5 Essential Tips for Owners of Baby-Bearded Dragons
Bringing home a new bearded dragon is an exciting experience! Bringing home such a small baby beardie may be intimidating since young reptiles require specific care to ensure their well-being and healthy development. If you're a proud owner of a pet bearded dragon, here are five essential tips to help you provide the best care for your scaly reptile companion!
1. Prepare the Bearded Dragon Enclosure and Supplies Beforehand
Before bringing home your baby bearded dragon, make sure their enclosure and supplies are ready. Ensure the enclosure is spacious and secure, and provides enough room for exploration. Check out bearded dragon enclosures here!
The enclosure should also have proper lighting and heating and should go through a test for several days to measure and adjust lighting so temperature is accurate. Additionally, stock up on essential supplies such as feeder insects (which should be gutloaded prior to feeding - Check out our Complete Guide to Gutloading your Feeder Insects!), food dishes, thermometers, basking platforms, and enrichment items!
2. Allow for Acclimation to Eliminate Stress:
The transition to a new environment can be stressful for baby bearded dragons. Give them time to acclimate by providing a calm and quiet space. Limit handling for the first week or so to minimize stress on your new dragon. Gradually introduce interaction to help build trust and reduce any potential anxiety. Patience is key during this crucial acclimation period. Make sure to use proper handling techniques when handling your bearded dragon to avoid injury! More information on handling can be found in our Ultimate Bearded Dragon Zen Guide!
3. Ensure Adequate Bearded Dragon Enclosure Size for Thermal Regulation and UVB Safety:
Baby bearded dragons rely on external heat sources to regulate their body temperature. It is vital to provide a properly sized enclosure that allows for thermal gradients so your dragon can properly digest their food, and also escape the heat and rest. Be cautious of intense UVB exposure and avoid any risks of burns by providing appropriate distance and UVB strength according to the manufacturer's guidelines. Using an appropriately sized enclosure is essential to avoid UVB burns.
4. Weigh Your Bearded Dragon Weekly:
Regular weighing of your baby bearded dragon is crucial for monitoring their growth and overall health. Use a small kitchen gram scale and weigh them once a week. Sudden weight loss or gain may indicate potential health issues. Consistent monitoring allows you to spot any anomalies early on and seek veterinary help if necessary.
5. Feed a High Insect Diet Once or Twice Per Day to Your Baby Bearded Dragon:
During their early stages, baby bearded dragons have a primarily insect-based diet. Offer a variety of appropriately sized insects such as crickets and dubia roaches once or twice per day. Feed them insects that are size appropriate, ensuring the insects are smaller than the space between their eyes. Dust the insects with calcium and vitamin D3 supplements on rotation to support healthy bone development. Additionally, provide fresh greens daily to introduce leafy greens and vegetables, as these will make up a large part of your dragon’s diet as they grow older. Introducing greens at a young age may make the switch to a more vegetable-heavy diet easier on both you and your dragon. For more baby bearded dragon-specific care, check out our baby bearded dragon care article!
Giving your baby bearded dragon proper care requires attention to detail and a nurturing approach. By following these five essential tips, you'll be well on your way to providing a safe, comfortable, and healthy environment for your new pet. Remember, as your baby bearded dragon grows into an adult, their needs will evolve, so stay informed and adapt your care accordingly. Enjoy the journey of raising a happy and thriving bearded dragon!
Want to know more about bearded dragons and their care? Check out our in-depth Ultimate Bearded Dragon Zen Guide!