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Bearded Dragon Caresheet

Vivarium requirements:

  • 10-12% UVB provided by a fluorescent tube & reflector mounted within 6” of the basking spot. This must be changed every 6-12 months, depending on brand.

  • a basking area for 14-15 hours a day, provided by a bright spot bulb, reaching minimum temps of 110’F (45’C) in the hot spot, no colder than 85’F (30’C) in the cool end during the day. The ambient night-time temp should not drop below 70’F (21’C).

  • Minimum viv length 3ft x 18” x 18”. Viv sizes can exceed this for larger adults/groups as long as the above temp parameters are still met.

  • Suitable substrate such as aspen, NOT sand or beech chips as both can lead to problems if ingested.

  • Suitable dΓ©cor which provides a raised basking spot also near to the UVB tube.

We prefer wooden 3ft long vivariums for our beardies as these keep the correct temperatures much better than other enclosures, such as those made from glass. These also allow the UVB tube to be positioned at the correct height on the back wall. For larger vivs or for cooler houses, we recommend a high-powered, ceiling-mounted heat mat (25-40w) at the cooler end to provide an additional background heat source to maintain the correct temps. We also recommend aspen as a safe & absorbent substrate for the floor of the enclosure.


Bearded dragons require NO WATER in their enclosure. This is because they should have a hot, dry environment & water of any kind would increase the humidity. Instead, they obtain all their moisture requirements from a daily bowl of salad leaves. Salad should be fed every morning & should consist of mixed salad leaves – we recommend florette crispy salad. Most mixed salad bags are safe provided they do not contain spinach or kale, which prevents calcium being properly metabolised. Fruit and most flowers should be avoided, although dandelion flowers are very good & a particular favourite of most beardies!

Bearded dragons also require insects in their diet, particularly as juveniles when the insects provide the necessary protein needed for growth. All insects should be gut-loaded with a good quality gut-load formula (such as repashy bug burger) and also dusted with calcium & vitamin supplements (these must include fresh vitamin A which needs renewing every 2 months). We recommend a variety of bugs including crickets, mealworms, calciworms & locusts as staple foods.

Insects should only be fed once the bearded dragon has warmed up, ideally in the afternoon and after he has eaten a large portion of his salad leaves. Expect a juvenile beardie to eat around 5-8 bugs a day, 5 days a week. Try and have a couple of bug-free days. This will be approx 2-3 tubs of food per fortnight on average.

Once the dragon becomes adult at around 2 years, insects should be fed more sparingly to prevent him becoming obese! Locusts are great at this stage as they are not very fatty, yet they jump around meaning the beardie has to chase and hunt them.


You should handle your bearded dragon every day, they get most exercise by being out of the cage and when adult, they like to explore outside of their enclosure – they crave your attention! The ideal position for a vivarium is in a communal room downstairs - such as a living room, kitchen or den - somewhere your lizard can watch everything going on around him, feeling part of the family. We try to encourage as many family members as possible to interact with their dragon ensuring plenty of opportunity for exercise & variety.

Sometimes your beardie may poo in his viv and walk through it, getting himself a bit dirty or smelly. You can give him a warm bath about once a week, fill a sink with warm water deep enough to cover his back but not so he has to swim and then use an old toothbrush to gently scrub him clean. Let him enjoy the bath for a good 15-20mins. He will probably have a little drink and then do a big poo if the water is warm enough. This is a good sign! However, too many baths may mean your beardie won’t eat much of his essential salad, so a bath once or twice a week is plenty for a healthy lizard.


DAILY – every morning make sure the LIGHTS are on (we recommend using a timer), pick out any left-over dried salad and put some fresh SALAD in his food bowl. If there is mess, PICK OUT THE POO in a small handful of substrate and throw it away. (This is less smelly if you wait for it to dry out a bit!) In the afternoon, if he has eaten most of his salad, treat him to a few dusted bugs if he’s due some. EXERCISE him during the day, once he’s warmed up and active. If he falls asleep when he’s out, he has probably cooled down a bit and needs to go back into his cage to warm up.

WEEKLY – Replace/top up any substrate if necessary

4-6 WEEKS – Take out the dΓ©cor and sweep out the substrate and discard. Wash any soiled areas of the vivarium with warm soapy water or reptile disinfectant and then dry. Wash any dirty logs, bowls or dΓ©cor with warm water and an old washing up brush. Refill the floor of the cage with fresh substrate & dΓ©cor then return your beardie into his nice, clean enclosure!

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