A bearded dragon is a unique pet. It is one of the most docile of the lizard family. If you are looking for a pet that you can take on walks, watch television with, or simply talk to, the bearded dragon is the pet for you. While they make amazing pets, they do require specific care in order to keep it healthy and happy. The first thing to consider is the habitat.
Types of Bearded Dragon Cages
The best bearded dragon cages are aquariums; however, you can create a cage out of wire or wood. Aquariums are best for bearded dragons because they hold in the heat much better than a wire cage. Wire cages can also cause foot and nose trauma. If it is absolutely necessary to have a wire cage, make sure it has coated wire. This will reduce the possibility of injury.
If you must use a wood cage, seal it with polyurethane or some other type of waterproofing agent. The polyurethane or waterproofing agent must dry for at least several days before you put your dragon in.
Sizes of Bearded Dragon Cages
The size will depend on the age and size of your bearded dragon. Understand that the bearded dragon will grow. It will start out tiny, but it will grow. How big they get will depend on the type of bearded dragon you have. Generally, they grow to about 18 to 20 inches long. An exception is the German Giant bearded dragon that can grow up to 2 feet.
When they are small, they can be kept in 10 to 15 gallon aquariums. Once they grow, you will need to put them into a 55 to 60 gallon aquarium. This is the minimum. Bigger is better for your bearded dragon. The more floor room you can give your dragon, the better.
Substrate for Bearded Dragon Cages
The bottom of the cage will need some type of lining. While sand is okay for adult bearded dragons, it is absolutely critical that you do not use sand when they are little. The sand will get into their system while they are trying to get their crickets and this can impact them. Consider the following for substrate:
- Flat newspaper
- Sheets of brown wrapping paper (rolls)
- Astro Turf
- Indoor/outdoor carpet
- Natural reptile bedding made from fir bark
Never use cedar shavings, gravel, crushed corn cob, wood shavings, kitty litter, or potting soils that have vermiculite, pesticides, fertilizer, or wetting agents.
Landscaping for Bearded Dragon Cages
They love to climb and bask. Therefore, you will need to provide something so they can do this. Add in some branches that are secure and are in various sizes. They must be free of pitch and sap. Make sure the branches are at least as wide as your bearded dragon for safety and comfort.
Cover up a board with indoor/outdoor carpet. They make good climbing posts. You can also put in flat bottomed rocks. They help to wear down toenails. Bearded dragons also like to hide when they want to. Plants can provide a place for them to hide in and behind. Plants also provide humidity, shade, and security. The plants should be nontoxic. These plants are excellent for bearded dragon cages:
- Ficus Benjamina
You will also need to make sure the potting soil does not contain vermiculite, pesticides, fertilizer, or wetting agents. Real plants should be sprayed with water several times to when the water runs out of the bottom of the pot to help remove any toxic chemicals that could be present.
Temperature and Light
This is an extremely important part of taking care of your dragon. Bearded dragons are desert animals. They require intense heat for proper digestion; however, they also need lower temperatures throughout the day and night. They require ultraviolet light to provide vitamin D. There are lights you can purchase to provide this.
Where to Buy
Bearded Dragon cages can be found in most good pet stores including online pet stores and other online locations such as eBay and NexTag.
Bearded dragon cages are simple to set up. Just make sure you have the proper substrate, landscaping, temperature, and lighting to ensure optimal health.