Can You Use Play Sand for Bearded Dragons? This is a common question asked by bearded dragon owners. This article will discuss what play sand is, where to find it, and how to clean it up. The benefits of using play sand for bearded dragons are discussed, as well as the risks. This article aims to help you decide whether this type of sand is right for your beardie.
What is play sand and where can you find it?
Play sand is a substrate that closely resembles the bearded dragon’s natural habitat. It is an excellent choice for your beardie because it is more like his natural habitat and it contains natural calcium that prevents the onset of metabolic bone disease. This disease results in soft bones and can lead to death if untreated. A successful recovery will be a long process.
Unlike other substrates, calcium sand is not digestible by bearded dragons. While normal sand is a safe option, it is still not the best choice.
Play sand is often cheaper than pet store substrate and it is easy to mix it with clay to make a safe bearded dragon habitat. Make sure to buy clean sand that does not contain any pesticides.
How to clean and prepare play sand for your beardie
If you have a baby bearded dragon, it is a good idea to use newspapers as the substrate. This is inexpensive and easy to clean, but it is best to put a heavy object on top to avoid the sand from bunching or being scratched.
Also, be sure to cover the newspaper with some sort of plastic sheeting, as your bearded dragon may chew on it. Newspapers are also less eco-friendly than permanent substrates, but they are a quick and easy replacement.
Bearded dragons need a lot of sleep and will sleep for eight to twelve hours. This means that they require a dark environment for their sleep.
Play sand should be clean, but be careful not to use unnaturally colored sand as it will inevitably stain your beardie’s skin. Also, sand contains more bacteria than solid substrates, so it is best to avoid it.
The benefits of using play sand for your bearded dradon
Both veterinarians and breeders recommend the use of play sand for your bearded dragon’s habitat. However, many beardie keepers disagree as to whether this substrate is beneficial to their pets.
Unlike many other reptile substrates, play sand is cheap and can be used in place of other materials in the beardie’s habitat. It is important to note that not all types of sand are equally beneficial, however. Some are relatively safe to use but may cause life-threatening complications.
Wood chips are an excellent alternative to loose particle substrates but are not recommended for newbie beardie keepers. Although they are lightweight and relatively hygienic, wood chips can be more difficult to clean and present a higher risk of impaction.
However, this option is best for beardie keepers who are not quite confident with their restraining techniques or are not yet familiar with bearded dragon care.
The risks of using play sand for your bearded dragon
Some sand substrates may pose a risk to your beardie, including CalciSand. Impaction is not as common in captivity as most people believe.
In their native habitat, however, thousands of bearded dragons die each year from impaction, a condition that occurs when a lizard swallows clay substrate. Even if impaction is not fatal, your beardie will need calcium to stay healthy.
Although play sand is better for your beardie than calcium sand, it has other drawbacks. The first is that calcium sand may cause impaction and other problems, while play sand is made of silica.
The latter has its own set of dangers. To avoid impaction, dampen the play sand with water before adding it to your beardie’s tank.
Alternatives to using play sand for your bearded dragon
Play sand for bearded dragons is not environmentally friendly, and many pet owners prefer other substrates. Newspaper is one of the safest, cheapest, and easiest substrates for young dragons.
It will not alter the humidity of the tank but must be replaced frequently. Another popular substrate is tile. Ceramic tiles are the most common, and slate tiles are the preferred choice of naturalists looking to create a more “natural” setup.
Unlike paper or plastic, tile is durable and easy to clean. Additionally, they are natural heat conductors and don’t contain toxins.
While play sand is cheap and easy to find, some keepers believe that it is not safe for bearded dragons because it can result in impaction.
Furthermore, sand cannot maintain a constant temperature over an under-tank heater. Sand may also be dusty, and can easily be contaminated by beardies. Therefore, alternative substrates for bearded dragons are available.