• Beardie Bliss

How to Set up a Travel Tank for Your Bearded Dragon

Updated: Aug 20, 2021




How do you set up a travel tank for your Bearded Dragon? Great question! Let's jump in:



If you're going on a short journey (2-3 days), it is recommended that owners use a large critter keeper enclosure to transport their beardie. To monitor your Bearded Dragon's temperature, you'll need to bring along a digital thermometer. It's important to note that beardies, like all pets, should stay in temperate areas and never be left in cars no matter the weather.



To keep Bearded Dragons warm, owners can purchase heat packs. Heat packs can be purchased to last for 24 hours, 40 hours, or even 72 hours depending on the length of your trip.



If traveling in cold weather, it may be a good idea to pack your dragon in an insulated shipping container with a heat pack. This way they'll stay cozy and have extra protection if someone slams on the brakes.



If traveling in hot weather, a lightweight critter keeper terrarium is best. Make sure your dragon is given water throughout the day and avoid keeping your critter in temperatures over 85 degrees.



If you're traveling for more than three days, it's a good idea to replicate your Beardie's enclosure as closely as possible. Make sure they have a safe, roomy enclosure with a basking lamp, perch, and a cooler area.



Are you taking a holiday and considering taking your bearded dragon with you? It is easy to transport your pet dragon. If you travel properly along with your pet then you can keep your beardie healthy and happy during your vacation. Hence, it is important to know how to transport your bearded dragon to make sure he or she is properly cared for. When you are traveling with your bearded dragon then you have three priorities. First, the cage must have ample space so your dragon can move around along with some padding to protect them from sudden movements. Second, you should offer heat via hand warmers to help them maintain their temperature, and third, the enclosure must be secured in case there are any accidents. Continue reading for more information on how to transport, travel and survive a holiday with your pet bearded dragon.



Transporting A Pet Beardie


At one point in time, you will have to travel with your pet dragon, whether you are taking a vacation or going to your vet. If you do not transport them properly, you will end up endangering your dragon's health. Hence, you need to transport your dragon safely. Here is a little advice on transporting your pet dragon safely.



Dragon Carriers


You require a carrier if you are traveling in a car or a bus. You can buy any carrier that is suitable for your pet dragon. The carrier must fit the entire reptile comfortably and it must have soft walls to avoid injury and insulation to retain some heat.



Tank


You must decide before traveling if you want to take your dragon's tank with you on the journey. If you are taking a short trip then you do not need to take the tank, you can simply take a small 20-gallon tank with you since it is for a little time. However, if you shall be traveling for a long time then you will have to carry the entire full-sized tank.



Food


If you are only traveling to the vet then you do not have to carry any food for your dragon but if you shall be staying someplace overnight then it may be a nice idea to bring some food with you. You can travel with some greens since they travel well and are easy to carry. It may be tough to carry a live insect however you can carry freeze-dried crickets with you. You should also carry some snack mixes with you to feed your dragon during the journey.



Bedding


Your dragon may have to pee and poop while traveling. You do not want to clean the cage every day when you are traveling hence you can use easy and cheap bedding or substrates like a reptile carpet or paper towel. These substrates are excellent for travel.



Heat Pack


You may have to carry some warmers or heat pads to maintain the vehicle's temperature. You can tape the heat pad over the carrier and then cover it with a cloth or towel. This will ensure there is no accidental fire.



Transporting A Dragon - Checklist


If you are taking a long trip then you need to carry a lot more equipment than the above-mentioned items. Here is further information if you shall be traveling via air. Here is a short checklist as well.

  • Vivarium

  • Carrier

  • Snacks

  • Food

  • Cleaning supplies

  • Water bowl

  • Lizard leash

  • Substrate or Bedding

  • UVB light

  • Thermometer

  • Furniture

  • Contact information for the vet located at your destination.



Cleaning Supplies


If you are taking a long trip then you may have to clean the cage from time to time. You must pack all your cleaning supplies or buy them as you reach your destination.



Water Bowl


If you are transporting your bearded dragon then you may have to offer them water during the journey. Beardies obtain most of their water from food but they still require water. Unlike other animals they cannot drink water if it is poured to them, hence in the tank, there must be a shallow water dish where they can get a drink from time to time. You can take your regular water bowl or another shallow bowl for the journey.



UV Light For Basking


A nice basking light is a must since you can use it whenever you stop somewhere that has electricity. One of the biggest concerns when traveling with dragons is the lack of UV light. Hence, if you have a basking light with you then you can use it whenever you want which will avoid resulting in any deficiencies in your dragon.



Adjustable Harness


Beardies can run quickly and they usually run if they feel scared. When traveling, if you are going to let your dragon out to exercise a little then you must do so with a harness. If your dragon is outside without wearing a harness, then he or she may run when they see a dog, cat, or squirrel. You will then have to spend a lot of time chasing and searching for them.



Thermometer


It is important to travel with a thermometer. If you are traveling with a thermometer then it will let you know if the temperature is dipping a lot for your pet's comfort. Bearded dragons are originally from the desert of Australia and hence require heat to survive.



Furniture


Bearded dragon requires stimulation just like other animals. Hence furniture is important for them since that provides stimulation to them. They can use logs to climb and hide, hammocks to relax and rocks to rest and push on. You can take some furniture pieces with you on the trip so your beardie can entertain herself while traveling.



The Vet's Phone Number


Even if you take care of everything, something could happen to your beardie on your trip or it may happen once you arrive at your destination. Travelling can be stressful for your beardie and hence it is always better to be prepared. If you are already in touch with a vet then you can call her in case of any emergencies and save your beardie's life.



Can A Bearded Dragon Travel On An Airplane?


This depends on the airline but usually, bearded dragons are allowed on planes. It is not simple and it is advisable to leave your dragon with a service or at home with a family member if you are traveling but if you want to take your dragon with you on the trip, here are some tips for a safe trip.


Check Destination Permission


If you are going to another state or country then they may have different laws which could affect your dragon's legal status. Some areas do not allow bringing pets while others disapprove of bearded dragons in captivity. You must research a little about your location before you travel so no trouble arises when you land and you do not end up losing your beardie.



Check For Cabin Travel


You should check if your airline will allow a live pet on the plane. Many airlines do not allow so. You must check if your airline will let your dragon travel with you in the cabin as a carry-on. It can be dangerous to check in your pet as cargo. These places are usually unheated and unpressurized which can cause your dragon's death. If the cargo hold is pressurized and heated then you can consider it but it is not ideal.



Prep and Label The Carrier


Airports can be crazy. There are huge crowds, flights may get delayed and you could find yourself running across the airport trying to catch your flight in a hurry. Even if you are extremely careful with your pet, you could end up leaving them somewhere in the airport and end up losing them. Hence, you should apply a label on the carrier that has your name and contact information so in case of an emergency somebody can reach you. If you dislike putting your personal number on the carrier then you can add an alternate number, or email or you could ask your vet if you can put their information on the carrier.



Pack For Travel


You must prepare your dragon for air travel before the actual travel. You will mostly be keeping your dragon with you at all times hence it will be similar to traveling in a car. However, one big difference will be the lack of temperature control. Your bearded dragon can survive for a day if the temperature is more than 65 degrees Fahrenheit or 18 degrees Celsius but it will be helpful if you carry hand warmers or heating pads with you in the carrier to keep your beardie warm.



Think Of An Alternative


Traveling may seem easy with your beardie but most airlines do not allow you to carry your dragon with you. You may also find it challenging to plan your trip and pack your luggage along with everything your dragon may need. Airports can also be noisy and lights often change and there are huge crowds which may cause a lot of stress for your bearded dragon.


Enjoy your travels!

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