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A beardie is one of the relatively more straightforward pets to care for than other common household pets like cats and dogs. The most common beardie species people have as a pet is Pogona vitticeps. Just like any other pet, your beardie requires your attention for them to have a happy and healthy life. You should follow the time limit as it is not a good idea to leave your beardie unattended for too long on several occasions.
You must keep an eye on your bearded dragon by attending to it once a day. However, if you leave your bearded dragon alone for more than three days, they can become stressed and may get into trouble. Responsible owners will give their best and make efforts to ensure their well-being, especially for younger beardies.
This article highlights all that you need to know about leaving your beardie alone, including what preparations you need to have in place. Keep reading to find out more.
Does Age Matter When Leaving Your Beardie Alone?
Yes, age plays a crucial role in determining whether to leave your beardie alone. The younger the beardie is, the less time you should leave your beardie alone. These pets are pretty like human children and require constant attention at their formative stages.
As the owner, you have a lot to worry about as most of these young beardies require daily care during this fragile time. It is not advisable to leave them alone, even for a night. You should engage with your baby beardie daily to guarantee that they grow up healthy.
You might have a bit of freedom when the beardie reaches the juvenile stage. In most cases, an overnight trip is not an issue. However, you shouldn’t go for two or more days, and one day should suffice.
The restriction applies to baby and juvenile bearded dragons because of their metabolism rate and fast growth. For that reason, they need daily nourishment to keep up with their growth pace.
Leaving them alone for more than a day will tend to cause harm to their health because they require meals daily. When your beardie is at an adult or senior stage, you will have more freedom since their metabolism rate is lower than when they were younger.
When adult beardies cannot find food in the wild, they frequently go without nourishment for a few days. The same applies to domesticated beardies as they have enough fat stored in their body tissues to help them get through a couple of days with relative ease.
If you have an adult beardie, heading out to have fun should be okay but don’t stay away for three days. You can also take your bearded dragon on night trips when it is a little older.
How Long Can You Leave Your Beardie Alone?
To figure out how long you should leave your beardie alone, you’ll need to look at some realistic scenarios. You might think that leaving your beardie at someone’s place is a good option. However, not everyone might be interested and willing to take care of a beardie.
The only option left is boarding with it, but you might only have little to no space left for your beardie.
As mentioned above, the answer to this question depends on the type of beardie you own. Baby beardies require more attention and care. Leaving them overnight is not a good idea, but it will be fine for juveniles. For an adult beardie, your beardie will be fine if you leave it for one to two days, but it is not advisable to do it regularly.
Three to four days should be the maximum, but issues will set in if you stretch it further to a week. Your bearded dragon will likely survive if it ends up alone for a week with no long term-ill effects.
Despite having emergencies, you should try as much as possible to avoid your bearded dragon from spending this much time alone.
Preparations for Your Bearded Dragon When Leaving on a Vacation
Before leaving for a vacation, you must ensure the enclosure is clean and have the substrate replaced. Doing this will ensure that your bearded dragon doesn’t end up getting sick due to dirty conditions. Check that your beardie has access to water and fresh air. There should be no insects around like crickets and no predators present.
You would want to make things easier by traveling with your beardie. However, suppose you don’t have space. In that case, you can come up with all the necessary accessories like a thermostat, heaters, water, timers, humidity control, etc., to help your beardie while you are away.
Below are some of the things you should double-check before leaving your bearded dragon for a few days.
Set Lights on Timers
One of the primary things to do while setting your lighting is having your 12-hour timers activated. You can use travel timers with UV light and basking lamb on the same cycle. Power Strip by ZooMed consists of six outlets, of which three are on, and the other three on-timers might also be perfect for your setup.
The 12 hours off and 12 hours on configuration timer makes life easier for your beardie. The beardie will thrive well through the setup and as stress levels reduce. You should set the timers in such a way that lights turn on when the beardie gets up and off when it goes back to sleep.
Like humans, bearded dragons find it hard to sleep with the lights turned on. ZooMed timer also comes with a webcam and a ceramic heater which you can plug into the always-on side. You can plug the basking lamb and UV lights on the timer side. However, ZooMed timer costs a little more than regular timers.
Clean Their Enclosure
You should ensure the enclosure is clean and tidy before leaving for vacation. You might need to change the substrate for the vivarium to look nice. Do thorough cleaning using a safe-pet disinfectant to remove fecal matter and remnants in the vivarium to prevent the bacteria from building up.
Use deodorizers to combat and remove foul odors from the tank. If there are any skin sheds and old plant materials, make sure you clean them out. Also, clean the food and water dishes for your bearded dragon, and remember to replace the water dishes with clean drinking water.
Check the Vivarium Location
You should keep the tank away from direct sunlight as it can harm your beardie. When you expose the vivarium to direct sunshine, it will turn into an oven and do more harm. Although bearded dragons require lighting attention, it doesn’t mean you should get them near sunshine when you leave.
We also don’t recommend keeping the vivarium near the window when you leave. Most owners should keep their bearded dragons in a comfortable and regular place.
Set the Thermostat
Thermostats are great home devices that can manage your cooling and heating at home through a feature known as geofencing. Geofencing might help you save a lot on heating bills even if you are not at home, and it will be beneficial to your beardie.
Make sure your home’s temperature does not fall below 65 degrees Fahrenheit; otherwise, it will cause issues to your bearded dragon. To avoid the temperature dropping below 65 degrees Fahrenheit, you will need to install a ceramic heater that will turn on when your basking light turns off.
Give Your Bearded Dragon Water
It is essential and refreshing to give your bearded dragon regular baths as part of your weekly care routine. Baths are a necessary part of helping the bearded dragon stay hygienic from bacteria, fungus, and parasites.
When you want to travel, you should ensure your bearded dragon is clean by giving it a nice warm bath as it plays a vital role in keeping its skin healthy.
Baths ensure proper hydration of the beardie even if they refuse to drink the water you provided on the dishes.
Baths also unleash the fun and wild side of your beardie, which allows you to bond and strengthen your relationship. It also offers relief to the beardie by alleviating constipation and shedding.
Set up a Webcam
A webcam will help you keep an eye on your beardie and catch a problem if it occurs when you are away for a few days. With a webcam, you will have peace of mind as you will monitor everything from light cycles to your beardy’s up and down moves.
If something wrong happens to your pet and it seems not okay, you can call someone to help right away.
Seek Help from a Friend or Neighbour
You should always have someone who can assist in an emergency while away. If any issue occurs, the person should be on standby to help you be prepared for most “what if” scenarios.
If possible, you can ask your neighbor or friend to keep an eye on the beardie. Having a webcam and someone who can ensure everything is alright is an excellent way to tranquilize your mind.
What Are the Feeding Practices to Follow Before Leaving Your Beardie Home Alone?
If you’re going to leave your beardie at home alone, there are a few dietary requirements you should follow. You can feed your beardie with a pre-trip protein meal to ensure that it gets through several days without getting hungry while you are away.
The meal for young beardies should consist mainly of insects such as cockroaches, crickets, and some worms. You should attend to the insects before you leave as crickets will bite your beardie, causing infections, and roaches will find their way to hidings.
Put fresh greens inside the enclosure as soon as possible after you leave. Put the salad last in the coolest part of the enclosure since the hot and dry air will quickly dry out the greens.
You can mist the greens to keep them edible, moist and give them more hours of life.
Other meal options that don’t go bad quickly include freeze-dried crickets and mealworms. But we don’t recommend them as they are almost exoskeleton making them indigestible.
Adult beardies require 70% of salad or other vegetables and 25% of insects.
Here is a table showing some of the recommended leafy greens, insects, fruits, and weeds you can give your beardie while you are away:
FAQ’s about bearded dragons?
When you get back, it is a good idea to get your beardie a fresh meal as soon as possible, even though it might be looking just fine.
A medium-sized meal like salad is the best option to start with after a few days without food. Avoid giving your beardie meals like dried insects at this time, as it might do more harm than good to limit stomach issues like digestive problems and impaction.
Other vital tips you should do are clean their habitat, spend some time with them, and bathe them. Always keep in mind not to leave your beardie unattended for a long time.
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