Raising a Baby Bearded Dragon: The Cutest and Coolest Addition to Your Family

If you're looking for a pet that's a little out of the ordinary, a baby bearded dragon might just be the perfect fit. These adorable little creatures are not only fascinating to watch, but they also make surprisingly good pets, being relatively easy to care for and incredibly interesting to interact with. So, if you're ready to embark on the exciting journey of raising a baby bearded dragon, read on!

Understanding Your Baby Bearded Dragon

Before you bring your baby bearded dragon home, it's important to understand what you're getting into. Bearded dragons are native to the arid regions of Australia, and their needs and behaviors reflect their desert origins. They are diurnal animals, meaning they are active during the day and sleep at night, and they are omnivores, eating both plants and small animals.

Bearded dragons are known for their docile nature and their unique behaviors, such as "arm waving," which is a form of communication between dragons. They also have a spiky "beard" under their chin that puffs up and darkens when they feel threatened, hence their name. Understanding these behaviors will help you better care for your baby bearded dragon and build a strong bond with them.

Life Span and Size

Bearded dragons can live up to 10-15 years in captivity with proper care, so be prepared for a long-term commitment. As for their size, baby bearded dragons are tiny, but they grow quickly. A fully grown bearded dragon can reach up to 24 inches in length, so make sure you're ready for a pet that will take up a bit of space!

It's also worth noting that the size of your bearded dragon can be influenced by their diet and the quality of their care. A well-fed, well-cared-for bearded dragon will grow larger and live longer than one that is neglected or malnourished.

Setting Up Your Bearded Dragon's Habitat

Creating the right environment for your bearded dragon is crucial to their health and happiness. Remember, these are desert creatures, so they need a warm, dry habitat with plenty of light.

Firstly, you'll need a large tank or terrarium. For a baby bearded dragon, a 20-gallon tank is sufficient, but as they grow, you'll need to upgrade to a 40- or even 60-gallon tank. The tank should have a screened top for ventilation and to prevent your dragon from escaping.

Temperature and Lighting

Bearded dragons need a heat gradient in their tank, with a basking area at one end and a cooler area at the other. The basking area should be around 100-110 degrees Fahrenheit, while the cooler end should be around 80-85 degrees. You can achieve this by using a heat lamp at one end of the tank.

Lighting is also crucial for bearded dragons. They need UVB light to synthesize vitamin D and absorb calcium. Without it, they can develop serious health problems. Make sure to provide 12-14 hours of UVB light every day.

Substrate and Decor

The substrate, or bedding, in your bearded dragon's tank should be easy to clean and non-toxic. Newspaper, reptile carpet, or ceramic tiles are all good options. Avoid using sand or other loose substrates, as these can cause impaction if ingested.

Decorate the tank with rocks, branches, and hideouts to provide enrichment for your bearded dragon. Just make sure all decor is secure and won't fall over and hurt your dragon.

Feeding Your Baby Bearded Dragon

Feeding a baby bearded dragon can be a bit of a challenge, as their dietary needs are different from those of adult dragons. Baby bearded dragons are primarily carnivorous, meaning they eat mostly insects, while adult dragons are more omnivorous, eating both plants and insects.

Feed your baby bearded dragon small crickets, mealworms, or roaches two to three times a day. The insects should be no larger than the space between your dragon's eyes. You can also offer finely chopped vegetables and fruits, but these should make up no more than 20% of their diet at this stage.


Bearded dragons need calcium and vitamin D supplements to stay healthy. Dust their food with a calcium supplement 5 times a week and a vitamin D supplement 2 times a week. Be careful not to over-supplement, as this can cause health problems.

Always provide fresh water for your bearded dragon, but be aware that they may not drink from a dish. Instead, they may prefer to lick water droplets off leaves or the sides of their tank.

Handling and Socializing Your Bearded Dragon

Bearded dragons are generally docile and easy to handle, but it's important to do it correctly to avoid causing stress or injury. Always support their body and legs when picking them up, and never grab them by the tail.

Start by handling your bearded dragon for short periods, gradually increasing the time as they get used to it. Remember, they are not toys and should be treated with respect. Always wash your hands before and after handling your dragon to prevent the spread of germs.


Bearded dragons are solitary animals in the wild, but they can learn to tolerate and even enjoy human interaction. Start by spending time near their tank, then gradually start handling them. Be patient and consistent, and your bearded dragon will soon see you as a friend rather than a threat.

Remember, each bearded dragon is unique and will have its own personality and preferences. Some may enjoy being handled more than others. Always respect your dragon's boundaries and never force interaction.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I keep more than one bearded dragon together?

Generally, it's not recommended to keep bearded dragons together, as they can become territorial and aggressive towards each other. If you do decide to keep more than one, make sure they are the same size and monitor them closely for signs of aggression.

2. How often should I clean my bearded dragon's tank?

You should spot clean your bearded dragon's tank daily, removing any waste or uneaten food. A full clean, including changing the substrate and disinfecting the tank and decor, should be done every 4-6 weeks.

3. What should I do if my bearded dragon seems sick?

If your bearded dragon is not eating, is lethargic, has loose or irregular stools, or shows any other signs of illness, take them to a vet experienced with reptiles as soon as possible. Many health problems can be treated if caught early, so don't delay.


Raising a baby bearded dragon can be a rewarding experience, but it's not a decision to be taken lightly. These unique creatures require specific care and a long-term commitment. However, with the right preparation and knowledge, you can provide a happy and healthy life for your bearded dragon and enjoy their fascinating behaviors and charming personalities.

So, are you ready to welcome the cutest and coolest addition to your family?

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