Best Bearded dragon hygiene practices
Bearded dragon hygiene include everything that has to do with the cleanliness of these animals and can be broadly divided into hygiene for the dragon and hygiene for the owner. As with humans, or the keeping any other pet, hygiene is just as important for keeping Bearded dragons. By practicing proper hygiene the spread of diseases can be prevented.
Good Bearded dragon hygiene practices
Good hygiene practices can help to reduce the incidence and spreading of diseases. Some Bearded dragon diseases like verminosis, cociddiosis and various viral and bacterial diseases will spread in unhygienic conditions.
Good Bearded dragon hygiene practices include daily cleaning and disinfection of food and water bowls, cleaning soiled cage and cage furniture and using fresh food and water.
The daily removal of of stool or droppings is very important. One can use an inverted plastic bag instead of your bare hands to prevent direct contact. Food and water containers should also be cleaned once a day.
It is also recommended to remove, clean and disinfect cleanable cage furniture and substrates at least once a week.
Sterilisation & disinfection
Sterilisation refers to the removal of all microorganisms from objects (as suppose to live tissue), whereas disinfection refers to the cleaning of live tissues i.e. your hands. There are various sterilants and disinfectant on the market. Popular Bearded dragon sterilants include F10 SC Disinfectant Spray (available from most veterinarians and some good pet shops) and properly diluted bleach solutions.
Owner hygiene practices
The most important hygiene practice for Bearded dragon owners is hand washing. One should wash their hands after coming in contact with anything that was touched by Bearded dragons, including Bearded dragons themselves and any live food items. This will prevent the spread of potential diseases from one dragon to the next, but more importantly between a Bearded dragon and yourself. Various antiseptic / disinfection hand wash soaps like F10 Antiseptic Liquid Soap, are available from pharmacies for this purpose.
Good Bearded dragon hygiene practices will go a long way in keeping them healthy. Owners should be vigilant on their own hygiene when working with Bearded dragons. By using these guidelines most problems can be prevented.
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