Bearded dragons are semi-arboreal reptiles that enjoy climbing on logs, branches, posts, broken trees, rocks, and so on while in their natural habitat to bask, explore and see (it makes them feel safer).
If you have these exotic pets, you need to provide them with an opportunity to climb by putting ramps, logs, branches, ladders, posts, and so on in their habitat both on the cooler and basking side of their vivaria.
Besides giving them a chance to climb, some especially the rough or sandblasted ones will help in wearing down your pet’s nails, shed (rub against their shedding skin) and stimulate activity (exercise them).
What to look for when buying reptile longs and climbing branches?
1. Correct size
While they can have varying sizes, they should be large and broad enough, i.e., ensure they have a width that is about twice the width of your bearded dragon. Otherwise, these pets will not feel comfortable as they climb them.
2. Have no holes
Ensure your dried logs, branches, stumps, posts, and so forth, do not have any holes as feeder insects like roaches and crickets may hide inside these holes as some such as crickets may bite this reptile at night while they are sleeping.
3. Be sturdy and firmly fixed
Adult bearded dragons weigh about 280 – 510 g. Buy branches that withstand this weight without breaking. Also, firmly fixed them to avoid tipping over as they can injure your pet. Buying those with hooks or suction cups for tightly securing them is an excellent idea.
4. Dry and sterilized
The warm temperatures in enclosures will help parasites and bacteria to thrive quickly. Therefore, ensure any branches or logs you use are dry (not oozy), not tacky, and sterilized. Baking them at 300 degrees F for about 10 minutes will help disinfect them.
Alternatively, clean them using a bleach solution. Add one part of bleach solution to 9 of water. Such a solution will kill any harmful microbes and parasites, including mites. However, rise and let the branches dry before using them.
5. Have grip
Finally, they need to have a rough surface to enable these pets to climb, a reason why some manufacturers may sandblast theirs or cover with reptile mats.
Safe wood to use
While some climbing platforms, especially ramps, may be made from safe resigns, you can use insecticide, pesticide, or herbicide-free dried and sterilized wood.
Some of the safe wood include dried bamboo shoots, cottonwood, Elm, oak, maple, sycamore, poplar, beechwood, dogwood, birch, ash, aspen, alder willow, and vines.
If you love vine, they are flexible and easy to bend and entwine. If you weave several thin ones, you can make a climbing place while if they thick, directly use them. While entwining them, bend them loosely to avoid their outer coat from coming off.
Also, some iguana branches, boards, untreated garden stakes, posts covered with reptile mats, sandblasted wood such as the Med Sandblasted Grapevine will make climbing easier.
Finally, avoid cedar as it is toxic. Also, while not as potentially toxic as cedar, avoid fir, pine, and eucalyptus. Also, avoid any that have thorn will harm your pet.
Best climbing branches and logs
Before we look at them, it is good to understand that most types that your beardie uses will also serve other pets like crested geckos, chameleons, snakes, iguanas, and so on well while some may be safe for your fish aquarium too.
Here are some of the best climbing brands and logs can you buy for your bearded dragon:
1. Zoo Med Reptile Mopani Wood
This sandblasted Zoo Med Mopani wood is one of the densest and hardest hardwood ideal for use both in your terrariums and aquariums. It comes in two astonishing colors, doesn’t rot quickly, has a great texture, smooth surface, and spots.
Besides being a climbing log, this Mopani log is suitable for creating a basking platform for young to fully grown beardies since it comes in various sizes, i.e., small (6-8”), medium (10-12”), large (16-18”) and jumbo (20-24”).
2. Sandblasted Grape Vine Exo Terra Forest Branch
The Exo Terra Branch is an excellent natural climbing branch that will offer a three-dimensional climbing place for your beardie and other arboreal reptile and amphibians. Its close resemblance to an aged desert hardwood branch gives it a stunning appeal, and it is easy to integrate with the rest of your terrarium décors.
Finally, these heat-treated sandblasted grapevine branches come in different sizes and shapes. You have an option of going for the small, medium, or large depending on your pet and terrarium size.
3. Zilla Reptile Décor Malaysian Driftwood
If you are looking for a décor to use either in your aquarium or as a basking spot for terrestrial reptiles or amphibians, the Zilla Malaysian Driftwood will serve you well.
It comes with a deep brown color that will enhance your terrarium appearance or aquarium, will not scratch the bottom surface of your aquarium, and can make an ideal basking area.
This climbing and basking driftwood is ideal for smaller or subadult bearded dragons since its size ranges from 10-12 inches.
4. Zoo Med Sandblasted Grapevine
Buying this sandblasted grapevine branch is an excellent way to add charm and a climbing dimension to your reptiles, rodents, and birds. It is ideal for basking area and comes in approximately 12” medium, 18″ – 24″ large and 30″ – 40″ show sizes.
5. Exo Terra Jungle Vine
The Exo Terra Jungle Vine is a twistable, bendable, and waterproof branch for making two-dimension climbing obstacles for your reptiles or for expending their living area.
If you are a DIY expert, twisting it together will create a natural-looking 3-dimension climbing area for your reptile with a natural look and feel.
6. Koyal Wholesale Grapewood Branch
While designed for use as centerpieces for weddings, birthdays, baby showers, dessert table, or centered presentation, this Koyal Wholesale Grapewood Branch will correctly work as a climbing brand for these pets.
It is naturally twisted, study, and sandblasted branch come in sizes of approximately 6, 12, 18, and 24 inches.
7. PIVBY Hammock, Vine Branches and Vines with Leaves
The PIVBY has not just flexible artificial jungle climbing vines but also a bearded dragon hammock, bendable vines that have leaves and suction cups. They are idyllic for your beardie and other pets, including tree frogs, geckos, chameleons, iguana, snakes, and other reptiles.
All these are of high quality but still very affordable, durable, sturdy, and very easy to clean.
8. Carolina Custom Cages Gnarled Large Root
Getting a good climbing or decorating accessories that perfect for an adult bearded dragon is a daunting task since most are often small in size. However, this 19″L x 8″W x 6.5″H four-pound gnarled log is an excellent choice for climbing and basking.
Its brown color will help create a desert-like habitat, and it is easy to clean and disinfect since it is made from hardened resigns. Furthermore, this gnarled root isn’t porous, meaning that it will not keep any bacteria or other harmful microbes and parasites.
We loved its enormous size, stability (doesn’t topple), and value for money. Besides its role as a climbing branch, it is one of the best basking platforms you should consider.
9. Fluker’s Driftwood
Including Fluker’s driftwood is an excellent way of creating a unique looking and appealing climbing, basking, or sheltering place in your terrarium.
The driftwood is heat-treated, has a wide diameter, and is available in 12-18 inches and 24-inch medium size, making it perfect for bearded dragons of all sizes, i.e., babies, juveniles and adults.
10. EONMIR 8-Foot Reptile Vines
EONMIR have thin and thick bendable, twistable, life-like looking and most naturalistic looking vines ideal for creating three dimensional climbing and basking area for your pet.
Furthermore, they are easy to clean and comes with suction cups to help you firmly fix your branches once you have to entwine them.
12. Others climbing branches and logs
- Carolina Giant Half Log, Reptile Habitat Accessory – Designed for juvenile and small subadults, this half log is ideal for basking, climbing, and hiding.
- PIVBY Bearded Dragon Accessories – This package has two bearded dragon hammocks made from seagrass fiber, a bendable vine branch, bendable vines, and suction cups for attachment.
- PETOUL – Comes with green artificial bendable rattan vines, reptile flexible décor vines, reptile leaves, a woven hammock made with seagrass, and suction cups.
- T-Rex Grapevine Bark Log – These are large logs for climbing, basking, or hiding meant for both tropical and desert habitats.
- Blue Ribbon Driftwood Centerpiece with Plants – This is a life-like looking climbing and basking platform made with safe resins suitable for terrariums and aquariums.
- Emours Reptile Décor Natural Forest Branch Terrarium Wood Aquarium Ornament – Comes in a set of four climbing branches for desert and tropical terrariums.
- Fluker’s corner half log – Climbing and hideout
How to use your trunks and branches
To make climbing much more comfortable, put your branches or trunks at a gentle inclination. Furthermore, they should not allow your pet to access your heat source, including the guarding grids, as they often get scorching hot too.
If used for basking, let them slope down away from the basking area to give this pet a chance to either climb higher near to the basking area or retreat away.
Handicapped bearded dragons
Adjust climbing accessories if you have a handicapped bearded dragon, including those without toes, claws, and legs. Make them less sloppy and wider
Where to buy them?
Most of these branches are available at Amazon.com, Petco, Walmart, Chewy, PetSmart, eBay, among other places. Your local stores won’t miss them.
Additionally, you can opt for homemade ones if you are gifted in DIY stuff.