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Pets: Reptiles episode 1: The Bearded Dragon

By Edited Oct 28, 2016 0 0

Okay, yeah it is very cool to have a reptile as your pet. It keeps your mom away, and your friends think your very brave for having a reptile in your house. But, you never had a reptile before, so what do they need? What do you eat? What habitat they live in? And the most important question of them all: which reptile is the most suitable for me. I will give you a list of the most common reptiles held as a pet, with of course all the information you will need to keep your pet healthy.

Well you never had a reptile, so lets start with the most common pet-reptiles and the most easy to take care of. Taking care of a reptile is very easy. You can leave them alone all day/night if you want, you have to feed them only a couple of times per week (this relies on the sort reptile you have) and you never have to walk them.

First things first: there are many different sorts of reptiles that are suitable as a pet, per reptile I will explain to you what they need, and how the take care of them. 

bearded dragon(95026)
Credit: dreamstime.com

The Bearded Dragon

The bearded dragon is at the moment the most common reptile-pet. Since they are the most easy to take care of, and because they are very child friendly cause you can tame them very well. Now, don’t expect them to chase a ball or that they come running when they hear you mention their names. If you pick them up often enough, they don’t mind after a while, and that’s the definition of “tame” with these extraordinary creatures. You have 2 kinds of bearded dragons which are easy to buy. The normal one; when he is fully grown he can become up to 60 cm. Then you have the mini-bearded dragon. They look the same, only a lot cuter and of course smaller. They can grow up to 20 cm.

Habitat

The ideal environment for a bearded dragon is a dessert-like habitat, they need a large terrarium which is a cage of glass, often with door on the front site (or on top). They need 2 sorts of lights that must be hang up in the terrarium. One is an UV A lamp, the other one a UV B. They stimulate the behavior, growth and appetite of your little friend. The most common thing to do is to hang a thermometer in their terrarium, hang this not directly beneath your lamp. In the shades is the best option, the habitat can not be warmer than 35 degrees in the shade. Under the UV lamps, it can not be hotter as 40 to 50 degrees. Bearded dragons need 12 till 14 hours sun in the summer, and 9 till 10 in the winter.  You have to clean the habitat at least twice a year (this means you have to get rid of the old sand and in with some new!) In between these large cleanings you can clean the habitat with a sieve, to get rid of al the small dirty things which sometimes can’t see with your naked eye.

Food

Bearded dragons eat locusts as well as crickets (both alive), with the crickets you need to watch out, because the crickets trigger crickets from outside  (mostly in summer time) and believe me, they always find a way in and of course you won’t want that. Don’t feed you’re bearded dragons the crickets or locusts that you will find outside, because there are so many species, and a lot of them are very toxic for your bearded dragon. Always buy them in a store. They also love kinds of vegetables and fruit. But be careful some of the veggies or fruit is toxic:
Don’t feed your bearded dragon:
-carrots
-spinache
-parsley
-beans
-broccoli
-peas
-the stock of a dandelion

The best is to feed your bearded dragon every other day a cricket or locust, and some veggies. The more often you feed your bearded dragon the faster they die. Their stomach can only digest food so many times before they die. It is not good to feed them once a week, and think you can make him live longer, but when you feed him every day, he will die sooner. A bearded dragon can become 15 years old (if they are taken care of on a good way).

It is very important to give your bearded dragons a variety of food. So they get all the vitamins they need. Besides that is it necessary to give them powders on their food for extra vitamins and calcium. If you don’t give them this they will get
-rickets
-soft bones
-osteoporosis
-muscle cramps

Hibernation

The bearded dragon goes in hibernation when for us the winter starts. Then your bearded dragon does not eat as much as usual, and wants to lay down in a corner of the habitat for about two months. They do not sleep the whole time, but is less active. It is important to help your bearded dragon with his piece full rest. You do that to switch the lights off earlier, and switch them on later. (As I said before they need only 9/10 hours of sun in the winter) Of course you don’t give them 4 hours less sun from one day to another, but slowly, day by day you will adjust the light. (This will automatically give your bearded dragon a cooler habitat, which is good. Let the little fellow rest, and don’t take him out of the cage (not more than necessary).

 

Well after all this information is it the duty to decide which gender bearded dragon you want: female or male. Only differences is that the male is bigger than the female, has a bigger head and that he is a lot more horny than the female version.

Would you buy a Bearded Dragon?


Let me know in the comments below! 

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