Happy New Year! The start of a new year is always a great time for pet owners to revisit their animal companions’ care regimes and requirements. That applies to people with pets of all sorts, from the biggest St. Bernard to exotics and reptiles. That last category is the topic of this blog. Bearded dragons are becoming quite popular, and there are lots of first-time beardie owners out there. Read on for some great tips from a Pickerington, OH veterinarian on keeping these fascinating reptiles healthy.
Handle With Care
You’ll need to handle your tiny dinosaur regularly. However, there are a few things to keep in mind. Avoid picking your beardie up right after he’s eaten. He’ll need to sit under a lamp and digest his food first. It’s also a good idea to immediately put your dragon into a (dedicated) tub of warm, shallow water before settling in with him. This will prompt him to go to the bathroom, sparing you the mess.
Dragons need heat, but they’re also at risk of dehydration. Your little buddy will benefit from getting regular baths. You can also mist him on the days you aren’t bathing him.
Provide A Suitable Habitat
Bearded dragons have some very specific environmental conditions. You’ll need to give your cute lizard a good vivarium, one that offers plenty of room. It should be ventilated and secure, with temperature conditions set to be warmer at one end than the other. Your reptilian pal will also need options for being in open or shaded areas, as well as a good hide to retreat to. As far as lighting, beardies require good UV lighting on the warmer end of their tanks. If your pet doesn’t have proper lighting (and nutrition) he could develop MBD, which is a very painful and debilitating bone disease. Ask your vet for specific advice!
Offer A Good Diet
Good nutrition is crucial! Beardies are omnivores by nature, so they need a variety of foods. Insects are definitely on the menu. Approved creepy-crawlies include brown crickets and the occasional roach or waxworm. You’ll want to supplement these things with safe veggies, such as kale, peppers, and carrots. Your pet will also need vitamin powders and supplements. Ask your vet for specific advice.
Do you have questions about your bearded dragon’s health or care? Contact us, your Pickerington, OH animal clinic, anytime!