Any empty vivarium necessary supplies such as UV light, heat lamps, substrate, hygrometers, thermometers, food, and water bowls can be so dull. It is like having a house that doesn’t have furniture, a TV, beds, and bedding, cabinets, so on.
Bearded dragon and other pets require furniture, décor, toys, and other enrichments to help stimulate your pet physically (boost activity and exercise) and mentally as well as create a naturalistic habitat that looks close to their natural habitat. Who doesn’t want a great looking terrarium?
The different enrichments and furniture will encourage natural behaviors such as exploring, basking, hiding, climbing, digging, sheltering, and resting. Furthermore, they will reduce boredom and give these pets a chance to control and use their habitat more. Always remember, a happy beardie is a healthy beardie.
What to look for in décor and furniture?
While some are sharable, different pets need specific types of décor that will make them participate in some things they do while they are in the wild (natural habitat). When buying these items to your beardie or making them at home (DIY), here is what you must put in mind:
- Safety – They must be non-toxic in case they get ingested or injure your pet. Therefore, ensure they are sturdy, and they will not easily break.
- Suitability – Choose those that encourage some of their behaviors such as climbing, exploring, digging, and so on.
- Material – Choose those made from non-porous material as the porous one will make cleaning harder and may collect bacteria.
- Functionality – Does it play its role as it is supposed? If it is for climbing, lounging, basking, or hiding, it should effectively do that.
- Size – Go properly sized décor and enrichments. While some may be too small for these pets, others may be too large, depending on what specific items they are. They should also fit in your vivarium while leaving some extra space. You don’t want to fill your beardie tank.
Durability, humidity, cost, and size of your vivarium, may also have an impact on what you put inside this pet’s enclosure.
Some of the best décor and furniture and other things you need include the following:
1. Reptile habitat hammock or loungers
Hammocks or loungers are an exceptional piece of furniture that your beardie must have to rest on, sleep or lounge when they feel so. They can also serve as basking platforms, a sheltering or climbing place, something that will encourage physical activity since these pets much jump or climb on to them.
An ideal bearded dragon hammock lounger must be easy to clean, big enough to accommodate these pets well, safe, easy to clean, and durable.
There are various materials to choose from, including those made from seagrass, nylon, mesh, or other fabrics.
While you can make some at home, save yourself the trouble by buying top-rated brands such as Zoo Med Repti Hammock mesh, Penn-Plax Lizard Lounger, Niteangel Bearded Dragon Hammock Reptile Lounger, and so on.
2. Reptile tank basking platforms
As ectotherms, beardies need to bask under their basking under heat lamps to gain some warmth. Therefore, this implies that you need to give them a basking spot that is directly under their heat lamps.
A raised platform including large branches or posts, rocks, hammocks, stumps, hideout tops, and so on, will make a right basking place for your beardie.
However, the platform is large enough for these pets to stretch freely, is easily accessible, is safe, and well-positioned to prevent these lizards from reaching the heating lamps as they will burn them.
Zoo Med, Penn-Plax, Zilla Reptiles, and Fluker also have great looking reptile basking platforms that will look great in your vivarium.
3. Hideout or hides
A bearded dragon hide will create a friendly place where your bearded dragon can retreat to for privacy, to feel secure, as well as abate stress and distractions. Furthermore, it is a great place where they can sleep or brumate.
You have a choice of option for DIY large, easy to clean, safe cave, pipe, box, flowerpot, rocks, cork, or even a hollow half long place for these pets to go and be alone or buy one. Exo Terra Reptile cave, Zoo Med Reptile shelter, Penn-Plax Shale Step Ledge, and Cave, Exo Terra Skull, among others, will serve you well.
Once you have it, place it in an away from the front side or doorway, especially on the cooler side of your reptile tank. Also, ensure your pet doesn’t spend all its time hiding, especially if it is still young as it may be afraid or unwell.
4. Logs and climbing branches
As semi-arboreal reptiles, beardies do enjoy climbing logs, branches, posts, broken trees, rocks, and so on, while in the wild.
Similarly, you should provide them with climbing branches, logs, or items to give a chance to practice this habit. They will help them exercise, explore, and bask. Furthermore, some with a rough surface will help wear down their nails.
Once you have found or bought the right ones, you need to fix them firmly, ensure they cannot access heat lamps via these branches or items, have a climbing grip (not slippery), are safe, dry, and sterilized.
Woods, including dried cottonwood, bamboo, elm, oak, poplar, birch, vines, aspen, and ash are safe while pines, fir, eucalyptus, and cedar are not safe.
Both the Safe DIY climbing branches and logs or ones you buy will serve the same purpose well. Some of the great ones to buy include Zoo Med Reptile Mopani Wood, Sandblasted Grape Vine Exo Terra Forest Branch, Zilla Reptile Décor Malaysian Driftwood among others.
5. Live and artificial plants
Another important décor that will help you create an even more stunning habitat for your vivarium is including artificial and live plants in your terrarium. Moreover, they will provide a sheltered place as well as a place to climb or perch.
Both the live and artificial vivarium plants have their advantages with the live ones giving your bearded dragons a chance to forage, will make a more natural-looking vivarium, and they may provide a climbing or perching place. However, they need care, may increase humidity, and can be eaten down and must be safe.
On the other hand, to avoid the stress of dealing with live plants or worrying that your pets eating them, you can opt artificial bearded dragon plants. The Exo Terra plastic terrarium plants, Fluker’s Repta Vine, and Zoo Med Plants will be a fantastic choice.
6. Terrarium backgrounds
A terrarium background will transform your reptile tank enclosure and highlight its theme, i.e., such as a desertic, aquatic, or tropical forest. Desert backgrounds are the most true-to-life for beardies.
Besides the aesthetic value, backgrounds will eliminate your bearded dragon’s reflections on glass terrarium types, which may upset or stress this pet or make it to surf.
Since there are both 2D backgrounds and 3D fake rock wall backgrounds, the 3D one will provide a climbing area and is more naturalistic.
A durable, well blending, right-sized, and easy to clean background is all you need with the BannersNStands an excellent 2D choice while the Exo Terra Rock will be a great 3D option. Also, the Zoo Med Cork Tile, Universal Rocks Rocky, among others, will work well.
7. Digging box and burrowing place
If you spot your bearded dragon keeps on or trying to dig, burrow or claw things especially the substrate in its digging box or if you have a loose substrate, it may be an indication of the following:
- If you house a male and female, the female bearded dragon may dig when it wants to lay eggs.
- It is about to brumate, especially if it is during winter, or its terrarium is not warm enough.
- Male and female beardies also dig when they want to find a cool spot, mainly occur if you don’t have a sheltered cooler place
- It’s one of their normal fun behavior.
Whether to give your beardie a digging box or not It depends on the kind of substrate you use. If you use a loose substrate, you don’t need one. If you use a solid substrate, ensure you include a burrowing or digging box in your vivarium.
a). Digging box
A digging box can be a cardboard box, large bowl, plastic tray, wooden box, and so on. Its size will depend on the size of your beardies.
Fill this box with a safe reptile substrate such as the Zilla Reptile Terrarium Bedding Substrate Liner, Zoo Med ReptiSand, Zilla Ground English Walnut Shells Desert Blend, among others.
Creating burrows will give your pet a place to explore and hide. One of the best ways is to go for the Zoo Med Excavator Clay Burrowing Substrate as the burrows you create with this substrate doesn’t collapse.
8. Carolina Designer Dragons chaise lounge
The Chaise lounge is comfy basking or relaxing breaded dragon sofa that comes with an easy to clean wire base frame and machine washable mattress and two pillows. It comes in many colors to help match your other décor.
You can use it inside your terrarium, including on the basking area or outside the cage, such as letting your pet sit on it as you watch TV. However, don’t use it on basking area for hatchlings and baby bearded dragon if they hide beneath or beside it.
9. Reptile bridge
Carolina Custom Cages have a stable dark brown reptile bridge made of hardened resign that will look great in your enclosure. It is one of the few décors that can fit full-grown bearded dragons. Furthermore, it is easy to clean (use soapy water followed by chlorhexidine).
Alternatively, you can consider the Aolvo Reptile Hide, Bendable Wooden Bridge Suspension Ladder Fence Toy, as it will give a hiding place (underneath it) as well as a climbing or basking spot.
DIY bearded dragon décor
While you have the option of buying most of these bearded dragon cage décor and furniture, you can also make them at home.
There are many guides, videos including on YouTube that will give you step by step procedure on making a specific décor or furniture which that interests you.