Rankins Dragon Care Sheet

The Rankins dragon is the smaller cousin of the bearded dragon. For those who want to own a beardie but don’t have the space requirements, the Rankins dragon could be the one for you.

rankins

Generally a Rankins dragon requires a smaller vivarium than a bearded dragon as an adult. I would recommend 30” as around the size for one adult although 36” would be better for more dragons. A very young Rankins dragon can at least look a bit lost in a large viv. though and some do seem (at least at first) to get a bit nervous in a large viv. (they will hide away a lot, sometimes to the point of not getting enough UV light) so starting off in a smaller viv is definitely OK, although by no means essential.

If you wish to keep more than a single Rankins dragon (and they seem to be more sociable than beardies) then ensure you only have one male, with a couple of females. Obviously you  will need a bigger enclosure. If you wish to have ore than one male Rankins dragon a much larger space is required and it is not recommended.

Rankins dragon heating

A Rankins dragon requires a good temperature gradient (a “hot end “and a “cold end”) to enable them to regulate their body temperature with the hot spot at the hot end at 35-40 C and the cool end around 25 C (so you are going to need two thermometers). There are a lot of opinions out there on heating a Rankins dragon viv. and I’ll not get into it all here. I use a heat mat combined with a basking lamp (sized to the viv.) to create a hot spot. I have mounted mats on the side and on the bottom of the viv. with equal success. I have seen comments saying never use a heat mat and cannot agree. I have never had a problem, ever and this is over a number of years with a large number of animals. That said, there are alternatives and they are fine too (with the exception of “heat rocks” – they really are a bad idea, if you bought a Rankins dragon starter set up from a certain well known pet supermarket you will have one of these, please throw it away to avoid any risk).

A thermostat will help avoid over temperature. A Rankins dragon can tolerate lower temperatures (i.e. if your spot lamp blows) for quite some time but will suffer quite quickly from over temperature. Even with a thermostat you should always check your thermometers at least daily – thermostats can fail.

Rankins dragon lighting

A Rankins dragon needs relatively high levels of UVB light to manufacture vitamin D3, enabling them to assimilate calcium. You will need a 10-12% UVB lamp on 12 – 14 hours a day. Remember UV light does not travel too far from these lamps so make sure they are not too far from where your dragon likes to bask. I don’t use hides with dragons, sometimes they can spend too much time under it and not get enough UV – not common but best avoided.

A basking lamp will give a bright “hot spot” for a Rankins dragon to bask in when it wants to heat up. Obviously the lamp needs to be a proper basking spot, energy efficient lamps are efficient because they do not give out wasted energy as heat, which is what you want.

Rankins dragon substrates.

Substrate (what your Rankins dragon lives on) is probably the most controversial subject in the hobby. I am not going to tell you what not to use, there is not a substrate currently in use that can’t cause problems. I use beech wood chips (the coarser variety so it cannot fit in the Rankins dragon mouth when small) or desert bedding in the main, although I have used others. I have never had any issues with impaction with a Rankins dragon so I can’t comment on what is worst for this. However I avoid calci sand, as calcium is an essential nutrient for a Rankins dragon, so they will eat as if they feel they need it – why tempt fate? Also, most of my vivs. are front opening,  with sliding glass and the sound of sand in the runners makes me cringe!

rankins dragon

Rankins dragon decor

A Rankins dragon does require a water bowl, although they are rarely seen to drink (I know some individuals seem to love getting in their water bowl see the little Rankins dragon above). Do change the water regularly and keep the bowl clean. It is hot in a Rankins dragon viv. and bacteria will grow very quickly around the rim of the water. A feed dish is a good idea for the veggie component of a Rankins dragon diet, to help avoid the risk of impaction by picking up bits of substrate.

Your Rankins dragon will  love something to climb on, branches, rocks etc. Avoid anything sharp, they may suddenly jump down and you don’t want them to get injured. Anything else in there is up to you. Some people like to put in things to encourage activity and don’t mind what it looks like, so use anything they can find. Others like it to look as natural as possible. It’s really up to you but I would suggest you read a good book for the more advanced aspects of setting up a vivarium both for further advice and for ideas if, like me, you’re not that creative yourself.

Rankins dragon feeding

Your Rankins dragon is an omnivore. They eat a wide range of foods including crickets, locusts, cockroaches and various lavae, vegetables and fruit etc. In captivity they also need vitamin and calcium supplements to ensure continued good health. I feed mine to a regular regime. It is necessary for the health of the Rankins dragon and with the amount of animals I have to feed it is more convenient to stick to a plan and this gives us confidence our animals have received a varied and balanced diet. You will find your own regime that suits you. I will give you mine just to illustrate what a balanced Rankins dragon diet looks like, not to suggest this is superior to any other feeding plan for a Rankins dragon.

Day one – cricket or locusts dusted with Nutrobal vitamin supplement.

Day 2 – salad vegetables.

Day three – crickets or locusts dusted with calcium powder.

Day four – salad vegetables.

Day five – crickets or locusts dusted with calcium powder.

Day six – fruit or veg.

Day seven – crickets or locusts without any supplement.

I vary this further by changing the crickets and locusts for calci worms from time to time and very occasionally wax worms. I don’t use meal worms myself for a Rankins dragon due to the higher level of chitin in the jaws and the consequent increased risk of impaction but occasional meal worms would be OK. I must confess the type of veg I use depends very much on what is on offer at the local supermarket or my garden but favourites of my Rankins dragon are rocket salad or herb salad, grated carrot, romaine lettuce, curly kale and cucumber.  I haven’t had a lot of success with fruit with a Rankins dragon but common ones used are strawberry, mango and banana.

One way of getting veg. into a more obstinate Rankins dragon is to feed the veg. to the insects. Whatever they eat, your Rankins dragon is eating. I do this sometimes but usually I have gut loaded them on a gut load formula any way.  For a very young Rankins dragon I dust every feed to ensure the rapidly growing youngsters are getting enough calcium but I only ever use vitamin powder once a week. The risk of over dosing the Rankins dragon far outweighing the risk of under dosing when using such a balanced diet.

It is important to consider the size of the insect food. It is a bad idea to give anything longer than the distance between the eyes of your Rankins dragon. Too many over large insects will not be properly digested and you will see the half digested remains in the Rankins dragon poop, possibly along with some blood! Alternatively your Rankins dragon may regurgitate the meal, again with the risk of damage to the Rankins dragon digestive tract from the sharp bits of exoskeleton.

rankins-dragon

Things to avoid feeding a Rankins dragon are obviously anything toxic. This sounds really obvious but people have been caught out with plants. The Rankins dragon may not eat the plant but the insects probably will. The Rankins dragon will then eat the now toxic insect.The use of live plants with a Rankins dragon and with bearded dragons is becoming more popular do make sure you know what plant you have and that it is safe. Also I avoid broccoli and cabbage leaves with a Rankins dragon as these contain oxylates that can prevent calcium being available to the metabolism.

Common problems with Rankins dragon feeding include the notorius addiction to wax worms. I have seen a bearded dragon fed these exclusively. Not only is this a bad idea from a nutritional point of view but you often end up with a Rankins dragon that will only eat this one source of food and frequently only when fed by hand! However I have not yet seen the Rankins dragon that cannot be weaned back onto a balanced diet with a little perseverance.

That said, a Rankins dragon can be fussy as they get older. The basic message is that as they are omnivores, it probably doesn’t matter as long as they get a balanced diet.

A reminder about Rankins dragon UVB

UVB lamps are essential to the well being of the Rankins dragon. Unfortunately as soon as you switch one on, the level of UVB output starts to deteriorate. Over time this will drop to zero, so although the lamp is lit, it is providing no benefit at all to the Rankins dragon. The lamps should be replaced between 6 months to 1 year (depending on type and manufacturer). We always replace all our UV lamps every 9 months WITHOUT FAIL. The consequences to a Rankins dragon of not replacing the UV lighting regularly are loss of appetite and metabolic bone disease.

Kept correctly a Rankins dragon should live over 8 years and prove to be a very inquisitive, interactive and easy to handle little lizard.

The Angell Pets Team

FREE Local Delivery; Introduction Of Minimum Order

Thank you to all our customers who are using our FREE local delivery service. This service has become extremely popular over the last few years. Due to this growing demand we have had to make changes in the past to ensure we can complete the delivery rounds in good time when we have found we were at maximum capacity. For example, introducing a delivery schedule for each area we serve and closing half an hour earlier to give more time for deliveries. However the service has continued to grow and we are now back at maximum capacity and so are having to make an additional change to ensure we can keep the deliveries FREE.

From Monday the 3rd of October 2016 we are introducing a minimum order value of £5. This will result in a small reduction in the number of deliveries per night that will allow us to still be able to complete each round by a reasonable time without having to employ additional drivers. This in turn will enable us to keep the service FREE.

Thank you all for your continued customer loyalty and your understanding.

 

The Angell Pets Team

FREE Wild Bird Food

We are offering 1kg of wild bird food FREE with ANY wild bird feeder sold until the end of September.

Autumn is here and over the next few weeks the supply of naturally available food for wild birds will start to disappear. You can help protect our wild birds and increase the amount of breeding pairs surviving the coming winter by providing a bird feeder (or better yet feeders). This has the added benefit of encouraging birds into your own garden and there are few better sights than wild birds in your garden.

wild bird feeder

To encourage more feeding of our wild birds we are offering a FREE 1kg bag of wild bird seed with EVERY feeder sold until 30th of September. Buy two feeders, you get two bags of wild bird seed. This offer is only available in store and over the telephone or on line for those customers using our FREE local delivery service. I’m afraid we cannot offer this to our on line customers outside of our FREE local delivery area due to the high cost of shipping the seed.

We have a wide range of feeders for various types of seed, nuts, suet and mealworms and all are eligible for this offer. So give us a call and order your bird feeder and get a FREE 1kg bag of bird seed, delivered to your door for FREE.

The Angell Pets Team

APL Super Premium Dog Food Packaging Change

Our APL (Angell Pets Ltd) dog food is undergoing a change of packaging. The new look is to match general changes in customer preferences already showing in the industry. The new packaging will also give a clearer range definition and image.

Angell Pets Dog Food

There will also be a change in the weight of the smaller sizes (Super Premium ONLY). The 2.5kg bags will be changing to 2kg and the 7.5kg bags will be moving to 6kg. The large 12kg bags will not be changing. Again, this change reflects the general direction over the last couple of years in the industry and gives our customers a clearer price benefit over other brands of hypoallergenic foods. For example comparing a 2kg bag of James Wellbeloved lamb and rice at £9.42 to a 2.5kg bag of APL lamb and rice at only £6.99. Obviously with a small reduction in size to match the size of the Wellbeloved bag, the price difference will be even greater.

The changes in pack size will result in a corresponding reduction in pack price and will not result in any increase in cost per kilogram. In other words it is not a hidden price increase, just a resizing to match the sizes already used in our popular grain free range to give a standard APL range size.

APL working dog food is not changing. This will still be in 15kg bags.

This change will take place over the next couple of months as old packaging is used up and new packaging comes on line. During the change over period some products may appear in the generic red bags we use when we have run out of certain bag colours. Rest assured the products are not changing at all. It is only the packaging and in some cases, pack size that is affected.

If any customers need further information, please contact the Angell Pets Team

 

September Offers

Angell Pets September retail club offers are now available in store and on line. Better than supermarket prices as usual.

pro plan robust

Pro Plan Dog Adult Large Robust 14kg ONLY £31.45 RRP £51.45

Bucktons Suet Variety Pack (13.5KG) ONLY £13.99 RRP £16.99

worm clear

Beaphar WormClear For Dogs Up To 40kg (4 Tablets) ONLY £6.49 RRP £8.99

dentastix fresh

Pedigree Dentastix Fresh 28 Pack

Small ONLY £4.99 RRP £7.29

Medium ONLY £5.49 RRP £8.49

Large ONLY £5.99 RRP £9.99

Dylan

Dylan Variety Working Dog Tins x 12 ONLY £3.99 RRP £5.90

cockatiel honey

Vitakraft Cockatiel Honey & Eucalyptus Sticks (2 Pack) ONLY £2.99 RRP £3.79

date and nut

Vitakraft Parrot Dates & Nut Sticks (2 Pack) ONLY £2.99 RRP £3.79

HOUSE FLEA SPRAY

Johnsons House Flea Spray 400ml ONLY £4.95 RRP £5.95

SELECTIVE RABBIT

Selective Rabbit 3kg ONLY £5.99 RRP £7.99

SELECTIVE GUINEA

Selective Guinea Pig 3kg ONLY £6.69 RRP £8.99

harringtons small

Harringtons Small Dog 1.75kg ONLY £2.89 RRP £4.89

retractable

Serve N Sling Retractable Ball Thrower ONLY £3.99 RRP £6.59

sanicat antibacterial

Sanicat Antibacterial 25Ltr ONLY £7.99 RRP £11.49

whiskas fish

Whiskas Pouch Simply Poultry ONLY £2.75 RRP £4.49

Whiskas Pouch Simply Fish ONLY £2.75 RRP £4.49

Whiskas Pouch Simply Meat ONLY £2.75 RRP £4.49

Gourmet mixed

Gourmet Gold Mixed Gravy Collection ONLY £3.49 RRP £4.99

black harness

Ancol Padded Harness Medium ONLY £7.99 RRP £13.65

Black

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VISIT US IN STORE IN GLOUCESTER, ON LINE AT ANGELL PETS OR CALL ON 01452 501882. DON’T FORGET, LOCAL DELIVERY TO GLOUCESTER, CHELTENHAM AND PAINSWICK IS FREE

The Angell Pets Team