Bearded dragons spend much of their time under the sand in their original environment. That will require their new pet owners to be able to provide them the special attention and care that they need. You can’t just put them in your garden and let them live like lizards and other reptiles that you see inside your house. You will end up making different kinds of mistakes in handling your little dragon. This will harm their well-being later on.
If your beardie is showing unusual behavior, you may not have been doing the right thing for it. If it is not moving about, seeming to have difficulty opening its eyes or drinking water, attacking its cage, and so on, there could be something that could probably be wrong. Caring for your docile pet starts with providing it with the right environment where it can roam around freely and safely.
- Sand As A Bedding For Bearded Dragons
- 1. Zoo Med Repti Sand, Natural Red
- 2. Zilla Snake and Sand Litter
- 1. Zoo Medi Repti Sand Desert White
- 3. Zoo Med Vita-Sand in Gobi Gold
- 4. Zilla Ground Walnut Shells Desert Blend
- 5. Zoo Med Excavator Clay Burrowing Substrate
- 6. Fluker’s Natural Sand Bedding
- 7. Zoo Med ReptiFresh Odor Eliminating Substrate
- 8. Zoo Med Dragon Sand
- 9. Caribsea Reptile Habitat
- 10. Different Colors of Reptile Terrarium Sand Sciences
- More tips on how to handle your beardie properly
Sand As A Bedding For Bearded Dragons
Breeders, keepers, and even animal experts have different opinions when it comes to the best substrate (bedding) for maintaining a beardie. Some support the use of sand, others think that there are better alternatives to this bedding option. Other options considered for a substrate include cage liners or synthetic carpets, clay, newspapers, and tiles.
Sand substrate offers the best desert-like environment for the beardies. To help you find the best product for your beardie, we have rounded up the most favored sand products on Amazon.com. Listed below are those that have received a substantial number of positive reviews from other bearded dragon owners. If you click on the active links, you will be directed to Amazon page where you can directly buy the product. If you have tried any of the products indicated below, you may also help others by posting your comments and review about the particular item.
1. Zoo Med Repti Sand, Natural Red
Repti Sand Desert White is made of natural sand colors with no artificial colors or dyes added. This provides a natural-looking habitat for the beardie. It also encourages the little dragon and other reptiles and amphibians that are provided with this sand substrate to dig and to burrow.
This sand is ideal for a wide variety of amphibians, arachnids, and desert-dwelling reptiles. This also provides a good heating conductor for your beardie’s comfort and can be an ideal medium for egg-laying reptiles. When ingested accidentally, it won’t cause an impaction on the reptile because it has been finely grounded.
2. Zilla Snake and Sand Litter
This product is a very good alternative to sand. This litter is made from ground eucalyptus and fir shavings. Another good thing about this product is that it is 100% natural, toxic-free, and has a fresh scent to it. It keeps your beardie’s terrarium fresh, moist, and liquid free.
A lot of breeders and hobbyist recommend this product because of its ability in absorbing liquid and moisture in the reptile’s tank. It is 100% environmentally friendly, 100% made from natural aspen, and hypoallergenic, meaning the litter doesn’t contain any harmful aromatic oils for your beardie. This product is made in the USA.
1. Zoo Medi Repti Sand Desert White
Repti Sand Desert White is made of natural sand colors with no artificial colors or dyes added. This provides a natural-looking habitat for the beardie. It also encourages the little dragon and other reptiles and amphibians who are provided with this sand substrate to dig and to burrow. It also comes in Natural Red variant.
3. Zoo Med Vita-Sand in Gobi Gold
Vita-Sand by Zoo Medi is a natural vitamin-fortified calcium carbonate substrate that will be an excellent substrate for your beardie. No artificial colors or sealers were added in the packaging. It also does not contain fat-soluble vitamins which can be dangerous to your pet if taken in large doses. It’s been made to be ultra fine grade, giving you the assurance that it will not choke your little dragon. The sand comes in 6 colors.
4. Zilla Ground Walnut Shells Desert Blend
This product has a good way of replicating the natural habitat of reptiles and has a good way of creating a good dessert environment. This blend is 100% made from natural ground walnut shells and will not make scratch marks on the tank’s glass and on your docile pet’s body. It provides great humidity level and could help stimulate your beardie’s burrowing and digging behavior. Since it could stimulate burrowing and digging, make sure that you put at least 2 to 3 inches of ground walnut shells in your pet’s terrarium. This could make your pet more comfortable and feel more at home.
5. Zoo Med Excavator Clay Burrowing Substrate
This substrate is one of the best out there because you can mold, create tunnels, terraces, and burrows without collapsing in your beardie’s tank. To change or create shapes in your beardie’s terrarium, you should first add water on the excavator so that it could the shape that you’ve created and won’t collapse.
This product is all natural, it doesn’t contain any toxic dyes and chemicals and it is perfectly safe for your reptile. Not only is it good your bearded dragon, this clay substrate could also bring out your creativity in designing and building excellent constructions in your pet’s terrarium.
6. Fluker’s Natural Sand Bedding
This sand bedding creates an attractive and a very naturalistic environment for all kinds of desert reptiles. That includes bearded dragons, desert iguanas, leopard geckos, scorpions, and semi-terrestrial skinks like scorpions, burrowing frogs, soft-shelled turtles, tarantulas, and more.
This sand provides a good heating conductor and could help stimulate the digging behavior of your bearded dragon. It is free from all kinds of dyes and chemicals, it’s perfectly safe for your little reptile friend. This sand bedding is dust-free if you ever consider buying this product make sure that you have enough stock to replace the used sand every 4 to 6 weeks.
7. Zoo Med ReptiFresh Odor Eliminating Substrate
Zoo Med Laboratories, Inc. is known for providing quality pet foods, products, and habitats for reptiles and amphibians for 40 years. Repti Frest Odor Eliminating Substrate is a natural mineral substrate that absorbs odors. It provides a natural-looking environment not only for bearded dragons but for other pets as well, including geckos, boas, skinks and more.
Placing it as a substrate for your beardie will stimulate digging and burrowing behavior that are essential activities that conduct heat. For sure your beardie will love this. Once laid at the bottom of the beardie’s enclosure, it may be used for up to 12 months before it will need to be replaced.
8. Zoo Med Dragon Sand
This sand substrate by Zoo Med is a natural, fine quartz desert sand that likewise encourages burrowing and digging behavior. No chemicals or dyes were added in its preparation, so you can be assured that it will be safe when used as a substrate for your docile pet. It will keep your beardie’s nails strong and clean. It will also be an excellent bedding for Leopard Geckos, Sand Boas, Desert Iguanas, Collared Lizards, Soft-shell Turtles, and other reptiles and amphibians.
9. Caribsea Reptile Habitat
This substrate product is actually quite unique, not only does it provide a good substrate for your reptile, it is also edible. However, this product is not intended as a food source for reptiles, it’s just purposely made to be edible for reptiles just in case of accidentally ingesting the substrate.
The Substrate is made from an all natural calcium substrate, aragonite. It is a soluble form of calcium carbonate. If some bits of the substrate is ingested by the reptile, the substrate will quickly dissolve and avoids the risk of impaction. Also, the natural spherical grains of the sand won’t scratch your beardie’s body and its terrarium’s glass.
10. Different Colors of Reptile Terrarium Sand Sciences
1 . Reptile Sciences Terrarium Sand, Black
This Terrarium sand by Reptile Sciences is made of 100% all-natural orbicular grain. No Silica and Phosphate were added to the packaging. It’s 100% digestible calcium carbonate and contains essential Strontium, Potassium, and Magnesium that a beardie needs for better health. It naturally neutralizes odor so your pet enclosure will look cleaner and will not smell. However, you may need to remove any waste material that has clumped on top of it every day. The product needs to be replaced every 4 to 6 months.
2. Reptile Sciences Terrarium Sand, Natural White
The same quality product from Reptile Science that can be used as a substrate for many reptiles and amphibians is the Natural White Terrarium Sand. Like all other sand substrates on this list, this sand bedding will provide a natural-looking substrate for your pet. It is easy to clean and can be used for several months before it should be replaced.
3. Reptile Sciences Terrarium Sand, Blue
Here is another color option of the same product brand from Reptile Sciences. Replicate the hue of the clear sky and let your beardie explore without fear as this terrarium sand is made of all natural sand. It is not a choking hazard as well as it is made to be ultra fine. Having this sand laid at the bottom of your pet’s enclosure will encourage it to use more of its feet and allow it to increase body heat. This ensures that it stays longer outside, absorb the heat from the lighting provided, and grow a stronger body and bones.
4. Reptile Sciences Terrarium Sand, Red
For a red-looking substrate alternative, you may opt for this red variant of the terrarium sand by Reptile Sciences. It offers the same benefit and a little color variation that your bearded dragon may be interested to walk on burrow or dig for a while.
5. Reptile Sciences Terrarium Sand, Purple
Here is a more colorful sand substrate alternative also from the same manufacturer, Reptile Sciences. It may attract your beardie better and encourage it to stay longer exploring the sand.
6. Reptile Sciences Terrarium Sand, Violet
Finally, the most inviting color that your beardie may have under its fee, the violet variant of the terrarium sand from Reptile Sciences. All are easy to maintain. Just use a kitten litter scoop to scoop out portions of the substrate that your little dragon has dumped its body waste and you are done. Just make sure to replace every 4-6 months
Your bearded dragon will remain happy and healthy if you are able to provide it with a living environment that is close to its natural habitat. You also need to make sure that you are keeping them safe and warm.
More tips on how to handle your beardie properly
1. Keep the odor away
Compared to other mammals, bearded dragons do not produce as much waste. They also rarely shed. Unlike other animals, they do not release strong odors to mark their territory. They use their beard and their head and body movements to indicate their territory.
Nevertheless, their cages will get stinky if they are not regularly and properly maintained. The sooner you clean up feces and other odor-causing elements from the cage, the better it will smell. Scoop and sift the sand to remove feces, shed skin, uneaten food, and other leftovers that may cause the enclosure to release a pungent smell.
2. Replace the sand substrate every few months
Discard and replace the substrate. You should also wash or replace all other items inside the cage (including the food and water bowls) before returning the beardie to its cage.
3. Keep the enclosure dry
Moisture is a good breeding ground for bacteria. This will also release an unpleasant odor from the cage. To lessen the natural odor coming from your beardie’s enclosure, make sure that you keep everything in it moist-free.
4. Give your beardie a splash every three days
Use lukewarm water to clean it. Pay attention to the undersides of its belly, feet, as well as legs. Allow your beardie to drink before you clean it up, to make sure that it won’t be drinking the water where it usually defecates in.
5. Remove uneaten food daily
Decomposing greens, as well as other food sources for bearded dragons, produce a bad smell. It will help lessen the odor if you can ensure that there are no leftover anywhere inside or near the cage. If you place feeder insects in a cage, you also need to make sure that you keep it clean also.
It takes a conscious effort to keep your beardie’s habitat clean. However you may want to call this new home for your little dragon, it will be his home for the next ten or more years. To keep him healthy and be satisfied as to how your pet is growing and behaving, you need to provide it the proper care it needs. We have provided you with some sand substrate alternatives that your pet may have in his new habitat. Keep it clean to show your pet some TLC.