FAQ: Housing Bearded Dragons

Can I house more than one Bearded Dragon in a cage?
Never put 2 mature males together. They will more often than not fight and one or both can be hurt or killed. Generally, only females will get along but that is not a guarantee. Always, always, always quarantine new animals for a minimum of 90 days and get a fecal done before they are introduced to other Bearded Dragons.

How big a cage do I need?
Adult dragons should have at least 6 sq. ft. of floor space. 2′ X 3′ is good, 2′ X 4′ is great.

Can I use a hotrock for heat?
NO! Do not ever use a hotrock. Dragons should get heat from above with a basking lamp. The hottest spot should be 105F-115F so they can properly digest their food.

Should I use a heat light at night?
NO! Bearded Dragons can see the light and black lights are bad for their eyes. The cage should be dark to allow them to rest and cycle properly. Night time heat is not needed unless temps drop below 65F inside the cage. If that is the case you can use a ceramic heater for heat from the top or a UTH (under tank heater) if it is feasible. Generally, if you have a sand bottom, the UTH will not penetrate because the sand will insulate it

What should I use on the bottom of the cage?
The list of what people use is quite long. When they are under 10"-12" I recommend, non adhesive shelf liner as it is non slip and easy to clean. Any particulate substrate like wood, sand… can be ingested and fatal for small Bearded Dragons. As they get older I put them on washed play sand available in most hardware stores. You must clean it daily so it doesn’t smell. I use the play sand because I think my Bearded Dragons love digging. This is why it is messy. Some people use shelf liner and then have a sandbox as well. There are people keeping Bearded Dragons on other substrates successfully, but I do not recommend anything other than these 2 choices.

What about Calcium sand or wood chips marketed as safe for reptiles?
Many products are marketed as safe for reptiles. They are not! It is that simple. Don’t use them. Sand and other particulates cannot be digested can puncture or clump up and block the intestinal track. Only non adhesive shelf liner is 100% safe. It will not harbor bacteria either if cleaned properly.