1 Year Old Baby Not Eating As Much As Usual How to Raise a Baby Bearded Dragon

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How to Raise a Baby Bearded Dragon

Bearded dragons are becoming very popular pets, and it’s not hard to see why. The babies are extremely cute, and the adults are so calm and placid that even people who say they would never have a reptile in their home often change their minds when they get a chance to get close to one.

Many are bought as pets as impulse buys – babies are sold fairly cheap and readily available these days, and while some people read and prepare for their new pet, there are still a large number who take one for little or no cost. any advice at all. Unfortunately, many pet store and reptile center employees are ignorant of proper housing and feeding arrangements, resulting in bearded dragons living unhealthy and often short lives.

If you are tempted to buy a bearded dragon, here are some tips to help you raise your bearded dragon correctly.

1. Bearded dragons grow big and fast

While you may be looking at a baby that is only 5 to 6 inches long, by 12 months of age it will be 18 to 22 inches long and weigh up to 700 grams. Adults need a vivarium that is 4ft x 2ft x 2ft and will probably need this at 8-10 months of age. Therefore, it is a false economy to buy a smaller vivarium with the intention of upgrading it as it grows bigger, and it is best to buy the larger size first. Too many live in vivariums where they can’t turn properly without hitting their noses on the glass and their tails in the background.

Despite the myth, baby bearded dragons won’t feel lost in a large vivarium – as long as no one in the desert gives them a pen for the first few weeks!

The growth rate means they have a big appetite and need to be fed a lot and often as babies. They are not cheap pets to keep – a bearded dragon can cost as much as a small dog or cat to feed every week.

2. Bearded dragons need the right temperatures

Native to the hot and dry Australian desert, their vivarium must have a temperature range that mimics their natural environment. Setting up a small desert in your home is part of the fun of keeping them. As cold-blooded animals, they regulate heat – that is, when it’s too hot they should be able to move to a cooler area, and when it’s too cold, they should be able to move to warm up. The vivarium must have a solar lamp that reaches a temperature of 105 degrees Fahrenheit, and the “cool end” of one end of the vivarium must not exceed 85 degrees. At night, they should be able to experience a good drop in temperature, so the heating should be turned off as long as the ambient temperature does not drop below 65 degrees for babies and 60 degrees for adults. Temperatures should be kept at the right levels with the help of a thermostat.

Heat should be provided using a heat lamp – bearded dragons do not absorb heat from below, and certainly cannot feel it. Hot stones and heating mats can easily burn them, so they should not be used.

3. Bearded dragons need exposure to UVB radiation

In the desert, they bask under the strong rays of the sun, which provides UVB radiation and helps them synthesize vitamin D3. This is vital because it means they can take advantage of the calcium that is essential to support their growth. Lack of UVB radiation leads to metabolic bone disease (MBD), which causes limb deformities, can only be treated if detected early, and is often fatal. Their UVB requirements are the highest of any captive reptile. The vivarium’s lengthwise fluorescent tube ensures that they are exposed to UVB the entire time the light is on. The best tubes to use are Reptisun 10% or Arcadia 12%.

If they are exposed to UVB for 12 hours in a vivarium, they will get enough UVB, but even this is only equivalent to about 20 minutes in full Australian sun. For this reason, bearded dragons should not be given leaks, as hiding reduces their exposure to beneficial UVB rays.

4. Substrate

Babies are not precise feeders and tend to pick up loose substrate from mouthfuls of food. A kitchen towel is the best platform for babies because it does not pose a danger. Do not use sand until the baby is six months old, and NEVER use wood chips. This prevents an impact to the abdomen, which is usually fatal.

5. Install the Vivarium before buying the bearded dragon

When you get your vivarium, you’ll find that the temperatures will fluctuate at first, and you’ll need time to play around with the thermostat sensor position before you get the temperature range right. Setting up the vivarium and letting it settle for about a week before bringing the baby home is the best idea.

6. Bringing home a bearded dragon

Most babies travel quite comfortably in a small, dark box. Additional heating is not needed unless the weather is very cold. In this case, you can use a hot water bottle to keep the box warm.

When you first bring your new baby home, you may find that it eats the first batch of crickets you eagerly put in the vivarium, and then refuses to eat. Many new owners worry about this, but it’s just a reaction to the stress of moving. It takes up to two weeks before the baby gets used to a normal eating habit.

To help it settle in, it’s best to resist the urge to take it out and handle it. Give it two weeks to settle before picking it up. You can start getting used to it by putting your hand in the vivarium while feeding or cleaning it.

When it’s time to start processing, lift it up by sliding your hand under it and scooping it up. In the wild, their main predators are birds, so anything that comes against them scares them.

From time to time, your baby will get lines on his stomach, like tiger marks. These are stress lines, but don’t worry too much about them. Many things cause momentary stress to a baby, and most of them are not cause for concern. It could be a dark coat that they suddenly see out of the corner of their eye.

In the morning, your beard is cold and calm. It takes about an hour for them to warm up and start moving, which is just like in the desert. Just make sure you give them time to wake up properly before serving food.

7. Feeding a baby bearded dragon

Babies under 12 weeks old should be fed 3 times a day with small-sized crickets (first or second stage of development). Each feed should be as many as they can eat in 10 minutes. One feed per day should be dusted with calcium to prevent MBD. Finely cut vegetables or fruits should always be available. As an adult, your beardie is 80% vegetarian, so he needs to get used to eating vegetables early.

The best live food is crickets because of the amount they eat. You can feed the grasshoppers, but this will be much more expensive, and after they have eaten the grasshoppers, some will not want to eat the crickets because they are more bitter. Do not feed mealworms as a staple food, as their skins are rich in chitin, which bearded dragons cannot digest very well. Mealworms and waxworms can be offered as an occasional treat.

Most bearded dragons will not eat dried or frozen food, so you will have to get used to feeding them live food.

8. Join a discussion group

Bearded dragons seem to enjoy confusing and worrying their new owners. Join a bearded dragon or reptile forum to ask for advice from people who have had the same concerns as you and can give you advice and reassurance.

Raising a fast-growing reptile is a great experience, and if you make sure its environment and feeding system are right, you’ll have a pet that lives healthily for more than 10 years. The first few weeks and months are critical periods in raising a bearded dragon – they are not difficult to keep as long as you take the time to understand what they need to grow and develop properly.

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