12 Common Bearded Dragon Questions Answered Quickly.
Answers to some common questions about Bearded Dragons. Links to other articles may give more in depth answers on occasion.
Things You Didn't Want To Ask, But Did Want To Know
There’s some common questions that seem to come up about Bearded Dragons – not the kind that require any kind of long winded answer such as Why My Bearded Dragon Won’t Eat, or Can I Feed My Bearded Dragon Fruit – but the type in this post like how big do bearded dragons get or how long do they live…
If you’re doing your research before deciding whether to buy a bearded dragon, or not sure where or how to begin, hopefully this post will help you.
If you’re looking for a comprehensive guide to keeping Bearded Dragons as a pet, our eBook “Bearded Dragons: The Essential Guide” will give you all the answers you need and help give your dragon the best start in life, and give you great money saving tips and ideas and hopefully help you keep the vet bills away. It’s available as an instant download eBook or available on Google Play Book store, or as a paperback edition from Amazon.
So, without further ado, here’s the common questions and answers.
Can Bearded Dragons Live Together?
This is an interesting question considering the featured image for this post. In general bearded dragons should not live together. They are solitary creatures normally, only getting together to mate, or fight over territory.
People do house bearded dragons together and very often it ends in tears. One bearded dragon will always attempt to dominate the other (always – there is no exception). Whether that domination ends with a fight is down to the individual dragons involved.
We do not recommend co-habiting bearded dragons. If you must cohabit your bearded dragons, make sure you keep a vigilant eye on them, and be prepared to separate them at the first sign of trouble. Make sure your vivarium is plenty big enough for them to get away from each other and have their own space. And even then, two males together will almost inevitably end up with missing limbs and tails from one or both of them at some point.
Are Bearded Dragons Venomous?
No, technically bearded dragons are not venomous. However, recent studies and research show that bearded dragon saliva is toxic. This toxicity is assumed to assist bearded dragons to paralyse or otherwise poison their prey to disable them and make them easier to catch.
There is no evidence that bearded dragon saliva is toxic enough to cause humans any problems whatsoever. In fact, we’ve heard of multiple owners who’ve been bitten by their bearded dragons (usually by accident) and the human has suffered no long term damage.
Are Bearded Dragons Friendly?
Most bearded dragons are friendly. There’s always exceptions of course. Adolescent bearded dragons are the most likely to be less friendly perhaps than babies or adults. Perhaps this comes along with the ‘teenage angst’ in humans… Nevertheless, most bearded dragons are friendly and many will actively seek out their human keepers to have a snuggle and keep warm.
Do I Need A Permit / Licence To Own A Bearded Dragon?
The answer to this one is complex and will vary considerably depending on where you live. The information here is general only in nature and you must consult your own local laws before decided to take on any pet, but particularly exotic ones.
For example, Hawaii forbids Bearded Dragons as pets ( as well as hamsters, piranhas and many other animals ) – whereas some states will require you to have a permit before allowing you to keep them as pets. The United Kingdom does not, currently, require any licence to keep Bearded Dragons. Canada does not require any licence either.
Most Australian states require a licence to keep reptiles, though my understanding is that South Australia does not require reptile keepers to have a licence but does require that the breeding paperwork be available to authorities if required. The keeper is restricted to only one Bearded Dragon ( a licence is required to keep more than one ) or if they wish to sell the bearded dragon then a licence is required.
If you’re in any doubt as to whether you’ll need a licence to keep a bearded dragon, it’s probably best to assume the answer to that is yes, you do – and then go and find out.
Are Bearded Dragon Bites Poisonous?
Some recent research has shown that Bearded Dragons do have primitive venom glands although it’s unclear how they would inject that venom into a prey. It’s also unclear what effect this venom has on their prey.
But from the point of view of humans, a Bearded Dragon bite will likely be a little bit sore, perhaps bruise or break the skin and there is a possibility of local infection if the bearded dragon has any germs on their mouths when they bite. But the long term likelihood of complications from a Bearded Dragon bite is minimal.
Bearded dragons tend not to bite humans anyway – they’ll give plenty of warning prior to biting – from the big puffy beard, to making their beard go black and then hissing or running away from you. A bite is only likely if you persist in upsetting your dragon after those warning signs are given.
What Protection Against Predators Do Bearded Dragons Have?
Bearded Dragons mostly employ bluff and bluster techniques to put off predators. They can bite if they are pushed into it, but they generally prefer to puff up and blacken their beards – making them look bigger and scarier than they in fact are. Puffing the beard and the abdomen through the drawing in of breath also makes the spikes on their sides and neck look bigger and less easy to eat.
Bearded dragons will also hiss at their assailants if necessary, before attempting to run away.
Unlike many other lizards, the Bearded Dragon cannot drop and regrow its tail to fool a potential predator – so, although the bearded dragon can lose its tail and continue to live a good life, the tail will never grow back.
What Size Vivarium / Tank Does A Bearded Dragon Need?
In the UK the vivarium size that is generally recommended for Bearded Dragons is one that is 4 feet long, 2 feet deep and 2 feet high. US Dragon owners tend to size their tanks as they would aquariums ( ie, in gallons ) with the minimum recommended size being a 40 gallon tank for a standard sized Bearded Dragon.
I’m of the opinion (though it is only an opinion!) that a 40 gallon tank is too small for a fully grown bearded dragon, as the 40 gallon tanks tend to be 3 feet by 18 inches by 18 inches. Most people seem to agree that a 75 gallon ‘breeder’ tank is the better size in the US
Bigger is better. Bearded Dragons need more room lengthwise versus height wise, although they do like to be able to climb, they’re not as big climbers as geckos for example. They do like a bit of a run now and then though, so the extra length is good. I prefer a 5 foot enclosure.
If you’re starting from scratch, you don’t necessarily need to get a brand new vivarium – you can go for a second hand one – see our post here for some tips to get the right one.
How Big Do Bearded Dragons Get?
Generally the Central Bearded Dragon (Pogona Vitticeps) will grow from anywhere between 12 – 24 inches from the tip of their nose to the tip of their tails. The size of their body will be roughly the same length as the adult human forearm, with tip of their nose resting against the elbow and the tail hanging down between your fingers.
Smaller breeds do exist, such as Rankins Dragon ( Pogona Henrylawsoni ) growing up to a maximum of around 12 inches including the tail and Pogona Microlepidota growing only around 4 to 6 inches in total. This latter breed seems to look rather like a baby Central Bearded Dragon.
Their size does depend on husbandry when they’re young and conditions and food etc. Bad husbandry can cause stunted growth.
The Central Bearded Dragon will weigh somewhere between 280 to 510 grams ( roughly 0.6 to 1.1 lbs ).
Where Do Bearded Dragons Come From?
The Bearded Dragon ( Pogona Vitticeps in Latin ) originates from the arid areas of Australia, either the desert areas or some forest areas. They can be found over much of Australia in a large variety of habitats ranging from the desert through to shrubland and Eucalyptus woodlands.
It is now illegal to capture and export Bearded Dragons from their native habitat in Australia (and has been since the 1960s) so all the species now in captivity will have been bred from captive parents. There’s some concern among breeders that this may cause longer term breeding issues as the genepool is relatively shallow as a result.
Are Heat Rocks Safe For Bearded Dragons?
No, bearded dragons do not feel heat on their bellies in the same way as other reptiles do and this can lead to your bearded dragon getting burned. They generally feel the heat of the environment on their backs and use this to judge how hot a surface may be. It’s therefore incredibly easy for your bearded dragon to be burned by a heat rock or heat pad.
Can Bearded Dragons Be Depressed
We’re of the opinion that any animal can become depressed and bearded dragons are no different. An animal that doesn’t have enough stimulation in its life will become depressed, lethargic and potentially stop eating. It’s important to have a rich environment for your bearded dragon, as well as making time to interact with them or letting them out now and then to have a (supervised!) roam around.
Things that you can do to help keep your bearded dragon active and happy can be found at Is My Bearded Dragon Bored?
Do Bearded Dragons Pee?
Bearded dragons produce a substance called urate – or uric acid. You’ll see this in their ‘poop’ as a white, somewhat harder substance usually at one end of the poop. Most of the time you shouldn’t see all that much liquid in your dragons poop – although it does happen on occasion. Generally, so long as your dragon looks well hydrated this isn’t a problem.
So technically, bearded dragons don’t pee in the traditional sense.
If you have any other questions about Bearded Dragons, please leave a comment below and we’ll do our best to answer! I’ll update this post as I think of more things to answer too.
Thanks for reading, please leave a comment or any feedback below in the comments section, I’d love to hear from you.