Bearded dragons are taking over most homes as the best pet reptile companions. They are beautiful, laid-back, and docile; no wonder pet parents consider owning more than one bearded dragon. In addition, these reptiles enjoy human company, and if you can get multiple beardies, why not?
But one thing you should consider before bringing home another beardie is where you’ll keep your newest companion. Bearded dragons can tolerate sharing space with humans but not fellow bearded dragons.
Read on for more insights about why beardies shouldn’t share a home and when it is okay for them to live together.
Why Bearded Dragons Should Not Live Together
Two beardies can potentially share an enclosure without exhibiting any problems. However, this is a huge gamble, and they are better off living separately.
These pet reptiles are solitary creatures in the wild and thrive going about their days solo. Bearded dragons do not crave attention, interaction, or company from others to feel content and happy.
Since they’ve evolved to stay alone, they naturally thrive more when they don’t share their spaces with other beings. And, no, your beardie won’t feel lonely, sad, or suffer from anxiety if it doesn’t have a friend.
Dangers of Housing Multiple Bearded Dragons in One Tank
Beardies may be cute and laid-back, but they are intensely territorial. They do not appreciate other dragons invading their personal spaces for the most part.
They can show aggression, especially the male, who have the most passionate territorial streaks. Plus, sharing a habitat prevents ample and sufficient basking. As a result, bearded dragons rely on heat lamps for basking in captivity, which is vital for their health as heat aids with digestion.
These animals require to bask after a meal to digest the food they’ve just had. However, insufficient basking causes health issues like gut rot, where the food stays in the stomach and rots away undigested.
Beardies that share a tank may scramble for basking positions, and it’s common to see one hogging the heater and not allowing the other access to it. This mainly happens due to dominance, as one dragon will protect and dominate a particular spot in the tank.
Two or More Male Beardies Together
You may want to avoid keeping multiple male beardies together if you want peace and fewer vet visits. You can be sure that their stay will involve the most fierce and violent fight over dominance.
Male beardies want to feel like they own their spaces, so they’ll definitely fight over the same territory if they live together. Unfortunately, these battles usually end with one or both reptiles severely harmed.
Female and Female Together
Multiple female bearded dragons may be able to share a habitat with supervision as they are not so intensely territorial as their male counterparts – but that being said, we still recommend separate housing above all for full safety measures.
If you do have two females, and a male beardie, you won’t likely witness fights over him. Even still, it is recommended all have their own separate tanks, even if you’re letting them roam together with supervision during the day.
Male and Female Together
A pair of female and male beardie will work, but be sure that they’ll mate and reproduce more than you may want. While this pair usually coexist, it is vital to keep an eye on them as male beardies tend to be hostile when looking to mate.
It’s not uncommon that this aggression when in heat leaves the female bearded dragon harmed. The male bites the female’s neck or mouth to pin her down and prevent her from escaping.
Female beardies can lay around 20 eggs per clutch and 3-4 clutches per mating process. This means that you may end up with over 40-80 eggs in the tank. So, if you pair the female and male for breeding, it would be best to prepare for when the hatching time comes, or it will be quite a shock.
Also, ensure that the female pet is at least two years old before pairing it with a male in the same tank. If they mate before the female is sexually mature, it can cause health complications.
Never house two male dragons in the same enclosure with one female beardie as it may trigger fights over her. For this reason, you may want to think long and hard before you house your female and male bearded dragons in the same tank. Do so only if you want them to breed.
Two Baby Dragons Together
Baby beardies get along well in the same enclosure for some time, as long as their sizes are similar.
Young dragons even do much better if they were nurtured together since they were hatchlings than if they are two strangers. However, they tend to become more territorial and develop aggression over time as they get older.
You may house baby beardies together. It may be time to separate them as soon as you notice aggression, though.
Consider Your Pets’ Sizes
Size matters when pairing bearded dragons. They are better off separating if they differ significantly in size.
A creature’s size plays a vital role in the animal kingdom, and typically the smallest individual dies not ever come out on top. An enormous dragon sharing an enclosure with a little beardie can prompt the sizeable adult to injure and kill the more petite roommate.
Apart from that, the bigger bearded dragon may end up snatching all the food you provide them, leading the small guy to die of starvation eventually. Unfortunately, aggression and mistreatment can even occur between baby beardie with their mother.
So, do not allow a baby dragon to share an enclosure with any adult, even if it’s the mother.
Ensure that you maintain a close watch over your pets if you decide that they should live together. Separate them immediately that one displays aggressive behaviors, biting marks, or generally unhappy and not flourishing.
How to Tell If a Bearded Dragon is Being Bullied
You will not miss the telltale signs about possible intimidation when two beardies share an enclosure. Thankfully, beardies always show their feelings using certain traits.
For instance, an uncomfortable and disturbed bearded dragon may display:
The bully will also display behaviors that show that they are trying to intimidate the other. Such behaviors include:
How to Take Care of an Injured Bearded Dragon
Here’s how to ensure the safety of your beardies if one of them gets bitten or scratched after fighting or mating.
What to Do If You Have Multiple Dragons
1. Give One Beardie Away
The first thing to do is give one away to prevent both from being unhappy. Of course, this solution isn’t the best, especially if you grew attached to both pets, but it is the safest option to avoid future problems.
2. Get Multiple Tanks
If you have more than one beardie and don’t want to give the other away, find another tank set up. However, it means that you will spend more money on a second enclosure.
Pet shops sell bearded dragons in groups because they want to make money. Don’t make the mistake of buying all of them at once without a proper plan.
While there’s no definite answer whether to allow multiple bearded dragons to share a tank, what’s certain is that two males, or two males and one female bearded dragon, should never share an enclosure.
See also: What to Do If a Bearded Dragon Bites You (Vet Answer)
Featured Image Credit: TeeFarm, Pixabay