When it comes to choosing a substrate for your bearded dragon, you have so many options to choose from.
With so many options, one of the substrates that may grab your attention is reptile carpet. Is reptile carpet a good substrate for bearded dragons?
Continue reading to find out the pros and cons, enabling you to make an informed decision.
What Is Reptile Carpet?
Reptile carpet is a type of liner that you place at the bottom of your bearded dragon’s enclosure, rather than another type of substrate. It can also be used over loose substrate if you prefer.
There is a wide choice of reptile carpets, ranging in size, color, and material. Materials are often compact fibers of high-density tech fiber or recycled plastic. The carpets are non-toxic and provide a durable, reusable, and washable substrate.
Is Reptile Carpet Good For Bearded Dragons?
While there are many positives associated with reptile carpet and its convenience, there are also a number of downsides you need to take note of.
No Risk of Impaction
One of the biggest concerns when selecting substrate is the impaction risk to your bearded dragon. Reptile carpet isn’t made of small stones or sand that your dragon can accidentally swallow when feeding. These carpets help to reduce impaction risk.
Cut to Size
Reptile carpet can be cut to the exact size of your bearded dragon enclosure. If you have your own custom-built enclosure, then reptile carpet is a great solution to ensure you can cover the entire bottom of the enclosure, ensuring it looks neat.
When you choose reptile carpet for your bearded dragon, you will find that it is aesthetically pleasing to the eye, helping to bring your enclosure design together.
You can purchase reptile carpets at most exotic pet shops and online. You can find the color and size you need with ease.
The majority of reptile carpets on the market are reusable. You can remove them, wash them and use them numerous times before you need to replace them.
Yes, most reptile carpets are machine washable. A major benefit when it comes to cleaning your bearded dragon’s enclosure.
There are also a number of cons you need to take into consideration when deciding if a reptile carpet is good for your bearded dragon.
High Risk of Bacteria
One of the serious problems associated with reptile carpets is that you will never be able to clean them properly, which means that they tend to harbor bacteria, which can result in an infection in the future.
Hard to Clean
While the carpet is machine washable, removing waste on a daily basis is hard work. You need to be very vigilant when it comes to removing waste.
Leaving waste remain on the carpet for a long period can result in it being exceptionally difficult to get it clean.
Reptile carpet can work out cheaper than some of the other substrates on the market, as you can buy two and change them regularly, using them up to four washes before replacing them.
On the other hand, there is cheaper options out there, that are just effective, such as tiles or shelf liners.
Unfortunately, the reptile carpets are able to get stained and rather easily. Spot cleaning is one thing, but there is always a risk that a stain will remain, even with proper spot cleaning and machine washing.
Requires Regular Cleaning
Most bearded dragons will do a daily spot clean, a more thorough clean once a week or so, and then a deep clean monthly. When using reptile carpet, you will require at least twice weekly cleaning, as poop will get stuck in the fibers.
Reptile carpets are made to handle a few washes and be replaced. You will notice by the second or third wash, the carpet will take on a frilly appearance, which can increase the risk of your pet injuring itself
Bearded dragons are known to cause injury to themselves when getting stuck in the reptile carpet fibers, which often occurs when the frills start developing. Toes can lose circulation and your pet can pull its claw off.
Reptile carpet for bearded dragons is a big decision. The pros are convenience related, along with a major benefit of reducing the risk of impaction.
At the same time, the amount of time it will take you to clean the carpet, the risk of bacteria growth, and your pet injuring itself by pulling out a claw, shows that reptile carpet may not be the best choice and there are other substrates out there that are cheaper and safer for your bearded dragon.