Two or More Bearded Dragons Together
Keeping two bearded dragons together, or more, (specifically referring to the Pogona vitticeps and Pogona barbata) under typical domestic captivity conditions in small 4 foot or 40 gallon enclosures is simply dangerous.
Cohabitating in the wrong conditions causes undue stress and inequitable use of resources such as heating and UVB. When housing young bearded dragons together it is almost certain that this will show by one outgrowing the other and potentially exposing them to accidental nipping of tails, feet or toes. The often subtle signs of hogging resources may well go unnoticed until the growth difference becomes noticeable.
Monitoring the animals together is not sufficient to protect them from harm. It is not possible to monitor pets 24/7 which leaves plenty of opportunity for issues to occur. Even when they are monitored they will be quicker at taking action than anyone can respond to.
Bearded dragons do not need companionship from another of its kind. They do not naturally socialize in the wild for any length of time and when they do there will be some purpose such as protecting territory or mating. Ultimately the only way to know that keeping two bearded dragons together, or any number, was successful without incident is to keep them that way for the duration of their life which places them at risk. Otherwise, years of cohabitation without incident is not an indication something will not occur next week.
Absolute don’ts in cohabitation are:
- Never house males together. They are territorial and while they may appear friendly towards each other as juveniles, their hormones will kick in as they grow.
- Never house different sized bearded dragons together. The smaller may be seen as food and certainly easy to attack.
Keep in mind:
- Juveniles are known for biting off tails and toes of their fellow cage mates.
- Males will harass females to mate causing them stress.
Environments that may Support Successfully Keeping Two Bearded Dragons Together
Cohabitating can potentially be successful if they are provided with:
- A large enclosure (4 foot isn’t large for bearded dragons the size of P.vitticeps).
- Sufficient basking spots for each to bask alone that are the same in the bearded dragons eyes. Some may choose to bask together however to reduce competition it is important they have a choice.
- No competition for food.
- Sufficient basking spots for each that are the same in the bearded dragons eyes.
- Escape/safety spots and so on.
Zoos provide great examples of keeping two bearded dragons together, or more, but the size of enclosures is not always easy to replicate in homes. Your bearded dragon does not need any companion. Rather than spending the money on getting a companion for your bearded dragon, spend the money and attention on providing a good sized enclosure, accessories and lots of activity. As captive animals unable to make their own choices, they deserve nothing less.