bearded dragon looking at camera through bushes

What Makes a Bearded Dragon Happy? [Top 10 Essentials]

If you own a bearded dragon, you’re probably interested in what makes them happy. If that’s the case, this blog post is for you! We’ll look at the best environment, food, and care tips to ensure your pet has the best life possible.

Large and Comfortable Habitat

A large and comfortable habitat is essential for your bearded dragon’s happiness and health. A suitable habitat should include an appropriate substrate, such as felt reptile carpet, fake grass, or hardened desert ground, as well as suitable hiding and basking areas.

Glass terrariums are ideal for bearded dragons because the screen lid on top allows for plenty of air flow, and because they enjoy basking, giving them access to UVB lighting can help keep them healthy (more on UVB lighting below).

Varied and Nutritious Diet

Although wild bearded dragons eat primarily insects, the diet of a pet bearded dragon should consist of 20% insects and 80% veggies. Insects include crickets, cockroaches, worms, and many more. Fresh vegetables include kale, collard greens, mustard greens, squash, bell peppers, carrots, and dandelion greens are among the most popular vegetables. Fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, and melon should be reserved for special occasions. By providing a variety of foods for your bearded dragon, you can ensure that they get enough vitamins and minerals to stay healthy.

Regular Handling and Interaction With Their Owner

A Bearded Dragon’s happiness is dependent on regular handling and interaction with their owner. Bearded Dragons are usually calm when handled and enjoy being held or talked to. Despite their solitary nature, most Bearded Dragons enjoy interacting with their owners, making them excellent exotic pets if a reptile is desired companion.

Appropriate Hiding and Basking Spots

Bearded dragons require access to both hiding and basking areas in their environment. This is critical for both their mental and physical health. Bearded dragons often hide in the shade in the wild to cool off or escape predators, so providing them with an appropriate hiding spot in their enclosure is a must. It should be dark and hidden in a nook or cave-like structure.

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They need a warm, dry place to bask in order to absorb the rays they require to stay healthy. Make sure the basking area is close to the light source but not too close, as this can cause burns on their skin.

Access to Clean Water for Drinking and Bathing

A happy bearded dragon requires access to clean water. It will not only keep them hydrated, but it can also be used to bathe them. This can be accomplished by placing a shallow water bowl or container in their habitat and giving them a bath once or twice a week.

You’ll want to bathe your pet to keep them clean from fungus, parasites, and bacteria, it also helps with hydration. Misting, sink “waterfalls,” and gentle syringing are other methods for giving your pet water.

Safe and Secure Environment

Providing a safe and secure environment for your bearded dragon is critical to their happiness and well-being. Make sure it’s safe, well-ventilated, and made of durable, easy-to-clean materials.

Opportunities for Exercise and Exploration

Bearded Dragons require a lot of exercise and exploration to stay healthy and happy. This can be accomplished by providing a large and comfortable habitat with climbing and exploring items such as branches and rocks. You can also introduce chewable items such as wood, paper, or cardboard to your beardie.

Providing a variety of activities and toys for the bearded dragon to play with can help keep them occupied and entertained. Taking your bearded dragon for walks or supervised outdoor playtime is also beneficial because it allows them to explore their surroundings safely while also providing much-needed exercise.

Appropriate Levels of UVB Lighting

Beardies require adequate UVB lighting to keep them happy and healthy. UVB light is essential for reptiles because it aids in the synthesis of Vitamin D3 and the proper metabolization of calcium, both of which are required for proper bone growth.

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The mercury vapor bulb, which emits both UVA and UVB rays and provides heat for the enclosure, is one of the most trusted and popular choice for UVB lighting among bearded dragon owners.

Regular and Consistent Routine

A regular and consistent routine for your Bearded Dragon is essential for their overall health and happiness. This includes the same feeding times, bathing schedule, and basking hours, which can help your dragon adjust to a more predictable environment. Consistent handling is also appreciated because it allows your Bearded Dragon to get used to you and become accustomed to your presence. A positive response to handling is a good indicator of your dragon’s happiness. Bathing is not required, but soaking them on a regular basis can help them stay clean and provide a few minutes of relaxation. Providing ample opportunities for exercise and exploration will keep them engaged and content in their surroundings. They can be a healthy and happy companion for many years if properly cared for!

Positive Reinforcement and Treats

Positive reinforcement and treats can help your bearded dragon feel happy and secure. By rewarding good behavior with treats, your dragon will begin to associate certain actions with rewards and become more willing to interact with you.

Because bearded dragons are highly intelligent and social creatures, consistency is essential when it comes to training them – reward them each time they correctly perform a trick, and be sure to handle them on a regular basis to build trust.

Signs of a Happy Bearded Dragon

Regular Movement and Exploration

Regular movement and exploration are important indicators of a bearded dragon’s happiness and health. A happy bearded dragon will be able to move around regularly, explore their habitat, and reap the benefits of exercise if they have the right environment and diet.

Healthy Appetite and Regular Eating

A happy bearded dragon has a healthy appetite and eats on a regular basis. A varied and nutritious diet that is age and size appropriate is key to their health. To ensure that bearded dragons get enough vitamins and minerals, provide them with a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, and insects. If your bearded dragon isn’t eating on a regular basis, it could mean that something is wrong. Access to safe drinking water is also critical in providing a safe and secure environment in which they can exercise and explore.

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Calm and Relaxed Demeanor During Handling

The demeanor of your bearded dragon while being handled is one of the key indicators that it is happy and content. If they are calm and relaxed when you pick them up, it means they have formed a trusting bond with you. This trust indicates that your pet feels safe and secure in their surroundings. They will also enjoy being handled because this is often how they interact with their owners.

Normal and Consistent Behavior

A happy and healthy bearded dragon exhibits normal and consistent behavior. Beardies exhibit a variety of behaviors that indicate they are happy in their environment, such as regular movement and exploration, a healthy appetite and regular eating, and a calm and relaxed demeanor when handled.

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  • Glass terrariums with a screen lid that allows air flow and basking opportunities, as well as access to UVB lighting and different temperature levels, provide a large and comfortable habitat.
  • Diet is varied and nutritious, with 20% animal protein (crickets, roaches, worms, and so on) and 80% fresh vegetables and fruits.
  • Bearded dragons enjoy being held and talked to, and regular handling helps the pet and owner maintain a strong bond.
  • Provide both hiding and basking spots (dark and tucked away) (warm and dry for UVB absorption).
  • Safe drinking and bathing water should be available at all times, and regular bathing helps maintain hygiene and hydration.