BEARDED DRAGON CARE AND TERMS OF SALE

GENERAL BEARDED DRAGON CARE

Bearded Dragons are fun and exciting pets to own, but like any pet, they do require specific care.  And like any pet, there are some common necessities such as food and water but also some less common necessities such as proper lighting and heating to ensure a happy healthy dragon.

In an effort to try to keep things as simple as possible, we will cover the most important items needed for your bearded dragon's health and longevity.  There is plenty of information on the internet for those interested in researching other details and opinions, so the intent here is to provide enough general guidance for proper living space (enclosure) including lighting and heating, as well as proper feeding for your dragon.  We will also provide a little information on the topic of breeding.

Bearded Dragon Living Space (Enclosure):

  • Baby Bearded Dragons can start out in a 10-20 gallon terrarium, but as they get larger will need a 30-50 gallon terrarium.


  • Terrariums can be made of the glass-type enclosures found in pet stores or more expensive types (wood, plastic) found online.  We have used both the glass enclosures with screen tops and also our custom-made white melamine enclosures with sliding front doors.

  • It is recommended to keep one bearded dragon per enclosure because of their natural territorial behavior, especially males.  The gender of bearded dragons cannot usually be determined until after 4 months of age, but they may exhibit dominant behaviors at a younger age.  As a rule of thumb, if housing more than one bearded dragon in a single enclosure, they should all be females or only one male with the females.  Also keep in mind that with more than one bearded dragon, the enclosure will need to be larger to give them space to move around.

Enclosure Lighting and Heating Requirements:

  • All Bearded Dragons need a basking spot and UVB lighting in their enclosures.  There are many types of heat lamps and UVB lights.

  • Depending on the enclosure type and distance from heat lamp to basking spot will determine proper wattage.

  • If using screen top, one method is to use the Dome-style heat lamp on top the screen (can also use dual Dome for heat lamp and UVB light).

  • Best case is to have the heat lamp and UVB lighting mounted inside the enclosure since the screen material does block out some of the UVB lighting benefits.

  • The most important take away from this is that your Bearded Dragon must have a basking spot on one side of the enclosure in order to get the heating for proper digestion, as well as UVB lighting in order to avoid bone diseases and other problems (the UVB lighting provides similar benefits of the sun, which the Bearded Dragon must have in captivity).

  • The other critical need is temperature variance in the enclosure.  On the heat/basking side (measured on the basking spot), the temperature needs to be around 100 degrees Fahrenheit (no less than 95F and no more than 105F).  On the other side of the enclosure, the temperature should be approximately 20 degrees cooler (so 80F +/- 5F).

Enclosure "Extras":

  • Other than the lighting and heating described above, the bearded dragon enclosure just needs a rock or similar for basking, which should be placed under the heat lamp.  You will need to measure the temperature at the basking spot to make sure it is not too hot or not too cold.  It is also good to have a temperature gauge in the cage to make sure temperatures remain constant (optimal to have one on each side).

  • You will also need a food dish and a water dish in the enclosure for feeding.  Some beardies don't drink the water, but like to sit in it or just make a mess out it.  You can also use a spray bottle to spritz your beardies with water if they are not drinking out of the water dish.

  • Baby Beardies should not have anything in their cage that will allow them to get caught, trapped, or fall from tall heights.  As they get older, you can add braches and other climbing items if desired, but keep in mind that many of the branches allow hiding spots for crickets (which then come out at night and crawl all over and might bite or bother the sleeping beardies).

  • Caves are sometimes nice because they offer the beardies a place to hide, as long as they come out for UVB lighting and eating.  When they are older, they do tend to use caves during brumation.  Brumation is the reptile form of hibernation, and occurs more in some bearded dragons than others.  When brumation occurs, the bearded dragon may not come out of their cave or hiding spot for many days.

  • There are many kinds of substrates to use for your bearded dragon enclosures.  Sand is not recommended for baby bearded dragons because they may eat it accidentally, which may cause impaction.  As they get older, sand is fine and beardies love it, but cleaning is not as easy.  Molded substrates such as rough terrain or carpet are also good.  If you want to keep it simple, using paper towels is an easy alternative.  Tile or similar material is another alternative for easy cleaning.

Feeding:

  • Baby Bearded Dragons typically eat around 90% feeder insects and around 10% greens, which is almost reversed for Adult Bearded Dragons.

  • The least expensive feeder insect is typically crickets, while the more expensive feeder insects are roaches, phoenix worms, wax worms, butter worms, horned worms, and silkworms.  When feeding crickets, they should be dusted with calcium powder to provide needed vitamins.

  • Mealworms are also less expensive but are not recommended, especially for baby beardies because they have been known to cause digestive problems leading to impaction or worse (due to the tough exoskeleton of the mealworms).  Superworms are a better alternative, but they still need to be fed in moderation to baby beardies (and must be very small size).

  • It is very important that baby beardies are not fed any insects larger than the space between their eyes, which means pinhead crickets for newborn beardies and slightly larger as the beardies grow.

  • Discoid or Dubia Roaches (depending on which state you live in) are a great source of food for beardies, and we haven't seen a beardie yet who doesn't love these roaches.

  • Our Bearded Dragons are fed a variety of the feeder insects listed above, with those high in fat only fed in moderation.  We also use collard greens daily, sometimes mixing in some fruit.

  • All Bearded Dragons should be offered greens and/or certain vegetables as a staple diet daily.  Some baby beardies may not take to it right away, but eventually they will start to come around.

  • Baby Bearded Dragons typically eat 10-30 small crickets daily with some collard greens, while Adult Bearded Dragons typically eat less crickets and more greens.

Breeding:

  • Male bearded dragons can be ready to mate as early as 8-9 months depending on size and maturity, however females should be at least 1 year old (preferably 18 months and older) for proper maturity.  Females can mate prior to 1 year old, but the pregnancy and birth are more stressful for a younger bearded dragon.  If a male is housed with a female, he will try to mate with her whether she is ready for not.

  • Once a female bearded dragon becomes gravid (pregnant) after mating, it usually takes around 4-6 weeks to lay the eggs (clutch).  There are many signs to tell when a female bearded dragon is getting ready to lay her eggs.  The most obvious sign is when she begins digging around the enclosure all the time.  No matter what the substrate on the bottom of the enclosure, she will continue the digging motions until the eggs are laid.  Ideally, a moist sand would be best for laying the eggs (since they like to dig a hole and then bury the eggs).  Other signs that she is getting close to having her clutch are lack of appetite, weight gain (egg lumps in her belly), and restlessness.

  • After she starts trying to dig all the time, if sand substrate is not available in the enclosure, an alternative is to relocate her to a separate container with 4-6 inches of moist sand so that she can dig and bury her eggs.  This sand can typically be found at your local petstore.  If sand is not available, the enclosure should at least have a cave or hiding area where she can lay her eggs in private to avoid some of the stress.

  • After the clutch of eggs is laid, they must be removed from the enclosure (carefully if buried in sand) and placed in a good substrate for incubation.  One of the best substrates for the eggs is vermiculite, which can be moistened in a container and placed in an incubator.

  • The clutch of eggs will need to be incubated for approximately 2 months (+/- 2 weeks) at 85F +/- 3F.  It is important to check on the eggs in the incubator on a regular basis to make sure they also have the proper humidity.  If the eggs appear to be slightly deflated, that is usually a sign of dryness which can be cured by adding a little water to the substrate or spraying the inside of the incubator to increase the humidity.  The eggs should be smooth and full with a nice white color.  If some eggs are yellow and deflated, that typically means they are infertile.

  • When the day arrives for the clutch of eggs to start hatching, each egg will start deflating while the newborn beardie breaks through the egg.  It is important to let the beardie complete the hatching process in order to absorb all the nutrients from the egg.  Within a couple of days, all the beardies should be out of their eggs and ready to be relocated from the incubator to their new enclosure (and start eating).

TERMS OF SALE AND SHIPPING INFO
  • Baby Bearded Dragons are shipped overnight to ensure live delivery. Overnight shipping is provided via FedEx (weekdays only). 

  • Shipping costs are determined by the size of the box for your beardie (smaller for babies and larger for adults or multiple beardies) and the location they are being shipped to.  Special insulated boxes are used to ensure your bearded dragon is protected during shipment.

  • Payment options are Credit Card, Money Order, or Check.  Payment by Credit Card is processed securely through PayPal and allows the fastest shipment.  Payment by Money Order or Check must clear through the bank before shipment (possible 1-2 week delay).

  • If for some reason, your new bearded dragon does not survive the shipping experience, we allow 24 hours for you to notify us of a problem.  Once proof is provided (photo of beardie that didn't make it), we will ship a replacement beardie.  There would be no additional cost for the replacement beardie, however there would be additional cost for the shipping of the replacement beardie.

  • After delivery of your healthy Baby Bearded Dragon (or Adult Bearded Dragon), DP Dragons is not responsible or liable for any unexpected interactions such as (but not limited to) allergic reactions, scratching, biting, or any misuse of your new pet.  By purchasing your new bearded dragon, you are accepting these terms and conditions of owning a reptile.  Bearded Dragons are typically very good-natured and will live many years with the proper care.

  • All sales are final and terms of sale accepted upon purchase of your new bearded dragon.  However, we understand that life changes, so we will honor a full refund within 15 days of purchase as long as the bearded dragon is returned in healthy condition.  We will also honor a refund up to 30 days, but there will be a 15% fee deducted.  For all refunds, the customer will be responsible for paying shipping costs and must use overnight shipping to return the bearded dragon in healthy condition.

  • If there are any concerns with your new dragon, please contact us to help determine the problem before it is too late.  As long as the general care guidelines are followed, you should have a happy healthy dragon for years to come.  We are not responsible in any way for the neglect of necessary care for your new bearded dragon.

  • It is also highly recommended to wash your hands after handling your new bearded dragon or any reptile for that matter.  As with any reptile, their enclosure should be cleaned on a regular basis (daily if possible) to avoid unnecessary exposure to your beardie's waste. Since reptile waste can carry bacteria (like most waste), it is important to keep enclosures clean and avoid touching other things until hands are washed just to be on the safe side (especially good habit for children as well as adults).