Bearded Dragon 101

Quick Facts
LIFESPAN: Approximately 8-10 years
SIZE: Up to 24” (61 cm) long

Socialization & General Care

  • Bearded dragons are generally docile and inquisitive and can be easily handled with minimal socialization.
  • Be certain to scoop them up from under the belly and support their belly in the palm of your hand.
  • Allow your bearded dragon 3-4 days to adjust to his new habitat before handling.
  • Bearded dragons will shed their skin every 6-8 weeks, more often for juveniles. The first sign of shedding is usually dulling of the skin (milky coloured).
  • Reptiles may transmit disease to humans; make certain to wash your hands after cleaning your pet’s habitat or after handling.

DID YOU KNOW? Bearded dragons originate in Australia.


  • Bearded dragons are omnivores, meaning that their diet consists of vegetables and insects.
  • Insects and/or a commercial diet should be fed daily in addition vegetables and fruit.
  • Insects (crickets, mealworms and waxworms) and vegetables should be dusted with a calcium and vitamin D supplement.
  • To dust crickets, simply add 1/4 of a teaspoon of the calcium powder to a small plastic bag and shake crickets gently to coat them.
  • Crickets should be fed a commercial nutrient-dense diet (gut-loaded) prior to being fed to your bearded dragon. Putting pieces of vegetables (potatoes, sweet potatoes or apples) into your cricket enclosure will help provide the necessary nutrients.
  • Insects should be offered daily to juveniles, and daily to every other day for adults.
  • Fresh vegetables should be offered daily. Acceptable choices are dandelion greens, collard greens, romaine lettuce, zucchini, broccoli and shredded carrots.
  • Fruits can be offered sparingly (once a week). Acceptable choices are papaya, mango and banana.
  • Never feed your bearded dragon anything that cannot fit into its mouth all at once.
  • To avoid accidental ingestion of substrate, food should be offered in a shallow bowl.
  • Fresh water should be available at all times and food and water dishes should be cleaned daily.

Health Issues to Watch For

  • Swollen joints and limbs
  • Eating or drinking less
  • Runny, discoloured or pungent stool
  • Weight loss
  • Gasping or forced breathing
  • Discharge from nose, eyes or mouth
  • Discoloured skin
  • Shedding difficulties
  • Seek veterinary care if you notice any of the above signs.


Fun Bearded Dragon Facts

  • The bearded dragon got its name because of the dragon’s ability to flare out the skin in the throat region like a beard when it is excited, threatened or territorial.
  • Bearded dragons in the wild will often stand up on their hind legs to run from danger.

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