cruel to keep in tank

Is it Cruel to Keep a Bearded Dragon in a Tank? [Best Practices]

The debate over whether it’s cruel to keep bearded dragons in tanks or enclosures has been a contentious one, with arguments on both sides.

On one hand, it’s undeniable that these reptiles are adapted to living in the wild and have specific habitat requirements. On the other hand, with proper care and attention, it’s possible for bearded dragons to thrive in captivity.

In this article, we’ll delve into the various factors that go into determining the humane treatment of bearded dragons as pets, including the size and design of the enclosure, the type of substrate and decorations, and the impact on the animal’s physical and mental well-being.

Understanding the Needs of a Bearded Dragon

Before we can provide the right supplies to mimic nature, we first have to understand the needs of a bearded dragon.

Bearded dragons are native to Australia and inhabit the desert, so they need a warm, dry environment that is similar to their natural habitat.

They require a temperature of 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit during the day, with a decrease at night.

They also need adequate air circulation and humidity levels, along with a large enough tank to provide them with plenty of room to explore.

Choosing the Right Tank for Your Bearded Dragon

When it comes to selecting a tank for your bearded dragon, size is key.

Experts recommend a minimum tank size of 20 gallons for a single adult bearded dragon, but you should always opt for a larger tank if possible. The larger the tank, the more room your bearded dragon will have to explore and exercise.

It’s also important to choose the right type of tank. Glass tanks are easy to clean and have the added advantage of allowing you to view your pet’s activities, but they can be expensive.

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Plastic tanks are much more affordable, but they have the disadvantage of being less aesthetically pleasing and more difficult to clean. Ultimately, the choice is up to you.

Providing the Right Supplies

Once you’ve chosen the right tank for your bearded dragon, it’s time to start thinking about the supplies you’ll need to provide a comfortable and stimulating environment for your pet.

Here are some of the essential supplies you should consider:


A good substrate is essential for providing your bearded dragon with a comfortable environment. The best substrates are those that are designed to mimic the desert environment. Options include sand, gravel, and soil.


Bearded dragons need both heat and light to stay healthy, so you’ll need to provide them with a combination of a heat lamp and a UVB light.

The heat lamp should be set to the right temperature, while the UVB light should be placed close enough to your bearded dragon so they can benefit from its healthy rays.


To make your bearded dragon’s tank more stimulating, you should consider adding decorations. This can include rocks, branches, and even plants.


To provide your bearded dragon with a place to hide and relax, you should consider adding furniture such as a log or a cave.

Food and Water

Bearded dragons need a variety of food and water sources to stay healthy. You should provide them with a dish of fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as a shallow dish of water for them to drink from.

Making Sure Your Bearded Dragon is Comfortable

When it comes to making sure your bearded dragon is comfortable in their tank, it’s important to monitor the temperature and humidity levels.

You should also inspect their tank regularly to make sure everything is in order and that there are no potential hazards.

It’s a good idea to provide them with regular handling and interaction to ensure they stay healthy and happy.

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Key Points

  • It is not cruel to keep a bearded dragon in an enclosed tank as long as the tank is big enough and you provide them with the right supplies to mimic nature.
  • By understanding the needs of a bearded dragon and providing the right supplies, you can ensure that your pet has a comfortable and stimulating environment to live in.