Having trouble being a good owner

BamBurger

New member
Original Poster
I have had a bearded dragon since I was little. At the time I was extremely excited about the idea of having my own pet and did research on care, what to buy, etc. But sadly I never really was able to be a proper caretaker. I am older now and feel like I have messed up. I often forget to or shirk responsibilities related to care, and though I still feed/water my dragon she does not seem to like me. I got her from pet smart (an unwise choice I regret deeply) I originally chose her because she seemed to be the most lively. In reality shes very stressed and unfriendly, The tactics often listed in articles dont seem to help at all. She doesnt like being pet or held, she doesnt seem to like baths either. When I have her out of her terrarium she runs away from me and overall seems unhappy. I dont know what to do to fix this. I feel like a bad owner, but I feel just as bad when thinking about giving her up to a rescue. What should I do to try and mend what I have done?
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 4 and Blaze is 2
I have had a bearded dragon since I was little. At the time I was extremely excited about the idea of having my own pet and did research on care, what to buy, etc. But sadly I never really was able to be a proper caretaker. I am older now and feel like I have messed up. I often forget to or shirk responsibilities related to care, and though I still feed/water my dragon she does not seem to like me. I got her from pet smart (an unwise choice I regret deeply) I originally chose her because she seemed to be the most lively. In reality shes very stressed and unfriendly, The tactics often listed in articles dont seem to help at all. She doesnt like being pet or held, she doesnt seem to like baths either. When I have her out of her terrarium she runs away from me and overall seems unhappy. I dont know what to do to fix this. I feel like a bad owner, but I feel just as bad when thinking about giving her up to a rescue. What should I do to try and mend what I have done?
please go over the husbandry of the tank -- the lighting has a lot to do w/ what your describing-- UVB brand and bulb coil or tube -- basking temps how are you taking them and what are they -- you need surface temps taken w/ a digital probe thermometer please
 

ComicBookMama

Sub-Adult Member
I’ll tell you what I tell my own students: there is no shame in making mistakes, and it’s good that you recognize that you haven’t been living up to your end of the relationship with your dragon. You can certainly work with your dragon and repair the lapses, but it may take a long while. This is okay… take it one day at a time.

First, do what Karrie said… tell us about your setup. Dragon behavior and stress is often directly linked to mistakes in housing. Just take a breath, and go over what you have in place, starting with the size of your tank or hab.

Once we know the specs, we can help you build a plan for repairing your relationship with your dragon. It may cost money - particularly if you haven’t been replacing your UV bulb yearly - and you may need to get your dragon to the vet for a wellness check to rule out parasites and health issues. If you still depend on your folks for help with this, you may want to sit down and talk with them about what you’ve decided to do.

Finally, you may need to think about whether you are truly committed to keeping your dragon. This is, hopefully, a last resort - nobody really wants to surrender a pet to rescue - but if you aren’t able to give your dragon what is needed to thrive, it’s something to consider.

Good luck. As you said, you were young when you got your dragon… we make mistakes when we’re young. You are doing the right thing in reevaluating your care practices and are trying to make amends for past mistakes. We are here for you… just take that first step.
 
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