Congratulations! You’ve decided to add a bearded dragon to your family. We know it can feel a bit daunting to care for a new type of creature. At Hikari®, we’re all about the joy, connectivity and wonder that pets can bring to our lives. That’s why we’ve been making species specific diets for many decades.
Before you rush out and bring your new bearded dragon home, first consider setting up the proper habitat to welcome him (or her!) home.
First Step: Find a Terrarium
The enclosure that your new bearded dragon will live in is called a terrarium. As land-based creatures, these pets don’t need too much overhead space but you’ll want to select a terrarium that has room for rocks and other perching areas. A full-sized adult bearded dragon can grow up to two feet long. This means as they grow and mature a larger hangout will likely be required. For this reason, we suggest starting off with something larger than you need to start.
Second Step: Lighting and Heating
Since bearded dragons are desert dwelling creatures, you’ll want to set up your environment to mimic their natural habitat. To replicate the sun and temperatures of the desert, you’ll want to invest in a basking bulb to provide radiant heat and full-spectrum lighting offering a color temperature that mimics sunlight. These can deliver both warmth and UVA and UVB radiation to support strong bones and overall health.
Third Step: Decor
Proper substrate is necessary to mimic the natural rocky scrubland these lizards call home. Depending on the substrate you chose, a cage carpet may be used to line the bottom of your terrarium to create a solid, safe base. Once you have the substate and carpet, it’s up to you to decide on a theme for your terrarium and the appropriate decorations. You will want to avoid using live plants so that your dragon doesn’t attempt to eat them and adding a good basking perch is key.
Fourth Step: Food!
One of the best parts about owning a bearded dragon is in getting to watch it enjoy it’s meals. Be sure to add a shallow food and water bowl as your finishing touch.
At Hikari®, we’ve prepared a revolutionary, scientifically formulated, ready-use paste called DragonGel™ that contains numerous tasty nutrients including amino acids and trace minerals that omnivorous geckos require. We also have crafted Dragon Delite™ and Crest Gel™, two additional offerings that delight vegetable and insect-eating lizards. These are great options if your live food supply is running short or not available. They also work well for situations when you may be having friends or relatives care for your pet while you are away. Best of all, they will help reduce odor and cleaning time while providing great nutrition.
Now you’re all set to head out to get your bearded dragon. Be sure to monitor terrarium conditions several times each day checking temperature and humidity levels in addition to fresh water supply.