Tips for new owner anxiety?

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Tips for new owner anxiety?

Postby Frnknstn » Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:13 pm

My apologies if there was a discussion board that applies to this more, as I could not identify one!

I recently acquired one of my dream pets- A lovely little beardie named Tiamat. I've only had her for about 3 days, but already she's causing me a great deal of stress, and she isn't even doing anything! I'm obsessing over if I'm doing everything correctly, as I feel as if I have no margin for error with her. I had been told by a long-time keeper that a beardie would be a lovely introduction into keeping reptiles, and while I adore my new baby with a passion and am doing my best to ensure everything is right with her, she could be basking and enjoying the light and I'm over here stressing out about her, lol! We're still in the process of fixing aspects of her tank that we had been misinformed about (aka fixing all lighting issues as early as possible and grabbing a probe), but other than that, she's been doing fine. Loves being handled and has taken well to soaking due to her having a large "shirt" of shed. The only thing really off is her lack of an appetite, which I've attributed to the awkward shed+ relocation and possible lighting, though hopefully all of that is sorted out this weekend. She still eats a tiny bit and has pooped every day so far.

It probably doesn't help I have severe GAD, and I imagine a lot of new owners with the same issue had some troubles as well- even without it, I'm sure it's absolutely nervewracking. And I miggghhhtttt have perused the beardie ER section a bit too long. LMAO.

Long-time owners, what are some things you might suggest to alleviate owner stress- AND beardie stress? I think I'm more stressed out than my new baby haha! Things I can do to make it easier for both of us- the happier she is, the happier I am! I'd love to make this as good of a life for her as I possibly can.
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Re: Tips for new owner anxiety?

Postby CooperDragon » Thu Sep 17, 2020 1:31 pm

Know that we all have this kind of anxiety to some extent. I still have nightmares about my little guy sometimes. It just says they mean a lot to us and we care. Best thing to do is to keep learning (it is a constant) and do the best you can in terms of providing care, equipment, nutrition, enrichment, etc. It doesn't have to be perfect, do the best you can at any given time. Your best will evolve over time and get better, that's normal. Over time you'll start to pick up on behavior that indicates their mood. Little things that can be unique to the individual, and things like bright colored beard vs dark beard which are more universal. You have a large support group here ready to help, so if you have any questions or just want to share something that happened, feel free to post here whenever you'd like. It can be fun to keep an ongoing post in introductions or beardie tales for your dragon in order to keep a journal to look back on and also to share photos and events with others on here. Certainly not required do that though if you don't want to.
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Re: Tips for new owner anxiety?

Postby Draven88 » Thu Sep 17, 2020 1:48 pm

As cooper mentioned, worrying is normal and its a good sign that you want to provide the absolute best care possible.

With that said all beardies have their own personality, some are just chill and lounge around a lot. The lack of appetite can be caused by a shed at times, but it is also a common with relocation. The fact that there is still some eating each day is a good thing. With some time to adjust and the lighting corrected you will likely see more activity and the appetite will rise.

Its great that she has taken well to being handled, just be aware that that can vary with mood so don't be discouraged if sometimes she just wants to be left alone. Time will build a good bond, but young ones can be stubborn at times.
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Re: Tips for new owner anxiety?

Postby AHBD » Thu Sep 17, 2020 2:37 pm

Well there needs to be pics of this new baby or I will get stressed. :lol: JK, everyone loves to see new babies and their digs. If you have time of course and at your leisure. :) A few things to not get worried about that a lot of owners do right off the bat is shedding. So many new owners feel that they need our assistance and 99.9 % of the time they don't. I hatched + raised loads of babies, never ever had a stuck shed and believe me that you'll see all types of shed patterns so no need even to soak the baby every day. That can be stressful for some. Just a light spritz in the tank on the body if it's looking patchy. So here's how to post pics :

https://www.beardeddragon.org/useruploads/ Then use the XIMG to upload them
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Re: Tips for new owner anxiety?

Postby Frnknstn » Thu Sep 17, 2020 6:09 pm

Thank you guys so much! It was a pleasure reading what you all put and it made me feel a bit better. <3 I'll be sure to keep an eye out for new information and to keep learning everything I possibly can to make sure that my baby has a wonderful life! And creating a thread for updates here sounds like a fantastic idea. I also have an instagram for her I'll share on said post as well!
I'm sure she'll become a bit more moody once she realizes how much for a pushover I am :lol: but jokes aside, I'm perfectly ready for her to become less than social when the time comes. So long as she's in good health, I'm fine taking it slower with her.

As for shedding, you're absolutely right. Shedding was a major cause for stress for me, but I've gotten much better with that! I have some somewhat rough baked bark in there from a tree outside she adores rubbing against, so that tells me she's working on her shed at her own pace. I will say she threw me for a loop when she developed a little dark spot under her chin- literally the size of a scale- and man, did I start looking at fungus, until I took a closer look and realized it was just a spot she had dropped a minor scale of shed at! I'm certainly going to lighten up on the soaking.

She's got so much personality already, I'm beyond attached to her. I'll keep you guys posted once I make the thread for her- for now, here's an image of the sweetie!

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Re: Tips for new owner anxiety?

Postby ComicBookMama » Sat Sep 19, 2020 2:31 pm

As someone who also struggles with GAD, I feel for you - you sound JUST like me, one year ago when I got my Figment! From what I've seen, all owners go through an anxious stage as their dragon is settling in... but for those of us with GAD it can feel like hades itself! This IS the best place for combatting the anxiety, however... this forum, its mods and veteran posters, and the whole community is exceptionally supportive. You cannot ask too many questions or make too many posts, and that will help ease the anxious thoughts. I personally put an affirmation on my dragon's tank, as corny as it may sound:

I'm a good dragon mom.
I'm doing my best, and learning every day, and my best is good enough.
My dragon is happy and healthy.
I'm a good dragon mom.


I know that may sound odd, but reading and re-reading that really helped. :)
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