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What Do I Need for a Bearded Dragon Habitat?

What Do I Need for a Bearded Dragon Habitat?

Your bearded dragons habitat is where they will spend most of their time. This is an area where you shouldn’t skimp on. Bearded dragons need fairly sizable cages to be comfortable in captivity.

What you use to house your bearded dragon in is entirely up to you. There are more than one option to choose from. As long as you keep size requirements  in mind you can house your bearded dragon in just about anything.

You’ll find information on habitat options and anything to do with bearded dragon cages on this page. If you’re looking for information on housing, enclosures, cages, tanks and other related topics, this is where you’ll find it.

Providing a good home for your bearded dragon is essential in raising a happy and healthy pet. As with all aspects of dragon care, following some simple guidelines can increase your chances of being a succesful dragon owner.
There are different options that you can use for housing your bearded dragon in. Each option has it’s own strengths and weaknesses. No matter what option you choose, make sure that it provides the essentials that all dragon homes need.

Finding the right home and getting it set up properly could become costly. However, I do have some money saving tips that could cut down on the cost a little. It will still take a little bit of money to properly house your new pet.

When looking for a bearded dragon enclosure it’s better to get a home that is just bare minimum. A bearded dragon might survive in a bare minimum set up, but it’s better to have your dragon thrive.

First Things First

Before you bring your new bearded dragon home, it’s good to have their enclosure set up and ready to go. Make sure that everything is in place, and you have a good heat gradient going. This will give your new friend a warm and cozy place to settle into.

This is important because whether you bring them home from a store or they are shipped to you from a breeder, they will have endured some sort of stress from the journey. This is especially true for younger dragons, like hatchlings.

Providing a home that is safe, warm, and ready will help your new dragon start adjusting as fast as possible.

The Bigger the Better

Providing ample room for your dragon cannot be overstated enough. The bigger the dragons cage, the better they will do. You don’t want your dragon to just survive, you want them to thrive.
I know that last statement was a little corny, but it’s true. Of course there are other factors involved in keeping a happy dragon. Providing a big enclosure is not a cure all for other parts of your dragons care.

The bare minimum enclosure size you’ll want to have for an adult dragon is 36″ x 18″ x 18″. This is equivalent to a 55-gallon aquarium. Remember that this is the minimum size you’ll want to go with.

A preferred size would be 42″ x 24″ x 18″. If you can go a little bigger that’s great, but this size should do well. I use a 48″ x 20″ x 20″ cage for my dragons.

Bearded dragons need more floor space than vertical space. Even though dragons like to climb, they will spend quite a bit of time on the floor of their enclosure. Keep this in mind when looking for, or building a cage.

Baby Dragon Exception

There is an exception for hatchlings and dragons less than 6″ long. You can temporarily house these guys in a ten to twenty-gallon aquarium. However, they will quickly outgrow this home within month. A twenty-gallon long breeder tank is preferred over a ten-gallon tank.
If you don’t want to buy an aquarium, you can always use a small Rubbermaid tote for a short peroid of time. These are inexpensive and can be easily cleaned. These work great for hatchlings and young dragons. Once your dragon gets to a size of 6-8″ I see no reason why you can’t move them to their permanent home. I have done this without any problems

It may actually be better to start the small guys in a smaller enclosure. It helps make them feel safer and secure. It also helps them catch their prey (crickets) at feeding time.

There is more than one option when housing your bearded dragon. You can go as cheap or expensive as you want to. Your cage can be as extravagant and beautiful, or as plain and simple as you would prefer.

There is no one ‘best’ choice, but many good ones. I say this because your idea of ‘best’ and my idea of ‘best’ can be different. Some are a lot better than others, but most options will get you by.

I will give you some information on the different housing options. Then I will leave it to you to decide what will work best for you and your dragon. Just remember to follow the size guidelines. Some of the options are:

Aquarium / Tank
Molded Plastic Cage (Vision Cage)
Build Your Own Cage

These are only some of the options you have to choose from. I will add more in the future such as custom made cages, and plastic totes. Yes, you can use a plastic tote, if you so desire.

Things To Consider Before Choosing a Bearded Dragon Cage

How easy will the cage be to clean?

The easier the cage is to keep clean, the more likely it will be cleaned. I tell you this out of experience. I lack the enthusiasm sometimes to clean my own cages. It’s the job I least like to do, but it needs to be done. The easier a cage is to clean, the easier it will be on you.
Some enclosures are easier to get into and clean than others. I’m a fan of enclosures with opening front doors. These are very accessible, and like the molded plastic cage, easy to keep sanitized.

How easy will it be to get at your dragon?

A cage that provides easy access to your dragon will make handling a lot easier. When picking up your dragon, it is better to come in from the side then from above. This is especially true with younger dragons that tend to be skittish.

Cages with opening front doors are really good for this purpose. If you get a cage with a top opening, try to come at your dragon more from the side when attempting to pick them up. A dragon can feel threatened with your hamd coming from the top.

Having a cage that is hard to get into, will make it hard to get at your dragon. If your cage is easy to get into, life will be a lot easier when cleaning the cage, picking your dragon up and feeding crickets to them.

Where will you keep the cage?

Keeping your dragons enclosure where there isn’t much foot traffic, will provide less stress for your pet. Keeping the cage out of direct sunlight will help prevent cooking your dragon. Also, making sure your dragons home isn’t to close to air-conditioning or heat vents will help with controlling cage temperatures.

Bearded dragons like to see activity, so even though you don’t want them in direct high foot traffic areas, don’t isolate them either. I have heard of some people leaving their television on when they weren’t home to keep their dragons from getting bored.

That last paragraph is directed toward older dragons. I have observed that as my dragons have gotten older they like to see activity. Young dragons (hatchling to 6 months) will like a little more peace and quiet. Older dragons will like to watch you and they may even seem to miss you when you’re not there.

Is the bearded dragon housing attractive to you?

Functionality is the first thing to look for in a cage, but make sure that you choose something that suits you as well. There is no right or wrong answer to this. You can go with a simple and functional cage or a beautiful naturalistic enclosure. It is entirely up to you.

Having a nice looking cage may be more of a factor if you live with your parents, are married or share your home with other people. Most people don’t like to see a make-shift cage containing reptiles in their home. Remember to be sensitive to other people living with you.

If you live by yourself, you won’t have to worry about this. The only person you have to impress is yourself.

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