Bearded Dragon Care

Written by Denise R. Bushnell in June, 2005
Last updated in May, 2008

Page 3 of 4

Another option is to purchase “black light” bulbs of the same watttages as his daytime bulbs, which should supply nearly the same amount of heat during the nighttime hours. It should be noted here that several companies do sell blue or red bulbs, which are classed as “night lights”, on the premise that reptiles cannot see red or blue light. This myth simply isn’t true, and you may find that using a red or blue “night light” bulb will disrupt your beardie’s sleep patterns, keeping him wide awake when he is ill, and needs his rest the most.

Another possible way to keep their overnight temperatures up, is to run an Under Tank Heating Pad. However, you need to be very careful, if you choose this method of providing adequate warmth for them while they sleep, as dragons cannot sense heat from below. Depending on what sort of substrate you use in the bottom of their tank or enclosure, this method can be extremely risky. For instance, if you use sand, paper towels, non-adhesive shelf liner, or any other sort of substrate that your dragon can burrow under, you run the risk of their becoming seriously burned if they should lay with their underside against the glass, directly over the heating pad. For this reason, this is definitely NOT the best way to provide overnight heat for them. It can be done, if you have a surface available on which you can place a thick bath towel, folded over several times, between the Under Tank Heating Pad and the glass bottom of the tank, but again, if you choose this way of providing heat, make sure to monitor the tank closely during the overnight hours, so that you don’t run the risk of starting a fire.

You should dose your dragon with the Acidopholiz+ and keep him overly warm, with temperatures of at least 80 degrees during the overnight hours every night for the entire time that you are dosing him with his medication, and for at least two weeks after he has finished it, in order to ensure that the good bacteria in his digestive tract have a chance to replenish themselves to an adequate level.

The timing of when you dose him with his medication, and when you dose him with the Acidophiliz+ is also very important during this time period. In order for the Acidophiliz+ to work as it should, you will need to leave at least a 6 hour window of time between the two.

I have tried several ways of doing this, and have found that the way that works best, is to give them their medication first thing in the morning, before leaving for work or school. You can leave food down for them as well, if you like, but the odds are that they probably won’t eat it.

When you return, in the evening, wait until about 3 hours before your dragon’s bedtime, and then give him his daily dose of the Acidophiliz+. Remember to give him a full dropper of it. The contents of the Acidophiliz+ are all natural, and there is no way that you can overdose them on it. Any of the solution that his body can’t utilize will simply pass through him and be expelled with his stool and urates.

After he’s taken the Acidophiliz+, wait about a half hour, to give the probiotic time to spread throughout his intestines, and then give him his large meal of the day. By doing this, you ensure that the good bacteria are in his digestive tract, and active before he eats, which will result in him being able to digest his food more efficiently. He will then have the overnight hours to completely digest his meal, before the meds kill off the good bacteria again in the morning, and you need to begin the cycle again.

Once he has finished all of his medication, then you have a little more freedom as to when you can give him the Acidophiliz+, as what you give him will remain in his digestive tract, and will not be killed off by the medication. In fact, you can actually give him the Acidophiliz+ about a half hour before you plan to give him food, even if you feed him more than once a day. It won’t hurt him, and will actually help his digestion. If he is eating for you, this can be discontinued about two weeks after he’s finished his meds.

If, during this treatment period, your dragon has stopped eating entirely, or if you are concerned that he is dropping too much weight, you can syringe feed him a formula which is super nourishing until he starts eating again on his own.

To make this formula, you will need to purchase a tube of "Jumpstart", which is a caloric supplement and reptile appetite stimulant that comes in a paste form. This product is made by Zilla Reptile, and can sometimes be difficult to find in Pet Stores. If you aren’t able to purchase it locally, you can purchase it online at It can be found under reptile appetite stimulants. This product was formerly manufactured by ESU Reptile, who have now sold the rights for it to Zilla.

Mix about a teaspoonful of the “Jumpstart” paste with a jar of Gerber #2 Chicken Baby Food, a pinch of your beardie’s vitamins and of his calcium supplement, and some Pedialyte (like you give small children when they have diarrhea). Mix everything up but the Pedialyte, and then add just enough Pedialyte so that it flows easily through the tip of the syringe. I would recommend using the Cherry or Orange flavored Pedialyte, since the unflavored Pedialyte tastes really unpleasant!

Try to get two or three teaspoonfuls of this formula into him at least once a day (or a smaller amount, if your dragon is still a small baby). This amount will provide him with the protein that he requires (from the baby food), and all the vitamins that he needs (from the Jumpstart) until he starts feeling better and begins to eat again on his own.