Question: “I just got a bearded dragon for a pet. He is one year old. I have a heat lamp on during the day, but I’m wondering if I need to run it at night also. Does a bearded dragon need heat at night?”
When we talk about pets, the usual animals that will come to mind are cats, dogs, parrots, rabbits, turtles, and hamsters. But it will be quite interesting to know that even a usual reptile called a bearded dragon is also now a household name. There are some good reasons for that. Bearded dragons or beardies are quite docile and easy going. They are also quite interesting to observe. They have specific traits that differentiate them from other reptiles. For instance, though they can run for up to nine miles per hour, they are normally quite sedentary. They are also quite easy to care for. As long as you provide proper husbandry, you won’t be having any problems with them.
One of the things necessary for a bearded dragon to stay healthy is heat and light that it needs to do regular body functions such as synthesizing foods. These docile reptiles bask in the sun for hours in the deserts of Australia, their original habitat. Once they are moved to their new housing, they would need the same temperature to maintain their regular body functions. If not, they may develop several health issues such as the metabolic bone disease. They may also develop a condition of the oral cavity known as mouth rot. These conditions may get worse and may even the early death of your dear beardie.
Heat and light: essential bearded dragon housing accessories
To endure proper husbandry, dragon keepers install the right heat and uvb lighting sources when setting up their beardie’s tank. Everything from the casing structure (adequate space, tight-fitting lids, substrate, landscaping, etc.) as well as the temperature settings and accessories needed to provide adequate heat when needed (primary heat source such as a heating pad, ceramic infrared heat emitters, as well as secondary heat sources like incandescent bulbs). If not, your cold-blooded pet beardie may not be able to properly digest the food that it eats. The dragon may get sick if this continues.
The question that you may want to know at this moment is whether bearded dragons need heat at night or not. Well, it depends on where your location is and how cool the temperature gets at night there.
Consider that in the original habitat of your bearded dragon, they bask in the sun for hours. During the night, they need to find a suitable shelter where they can rest. As they are diurnal reptiles, they are most active during the day.
Dragon keepers mimic the temperature that they use to have in the wild to make sure that they can properly utilize the heat to aid in proper digestion. To do this, you will need to make sure that they are provided a temperature range of about 78-88°F during the day and temperatures of about 70’s at night. The basking area is normally hotter than the background area and that will be between 95 and 105°F. You will need a good quality thermometer so you can monitor if there will be any temperature changes throughout the day.
The bearded dragon will just move in and out of the warmer side of the shade when it feels that it has already reached the maximum heat it needs.
Night Temperatures Suitable For Bearded Dragons
Temperatures in the wild can drop into the 70s or even the mid-60s. That means you might not need to use a heat source at night, but that still depends on how your house cools during the night.
In the arid desert, the temperature varies. There are areas where the sun is super hot and the spot is quite hot. However, there are also shady parts of the deserts and portion where there are rocks that can serve as shelters for reptiles. These natural set up provides a temperature gradient. And this is the kind of temperature variations that you need to mimic and provide for your dragon.
So, if the room where you keep your pet dragon is not too cold or just drops into to the low 70s or mid-60s °F at night, then you might not need any nighttime heat. However, if your house and space where your dragon sleeps at night get cooler than that, you might need to use a low-wattage heat lamp to bring the cage temperature up a bit.