Beginning on 7/12/2021, Pender had to adjust our emergency hours. We are open to see incoming emergencies from 7:00am-10:00pm until further announced. Pender will still have qualified Veterinary Professionals for nursing care 24/7, 365 with a doctor on call for hospitalized patients. Since an Emergency Veterinarian is not onsite after 10:00pm, please remember to call us if you need help with your pet, as our evening and overnight team does have access to the status of other local emergency rooms and can better serve you if you call first to discuss your pets needs during night-time hours.
They are now one of the most popular and sought after reptiles due to their gentle nature and wide range of color variations. Blossoms from roses, hibiscus and candula plants can be presented as well (just make sure they havent been treated with pesticides!).
What did bearded dragons evolve from?
Bearded dragons are a type of lizard that branched out of the common reptilian trunk some 250 million years ago, much earlier than the branch that would lead to the dinosaurs and the birds. A phenomenon observed in a lizard, a bird and a mammal would thus most likely have existed in their common ancestor.
Where are bearded dragons naturally from?
Habitat. In the wild, bearded dragons’ range extends across most of Australia. They typically prefer to stick to warm, arid areas: deserts, subtropical woodlands, savannas, and scrublands.
Are bearded dragons native to the United States?
Bearded dragons are native to Australia. The bearded dragon is native to Australia, but those found in the United States are captive bred specimens as they have been bred in the U.S. for decades.
Are bearded dragons smart?
Anyone who owns a bearded dragon knows that they are fairly smart reptiles.
The bearded dragon lives up to its name: Like a dragon, its equipped with armor of spiny reptilian scales, which include a beard of spikes under its chin that puffs up depending on its mood. There are eight species species of bearded dragons recognized today, all of which are affectionately called beardies.
They typically prefer to stick to warm, arid areas: deserts, subtropical woodlands, savannas, and scrublands. They bask in the sun to warm themselves and can burrow underground to avoid extreme heat and predators.
As omnivores, theyll also go for leaves, flowers, fruit, and the occasional small lizard or rodent. Known for being territorial, adult bearded dragons may display their aggression to defend their turf from other males, fight for food, or compete for a female. With a change of seasons, some bearded dragons may go through brumation, a type of hibernation, in which they stop eating and only drink water sporadically.
This dormant phase usually occurs in the fall or winter as the light changes and temperatures drop. To catch the attention of a female, a male bearded dragon embarks on a showy ritual of courtship, pounding his feet into the ground and waving his arms and bobbing his head.
Bearded dragons may be relatively new to the shores of America, but they sure are cool. Here are 10 things you probably didn’t know about bearded dragons, and why you might strongly consider bringing one into your life and home.
When they feel threatened or excited, they puff out their beards and open their mouths to make themselves look bigger. Beardies will often take naps for a few weeks in the fall (though it can happen at any time of the year) and then wake up and get back to life as usual.
Captive bearded dragons can live up to ten years, as long as they are kept physically and mentally healthy. Bearded dragons hail from the deserts of Australia.They werent introduced into the United States until the 1990s, but have since become popular as pets.
Pogona is a genus of reptiles containing six lizard species which are often known by the common name bearded dragons. The name “bearded dragon” refers to the underside of the throat (or “beard”) of the lizard, which can turn black and puff out for a number of reasons, most often as a result of stress, or if they feel threatened. They are a semi-arboreal species, spending significant amounts of time on branches, in bushes, and near human habitation. Pogona species bask on rocks and exposed branches in the mornings and afternoons. Their diet consists primarily of insects, vegetation, and occasionally small rodents. They are found throughout much of Australia and inhabit a wide range of environments, such as deserts, shrublands and Eucalyptus woodlands.
They live in the arid and subtropicalwoodlands , scrublands, savannas , shore areas, and into the great interior deserts.  They will also form more permanent burrows or covered hiding places to use as protection from the climate changes at night and predation.
As they grow, they establish territories in which displays of aggression and appeasement form a normal part of their social interactions. Extreme behavior such as hissing can be observed when threatened with a predator, inflating the body and tilting towards the threat in defense. Bearded dragons have relatively strong jaws but will often only attack as a last resort when threatened outside of competition with their own species.
 Female bearded dragons have been seen lowering themselves towards the ground and intermittently arm-waving whilst moving away from a dominant male in an attempt to either appease or escape. A courtship ritual occurs where the male starts bobbing his head, waving his arms, and stomping his feet in front of the female. This means that while the embryo is developing, higher temperatures cause dragons with a male genotype to experience sex reversal and express a female phenotype.
Bearded dragons are social animals During the development of an embryo, abnormalities may result in birth defects. Captive adults reach about 40 to 61 cm (16 to 24 in) from head to tail, weigh 350 to 600 g (10 to 20 oz)  and live for about 10 to 15 and longer with good care. Through selective breeding, there are many different versions of the Central Inland Bearded Dragon; these are referred to as Morphs.
Translucents (or Trans) have a slightly opaque quality to their skin, making their colors seem stronger, and also have black eyes. Juvenile and baby bearded dragon diets consist mainly of insects , and they require substantial amounts of protein. Crickets and dubia roaches are the most popular insects fed to bearded dragons, but they can also be fed other insects such as black soldier fly larvae , spiders , locusts , superworms , silkworms , butterworms , fruit flies, grasshoppers , mealworms and hornworms .
Bearded dragons also eat increasing amounts of plant-based food as they grow; adults should have a diet consisting primarily of plant matter, the most important of which are leafy greens.  Spring greens, endive, kale,  rocket, Chinese leaf, and watercress are all suitable vegetables, as are butternut squash, pea shoots, bell peppers, and many other plants. Bearded dragons also require supplements to stay healthy, including calcium , vitamin D , and a multivitamin .
Some health issues that bearded dragons may have include metabolic bone disease , adenovirus, impaction , polarisation, and parasites. The majority of health issues bearded dragons face in captivity are due to poor diet and inadequate heat and lighting. Most bearded dragons in captivity will be fed supplementation and all will need a UVB light to enable them to properly use calcium in their diet.
Maintaining a diet that consists of enough calcium is crucial to avoiding hypocalcemia as well as metabolic bone disease. Bearded dragons develop a respiratory infection due to a number of reasons such as incorrect lightning and temperature, high humidity, prolonged psychological stress, and poor captive conditions.  Common symptoms of ADV-positive bearded dragons include stunted growth and slow weight gain.
Bearded dragons require UVB to enable vitamin D 3 synthesis and to prevent illnesses like metabolic bone disease . In the wild, while the average lifespan tends to be much shorter, with adequate conditions, exceptional bearded dragons may live up to 20 years when not eaten as prey. Jones MEH, Pistevos JC, Cooper N, Lappin, AK, Georges A Hutchinson MN, Holleley CE.
“Reproductive phenotype predicts adult bite-force performance in sex reversed dragons ( Pogona vitticeps )”. Delboeuf illusion in red-footed tortoise ( Chelonoidis carbonaria ) and bearded dragon ( Pogona vitticeps )” . ^ Amey Andrew P. Whittier Joan M. (2000) The annual reproductive cycle and sperm storage in the bearded dragon, Pogona barbata.
“Evolving thermal thresholds explain the distribution of temperature sex reversal in an Australian dragon lizard” . ^ Jones, Marc; Pistavos, Jennifer; Cooper, Natalie; Lappin, AK; Georges, Arthur (April 2020). “Revision of the Bearded Dragons (Lacertilia: Agamidae) of Western Australia with Notes on the Dismemberment of the Genus Amphibolurus “.
Bearded dragons are also known by their scientific genus name,
Beardies wave their arms at each other to show species recognition or to demonstrate submission. (You can watch some cute-as-pie baby beardies waving here.
Bearded dragons can run up to nine miles per hour. But for the most part, they are quite sedentary lizards.
Bearded dragons are one of the most easy-going and relaxed in the reptile world. They are amongst the easiest to leash train, and will even casually allow their owners to dress them in clothing.
Bearded dragons get their name from the spiny projections under their necks that resemble a man’s beard. When they feel threatened or excited, they puff out their beards and open their mouths to make themselves look bigger.
Bearded dragons show their romantic interest by bobbing their heads up and down at prospective mates — the male bobs his head rapidly and the female responds with a slower head bobbing. They will also wave at each other to show interest.
Beardies eat a variety of things: greens, leaves, fruit, flowers, and small pieces of meat, including insects, small rodents, and small lizards.
Beardies will often take naps for a few weeks in the fall (though it can happen at any time of the year) and then wake up and get back to life as usual.
Captive bearded dragons can live up to ten years, as long as they are kept physically and mentally healthy.
Bearded dragons originate from deserts and other dry areas in Australia, with the various species occupying slightly overlapping areas of the landmass. They live in the arid and subtropical woodlands, scrublands, savannas, shore areas, and into the great interior deserts.Bearded dragons go through a type of hibernation called brumation. Brumation is like hibernation where reptiles go months without eating but they sporadically drink water. Reptiles go dormant in the hottest temperatures, but it differs from brumation during cooler temperatures. When temperatures are extreme, there is a very small range between temperatures that the reptile’s bodies can stay active and where their body cannot tolerate the extreme heat and they die.
Adult bearded dragons are very territorial. As they grow, they establish territories in which displays of aggression and appeasement form a normal part of their social interactions. A dominant male will adopt a dominant stance and sometimes ready himself for a fight to attack a male aggressor to defend territory, food sources, or in competition for a female. Any male approaching without displaying submissive behavior will be seen as a challenge for the territory. Aggressive males have even been known to attack females who do not display submissive gestures in return.Correspondingly, adult male bearded dragons can bite more forcefully than adult females and this difference is associated with greater head dimensions.The bearded dragon comes in many different colors. The beard itself is used for mating and aggression displays, as well as heat management. It forms part of a range of gestures and signals through which the dragons have basic levels of communication. Both sexes have a beard, but males display more frequently, especially in courtship rituals. Females also display their beard as a sign of aggression. The beard darkens, sometimes turning jet black, and inflates during the display. The bearded dragon may also open its mouth and gape in addition to inflating its beard to appear more intimidating. Extreme behavior such as hissing can be observed when threatened with a predator, inflating the body and tilting towards the threat in defense. Bearded dragons have relatively strong jaws but will often only attack as a last resort when threatened outside of competition with their own species.Head bobbing is another behavior seen in both females and males; they quickly move their heads up and down, often darkening and flaring their beard. Changes in the pace of head bobbing are thought to be a form of communication. Males head bob to impress females, and a male will often have to demonstrate his dominance when attempting to mate before the female will concede. Smaller males will often respond to larger male’s heads bobbing by arm-waving, which is a submissive sign. Females will also arm wave to avoid aggression, often in response to a male’s head bobbing.The bearded dragon has also been shown to perceive illusion, specifically the
When brumation comes to an end the male bearded dragon goes out to find a mate. A courtship ritual occurs where the male starts bobbing his head, waving his arms, and stomping his feet in front of the female. The male chases the female and will bite the back of her neck and hold on while he gets in position to copulate.During the breeding period, female bearded dragons can store sperm in the oviductal crypts.Bearded dragons exhibit temperature sex determination. This means that while the embryo is developing, higher temperatures cause dragons with a male genotype to experience sex reversal and express a female phenotype. This produces a bearded dragon that is a female but still has a male genotype. Incubation temperatures above 31 degrees Celsius can cause sex reversal, and the likelihood of sex reversal has a positive correlation with temperature up until 36 degrees Celsius. Incubation temperatures below 31 degrees Celsius cannot trigger sex reversal.
During the development of an embryo, abnormalities may result in birth defects. These abnormalities might be caused by chromosomal disorders, chemicals, or other genetic or environmental factors.
The central bearded dragon is the most common species in captivity, as well as one of the most popular pet reptiles, with some smaller species such asIntroduced into the U.S. as pets during the 1990s, bearded dragons are a species that have gained much popularity as an exotic pet. This popularity has been sustained, even after Australia banned the sale of its wildlife as pets in the 1960s.Through selective breeding, there are many different versions of the Central Inland Bearded Dragon; these are referred to as “Morphs”. There are a few main genetic traits, Hypomelanism and Translucents, which refer to traits physically displayed by the dragon. Hypomelanism (or Hypos) tend to have more vibrant coloration and lighter colors, as well as very light brown/, see-through claws. Translucents (or Trans) have a slightly opaque quality to their skin, making their colors seem stronger, and also have black eyes. There are also “Leatherbacks” (reduced scale texture to give a smoother skin), “Silkbacks” (Highly reduced scale texture and very soft outer skin) and “German Giants” (noticeably larger than your average bearded dragon) Silkbacks in particular require special care as they have far more delicate skin and as such require different UV and humidity requirements. They also tend to live shorter lifespans.Added to this there are various patterns, such as “Tiger”, and color types, such as “Citrus” (yellows and greens), “Oranges” and “Reds”; there are also more extreme morphs that have been bred such as “Witblits” (Light Grey/Smokey), “Paradox” (the coloration has patches where grey/purple patches appear instead of its normal skin color) and “Zeros” (Smokey Grey with purple tints and almost see-through skin).Over the years, many different breeders have selectively bred certain lines to emphasis these traits and will often name their own such as “Dunner”, “Rainbow Tigers”, “Sandfire” or “Fire & Ice”, all with either their own coloration, patterns or physical traits.
Juvenile and baby bearded dragon diets consist mainly of insects, and they require substantial amounts of protein. A juvenile bearded dragon eats insects three times a day on average. After a few feedings, the dragon’s usual appetite can be determined.
Common health issues
Although bearded dragons are fairly resilient to illness, improper care can potentially fatally hurt a bearded dragon. Some health issues that bearded dragons may have include metabolic bone disease, adenovirus, impaction, polarisation, and parasites. The majority of health issues bearded dragons face in captivity are due to poor diet and inadequate heat and lighting.
Metabolic bone disease
Metabolic bone disease (MBD) is a collective term for several common diseases/illnesses that can be fatal for bearded dragons. A main attribute of MBD is the weakening of the skeletal structure and possible deformation. It occurs in bearded dragons due to malnutrition or the use of improper lighting, meaning they are unable to properly assimilate calcium from their diet or there isn’t enough in their diet. Most bearded dragons in captivity will be fed supplementation and all will need a UVB light to enable them to properly use calcium in their diet. Typical foods that bearded dragons eat, including kale, mustard greens, and collard greens, are high in calcium and should be eaten daily along with other leafy greens and vegetables to have a well-balanced diet
Hypocalcemia occurs when there are low levels of calcium in the bearded dragon’s blood. Hypocalcemia is most often tied to metabolic bone disease. Low levels of calcium can result in twitching muscles, or seizures. Hypocalcemia is most often seen in young bearded dragons, as they are slightly more fragile than adults. Maintaining a diet that consists of enough calcium is crucial to avoiding hypocalcemia as well as metabolic bone disease.
Impaction occurs often in bearded dragons when they are fed food that is too big for them. Bearded dragons will try to eat worms or crickets that are too big for them, but this can be extremely harmful. Food should not be bigger than the space between their eyes for a young dragon. Older dragons can generally cope with larger insects but not oversized prey. If a dragon eats food that is too big for it, pressure will be put on its spinal cord during digestion. This pressure can lead to impaction which can lead to death.
Upper Respiratory Infection (URI)
In bearded dragons, respiratory infection (RI) is caused by a bacterial infection in the lungs. Respiratory infection is a common disease that every beardie experiences at least once in their life. Bearded dragons develop a respiratory infection due to a number of reasons such as incorrect lightning and temperature, high humidity, prolonged psychological stress, and poor captive conditions.
Atadenovirus (ADV), also referred to as adenovirus, is a viral disease that can be deadly. ADV can be spread between reptiles through contact alone. Most juvenile ADV-positive bearded dragons do not live past 90 days. While ADV-positive adults will live longer, they eventually contract liver diseases.
In the wild, while the average lifespan tends to be much shorter, with adequate conditions, exceptional bearded dragons may live up to 20 years when not eaten as prey.