Just like all other pets, baby bearded dragons, need to be cared for everyday. Beginning from the substrate, never compromise your pet’s safety ergo don’t include sand in the reptile’s bedding. Sand is a known causative factor for impaction as the baby reptile can easily eat the sand. To care for your pet, you need to ascertain that the substrate is free from any impaction- causing factor and use reptile-friendly bedding instead, like reptile carpet or paper towels.
Food blockage or impaction constitutes a high percentage as the cause of death most especially to young reptiles. As a responsible pet owner, you need to look after the welfare of your pet by doing pre-emptive care through simple and basic plan and to personally oversee the health plan of care each day as much as possible. When you personally look after for your pets need you’ll be adding or directly lengthens the life expectancy of the reptile or any pets for the matter because you can intervene right away, should there be any abnormalities seen.
Make Your Pet Feel At Home
When you have the appropriate substrate for your reptile, the next step is to ascertain the habitat’s overall wellness. Is the cage the right type for your reptile? Is there enough source of light? How many lights to you need? According to experts, baby Beardies need at least two kinds of lights. One is the basic heat source, which is a lamp, and the other one is the UVB bulb. This kind of light aid in the digestion process of the baby reptile and prevents any bone disease. Likewise, the temperature should be within the 60 degrees range just enough to provide warmth and comfort. Other pet owners provide a reptile blanket for their reptile to have a sound sleep.
As a pet owner, you need to house your reptile in a big cage with reptile-friendly bedding to avoid any food blockage that can cause death through choking or perforation of the stomach. Secondly, you need to provide enough warmth inside the cage to avoid any ill- reactions that can cause discomfort to your pet.
Seek Medical Help When There is a Need
Finally, when your dragon is in distress, not eating according to the usual food consumption, looks weak and tired, it is best to have your pet checked by a licensed veterinarian who specializes in the care for the reptiles. Do not wait for another day to take action when you see your pet with the following symptoms. Act now to avoid dehydration and other complications that might cause permanent damage to your pet.
Are You About to Kill Your Beardie?
Owning a dragon is really not that difficult. They make great pets that can live with you for many years. The longest living dragon in captivity lived over 10 years. With a little knowledge so can your dragon. Heres a short list of common and deadly mistakes novice owners make.
- Not Monitoring temps. Temperature in your beardies environment must stay within range. A few cold nights can kill your beardie. A low basking temp will leave your beardie unable to digest its food. This can cause impaction. Keep the cool side at 75-85 and basking around 95-110.
- Hot Rocks! A major mistake. Dragons are unable to sense heat from their belly properly. This can lead to burns and even death.
- Hot Pads. Once again a big mistake commonly made by novice owners. Although Heat pads are not as dangerous as hot rocks. The risk is still there.
- Leaving live food in the cage overnight. Especially with babies, who are unable to defend themselves. It may not seem like a bad idea. You may have even done it a few times before. But the risk is real. Your dragon must likely wont be looking for food over night. So don’t do it.
- Substrate. Probably the most common mistake made. If it can fit into your beardies mouth, chances are they may try to eat it. This can also lead to impaction.
Craig Bridgeman 31 has been banned from keeping pets for the next ten years. After police raided his home for a separate manner. They called in the RSPCA. When the RSPCA arrived they found mistreated animals in poor health.
Sapphire, a Staffordshire bull terrier, lived in an environment that was packed full of trash. No water or food was available for Sapphire. Her Skin was irritated, red and puffy. “She was nibbling at her own skin”, said InspecterBryer.
At the home, there was also a bearded dragon named, Belle. She was in one of three tanks found in the kitchen. The power supply to her tank was off. No food or water was available. The tanks all had temps under 16C.
Craig failed to attend Trial at Hull Magistrates Court, he was then convicted for causing suffering and failing to meet the welfare needs of his animals. He was later brought into court when a warrant for his arrest was issued. He is currently sentenced to a 12 month probation.
When questioned by the RSPCA, Bridgeman said personal problems and life had gotten in the way of his responsibilities.
Picking Best Substrate for bearded dragon
The Substrate is one of the more crucial elements in your pogona habitat. It plays an important role in the overall health of your dragon. It’s what lines the floor of your cage or tank. As that , it need to be considered as the first line of hygiene. it can also add to the visual effect of the vivarium.
One of the biggest mistakes a new Bearded dragon owner makes is lining the habitat with a dangerous substratum. What makes a dangerous Liner? The size or the granulates, artificial colors and fumes. It should also be easy to clean or replace.
The possible choices range from “Pink Coco husks” to sheets of newspaper. Lets go over a few options. They are arranged from worst to best choice order.
Bark, Mulch, Nut Shells, Cork Cubes or Chunks, Coco Husks or mixes containing any of these products make a poor substrate
The chances of your bearded dragon ingesting a piece of substrate is very high. If a bit of any of these product were ingested, Impaction is highly possible. Impaction is a disease that will likely lead to death.
Fumes or odors may emanate from these products. Although they may seem very light to you. In your bearded dragons habitat , it can lead to suffocation.
Pebbles or Gravel are also bad choices
Although most reptile gravel or pebbles come in larger sizes, there still is a risk of impaction. There is also a chance of mouth injury. Mouth injuries can cause mouth rot. This is a condition that will need medical attention and medication. The medication itself also brings along health risks. Avoid these as well
A better choice of substratum, assuming it’s not colored. Sand with artificial dyes can cause harm and discolor your dragon. Sand works well as liner. It is very easy to maintain when used with a scooper. Your adult dragon will love playing in it. It also mimics the dragons natural habitat.
Health concerns with a sand substrate mostly affect Baby Bearded Dragons. Avoid sand when dealing with baby pogona. They will be coated in it. Chance’s of ingesting sand is high, which can lead to impaction. Sand if not properly maintained can hold excessive moisture.
Cage liner, Tile, Newspaper and Reptile Carpet
Best for baby pogona. Easy to clean and replace if needed. Almost no chance of accidental ingestion. Safest and most sanitary substrate.
When your Bearded dragon gets older (9+ months), this may be a boring option.
Reptile Natural Calcium Sand Substrate
Probably the best Substrate option for bearded dragons. A natural liner that mimics the pogona natural habitat. Most are available in a soluble form of Calcium Carbonate that may not cause impaction. Granules are very small, and soft. Should not scratch or injure. Ingestion of this product may also have the added benefit of supplementation. Prices are reasonable but more than regular sand.
Clean up is as simple as using sand scooper. Calcium will clump when wet or moist.
For Baby pogona, this may be an option. But Tile, newspaper and liner is still the safest substratum.
Please take all considerations when picking a Substrate. You want to do the best to mimic the pogonas habitat, without safety risks. Remember it needs to be safe, Easy to clean, maintain and replace when needed. With the right knowledge there is no reason your dragon can’t live a long healthy life.
What’s a Bearded Dragons Lifespan ?
When you get your first Baby Bearded Dragon you may wonder, what’s a bearded dragons lifespan. How long will I be able to enjoy my new pet? A lot of factors may come into play.
The average reptile in captivity will usually live up to 20yrs. That all depends on what reptile and their size. Larger reptile like Iguanas, which can grow over 5 feet long. Also have a greater life span. One of the oldest ever recorded Iguanas lived to be 32!
Chameleons Which don’t usually grow longer than a foot tend to live less. The average life expectancy of a Chameleon is about 5-10yrs. Many don’t reach that age. On average a Chameleon will live up to 7 years. Which isn’t that bad.
The Pogona Lifespan is at about 5-8 years. Now, that’s on average. So we are counting the lifespan in the wild, which is about 3-4 years. Averaging that with a Captive lifespan of 7-10 years.
All those numbers seem to complicate the issue and don’t give a direct for the bearded dragon lifespan.
If you raised your bearded dragon from the time he/she was a Baby Beardie. Had the knowledge needed to properly take care of your dragon. Kept a regulated Baby Bearded Dragon Habitat. Did all the right things as far as feeding and supplementation your beardie.
Than you can expect your dragon to reach a lifespan of about 10 years.
Heres a story about a Dragon owner that kept her beardie in good health and alive for almost 15 years. Guinness, rightfully named so, was a record-breaking Bearded dragon. Joiner Nik first set eyes on the future Guinness at a lizard fair. She bought baby Guinness home with a birth certificate stating date of birth July 26, 1997.
Baby Bearded Dragon Life Span
Why did her Pogona dragon have such a long life? According to Nik, it’s the daily teaspoon of Guinness Stout.
Maintaining Safe and Sanitary Habitat for your Bearded dragon
Keeping your Baby Bearded Dragon Cage or Tank Clean will keep your Dragon Healthy. Good hygiene and a clean living environment minimizes disease-causing viruses, bacteria, or fungi from harming your pogona.
A properly set-up pogona cage would have taken cleaning into consideration. Your Cage set-up should take a little more effort than a quick stop to your local pet shop. The material in the Cage or Tank should be easy to clean or replace. Starting from the below the substrate, up.
Remember that when you need to disinfect the tank, everything will need to be removed out the tank. Can you remove or replace the substrate easily? When its time to disinfect the tank will you be able to replace or remove the substrate ? Will it be cost-effective to replace the substrate every time.
Cleaning Baby Bearded Dragon Cage
Cleaning your Baby Bearded Dragon Cage
Cleaning is not the same as disinfecting, cleaning needs to be done daily. Cleaning is the removing of bodily secretions, food, feeder insects. Clearing away any left over organic materials that may cause bacteria and disease.
It’s as basic as removing or cleaning soiled substratum, rocks, etc. Optimally you should clean faeces as soon as possible. This will not only keep your dragon cage clean, but may build a training pattern for your dragon. Your baby dragon will start to use the same spot. If its clean every time, your beardie may chose to make it the designated spot for relief. In turn Cage maintenance will be way simpler.
If your substrate is paper, replace the whole thing. Wipe down what can not be replaced with a solution of soap or mild detergent and water.
Disinfecting your Bearded Dragon Tank / Cage
It’s important to Disinfect your pogona cage or tank once a week. You can put it off if necessary, but never more than 3-4 weeks. Disinfecting is a bit more time-consuming. Make sure to have at least 30 minutes to an hour of your time scheduled. It is also dangerous for your beardie. You will be using chemicals that may harm or kill your dragon. It’s suggested that your beardie be put into a separate area in different part of room.
There are many disinfecting solutions available at your local pet store. You may also make your own solution. It can consist of bleach or ammonia and water. If you decide to got with your own solution never mix more than a teaspoon of bleach / ammonia per gallon of water. This solution will also be used for soaking when applicable.
Material needed to disinfect Cage or tank:
Specialized disinfectant or home-made solution(bleach or ammonia and water)
Metal or glass bowl for disinfectant solution
Metal or glass bowl for rinse water
The Empty the Cage or Tank should be sprayed down with solution. Allow to Disinfectant solution to soak for 10min before wiping down, rinse and towel dry. A streak free glass solution can be made by mixing a quarter cup vinegar, two drops of soap and a cup of rubbing alcohol.
Substrate should be replaced if possible. If substrate is reusable and porous Spray or soak in solution for 10 Min. Rinse thoroughly and dry. Examples of reusable substrates are Reptile Carpet , Tile, Cabinet lining should be replaced but its possible to reuse. Non porous substrate can be wiped down and rinsed.
Examples of substrate that can not be reused is paper, Walnut shells, Sand. Use common logic.
Cage or Tank furnishing , Basking rock, water bowls, feed bowls, etc., Anything in the tank that’s made out of plastic, metal, stone or glass. Should be soaked in the solution 10-15 Min. Then thoroughly rinsed and allowed to dry.
Porus furnishing made of wood cannot be soaked. Spray and let solution rest for a minute. Wipe down and rinse with sponge and water only until you see fit. Allow to thoroughly dry.
Also spray disinfect and rinse wipe area around your tank or cage.
Once all items are disinfected and dry you may start to reassemble your baby dragons habitat. Re Invite your baby bearded dragon back into his home.
Note of caution: Some store-bought solutions claim to be safe and fume free. To a degree they can be. Remember the goal of any disinfectant is to kill organic material. Make sure to thoroughly rinse and dry everything. Any fumes, especially bleach and ammonia will kill your pet. Poisonous fumes will be contained in the cage or tank.
All cleaning supplies (Rags, Sponges, dishes, etc) should be allowed to soak in bleach and water solution. Rinsed, dried and put away for next time.