Whenever Chelsea brings her spiky, 13-year-old bearded dragon, D’Artagnan (a.k.a. Dart), to the office, most of her co-workers react the same way—they stay far, far away!
“When I walk around with him on my chest, people usually freak out at first and are terrified,” Fernandez says while laughing. “I have to convince them that Dart is super chill. I usually encourage anyone who is scared to either touch or hold him to see that he’s harmless. I mean, the worst he’ll do is poop on your outfit!”
Dart’s presence is actually quite calming, she adds.
“I am not a calm person, but whenever I am with him, he brings out my inner Zen,” she says. “Thanks to Dart, I always have a quiet companion who reminds me to take a walk outside, listen to the sounds and enjoy some sunlight. It’s the little things that Dart reminds me to do every day.”
Caring for Dart comes easy to Fernandez. She says Dart’s a simple guy who doesn’t need much beyond the essentials.
“[He] loves to be held and adored; he’s really easy to care for,” Fernandez says.
That being said, he’s also “insanely spoiled.”
“He wants everything fresh—farm-to-table,” Fernandez says. “If he doesn’t like something, he will physically go to the other side of the cage to get away from it.”
For this edition of Chewy's Picks, Fernandez names the top products that help keep Dart healthy and happy!
Zoo Med Repti Basking Reptile Spot Lamp
Bearded dragons are known to love one thing very much—HEAT! From dawn till dusk, Dart can be seen hanging near his Zoo Med Repti Basking Reptile spot lamp.
“This is literally his energy source,” Fernandez says. “If he ever gets cold, he will go right under the spot lamp.”
This lamp is made to last for up to 2,000 hours, which is great because Dart uses it for 8 hours every day.
“We keep the lamp above the tank toward one side of the tank,” Fernandez adds. “It’s about a foot and a half away [from Dart].”
Zilla Heat Mats Reptile Terrarium Heater
Zilla's Heat Mat has been a lifesaver for Dart and Fernandez while they are out and about.
“If I cannot bring his lamp with me, I must bring this heater wherever we go to keep him warm,” she says. “When I bring Dart to work and I want him just to hang out or sit on my lap, I’ll have it on my lap or in his carry on.”
Zoo Med Natural Cork Round Habitat Decor
Dart loves to climb on Zoo Med's Natural Cork Round mainly because it helps get him to his favorite product in his tank (can you take a wild guess of what that is? Clue: You’re getting warmer!).
“I’ve placed it where he can climb on it to get his lamp,” Fernandez says. “So, basically, he climbs on it all day.”
Not only does this help keep Dart happy, but it keeps Fernandez happy, too! She loves the way this matches everything else in Dart’s tank.
“The theme of the tank is very earthy, with sandy tones,” she says. “This fits the aesthetic while also helping Dart get to where he needs to go.”
Exo Terra Calcium Powder
Calcium deficiency is a major dietary problem in captive reptiles. Because of this, Fernandez gives Dart Exo Terra Calcium Powder Supplement.
“I was recommended to give Dart calcium [at a local store when I first got him],” Fernandez says. “This supplement goes on his food once a month. I give it to him to help keep him strong and healthy … I want him to live forever. So far, so good.”
Zoo Med Repti Rock Reptile Water Dish
Fernandez uses Zoo Med's Repti Rock dish for water, fruits, lettuce and other yummy treats.
“I like that this bowl blends in with all of the other stuff in his tank,” Fernandez says. “It’s also the perfect height for him.”
She keeps this bowl in the shady side of Dart’s tank to keep his treats fresh and prevent them from wilting.
Zilla Desert Blend Reptile Bedding
“This is literally the best,” Fernandez says. “It’s basically kitty litter for bearded dragons.”
She places Zilla's Desert Blend reptile bedding, made from ground English walnut shells, everywhere in Dart’s tank.
“We don’t have to change it out often, so it lasts us for a very long time,” she adds
The best part is that cleaning up Dart’s poop is super easy.
“We’re not fancy,” she says. “We just pick up Dart’s poop with a paper towel.”