When we say bearded dragon housing requirements, what we are referring to is the home your bearded dragon will live in. There are different terminologies such as terrarium, enclosure, housing, or tank. Whatever word you use it all pretty much means the bearded dragon’s home.
One of the first decisions you should make before acquiring a bearded dragon is what you will use for housing.
Although there are a wide range of great options, and bearded dragons are fairly easy to accommodate, there are some factors you should take into account when shopping for its home. The enclosure will probably be one of the most expensive items you will need for keeping bearded dragons, so make sure you give it a good deal of thought and research before purchasing.
Here are a few things to consider when choosing suitable housing for your bearded dragon.
Today’s pet market has a wide range of choices for meeting bearded dragon housing requirements, and there are some great options available. Bearded dragons need as much floor space as possible, so an enclosure with plenty of floor space is optimal.
If using an aquarium or terrarium (Amazon.com), 125-gallons is an ideal choice. This aquarium measures 72 inches long, 18 inches wide, and 16 inches tall. This will give an adult bearded dragon plenty of space, and give a baby bearded dragon room to grow in. If starting out with a large enclosure you may need to divide the housing in half. A baby bearded dragon may feel insecure in a very large enclosure. Simply move the divider to increase the enclosure area as the bearded dragon grows.
Ideally, you will want to start with an enclosure large enough for an adult, but if money is tight it is okay to start with a smaller enclosure (Amazon.com) with a baby bearded dragon. Just keep in mind that you will need to purchase a larger enclosure as it matures.
If you are a crafty, handyman (or know one) you could also build a quality enclosure for your bearded dragon. This has many advantages over purchasing an enclosure:
- You can choose your own design.
- You can select your own materials (which we will discuss shortly).
- You can customize the enclosure to suit your needs and the needs of your bearded dragon.
These are just a couple examples of the advantages of building a custom enclosure. If you are just starting out with bearded dragons, you may want to start with an inexpensive terrarium and work on building a custom enclosure as you gain more experience. It’s completely up to you!
Most commercial enclosures available today are made of aquarium-grade glass. This tends to be the most preferred housing material. It looks good, it is easy to clean and maintain, and it is relatively inexpensive.
Another material used for housing is acrylic – a strong, lightweight plastic. Acrylic’s biggest advantage is that it is much lighter than glass. There are some disadvantages to acrylic, such as higher costs and it is very easy to scratch.
Since bearded dragons are from a dry climate and do not require much humidity, enclosures can be built from wood, or even poly resin materials like fiberglass. Just make sure what ever you use is safe for pets.
We recommend using an all-glass enclosure, or building a custom enclosure to suit your needs. Most bearded dragon owners tend to stay away from acrylic. Bearded dragons are known to scratch on the sides of the enclosures which will severely scratch acrylic. After a couple years of this the enclosure will be so scratched that it will become hazy and blurred at which point it will need to be replaced.
Another thing to consider when selecting the proper housing is the security of the enclosure.
You do not want your awesome new pet to have the ability to get out of its enclosure. More importantly, if you have children, cats or dogs, you do not want them to have the ability to gain access to your bearded dragon.
Using a screen top (Amazon.com) will also prevent your pet from coming in contact with the hot basking lamps and fluorescent bulbs needed for warmth and UV exposure. This will greatly reduce the chance of your bearded dragon receiving accidental burns.
It is recommended to use a screen top on the enclosure to enhance the security of the enclosure. A screen top will also help increase needed air flow within the enclosure. Some commercial enclosures come with sliding (or swinging) glass doors on the front which makes feeding and cleaning much easier.
No matter which enclosure you decide to use, keep some security measures in mind!
For more detailed information on Bearded Dragon Housing Requirements check out our section on Bearded Dragon Housing and Habitat!
Next, we will go over the lighting requirements of bearded dragons.