In today’s post, we’re covering the best bedding for a bearded dragon. Choosing the right bedding for a bearded dragon is important to keep them happy, healthy, and feeling safe!
Best Bedding For Bearded Dragons
The first step in considering the type of bedding for your beardie is to get to know them. Some bearded dragons prefer cozy bedding, while others prefer to sleep on a little hammock or a log. When choosing the bedding, it is a good idea to make sure it is made of natural, non-toxic materials that are also easy to clean for your bearded dragon’s health. Just like us, some like to be warm and cozy when they sleep, so you can even choose to use blankets and t-shirts to help provide a comfortable environment for them. They also want a safe space (again, just like us), so make sure to provide some form of a hiding spot for them.
You can have fun with the bedding for your little reptile pets! If they prefer to be cozy while sleeping, you can get them a little blanket and a small pillow to ensure they are extra comfortable. We have tried several different types of bedding, trying to find something our bearded dragon, Bill, would love. He’s had a hammock, a small folded towel, and even a stuffed animal to lay on.
Here are some of the best bedding for bearded dragon:
- Small Blankets
- Small Pillows
- Bearded Dragon Bed with Pillow
- Rolled-up T-Shirt
- Small small towel
- Stuffed animal
- A cushy slipper you don’t use anymore (make sure it’s clean)
- For those beardies who don’t love soft blankies and pillows, a log or other surface for them to lay on or under
Difference Between Bedding and a Substrate
The substrate in your bearded dragon’s tank is what goes on the bottom of the cage to catch the urine, so choosing a good base for this is crucial. The bedding is the actual bedding that your beardie will be sleeping on. Think of it as our homes, we have our floor and we have our beds.
The substrate acts as the floor, and the bedding is where they will be sleeping. Just like the bedding, you want to make sure you choose the right substrate that is also made of non-toxic ingredients. Your bearded dragon will be going to the bathroom on this, so definitely try to change it often. That way, they don’t sit in it, and also so they don’t ingest that bacteria from urine or, even worse, fecal matter.
Best Kind of Substrate For Bearded Dragons
When considering different types of substrates, you want to choose something that will be very absorbent for your bearded dragon’s enclosure to make spot cleaning and regular cleaning easier. Old newspapers are not only very affordable but also very absorbent. Another reason people choose to use newspapers is that they won’t harbor bacteria, fungal or parasite infestations. Coconut fibers are an excellent choice, especially for bearded dragons that live in dry climates, because they help with high humidity levels.
When choosing a safe substrate, keep in mind having to clean them! So, choosing paper products is not only going to save you so much time, but it is also good for your pet’s health. You wouldn’t want your bearded dragon enclosure to start having any bacterial growth. A natural substrate at the bottom of the enclosure is the best option to go with.
Best Bearded Dragon Substrates
- Ceramic Tiles (You can actually get bearded dragon substrate tiles)
- Vinyl Flooring
- Natural Coconut Fiber
- Paper Towels (We use paper towels because they’re easy to replace often and we always have them around)
Ceramic tiles and newspaper substrates are both great options as they are easy to keep clean. Although they need to be fully removed in order to clean, vinyl flooring is a great option for a substrate. They are easy to find at your local hardware store, and you can cut it to fit as needed. Plus, they are on the less expensive side, which is definitely a huge pro!
Bedding To Avoid For Bearded Dragons
Avoid using things like wood chips or wood shavings, gravel, and kitty litter when it comes to the bedding or type of substrate you are considering for your beardie. They are not a good option and can cause a major problem to your bearded dragon’s health as they are not natural materials.
Substrates To Avoid For Bearded Dragons
Not all substrates are the best choice, even if they are promoted heavily for bearded dragons. For example, reptile carpet is not the best substrate at all, even tough it’s called “reptile carpet”. It would need to be washed frequently and is just really hard to keep clean.
Other substrates to avoid are:
- Eco Earth
- Potting Soil
- Sand substrates
- Play sand (big no no)
- Reptile carpet / Artificial grass
One thing I do want to point out is that sand falls under the substrates to avoid. This is because your beardie naturally has their tongue out and even small amounts of sand getting on their tongue can get into their system and cause GI problems. So, unless you have reptile-specific or calcium-based sand, it is best to avoid it. However, avoid sands altogether if you have juvenile beardies. Maybe just avoid sand, okay? 🙂
Potting soil can harbor harmful bacteria and particles that are unsafe for your bearded dragon. A lot of these loose substrates are an impaction risk if your beardie consumes them, so it’s best just to avoid using loose things like sand or soil for your bearded dragons substrate.
Creating The Best Sleep Environment For Your Beardie
Creating a comfortable environment for your bearded dragon begins with a comfortable place for them to sleep and feel safe. This is key to a happy and healthy life for them! They will love the comfort and safety that they feel when they have an environment similar to their natural habitat. This starts with comfy bedding, a great substrate, and of course, loving bearded dragon owners! They will start to feel part of the family in no time and know that they are well taken care of!
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