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I don’t know what to do with my beardie

Idkman

Member
I don’t know what to do with my beardie. I’ve been thinking about it and I just don’t know, I don’t even know if I’m posting this in the right forum. I guess I’m just asking if anybody can guide me and tell me what to do- idk. (Ok I just realized my name literally being idkman on this website is some really cruel joke). I have a bearded dragon named Max, I love him so so much but he’s scared of almost everything. Ever since I got home almost 5 years ago he’s been scared of every human. He hasn’t been aggressive since 4 and a half years ago. He’s fine with being held sometimes, pet, and taken out if his enclosure. He loves baths and is fine with being hand fed. Yet- his stress marks never go away, he tenses and starts breathing rapidly when I open his cage, sometimes he does run away. I can never wake him up because when I do, he bloats up and turns black. it’s been FIVE YEARS and I can’t even get him to feel safe. I can’t get him to feel happiness that lasts longer then getting a bath or treat. I can’t pet him sometimes without him closing his eyes, telling me to leave him alone. He just deserves so so much more because he really is a great bearded dragon. I don’t want to give up and I Love him so much but Clearly whatever I’ve been doing hasn’t been working and I clearly can’t help him and just freakin failed him. I also used to not be a good beardie owner. I still wouldn’t consider myself that much of a “good” bearded dragon owner. I was uneducated but worst of all- sometimes I didn’t even care. Like- I’ve walked by his cage and seen that it was a mess and then just continued on with my day- like???? or I’ve looked at the time to see that it was 5 and time for him to eat and then just said that I’d do it after I was done with binging some dumb episode only to end of forgetting to feed him or interact with him that day. That has got to be so freakin screwed up. He ended up getting parasites because guess what? Not cleaning a bearded dragons cage kinda makes them prone to that type of stuff! Who would have thought huh? Honestly that’ just so complete and utterly screwed up yknow. Ever since then, I’ve definitely improved but who’s to say I won’t revert back to being a crappy person. But anyways, I’ve been thinking of giving him away to someone who’s capable of helping him or I could continue to keep him and work with him myself- but I think that’s just me being selfish. If I we’re to keep him, he’d be in a more familiar environment and he knows me so he’ll feel safer and who know maybe one day he really will be truly happy. This option could also lead to the possibility that I revert back to being a crappy owner or he just doesn’t get better. If i were to give him away- I wouldn’t know what to do. I don’t know anyone who would take him in and I don’t know anyplaces in the Jacksonville area that woild work with him. (I’ll search that up and see what I find tomorrow) If someone does know a place and recommends it then please say something. Also is there even a place where u can board them to rehabilitate them like what they do with dogs?? If there is then that’s another option. However, I barely have money and even if I could take them to a place like that ik those guys would make me pay far too much money since max is an exotic animal. Now that that story is done, if anyone can just help me know what the best course of action is, I’d be so great full and I know max would too. I love him so much and he just needs to happy. Also going to give a bunch of pics of my chonky boy because everyone needs to see his beauty.
 

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Shinryu

Hatchling Member
Staff member
Lead Writer
I don't think you're a bad owner. It sounds like you're trying to do right by your little guy and have rectified past mistakes. Hey, you've had him for 5 years, and he is doing ok! I feel like you deserve some credit for that! Many people are surprised by the amount of specialized care that bearded dragons need, so I feel like it's easy to get overwhelmed. What's your current setup like? Tank size, UVB type/brand, temps in the basking area and cool zone? Issues with any of those could really stress out a beardie. Has he ever been to a vet to rule out any medical issues and do a fecal test?

Have you looked for any sort of reptile rescues? If you really find yourself being unable to care for him in the future, that could be something to consider. He's a pretty boy! I see his beard is red/pink in the last photo. Is that some weird lighting effect?
 

AHBD

BD.org Sicko
I agree with Shinryu, it sounds like you're really in turmoil about Max's situation but it's obvious that you really care for him. First off, you're not a terrible owner at all. Max is one of the dragons that is not the laid back, the cool , calm beardie that everyone hopes for, so your interactions with him are much different than you thought they would and probably puts you off . Just remember, some dragons just don't like being handled as much as others. That's the norm for some beardies, it doesn't mean he's unhappy or make you a bad person. Max is well fed and beautiful and with his temperament he does not require daily handling, he's the type of reptile that's fine with being fed and having a comfortable home. Some dragons are naturally more grumpy, a little huff + puff to let you know but it doesn't mean they're unhappy. Adults don't need to be fed every day, or given a bath . If he likes baths then that's fine. He has a good life, just be more on top of cleaning after he poo's. Oh, and even beardies kept in immaculately clean cages get parasites too. Wer'e not there to scoop the poo in every instance and even if we do there's always some to linger on their rear end to be spread around slightly, plus some feeder insects can have parasites. Most beardies will carry SOME parasites at some point in their life with no problem. Last of all, if you do give him away he may be far more " neglected " than you feel he has been and a new owner may tire of him and give him to yet another person. You just don't know where he'll end up. Some rescues can be almost hoarding situations too. So think hard about what you want to do, he looks well [ BTW ,are you sure Max is a he ? ] IMO he's living a good life. He has a pretty red beard Shinryu, lots of beardies do. :)
 
Last edited:

Idkman

Member
Original Poster
Honestly just thank you both. It really does mean a lot to have any advice and you guys made me feel a lot better about coming up with a decision. I just really want him to have a good home and AHBD does definitely have a good point about how giving him up can just make him end up in a bad environment. So I’ve been thinking and I think I’ll keep him. I’ll make sure I do right by him. I’ll make sure he’s happy, and one day make sure he feels safe. Also gonna make sure he looses some of that weight. If the time does come when I can’t care for him then I’ll look into some of those rescues. So shinryu, his tank is 40 gallons, basking area is a little over 100°, I’m not sure about the cool side but he shows no sights of it being too hot in his tank and he has a shaded spot to go under as well, uvb is a reptisun T5 10.0 fluorescent tube. Yup, he went to a vet when he had parasites and they said he was fine and his fecal was also fine. Yes, that is a red beard. In the pics You can really only see the markings on the beard when they’re black but when he’s happy, they turn into a really pretty blue. When he’s super happy they turn white and it just makes him look brighter than usual. Oh, and AHBD, I believe he is a boy but it’s hard to tell. The vet didn’t say anything about him being female so I guess he is male. Again, thank you both a lot. You guys are very very nice people btw.
 

AHBD

BD.org Sicko
You're very welcome ! I'm glad to try and help as I'm sure Shinryu is as well. Best wishes to you + your dragon , please don't hesitate to post here anytime with any more Q's or concerns you might have or just some fun pics. 🙂
 
Hello, I just wanted to say your Max is beautiful and wanted to send you some positive vibes! It sounds like you really love and want what's best for your little guy. Im still new to beardie owning but I also have 4 kids so sometimes our schedules are hectic and the way I deal with that and making sure my dragon is always fed on schedule ( he's still young so gets fed 3 times a day) is setting alarms on my phone. That way even if I'm in the middle of something else I have that reminder. It may seem like such a small thing but it has helped a couple of times when the day seems to just be flying by. Hope that helps a little!
Mel
 

loljelloclowdz

Juvie Member
I don’t know what to do with my beardie. I’ve been thinking about it and I just don’t know, I don’t even know if I’m posting this in the right forum. I guess I’m just asking if anybody can guide me and tell me what to do- idk. (Ok I just realized my name literally being idkman on this website is some really cruel joke). I have a bearded dragon named Max, I love him so so much but he’s scared of almost everything. Ever since I got home almost 5 years ago he’s been scared of every human. He hasn’t been aggressive since 4 and a half years ago. He’s fine with being held sometimes, pet, and taken out if his enclosure. He loves baths and is fine with being hand fed. Yet- his stress marks never go away, he tenses and starts breathing rapidly when I open his cage, sometimes he does run away. I can never wake him up because when I do, he bloats up and turns black. it’s been FIVE YEARS and I can’t even get him to feel safe. I can’t get him to feel happiness that lasts longer then getting a bath or treat. I can’t pet him sometimes without him closing his eyes, telling me to leave him alone. He just deserves so so much more because he really is a great bearded dragon. I don’t want to give up and I Love him so much but Clearly whatever I’ve been doing hasn’t been working and I clearly can’t help him and just freakin failed him. I also used to not be a good beardie owner. I still wouldn’t consider myself that much of a “good” bearded dragon owner. I was uneducated but worst of all- sometimes I didn’t even care. Like- I’ve walked by his cage and seen that it was a mess and then just continued on with my day- like???? or I’ve looked at the time to see that it was 5 and time for him to eat and then just said that I’d do it after I was done with binging some dumb episode only to end of forgetting to feed him or interact with him that day. That has got to be so freakin screwed up. He ended up getting parasites because guess what? Not cleaning a bearded dragons cage kinda makes them prone to that type of stuff! Who would have thought huh? Honestly that’ just so complete and utterly screwed up yknow. Ever since then, I’ve definitely improved but who’s to say I won’t revert back to being a crappy person. But anyways, I’ve been thinking of giving him away to someone who’s capable of helping him or I could continue to keep him and work with him myself- but I think that’s just me being selfish. If I we’re to keep him, he’d be in a more familiar environment and he knows me so he’ll feel safer and who know maybe one day he really will be truly happy. This option could also lead to the possibility that I revert back to being a crappy owner or he just doesn’t get better. If i were to give him away- I wouldn’t know what to do. I don’t know anyone who would take him in and I don’t know anyplaces in the Jacksonville area that woild work with him. (I’ll search that up and see what I find tomorrow) If someone does know a place and recommends it then please say something. Also is there even a place where u can board them to rehabilitate them like what they do with dogs?? If there is then that’s another option. However, I barely have money and even if I could take them to a place like that ik those guys would make me pay far too much money since max is an exotic animal. Now that that story is done, if anyone can just help me know what the best course of action is, I’d be so great full and I know max would too. I love him so much and he just needs to happy. Also going to give a bunch of pics of my chonky boy because everyone needs to see his beauty.
My cockatiel is absolutely scared of everything except for my mom and me. I think it’s honestly a personality thing because she doesn’t like toys, playgrounds for birds, nesting materials, or bird harnesses. She gets super stressed easily and we have to be careful not to overstimulate her. If he doesn’t like humans, I’d say maybe don’t try to interact with him anymore because he’s demonstrated for 5 whole years that he’s just not interested in that. You should get him a giant vivarium and let him live in that, maybe giving him an entire room to roam. Is he wild caught or something? He sounds like he has wild instincts. You’ll have to bathe him still as his shed might need assistance, but I’d say it would be best to just let him be for as much as possible if you’ve honestly tried everything.
 

Apolla

Member
I'm sure you're a good owner, you do care that Max has a good life.

I don't know how you could really tell...but is Max visually or hearing impaired? If he doesn't see/hear you very well, you may startle him.
 
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