Category Archives: Bearded dragon Pet FAQs

can bearded dragons swim

Can Bearded Dragons Swim?

Swimming is an activity that many animals can do naturally.

They get in the water and they suddenly start kicking their arms and legs and away they go. They don’t have lessons. It is something they can do quite naturally.

So can bearded dragons swim at all?

Yes bearded dragons can swim.

How do bearded dragons swim?

Even a desert lizard like a bearded dragon can swim when they are plunged into water. They will do what other animals can do when faced with the same situation, just start kicking their legs and away they go. It is a reflex action.

They will use their tails much like a crocodile or alligator will do, swishing it from side to side so as to push them along.

In fact, they really love water.

It’s not a good idea to drop them in deep water, but swimming in a bath or a tub of water is something that they will love.

Just like the video below..

What about bathing.. can they be bathed at all??

They really enjoy being bathed and will relish the opportunity to spend time in the water.

Bathing a bearded dragon is a great activity you can do with your bearded dragon.

There are several reasons for this;

1.Most bearded dragons do enjoy having a warm bath. They love splashing around and the feeling that comes from bathing.

2. It is great for their hygiene and will help to ward off unwanted bacteria that may harm them.

3. Bathing will help their skin, especially when they are shedding. It is very soothing for them.

How to bathe a bearded dragon?

So how do you bathe a bearded dragon? Here are some steps to follow when bathing a bearded dragon and ensuring they have the best time when in the water.

  1. Give them a bath to run around in or at least a large plastic box which can hold water. The most important thing is that they have room to walk around in.
  2. When bathing them, just give them an inch of warm water in the bath. Try not to make it deeper than the joints on their limbs so that they can walk around in it. If there is too much water in the bath, then just empty it out until you are happy with the depth.
  3. If you are bathing a young bearded dragon then a sink will work better than a bath to prevent drowning. A sink doesn’t work so well with adult bearded dragons, it is better to give them space to walk around in that a bath tub will provide.
  4. Make sure that the water is not too hot for them. A temperature around 30 degrees celcius is perfect for them so as not to harm them, but also to make it comfortable for them at the same time.
  5. When bathing your bearded dragon, don’t use any detergents or soaps. They just don’t need them and if used they will cause them damage. This is because they are just not used to them on their skin. They will also try and drink from the water and so drinking soapy water will harm them. Pure water is much better for them.
  6. Try and splash them gently or pour some water on them very gently down their back. Avoid their face when doing this.
  7. Give your bearded dragon time to splash around on their own with your supervision.
  8. They should be allowed to bathe for about 15 minutes so they have enough time to splash around but also not get too cold as well.

Let the bearded dragon soak in the water for at least 15 to 20 minutes. This will give it a good soaking which will help the skin, especially when shedding.

Once you have finished bathing your bearded dragon, use a soft cloth or towel to gently dry them.

Try not to be rough with them but pay them down gently.

Get them back under the basking light as quick as you can so that your bearded dragon can warm up again. This is especially the case in the winter time.

Bearded dragons love to swim and they love to bathe in water

Bathing your bearded dragon and letting them spend time in the water will add a new element to their routine and will help them to find out more about themselves. Its also great for them and they will have fun doing it.

what types of bearded dragon can be kept as pets

What Types of Bearded Dragon are Kept as Pets?

There are nine different species of bearded dragon that exist today.

These are;

Mitchells Bearded Dragon / Pogona Minor Mitchelli 
Nullarbor Bearded Dragon / Pogona Nullarbor 
Inland or Central Bearded Dragon / Pogona Vitticeps 
Naturally occuring and captive crossbreed between P. Vitticeps and P. Henrylawsoni (aka P. Rankini) / Pogona Vittikins
Coastal or Eastern Bearded Dragon / Pogona Barbata 
Rankins or Lawsons Bearded Dragon / Pogona Henrylawsoni
Small Scaled or Drysdale River Bearded Dragon / Pogona Microlepidota 
  Dwarf Bearded Dragon / Pogona Minor Minor
  Western Bearded Dragon / Pogona Minor Minima

They are all native to Australia and enjoy the habit, climate and temperature there.

So with this, what types of bearded dragon are kept as pets?

The central bearded dragon is the most commonly kept pet bearded dragon around the world.

This is because no bearded dragons are allowed to be exported from Australia.

The central bearded dragon is the only bearded dragon to exist outside Australia because this particular species was taken out of the country before the ban came into place.

About the central bearded dragon

The central bearded dragon is also known as the yellow headed bearded dragon and hails from central Australia. It enjoys dry shrubland, forest and rocky desert.

It is found in various coloring’s such as greys, reds, browns, oranges, whites, and yellows. Although colors are selectively bred in captivity.

They measure around 60 cm and are omnivores, so eat a range of insects, vegetation and worms.

They have a very docile temperament, are semi arboreal and diurnal creatures

What about the other types of bearded dragon?

There are three types of bearded dragon that are kept as pets in Australia.

These are the Eastern bearded dragon, the Lawson’s dragon, and the central bearded dragon.

Other species of bearded dragon are only wild creatures and are not kept as pets.

 

Can You Take A Bearded Dragon Out Of Its Cage?

Bearded dragons are creatures that enjoy exploring and moving around. This is why they need a good spacious enclosure which is also large enough to provide space for them to climb branches as well.

But can they come out of the cage to explore, and is it safe for them to do so?

Can you take a bearded dragon out of its cage?

Yes you can take them out of their cage. Their very chilled demeanor means that they are very comfortable outside of their cage. They enjoy the companionship of being with people and as long as they are treated well they will respond well in kind.

Its important to take them out of their cage at least once a day and handle them so they get used to you and get to know you.

They can even roam around providing that the room is safe for them to do so, is free of things that could harm them and pets that could get overexcited by them and scare them.

They must always roam under your supervision.

However, don’t take them out for long, usually half an hour will suffice as they will need to get back to their home where the uv lamp and heater are providing them with the light and heat that they need.

Are bearded dragons expensive to maintain?

So are bearded dragons expensive to maintain?

There are always going to be costs for any pet that you own and bearded dragons are no different. They will require some financial outlay at the outset, but once you settle down with them for the long term, the costs are negligible.

A young bearded dragon will cost between $30 to $60 with a larger one costing up to $100.

A good vivarium will cost you around $100, but you can also use a glass tank as well.

A good heat lamp will around $20 depending on what size you go for.

A UV light will cost between $20 and $50. You will need a long florescent bulb that spans the length of the tank.

Flooring is also important for the bearded dragon. Good substrate will cost around $10 from your pet store.

You can also purchase other items of furniture and a retreat for your bearded dragon from good pet stores.

Food can cost as much as you need it to. But they are known to eat over 100 crickets each and every week. These can be purchased in bulk to make it cheaper for you.

When first getting a bearded dragon you will need to get a suitable home for them such as vivarium, good lighting, heating, food, substrate and other things.

However, you can cut down the cost of a home for them by maybe building your own.

So as you can see, owning a bearded dragon can be expensive from the outset but these are they only large outlay’s you will have to make for your pet. The rest of your financial outlay will be on regular purchase of food such as crickets for them.

Why Do Bearded Dragons Burrow?


One of the characteristics of bearded dragons is that they will burrow.

This behavior is quite normal, and is a characteristic often observed amongst owners of bearded dragons, not to mention in the wild where temperatures are more extreme.

So why Do Bearded Dragons Burrow?

Here are some reasons they might be burrowing;

  1. To dig out a comfortable place to sleep or hide.
  2. To escape their enclosure.
  3. To keep cool during brumation.
  4. For a female to lay her eggs.                        

 

  1. To dig out a comfortable place to sleep or hide

When looking for good places to sleep or even just to hide in, they will often dig themsleves out a bed in the sand or substrate, even burrowing under objects.

They do enjoy digging and so it is a good idea to make sure that their enclosure has plenty of substrate so that they can do so.

2.  To escape their enclosure

There maybe occasion where they might be trying to get out of the place they are living either because they are trying to escape something inside the enclosure or they just want to get to the outside world.

The most common way they try to do this is to glass surf, where they repeatedly try to run up the side of the tank, but they are also known to try and dig their way out.

They could be stressed about their current situation and the best way to check this is if their color has darkened or even turns black particularly in their beard.

A simple change may have caused discomfort for them such as a change in lighting, tank, or a change with their regular care giver.

These are all factors that are worth considering.

3. To cool down during brumation

Brumation is a state of semi-hibernation and digging a burrow and resting there makes it much easier for them to regulate their temperature. 

If they are old enough to brumate they may be trying to create a burrow to keep themselves cool during this state.

4. For a female to lay her eggs

If a female is gravid she will also dig to create a place to lay her eggs. It is vital that  a female finds a place she is comfortable with to lay her eggs.

If she is unable to find a place, she will go into a state of egg binding which is when she is unable to lay her eggs.

If it is not treated, then egg binding can cause peritonitis, infertility and could ultimately result in death.

 

 

How Large Is A Bearded Dragon?

Bearded dragons vary in length depending on their species, from the large inland dragon to the small Rankin’s dragon. Each species can grow to differing lengths and will be different from others.

How do you measure a bearded dragon?

There are two ways of measuring a bearded dragon;

• measuring by body length, without the tail

• measuring from the tip of the tail to the tip of their mouth

How large is a bearded dragon?

As mentioned, it depends on the species of bearded dragon;

Inland or central bearded dragons measure up to 61cm from tip of nose to tip of tail. This is the species that is most popularly kept as a pet.

A male Eastern bearded dragon can grow up to 60cm and a female up to 50cm, from tip of nose to tip of tail.

Rankin’s dragon measures less than 30cm, from tip of nose to tip of tail.

Western bearded dragon measures up to 38cm, from tip of nose to tip of tail.

Dwarf bearded dragon measures up to 40cm, from tip of nose to tip of tail.

 

What is the largest bearded dragon?

Just for the record, the largest bearded dragon on record is the German giant morphn which can reach up to 66 cm in length.

10 Things to consider before getting a Bearded Dragon

Before getting a bearded dragon, these are 10 things to consider before getting a bearded dragon;

  1. Time is needed to look after it. As with all pets, they need attention and care, and this means a certain amount of time out of your day to ensure they are fed and watered, their viviarium is cleaned and also have attention.
  2. It’s good to have a good vet nearby in case of need. A good vet is a necessity for any emergency that may come about. You never know when you might need them, so it is worth signing up with one before you need them.
  3. Is your family supportive of having a bearded dragon? It can be quite an ‘ask’ for a family to own a bearded dragon. Some members of the family may not be supportive of having a lizard in their home. Are they willing to have boxes of roaches and crickets in the home?
  4. Have a good understanding of how to pick it up. Its important that they are picked up well as they are delicate creatures, that they are well supported with the palm of your hand and aren’t squeezed.
  5. Have an understanding of what food they need. Bearded dragons have particular diets and nutritional needs. They are great fans of insects such as roaches and crickets, can eat small amounts of veggies and fruit, but cannot eat any animal with a bone structure.
  6. Have an understanding of how they take on fluids. They not only drink water but take on water from food. They also need misting regularly.
  7. Be able to handle creepy crawlies that they need to eat. As mentioned above, they are great fans of roaches, crickets, night crawlers and other creepy crawly insects. These are part of the life of a bearded dragon owner.
  8. Have an understanding of their temperature and lighting requirements. Bearded dragons have certain temperature requirements and will need a UVA/UVB long fluorescent tube light and a busking light to help maintain their habitat to the right temperature and light.
  9. Have an understanding of their spacial requirements. They need space to move around and climb, this is an essential part of providing a good place for them to live.
  10. Providing a good home for them. They need a good enclosure to live in, these can be expensive to purchase so will require some investment. Vivariums are the best type of enclosure for bearded dragons.

What is the difference between a vivarium and a fish tank?

Lizard owners often refer to vivariums as the homes for their pets.

They look quite like fish tanks, so can a bearded dragon owner just use a fish tank for their pet?

Vivarium v  fish tank

Vivariums are enclosed areas which are used for the upkeep of plants and lizards usually for research or observation. They are often used to represent an ecosystem for a particular species on a smaller scale with controls for environmental conditions.

They are usually small enough to sit on a table or a desk, but are also known to be larger structures some like large rooms. These larger vivariums are good for holding organisms that are capable of flight. and will include a dual-door mechanism to access the enclosure so the outer door can be closed before the inner door is opened.

The word was first used by Phillipe De Vosjli a publication called ‘vivarium’ in San Diego to share information about the keeping terrestrial animals, reptiles and amphibians that are held in captivity.

Because of how they are built they are ideal for keeping lizards in them. They do a great job of enclosing a simulated micro climate so that a bearded dragon can enjoy the temperatures that help them survive and prosper.

Fish tank’s on the other hand only have an opening at the top. They are made to contain water and so any other use has to make do with this.

They generally consist of glass panes that are bonded together by 100% silicone sealant, with plastic frames attached to the upper and lower edges for decoration. The glass fish tank is standard for sizes up to aroudn 1000 litres or 260 US gallons. The glass is very brittle and does not break easily. Generally the sealant fails first.

How does a Vivarium benefit lizard care?

There are vivariums that are especially designed for the housing of lizards which have sliding doors at the front so you can get into the enclosure without reaching over the top and into the tank. This is because reaching over the top and hovering your hand over the bearded dragon will scare them. So having the sliding doors at the side enables you to be more subtle about approaching your bearded dragon.

What is the difference between a vivarium and a fish tank?

Vivariums are designed to retain more heat than a standard fish tank. This is vital for your beardie as it enables the temperature to be controlled much better.

Its not to say that a fish tank cannot be used to house a bearded dragon. Its just that vivariums are much more tailored for them.

A fish tank can be used to house a bearded dragon but it is not ideal and vivarium can aid the owner much more than a fish tank will. However, fish tank’s are marginally less expensive than vivarium’s.