bearded dragon handbook

Get our pet owner's guide for bearded dragons and help your special friend live its best life.

The Essential Bearded Dragon Supply List

Have you always wanted to own a bearded dragon and are finally ready to take the plunge?

Are you worried about knowing what you will need to give your bearded dragon the best life possible?

Bearded dragons are known for being easy to care for, but the initial set up requires some work. 

If you are concerned about what you need to bring a bearded dragon into your home, you might look for a bearded dragon supply list, and in this article, we have compiled just this for you.

From tanks to lighting to items you need inside the enclosure and food, we break down everything you need to care for your beardies right here. 

Bearded dragons are the most common reptile kept as pets, and their easy-going nature is just one of the many reasons why. 

Whether you have adult dragons or a baby, read on to learn what bearded dragon supplies you need. 

bearded dragon supply list

Bearded Dragon Supply List

Here are the top items you must have in your bearded dragon supply list.

Check out the rest of the article for more items and details on how to use these items.


An enclosure is one of the very first things you will need when you are thinking of buying a bearded dragon.

They need a safe and secure place to live from the start. 

Glass or plastic enclosures are most common for housing bearded dragons, and they are easy to find.

This is an excellent option for first-time reptile owners.

The glass tanks come in different styles with openings on top, the side, or both.

Those with an opening in the front provide easier access to your beardie and make it less challenging when you go to handle them or clean the enclosure. 

If you decide on one with an open-top, make sure you purchase a securely fitting screen cover.

Glass or plastic tops won’t allow UVB light to pass through, and UVB is critical for your animal’s health. 

The screen cage cover should be attached securely because these animals are naturally curious and don’t want them to escape. 

A 10 to 20-gallon tank for juveniles or baby bearded dragons is a perfect size.

As the animal grows, the tank size will increase.

They need to be a minimum of 40 gallons when you have an adult bearded dragon, but the bigger, the better. 

Adult dragons will benefit from being in an enclosure measuring 75 to 125 gallons, but this size is heavily dependent on pets’ size.

Typically, these animals grow to an average size of 16 to 24″ inches (.67 m) in length. 

Low tanks are a better option over high ones because they provide better access to the full spectrum light your animal needs. 

For adult bearded dragons, housing needs to be large enough to provide the so important temperature gradient and give them room to move. 

If you don’t want to purchase multiple enclosures as your pet grows, a baby or juvenile will be fine in an adult-sized tank, but some modifications may be required. 

To modify an adult tank, cut cardboard and tape it inside the tank, blocking off about half of it.

Apply tape to the side your beardie isn’t living on to prevent them from eating or otherwise messing with the tape. 

Some owners opt for another kind of enclosure, a specialty built one.

These are typically made using wood and glass or plexiglass for the doors. 

These enclosures look great and provide fair access, but they often cost more. 

Whatever type of enclosure you select, just make sure it provides plenty of room.

If it is too small, the health of your dragon may suffer and their growth stunted. 

We recommend the Carolina Custom Cage for bearded dragons on Amazon. 

It’s durable, spacious, and fits the needs of bearded dragons. 

Carolina Custom Cages Terrarium, Tall Extra-Long Deep 48Lx24Dx24H, Easy Assembly
  • Our growing family of Carolina Custom Cages Terrariums are very easy to assemble and come in 21 different models. The 24”L models and the 36”L models feature hinged doors. The 48”L and 72”L models feature sliding doors. All terrariums feature key-lock security.
  • The Bio Deep models feature a 12” deep waterproof base. The Bio Deep Hybrid models feature 9” and 12” deep waterproof bases. All other models feature a waterproof base that is: 4” deep on the 18”H models, 6.3” deep on the 24”H models and 7.5” deep on the 36”H models.
  • 24Lx18Dx18H, 24Lx18Dx24H, 24Lx18Dx36H, 36Lx18Dx18H, 36Lx18Dx24H, 36Lx18Dx36H, 36Lx24Dx18H, 36Lx24Wx24H, 48Lx18Dx18H, 48Lx18Dx24H, 48Lx18Wx36H, 48Lx24Dx18H, 48Lx24Dx24H, 60Lx24Wx24H, Giant Deep 72Lx24Dx18H, 72Lx24Dx24H, 72Lx24Dx36H, Bio Deep 24Lx18Wx30H, Bio Deep 36Lx18Wx36H, Bio Deep Hybrid 18Lx18Wx42H, Bio Deep Hybrid 24Lx24Wx48H.
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.


Substrate is something you will need to add to the tank as you begin the setup process.

There are many substrate options, with some owners using paper towels, newspaper, ceramic tiles, and reptile carpet.

Others opt for sand or dirt mixtures, but you need to be careful because if the beardie consumes the substrate, it could cause a life-threatening impaction.

When you have a baby or juvenile dragon, use paper towels or newspapers.

Adults have slightly less risk with the dirt mixture or sand, but to avoid it completely, stick with the options we first mentioned. 

This Zilla Walnut Shells Desert Blend is the one we recommend if you need help picking one. 

It’s safe, clean, and retains heat well. 

Zilla Reptile Terrarium Bedding Substrate Desert Blend ECOM Walnut 5 Quarts
  • Ground English walnut shells replicate natural environment
  • Will not scratch glass like sand
  • Stimulates natural digging and burrowing behavior
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

Lighting And Heating

These commonly kept pets are natives of Australia’s deserts, so they need a sunny and warm environment to thrive.

To mimic this natural environment, you will need to include lights and a heating source in the enclosure.

You will need to add a basking light to the enclosure and provide a source of UVA and UVB rays. 

These animals need UV rays to metabolize calcium, ensuring their bodies to function and grow.

A full spectrum fluorescent bulb will give off UVB light, preventing metabolic bone disease. 

Save yourself some trouble managing lights with this Zoo Med combo pack of one UVB light and one heating lamp.

Zoo Med Desert UVB Heat Lighting Kit_DX
  • Kit gets you started on your own desert habitat.
  • Includes a Mini Combo Deep Dome Lamp Fixture, Repti Basking Spot Lamp and ReptiSun Mini Compact Fluorescent.
  • Includes dual on/off switches for greater convenience.
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

Place the bulbs about 8″ inches (20 cm) from the animal.

This is an ideal distance to make sure they are absorbing the rays.

Besides this, your basking light should be between 30 and 60 watts.

Timers are a great addition to the supply list and make your life just a little easier.

Lights should be on 12 to 14 hours a day.

A timer will keep this on a regular schedule, especially if you are busy or work late.

With a timer, it is one less thing you have to worry about. 

The basking area of the enclosure needs to sit between 95 and 105° degrees Fahrenheit (40° C). 

The cool end needs to be between 70 and 80° degrees Fahrenheit (27° C). 

A thermometer will help you keep all of these temperatures just where they need to be.

Temperatures too low for too long will cause harm to your dragon and eventually death.

Too hot, and your bearded dragon will cook. 

Some owners will opt for an under the tank heat pad, but there are some drawbacks. 

Beardies don’t sense heat on their stomachs, and they may burn your pet if it gets too hot. 

For this reason, we never recommend purchasing a hot rock or other warming basking spot with direct heat.

Furniture And Other Items

Don’t put your bearded dragon into their enclosure with only substrate and some lights.

They need some other items too.

One of the most important things you need to add to the terrarium is a hiding place.

This is somewhere your pet escapes when they feel threatened, afraid, or want to cool down.

A hide doesn’t have to be something very fancy or expensive.

Some hides are created by owners using cardboard boxes or plastic totes.

Of course, decorative hides are available for purchase from pet stores or online. 

This Balcoo bearded dragon hide is an excellent example and option for your pet. 

Balacoo Bearded Dragon Habitat Hideout Ceramic Decoration Reptile Hideaway Cave Breeding House for Betta,Shrimp,Gecko,Turtle,Snake (Rotten Tree)
  • IDEAL BREEDING CAVE - Quality hiding spaces encourage your reptiles to hide their instincts, provide cool shadows and reduce stress for a healthy life.
  • SAFE & NON-TOXIC - This reptile hideout is made of premium ceramic, not easy to broke,even in the water. And safe for your reptiles, fishes or water plants.
  • SUIT FOR AMPHIBIAN & AQUATIC PETS - The Crocodile Resin Hideout is a great addition to any aquarium or terrarium. Itâ€s perfect for territorial fish, small reptiles, crayfish, snakes and more.
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Along with a hide, a bearded dragon must have a platform for basking and perching.

You might select a log, brick, rock, or piece of wood.

A piece of bark is another option for a basking site.

Basking platforms are also available for purchase.

Before you add tree branches for basking or climbing, pretreat them with a 10 percent bleach solution.

This will kill mites and fungus, preventing them from being introduced into the beardie’s environment. 

Thoroughly rinse and dry before adding to the enclosure. 

Place the basking pad directly under the basking light, so the animal can soak up the rays and warmth they need.

Aside from these must-haves, feel free to add other eye-catching items. 

Plants, artificial or real, are a nice addition, and they provide some cover for your beardie.

Artificial plants are low maintenance and don’t shed like live ones may.

If you opt for live plants, make sure they are not toxic and are safe for your bearded dragon. 

Rocks are also great to add for decor, and color, not just for basking. 

Putting together a secure rock cave will provide another hideout area these animals will thoroughly enjoy.

Hammocks are another item your bearded dragon will love having in their terrarium. 

Along with being something they enjoy, it also is a great way to keep them active, as they have to climb to get into it.

Hammocks are available in all kinds of materials, including nylon mesh, seagrass fiber, and seaweed fiber.

As a bonus, they are easy enough to make at home, so you don’t even have to spend a ton of money on one.

Use an old t-shirt or another piece of fabric, and you have a homemade hammock.

Food & Water

Having a supply of food on hand when you have a bearded dragon is essential. 

These animals eat insects, greens, vegetables, and fruits as part of their healthy diet. 

There are many insects, greens, and veggies you need to include in their staple diet. 

Younger bearded dragons need more insects than plants, but this shifts as the animal grows into adulthood. 

Staples include crickets, earthworms, waxworms, and roaches.

There are others you might offer your beardie, but the nutritional value might not be as high, so save them as treats instead of being part of their regular menu.

Offer your pet dark greens, including mustard greens, kale, dandelion, collard greens, and turnip greens. 

There are many vegetables you may include in the meal plan.

Green beans, carrots, peas, butternut squash, and other types of squash are great staples.

Fruits are treats, fed only occasionally as they have too much sugar to be healthy.

Keep in mind, any food you give your bearded dragon will need to be the right size to avoid choking or impaction. 

Chop or grate plant material into small bite-sized pieces.

Insects should be no larger than the width of your bearded dragon’s head. 

You will also need to look into supplementing either by dusting the food or gut loading.

Multivitamin supplements and calcium supplements are available, and your pet will benefit from them. 

Supplements are critical and must be on any supply list. 

Fortunately, it’s quite affordable, like Fluker’s Calcium supplement

Fluker's Repta Vitamin Reptile Supplement 2.5 Oz
  • A multi-vitamin containing beta carotene and essential vitamins, amino acids (from pure crystalline form), trace elements and minerals that your pet needs. Simply sprinkle powder on your feeder insects, rodents, or fruits / vegetables before feeding!
  • Contains beta carotene and essential vitamins and nutrients
  • Country Of Origin: United States
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

These animals also need to stay hydrated but won’t be as excited about a dish of water as other pets you might be familiar with.

A shallow dish of water placed in their enclosure won’t hurt, but a plant mister or spray bottle for a light spray will provide them with the hydration they need.

Provide a light misting a few times each day, and your beardie will stay get the water they need.

A Reptile Veterinarian

While a veterinarian isn’t precisely a supply, it is so important when you are thinking about buying a bearded dragon. 

This might be a challenge to find in smaller areas where local vets primarily see typical household pets like dogs and cats.

Don’t get discouraged when you are looking for a vet.

Look online for vets in your area, and ask around for references.

Visit local herp societies and ask other bearded dragon owners for advice on finding a veterinarian.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

A reptile veterinarian will answer all your questions as a first time bearded dragon owner, providing you with much-needed advice and help.

Besides this, you will feel so much better knowing your sick beardie is in good hands.

Reptile veterinarians will diagnose different diseases, identify if your beardie has parasites, and help when you notice abnormal behavior.

It is essential to feel comfortable with the vet you select, so don’t be afraid to shop around until you find the right fit for you and your pet. 


We hope this article has helped you better understand what supplies you need to provide this care. 

Walking into a pet shop or searching for supplies online might seem daunting, but with a little research and an understanding of what you need, you won’t have any trouble tackling your list. 

Bearded dragons make great pets, known for their docile nature and how easy it is to care for them.

When they are well cared for, these animals have an average lifespan of roughly 10 years, but some have reached 20 years old. 

Having the right supplies will ensure your bearded dragon lives a long, healthy, and happy life under your care.

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