Bearded dragon substrates
The substrate, or bedding, is the material that is on the floor of the Bearded dragon container. For Bearded dragons, each substrate has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. The ideal substrate is one that is inexpensive, aesthetically pleasing, easy to clean, absorbent and digestible and safe when (accidentally) swallowed.
Acceptable Bearded dragon substrates
Suitable substrates for Bearded dragons include news- or brown butcher paper, carpet, plastic foam mats, Astroturf, alfalfa / rabbit pellets or maize / corn meal.
Any bedding consisting of particles (e.g. sand, gravel, maize, pellets etc.) can be accidentally or purposefully ingested by Bearded dragons and carries the dangers of causing deadly obstructions and impactions.
Although some of them are used with great success by Bearded dragon keepers, none of them are 100% safe. Their justification is based on the probability of being ingested or swallowed based on the size of the lizard and husbandry methods practiced.
The safest or best Bearded dragon substrates with regard to ingestion are paper- and carpet-like substrates, but they might have obvious aesthetic disadvantages.
Egg incubation substrates
The best egg incubation substrate for Bearded dragons is vermiculite. It is relatively cheap, easy to obtain and tends to hold moist very efficiently.
Commercial reptile or Bearded dragon substrates are available from most spesialised pet shops or over the internet. Some Bearded dragon keepers prefer to collect their own substrates.
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