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Swell Reptiles > Reptile Care Sheets > Bearded Dragon

Bearded Dragon | Care Sheet


Bearded Dragon Scientific Name: Pogona vitticeps
Common Name: Bearded Dragon
Average Lifespan: 4-15+ years
Adult Size: 6-24 inches
Origin: Australia


Bearded dragons are among the tamest of all lizards, and their outgoing personalities, activity level, appetites and interesting social behaviours make them a very captivating lizard to observe.

They have a very rapid growth rate, so the 3" hatchlings can grow to their adult size within a year.


The minimum size vivarium for up to 2 adult bearded dragons should be around 48" x 21" x 19".

Several basking sites should be provided under the hot spot and the UV lighting. Bearded Dragons need to bask and they need high temperatures to help with the digestive process.

A heat lamp should be positioned over one (or more, depending on size of the vivarium) end of the tank which will be the basking spot, Use thermometers or a similar device to measure the tank temperature.


Bearded Dragons need to have UV running along the top of the vivarium. In the wild they bask in the sun to absorb the vitamins from their food. Obviously in a tank they won't receive much sun so a UV will act as the sun. Bearded Dragons need to tell the difference between night and day, to do this you need to have your UV bulb on for 12 hours and off for 12 hours.

The UV must be within 12" of the bearded dragon to enable the dragon to get the full benefit of the UV bulb. Your UV bulb will need to be changed once a year as it loses its efficiency. If possible you should provide a reflector for the UV bulb as it would be more beneficial to your bearded dragon.

Natural sunlight is very beneficial and should be provided if possible. However, Bearded dragons should never be placed outside in a glass enclosure. The animal could easily overheat and die.


Basking Spot Temperature: Basking spot of around 38C
Daytime Temperature: The ambient temperature of 26.5C - 29C - With a cool area of around 23C
Night Temperature: Around 24.5C (Make sure this doesn't drop below 20.6C)


For baby to juvenile Bearded Dragons I recommend either newspaper, kitchen roll, or reptile carpet. These choices are cheap, easy to clean and hold no health risks to your animal.

Do not use sand, shavings or any other loose substrate for baby to juvenile Bearded Dragons.

They can be very clumsy eaters and they are also very curious and like to taste everything. Any kind of loose substrate holds serious health risks to your Bearded Dragon. If they eat a loose substrate they can become impacted, which is a blocking of the intestines, and die.

For adult Bearded Dragons sand would be fine however, when feeding your bearded dragons I recommend keeping an eye on them to make sure they are not eating the substrate along with their food.


Bearded Dragons are omnivorous, meaning that they eat both live food and plants. A balanced diet must include green leaves (eg. spring greens, kale, basil, watercress, chives) vegetables (eg. chopped beans, peas, carrots, corn, cucumbers) and insects (eg. crickets, locusts, morioworms, waxworms).

Baby and juvenile Bearded dragons should be offered appropriately sized crickets two-three times a day. Offer as many as your Bearded Dragon will eat in a 5-10 minute time frame. When your Beardie stops eating, stop offering. Young Bearded Dragons can eat anywhere from 20-60 small crickets a day. Your Bearded Dragon should also be given fresh greens daily. Spraying the greens with water will help them last longer and will also help keep your Bearded Dragon hydrated.

Sub-adult to adult Beardies only need to eat prey items once a day along with fresh greens. All these should be used as treats though with crickets and greens being the stable part of your Dragons diet.

Do not feed your Bearded Dragon insects that you have caught in your backyard. These bugs could have parasites that could be passed on to your Beardie or they could have been exposed to poisons that could kill your Bearded Dragon.

Live food should be dusted with a calcium/vitamin D3 supplement such as Nutrobal prior to feeding.


A shallow bowl of water should be provided, and cleaned daily. Its also recommended that you treat the water with Zoo Meds ReptiSafe Water Conditioner. You should also bath your bearded dragon once a week to keep them hydrated and help with shedding.

Please Note: Take care when bathing your bearded dragon, make sure the water is warm not hot and never leave them unattended.


Any debris, dead crickets, feces and moldy greens should be removed from the vivarium on a daily basis.

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