First Time Beardie Owner...

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First Time Beardie Owner...

Postby ZoZosMommy » Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:02 pm

Hello there!
My name is Alexa and I'm a proud owner of an 8 year old German Giant. I've had him since late October to early November. A friend gave him too me and said he was a breeding dragon. I had never owned a bearded dragon before him nor any lizard, but I've always had a deep love and fascination with these scaly beauties. Well, needless to say, she gave him to me for keeps and said he was "special needs and if he dies in my care she will be beyond angry at me." She said he had bad vision and when he ate, he couldn't see and was "trained" to eat from chopsticks, tweezers, and hands. She said he had MBD, a couple of missing toes, curvatures in his feet, and odd curves in his tail. She says his previous owner, 10 years ago, had abused him and left him in a shoe box. I've done my best as a first time owner to take care of him. I've recently gotten a job when my previous job fell through and I had no choice but to feed him what I thought would give him the most benefit during my struggle period which I saw from research was kale and blackberries.. But recently, I've gotten extremely worried about him. I was told at Pet Smart not to feed him meal worms because they were treats and said that since I fed him kale and blackberries I was doing a good job. I dust his food every so often, as his former owner said that's what she does for him. His previous owner said to also sprinkle calcium in his water too, so that's what I did. They said that crickets, pinkies, and eggs would be a good source of protein he needed to pack on some of the healthier fats he needs. Well recently, as I've stated he refuses to drink his water. He will run up and down the sides of his tank because like I said, he seems extremely unhappy inside of it and he seems to want to run out. His owner told me she helps peel his shed and he can't shed himself. But he is social for the most part. But he sleeps a lot. And he opens his mouth juuuust a little bit while sunning himself under his bulb. He tends to also close one eye and keep one open from time to time. Also, he will run over to inspect sudden movement because his tank is at the end of my bed on a coffee table in my room and he seems really curious as to who and why something is moving. His previous owner tells me he's just a sleepy guy that loves mating and he rarely eats or drinks but maybe twice a week and just to leave food and drink in his cage when he wants to grab some sustenance. What should I do? I'm scared, I don't wanna hurt him or be a bad owner... He's my first scaly critter, I don't want to let his previous owner or him down.

Thank you so much for tuning in and answering any questions I have!

P.S- This is my first bearded baby. Please be kind and offer constructive criticism and correct my ignorance. I'm trying my hardest and I'm only doing what I could with what I had and what I was told to do by his owner and the pet store. I am now on a mission to buy him a new tank to replace his old one, buy him some fun feeding and basking accessories, and make his little lizard life as luxurious as possible as I recently picked up a new job and want to spoil my little bearded baby.
If there's anything you need to know about me it's that I try to learn from today to create a better tomorrow!
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ZoZosMommy
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Re: First Time Beardie Owner...

Postby Foxxy76 » Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:56 pm

Here are some links that you can read up on to help get you started! I just copied and pasted the same info I gave to another user. :)

Articles that I found helpful:
https://www.beardeddragon.org/articles/caresheet/
https://www.beardeddragon.org/articles/ ... at-to-buy/
https://www.beardeddragon.org/articles/ ... ting-help/

Nutrition site:
http://www.beautifuldragons.com/Nutrition.html

Enclosures on my wish list (I just bought a new 75 gal for my older dragon. Then someone posted these)
https://www.zenhabitats.com/products/ze ... ate-shield

Fun stuff!:
https://www.etsy.com/shop/PamperedBeardies/items

Adding:
General Info
http://www.thebeardeddragon.org/bearded-dragon.php
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Re: First Time Beardie Owner...

Postby Foxxy76 » Tue Mar 19, 2019 11:34 pm

At 8-10 years old he's a pretty old dude! If you could post your lighting set up with what UVB you're using, temperatures,basking set up that may help other users help you more. Also the size of this tank. You can add pictures of your beardie and set up by Using the "User Image Uploader" link on the top of the page. After uploading your image there will be link options you can copy to add it to your posts. :)

One thing, I wouldn't peel his shed. This might accidentally hurt me or damage his scales. Instead you can bath him and gently brush him with a soft (not used) toothbrush. My Lazy boy has some issues shedding sometimes too. I also have to keep an eye on his femoral pores.
Have you ever considered feeding dubia roaches? The are more nutritious that crickets and have less chances of carrying parasites. Plus they're not as stinky, don't bite and they're not loud. Phoenix/calci worms are great feeders, too.
I think most people dust the vitamins/calcium on their feeders and not usually in the water.
If you are having trouble with him drinking you can try to gently drop water on his nose with a small dropper.
Opening his mouth slightly when he is basking is normal. They can regulate their body temperature that way. They may also turn slightly darker or lighter. Having a temp gun to check your tank temps is important. There should be a cool side (*80-85 deg F) and a basking spot (*95 to 100 deg F). *for adults. The basking spot should overlap with the UVB some. The UVB light is important to protecting him from MBD. The T5 arcadia tubes are recommended a lot. I use a T5 10.0 reptisun in my baby's tank.

Most bearded dragons actually seem to like hanging out with their human subjects. They like to explore their territory and cuddle. They can get themselves into trouble such as getting stuck behind things, miss calculating jumps, getting lost/under foot or running into animals that think they are toys/food. So it is important to keep an eye on them! Mine also like to try to poop on my carpet. Lol.

Cleaning is another important thing to consider. You need to be spot cleaning messes daily, weekly cleaning the tank and monthly deep cleaning. You can use 1 part bleach to 10 parts water or use white vinegar instead of bleach. I use diluted Chlorhexidine 2%. Some use F10. There are also pre-made tank cleaners for sale at the pet shop. Make sure to remove your dragon from the tank and secure him somewhere before cleaning and make sure the tank is dry/well-aerated before putting him back in.

A lot of this info can be found in the links to the "Articles" section I posted and there are more in the right side bar. There are also lots of helpful dragon lovers on here that will try to give you the best advice they can!

Welcome to beardie-dom!
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