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Bearded Dragon

(Pogona vitticeps)



Bearded Dragons are a relatively small species of Agamid lizard native to Australia. They get their name from their beard like throat which they can puff out & darken in colour when being defensive & also in the case of males as a mating display to females.
They are mainly terrestrial but do appreciate the opportunity to climb. Their natural habitat includes arid & semi-arid desert & bushlands, which are both dry & sandy.
There are various colour & pattern morphs now available in the pet trade. 


Size & Lifespan:

They generally reach around 40-60cm & can live up to 15+ years.



Beardies are best kept on their own. Many people have success keeping them in small groups however, you should consider the following before choosing to house them together. Once sexually mature, only one male per group should be housed together as they are highly likely to fight with each other. That said, females alike can become aggressive to one another & end up fighting. If you are housing a male with females, be prepared that they are most likely to breed. Repeated breeding in females without a break can greatly decrease their lifespan & males can become aggressive to females once he has mated with her. We have also had a customer whose female beardy attacked the male in with her & took his leg off. 
For all of these reasons, we choose to keep our adult beardies singularly & only introduce them in together for breeding.
A minimum of a 4ft long wooden vivarium is suitable to house one beardy as an adult, however we highly recommend giving your beardy bigger if possible & would advise longer if you can. Depth & Height of the vivarium should be approx 18-24” (Can be bigger, but consideration needs to be given to UVB reach when going higher).



A desert sand or soil & sand mix is perfect for this species. Many substrates are now available to purchase ready to use such as the Pro-Rep Desert Sand or the pre-mixed substrates such as the Pro-Rep Beardy Life or Pro-Rep Desert Life, either of which are suitable for a bearded dragon. The substrate should be a minimum of an inch deep (deeper if you can as beardies do like to dig).



Heating and Temperature are very important to the health of your Bearded Dragon. Beardies need heat to thermo-regulate, as they do not produce their own body heat internally. They need an external heat source to help them digest their food as well as regulate other bodily functions.
A Basking Spot Lamp is perfect to provide a Basking area for your Beardy (To ensure you always have the correct temperature, you can control your basking spot lamp via a Dimming Thermostat. These are available in basic analog form or in more recent years, you can get digital ones, some of which can control different temperatures throughout the day/night & even the UV light). The basking area temperature should be around 34-43C (93-110F). At night time, the temperature should be allowed to drop to around 20C (your average room temperature should be just fine, although you may have to keep an eye on this during the winter months). It should not drop below 15C.
The Basking Lamp should be left on for 12 hours a day & then turned off at night.


Lighting & UV:

UVA & UVB Lighting is essential for a Bearded Dragon. UVA is responsible for normal behaviours such as feeding, how active they are, mating, etc. UVB, is a non-visible wavelength which allows the synthesis of vitamin D3 to ensure that your Bearded Dragon is able to absorb calcium for its bones. Without it, they can develop Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD).  Metabolic bone diseases are disorders of bone strength, usually caused by abnormalities of minerals (such as calcium or phosphorus), vitamin D, bone mass or bone structure.
A 10-12%/Ferguson Zone 3 UV Tube (T8 or T5) should be used & it should cover as much of the length of the enclosure as possible to give a full spectrum. Please pay attention to the manufacturer’s directions for replacement of these UVB bulbs as they are all different… some advise replacement every 6 months, others 9 or 12.
The UV should be left on for 12 hours a day & then turned off at night.


There are many different brands of supplements on the market, all containing different levels of vitamins & minerals. Some contain D3, others not. Over the years, there have been advancements in UVB lighting with the option of T5 now readily available... before T5 lighting, keepers relied more on supplements containing D3 to ensure their reptiles absorbed calcium & phosphorous for their bones. However with the correct UV lighting, a healthy bearded dragon will produce its own D3, so you may not actually need any synthetic D3 by means of supplementation.


So do you use supplements with D3 or without is the question??

Well if you have a good understanding of the UVB & husbandry requirements needed for the species, and have a radiometer to measure the UVB levels a couple times a week to check they are correct, then there is a good chance you can use supplements without D3, which is a more natural way.
However, if you don't have a radiometer to measure the UVB output or you're just not completely 
confident that you are providing the correct levels, then a safer option is to use a pre-balanced supplement with some D3. The main downside to synthetic D3 is that overdosing could cause a deficiency in vitamin A but as long as you have a good pre-balance multivitamin it’s unlikely to be an issue.

If you have purchased a setup in store, you were likely to have received a simple calcium powder without D3 and a pre-balanced high calcium multi-vitamin with some D3 called Nutrobal. For most of the animals we alternate these daily.

If you have different supplements to these, please do not hesitate to speak to us with regards to their use.


Bearded Dragons are omnivores…they eat a mixture of insects & greens/veggies.
When you purchase your Bearded Dragon from us, they will have been feeding once daily. Babies should have greens 2-3 times a week & the remaining days they should be fed feeder insects. As Adults, beardies should be fed the opposite way round, so insects only 2-3 times a weeks & greens/veggies the remaining days.
Beardies can have certain fruits but we would advise only feeding them in small amounts now & again as we have found if fed too often they can give your beardy a bit of an upset belly.
Do not overfeed your Beardy with Mealworms, Morio Worms & Wax Worms… nutritionally none are great for your Beardy when fed often. Mealworms & Morio Worms also have a shell like husk that if fed to often can impact your Beardy. Avoid feeding any of these worms to baby beardies, they are hard to digest & can get stuck if they don’t chew the properly.
We advise to feed your beardy as many insects as it will consume in approx 5-10 mins (roughly 5-12 insects). If your beardy doesn’t eat as much one day, simply offer less the next. 
Suitable insects include: Crickets, Locusts (Hoppers), Meal Worms, Morio Worms, Wax Worms. It is important to Gut Load your livefoods so that the nutrients are passed onto your beardy. When livefoods arrive, we place a piece of Spring Green (naturally high in calcium), you can feed yours on greens, veggies & fruits or alternatively there is purpose made products that we stock in store such as Pro Rep Bug Grub & Bug Gel. Feeding & hydrating your livefoods will also make them live longer in the tubs.

Suitable Greens/Veggies include: Spring Greens, Mustard Greens, Collard Greens, Endive, Rocket, Water Cress, Lambs Lettuce, Round Lettuce, Romaine Lettuce, Kale, Cabbage, Dandelions, Basil, Rose Petals, Butternut Squash, Bok Choy, Artichoke Heart, Celery, Bell Peppers, Grated Carrots (Limit the amount of carrot as it is high in Vitamin A… if fed alongside a supplement that contains vitamin A you could cause Vitamin A toxicity).

Suitable Fruits include: Apples (not pips), Pears (not Pips), Blackberries, Strawberries, Raspberries, Melons, Pineapples, Plum, Figs.

Avoid: Spinach – Calcium binds to Spinach making it hard to digest. Iceberg Lettuce – Has no nutritional value as it is mainly water. Avocados – these are toxic to many animals.



You will read a lot of conflicting information regarding whether to place a water bowl in the vivarium for your bearded dragon. We advise not to put a water bowl in as this will increase the humidity in the enclosure which could in turn lead to an upper lung respiratory infection.
Bearded Dragons will get the majority of their hydration from the food they are eating but to give them extra you can either lightly mist them a couple times a week (can make a bit of a mess inside the enclosure with the sand then sticking to the beardy) or another thing many keepers do which is our preferred method, is they give their beardy a bath once or twice a week in luke warm shallow water… this is great for exercise, they can absorb hydration in through their skin, great to help with shedding & also good for bowel movements. We bathe them for about 10 mins & then pat dry with a towel afterwards.


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