Bearded Dragon Decorations
As you create an indoor habitat for your bearded dragon, keep in mind that Pogona vitticeps is native to eastern central Australia, where its habitat spans desert and grassland. That being said, there are so many options when it comes to bearded dragon decorations. Some people (like myself) prefer to respect the bearded dragon’s origins with desert theme. Others prefer a more tropical look. And still others like to turn their beardie’s home into something of a dollhouse. *shrug* The most important thing for you to do is
- make sure it’s dragon-safe
- decorate it appropriate for your dragon’s exercise and spacial needs
- choose furnishings that fit your taste
Good decorations make a terrarium look cool, but they’re also important for exercise, mental stimulation, and helping keep your bearded dragon healthy. In zoos, enclosure decor and “toys” are called enrichment items. A common misconception that modern reptile husbandry experts are working to remove is that reptiles are stupid creatures that do not need “toys” or “decorations” beyond their keeper’s fancy. I encourage you to review the importance of enrichment for reptiles in this article: Environmental Enrichment For Reptiles ; What? Why? and How…?
If you want ideas, visit ReptiFiles’ Pinterest page. I pin all kinds of stuff there on reptile enclosures and decorating them. It’s like planning my dream home — except it’s my dream reptile room. 😉
This is one of the bearded dragon decorations you can’t go without, because it helps your beardie find the perfect basking temperature. Bearded dragons also like to climb for exercise, so providing a basking fixture is perfect. Personally I really like using a cork bark log for this.
Bearded dragons need a place to hide out when they want to be left alone. This typically means one of three things.
- S/he is brumating. This is a pseudo-hibernation that most bearded dragons go through. More information in my future post about bearded dragon health.
- S/he wants to nap.
- S/he is shedding and feeling miserably itchy.
- S/he is sick.
Another reason I like cork bark logs is that they double as a hide and a basking fixture, freeing up floor space for my beardies to run around.
Bearded dragons have a strange but compelling love for hammocks. Some people use them for basking, but they also make great places for your dragon to just hang out.
Yes, bones. The man we bought Nabooru and Deliora from used sterilized, dry cow bones he found in the wilderness to decorate his terrarium, and let me tell you—it looked cool.
Flagstone is a cheap, natural material with a plethora of uses in your dragon’s enclosure. Its rough texture makes it excellent for keeping claws filed down without inhibiting climbing ability. A word of caution, though: flagstone is heavy and can be difficult to handle.
If you go onto YouTube and search for tutorials on building reptile enclosures and decor, you’ll find a goldmine. This is a fulfilling way to make a natural-looking enclosure for your beardie that is deceptively lightweight. Eventually I will attempt this.
Backgrounds are a fun way to get rid your terrarium’s sterile-looking white walls. Or worse, glass and the cords hanging around in plain sight! You can make your own with foam, or buy a poster to mount behind. I love the wide selection and flexible sizing available at PetBackdrops.com!
How to Sterilize Natural Decor
Naturally-sourced bearded dragon decorations should be sterilized before use. For wood, stone, and bone, pop them in the oven between 200-250 degrees for 30 minutes. If you’re sterilizing wood, soak it first so it won’t catch fire. In the end your kitchen will smell terrible, but you won’t have to worry about weird bugs in your terrarium.
If you’re getting your supplies secondhand, take some time to clean them with a hot, soapy bleach or vinegar solution. This prevents parasites and diseases from spreading from one reptile to another.
Can I house 2 beardies in the same tank?
A note about roommates: It’s so tempting to buy more than one bearded dragon and house them together! They’re too cute to get just one! Pet stores are particularly notorious for selling animals in male+female pairs. So here’s the facts.
Two adult female bearded dragons have been known to get along well enough, but they will have dominance disputes . This means that you will get to see beard flaring, head bobbing, and arm-waving. The submissive one will typically get last rights to basking spots and food, and will be more prone to illness due to stress (We experienced this with our females). If they start to attack one another, they must be separated!
Click here to see what happened after two long-term roommates got in a squabble.
Two male bearded dragons should never be housed together. Period. With them, dominance disputes can turn into real fights, and one or both may be injured or even killed.
One male and one female should also never be housed together. Putting two animals of opposite gender together nearly always results in mating, which leads to babies. Unless you want tons of baby bearded dragons (one female can produce up to 100 babies from a single mating), buy only one. If you do want tons of baby bearded dragons, first, know what you’re getting into. Second, house the male and female separately. They will fight and one or both can be injured or killed.
Bearded dragons of different ages….