Best Substrate For Bearded Dragons In 2021

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If you are in a hurry and just want to find out what the Best Substrate For Bearded Dragons is, then I’d recommend the Zilla Reptile Terrarium Bedding Substrate Liner as the best one.

Every reptile enthusiast desires to have a bearded dragon for a pet. As an amazing pet that they are, it is important that they be given comfortable housing like their natural habitat and safe as well.

This is especially true for baby and juvenile bearded dragons as they can be very vulnerable.

This brings us to the subject of the best-bearded dragon substrate.

Top 5 Best Substrate For Bearded Dragons

Our Top Choice
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Zilla Reptile Terrarium Liners Green 30BR/40BR/50/65 Gallon
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Duck Smooth Top EasyLiner, 12-inch x 20 Feet, White
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Zilla 11763 Ground English Walnut Shells Desert Blend, 25-Quart Bag,Black
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Zoo Med Forest Floor Bedding, 24 Quarts
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Zoo Med Reptile Bark Fir Bedding, 24 Quarts
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Best Flooring For Bearded Dragons Reviews

Best Substrate For Bearded Dragons


 

Editor Review 1

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Are you looking for the best-bearded dragon bedding for your pet’s enclosure? You may as well put an end to the search with the Zilla reptile terrarium bedding substrate liner.

Zilla’s terrarium liner is made from a non-abrasive, and absorbent material. They are fashioned to simulate the grass/desert in their natural habitat.

As sensitive as the feet of your bearded dragon can be, this bedding substrate liner won’t irritate them. They are ideal and safe for both juvenile and adult bearded dragons as their particles are tightly knitted and cannot be mistakenly eaten, as is the case with a lot of other substrates.

They are manufactured from recycled materials and can be reused over and over again. All you have to do is simply dip it into cold tap water and rinse.

They are treated with a biodegradable enzyme which helps in reducing reptile odors.

This terrarium liner comes in many colors for individual preference. Depending on the size of your bearded dragon’s enclosure, it can be cut to any desired size.

With such a synthetic carpet though, it is recommended that you trim the nails of your dragons to avoid getting caught on the substrate.

PROS
CONS
It is very affordableYour dragon’s nails can get stuck to the liner
It is easy to use
It is easy to clean
It is safe
It minimizes strong odor
It doesn't irritate your dragons

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Editor Review 2

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This is another liner that works well for the purpose of flooring your dragon’s enclosure – the duck smooth top easy liner.

Although it wasn’t originally created to serve as a reptile substrate, it has been found to do a great job in this capacity.

As its name suggests, it features a smooth top that allows you to slide objects across very easily. This also makes for easy cleaning and tank maintenance.

It also features a non-adhesive grip bottom that helps to keep it in place when your beardy is busy running all around.

Thanks to its trendy patterns and colors, your dragon’s enclosure can enjoy a new life.

This liner allows you the option of cutting it to fit the size of your dragon’s particular enclosure, providing a covering over the floor.

It is also a non-chemical liner, this way your dragons are safe should there be any accidental ingestion. As is typical of liners, you don’t have to be worried about it being mistakenly eaten by your bearded dragons while having its meal.

PROS
CONS
It is easy to cleanIts smooth surface can make your dragon slip when running
It is machine washable
It is affordable
It features a good base grip
It allows for multiple reuses

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Editor Review 3

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If you desire a comfortable home for a reptilian buddy, you may want to consider the Zilla ground English walnut shells desert blend.

This is an ideal choice of the substrate if you’re looking for a more natural covering for your bearded dragon’s enclosure. It is a 100% natural ground English walnut shell and simulates the natural environment typical of a bearded dragon as a desert reptile.

Its particles are somewhat like sand but lighter and dust-free; plus you can readily compost them with common yard waste.

With sand as a substrate for bearded dragons in captivity still being greatly debated, this serves as a suitable alternative. One advantage they have over sand is that you don’t find the shells sticking to the body of your dragon.

It goes a long way to encourage the natural instinct and behaviors of your bearded dragon such as burrowing and digging.

It is non-toxic and does not give out a strong odor.

It is a good conductor and helps your pets in their natural instinct of self-regulating their body temperature.

PROS
CONS
It is non-toxic and safeIt is somewhat difficult to clean
It gives out little to no strong odorIt may not be ideal for juveniles
It efficiently retains heat and absorbs moisture
It comes in a variety of size bags
It is mess and dust-free

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Editor Review 4

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The Zoo Med Forest Floor Bedding is another great substrate to look out for. It is made from natural cypress mulch and provides your reptilian pet with a natural jungle and forest floor appearance.

This substrate is 100% free of any harmful chemical and as such is completely safe for your pet to live on. It has a soft texture that provides your dragon with a great deal of comfort, plus your bearded dragon can hardly get hurt.

Additionally, it promotes the natural instincts of bearded dragons such as burrowing and digging.

This Zoo Med substrate features efficient moisture-retaining and absorbing properties that help to improve the humidity within your bearded dragon’s enclosure. This property helps to regulate and improve the moistness, and keep it where it should.

It also features a pleasant smell and looks, thus adding good value to your beardy’s space.

It is recommended that when feeding your dragon, do so in a separate container instead of on the bedding, to prevent eating the substrate.

PROS
CONS
It provides adequate humidityNot particularly made for a bearded dragon
It gives out a good smell
It has a look and appeal
It is 100% natural and safe
It provides a soft and comfortable environment

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Editor Review 5

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If you want to go for a natural substrate for your dragon, this might the ideal product you’ve been looking for – Zoo Med Reptile Bark Fir Bedding.

This is an all-natural cage substrate made from fir tree bark comprising large surfaced small chips and provides the ideal environment for reptiles such as a bearded dragon.

This is a simulation of a rainforest vibe in a humid environment. It possesses the ability to regulate humidity by absorbing and releasing moisture.

Its absorbent property makes it soak up waste and leaving your reptile uncontaminated.

It evenly conducts and distributes heat all through your bearded friend’s enclosure.

Additionally, it goes a long way to encourage natural instincts and activities of desert animals such as burrowing and digging.

When it comes down to cleaning, you can easily do so by thoroughly soaking in hot water and proper rinsing out. This should be done once every 3 months.

As much as you can re-use after thoroughly washing, it is recommended that you make a replacement once a year.

PROS
CONS
It is easy to cleanIt can be accidentally ingested
It is reusable for up to a year
It is absorbent
It is a great conductor of heat
It stimulates natural reptile instincts

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What Is Substrate For Bearded Dragons?

A substrate is basically the covering used in the flooring of your Bearded Dragons enclosure.

Now that your beardy is in captivity, it is important to replicate or simulate its wild terrain as much as possible. This is the idea behind a substrate.

In the wild, a typical Bearded Dragon habitat consists of sand, pebbles, fallen twigs, rocks, and the likes. Thus, in captivity, you want to provide a substrate that will replicate this feel and look.

The ideal substrate should provide an environment that will enable your bearded dragon to go about their natural instincts such as basking, burrowing, digging, climbing, and even laying eggs.

There are many options to consider and your choice may depend on your beardy’s age, the size of the enclosure and how long you intend to keep them in, and how much effort you’re willing to put into its cleaning.


 

How Important It Is To Choose the Right Substrate?

An important aspect of your pet’s enclosure you’ll ever make is the decision of the right substrate.

This particular subject has in the past been known to stir up a heated debate and contention amongst owners of bearded dragons and the beardy world at large.

A lot of owners take this for granted but unknown to them the quality of the substrate used to a large extent impacts the quality of life and health of your beardie.

The reason you need to give this subject adequate attention is simple: the substrate is the material where your reptilian buddy gets to spend their entire life.

So you see why you should not take such a decision so casually. Any mistake on this and your pet is exposed to an unhygienic and dangerous environment.

Your chosen material should not just be easy to maintain, but safe and comfortable. Your choice of substrate does not only impact their health but provides them a feeling of being at home even in their tank.


 

Features Of The Best Bedding for Bearded Dragons

It goes without saying, that substrate need and types differ from one pet to another. When it comes to bearded dragons, there are crucial characteristics to look out for, some of which includes:

1. It should be safe for reptiles, i.e. non-ingestible and nontoxic. In a case where the particles are loose and it gets ingested, it should be digestible.

2. In the case of the non-particle substrate, it should provide adequate grip so your pets don’t easily slip.

3. It should as much as possible simulate or replicate a natural bearded dragon habitat.

4. It should be easy to clean

5. It should be efficiently absorbent without trapping spilled fluid or moisture

6. It should be able to stimulate some natural instincts such as burrowing and digging

7. It should not give any room for insects, mold, and micro-organism to thrive

8. Above all, it should be affordable


 

Types Of Substrate For Bearded Dragon

The typical habitat of a bearded dragon in the wild comprises of small pebbles and sand where they run across as their substrate.

In captivity, it is believed that sand as a substrate may not be ideal.

The concern sterns from the fact that whenever you give your beardy food, the substrate may be caught up on the food, and your pet tends to eat without selecting.

When this happens, it can be harmful to their health, particularly causing problems with their digestion, generally known as impaction.

To this end, other substrate options have been introduced; and can be used and still provide a great flooring for your bearded dragon’s enclosure.

1. Reptile Carpet

Reptile carpet is a type of substrate manufactured to provide a comfortable and soft footing for your bearded dragon.

This artificial substrate simulates the desert grass, as it’s expected that your bearded dragon has come across while living in the wild.

This carpet is visually appealing; and so does not just serve by covering the entire glass floor, but adds beauty to any cage.

It is easy to use and clean and possesses a great absorbency capability. The downside commonly associated with this carpet is the tendency to catch on the claws on your beardie.

2. Ceramic Tiles

Ceramic Tiles are another simple and easy-to-find substrate option as you can get them at any home improvement store. More than easy to use is the ease when it comes to cleaning them.

They are also a good option when it comes to the visual appeal of any enclosure, as they come in a wide variety of textures and colors.

With this type of substrate, it is obvious that any chances of impaction are completely eliminated.

Ceramic tiles are generally known to retain heat – this is obviously their downside. When this happens, your dragons may get burned if not attended to.

Also, in the case where your beardy gets to fall, this substrate offers little to no cushioning.

3. Clay

Clay is another welcomed substrates to use for your bearded dragon enclosure and it’s natural of course.

Clay adds a great deal of value to your beardy’s cage: it is visually appealing and uplifts any enclosure design. It is also an excellent option to encourage a lot of burrowing and digging from your bearded dragon.

Depending on the size of clay particles used, the problem of impaction is brought to its barest minimum – the larger the particles of clay, the less the risk of impaction.

The downside with clay as a substrate is that when it gets wet, it exposes your pets to an unfriendly condition and a lot of harmful pathogens.

4. Paper Towel

Paper towel is also another possible substrate option for your beardy’s enclosure. It is affordable and can also be easily purchased in a variety of home improvement shops.

For the case of the towel, you can wash and still use it in the future. They are lightweight and soft on your bearded dragon’s feet. The risk of impaction is completely eliminated when using this substrate.

They are easy to clean; like the case of newspaper, you just remove and replace them when due.

You want to change them as often as possible to avoid any form of stink and smell. Another downside is that it does not add in any way to the visual appeal of the enclosure.

5. Newspaper

This is obviously one of the most affordable substrate options for your beardie. You can buy them anywhere, or even get the used ones for free.

This option does not need the effort of cleaning; all you have to do is replace them when they are due. They are simple to use: you just lay them flat or in a shredded form on the floor of your beardy enclosure.

Shredding the newspapers is recommended as it promotes their natural behaviors such as digging and burrowing.

The downside when it comes to this substrate option is the humidity it promotes within the enclosure.


 

Final Words On Best Substrate For Bearded Dragons

There you go. It is doubtless true to say that the most essential part of a bearded dragon’s enclosure decor is the substrate.

More than just the ambiance they provide, they have an impact on the health and well-being of your reptilian pet.

I am confident that my top picks listed above should get you started on finding the best substrate and bedding for your pet. More so, of all the five products, my winner goes to Zilla Reptile Terrarium Bedding Substrate Liner.

To start with, they are safe for your new friend to live on – whether juvenile or adult. You don’t have to worry about the problem of an impaction as they are non-ingestible.

They are also non-toxic and non-irritable. It takes little to no effort to keep clean, and it can be reused for a long period of time. It comes treated with biodegradable enzymes to inhibit foul odors and smell.

The best part of it all is that with all these amazing features and properties, it still is one of the most affordable substrate options on the market.

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Last update on 2021-09-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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