DRAGON CARE SHEET
Proper care of your new Bearded Dragon is very important! Please carefully read and follow this care sheet to insure the present and future health of your Bearded Dragon.
ENCLOSURE: I recommend an enclosure no smaller than a 40 gallon Breeder tank, with a 75 gallon or a custom made Bearded Dragon enclosure being preferable. Very young 2 to 4 month old Dragons may be TEMPORARILY housed in a 20 gallon.
HOUSING MORE THAN ONE DRAGON TOGETHER: Do not do it!!! Housing two or more Bearded Dragons in the same enclosure is definitely not recommended! Bearded Dragons are not social and are very territorial, especially males, but even females can unexpectedly become aggressive with one another. When you see cute photos of Dragons laying on top of one another, it is not because they “love” each other, it is a display of dominance over the other Dragon. Many serious injuries can occur, including death. . . . Even with Dragons that have been housed together for long periods with no problems!! Unless you have a lot of experience with Bearded Dragons and reading their behaviors, do not house them together.
RELOCATION STRESS: Please be aware your new Bearded Dragon baby has lived its entire life, so far, in a Sterilite Tub enclosure with no real view of the outside world. Your new baby is likely to be stressed, out at first, by the enormous size and clear glass of a 40 or 75 gallon enclosure. I have found blocking their view reduces stimuli, and helps them adjust and feel more secure, it’s a big world out there! I like to tape a narrow 5” inch strip of poster board or newspaper along the outside at the bottom of the glass temporarily and then remove it after a month or two. Do not use a hide at first, they will adjust faster and be less timid without a place to hide out. Handle your new Dragon minimally at first, petting them inside the enclosure is best for the first couple of days, only taking them out to soak every 3 days. Allow time for them to adjust and do not be alarmed if they do not eat well at first, some do and some don’t! Feed crickets and offer greens within 30 minutes of being placed in their new enclosure. it is also VERY IMPORTANT to remove all uneaten insects every day, Crickets and Superworms will chew on your Dragon causing your dragon undue distress and scale damage!!
BASKING LIGHTING: Bearded Dragons do not have the ability to regulate their own body temperature, they depend on a basking area on one end and a cool side on the other end to self-regulate their body temperature as needed. Your Dragon will need a Basking Area heat source on one end of the enclosure. You will need a Halogen (not LED) light bulb, (I use 65w Halogen Floodlight Bulbs in all my enclosures), or other Reptile Heating Bulb, directed towards the basking area with a surface temperature of 100 to 110 degrees. Adjust the Dragons Basking area up or down as needed to achieve the 100 to 110 degree requirement. The other end of the enclosure, the “cool side”, should be around 80 degrees. ***Use a heat sensor gun (very inexpensive on Amazon) to test your basking site and cool end regularly to make sure temps are correct- this is extremely important for your Dragons health***. Respiratory Infections and a host of other health problems will happen if temperatures are not correctly maintained for your Dragon. Any other type of Temperature Gages are inaccurate at best! Temperatures at night are safe in the 67 degree range, you may need to use a heat emitter coil at night if cooler than that.
UVB LIGHT: Bearded Dragons also require a UVB bulb and/or true Sunlight to maintain bone health. The very best bulb on the market and the only one we recommend is the Zoo Med 10.0 Reptisun. The bulb needs to extend the full length of the enclosure and also very important- this bulb needs to be replaced YEARLY. I always date mine with a permanent marker. Mounting the bulb inside the enclosure is highly recommened -30% to 50% of the UVB benefit is lost through the Screen Top. DO NOT USE COIL UV BULBS-they can burn the Dragons eyes! Using an appliance Timer is highly recommended in regulating the lights to turn on and off at the same time every day. In Summer months my lights are on for 14 hours a day. As winter approaches I gradually reduce the time down to 10 hours a day and then 8 hours. DO NOT USE HEATED ROCKS OR HEAT PADS UNDER THE ENCLOSURE! Dragons need their heat to come from above, heat from above aids in digestion of thier food.
WARNING: Never place your Dragon in direct sunlight in a glass enclosure, the heat inside the glass will become too hot and could kill your dragon! I like to use a secure Rabbit Hutch for outdoor exposure to sunlight for my Dragons with plenty of shade so they can cool off as needed.
BRUMATION: Most Adult Bearded Dragons (over 1 year old) will brumate (hibernate) in the winter months, this is a very healthy, natural occurrence and reducing the lighting in Winter helps them with this needed hibernation time. Each Dragon will brumate differently, so dont be alarmed if your dragon does or does not hibernate. Some will seem awake but inactive and disinterested in food , while others may sleep deeply for 2 to 3 months. Do not worry that they do not eat during this time, they shut down thier metabolism during brumation and most do not even loose much weight! It is important to still hydrate your brumating Dragon weekly with a warm soak, most will wake enough to drink a little water and then they go right back to sleep when returned to the enclosure. They love to have a soft piece of blanket or reptile carpet to brumate under. There are also many, many great sources on the Internet, Forums, and YouTube, regarding Brumation if you need more information.
SUBSTRATE: I prefer tile or luxury vinyl tile to line the floor of my enclosures. It is safe for your dragon and very easy to clean. It is also safe to use Newsprint and/or Paper towels. Reptile Carpet is a very good way to go as well. It can be washed in your washing machine-I use Free and Clear Detergent and no Softeners! There is a lot of controversy regarding using Play Sand, or sand of any type, as a substrate, it is definitely a well known cause of bowel obstruction and impaction in Bearded Dragons. One breeder I am aware of has used sand exclusively for 25 years with no problem whatsoever, stating that the key is feeding appropriate sized and not too small insects for your Dragons size. I feel better just not using it at all but that is up to you!
DO NOT under any circumstances use ground Walnut shells or CalciSand, many “Pet Stores” will try to recommend these (all they care about is a Sale) and they are very unhealthy for your dragon. Most people in the "Pet Store" Industry are very uneducated and uninformed about correct Bearded Dragon Care on every level!
FEEDING YOUR DRAGON: As a rule, young Dragons (under one year old) will require 80% Protein 20% Greens, while a mature Dragon (over one year old) will require 80% Greens and only 20% Protein.
GREENS and VEGGIES: Offer unlimited organic, pesticide free, fresh greens sprayed with water first thing EVERY MORNING. I use a variety of greens- Mustard Greens, Collard Greens, Turnip Greens , and Dandelion Greens, I also offer diced or grated vegetables such as yellow summer squash, acorn squash, carrots, zucchini, sweet peppers and also strawberries and raspberries. Tear or chop greens into bite size pieces, for young babies, and remove any thick, heavy, hard to chew veins from the leaves.
CRICKETS, DUBIA ROACHES, SUPERWORMS: Baby Dragons need to be fed unlimited 3/8” to 1/2” crickets and small Dubia roaches (no larger than the space between thier eyes) at least 2 x a day for optimal growth, morning and afternoon, as many as they want to eat for as long as they want to eat. Increase size of the dubia and/or crickets as Dragon grows larger. Make sure the last feeding is at least 90 minutes before the heat lights go off, they need the heat to properly digest their food. Crickets and/or Dubia need to be dusted lightly DAILY with a good Calcium D3 supplement like ReptiCal and once a week dust the Crickets and/or Dubia with Herptivite vitamin supplement. Appropriately sized Superworms (DO NOT FEED MEALWORMS) may also be offered in a dish for free choice feeding as they want throughout the day. It is important to remove any uneaten crickets and/or loose Superworms at night before the light go out, as crickets and superworms will chew on the Dragon and cause much distress and scale damage!
WARNING: There are numerous products on the market that claim to be healthy for Bearded Dragons that are NOT! Many contain a lot of Vitamin A which is toxic to Dragons! Herptivite is one of the only SAFE Vitamin Supplements out there that uses Beta Carotene instead of Vit A. Beta Carotene converts safely into Vit A when the Dragon consumes it. DO NOT use liquid Vitamin supplements-these will easily overdose and harm your Dragon.
WATER: A water dish should be provided with Dechlorinated FRESH water daily. Here at Upscalz, we soak and bathe all our Dragons in a luke warm, dechlorinated bath water up to their elbows, every 3 days. This Soak time hydrates the Dragon and also aids in shedding. Growing baby Dragons shed frequently, so regular soak time every few days is very important! Most Dragons actually enjoy their soak (a few may not LOL) , some actually swim around loving it. Whether they love it or not, it must be done! Our dragons are very used to soaking and love this pampering time. If you are soaking multiple Dragons at the same time, watch and make sure they do not climb on one anothers heads. Drowning and dehydration are the two leading causes of death in baby and young Dragons.
CLEANING AND STERILIZING: I recommend spot cleaning, removing feces and food debris from the enclosure DAILY and a very thorough sterile cleaning ONCE WEEKLY. I prefer to use diluted 2% Chlorhexidine Solution to spot clean and weekly deep clean my enclosures. Chlorhexidine is non-toxic and safe for the Dragons, it is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. Carolina Custom Cages online is a good source for small amounts of 2% Chlorhexidine. I purchase it by the Gallon on Amazon and dilute it 2 oz to 36 oz of Distilled Water in a large spray bottle. Many breeders recommend using a Bleach solution to clean and sterilize, it works great but be very careful to rinse very thoroughly if you use bleach to sterilize. Bleach is toxic to your Dragons if care is not observed!
PLEASE NOTE: Before you purchase a Bearded Dragon from Upscalz Classic Dragons, please be sure that it is the Dragon you want. As soon as a Dragon has been shipped out and received, I cannot control the methods and circumstances of the Dragons care, feeding, housing, unsanitary conditions, and exposure to other Dragons. Due to this, under no circumstances can a Dragon be exchanged or returned for refund, all sales are final once the Dragon is shipped and leaves my care.
GUARANTEES: My Live Arrival Guarantee guarantees that your Dragon arrives alive. I ship all Bearded Dragons FedEx Priority Overnight through Reptiles2You. You MUST be present to accept delivery in person from the FedEX delivery person’s hands and open the box and remove the Dragon immediately! Sometimes, FedEx will leave the box sitting on a doorstep without even ringing the doorbell! Your dragon MUST NOT be left on a doorstep AT ALL, EVER, due to extreme heat or cold that could kill it in a very short time! You must be waiting and looking out for the FedEx truck to arrive, they usually arrive no later than 10:30 a.m. but I’ve had instances where they didn’t arrive until 1:00 in the afternoon! I will provide you with a tracking number via a photograph sent to your phone the day your dragon ships out. Track the number and wait for the FedEx truck to arrive, you must notify me immediately if there is any problem with the delivery arrival from FedEx. In very, very, very rare instances a Bearded Dragon may arrive deceased in the box, again this is extremely rare. But, if this were to happen, to be eligible for a refund, I must be notified PROMPTLY, by Text or Phone call at 208-830-8198 with accompanying Photos of the deceased Dragon, within 15 minutes of FedEx arrival time, FedEx arrival time will show on my computer here. If you notify me any later than this, I will assume that you left the box unattended on the doorstep and that the animal died from exposure to heat or cold. If you do not receive the Dragon directly from the FedEx delivery person’s hands and open it immediately as agreed, no refund will be given.
HEALTH GUARANTEE: I guarantee the health of your Dragon, it is very rare for a baby Dragon to become sick, but I do understand these things can happen. If your Dragon falls ill within 3 weeks of delivery and you have faithfully followed the recommended care sheet, please contact me immediately upon onset of sickness. The animal must be returned to me, at my expense, for veterinary/medical treatment , and I will refund the purchase price of the Dragon, (not the shipping cost).