Bearded dragons are a hardy species of lizard who get their name from the bearded crest on their throats. They are an entertaining species and make an excellent choice for anybody new to keeping reptiles.

Bearded dragons originate from Australia. They can grow to a length of 24 inches and have an approximate lifespan of 10-15 years. Due to their diurnal nature they are most active during the day. These animals are fairly docile and enjoy being handled, though they are best kept solitary unless wanting to breed.


What Equipment Will I Need To Care For My Bearded Dragon?


  • Vivarium (3ftX2ftx2ft minimum)
  • UVB Bulb
  • Heat source
  • Bulb Fitting
  • Bulb Guard
  • UVB Power Supply (If using fluorescent tube)
  • Substrate (e.g. Sand or Beechwood Chips)
  • Thermostat
  • Thermometer
  • Water Bowl
  • Hide/Shelter
  • Basking Area
  • Food Bowl
  • Food and supplement powder

Vivarium (3ftX2ftx2ft minimum)

Bearded dragons are terrestrial but will climb along small branches. Therefore, a fully grown adult will require a vivarium that is at least 3.5 feet (107cm) long, 2 feet (61cm) deep, and 2 feet (61cm) high. This will ensure that they have ample space to roam around their enclosure and some space to climb. Within their vivarium, they will also require an area to hide and a basking spot. Additionally, a deep substrate will be beneficial as they enjoy digging in the sand.

Please note: Vivariums are currently available in-store only. If you would like to organise a local delivery please contact us on 01482 585315 or to book a delivery slot.



UVB Bulb

Bearded Dragons require a source of UVB light of around 12% (this could be a desert or intense category bulb), which will need to be replaced approximately every twelve months. They will also need a photo period of twelve hours per day – this means that the UVB light must be switched on for this length of time. You could do this manually or with a timer. It is also important to note that if a strip light is used the correct fitting will also need to be purchased to correspond to this.


UVB Power Supply

If you choose to go with a UVB strip bulb, it is important that you buy the correct fitting for it. These will allow for bulbs of differing lengths and wattages to provide light to your enclosure.


Heat Source

As with most reptiles, a bearded dragon’s vivarium should be set up so that there is a warmer area and a cooler area to ensure the animal can move between temperatures as it feels comfortable to do so. A bearded dragon will need a daytime basking spot of around 36-38 degrees celsius, whilst the cooler areas of the enclosure should reach around 25-29 degrees. Night time temperatures should never drop below 20 degrees. A bulb fitting (either Easy Screw or Bayonet) will be required to power your heat source, make sure you buy corresponding bulbs and fittings!


Thermostat and Thermometer


It is also important to ensure that your bearded dragon’s enclosure has a thermostat and a thermometer, this will help you to easily identify the temperature in the vivarium and alter it if needed.
The thermomether will constantly monitor the temperature of your vivarium in both celcius and farenheit depending on your preference. It can also display the minimum and maximum temperatures the vivarium has reached so you are aware of any dramatic changes.


A thermostat, on the other hand, will actually make changes to the temperature of the vivarium for you. It is best to use a dimming thermostat, although other options are available. Dimming thermostats work by changing the amount of energy that is being directed into the heat lamp – i.e. increasing the energy when the temperature falls too low and vice versa. This ensures that your bearded dragon will consistently be at an optimum temperature with minimal input from you!


Bulb Fitting and Bulb Guard

Once the correct bulb has been established, you must make sure it has the correct fitting and a suitable bulb guard to protect your bearded dragon.
This ceramic bulb fixture will support bulbs that have an easy screw fitting (not bayonet fittings) and a maximum of 200w. It is possible to use a bulb with a capacity of more than 200w with this fitting, however, it will only ever have an output of 200w. Equally, it is possible to use a bulb with a capacity of less than 200w, but in this case, the output will only ever be that of the bulb itself. This setup will be controlled by the dimmer thermostat if you choose to purchase one.


The light and heat guard serves a very simple purpose – to protect your bearded dragon from coming into contact with the lamp and causing itself any heat-related injuries. Therefore, it is not essential but highly recommended due to the risks associated with having a bare bulb.


Basking Area/Hiding Place

Beneath your heat lamp should be an area in which your bearded dragon can bask in the light and heat, mimicking the experience it may have had beneath the hot sun. This should include an area that it can climb on such as a rock or branch. The Komodo Basking Ramp is ideal for this purpose as there is a flat surface on the top for basking and a hiding spot underneath for shade.



Sand is usually the favoured substrate for bearded dragons as it absorbs heat well and therefore best replicates the Australian outback from which they originate. However, it is important to consider that using sand particles that are too large can pose a risk to your pet’s digestive system if accidentally ingested. Therefore, it is advisable to use a fine or medium grain sand, or even avoid sand altogether and try Beechwood chips instead.


Food and Supplement Powder

Bearded Dragons are omnivores, which means they will eat both meat and vegetation. When they are hatchlings, the correct ratio is 30% vegetation to 70% insects, and as they get older this can move to a 50:50 ratio. However, most tend to prefer bugs to greens, so it is important that the vegetation is always available.
Bugs that can be used include crickets, locusts, and cockroaches, as well as mealworms and waxworms as a treat. Make sure any insects provided are no bigger than the space between the dragon’s eyes. It is also important to gut-load and dust the insects with supplement calcium powder to ensure optimal nutritional intake. Remove any uneaten insects as they can become aggressive and potentially bite the lizard.
The greens which can be used include dandelion leaves, pak choi, watercress, rocket, and butternut squash as staple foods. Carrots, bell peppers, peas, and sweet potatoes can be given every few days. Strawberries, blueberries, bananas, and apples can be given once a week. Vegetation to avoid includes lettuce, cabbage, sprouts, melon, citrus fruits, and avocado.
In a nutshell, salads should be provided daily, with 6-7 suitably sized insects every couple of days.


Food and Water Bowls

The aforementioned food – mainly the vegetation – should not simply be left on the floor of the enclosure for your bearded dragon. It is important to put it in a food bowl as your pet will then know that this is an area where food will consistently be available; unlike bugs that will roam freely around the vivarium. Although they are a desert-dwelling species, bearded dragons still need constant access to water. Therefore, it is necessary to provide a shallow water bowl. The humidity in the vivarium should be kept between 20%-40%, preferably with a spray in the morning to recreate the morning dew they would encounter in the wild.


Behaviours to Watch Out For

Arm waving behaviour is a submissive/passive display.
Dark beard and head bobbing is a dominant/aggressive display.
Brumation – a state of hibernation that bearded dragons can go into if there have been changes to light timing or temperature. Includes loss of appetite without weight loss and excessive resting.
Bearded dragons don’t shed their skin in one piece like some reptiles. Instead, their skin starts to shed in patches all over.

If this handy guide has piqued your interest in purchasing a bearded dragon, everything you may need can be found in-store or on our website. If you have any questions feel free to give us a call on 01482 585315 or drop us an email to