In the natural environment, bearded dragon spends a vast amount of their life under the sand. They do lots of activities that help them feel better, become stronger and healthier.
However, as a pet, they seem to forget how to do physical training, and that makes them weaker. Obviously, you can’t just leave them in the garden or the terrarium without any attention and want them to remain healthy.
It is important that pet owners need to provide them a living place that can simulate the original condition.
Therefore, buying sand for your bearded dragon is a very crucial move. Not only your bearded dragon’s terrarium but also your pet’s status will be better.
In this article, we will give you the basic knowledge about bearded dragon sand and a review of the greatest bearded dragon sands.
- 1 How we pick sand for a bearded dragon?
- 2 How we tested?
- 3 Customer Picks: Top 5 Bearded Dragon Sand Reviews
- 4 17 Greatest Sands for Bearded Dragon 2019
- 4.1 Zoo Med ReptiSand Desert White
- 4.2 Exo Terra Desert Sand
- 4.3 Zoo Med Dragon Sand
- 4.4 Zoo Med Vita-Sand in Gobi Gold
- 4.5 Fluker’s Natural Reptile Sand Bedding
- 4.6 Reptile Sciences Terrarium Sand Natural White
- 4.7 Imagitarium Black Calcium Reptile Sand
- 4.8 Zoo Med ReptiSand
- 4.9 Zilla Snake and Lizard Litter
- 4.10 Zilla Ground English Walnut Shells Desert Blend
- 4.11 Zoo Med Excavator Clay Burrowing Substrate
- 4.12 Reptile Sciences Terrarium Sand, Blue
- 4.13 Reptile Sciences Terrarium Sand, Red
- 4.14 Reptile Sciences Terrarium Sand, Purple
- 4.15 Reptile Sciences Terrarium Sand, Violet
- 4.16 Reptile Sciences Terrarium Sand, Natural Sedona
- 4.17 Zoo Med ReptiFresh Odor Eliminating Substrate
- 5 Our pick and flaws
- 6 Maintenance Guides
- 7 The competition
- 8 Source
- 9 FAQs on Bearded Dragon Sand
- 9.1 Why should we use sand as a substrate for bearded dragons?
- 9.2 Are all the sand the same?
- 9.3 What is the difference between them?
- 9.4 Can we use sand for a young bearded dragon?
- 9.5 When can we use sand for a bearded dragon?
- 9.6 What kind of sand should I use for my bearded dragon?
- 9.7 After using sand for a time, the tank is smelling. Why is that?
- 9.8 Is it easy to clean sand?
- 9.9 How to clean a bearded dragon terrarium with sand?
- 9.10 How often do we clean sand?
- 10 Conclusion
How we pick sand for a bearded dragon?
First of all, let’s consider some of the essential features that we base on to choose sand for this species. It’s very necessary for every bearded dragon owner.
When it comes to choosing sand, many people will have the fear that their little friends will eat the sand. In fact, it is true that bearded dragons ingest sand because that is their instinct.
This can make the digestive system worse because it can’t dissolve sand and even lead to death.
Hence, great sand for the bearded dragon needs to be safe even if our dragon consumes it. It means that you should choose sand that is made of non-silica material to prevent impaction.
Moreover, sands are made of calcium and are also possible to have since this sand will metabolize easily.
To prevent your pet from issues involving the respiratory system, try not to use the one that produces dust particles.
Remember that sand is recommended only for adult bearded dragons, so be sure that your little friend is old enough.
This is something you ought to consider when buying sand. You would like the sand that won’t absorb too much liquid from poop. It is because your little bearded dragon could lick up dirty sand and lead to the risk of parasites.
Whenever you play with it, you could also be affected by bacteria. Besides, you don’t want the smell to appear in your home in any case.
Think of it before making your decision. Good sand must be easy to use and clean daily. We also need sand that can be reused times to times, which saves us some money and effort.
Last but not least, it should fit your decoration and your pet’s nature.
How we tested?
It’s not easy to choose the suitable sand substrate for your bearded dragon, even with those who have many years of experience like us.
We have tried most types of sand to obtain a more unobstructed view of the controversy surrounding the use of this material as a substrate.
Can you guess the result?
Of course, there is poor-quality or dirty sand that makes bearded dragons sick or at least not clean. But on the other hand, there are many optimal options for this animal.
These are products that have been carefully selected, coming from famous brands that are safe for bearded dragons.
And this is how we test them.
Initially, we selected the products with many positive reviews on reputable sites and also the advice of experts.
Then, we divided them by price, material, and other characteristics such as color, scent, etc.
With testing, we can evaluate them based on their performance after one week of use. It is expressed in moisture and odor absorbency, pet safety, ease of digging, and cleaning.
Moisture and odor absorbency
A good substrate requires high absorbency so that your bearded dragon’s cage will not get wet and smell bad. This can help your pet avoid pathogenic bacteria that affects the skin and blood.
After four days of non-cleaning, if the pet’s cage is still not stinking or damp, it indicates that the substrate is good. However, cleaning should be done daily.
Many people are concerned that bearded dragons living in sandy environments are susceptible to respiratory, intestinal, and skin diseases.
Sand can stick to their skin, eyes, and nose, and the animals are also straightforward to ingest sand when it is attached to their food.
To ensure they are as safe as possible, we arranged their food at a place higher than the sand substrate. Besides, we also eliminated the options that are too dusty and easy to stick.
Ease of cleaning
When bearded dragons release waste, usually fine sand grains will stick the waste together and dry out quickly into large chunks. You can then use a tissue or spoon to scoop out easily.
Our advice is that after about one month, you should replace the remaining substrates in the cage.
Ease of digging
One of the advantages of using sand substrate is to let the bearded dragons have the perfect environment to burrow and hide. Therefore, a qualified substrate will have to be porous, not too dense or overweight.
You should pour sand into the cage with a thickness of about 4 inches so that they will have enough space to play comfortably.
Customer Picks: Top 5 Bearded Dragon Sand Reviews
17 Greatest Sands for Bearded Dragon 2019
In this part, we will help you find out the best sand products for your bearded dragon. Below are some product reviews that you should give them a try.
Zoo Med ReptiSand Desert White
The first bearded dragon sand we would like to introduce is the Zoo Med ReptiSand Desert White. This sand comes with the white colors, which gives a natural habitat for your little buddy.
Besides, your bearded dragon will notice the sand so quickly and enjoy digging as well as burrowing with it.
The manufacturer stated that they didn’t use any dyes or artificial colors in the product, so it is very safe. Moreover, the Zoo Med ReptiSand Desert White offers a great heating conductor which gives your bearded dragon the comfort.
In case your little friend ingests the sand, you can have the relief because the impaction will not happen.
Exo Terra Desert Sand
The Exo Terra Desert Sand is incredibly black and will make your pet’s tank stand out. It creates an attractive and natural desert environment that will be very attracted to your dragon.
Therefore, it stimulates the dragon’s behavior, such as digging and burrowing, which is essential to the pet.
Moreover, with the black color and the heat conductor, it will provide a comfortable bedding place that will satisfy any bearded dragon.
The cleaning process is also easy because all the impurities have been sifted from the manufacturing stage so that you can save some precious time.
Zoo Med Dragon Sand
This Zoo Med Dragon Sand is such beautiful bearded dragon sand. To encourage the natural behavior of your little buddy, they used the natural quartz desert sand to simulate the environment.
Besides, the materials they used have no dye or any chemical that will assure the safest sand substrate for your pet. At the same time, by playing under the sand, it will help your dragon stronger and healthier.
You can also use it as bedding, and your bearded dragon will surely prefer it.
Zoo Med Vita-Sand in Gobi Gold
The Zoo Med Vita-Sand in Gobi Gold is also another excellent sand product that comes with the gold color. It is made of natural calcium carbonate with extra vitamin included.
Furthermore, there are no fat-soluble vitamins in the materials, which ensures your pet’s safety. It is because if your bearded dragon takes in a large amount of that vitamin, it will be hazardous.
Plus, the Zoo Med Vita-Sand in Gobi Gold doesn’t contain artificial colors in the packaging. This sand should be the product in your top list.
Fluker’s Natural Reptile Sand Bedding
The Fluker’s Natural Reptile Sand Bedding comes with excellent color and texture. It simulates the desert scene that encourages your bearded dragon to play with it all day long.
In this product, the manufacturer used no dangerous chemicals as well as no dyes so you can rest assured that it is safe. Besides, the Fluker’s Natural Reptile Sand Bedding also provides an excellent heating conductor that creates the best bedding place.
On top of that, the Fluker’s Natural Reptile Sand Bedding is very easy to scoop, which means you can clean the sand in an easier way.
Reptile Sciences Terrarium Sand Natural White
The excellent Terrarium Sand from Reptile Sciences is worth to be on the list. It is totally made of all-natural orbicular grain, and they guarantee that the sand is silica and phosphate-free. Thanks to it, your pet’s health is safe from dangerous chemicals.
Plus, the Reptile Sciences Terrarium Sand comes with the natural white that is appealing to your buddy. It is good to know that they also added some essential minerals, such as Potassium and Strontium that your little dragon needs.
One more important thing is that it can neutralize odor, which helps prevent the tank from smelling. Nevertheless, you are recommended to remove the waste on the top regularly.
Imagitarium Black Calcium Reptile Sand
Imagitarium is well known for providing facilities for bearded dragons’ cage, such as food bowls, drinking bowls, pet keepers, and various types of substrates. In particular, their most outstanding product is this sand substrate.
It is quite cheap compared to similar products. At the same time, the quality is outstanding, and its features are convenient.
Not only will your pet have a perfect home for digging, but he is also supported for absolute warmth because this sand has good thermal conductivity.
No matter how far the animal is, it will have a comfortable “cushion” to stay on.
Zoo Med ReptiSand
Like the previous option, this sand also has incredible thermal conductivity. However, it stands out in color it brings.
This material is entirely natural because the brand has long said no to dyes in production. You will not see any stains on your pet’s toenails. Therefore, it’s no need to worry too much about its safety.
In addition, you will also enjoy using it regularly as this product is easy to clean. With the low price and beauty that it offers, this is one of the perfect products for your pet.
Zilla Snake and Lizard Litter
This is the recommended choice by many experts in the field of bearded dragons raising. This is because of the positive effects they have, such as well humid and odor absorbency, or excellent thermal conductivity.
In addition to the above features, this Zilla product also makes buyers trust because it does not contain oils that are harmful to the pet’s health. Therefore, bearded dragons will not be allergic when using this substrate.
Not only does it help the animal be comfortable, but this product will also save you a lot of time cleaning because the size of the particles is perfect. You will absolutely love this job and find that raising bearded dragons is nothing complicated anymore.
Zilla Ground English Walnut Shells Desert Blend
Although this product is made entirely from crushed walnuts and sand, it is incredibly soft and not as thorny as some other brands. Besides, the use of this material also makes your pet’s cage always warm and evenly heat spread.
For this substrate, you will receive more volumes than other products at the same price.
However, if you have a baby bearded dragon, I recommend you should choose other sand products with smaller grain size or other materials such as newspaper or carpet.
Zoo Med Excavator Clay Burrowing Substrate
Zoo Med is one of the largest suppliers of not only the substrate for bearded dragons but also other cage items. So, it is not difficult to understand that they have a range of useful products on this list.
And this clay substrate is one of them.
With this unique material, it is effortless for you to build tunnels and shelters for bearded dragons to play. Better yet, it is also very convenient when you bring and place the entire cage in the garden for the species to sunbathe.
Reptile Sciences Terrarium Sand, Blue
Reptile Sciences is also a well-known brand in the market, and their products are very beautiful and high-quality. Among them, the most attractive is the 10-pound package of the terrarium sand line. It comes in a variety of colors for you to choose from, and all are natural.
Therefore, in this list, we will mainly introduce the most popular colors to you because their features are not different.
And the first option to mention is the blue sand.
It is not only beautiful but also has a delightful smell. This aroma is moderate, not too harsh. Surely, even if you don’t clean up the cage for two days, it will still be clean and smell good.
In addition, the material is calcium, so it also contains the necessary strontium, potassium, and magnesium. Even if the pet ingests the sand, there will be no problems.
Reptile Sciences Terrarium Sand, Red
The second option in this line is the red sand substrate.
If the cage of your pet has enough green color of plants, why not try some red to create an exciting color blend for it?
Reptile Sciences Terrarium Sand, Purple
Another option coming from the Reptile Sciences has a quite fancy and fresh color – Purple. It will give your pet’s cage a new breeze but is still very prominent.
Reptile Sciences Terrarium Sand, Violet
The last one is violet, the color of power and mystery. Many people appreciate this option because it is an almost neutral color and is easy for a combination of colors.
Reptile Sciences Terrarium Sand, Natural Sedona
Sedona is a town in the territory of Arizona. This is a desert region with steep gorges, red rocks, and pine forests.
Inspired by this town, Reptile Sciences has created this product for you to build a bioactive terrarium for bearded dragons. It has a dusty, wild but very natural colors. However, it is completely clean and safe.
To make the tank look more realistic, you can use dry branches to decorate, wooden logs for the pets to climb, and rocks for them to hide. These will go well with the color of the product.
Zoo Med ReptiFresh Odor Eliminating Substrate
Many bearded dragon owners get uncomfortable that their cage always smells even though they have changed many different products. If you are one of them, then you should not ignore this option.
With exclusive material, it has the ability to absorb the bad smell many times better than other conventional products. You will not have to be on a daily basis to remove pets’ litter. Instead, you can spend that time playing with them or doing other things.
In addition, it is also very convenient for this species to dig around, encouraging them to be more active.
Our pick and flaws
As you can see, nothing is perfect, even those that are considered best for bearded dragons like carpet or coconut fiber.
Among the greatest bearded dragon sands on this list, there are countless negative reviews on them, and most of those refer to poor absorbency and mildew.
However, as we have realized, the problem is not necessarily caused by the nature of these substrates.
The first is due to problematic heating or uneven heat in the cage. There will be areas that receive less warmth than the others, and as a result, they will be more likely to get wet.
Second, it may be because bearded dragon owners do not have much time to change the substrate regularly. If this is the case, we recommend switching to other options with more extended absorbency such as reptile mats. It is not only dry but also comfortable to wash.
Anyway, sand is still the right choice for your bearded dragons. If you spend a little time each day with them, you can ensure a healthy and clean living environment for your pet.
And when it comes to aesthetics and the ideal playground, no material can beat the sand substrate.
Each type of sand can have a different cleaning method. But in general, they can be clean with soap.
Firstly, you should scoop out any uneaten food, poop, and shed skin that stuck in the sand.
Next, you wash the sand with soap to ensure the sand is at the best status. But remember to let it warm and dry before putting it back to the tank. If not, the moisture will make bacteria stronger. This process can be done daily.
Besides, remember to replace the sand every few months or whenever you feel it can’t work well.
We like colorful sand even though we don’t let bearded dragons use it on a regular basis because it can carry toxic substances from dyes. However, what Zoo Med’s white sand and Exo Terra’s black desert sand bring is completely different.
They are entirely natural, not dyed with anything. Moreover, they are also carefully screened before being marketed, so they are greatly clean and safe.
More specifically, they are very light and easy to dig, becoming an ideal hiding environment for your pet.
These colors are very eye-catching, suitable for those who prefer the decoration of a bioactive terrarium. Undoubtedly, your home will also stand out regardless of the architecture and style.
And finally, they are easier to clean than any of the options on this list. You will not have to spend too much time to do the task.
Furthermore, they also do not require you to clean up too many times a week because they hardly produce any unpleasant odor.
- Russ Case, Bearded Dragon Care Sheet
FAQs on Bearded Dragon Sand
Why should we use sand as a substrate for bearded dragons?
First of all, your bearded dragon’s cage can be beautiful and lively. Plus, it is very easy to maintain. All the waste will dry out really quick so we can scoop them out, which helps your pet’s cage cleaner.
Next, sand will not lose heat fast, so it has a stable temperature for your pet. Besides, it also motivates the bearded dragon’s instincts.
For example, your dragon will burrow in the sand as they used to do in the wild. Physical activity is needed for the growth of your buddy.
Are all the sand the same?
No, there are many types of sand, such as reptile sand, calcium sand, vita sand, or play sand. They are not the same, each type of sand has different features, and you should know how to make the right decision.
What is the difference between them?
We will begin with the reptile sand. It is made from silica sand. This sand is non-clumpy and available in many colors that make the tank stand out.
However, the most common problem with this type is skin staining and dust residue. Moreover, the product is a little harsh that frustrating the bowels and may also causing bleeding.
Regarding calcium sand, it is not really sand. They used calcium carbonate to make this sand. If your pet ingests this sand by accident, it will neutralize the acid in the pet’s stomach, and the food digestion process will not be accessible at all. Be careful when using this type of sand because there is a chance your bearded dragon will eat it.
The vita sand is somewhat similar to calcium sand. Nevertheless, it also contains vitamins and carotene, which helps to minimize the danger of impaction. Despite the fact that it is non-dusty, there is a risk of sand staining.
Lastly, we consider the play sand. If you want to use sand as your substrate, this should be a very good option. The play sand is non-toxic and no silica to be found it the product. Besides, it is quite cheap, dust-free and causes no stain to the skin.
Can we use sand for a young bearded dragon?
Sand, as we know, is what bearded dragons enjoy. However, it is a big concern if you have a young bearded dragon.
Your small buddy may eat some, and this will cause intestinal impaction, which is very bad for the pet’s safety. Therefore, it is recommended that you shouldn’t let young dragons on the sand or loose substrate.
When can we use sand for a bearded dragon?
As mentioned previously, young bearded dragons are not suitable to use sand. If you want to use sand for substrate, wait until your pet becomes an adult.
At this stage, they will be more cautious about what they eat, so it should be less dangerous. To make sure they don’t eat sand, you should offer them food on a food dish rather than on the substrate.
What kind of sand should I use for my bearded dragon?
For safety reasons, it is better that you choose digestible sand. Besides, buy sand that is clean and has no pesticides, fertilizers, and so on. You can check it by following the manufacturer’s instructions.
After using sand for a time, the tank is smelling. Why is that?
To be honest, sands can trap odors and poop because it is very absorbent. Even though it is simple to scoop out poop, you are not able to remove every waste grain. Therefore, they contribute to the smell, along with bacteria and waste.
Is it easy to clean sand?
It is pretty hard to clean sands in most circumstances. However, if you follow an appropriate guide, you will find no problem with it.
How to clean a bearded dragon terrarium with sand?
To start the process, ensure your bearded dragon is at a safe place.
- Remove all the possible accessories and left only sand in it.
- Then move the sand to a bucket, pour water and bleach, then stir the sand.
- After that, remove the water and repeat it two more times.
- Next, pour them into a sack towel and put it into an oven, wait for it to finish the job and let the sand cool.
At the same time, use a vacuum to get all the debris and waste in the tank. Thoroughly scrub and clean the enclosure with dish soap. After that, rinse them with until it has no smell and let it dry.
Finally, return the sand and other accessories to their original position.
How often do we clean sand?
You can do it daily since the droppings are very smelly and make your bearded dragon’s terrarium terrible. However, we recommend that you clean sands the same time you thoroughly clean the tank, which means weekly.
It is because you need to get all the accessories out of their position in order to begin the sand cleaning process.
This can also save you some time and effort.
In a nutshell, sand is a good substrate to decorate your bearded dragon’s terrarium as well as to give your pet a better life. Choosing good sand for your bearded dragon may be a difficult job and takes a lot of effort.
However, we hope that after reading this article, you have all the basic information and the ability to judge the sand’s quality in order to choose the greatest sand with confidence. And perhaps, one of the products above is the one you are looking for, so don’t hesitate to give them a try.
Please like and share the review with others if you find it useful. Thank you.
Last update on 2019-10-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API