Plus, hay is quite itchy. It’s also a good idea to use some silicone caulking to seal up any gaps that could injure your pet. I love spending time with Mary, and it's great to see her have fun. Your beardie could eat it and experience impaction. Every 3 weeks or so I take it out of his cage, wash it with the hose, air dry it and put the 2nd one in. Ceramic tiles are tough and dragons cannot dig it. ReptileAdvisor.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Do not use glass or metal. This isn’t true with all tiles. Make sure to let the tiles cool down completely before you put it back into the enclosure. But most mimic the natural appearance of grass or sand. Think of it as a natural nail file! Gravel is small chunks of rock, which can look appetizing to a beardie. All of a sudden, your bearded dragon’s habitat becomes a petri dish of disease! For any new bearded dragon owner who may not yet know: impaction is what happens when a substrate substance gets consumed by a bearded dragon (most often during mealtimes), causing a build-up inside your pet because it cannot be digested. But it’s nothing more than leftovers from a walnut processing plant. To clean this substrate, you can place it in a standard washing machine or spot clean as needed. Choosing a suitable bearded dragon substrate is a controversial topic among many beardie owners. This does not always prove to be the case, though. An important step in putting together a habitable tank for your new bearded dragon is to make sure you’ve set up a safe and comfortable substrate for your pet to live on. Impaction is a very real problem among bearded dragons living in a loose-particle substrate. This quickly turned into a deep passion for these animals that she has to this day. The biggest perk is its low cost and easy maintenance. Expert Tip: Generally, newspapers are a good temporary substrate. When a beardie eats insects (like crickets) or other foods off a loose-particle substrate, they will often consume a bit of it in the process. Not only that, but those flecks of waste can easily fall through the sand and collect at the bottom of the enclosure. Antibacterial products are a big plus! Zilla Terrarium Liner. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of misinformation about suitable substrates floating around out. Remember, the right substrate can make a big impact on the overall healthy and comfort of your beardie. There are plenty of textured tile products out there. Is crushed coconut shells safe to use instead of sand as it looks and feels just like sand? It’s very difficult to clean and just provides a place for disease to flourish. To deep clean reptile carpet, soak it in hot water and scrub it clean! Hi, I’m getting prepared for my Bearded Dragon, Ahsoka, to lay infertile eggs. Another negative aspect of sand is its ability to hold onto moisture. If you notice any fuzziness to the material at all, use a lint shaver to get rid of it or swap out your carpet for a new one. No hides in the tank. Then, put it in the oven!Bake the tile for 30 minutes to an hour at 250 degrees. Recent Discussions Very sick and limp adult! Pebble substrate. Like sand and other loose-particle substrates, wood chips will lead to impaction issues if ingested. The other big advantage of using shelf liner would be how easy it is to clean, making tank maintenance fairly simple. I want to get my beardie a dig box for enrichment since she’s almost full grown now. Reptile Advisor is a free resource for reptile owners of all experience levels. Expert Tip: You can add some sand to your bearded dragon’s enclosure for enrichment purposes. Basically, millet is a grain. I plan on putting the sand in a rubbermaid container. Other options have been deemed too difficult to keep clean, yet some owners still take the time to engage in a rigorous cleaning schedule and consider these same substrates the best available. Some substrates have been deemed safe for older, more mature lizards, yet unsafe for young dragons. Shelf liner may not sound as typical as some of the other options, but a quick search online should show you the local shops/stores where you might find some. The shells can be quite sharp, which is not great for bearded dragons. It’s a safe and low-cost substrate that doesn’t require a ton of maintenance. I want to use a substrate that my bearded dragon can safely eat in case of accidental injestion. That way, your pet can still enjoy the warmth even after the lights go out. 5. share. Gravel is even worse than sand when it comes to ingestion. Even if you’re using one of the best substrates for bearded dragons, regular cleaning is a must! Often pebbles or gravel might get grabbed accidentally while your pet is going after an insect, but since they are so hard and unyielding, the pebbles or gravel could end up cracking a tooth or otherwise damaging your dragon’s dental health. The small, easily ingested bits and pieces of sand can frequently follow chunks of food into your pet’s mouth and down their throat, where they may begin to form a blockage that could prove deadly. If you’re using something like newspaper or paper towels, cleaning is as easy as tossing out soiled material and replacing it with something new. It’s a loose-particle material that your pet can easily eat. Here is a list of bearded dragon safe substrates that we recommend: One of the best bearded dragon substrates on the market is Zilla Terrarium Reptile Carpet. The supposed benefit of using Vita-sand is that, being made of calcium, it will become metabolized when a bearded dragon swallows it, reducing the chance of impaction. When you look at the benefits tile has to offer, it’s not hard to see why. Thanks Questions or concerns? Use a large tub and some fragrance-free soap. It’s a comfortable substrate that feels good underfoot for your beardie. A newspaper substrate might be the solution you’re after! Contact us at [email protected] and we will get back to you ASAP! Many soil mixes are pretreated with fertilizers and other chemicals. Start by washing and disinfecting the tile like normal. Their pieces aren’t usually big enough to avoid being swallowed by a bearded dragon and can lead to the same impaction problems as the previous substrates listed. If the substrate doesn’t check off those boxes, you run the risk of creating a dangerous and unhygienic environment for your bearded dragon. One of the most popular types offered in several pet stores is a sand substrate made of calcium (aka: “calci-sand”), called Vita-sand. It’s much finer than sand. The best types of tile to use as bearded dragon substrate are ceramic, slate, and linoleum. Generally, herpetology enthusiasts separate substrates into two distinct categories: loose-particle substrates and non-particle substrates. The reason being is that it poses a serious health and safety risk. We publish weekly informational guides with easy-to-understand graphics to help you in your reptile-keeping journey. Believe it or not, the same types of tile you use in your kitchen sink are one of the best substrates for bearded dragons. Not only does this cause potentially life-threatening impaction, but your bearded dragon could also harm its throat or teeth. I was wondering what substrate is recommended to make a dig box? Crushed walnuts are another popular substrate you’ll see bagged up at the pet store. It doesn’t soak up any liquid, but the gravel does have tiny nooks and crannies for messes to fall through. To clean this substrate, you can put it in a standard washing machine (but do not put it in the dryer). You will need to replace it daily to avoid bacterial problems. Digging in seeds and spices or whatever crap you're thinking of is a bad idea. Dig Box? When your lizard makes a mess, cleanup is as easy as removing the soiled newspaper and replacing it with another one. Many of them aren’t suitable for bearded dragons. Bearded dragons tend to eat whatever’s offered to them, without much regard for extra particles that might come up with it (and their digestive tracts simply were not built to pass those materials safely). It also holds onto moisture and creates a conducive environment for bacteria to thrive. You can easily use old newspapers or magazines. However, they may be scorchingly … Unlike reptile carpet and other absorbent substrates, there’s no concern about stains or smells. But like anything else, it comes down to the type of tile you use. The individual pieces get stuck in the digestive system. They’re safe, low-maintenance, and affordable. This is a decision that all great owners take seriously, and you should do the same. I heard flax passes right through them, but of course there are always mixed reviews. A video showing the substrate we find central bearded dragons on. Take the Rubbermaid tote and fill it with a bare minimum of 8 inches of your chosen substrate. Some varieties of bark or mulch are also known as options for substrates. However, those chemicals are not safe for reptiles. You should clean out the entire enclosure and all of its accessories. It might not seem like a huge deal, but the quality of the substrate is going to have a massive impact on your beardie’s health and quality of life (as well as their lifespan). My boyfriend heard a dig box might help, so we're looking for advice on safe substrates. As a child, Isabel spent countless hours following her older brothers on their search for reptiles, amphibians, and other critters. Never use it for the substrate. However, it’s not a good choice to cover the entire enclosure. The right bearded dragon substrate will help you do just that! My female bearded dragon is actually gravid so she needs a lay dig box, which I've provided in her enclosure. Over time, we've seen suggestions for a bearded dragon digging box, if you don't use substrate they're able to dig in - since bearded dragons naturally like to dig… There are a number of options out there, but all the best bearded dragon substrates have a few things in common. Paving stones also do a great job of retaining heat, so they’ll help keep the temperate of you tank in a suitable range. She doesn't like to dig in there though, she'll just dig at the sides of the enclosure. It’s orange sand, so it looks similar to what they would dig in Australia. Even if your lizard manages to swallow it, the piece of gravel will almost always cause gut impaction. An added benefit of using textured tiles in your dragon’s terrarium is that they can help file down your pet’s claws, making them a little less worrisome when you come into close contact with your dragon. It’s really low maintenance and allows your bearded dragon to get about easily. In other words, it contains sharp shells and dust. Place bigger rocks or stones (if that’s what you’ve chosen as a substrate) into the oven at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes to remove any harmful bacteria or germs. Individual hay strands are sharp enough to cause some discomfort for your beardie. In the wild, bearded dragons live on many different types of substrates. I am back on this forum after MANY happy months with my bearded dragon named Mary Jane! When I first got her back in January, this forum has always been incredibly helpful, and I want to thank you for that. You’ll be surprised at how efficient and safe it is. Ceramic tiles maintain a suitable … Beyond that, tile has a couple of unique benefits as a substrate for bearded dragons: For one, it can absorb heat and provide a bit of additional comfort for your lizard. For any new bearded dragon owner who may not yet know: impaction is what happens when a substrate substance gets consumed by a bearded dragon (most often during mealtimes), causing a build-up inside your pet because it cannot be digested. Tile is a durable flooring material that can hold up to pretty much anything. Just use it to line the enclosure. Last update on 2021-01-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API. Expert Tip: It’s also important to stay on top of maintenance. Providing a natural environment, which can meet the needs of rest and entertainment for bearded dragon is the most important thing. You have to do your part to understand what works and what doesn’t. This is most commonly a problem for younger, less experienced dragons who eat quickly and are not picky eaters, though it has also been known to affect bigger, more mature dragons, too. Large rocks and stones that might otherwise have been used for paving a walkway or other outdoor surface can be very functional in a bearded dragon tank (with an added bonus of looking pretty stylish, too). Never use carpets or rugs made for humans. You have a few options when it comes to picking the best substrate for bearded dragons. You can run into some potential problems with low-quality carpets. Dig Box Substrate? But it’s important to remember: You’re shopping for substrate, not supplements! Materials that will be changed frequently don’t pose as big of a problem, as they’ll be fresh every time they’re replaced. Tiles that you might otherwise use in bathrooms or kitchen that can be found at home improvement stores will also serve well in your dragon’s tank (so long as it’s got a little texture for traction). Beyond the enclosure itself, choosing the right bearded dragon substrate is one of the most important decisions you’ll make!