• Beardie Bliss

What Can Live in the Same Cage as a Bearded Dragon?

Updated: Aug 19, 2021



What Can Live in the Same Cage as a Bearded Dragon? Great question! Let's jump in:



Bearded Dragons should not be housed with other species. Bearded Dragons are very territorial and will get stressed (and likely aggressive) if placed with another animal. Beardies are solitary creatures and prefer to be alone.



However, there are exceptions in some cases. Baby bearded dragons can be housed together. Juveniles tend to be very aggressive and should not be housed together.



Two female bearded dragons or a pair of bearded dragons of the opposite sex may be able to live together. However, they should be roughly the same size to prevent one from dominating the other. Both should be in good health and at least 18 months to two years old. This is especially important for female/male pairs. If breeding were to take place, it is crucial that females be in good health and old enough to breed. Otherwise, situations like egg-binding can occur in females, which can lead to death.



Overall, it is usually not a good idea to place adult bearded dragons with other animals. However, there can be exceptions for opposite sex or female pairs of beardies. Owners just need to be ready to separate them if it doesn't work out.



You may sometimes wonder if your dragon is lonely and needs to breed. You may want another dragon but may not have the space for another enclosure. If you already own one dragon then you should know about territory and space limitations before buying another one. Knowledge is important if you want to have healthy dragons. So what can live with a dragon? Dragons can survive with different reptiles of the same size from hot and dry weather if there is a lot of space. Male dragons cannot be placed with other male bearded dragons and even then it is always advised to keep bearded dragons alone. However, you can continue reading to understand what living scenarios are possible with dragons.



Sharing Space With Bearded Dragons


Bearded dragons like to wander. They cover space and when they are pets, they need ample space. They can be territorial as well. If a male dragon comes across another male dragon then they may challenge each other for access and dominance over mates. If this happens, then they will gape their mouths and inflate their beards. They may start hissing at one another and will then attack and bite each other. Dragons do not want to kill each other while challenging each other but they do so to assert their dominance. Female dragons do this as well to gain control over live food and insects.



Space


The basic space one adult dragon needs is 50 gallons however 75 gallons is advised. If you add one more reptile then you need at least double that space. You also have to provide an additional setup of UVB bulb, heat lamp, reptile carpet, basking spot, and other things. If you put them together in a close space then the dominant dragon may abuse the submissive dragon and not let it eat enough food. If you are considering getting one more reptile to the house with your dragon then you must have a huge cage. A minimum 120-gallon cage is a must.



Hygiene


If you are housing two dragons in one cage then you must properly clean the tank regularly. You should double the times you used to clean the tank to ensure it stays as neat as it can be. If the cage is unclean then it can spread diseases and parasites. If you have two dragons in the same tank then you should spot clean the cage at least two to 4 times a day. You should remove leftover food and remove all droppings. You can clean roughly every 2 or three times a week. You can remove the dragons and then wipe the furniture and walls in the cage with a water and vinegar solution. You should deep clean the cage every 2 or three times a month. You should remove the dragons and all the furniture and then wipe the furniture with a cleaning solution. Remove and change all the flooring and wipe the bottom of the tank along with the walls.



Male and Male Dragons


As mentioned earlier, you should not keep two male dragons together in the same cage as they can get territorial. One will become submissive and will not be given enough food by the dominant dragon. It will shorten the submissive's lifespan and create an unhealthy and unhappy dragon.



Female and Male Bearded Dragon


A female dragon and a male dragon can be housed together if you have a big tank and they are of the same size. This may still result in aggressive behavior from the male dragon. They may however mate and produce a tiny bearded dragon. It is possible but that does not mean they should live like that permanently since dragons are not meant to live in shared space. If you are looking to breed a bearded dragon even then you should house the female and male dragon in different tanks until you have to mate them.



Female and Female Dragons


If you have to house two dragons together, then this is your best option. If you have a big tank and both the female dragons are of the same size then you can try this. If one female is much bigger than the other female then that may cause dominating behavior which you do not want. You can try housing two dragons together but if you want a healthy and happy reptile then you should provide a single cage for a single bearded dragon.



Mating Bearded Dragons


At some point in time, you want to mate your dragons. If you are a serious dragon owner, then you are bound to breed your dragons. You should not keep the female and male dragons in the same cage even if your goal is mating. You must provide separate cages for them if you want them to be happy and healthy. You can try mating them when the female and male are both 18 months old. You must ensure the cage is big enough for both of them to spend some time in it. If you want to encourage them to breed then you should house them together for one week and then separate them for another. You can continue to do this until you notice mating behavior or copulation. You will notice a male is prepared to mate when his beard darkens and he will start to bite the female dragon's neck and pursue her around the cage. Even if they showcase mating behavior, you cannot keep them together all the time.



Bearded Dragons With Other Reptiles


Bearded dragons can live in a shared space with other species but if you can, you should provide them with their own cage. The first thing you should think of is if the other reptile is from a similar natural habitat as your dragon. If you try to cohabitate the dry dragon with a wetland reptile then the other reptile will not survive. Bearded dragons are naturally from the Australian desert and hence other reptiles must also be from the same area. If you are choosing an animal to share space with your beardie then the reptile must be of the same size. If they are of different sizes then they may prey upon each other. You may often see a dragon housed with a blue tongue skink and a shingleback lizard in zoos.



Tortoises


Tortoises are a good choice to live with a dragon. If you absolutely want your dragon to share space with someone then a tortoise is a good choice. Tortoises will not prey on your dragon because they are herbivores so their size does not matter. They are also protected because they have tough shells. Even if your dragon is larger, it will not pose a danger to the tortoise. The biggest problem would be the amount of space both the dragon and the tortoise shall require. Tortoises need ample space and if they are sharing a cage with a dragon then you may need a huge tank. You should pick a tortoise that originates from the same hot and dry environment as the dragon. Spurred tortoises and leopard tortoises are a great choice but zoos also house Russian tortoises with dragons.



Nocturnal Lizards


Another reptile you can consider as a roommate for your dragon is the nocturnal lizard. The reason for this choice is that dragons are mostly active during the daytime while nocturnal lizards come alive during the night. Hence, they will not interact a lot with one another. You should still choose a lizard that comes from the same environment as your dragon and is of the same size. There are some nocturnal lizards that are from the same habitat as the dragon like the Diplodactylus species and the smooth knob-tailed lizard. If you pick these lizards then you do not have to alter the environment of your dragon's habitat. The only thing you will have to alter is now you will have to feed both the reptiles.



How To Introduce Another Reptile


If you want your pet dragon to live with another animal and you have selected the correct setup, even then you cannot just throw the reptile inside the habitat. You have to take some steps to introduce the new reptile to your dragon.


1. Make sure the cage is big enough for two reptiles to live together happily without having to interact too often with each other.

2. Check the humidity and heat requirements of both the reptiles and they should be the same.

3. Take the new reptile to your vet before adding them to the cage. This way if there is any hidden illness it will not be transferred to your healthy dragon.

4. Quarantine the reptile in its own cage for one month before adding it to the cage.

5. Introduce them to one another outside the cage.

6. Put the reptile inside the habitat for small periods of time so they can interact and get used to each other.

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