DragonRancher.com

  174. Margaret Porach says:

    Hi,

    I just purchased a baby beardie that is approximately 6-8 wks. I noticed that he/she has some labored breathing and will puff up before opening its mouth that then makes a clicking noise. No mucous, coloring seems fine along with appetite and bowel movement so I’m just curious if this is normal and the result of stress with transport and new surroundings since purchased. My last beardie that died at 10 yrs. was bought at around the same age and I don’t remember him doing any of this.

    • Mary says:

      Hi Margaret,
      If his/her breathing is labored and/or heavy, he/she may have a respiratory infection. Respiratory infections are common in reptiles (especially from newly acquired beardies who may have previously been kept in less than ideal conditions) and needs to be treated with antibiotics. If the labored breathing does not continue, he/she may have been gaping. Beardies gape to regulate their body temperature. They usually gape when basking or in very warm conditions. Gaping is normal bearded dragon behavior, and some beardies may gape more often than others. If your beardie is breathing heavy or labored at night with lower temps, bring him/her to a vet who specializes in exotics like bearded dragons to be treated for a respiratory infection. I hope your beardie is fine, and best of luck with your new beardie! Please let me know if you have any more questions.

      Thanks,
      Mary
      http://www.DragonRancher.com

  175. Gerome says:

    Hi Mary, I got a juvenile beardie (I honestly dont’t know how old they are the employee didn’t tell us and I don’t know how to tell for myself) yesterday. My problem is that I think I messed up its sleep cycle and I have no idea how to fix it. I got my beardie at about 4pm and in the tank at about 5pm. I didn’t understand the sleep cycle until today, so they were up all night (I think) and now at 1pm the day. Is there any way I can quickly fix it? Will it be able to adapt easily because it is still getting used to a new environment?

    • Mary says:

      Hi Gerome,
      Congrats on getting a new beardie! Yes, your bearded dragon should be able to adapt easily within the next couple days. Make sure you have the lights on a timer and keep them on for about 12 hours a day. When it’s dark outside, the lights should be off. Beardies know their bedtime and will prepare for it by laying down in a comfortable spot. Try your best to keep the next few days comfortable and stress free for your beardie, and limit how much you handle your beardie if he/she isn’t used to it. Give him/her a lot of his/her favorite foods like dubia roaches. Feedings are great time to bond with your beardie. They almost always like the person who feeds them! Please let me know if you have any more questions, and best wishes with your new beardie!

      Thanks,
      Mary
      http://www.DragonRancher.com

  176. Ella says:

    I’m thinking of getting a bearded dragon myself and was wondering if there is a good way to start preparing to bring one home. Also, if I get one this year and will be going to college in 4 years, what is the best thing for the dragon if collage doesn’t allow pets.

    • Mary says:

      Hi Ella,
      The best way to prepare for a new pet beardie is to read as much as possible on bearded dragon care and get the book “The Bearded Dragon Manual” by Phillippe de Vosjoli. Get all the supplies and an enclosure for a bearded dragon, and set them up before you bring a beardie home. Find a good breeder (go to a reptile to get a bearded dragon if you can, because that’s the best place to get one). Don’t purchase a bearded dragon at a pet store. You may also want to start breeding a colony of dubia roaches before getting a beardie, so you always have plenty for him/her to eat and don’t have to frequently buy food at a pet store. If you can’t bring a bearded dragon to college, find a stable home for the beardie to stay with to ensure he/she is fed properly, with good lights, and it cleaned up after regularly. I hope this information helps. Please let me know if you have any more questions.

      Thanks,
      Mary
      http://www.DragonRancher.com

  177. Fay says:

    I got my a bearded dragon 5 days ago. The pet shop told me that he had been handled a lot by the breeders and was used to being picked up but when i walk past the cage, sit in front of it or stick my hand in he runs away and hides. How can i train him to get used to me?

    • Mary says:

      Hi Fay,
      Congrats on your new beardie! One of the best ways to gain a bearded dragon trust is by feeding him and hand feeding when possible. Bearded dragons tend to remember and like the people who feed them especially if they hand feed them treats. When ever you take him out, make it a very positive, enjoyable, and stress-free experience. Give him his favorite foods like dubia roaches and you can try small amounts of cantaloupe or peaches. Also, try taking him outside on warm sunny days for natural UVB light in a safe and secure area. (I use a mesh doggie play pen or screened in patio). I also found my beardies love to play in warm shallow water. In time, he will warm up to you and get used to being handled. It is unlikely that a bearded dragon will climb onto your hand on his own, unless there’s food in it. If he hides or becomes defensive, it might not be a good time to try to hold him, but you might want to try feeding him to show him you aren’t a threat. Leave him alone if he’s too stressed out to be handled. You should be able to bond with your bearded dragon in time. I hope this information helps and your bearded dragon continues to warm up to you. Please let me know if you have any questions.

      Thanks,
      Mary
      http://www.DragonRancher.com

  178. Angelica says:

    Hi Mary, love all this info!

    I am a beginner Beardie owner. I got a girl recently within the last 4 days and she is around 8-9 months old! Not sure if this is just a relocating issue, but she did not poop for a few days until i bathed her with warm water today. The stool is quite liquidy and it was definitely stinky. It also had the urates in it which was a white colour. Ive been feeding her kale, carrots and crickets, along with her calcium powder. She has also had some mealworms as a treat – only a couple have been given to her. I have her set up in a big vivarium with the correct lighting and heating equipment. Is this sort of stool normal for a relocated beardie? She is alert, running around when i take her out of the tank, and she is eating (albeit only a small portion). Your help is much appreciated!

    • Mary says:

      Hi Angelica,
      Thank you for the compliment! I’m glad you’ve found my site helpful. Sub-adult bearded dragons don’t poop as often as babies, so it may be normal for a recently acquired bearded dragon to not poop for a few days. Watery, very stinky stool is not normal, but it can happen if the beardie has eaten too much fruit recently or possibly from stress. Stinky, watery stool is also often a symptom of parasites. If the watery stool persists, have your beardie tested/treated for parasites. Parasites are the most common health problem with bearded dragons and can be effectively treated with medication. You can get the medication without a prescription here: http://www.beautifuldragons.com/Reptilestore.html. The most common medication used to treat parasites is Albon and Panacur depending on the type of parasite(s) present. In the meantime, keep you new bearded dragon’s enclosure as clean as possible and stress free. You may also want to stop feeding her crickets, and feed her dubia roaches instead with wax worms as an occasional treat. Dubia roaches are more nutritious, cannot carry parasites like crickets, and beardies tend to like them much better. (I have more information here: http://dragonrancher.com/roaches/). Turnip, mustard, or dandelion greens are also better for beardies. I hope this information helps, and your beardie settles into her great new home! Please let me know if you have any more questions.

      Thanks again,
      Mary
      http://www.DragonRancher.com

  179. Holly says:

    We just got our beardies about 5 weeks ago, so I believe they are around 10-12 weeks old. Unfortunately we didn’t do enough research beforehand and now after doing quite a bit I now realize how much wrong information we were given from the girl there. Not only on the care but she didn’t mention anything about not housing more than 1 in a tank. We got the breeder tank starter set and 2 beardies. From what it seems I think we have a male and a female. For now they really seem to get along and cuddle all the time. Health wise and diet they seem to be doing fine, “she’s” definitely not as big as he is even though we often take him out of the tank before feeding her. If he is in there, she will eat but not as much. I know we will eventually have to get another set up for one of them but it’s not something we can do right now. How long do you think we have until that will be necessary? Typically how will they start mating? Also there was a couple of days that I did notice some watery stool w/ more of an odor to it but it seems to not be as bad now, could it still be parasites? I had just given some new greens and veggies so I wasn’t sure if that might have caused it. We do not have an exotic vet close to us.

    • Holly says:

      Sorry I meant to say how long until they start mating?

    • Mary says:

      Hi Holly,
      Congrats on your new beardies! The size and aggressiveness of a male bearded dragon are the biggest factors in determining when a male is ready to mate. The sooner you can house your beardies separately, the better. He may stay to try to mate as early as only a few months old. A female cannot be mated until she’s about 2 years old. Doing so can kill a female, plus it is extremely stressful.
      If the watery stool persists, have your beardies tested/ treated for parasites. Parasites are the most common health problem in beardies and are especially common in beardies from a pet store. You can get the medication here: http://www.beautifuldragons.com/Reptilestore.html. The most common medication(s) prescribed are Albon and Panacur depending on what parasite(s) are present. It is very important to keep bearded dragons very well hydrated while being treated and keep their enclosure as clean as possible to avoid re-infection. It is best to give a beardie a bath every day while being treated. Some fruits and greens may also give a beardie water stool which should clear-up in a couple days if no parasites are present. I hope this information helps. Best wishes with your new beardies!

      Thanks,
      Mary
      http://www.DragonRancher.com

  180. Chris palumbo says:

    Hi I have 2 breaded dragons in a 40 gallon tank. Is it ok to take them out and feed them crickets in a other tank? What kind of wattage bold is good for my 40gallon tank. I have 2 75watts.

    • Mary says:

      Hi Chris,
      It is good to take them out and feed them crickets in another tank. This way the crickets won’t leave a mess in their tank, can’t hide, and can’t bite the beardies if they don’t eat them plus your beardies get a chance to get out of their tank. The wattage for a 40 gallon tank depends on a few things like the dimensions of the tank, what temperature the room is kept at, the type of bulb, other heat sources like heat pads, basking shots, etc. Two 75 watt should be adequate in most cases, but check the temps. The cool side should be around 80 F degrees, and the basking spots should be at least 100 F but always below 120 F.

      Thanks,
      Mary
      http://www.DragonRancher.com

  181. Chris says:

    Hello Mary, I just got my first bearded dragon.His/her age is unknown but I suspect it to be around 2-3 months.I have done a lot of research.I got him/her 3 days ago,he does not eat many crickets when offered.The most being 10 through out the coarse of a day.I thought they were surpose to eat 50 a day.I will not handle him for 3 days to let him get use to his tank.But how long will it be until he eats and can be handled?He is in a 40 gallon tank.He spends most his time on his basking rock.But today he found his log and has been under that.I do not like crickets because they jump and are too fast plus the smell.I was wondering if I could feed him Phoenix worms.They seem to be a very good alternative to crickets or roaches.
    His humidity is mostly at 20 but tonight it got up to 45.Is this bad? Thanks and please respond soon.-Chris

    • Mary says:

      Hi Chris,
      Congrats on your first beardie! You’re right; a young bearded dragon should be eating a lot more than 10 crickets a day, but it can also depend on the size of the crickets. If the crickets are too large (prey should be smaller than the space between the beardies’ eyes), they will only eat a few. It should only take a day or two for a healthy beardie to settle in and eat normally, but some beardies can take quite awhile to get used to being handled if they weren’t handled much as babies. Some bearded dragons just don’t enjoy being held much and some love it. Every beardie has a different personality. If his appetite doesn’t pick up soon with size appropriate insects and you’re still concerned, you may want to take him to a vet who specializes in exotics like bearded dragons for a well check and parasite test. Parasites are the most common health problem in beardies and can cause changes in appetite. Crickets can carry pinworms, so Phoenix worms can be a good alternative to crickets although I personally prefer dubia roaches (and so do my beardies). Phoenix worms can be harder to come by, more expensive, have less protein and more fat but worth at least a try if you can’t tolerate roaches.
      A humidity of 20 is too low for a young beardie. I try to keep a humidity between 40- 60%. Also for young growing beardies, it’s a good idea to give them a regular bath to help keep them hydrated and to help them shed. Young bearded dragons can get dehydrated easily, and baths will help prevent that from happening, keep them clean and healthy, and give them experiences outside of their enclosure without having to worry about the humidity level inside the tank. I hope this information helps. Please let me know if you have any more questions.

      Best wishes with your new beardie!
      Mary
      http://www.DragonRancher.com

  182. Oscar says:

    it was a very informative site and I highly recommend it…but what do you do when your beardy has not shed in more than 5 months? please reply!!!!

    • Mary says:

      Hi Oscar,
      How old is the beardie? Adult bearded dragons don’t shed often so not shedding for more than 5 months can be completely normal. They shed often when they are growing a lot in the first few months, then less often after they’re a year or so old.

      Thanks,
      Mary
      http://www.DragonRancher.com

  183. Jessica says:

    Hi Mary,
    We’ve just inherited two beardies, male & female, of approximately 4 years in age. It seems that they have been housed together their entire lives, and seeming get along quite nicely.
    However, I am concerned about the male potentially harassing the female and the possibility of breeding? We’ve been told that this pair cannot lay fertile eggs, but I am uncertain as to the validity of this!
    Do you recommend that they be split up? If so, I’m not sure that I have the space or ability to run another viv, so will need to rehome.
    Would it be detrimental to split them apart, after many years together? Especially with the recent ownership change? They’ve only been with us a week!
    Thanks for your help, in advance!

    • Mary says:

      Hi Jessica,
      I would recommend housing them separately. Bearded dragons typically breed in the spring and summer, but it’s a good idea to separate them sooner. The male may be ready to mate at any time, which can be very stressful for the female even if they get along most of the time. It would not be detriment to split them up. They will get over it quickly. Adult bearded dragons typically take well to rehoming as long as they are in good overall health with no underlaying conditions (like MBD, parasites, under weight, etc.) and are kept in the correct conditions with proper lighting, heat, feeding, etc. Best of luck with your new beardies! Please let me know if you have any more questions.

      Thanks,
      Mary
      http://www.DragonRancher.com

  184. Chris says:

    Hello Mary,my bearded dragon has changed a lot since we last talked.He now eats 15+ per feeding.Turns out he was a hatchling.But he is fine now.But I saw another baby bearded dragon yesterday and I just had to get him/her.So I did and this morning I introduced them.They are about the same size and age.At first they were both scared but they exchanged a set of hand waving.I was wondering can I house them together?I do not know the gender of either.I just do not want one to eat or hurt the other.Also I was wondering how do I get a baby bearded dragon to trust and get use to me?Thank you and please respond soon.-Chris

    • Mary says:

      Hi Chris,
      You might be able to keep them together for a few months, but make sure you feed them insects separately to ensure both beardies are getting enough food and avoid them fighting over food. Also, watch them closely to ensure they are getting along. Sometimes young beardies start to bite each other. Feeding them separately should help but not always. After a few months it should be easier to tell their gender. Two males can never be kept together as sub-adults and adults, a male and female will need to be kept separately most if not all of the year to avoid stressing out the female, and two females can sometimes get along (but not always) and should still be feed separately. The best way to get a bearded dragon to trust you is to feed them their favorite foods. Beardies tend to learn and like the people who feed them. Also, give them fun experiences outside their enclosure like giving them warm baths, taking outside on warm sunny days in a safe location like a screened in patio, and holding them at night when they tend to snuggle you for warmth instead of trying to run away. I hope this information helps. Best wishes with your new beardies!

      Thanks again,
      Mary
      http://www.DragonRancher.com

  185. savana says:

    my bearded dragon is about 3-6 months old and its tail is turning grayish black and i don’t know why im worried its about the health of it i also dont know the gender and it does not like me to hold it and it likes to run away every time i hold it im not sure if it likes me

    • Mary says:

      Hi Savana,
      Is your bearded dragon about to shed? When reptiles are about to shed, their skin turns grayish. The shed may be starting on the tail and the rest of the beardie will turn gray and shed shortly after. A warm bath might help him/her shed quicker and easier. Beardies tend to be in a worse mood when they are in shed and don’t tolerate being held as well as they would if they weren’t shedding. It should be easier to tell the gender of your bearded dragon in a few months. A male has much larger, waxy femoral pores and two bulges at the base of the tail while females have much smaller pores and only one small pouch. Bearded dragons don’t show many signs of affection and a young beardie like yours may try to run away when you try to hold him/her. This is normal, healthy behavior. Adult tend to be more passive but may still try to run at times. Beardies usually like the people who feed them. Also, if they aren’t trying to bite you or being aggressive towards you then they probably like you. Best wishes with your new beardie! Please let me know if you have any more questions.

      Thanks,
      Mary
      http://www.DragonRancher.com

  186. bolko says:

    Bearded dragons are acrodont, meaning they have their teeth strongly attached to the jawbone, have a strong bite, and chew very well compared to other lizards. They, as well as other dragon species, habitually feed on beetles, ants and similar hard insects in the wild. Mealworms cannot do any harm to a bearded dragon. First, bearded dragons chew any insect they eat, and second, it is a myth that a mealworm can eat an animal from the inside out. Maybe scavenge an already dead one, which may seem that they ate it from the inside, but not eat it alive. Not only they can eat mealworms, but also beetles and other harder things. Also by telling people to rush the animal to the vet whenever it is lethargic, not eating and not basking, you may panic them about natural brumation/hibernation behavior. Bearded dragons can also get calcium by chewing on bits of cuttlefish bone. Sand is an aweful substrate, it is loose, dusty, heavy and gets dirty easily. If you want something for the animal to dig, use a sand and soil mix, as used for tortoises. It is more compacted, so it can be cleaned more easily, but still it is heavy. I just use paper. I hibernate my animals, feed with mealworms and whatever insect I have, give less greens, set them outside to bask, and everything is normal.

  187. Ray says:

    Hi Mary.
    I have been doing research for a few months now and will be purchasing my first beardie in the near future. However, I live in a very dry climate averaging about 15%-20% humidity. What is the best way for me to maintain an optimal humidity level for my beardie?

    • Mary says:

      Hi Ray,
      A good way to raise the humidity level is to have a shoe box sized container with about a half inch of water inside in your beardie’s enclosure. This way your beardie can take a bath or drink when he/she wants plus it will raise the humidity in the enclosure and can easily be removed as needed. You can also spray your beardie with water on occasion. Bearded Dragons are native to the Australian desert, so low humidity is not usually a problem unless the beardie becomes dehydrated. Prolonged high humidity may cause respiratory infections. Good luck with your soon to be new beardie!

      Thanks,
      Mary
      http://www.DragonRancher.com

  188. Ray says:

    Hi Mary.
    I was wondering what you suggest to do to maintain a 40% humidity level for a beardie in a state where I average 10-15% humidity in the summer months? The enclosure I will be using is 36″Lx18″Dx24″H. Thanks.

  189. Nancy says:

    Hi, I have a 12 year old female that was my sons who then became mine. She is doing well ,laid a clutch of eggs (around 10) a couple of months ago, and eats and just shed. She looks happy but I think things aren’t so good. She has been having loose reddish stool and just had a lot of mucus and liquid. She doesn’t look like she is in pain. What to do???

    • Mary says:

      Hi Nancy,
      Sorry to hear your beardie isn’t feeling her best. She needs to be evaluated by a vet who specializes in exotics like bearded dragons. If possible, bring a very recent stool sample (within 2 hours) to the appointment and have the sample tested for parasites. Parasites can cause the changes in stool you’re describing and are the most common health concern it beardies. Beardies are prey animals and normally don’t show pain until they are gravely ill. There are several other factors that could possibly be causing the problem especially with your beardie’s age and having laid eggs recently, but parasites are probably the most likely and can be treated with medication. Please let me know if you have any more questions.

      Thanks,
      Mary
      http://www.DragonRancher.com

  190. Geraldine says:

    Hello, I just recently got a beardie. he’s 2 months old. Hes face back and some of his toes have turned black and it looks like he’s not breathing. I have tried contacting a vet but they are looking closed. he hasn’t been eating for the past couple or days and barely been moving around. We thought he was shedding cause his tail went a very dull colour and he wasn’t eating much. Now he isn’t eating, moving and has turned black. I am very worried that he is died.

    • Mary says:

      Hi Geraldine,
      I am so sorry to hear about your beardie. He needs to go to a vet who treats exotics as soon as possible if he is still with us. Check for his breathing. Breaths may be shallow and far between. There are usually emergency clinic vets open 24 hours in many areas, but you may have to do some research to find one in your area and be willing drive a bit. If your beardie is still living, make sure he is hydrated. The first thing a vet is likely to do is give him an iv. Young beardies can be more delicate and require care quickly to recover. I’m really hoping for the best for your beardie, and I’m so sorry this has happened to you.

      Thank you,
      Mary

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Google Analytics Alternative