New bearded dragon owners need to know what to get for their reptiles before putting them in captivity.
In this article, I’ll be giving you a complete list of the things that’ll be beneficial for your beardie.
Let’s check how to care for this cute reptile as well as Facts About a Bearded Dragon:
Essential List: What to Get for a Bearded Dragon?
You should consider getting these essentials to give your pet friend the experience of a lifetime! These essentials include:
1. Providing a Tank/Cage/Enclosure
Baby bearded dragons grow to become adults quickly. Therefore, you need to plan the enclosure size or building of your bearded dragon tank setup.
Baby dragons and young adult beardies would fit in a 40-gallon tank. But with their fast growth rate, they may outgrow the 40-gallon tank when they get past two months.
EXPERT TIP: Professionals suggest keeping a single adult dragon inside a 75 to 120-gallon aquarium  with a mesh screen on top of it.
One of the many mistakes I made was settling with a 55-gallon tank as I thought it was enough.
My pet reptile could barely move a few weeks later and needed a bigger terrarium.
When purchasing the enclosure, make sure that it’s just right for your beardie. Ensure that the tank is big enough for when your beardie grows. Avoid restricting its growth by putting them in a small tank.
The secret to giving your reptile friend the best habitat is to ensure that it is as close to their natural habitat as possible. I’ll cover this within the furnishings/accessories section.
Read our guide to help you choose the Best Tanks for Bearded Dragons
Take a look at this great video on setting up beardie enclosure:
2. Giving Your Beardie Supplements
I didn’t know about this during the first few weeks of owning a bearded dragon, but you should be providing your beardie with three basic supplements:
- Vitamin D
- Calcium Supplement
EXPERT TIP: Avoid supplements that offer excessive amounts of vitamin A . This can be toxic for your beardie.
Don’t forget to check the best reptile egg incubator.
3. Providing UVB Light
Our bearded dragons need bright light. And as they shouldn’t be under direct sunlight, many owners opt for UVB light.
They’re reptiles, meaning the exact temperature and climatic conditions matter most to them. It’s not that they’re fussy, but they need the right conditions to survive.
Here are the recommended temperatures for these beardies:
- Nighttime Temperature – Between 21 to 24 °C (70 to 75 °F)
- Daytime Temperature – Between 24 to 29 °C (75 to 85 °F)
- Basking Spot (Temperature) – Between 31 to 38 °C (88 to 100 °F)
The correct temperatures are vital for the growth and health of your beardie. So, it’s vital for you, as a bearded dragon owner, to regulate temperatures.
QUICK TIP: You can monitor the temperature of your bearded dragon tank setup using a thermometer. Place it on both the hot and cold ends  of its habitat to check the temperature.
You can place a UVB lamp that shines the light onto your pet reptile in its tank/terrarium through the mesh screen at the top. The spot lamp should be at the required temperature.
4. Giving Them Fresh Water
Your pet reptiles need clean water to survive. You can supply water using a bowl, water dish, or even a water spray bottle.
I personally like using a water bowl. These little critters usually find it difficult to drink water from a spray bottle, especially if they’re young.
CARE TIPS: Try placing the beardie water close to where they’re nesting so they can easily access it after resting. Make sure to check our guide: how to hydrate a bearded dragon
5. Ensuring They Have a Balanced Food/Diet
It’s vital for your bearded dragon the correct food and diet. When it comes to what they eat, it’s important to note the nutrients and vitamins they get.
Our pet reptiles need a balanced diet. So, throw in the right amounts of protein (meat and insects), greens for bearded dragons, and water.
EXPERT TIP: They can develop what’s known as a metabolic bone disease if they’re not fed properly. Make sure they get their required supply of dietary calcium  and avoid feeding them meat 100% of the time.
I had no clue what to feed my baby bearded dragon during its first day in my care. That’s why I’ve created this guide – so you don’t have to do trial and error!
I give my pet beardie his share of greens daily. These include escarole, grape leaves, mustard greens, watercress, and collards.
However, I regularly avoid chard, kale, cabbages, spinach, broccoli, and parsley because these are veggies that contain high calcium oxalates and can decrease thyroid function.
EXPERT TIP: Try feeding them insects like mealworms, crickets, and others of the same size to supply them with enough protein. Not sure what insect to feed? This guide will help you get the best insect for the bearded dragon
To help you prepare your bearded dragon diet, check our new e-book:
- Hartley, Alina (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 132 Pages - 07/14/2021 (Publication Date) - Independently published (Publisher)
6. Provide Furnishings and Accessories
In your bearded dragon tank setup, try to include a reptile carpet, wood shavings, logs, branches, rocks, and other things where they can exercise and climb on.
Additionally, you can also try placing nest pouches, nest boxes, and even simple cloth where they can rest. Get inspired by these bearded dragon cage ideas. You will LOVE them!
I’m not saying that your pet reptile needs to have everything; it’ll be almost impossible. But you should make sure to care for and maintain your beardie’s condition by following the points above.
Don’t forget to check our guide on choosing the best bearded dragon beds, as this is something you will also need for your beardies.
FAQs on What to Get for a Bearded Dragon
Need more information so you can master the art of caring for your pet beardie? Here are a couple of the most asked questions I’ve answered for you:
What Do Bearded Dragons Eat?
Bearded dragons eat a diet of vegetables and insects. Meat is not advised to be fed and should only be done for emergency purposes.
Do I Need to Give My Bearded Dragon Vitamins?
Yes, your pet reptiles need vitamins and minerals to add to the healthy diet they already have. Therefore, you should supply them with vitamins at least three to five times per week.
Do You Now Know What to Get For Your Beardie?
If you find yourself asking about what to get for a bearded dragon, you can go back to this guide to see all the information you need.
I can assure you that by following this guide, you’ll be able to correctly maintain and take care of either your baby or adult bearded dragon.
- 1. Gardiner J. Bearded Dragon Care [Internet]. Animal Health Topics / School of Veterinary Medicine. 2019 [cited 2021 Dec 16]. Available from: https://healthtopics.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/health-topics/exotics/bearded-dragon-care
- 2. Caring for Your Pet Bearded Dragon [Internet]. Available from: https://cvm.ncsu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Caring-for-your-Bearded-Dragon.pdf
- 3. petMD. Inland Bearded Dragon | Pogona vitticeps | petMD [Internet]. Petmd.com. 2017. Available from: https://www.petmd.com/reptile/species/inland-bearded-dragon
- 4. Wissman MA, DVM, DABVP. Bearded Dragon Supplements [Internet]. Reptiles Magazine. 2011 [cited 2021 Dec 16]. Available from: https://reptilesmagazine.com/bearded-dragon-supplements/#:~:text=A%20multiple%20vitamin%20supplement%20provides
How about you, what do you get for your bearded dragon? Please let us know in the comments below!
Alina Hartley is a small-town girl with a ginormous love of bearded dragons. It all started with Winchester, a baby bearded who was abandoned at the shelter by his former owners because of a birth defect that caused one front leg to be shorter than the other. Alina originally went to the shelter looking for a guinea pig, but one look at Winchester and it was love at first sight. From that day on, Alina has dedicated her life to learning everything she can about bearded dragons. She loves helping new beardie parents start their incredible journey with these magnificent reptiles.
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