How to Set Up the Perfect Bearded Dragon Cage?
Having a bearded dragon as a pet requires specific skills to help it develop properly. A bearded dragon’s habitat can significantly impact its growth. Your bearded dragon will spend most of its life in an enclosure, so you need to prepare its space before bringing it home. If you’re looking for a bearded dragon for sale, this article outlines the perfect setup for an enclosure.
Select the Tank Size and Type
Start by choosing an adequate cage size so that your bearded dragon will be comfortable in the new habitat. Bearded dragons love exploring, and a tank size with sufficient floor space will be ideal for their growth. Ample room allows your beardie to exercise as it grows, which can boost its overall happiness and wellness.
When planning to welcome your new beardie home, consider the materials used in its enclosure. Some popular tank materials include:
- Glass enclosures
- Melamine cages
- Vision cages
- PVC or ABS cages
Regardless of the enclosure material you opt for, make sure that your bearded dragon can get plenty of fresh air. Proper ventilation will help keep humidity levels low and maintain the right temperature.
Find a Good Substrate
After choosing an enclosure, you need to find a suitable substrate to line the cage floor. Some of the qualities that your choice of the substrate should fulfill include:
- Visually appealing
- Easy to clean
- Safely digestible (If your beardie accidentally ingests some of the substrates, you shouldn’t have to worry about it getting ill or harmed.)
There are dedicated substrate options for pets that you can get within the market. If you don’t want to use these products, you can use a newspaper or a piece of carpet. Should you choose to use a newspaper, remember to switch it out daily.
Avoid using items like wood shavings or potting soil with fertilizer. Such items, when ingested, can cause digestive blockage.
Set Up Heating Elements
For your bearded dragon to grow properly, it needs enough UVB light. UVB helps it absorb more calcium nutrients from its foods, which promotes strong bone development. Stronger bones will help support the additional weight the beardie will gain as it matures. Purchase and install bulbs that offer full-spectrum light to help your beardie absorb the right nutrients while basking.
Heating elements are also influential for bearded dragon development since beardies need a lot of heat to thrive. The most common heating elements are heat lamps, but you can get basking bulbs with unfiltered white light for the best results.
Do not use heat sources like hot rocks since they can be too harsh on your dragon’s skin. Adjust the light type depending on the dragon’s size and developmental stages. For example, opt for lights with lower watts in tanks where you keep hatchlings and adjust the lighting elements as they grow.
Have Bowls for Water and Food
For optimal development, you should feed your beardie a balanced diet. Adding food and water bowls to the enclosure allows you to introduce them to fruits, dry foods, and vegetables. Bearded dragons also love to hunt insects, so make sure that there is space and accessibility to feed them insects.
Have heavy bowls that your beardie cannot trip over or knock over. The water bowl should be shallow enough to ease water drinking and prevent accidental drowning. Also, place both bowls away from heat lamps to prevent the water or food from becoming hot.
To keep your dragon healthy, you need bowls you can clean easily and regularly. Consider finding materials that are easy to clean and will not have traces of old food after every serving.
Your dragon’s enclosure should have decorations to improve comfort and allow it to exercise. Decorations make the cage look appealing from the outside, but you need to plan properly. Clutter can interfere with your beardie’s development.
Here are some decorations you can include in the enclosure:
- Hide boxes: Since the cage simulates the real-world look, you can have a hide box where your dragon goes to hide. This can be the perfect rest place where the dragon feels secure and safe.
- Plants: Plants in a cage will offer a natural look similar to those in the environment. Only place non-toxic, live plants that would be safe if swallowed. You can also opt for plastic plants to improve the look, just be careful about the placement.
- Basking perch: Dragons enjoy climbing, so you should have a piece of branch that can act as a perfect perch. Having a proper perch will allow the dragon to exercise and avoid boredom.
Make Adjustments Over Time
You may not get the perfect cage after the first try, but you can make adjustments along the way. Each dragon will have unique preferences; for example, your dragon may prefer to perch on a specific point, so you could adjust the lighting to help it be comfortable in that position.
Find the Best Bearded Dragon for Sale
Bearded dragons are popular pets since they have impressive qualities and are fun to watch. Before searching for a bearded dragon for sale, you should plan out the cage since it will impact the beardie’s development and comfort. A great cage can improve your dragon’s overall well-being.