The substrate is one of the indispensable factors for bearded dragon’s captivity. However, choosing the best bearded dragon substrate type is not easy.
Have you ever struggled with the messy information on social media while searching for some good and safe bearded dragon substrate for your pet? Don’t worry, it’s a common situation for many inexperienced and beginners.
This article will synthesize you objectively and accurately about some good bearded dragon substrate types available today. Please prepare paper and pen so that we can keep the most useful information with us.
What is a good substrate for bearded dragon?
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This will surely be the first question that many people ask and would love to know the answer. However, you may not know, a good substrate is the most suitable substrate for bearded dragon habitat.
In simple terms, you need to choose the substrates based on accessories and set up bearded dragon’s captivity. A good combination of these factors will contribute to a healthy and well-developed living environment for pets.
Compared to crested gecko, bearded dragon’s habitat is somewhat richer. They can live in any natural environment, from soft sandy environments, tougher tiles to branches. There are even cases in which bearded dragons can live in human structures such as fences and porches.
Therefore, when it comes to bearded dragon habitat, it is unlimited and you can unleash your creativity. However, that creativity must be based on the needs and interests of bearded dragons, and most importantly must promote their natural behavior.
Bearded dragons are quite simple, having the same hobbies and habits as most other reptiles. They can lie on trees, sunbathe on a rock, hide in the bushes or lie quietly on the ground. Those are their options in their spare time, and they spend hours immersed in them. Therefore, you should equip appropriate accessories with substrate to create a comfortable living environment for pets.
As mentioned above, a good substrate must be able to stimulate the bearded dragon’s natural behavior. Before choosing a pet substrate, you should learn about the pros and cons of that substrate and pay special attention.
Currently, the two most popular options are using tile for bearded dragon substrate to stimulate bearded dragon sunbathing and climbing behavior. Or use sand for bearded dragon substrate to stimulate your pet’s digging behavior.
Habitat that can stimulate a pet’s natural behavior will help them not to stress and reduce their risk of disease. Since then the life of the bearded dragon will be extended and you will never want your pet to feel trapped in a closed cage.
And you can also create and find other types of substrates that can stimulate bearded dragon behavior. A small note that you should use natural objects to stimulate natural behavior instead of chemicals. The creativity is infinite and certainly bearded dragon is also not afraid to change the living environment.
What are the common types of bearded dragon substrate?
Currently, bearded dragons are one of the most popular and beloved pets, so the products that accompany this pet are also diverse and evolving.
Bearded dragon substrate is no exception. You can easily search and buy many types of substrates with prices and quality diversity on e-commerce sites or even Reddit. Let’s take a look at some of the popular substrates on the market today so you can find the type of substrate that best suits your pet.
Tile or slate tile bearded dragon substrate is the most popular substrate, containing many advantages of a good substrate for bearded dragon. This is a solid substrate with a long shelf life, reasonable price and certainly, you can easily buy at any pet store or buy online.
Bearded dragon tile substrate is an easy to clean bearded dragon substrate so that you can easily disinfect and clean, can even be reused. Moreover, this substrate also has very good ability to absorb moisture, so the hygiene inside the cage is always guaranteed.
You can combine this substrate with other accessories to stimulate the natural behavior of bearded dragon. These accessories can be artificial grass, stone, plants or bearded dragon dig box substrate.
Providing a natural environment, which can meet the needs of rest and entertainment for bearded dragon is the most important thing. Tiles can also easily float on the surface of the water, so you can set up some underwater recreational areas for pets. Or simply bedding that bearded dragon could comfortably lie on for hours.
The disadvantage of this substrate is that it can not provide a good grip for claws, can even break bearded dragon’s nails. However, this can be overcome if you add a few other additional tools. This situation has also improved for some types of ceramic tile bearded dragon substrate.
Zoo Med Excavator Clay Burrowing Substrate is a similar product to tiles, it has a similar structure and you can choose to replace or combine with tiles to create a living space for bearded dragon.
This product is completely natural, you just need to add a little water to soften the clay, then shape to your liking. You can create a cave, a tunnel or a rock for bearded dragon. Or you can put that soft clay on top of the tile to bearded dragon to have fun with it.
After the clay has dried, it will retain its shape and have high durability. It is also easy to clean and disinfect so you will have no trouble cleaning up your pet’s habitat.
Bearded dragon sand substrate is one of the leading popular substrates, almost half of bearded dragon breeders use this substrate for their pets.
There are many types of sand substrate, for beginners, without much experience, choosing safe and suitable sand for your pet is not easy. However, it can be said that play sand is the sand used by many people.
Sand can be considered as a bearded dragon digging substrate, stimulating natural digging behavior for pets. It also contributes to enriching the natural habitat and helping bearded dragons not to be stressed.
Currently, you can find some types of sand like beach sand, desert sand, play sand, calcium sand or river sand. These are common types of sand and each has its advantages and disadvantages.
However, any kind of sand is inevitable sand eating. Whether you eat a little or a lot, it has implications for the digestive system and bearded dragon’s health. This behavior comes from the natural behavior of bearded dragons, which eat the soil to provide more minerals and calcium for the body. When moving to captivity, bearded dragon has not been able to give up this habit yet.
You can reduce this situation by reducing the depth of the sand, using only about 1-2 inches of sand as a substrate. Or you can mix sand with other substrates to minimize the amount of sand in the tank.
Digestive or calcium sand doesn’t work as well as you think. It is only slightly less dangerous than other types of sand. And bearded dragons do not absorb sand as much as food, but the sand still affects the digestive system of pets as usual. Substrates are not food and sand is bearded dragon eating substrate.
One more note is that you should not use sand to create fine dust, because when bearded dragon works, fine dust particles will affect the respiratory system. Fine dust particles will also affect the vision of the bearded dragon and it will struggle for a long time.
Different types of sand give different structures when they are wet. Fine sand such as desert sand or beach sand when moist will form solid blocks, which can keep their shape when bearded dragon burrows. Play sand also has a similar structure to desert sand and beach sand, but these round particles cannot hold a solid structure like desert sand when wet. Construction sand is a substrate that you should avoid using, it has high abrasion and can cause bearded dragon to be injured.
Zilla Ground English Walnut Shells Desert Blend is a product that helps you simulate a natural desert environment for pets. And especially this product is made from 100% natural walnut shell so it is very safe for bearded dragon and you can also use it as fertilizer after use.
Natural walnut shells have been carefully processed into particles that are as small as sand grains and not too sharp. Moreover, this is also a good heat conductor, so bearded dragon is always kept warm and ensures body temperature.
This is also a product to ensure stimulating the natural dug-up behavior of bearded dragon. With every 1 -2 inch of this substrate, the bearded dragon has been provided with enough operating space and digging all day.
Exo Terra Sand Mat is a product you should try if you love desert sand simulation for bearded dragon. With an appearance identical to a large desert area, this mat not only provides attractive appearance but is also very safe and hygienic.
For this product, you can cut it to the desired size to fit the size of the tank. And of course, it is also very easy to remove and replace. So the process of cleaning the habitat of bearded dragon becomes easier. It can also be reused after being clean and disinfected.
This product prevents the behavior of bearded dragon’s sand eating so there will be no more threats to its digestive system and health.
#3 Paper towel
Bearded dragon paper towel substrate is also a popular choice based on its economic efficiency. For this type of substrate you can replace it every day or whenever you want to keep the habitat of bearded dragon clean.
Paper towel or newspaper can be considered as bearded dragon egg laying substrate, you can be assured of its softness and absorbency. Eggs when laid will not be broken and will be safely protected by this substrate besides sand and soil.
This is also an environmentally friendly substrate, extremely economical for your budget. You can also use it as a baby bearded dragon substrate because it will not damage the baby’s skin or vision.
However, this type of substrate is not appreciated with claw grip and unattractive appearance. To overcome this, you can equip additional accessories to provide a climbing and resting space for pets such as plants, rocks or caves.
Besides paper towels, newspapers, you can also buy other types of paper as a substrate for bearded dragon. Small Pet Select Natural Paper Bedding is a product with pure paper material, ensuring bearded dragon safety.
This product is made from natural paper, processed into small pieces and completely free of any chemicals and detergents. It is also very soft so as not to harm the bearded dragon.
#4 Bioactive substrate
The bioactive bearded dragon substrate may be quite strange to you because of its somewhat late appearance, but it is slowly becoming a popular substrate.
You can simply understand that bearded dragon bioactive substrate is the substrate that can naturally remove bacteria and fungi naturally. And the special thing, you must always maintain the moisture of this substrate so that it can promote its effects. Remember, moist, not wet.
Bioactive substrate means you have to recreate the natural habitat of bearded dragon. Therefore, you need to use many accessories and other tools to create that habitat. From substrates to decorative accessories and equipment.
You can use bearded dragon soil substrate in combination with bark, moss or walnut shells to simulate the natural habitat for your pet. Remember to use 100% natural products to promote their role in the best way.
Also, don’t forget to supply the substrate with a sprayer or a humidifier, because they always need oxygen to treat waste. About 3 inches of the substrate is a reasonable amount for a pet’s living space, if you can provide more, that doesn’t matter.
Zoo Med Reptile Bark Fir Bedding is a quality product and has a great function in eliminating odors and mold in the bearded dragon’s habitat.
The bark is really soft and absorbs well, so the waste or pathogenic bacteria are quickly removed. It is also made from 100% natural ingredients so it does not affect the health of bearded dragons.
Maybe the price is a bit high, but this is a high quality product, does not affect bearded dragon so this is still a good investment.
Substrates have always been one of the most important factors, as it not only affects the performance but also the health of bearded dragons. Currently, on the market there are many types of substrates, you can easily fall into the information matrix if not experienced. So don’t rush to decide what type of substrate you will invest in, but carefully research the information about your pet and the appropriate substrate beforehand.