Bearded dragons

what substrate to use for bearded dragons

Choosing the Best Substrate for your Bearded Dragon

Bearded dragons are fascinating – and easy to care for – reptiles. In order to promote good health, they need the right habitat and substrate. This guide will explain all you need to know about what substrate to use for your bearded dragon.

Using the Right Substrate

The best substrates for your bearded dragon are:

  • Calci-Sand: This type of sand is calcium-based, which is essential for promoting healthy bones and shedding. Calci-Sand also helps to control odor and can hold heat well.
  • Paper Towels: Though paper towels don’t look very aesthetically pleasing, they are an excellent choice for substrate for yours bearded dragon. Paper towels help to prevent the ingestion of substrate and stop humidity from reaching the tank floor.
  • Reptile Carpet: Reptile carpet is a much more attractive way to line your bearded dragon’s habitat. The carpet holds in some humidity and provides a less abrasive surface for your dragon to move around on.
  • Synthetic Turf: Synthetic turf can provide an excellent habitat. Be sure to get natural looking turf with short fibers and make sure the material is non-toxic. The turf can store heat and help to keep odors down.

Safety and Substances to Avoid

When setting up a habitat for your bearded dragon, take care to avoid any substances that may be toxic. The following should not be used as substrate in your bearded dragon’s tank:

  • Gravel: Gravel does not make for a suitable substrate for your bearded dragon, as it can get stuck in their digestive system or cause impaction if ingested.
  • Pine and Cedar shavings: These types of wood shavings contain aromatic hydrocarbons which can be toxic if ingested.
  • Sharp or abrasive sand or substrate: Anything that is too sharp or abrasive can scratch your bearded dragon’s delicate skin.


Bearded dragons, like all reptiles, need the right habitat and substrate to stay healthy and happy. Choose the best substrate for your dragon, and you’ll keep them living a long and happy life.

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