Your Bearded Dragon at 10 Years Old: What to Know & Expect🦎

bearded dragon 10 years old

As a bearded dragon owner, it’s important to understand the lifespan and aging process of your scaly friend. At 10 years old, your bearded dragon has reached a significant milestone, and there are a few things you should know and expect as they enter their golden years.

Bearded dragons typically have an average lifespan of 8-10 years, but there have been exceptional cases where they have lived up to 18 years. It’s fascinating to think about the longevity of these beautiful creatures and the joy they can bring to your life for a decade or more.

At this stage, your bearded dragon is likely to have settled into their temperament and become easy to handle. They are generally docile and rarely bite, making them wonderful companions. You may have noticed the impressive spikes below their neck, which can change colors based on their mood, giving them their distinctive name.

While wild bearded dragons have a dull, dust-colored appearance, captive-bred bearded dragons come in various color variations, adding a unique touch to your pet’s aesthetic.

Key Takeaways:

  • Bearded dragons have a lifespan of 8-10 years, but some individuals can live up to 18 years.
  • They are generally gentle and rarely bite.
  • The spikes below their neck can change color based on their mood.
  • Wild bearded dragons are typically dust-colored, while captive-bred ones display a variety of color variations.

Bearded Dragon Housing

Providing the right housing for your bearded dragon is essential for their health and well-being. The size of the enclosure plays a crucial role in their comfort and ability to move around. A minimum terrarium size of 75 gallons is recommended for adult bearded dragons. However, it’s important to note that bigger is always better when it comes to their habitat.

When setting up the enclosure, ensure that it is at least three times the length of your bearded dragon. This will give them enough space to explore and exercise. The top of the terrarium should have a screen to allow for proper ventilation. This will help maintain the right temperature and humidity levels inside the enclosure.

When it comes to substrates, it’s important to choose appropriate options that are safe for your bearded dragon. Tile, newspaper, or reptile carpet are suitable choices as they are easy to clean and minimize the risk of impaction. On the other hand, sand and crushed walnut shells should be avoided as they can pose a risk if ingested.

Bearded Dragon Housing

Enclosure Size Substrates
Minimum of 75-gallon terrarium Tile, newspaper, or reptile carpet
Three times the length of the bearded dragon Avoid sand and crushed walnut shells

By providing a spacious and safe enclosure with appropriate substrates, you can create a comfortable and healthy living environment for your bearded dragon.

Temperature and Lighting

Creating the Perfect Environment

Proper temperature and lighting are crucial for the health and well-being of your bearded dragon. They require a temperature gradient within their enclosure, with a cool end and a basking spot. The cool end should be maintained around 80-88°F, while the basking spot should reach 95-105°F. This allows your bearded dragon to regulate their body temperature and mimic their natural habitat.

UVB lighting is also essential for bearded dragons. It helps them process calcium and vitamin D, which are vital for their bone health. You can provide UVB lighting through fluorescent bulbs or overhead self-ballasted mercury vapor lamps. It is important to replace the UVB bulbs every six months, as they become less effective over time.

Choosing the Right Heat Source

When it comes to providing heat for your bearded dragon, there are several options to consider. One popular choice is a ceramic heat emitter. These heat emitters do not emit light, allowing for a natural day and night cycle. Another option is an under-tank heating pad, which provides heat from the bottom of the enclosure. Heat rocks should be avoided, as they can cause burns and injuries to your bearded dragon’s belly.

Table: Recommended Temperatures and Lighting

Temperature Lighting
Cool end: 80-88°F UVB lighting
Basking spot: 95-105°F Fluorescent bulbs or self-ballasted mercury vapor lamps

Proper temperature and lighting are crucial for the health and well-being of your bearded dragon. They require a temperature gradient within their enclosure, with a cool end and a basking spot. The cool end should be maintained around 80-88°F, while the basking spot should reach 95-105°F. This allows your bearded dragon to regulate their body temperature and mimic their natural habitat.

UVB lighting is also essential for bearded dragons. It helps them process calcium and vitamin D, which are vital for their bone health. You can provide UVB lighting through fluorescent bulbs or overhead self-ballasted mercury vapor lamps. It is important to replace the UVB bulbs every six months, as they become less effective over time.

When it comes to providing heat for your bearded dragon, there are several options to consider. One popular choice is a ceramic heat emitter. These heat emitters do not emit light, allowing for a natural day and night cycle. Another option is an under-tank heating pad, which provides heat from the bottom of the enclosure. Heat rocks should be avoided, as they can cause burns and injuries to your bearded dragon’s belly.

Creating the perfect environment with the right temperature and lighting is essential for the health and well-being of your bearded dragon. By providing a temperature gradient, UVB lighting, and a suitable heat source, you can ensure that your bearded dragon thrives in their enclosure.

Humidity and Hydration

Proper humidity levels and hydration are essential for the health and well-being of your bearded dragon. While these reptiles originate from desert environments, they still require a humidity level of 40-60% in their enclosure to support healthy respiratory function and proper shedding.

To maintain adequate humidity, you can mist the enclosure with water or use a reptile-approved humidifier. However, it’s important to avoid excess moisture, as it can lead to bacterial and fungal growth. Regularly monitor the humidity levels using a hygrometer to ensure they stay within the recommended range.

In addition to maintaining proper humidity, providing a water bowl for your bearded dragon is crucial to prevent dehydration. Although some bearded dragons may obtain sufficient hydration from the moisture in their food, having a water bowl available is still important. Make sure to clean and refill the water bowl daily to ensure it stays fresh and free from any contaminants.

If you notice signs of dehydration in your bearded dragon, such as sunken eyes, wrinkled skin, or lethargy, it’s important to take immediate action. Soaking your bearded dragon in a shallow dish of lukewarm water can help rehydrate them. Additionally, you can offer water-rich foods such as cucumbers or watermelon as a way to increase their hydration levels.

bearded dragon humidity

Preventing Dehydration in Bearded Dragons

Here are some additional tips to prevent dehydration in your bearded dragon:

  • Ensure proper ventilation in the enclosure to prevent excessive moisture buildup.
  • Avoid using substrates that can absorb moisture, such as sand or wood chips.
  • Provide regular baths or misting sessions to allow your bearded dragon to drink water from their skin.
  • Monitor your bearded dragon’s urine output. If it appears more concentrated or darker than usual, it may be a sign of dehydration.
  • Consult a reptile veterinarian if you have concerns about your bearded dragon’s hydration levels or if they show persistent signs of dehydration.

“Proper humidity levels and hydration are crucial for the overall health and well-being of bearded dragons. It’s important to ensure the right balance of humidity in their enclosure, as well as providing a water bowl for drinking. By taking these measures, you can help prevent dehydration and support your bearded dragon’s overall health.”

Table: Recommended Humidity Levels for Bearded Dragons

Age Minimum Humidity Level Maximum Humidity Level
Hatchling 40% 50%
Juvenile 40% 50%
Adult 30% 40%

Enrichment and Habitat

Creating a stimulating and comfortable habitat for your bearded dragon is essential for their overall well-being. Providing appropriate hiding areas, climbing branches, and regular environmental enrichment activities can contribute to their mental and physical health.

Hiding Areas

Bearded dragons are naturally curious and enjoy having hiding places in their enclosure. These hiding spots offer them a sense of security and help reduce stress. You can create hiding areas using commercially available reptile hides or by using simple objects such as hollow logs or small caves. Place these hides on both sides of the enclosure to give your bearded dragon options to choose from and mimic their natural environment.

Climbing Branches and Rocks

In the wild, bearded dragons are known to climb trees and bask under the sun. Providing climbing branches and rocks in their habitat allows them to engage in natural behaviors and exercise their muscles. The branches should be sturdy and securely placed, ensuring they can support the weight of your bearded dragon. These climbing structures can also serve as basking spots, allowing your pet to regulate their body temperature effectively.

Quote: “Enriching your bearded dragon’s habitat with hiding areas and climbing structures not only promotes their physical well-being but also provides mental stimulation.” – BeardedDragonCareExpert.com

Housing Bearded Dragons Together

While bearded dragons are social animals, housing them together can lead to aggression and territorial issues, especially among males. It is best to keep bearded dragons housed separately to prevent fighting and ensure their safety. Housing males together can result in serious injuries, so it is recommended to have separate enclosures for each beardie. This way, you can ensure that each bearded dragon has ample space, resources, and a stress-free environment.

Hiding Areas Climbing Branches Housing Bearded Dragons Together
Provide a sense of security Promote natural behaviors and exercise Avoid aggression and injuries
Use reptile hides or simple objects Ensure sturdy and secure placement Keep bearded dragons housed separately
Place on both sides of the enclosure Allow for basking spots Prevent fighting and territorial issues

By providing suitable hiding areas, climbing structures, and housing your bearded dragons separately, you can create a comfortable and enriching habitat that meets their natural needs. Regularly rotate and modify these elements to keep your bearded dragon engaged and mentally stimulated.

Feeding Bearded Dragons

Feeding your bearded dragon a balanced diet is essential for their overall health and well-being. As omnivores, they require a mixture of insects and vegetables to meet their nutritional needs. Juveniles have higher protein requirements and should be offered a higher proportion of insects in their diet, whereas adults should have a diet consisting of approximately 25% insects and 50-55% vegetables.

Insects: When it comes to feeding insects to your bearded dragon, it’s important to offer a variety of options. Some suitable choices include crickets, mealworms, silkworms, and dubia roaches. It’s best to gut-load the insects with nutritious food before feeding them to your dragon to ensure they receive the necessary vitamins and minerals.

“Feeding a variety of insect species not only provides a wider range of nutrients but also helps prevent your bearded dragon from developing a preference for one type of insect.”

Vegetables: Bearded dragons can consume a wide range of vegetables, but there are some options that are particularly beneficial. Leafy greens, such as collard greens, kale, and mustard greens, are excellent choices due to their high calcium content. Other suitable vegetables include bell peppers, squash, carrots, and green beans. It’s important to chop the vegetables into small, manageable pieces to make it easier for your dragon to eat.

Remember to dust both the insects and vegetables with a calcium supplement and a multivitamin once a week to ensure your bearded dragon is getting all the necessary nutrients. Commercial diets can be used as a supplement, but they should not be the sole source of nutrition.

bearded dragon diet

Insects Vegetables
Protein Source Cricket, mealworms, silkworms, dubia roaches Leafy greens, bell peppers, squash, carrots, green beans
Calcium Content Varies depending on insect species High in leafy greens
Vitamin Content Varies depending on insect species Varies depending on vegetable

Frequency of Feeding

Feeding frequency is an important aspect of bearded dragon care. The feeding schedule varies based on age and size, as well as the individual dragon’s appetite and overall health. Here are general guidelines to help you establish a feeding routine:

  1. Hatchlings: Hatchlings should be fed two to three times a day to support their rapid growth and development.
  2. Juveniles: Juvenile bearded dragons should be fed daily, with a combination of insects and vegetables to provide balanced nutrition.
  3. Adults: Adult bearded dragons can be fed every 24-48 hours, depending on their body condition. Monitor their weight and adjust the feeding schedule accordingly.

It’s important to note that these are general guidelines, and individual dragons may have different needs. Some dragons may require more frequent feedings, while others may regulate their own intake. It’s crucial to observe your dragon’s behavior and consult with a reptile veterinarian for personalized feeding recommendations.

Treats can be given sparingly as rewards, and they should not exceed 10% of the overall diet. Fruits and flowers can be offered occasionally, but they should not replace the main diet of insects and vegetables.

bearded dragon feeding schedule

Age Feeding Frequency
Hatchlings 2-3 times a day
Juveniles Daily
Adults Every 24-48 hours

Calcium and Vitamin Supplementation

Proper calcium and vitamin supplementation is crucial for the health and well-being of bearded dragons. These reptiles require additional calcium, vitamins, minerals, and trace elements to support their growth and development. Insects, which are a staple part of their diet, should be lightly dusted with a calcium supplement and a multivitamin once a week.

Calcium and Vitamin Supplementation Schedule
Age Calcium Supplement Multivitamin
Hatchlings Twice a week Once a week
Juveniles Once a week Once a week
Adults Once a week Once a week

Gut-loading feeder insects with nutritious food can enhance their nutritional value. This means feeding the insects a healthy diet before offering them to your bearded dragon. By providing optimal nutrition to the insects, you ensure that your pet receives the necessary nutrients when they consume the insects as part of their regular diet.

Remember to always rotate the types of insects and vegetables you offer to your bearded dragon to provide a varied and balanced diet. Additionally, make sure to follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer when using calcium and multivitamin supplements. Regular supplementation and a nutritious diet will help keep your bearded dragon healthy and thriving.

Determining Bearded Dragon Age

Estimating the age of a bearded dragon can be done by considering its size and growth stages. Hatchlings typically measure around three to four inches in length, while post-hatchlings grow to be five to nine inches long. Juveniles, on the other hand, can reach a length of nine to 16 inches. When they become subadults, their length ranges from 13 to 20 inches, and finally, adults can measure anywhere from 16 to 22 inches in length. Therefore, size is the most reliable indicator of age, particularly up to about one year.

To estimate a bearded dragon’s age more accurately, it would be helpful to create a growth chart that outlines the average length for each age range. By plotting a bearded dragon’s length on the growth chart, owners can get a rough estimate of its age. However, it’s important to note that these size ranges are general guidelines and can vary between individuals.

If you are unsure about your bearded dragon’s age, consulting a veterinarian who specializes in reptiles can provide more accurate information. They may be able to assess other factors such as the animal’s overall health, bone density, and reproductive maturity to help determine its age more precisely.

bearded dragon growth stages

Lifespan and Age-Related Changes

Bearded dragons have a lifespan of 8-10 years in captivity. As they age, they may experience changes in behavior and appearance. Older adults may be less active, have a decreased appetite, and exhibit duller scales. It is important to provide appropriate care as they enter their later years to ensure their comfort and well-being.

Table:

Signs of Aging Description
Decreased Activity Older bearded dragons may become less active and spend more time resting or sleeping.
Decreased Appetite As they age, bearded dragons may eat less and have a decreased interest in food.
Duller Scales The coloration and vibrancy of their scales may fade, resulting in a duller appearance.
Slower Movements Bearded dragons may move more slowly and exhibit a gradual decline in their agility.
Reduced Fertility As they age, bearded dragons may experience a decrease in their reproductive abilities.

It is important to monitor these age-related changes and adjust their care accordingly. Providing a comfortable and stress-free environment, a balanced diet, and regular veterinary check-ups can help ensure a good quality of life for aging bearded dragons.

Taking Home a Bearded Dragon

Thinking about adopting a bearded dragon? Congratulations! These fascinating reptiles make wonderful pets. Whether you’re a first-time reptile owner or have experience with other reptiles, proper care and attention are crucial for the well-being of your bearded dragon. In this section, we’ll cover some important considerations for taking home a bearded dragon and ensuring their health and happiness.

As you prepare to bring home your new bearded dragon, it’s essential to understand that hatchlings require more frequent feeding and specialized care. It’s best to wait until they are at least three months old before bringing them home. During this time, you can focus on creating a suitable habitat and ensuring proper nutrition.

Providing a suitable enclosure for your bearded dragon is vital. Ensure you have a spacious terrarium, with appropriate substrates and hiding areas. Your bearded dragon will also require a temperature gradient, UVB lighting, and a reliable heat source. Keeping these elements in check will help create a comfortable and thriving environment for your new companion.

Lastly, regular veterinary check-ups are essential for monitoring your bearded dragon’s health and detecting any potential issues early on. A reptile-experienced veterinarian can provide guidance on diet, habitat, and overall well-being. They can also answer any questions you may have as a new bearded dragon owner.

Remember, adopting a bearded dragon is a long-term commitment. With the right care and attention, these captivating creatures can live a happy and healthy life for many years to come.

Conclusion

In conclusion, proper care and attention are crucial for ensuring the health and happiness of your bearded dragon. These fascinating reptiles make great pets and can live up to 18 years with good care. Here are some key takeaways for bearded dragon owners:

First, providing a suitable enclosure is essential. Bearded dragons require a spacious terrarium with proper ventilation and appropriate substrates to ensure their comfort and safety.

Second, maintaining the right temperatures and lighting is vital. A temperature gradient in the enclosure, along with access to UVB lighting, will support their overall health and well-being.

Lastly, a balanced diet is necessary for their nutritional needs. Bearded dragons are omnivores and should be fed a combination of insects and vegetables. Regular supplementation of calcium and vitamins is also crucial for their optimal development.

By following these guidelines and regularly monitoring their health and behavior, you can provide the best care for your bearded dragon and enjoy many years of companionship together.

FAQ

How long do bearded dragons live?

The average lifespan of a bearded dragon is 8-10 years, but the oldest recorded bearded dragon lived to be 18 years old.

Do bearded dragons bite?

Bearded dragons are generally easy to handle, docile, and rarely bite.

Why are they called bearded dragons?

Bearded dragons get their name from the spiked area below their neck, which can change colors based on mood.

What colors do bearded dragons come in?

Wild bearded dragons are dust-colored, but captive-bred bearded dragons come in various color variations.

What size enclosure does a bearded dragon need?

Bearded dragons require a spacious enclosure, with a minimum size of a 75-gallon terrarium for adults.

What should the temperature be in a bearded dragon’s enclosure?

Bearded dragons require a temperature gradient in their enclosure, with a cool end around 80-88°F and a basking spot of 95-105°F.

How important is UVB lighting for bearded dragons?

Bearded dragons need access to UVB lighting to process calcium and vitamin D properly.

What substrate should be used in a bearded dragon’s enclosure?

Acceptable substrates include tile, newspaper, or reptile carpet, while sand and crushed walnut shells should be avoided due to the risk of impaction.

How should bearded dragons be hydrated?

Bearded dragons require a humidity level of 40-60% in their enclosure and should have a water bowl for drinking, although they may not drink from it.

Can bearded dragons be housed together?

Bearded dragons are solitary creatures and should not be housed with other males to prevent fighting.

What should bearded dragons eat?

Bearded dragons are omnivores and should be fed a balanced diet of insects and vegetables.

How often should bearded dragons be fed?

Hatchlings may eat two to three times a day, while juveniles eat insects and vegetables daily. Adults may eat every 24-48 hours, depending on their body condition.

What supplements are needed for bearded dragons?

Bearded dragons require additional calcium, vitamins, minerals, and trace elements. Insects should be dusted with calcium and multivitamin supplements.

How can the age of a bearded dragon be determined?

The age of a bearded dragon can be estimated based on their size and growth stages.

What changes can bearded dragons experience as they age?

As they age, bearded dragons may exhibit changes in behavior, appearance, and have a decreased appetite.

When is a good time to bring a bearded dragon home?

It is best to wait until a bearded dragon is at least three months old before taking them home to ensure proper care and development.

Source Links

Recent Posts