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Bearded Dragons Essential Supplies List: 8 Things to Get for Your New Pet
So, you have decided you want a bearded dragon and picked out the cutest beardie at the shop. What else do you need to ensure your beardie has everything it needs? Like other pets, bearded dragons require certain items to stay happy and healthy.
In this article, we are going to look at the 8 most important things to get for your new bearded dragon. This list may seem pretty extensive. Luckily, shopping for your beardie’s needed supplies is the most difficult part of raising them. Once you set up their enclosure, beardies are pretty easy to take care of.
Without further ado, let’s check out a bearded dragon’s essential supplies list.
8 Things to Get For Your New Bearded Dragon
Items for Their Enclosure
Whenever you get a bearded dragon, the first thing you need to get is the enclosure and items to go inside the enclosure. Your goal is to make their enclosure as close to their natural habitat as you can. Bearded dragons are native to dry areas of central Australia. So, their home needs to be dry and desert-like.
First and foremost, select a vivarium tank. The tank should be a minimum of 2 x 2 x 4 feet. Given that bearded dragons don’t get too big, you may wonder why they need a tank of this size. Simply put, the tank needs to be big enough so that the beardie can stretch its legs, climb on items, and have access to both warm and shade spots.
It is important to note that the tank should have both a basking spot and a cool side. The cool side of the tank should be around 75 degrees. It is necessary for part of the tank to be this temperature so that the beardie’s body doesn’t overheat, and they can regulate like they would during the night.
You will need to add flooring to the bottom of the dragon tank. The exact material you use will largely depend on the age of your bearded dragon. Younger dragons are likely to accidentally eat the ground whenever they’re trying to catch their prey. Newspaper, paper towels, and reptile carpet are safe for nearly all bearded dragons. We recommend reptile carpet for all ages.
2. Basking Spot
Because bearded dragons evolved in hot temperatures, they are considered ectotherms. This is a fancy way of saying that bearded dragons cannot regulate their internal body temperatures like you or me. As a result, they rely on the external temperatures to keep them warm.
For their bodies to maintain the right temperature, they need a hot basking spot that reaches between 95 degrees Fahrenheit and 105 degrees Fahrenheit. Get a basking spot on one side of the vivarium enclosure, but do not make the entire enclosure this temperature because the bearded dragon will need time to cool down.
To create a basking spot, you should provide heat using an overhead light. This simulates the sunlight in their natural environment. You will want the heating light to hang between 6 inches and 24 inches above the ideal basking spot. The overhead light should be based on a timer so that it goes off during the night time.
To ensure that the basking spot is the correct temperature, check the temperature regularly using a temperature gun. You can add a rock or some other area for your beardie to lay on underneath the basking area. We love this Penn-Plax Reptology Lizard Lounger.
3. UVB Light
The next thing you need in your bearded dragon’s tank enclosure is a UVB light. One of the many differences between the beardie’s natural terrain and your home is access to direct sunlight. A UVB bulb will provide your bearded dragon with a substantial amount of artificial light.
You may be wondering why you can’t just use sunlight for this step. You should not place your vivarium tank in direct sunlight because the walls act like an oven. Using a UVB light will provide your beardie the needed light without frying them.
4. A Hiding Place
Finally, bearded dragons love to lay underneath items to stay safe and cozy. Put a hiding place for your beardie in their enclosure so they can feel safe. You can easily find items to act as a hiding place at your local pet shop. Something like this Exo Terra Reptile Cage would work perfectly!
The next category of items you need to buy for your new bearded dragon is food and water. Bearded dragons have a very particular dietary system, meaning you need to have their proper sustenance on hand as soon as you bring them home.
Just like any other animal, bearded dragons need hydration. However, it can be difficult to know the best way to feed your beardie water because some are pickier than others. Generally speaking, you can give your beardie water through a bowl, misting, bath, or food. Provide your bearded dragon all four sources.
It is always a great idea to leave your beardie a bowl of water. Even if your beardie does not seem to like drinking water in this way, it will give them an option in case they are in dire need of water when you are not around.
In addition to leaving a bowl a fresh water out for your beardie, give your bearded dragon baths and mists. You can find a reptile mister to ensure that your reptile is not startled during the misting process. Your bearded dragon will likely drink the water both from their bath and mister.
Finally, bearded dragons will get a lot of water from their food if you feed them the correct diet. Giving your bearded dragon daily servings of greens will ensure that they get hydration from their vegetables.
Bearded dragons absolutely need greens every single day. It’s a great idea to feed your bearded dragon carrots, mustard greens, green lettuce, and bell peppers. You should not feed your bearded dragon iceberg lettuce, however, because it gives them no nutritional value and may give them diarrhea.
Whenever you feed your beardie vegetables, make sure to clean them off thoroughly before hand. The last thing you want is to feed your beardie vegetables that are coated in residual pesticides or bacteria.
7. Feeder Insects
In addition to greens, you need to feed your beardie feeder insects. Feeder insects will give your bearded dragon a healthy dose of protein. It is important to note that you cannot give your bearded dragon a vegetarian or vegan diet. They absolutely need feeder insects to remain healthy.
When feeding your beardie feeder insects, look for gut loaded insects. This includes dubia roaches or roach cows. Crickets are another popular option for feeding to a bearded dragon. When feeding live insects to your bearded dragon, only leave it in their cage for about 15 minutes and remove the insects if they have not eaten them in that time.
Even if you are attentive in feeding your bearded dragon their proper nutrients, they still may need supplements to remain healthy and strong. This is especially due to the fact that bearded dragons are often deficient in calcium and vitamin D3, leading to a number of severe health conditions.
It’s a great idea to give your beardie a calcium supplement. You can sprinkle powdered calcium on their foods for them to eat. This will ensure that your beardie’s bones stay healthy. Vitamin D3 is also used for keeping bones strong. Many products will include both calcium and vitamin D3. We recommend this Zoo Med Repti Calcium with D3 Supplement.
You can also give your bearded dragon a multivitamin. This will likely include vitamin E, choline, and a number of other vitamins specifically formulated for reptiles.
Just as you would with any other pet, you will need to buy a number of items when getting your bearded dragon. Once you get all of the items listed above, set up the tank and store the food properly. From there, your bearded dragon should be safe and healthy. Just remember to clean out the tank regularly!
Featured image credit: Pixabay
Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts’ knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.