Do you think your bearded dragon is lonely?
Are you considering breeding bearded dragons?
Would you like to add a second pet to your enclosure?
If you already have a bearded dragon, it’s essential to know its space and territory limitations.
This is key to having healthy bearded dragons.
What can live with a bearded dragon?
Bearded dragons can live with other reptiles of similar size and from dry, hot environments if there is enough space. Male bearded dragons should NEVER be placed with another male, and it’s still recommended bearded dragons be kept alone.
Read on for more details on precisely what living situations are possible with bearded dragons.
Bearded Dragons And Sharing Space
Bearded dragons naturally wander.
They cover a lot of space, and in captivity, they need a lot of space as well.
They’re also very territorial creatures — males who come across one another challenge each other for dominance and access to mates.
When this happens, they inflate their beards and gape their mouths.
They may also begin hissing at each other.
This is usually followed by biting and attacking.
They don’t often seek to kill the challenging male, but they do this to assert their dominance.
Females do this with each other for control over food as well.
From this information, we can give recommendations when it comes to bearded dragons sharing space.
The minimum space for a single adult beardy is 50 gallons, but 75 gallons is recommended.
Adding another reptile means you need to increase the space as well.
Putting them in too close of quarters may result in the submissive bearded dragon being abused by the dominant and not getting enough food.
To even begin to consider getting another reptile to live with your beardy, you need to have a large enclosure.
If you do keep two bearded dragons in the same enclosure, you must keep up with proper cleaning in their tank.
I recommend doubling the frequency of your cleanings to make sure it stays as clean as possible.
An unclean environment passes on parasites and diseases like wildfire.
Here are some quick recommendations for cleaning with two bearded dragons in one tank:
Spot cleaning – Check to remove droppings and leftover food.
Do this 2-4 times a day.
Rough cleaning – Remove the bearded dragons and wipe down the walls and furniture in the enclosure with a vinegar/water solution.
Do this 2-3 times a week with two beardies.
Deep cleaning- Remove the bearded dragons and all furniture.
Wipe down the furniture with the same solution.
Remove and change the flooring.
Wipe down the walls and bottom of the tank.
Do this 2-3 times a month with two bearded dragons.
Male and Male Bearded Dragons
Because of their territorial nature, NEVER keep two male bearded dragons in an enclosure.
One will become dominant and prevent the submissive from eating.
This shortens the lifespan of the submissive and creates an unhappy and unhealthy bearded dragon.
Male and Female Bearded Dragons
Male and female bearded dragons can technically be kept together if the tank is large enough and if the two reptiles are close to the same size.
Be aware this won’t prevent aggressive behavior on the part of the male.
It also means they may mate and produce more bearded dragons.
Even though this is technically possible, bearded dragons still aren’t meant to share space with other beardies.
If you want to breed bearded dragons, it’s still better to keep the male and female in separate tanks until it’s time to mate.
Female and Female Bearded Dragons
Of the three bearded dragon options, female-female enclosures are the most doable if the tank is large enough and if the female bearded dragons are close to the same size.
Having a female much larger than the other may result in the dominating behavior we’re trying to avoid.
Again, the best scenario for a happy and healthy bearded dragon is one where the reptile is kept alone in its enclosure.
You can always take them out of their separate enclosures to interact with one another if you want to.
Bearded Dragon Mates
There may come a time you’re interested in mating bearded dragons.
This is a natural extension of serious bearded dragon owners.
It’s still not recommended keeping a male and female in the same enclosure all the time.
It’s better for their health and happiness to keep them in separate enclosures most of the time.
When the male and female are 18 months old, consider mating them.
Make sure the tank is large enough to keep both of them for a time (check out the recommendations above).
To encourage them to mate, put them together for a week, and then separate them for a week.
Continue this until you’ve noticed copulation or mating behavior.
Often, you’ll know a male is ready to mate because their beard darkens, and they begin to bite the female’s neck and pursue her around the tank.
Note: Even in this scenario, you don’t keep the bearded dragons together full time.
Warning! There is a lot more involved in the process of breeding bearded dragons.
The information given is focused on keeping dragons in the same enclosure.
Bearded Dragons And Other Reptiles
Even though bearded dragons can share space with other reptiles, it’s still recommended keeping a beardy in its own enclosure.
The first thing to consider is if the other reptile is from the same natural environment as the bearded dragon.
If you force a wetland reptile to cohabitate with the dry, bearded dragon, your other reptile will not survive.
Bearded dragons come naturally from the desert of Australia, so other reptiles should also come from this area.
As when sharing space with other beardies, all reptiles must be close in size.
If they aren’t, they may prey on each other.
Zoos often keep bearded dragons with shingleback lizards and blue tongue skinks.
Tortoises are an exciting choice for living with a bearded dragon.
If you want to have your beardy share space, this may be the best choice.
Tortoises are herbivores, so they won’t prey on the bearded dragon no matter how much larger they are.
These reptiles are also well-protected with the shells.
Even if the bearded dragon is naturally larger, the tortoise won’t be in danger.
The biggest concern with sharing for the tortoise and bearded dragon is the amount of space they’d need.
Tortoises already need a lot of space, but this is even larger with a bearded dragon in the enclosure.
Note: Make sure the tortoise comes from the same dry, hot environment as the bearded dragon.
Leopard tortoises and spurred tortoises are the best options, but some zoos such as the Lincoln Park Zoo also use Russian tortoises.
Another option you may want to pursue if you’re going to have a roommate for your bearded dragon are nocturnal lizards.
The reasoning behind this option is how bearded dragons are most active during the day while nocturnal lizards are active at night.
Because of this, they won’t interact too much with each other.
It’s still important to pick a lizard from a similar environment as the bearded dragon and one which is close to the same size.
There are a few nocturnal geckos which have the same natural habitat as the bearded dragon.
This includes the Diplodactylus species and smooth knob tailed geckos.
Picking one of these types of lizards means you don’t have to change any of your environmental habits for the enclosure.
The only thing you need to change is the need to feed both lizards.
How To Add Another Reptile
If you want to have your bearded dragon live with another reptile and you’ve picked the right setup for it, you can’t just throw the new reptile in.
Here are the steps needed to introduce another reptile to your bearded dragon:
Ensure the space is large enough for two reptiles to live side by side happily without needing to interact with each other often.
Check the heat and humidity needs of the reptiles and make sure they’re the same.
Get the new reptile checked by a vet before adding it.
This prevents the spread of hidden illness to your current healthy bearded dragon.
Quarantine the new reptile in its own tank for a month before adding it.
Even with a vet check, there may be a disease which doesn’t show up for a while.
Introduce them to each other outside the enclosure.
Put the new reptile in for short periods to get them used to each other and see how they interact.
Gradually add the new reptile in for more extended periods until it stays there for days.
We hope you enjoyed learning about what can live with a bearded dragon.
Ultimately, beardies are happiest and healthiest when they live alone, but if you pick another reptile of similar size and natural habitat as your pet, it can work out.
Just remember NEVER to put two male bearded dragons in one enclosure.
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