Bearded dragons take over most of the home as a pet reptile’s best friend. They are beautiful, easy-going, and docile; no wonder pet parents are considering owning more than one bearded dragon. Plus, these reptiles love the company of humans, and if you can get a lot of beards, why not?
But one thing you should consider before bringing home another beardie is where you will be keeping your newest friend. Bearded dragons can tolerate sharing space with humans but not with fellow bearded dragons.
Read on for more insight into why beards shouldn’t share a house and when they can live together.
Why Bearded Dragons Shouldn’t Live Together
Two beards could potentially share a cage without showing any problems. However, this was a huge gamble, and they were better off living apart.
These domesticated reptiles are solitary creatures in the wild and thrive on spending their days alone. Bearded dragons don’t crave attention, interaction, or companionship from others to feel content and happy.
Since they have evolved to live alone, they are naturally more developed when they are not sharing space with other creatures. And, no, your beardie won’t feel lonely, sad, or anxious if he doesn’t have friends.
The Danger of Holding Many Bearded Dragons in One Tank
Beardies may be cute and easy going, but they are very territorial. They didn’t appreciate other dragons invading their personal space for the most part.
They can show aggression, especially males, who have the most passionate territorial stripes. Plus, sharing habitat prevents sufficient and adequate sunbathing. As a result, bearded dragons rely on heat lamps to bask in captivity, which is important to their health as heat aids digestion.
These animals need to sunbathe after eating to digest the food they just ate. However, insufficient sunbathing leads to health problems like intestinal decay, where food stays in the stomach and rots without being digested.
Beardies sharing a tank may be fighting over basking positions, and it’s common to see one hogging the heater and not allowing the other access to it. This is mainly due to dominance, as one dragon will protect and dominate a certain place in the tank.
Two or More Bearded Men Together
You may want to avoid keeping several beards together if you want peace and fewer vet visits. You can be sure that their stay will involve the fiercest and cruelest battle for dominance.
Male beards want to feel like they have their own space, so they will definitely fight over the same territory if they live together. Unfortunately, these battles usually end with one or both of the reptiles seriously injured.
Woman and Woman Together
Some female bearded dragons may be able to share habitat with surveillance because they are not as territorial as their male counterparts – but even so, we still recommend separate housing above all for full safety measures.
If you have two females, and a male beardie, chances are you won’t be witnessing a fight because of him. Even so, it is recommended that all have separate tanks, even if you let them roam together under surveillance during the day.
Men and Women Together
A pair of female and male beardies will work, but make sure that they will mate and reproduce more than you would like. Although these pairs usually coexist, it is very important to keep an eye on them as male beards tend to be hostile when it comes to mating.
It’s not uncommon for this aggression when it’s hot to hurt the female bearded dragon. The male bites the female’s neck or mouth to pinch her and prevent her from escaping.
Beard females can lay about 20 eggs per clutch and 3-4 clutches per mating process. This means you may get more than 40-80 eggs in the aquarium. So if you’re pairing a female and a male for mating, it’s best to be prepared when hatching time comes, or it will be quite a surprise.
Also, make sure that a female pet is at least two years old before pairing her with a male in the same tank. If they mate before the female is sexually mature, it can lead to health complications.
Never place two male dragons in the same cage with one female beardie as this can trigger a fight over her. For this reason, you may need to think long and hard before placing your male and female bearded dragons in the same tank. Do it only if you want them to breed.
Two Baby Dragons Together
Bearded babies get along well in the same cage for some time, as long as they are the same size.
Young dragons were even better off if they were kept together from the time they hatched than if they were two complete strangers. However, they tend to become more territorial and develop aggression over time as they age.
You can hold baby beards together. It may be time to separate them as soon as you see aggression.
Consider the Size of Your Pet
Size matters when pairing bearded dragons. They are better separated if they are significantly different in size.
The size of a creature plays an important role in the animal kingdom, and usually the smallest individual that dies never makes it to the top. A large dragon sharing a cage with a small beardie can propel an adult large enough to injure and kill a smaller roommate.
Also, the bigger bearded dragons will probably snatch away all the food you give them, causing the little guy to eventually starve to death. Unfortunately, aggression and abuse can even occur between a baby beardie and her mother.
So don’t let the baby dragon share the cage with any adult, even its mother.
Make sure you keep an eye on your pets if you decide they should live together. Remove immediately any exhibiting aggressive behavior, bite marks, or are generally unhappy and undeveloped.
How to Tell If a Bearded Dragon is Being Bullied
You won’t miss any signs of possible intimidation when two beards share a cage. Fortunately, beards always show their feelings using certain traits.
For example, an uncomfortable and distracted bearded dragon might indicate:
Loss of appetite
Head swinging slowly
Bullies will also display behavior that suggests they are trying to intimidate others. These behaviors include:
Shaking head quickly
Pinching another beardie
Stand tall and proud
How to Take Care of a Wounded Bearded Dragon
Here’s how to ensure the safety of your beard if one of them is bitten or scratched after a fight or mating.
Clean the wound and the bite site by pouring salt water over the injured area.
Apply an antibiotic ointment to the wound area to reduce the risk of infection.
Cover the cleaned and treated area with a dressing to encourage healing.
You may need to take your pet to the family vet if the wound is deep, infected, and affects your pet’s mobility.
What to Do If You Have Many Dragons
1. Give One Beardie Away
The first thing to do is to give one to prevent both from being unhappy. Of course, this solution isn’t the best, especially if you grew up attached to both pets, but it’s the safest option to avoid problems in the future.
2. Get Some Tanks
If you have more than one beardie and don’t want to give another one, find another tank set up. However, it means you will spend more money on a second cage.
Pet shops sell bearded dragons in groups because they want to make money. Don’t make the mistake of buying everything at once without a proper plan.
While there is no definitive answer as to whether to allow multiple bearded dragons to share a tank, what is certain is that two males, or two males and one female bearded dragon, should not share a cage.
Featured Image Credit: TeeFarm, Pixabay