Greg the Bearded dragon. Who's actually a girl...I think.

in Hive Pets3 months ago

This is a not so recent anymore rescue of ours, Greg. Greg is a central bearded dragon and would usually live in the deserts and heat of central Australia, unfortunately he found himself in the carpark of a shopping centre in the south eastern parts of the country. He was taken to a vet and scanned but like most lizards he wasn't microchipped, so they put out the word for his owner. No one came forward and after being shuffled around a bit he found his way to us, still sporting some injuries from his time astray.

Greg on hand.jpg

Poor Greg had 4 puncture wounds, 3 on his underside and one on the top, the way its positioned looked like maybe he had been caught by a cat or something similar, but there was fairly minimal damage and we cleaned his wounds every few days,voila good as new.
We were originally told it was a male bearded dragon and usually the only way to check is internally by a vet. Supposedly there is another way but I just get the feeling that its a girl. We will keep the name Greg until we're sure, I assume she wont mind.

Greg eating.jpg

In captivity bearded dragons need plenty of space and things to climb on. They are also a solitary animal and housing them together, unless for breeding is strongly recommended against. Especially if either is male. Male bear dies are territorial and aggressive, they are prone to attack others in their space and whilst they may get along for a while, years even, one day you will wake up and find one of them dead or seriously injured. Example at my local pet shop they keep anywhere from 3-5 beardies in one tank the same size as the one I keep my singular dragon in. With minimal things to keep them entertained they resort to attacking each other and last time I visited, not a single one of them wasn't missing parts of their tail. But they're "experts" and they know better.

greg in grass.jpg

They are curious animals and enjoy perching somewhere and looking around. Greg isn't the most inquisitive beardie I've met but he has his moments. He does enjoy playing in the grass outside when the weather permits though, and he doesn't mind a bath. I fill the bath or sink with luke warm water about 3 or so inches and put a couple rocks in there and he swims about. Aside from enjoying it it's good for his skin and helps with hydration ensuring he has a full healthy shed each time. After a bath I wrap him up like a burrito in a towel and pat him dry, he seems to enjoy it.

greg bath.jpg

greg as a burrito.jpg

Bearded dragons need a pretty varied diet with plenty of vegetables and leafy greens. In a lot of cases if they have enough in their diet they wont even drink from a waterbowl. Aside from vegetables Greg enjoys chasing crickets and woodies(little cockroaches) but by far his favourite treat is mealworms. At first I gave him mealworms almost daily or every second day to try and help him gain weight as mealworms are generally fairly high in fat and protein.
Bearded dragons require supplementation to their diet to ensure no issues like metabolic bone disease can occur.
MBD is a fairly common but complex disorder where the bones don't form properly. MBD is usually caused when a beardie doesn't have access to a UVB light or natural sunlight. Glass and plastic usually block UVB and so any light behind glass is essentially useless. Beardies use UVB to convert calcium and without adequate light and calcium in their diet they can quickly develop issues, especially if a juvenile.

greg in tank.jpg

Bearded dragons can change the colour of both their skin and their bear. Their skin will generally change with their temperature, eg if they want to warm up the skin on the back will darken to absorb my light/heat. the beard on their chin will inflate and change colour based on mood, if grumpy they can go jet black and puff up. It looks quite cool but Greg is fairly relaxed and has no reason to be grumpy so it doesn't happen often. When I visit the pet stores I see all black beards and bobbing heads, a clear sign they're not happy.
Even when hanging out with friends Greg doesn't seem annoyed.

Greg, Lizzy and Stumpy.jpg

Beardies tank looks like this but has been decorated more since this picture was taken, it now consists of half fake grass, half sand, with more sticks for climbing and more fake plants.
There is debate as to whether sand is good for them and it can have health issues but that's generally due to poor husbandry and keeping, rather than general habits. It's always advised to not feed on sand as ingesting it can cause compaction which is deadly, but other than that if you're taking proper care of your dragon I see no issue with sand, It is far more like their natural habitat anyway.

gregs tank.jpg

Almost all of my animals are rehomes or adoptions, I take in reptiles that people don't want or have abandoned (which is sadly common) and try and give them a nice home. Beardies often find themselves homeless as parents get them for children as a pet but they get bored of them. They're not like a dog and they will probably never love you, but they are awesome creatures in their own right, with their own personalities and quirks and they still deserve a good home and a good life if you take one on as a pet.

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Do you need to have a license to keep reptiles as pets over there?

Yea, well you need a licence for most of them, the blue tongue lizards and turtles you don't have to but everything else. The licence itself isn't bad but I need a second licence to be able to take them off the property and do demonstrations with, which is like $800 a year lol

Oof x_x