Are you thinking about adopting a bearded dragon as your pet? You may have some doubts about its lifespan. We want to dispel some common myths so that you can make informed decisions regarding your beardie’s future.
Female bearded dragons tend to live shorter lives than their male counterparts due to the strain of breeding and producing offspring on their bodies.
Learn more about bearded dragon lifespans in our dedicated article!
Myth 1: Females live longer than males.
A bearded dragon is an incredibly long-lived species that can live for 25 or more years, though they require constant care and maintenance in order to stay healthy. Their lifespan depends on their diet, environment, and overall condition.
They can reach up to 24 inches long and weigh 500 grams when fully grown, but babies may be as small as three inches when born and grow to 16-22 inches within 8-12 months.
As with other pet lizards, it is recommended that you only keep one bearded dragon at a time. They are highly territorial and could become resentful towards other beardies, leading to injuries or even death in extreme cases.
Males tend to be larger than females and can be identified by their thicker tails and larger heads. Furthermore, males typically have larger pores as well as a dark beard for facial features.
To determine whether a dragon is male or female, shine a flashlight at the base of its tail. A male will have two hemipenal bulges while a female only has one.
Additionally, you can determine the age of your bearded dragon by measuring its length and weight. Adults can grow up to 24 inches long and weigh up to 500 grams; juveniles range between 16-24 inches in length and weigh 300 grams.
As your little ones grow, it is essential to monitor their diets and nutrition. Guaranteeing they get enough protein and insect consumption will help guarantee proper growth.
The lifespan of your bearded dragon should not be your only concern when deciding between a male and a female lizard, though. Make sure you understand the differences between male and female bearded dragons before committing!
Myth 2: They don’t need regular vet checkups.
It is a widely held misconception that bearded dragons don’t need regular vet checkups. However, reptiles are unique pets that require specialized care; veterinarians can help make sure your pet stays happy and healthy and prolong your bearded dragon’s lifespan.
It’s essential to find a veterinarian clinic that specializes in reptiles for your pet’s safety and well-being. Doing this could prevent them from getting ill or developing an issue that could become life-threatening.
In addition to a physical exam, your reptile will be examined for parasites and sometimes required x-rays. This is especially critical regarding fecal parasites which can lead to serious health complications.
If your bearded dragon has a history of health issues, a vet can detect these before they worsen and help you take steps to prevent them from happening again. They may also suggest changes in diet or lifestyle which may reduce the likelihood that another issue will arise in the future.
Your vet can inspect your bearded dragon’s eyes, ears, and skin for signs of infection. Symptoms can range from cloudy vision to swollen or infected eyes and indicate an underlying illness.
Keep an eye out for stress marks on your bearded dragon, which appears as dark lines or ovals. These marks can be caused by changes in temperature and are potentially hazardous to your dragon’s health.
To prevent this, set the temperature of your bearded dragon’s cage to a gradient so they can quickly transition between cold and warm areas. Doing this will also help regulate their body temperature and keep them healthy.
It is generally wise to bring your bearded dragon in for a checkup once every six months. This is especially pertinent for young bearded dragons since they can develop issues without warning, so it’s essential to catch them early on.
Finding a trustworthy vet near you can be done by asking around at local breeders or searching online listings. Once identified, ask them questions about their experience with bearded dragons and their husbandry guidelines to determine if they are suitable for both of you.
Myth 3: They don’t need a specialized diet.
Bearded dragons are opportunistic feeders, meaning they feed on whatever nature provides them with. This could include insects, seeds, or even greens.
This necessitates providing your pet with a diverse diet, primarily consisting of insects and plants. Additionally, provide them with plenty of fresh produce like fruits and vegetables as well as calcium supplements for added growth.
In addition to providing your bearded dragon with a varied diet, maintaining its health requires keeping its enclosure clean and sanitary. Make sure they always have access to clean water at all times.
A sand substrate can be beneficial for keeping your dragon’s habitat tidy, but it isn’t essential for daily care. Furthermore, the sand may cause impaction in your dragon which could have detrimental effects on its health.
Eating your bearded dragon a varied diet is the best way to ensure their well-being and health. It’s wise to consult your vet about your dragon’s specific nutritional requirements.
Your bearded dragon’s diet should include high-quality sources of quality protein. This should include foods that not only provide essential amino acids but also other vital nutrients to support their well-being.
Another essential nutrient to consider is vitamin D3, which your bearded dragon must synthesize in their skin to utilize calcium from their food. Ensuring they receive enough UVB light in their enclosure is essential for this process.
Without adequate calcium intake, your dragon may not be able to absorb necessary calcium from their food. Additionally, vitamin D3-rich foods like sweet potatoes and squash should be provided since they have a high concentration of carotenoids.
One of the best ways to add variety to your bearded dragon’s diet is by feeding them live insects. This way, you can ensure they get all of the nutrition they require without needing to purchase expensive foods.
Dubia roaches are an ideal food choice due to their low fat and high protein content. Plus, they’re packed full of vitamin A – an essential nutrient for your bearded dragon’s health.
Myth 4: They don’t need exercise.
Media depictions of bearded dragons as lazy little sleepers are sometimes perpetuated. While this stereotype may not be entirely inaccurate, it should also be dispelled quickly.
Yes, bearded dragons require exercise to maintain a healthy and happy life in captivity. Exercise also serves as an opportunity to spend quality time with your pet and strengthen bonds.
Exercise your dragon by taking them for a walk on a leash or even taking them outside to play. They’re fast and can run at speeds of up to 9mph.
Exercise with your dragon: They cannot understand what you’re saying, but they enjoy interacting with their owner and watching stimulating shows.
Some bearded dragons enjoy swimming, which can be an excellent way to get them out of the house and exercise. Just make sure you supervise your dragon while they’re in the water.
If your dragon doesn’t enjoy swimming, supervised soaking in their enclosure is still an option. Just don’t do this too often since overwatering could cause them to poo more than usual or dehydrate themselves too quickly.
One of the most remarkable characteristics of bearded dragons is their unique skin coloration. This allows them to retain heat or hide from predators.
In hot weather, this can be extremely beneficial as it allows them to absorb body heat and hide from sunlight. Furthermore, they have the ability to alter their color to blend in with their environment and avoid detection by predators.