I love my beardie, Jose. Jose fascinates me. Often times, on a rainy somnolent evening, my beardie and I would sit across from each other on my flowered balcony, quietly enjoying one another’s presence.
The Aussie reptile leads life in style. The terrific agility with which he catches his prey, the majestic spiny scales so precisely etched on his golden skin, the occasional exhibition of dominance through his “big black beard”, makes his kind, irrefutably, the most endearing and sought after reptile pet in the entire world, as many would agree.
So, are you a proud owner of a beardie too? If yes, congratulations! Next question, do you know how to take good care of your beardie, keep him clean, tidy and healthy? If no, here are some beardie grooming tips you just can’t do without:
How to Bathe your Beardie:
Here I am going to lay out a step-by-step guide on how you can give your beardie a hassle-free shower.
Step 1: Estimate how often your beardie needs a bath. It depends on what environment your beardie is brought up in. Does he like playing around a lot? Does he prefer sandy outdoors to the cozy comfort of your bed? If yes, then bathe him at least once a week. If not, twice a week is just about fine.
Step 2: Setting up the ‘bath-tub’. This part is slightly tricky. You can’t expect your pet lizard to not pee or defecate in wherever it’s bathing, and behave as good human. As such, set a container or bowl which is to be strictly used for that purpose. A kiddie pool or a plastic bin or a spare basin or sink will serve the purpose.
Step 3: Checking the temperature of the water. I recommend using a thermometer, if you have one at your disposal. The water should be lukewarm by definition. It should not be too hot or too cold, especially, if your beardie is juvenile. In fact, too cold is even worse than too hot as it can stop your beardie’s heart straight away. The ideal temperature is between 93 to 98 degree fahrenheit.
Step 4: Placing your beardie in the water. If he reacts violently or abnormally to the water, just give him a splash of cold water. The water must be free of all chemicals. Bearded dragons are extremely sensitive to any and all chemicals, and as such all kinds of soaps and detergents should be avoided. Not only will it affect his skin and eyes, drinking the chemically treated water can possibly wind your beardie up in the hospital. So, normal tap water is a safe bet.
Step 4: Bathing your beardie. Fill the container with water with depth not more than your beardie’s knee joints. Once, he is in the water allow him to swim free. Put him in the centre of the container and let him swim up to the edge. Gently rub his back, tail with your fingers and sprinkle water all over his body.
Step 5: Finishing up. After a good 10 to 15 minutes take him up and dry him up with a clean soft towel.
Clipping Your Beardie’s Nails:
It is second in the grooming list and below are the steps:
Step 1: Calming him down. No baby likes their nails done and beardies are no different when it comes to that. Ideally, it takes two persons to give his nails a hassle-free trim. So, before setting foot in the business it is recommended that you and the other person play around with him a little bit so that he gets acquainted with your touch and doesn’t squirm.
Step 2: Holding the beardie in position. One of the two people can hold him down, gently, on a table or him up in the air with his limbs stretched out.
Step 3: Clipping his nails. Go to the store and buy a cat nail-clipper to clip your beardie’s nails. Care must be taken to not cut the nails too deep. Trimming off the top pointy part is just about enough. Bearded dragons have veins located in the beginning of their nails which supply blood to the nails. As such, you can’t risk trimming the nails all the way up to the beginning as this might result in bleeding. Also, they need their nails to climb, clutch on to things and catch prey. So, strictly avoid over-cutting.
Step 4 (Wherever applicable): If you accidentally cut further into a nail than you should, and if your beardie starts bleeding, don’t panic! Any anti-clotting gel with anti-septic properties heal the wound. However, if the bleeding sustains, contact the vet.
Bearded dragons are really low maintenance and one of the most fun pets to keep. They are docile and will mix quite well with any other pet that you might have. The above grooming tips are more than sufficient to keep your beardie fit and healthy. You are lucky to own a beardie; make sure your beardie is lucky to have you.