Now that you’ve picked out your tank to create the perfect bearded dragon habitat, it’s time to furnish it. There are several things you can put into their habitat to make their living space more interactive and fun for them. Although accessories are optional, it’s highly recommended unless you want your dragon to suffer from boredom and possibly stress. Bedding (or substrate) is recommended in order to maintain good hygiene in the habitat.
Substrate & Bedding
The substrate, also known as bedding, is the material you add to the surface of the terrarium. The main purpose of substrate is to soak up any substance like your reptile’s wastes. There are several viable options you can choose from, including substrate from many commercial brands.
When deciding what kind to substrate to use, ask yourself two questions. Will this be dangerous to my bearded dragon? And, will this absorb liquid? All different materials used for substrate have their pros and cons, but the one I personally use is beach sand. It’s very absorbent and extremely cheap to get (just a drive to the beach). The problem is they may accidentally eat the sand. However, my 3 dragons have never had any problems with natural beach sand.
I would suggest you do some research on the advantages and disadvantages of each kind of substrate and decide for yourself. But beach sand will be just fine.
Bearded Dragon Habitat Accessories
As for habitat accessories, there are so many options that you can go with. The mix and match possibilities are endless. Habitat accessories can all be found at places you can buy bearded dragons, such as a local pet store, reptile specialist store or sometimes even from breeders.
Wooden branches will not only make your terrarium look nicer, but it can be great for your lizards to run around on. If you plan on putting in branches from the wild, make sure you disinfect them with a 10% bleach solution. There can be unwanted parasites and bugs that can harm your beardie if you don’t.
Also make sure you shake off the branches after feeding your dragon crickets. These sly insects are known to hide in the branches from time to time. The last thing you want is for your reptile to find one right before their night cycle and sneak in a midnight protein snack before bedtime.
When a dragon is startled or scared, its natural instincts will kick in and it’ll hide. Make sure you provide them with a hide box so they’re able to hide from any stressful stimuli within their environment. It’ll be sort of a safe haven for them. Don’t forget to check these boxes for crickets as well. Like your beardie, crickets will hide to avoid stressful situations, such as being eaten by a lizard.
Flat rocks are great for your dragon to relax on and soak in the bright lights. However, I wouldn’t recommend getting a heated rock like so many other owners do. A heated rock combined with the heat from their lighting may just be too hot for them to handle.