A baby bearded dragon will cost in the region of $40, while an adult bearded dragon may sell for $80 or higher. Let’s look at how much bearded dragons cost as well as the expenses of keeping them.
Buying Your First Bearded Dragon
When we first decide to keep a Bearded Dragon or any other pet for that matter, there is always the question of the costs, responsibility and care involved. Keeping a bearded dragon carries the same commitments as keeping any other pet, and it stretches over the lifetime of the bearded dragon.
Bearded Dragons live in captivity anything from seven to eighteen years, a good average of 13 years. It is important to stress that one cannot just think of the initial cost of buying a vivarium and a bearded dragon to live in it. Bearded Dragons need daily care and feeding from day one until the end of their lives, and this costs both time and money.(As a side note it is recommended to seek out a reputable breeder or dealer to avoid diseases.)
Purchasing a Suitable Terrarium
Buying and setting up a terrarium or enclosure for your Bearded Dragon is the first part of the process and costs will vary according to the setup you buy. Most pet shops and reptile dealers will stock the correct terrarium, lighting and heating equipment.
The prices of terrariums differ widely depending on their size, and one must bear in mind that your baby bearded dragon will grow quickly in its first year and needs the space to do so. Prices range from $ 150-00 up to $ 300-00 for a decent quality terrarium that includes the correct UVB lighting and heating equipment. You may also want to spend extra money on getting nice decor for the terrarium to create a nice habitat for the bearded dragon.
Lighting & Replacement Cost
UVB lights will need to be replaced periodically to ensure that your bearded Dragon receives the correct light output, fluorescent tubes of this type do wear out on an annual basis. This type of lighting is essential for your bearded dragon. In nature they spend hours basking and absorbing life-giving UV rays from the sun and these lights provide that inside the terrarium.
Lights range in price from $ 20-00 up to $ 40-00. Heating pads are not recommended, bearded dragons need radiant heat from the sun and heating pads will only cause a problem with digestion and natural thermos regulation. If additional heat is necessary after the lights get switched off a ceramic heating unit is recommended.
Heat and light radiation is beneficial to the bearded dragon’s metabolism and its immunity to diseases and viruses. Bear in mind that these lights have a high output and need to burn for several hours during the day and this will incur an extra cost to your electricity bill. You can find more information about the importance of correct lighting and heat in our Bearded Dragon Care Guide that’s available on this site.
What About Substrate?
Your terrarium will periodically need a change in the substrate, as it will get soiled by the bearded dragon and its best to ensure that the substrate is always kept clean and hygienic. Fortunately substrate is not expensive and not something to be concerned about from a costing point of view. Naturally you want to ensure that the best possible housing for your Bearded Dragon is provided.
Feeding Costs During the Lifespan of Your Bearded Dragon
The next cost to take into consideration is food. A baby bearded dragon requires about eighty percent insect feed in its diet while growing into a healthy individual. Most reptile dealers and some pet shops supply mealworms and crickets, and these come at a price.
They are usually sold in batches of 500 or 1000. Mealworms sell for about $ 5-00 per 1000 and highly nutritious superworms sell for $ 25-00 per 1000.
There are a few insects that can be grown and bred at home to supply the baby with enough feed; this in turn will also impart some cost. Insect feed should be made available for your Bearded Dragon throughout its life, even though in adulthood they need fewer insects and more greens. Fresh greens, fruit and vegetables are also required on a daily basis.
For more info on Bearded Dragon Diet, click here.
What if something happens to your bearded dragon or it gets ill? Well there are fortunately veterinarians that do deal with reptile disease and disorders.
Of course we want the best care for our bearded dragons and if we at any stage discover a problem, we need to make provision for this. Costs of taking your bearded dragon to a vet or reptile specialist will vary depending on the diagnosis, but obviously you should expect to pay for general consultation and whatever medication or procedure is required to get it back to health.
This is an overview of general costs involved in keeping a bearded dragon, and is no different to costs involved with keeping any other pet. It is good to know though what your initial setup costs and basic costs will be that run through the course of your bearded dragon’s life.