How to set up a vivarium for a bearded dragon

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Bearded dragons are relatively tame and easy to handle, with interesting, unique habits that make them entertaining to watch and brilliant pets. These wonderful reptiles can grow up to two feet long and have an average lifespan of 10 to 12 years, so it?s important to set up the perfect home for your new beardie.

Where in my home can a vivarium go?

When planning for your new bearded dragon, it is important to take into consideration the different features of your room that may cause a problem for your pet. Bearded dragons do love the warm, however, it is always considered best practice to avoid putting the vivarium too close to sources of heat as it can make it extremely difficult to regulate the temperature. Although many people like having their pets close to them in their living rooms, placing the vivarium next to any sources of loud noise, such as TVs or speakers can cause a problem for your new beardie.

What needs to go in the vivarium?

When you start shopping for a vivarium for your new pet, there are a variety of starter kits or individual items that you can purchase to help set up the perfect new home for your dragon. Usually, starter kits will include a UVB light (should span approximately two thirds of the length of the enclosure), a controller for the UV tube, a reflector to help maximise the tube?s output, a basking spotlight and ceramic holder, and an appropriate substrate for the base of the vivarium.

In addition to the lighting and base essentials, adding temperature gauges, a digital thermostat, a hygrometer to measure humidity and a shaded area, are all recommended to help you look after your dragon. It is always advisable to use a manual plug for the dimmer or dimming thermostat to regulate the temperature within your vivarium to reduce the risk of it overheating. For your bearded dragon?s comfort, artificial plants, rocks and branches all make brilliant additions to a vivarium.

Other points to consider

It is always worth doing your research when getting any new pet to make sure you get it right the first time, and this is definitely true when it comes to setting up a vivarium for a bearded dragon. Wooden vivariums are better suited to bearded dragons as it’s easier to maintain the temperature compared to full glass vivariums, and it is important to supply plenty of ventilation to prevent the viv becoming too humid, which will also reduce the risk of respiratory infections.

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