The average bearded dragon cost is anywhere between $30 and $100 depending on many factors which we will discuss shortly.
It is quite difficult to simply put a price on it knowing that it may not be applicable everywhere and in all situations.
Depending on the particular situation you find yourself in, this price may be adjusted up or down.
Bearded dragons no doubt make excellent pets. They are exceptionally friendly, have a relatively long lifespan, and are easy to care for. To this end, they are known as the most popular breeds among reptile enthusiasts.
Like any adventure, it is expected that every potential owner of a bearded dragon maps the cost of keeping it before making the plunge.
This is not to say that they are very expensive, but it is important you know what you’re up against owning a dragon. This way, you can easily prepare financially for all it takes to keep your incoming pet healthy and happy.
There are upfront and ongoing costs you should be aware of and this guide is here to help you figure them all out. From the typical cost of buying a bearded dragon to all the supplies that will be needed.
- 1 A Little About Owning A Bearded Dragons
- 2 How Much Is A Bearded Dragon?
- 3 Cost Of Bearded Dragon By Species
- 4 Bearded Dragon Prices by Morphs Variation
- 5 Cost Of Owning A Bearded Dragon
- 6 How To Cut Down On Bearded Dragon Cost
- 7 Final Words On Bearded Dragon Cost
A Little About Owning A Bearded Dragons
The bearded dragon is a popular type and species of lizards and has in recent times caught the attention of a lot of reptile enthusiasts.
Their name is gotten from the characteristic dragon-like look which is also an adaptation and mechanism for their defense in the midst of potential threat.
Bearded dragons are naturally discovered in the deserts and arid woodlands of central Australia.
They thrive in a warm habitat as cold-blooded animals that they are.
They are gentle, active, and probably the most inquisitive of all pet reptiles.
They are characterized by wedge-shaped, very long tails (almost as long as their main body), spines running through the sides of their body, sides of the head, and on the throat.
Depending on the sub specie, they have the potential of growing up to about 65cm.
On average, bearded dragons have a lifespan of between 5-8 years in the wild and about 8-12 years when in captivity. This is really a long time to be committed.
How Much Is A Bearded Dragon?
Factors Affecting Bearded Dragon Price
Bearded Dragon prices will depend on many factors:
The age of the bearded dragon determines to a large extent what its price will be. The longer a bearded dragon has been looked after, the higher its financial value.
Generally, buying dragons is cheaper when they are young than when they are older.
Typically, when you walk into a pet store, you can find a young Bearded Dragon for around $30 and their older ones cost around $100.
The price of a bearded dragon is going to depend a lot on one’s own area or country and is usually relative to the cost of the living standards in that area.
Reasons for this variation will possibly be due to the environmental temperatures, need for permits, the commercial value, and availability of supplies, etc.
All these details put together impact on the price of keeping these reptiles as pets.
3. Where You Buy Your Dragon
This is somewhat related to the above point about the area. But, even in the same area or country, the price of bearded dragons can vary.
Breaded dragons can be bought from a pet store or breeder. The downside with buying from your local pet stores is that they may not be knowledgeable to properly take care of their beardies.
But, breeders are likely to have relationships with herp vets helping out with the health of the beardies.
Another option worth noting could be a reptile show around your area. Of all these options, buying them at your local store tends to be cheaper.
Breeds tend to have different passions when it comes to raising their bearded dragons.
There are some breeders that will go the extra mile to ensure their dragons are healthy and well raised. It is natural that their dragons are sold at a higher price.
There are others that won’t put in so much, and as such may be willing to sell at a lower price.
Generally, raising a bearded dragon (especially from the baby stage) takes a lot of effort, time, knowledge, space, and of course money.
To the degree that a breeder raised his/her dragons is to the degree, he/she will price them.
Cost Of Bearded Dragon By Species
There are commonly eight subspecies of bearded dragons and the most common of them is Pogona vitticeps.
Of all these eight species, only three are considered pets. The remaining subspecies are mostly wild-caught and have not been domesticated. This implies that they have a wild nature and are unhealthy.
The cost of the most common pet species is as follows:
The Pogona vitticeps known as the most popular of them cost around $40 – $75.
The central species is another popular pet and is priced around $50 – $80.
The Rankin’s Dragon known as the rarest pet species (difficult to breed) costs around $100 – $400.
Bearded Dragon Prices by Morphs Variation
Most of the time when people think of bearded dragons, the picture they have usually seen is a sandy-colored reptile.
Surprisingly, bearded dragons typically come in a variety of colors, patterns, and general appearance commonly referred to as morphs.
Some morphs tend to fetch more price from breeders than others, as they are quite uncommon to see.
There is also what is known as combination morphs. There are more than 20 morphs variations and they all have their price variations too.
Let’s take a look at some of the common morphs and their cost:
1. Standard Morph
This is commonly recognized as the basic bearded dragon as it is the most like the wild counterpart.
Their backs are characterized by the covering of small spikes and large bearded triangular heads. They come in colors such as red, yellow, and tan.
They standard morphs likely the least expensive and priced around $40-80.
2. Zero Morph
This is the rarest of all the bearded dragon morphs.
It is characterized by its complete lack of colors and patterns. Some tend to be darker-greyed and lighten when in darkness. Others have a purple tint.
The Zero morph is priced around $350-900
3. Hypomelanistic Morph
This term means below normal color as a result of a deficiency of melanin. This can be seen in its lower color and pastel color saturation.
Like standard beardies, they also feature small spikes on their backs. The hypomelanistic Morph is priced around $120-900
4. Leatherback Morph
These beardies are majorly characterized by the smoothness of their back. They feature spikes on their sides and head, but not on their backs. This lack of spikes is responsible for their vivid coloration and popularity.
But, they are still rarer than the standard and hypo morphs. The leatherback morph is priced around $250-700
5. Translucent Morph
From the name, it is obvious that they are characterized by see-through scales and spikes. As a result of their translucence, they are somewhat hypomelanistic and light-colored.
They are also characterized by bluish eyelids and bellies, dark eyes, and invisible iris. The translucent morph is priced around $200-500.
6. Dunner Morph
This morph variation is named after the breeder who developed them. Apart from their un-patterned scales, they have a similar look to the standard morphs.
Unlike classic morph beardies, their scales are asymmetrically patterned. They are also characterized by the presence of spots on their bodies. The dunner morph is priced around $300-500.
7. Witblits Morph
They are somewhat a direct opposite of the Zero morph. They feature a variety of colors but exceed the hypomelanistic morph paleness. The Witblits Morph is priced around $250-800.
8. Silkback Morph
These are probably the most unique of all bearded dragon morph variations.
Unlike other bearded dragons, they do not have the classic spikes. They are characterized by their vibrant colors and smooth skin. In fact, the name silkback is descriptive of their soft skin.
Generally, it takes more effort to care for them than other morphs. The Silkback morph is priced around $100-350
9. German Giant Morph
This morph has a similar appearance to the classic or standard morph. But, they are significantly larger in size. As a result of their characteristic size, their enclosure requires a larger space than other morphs.
It is usually easy to tell when it’s a German giant until when they are fully grown. The German Giant morph is priced around $300-500.
Cost Of Owning A Bearded Dragon
Buying your bearded dragon is just one part of the bearded dragon cost equation. The other side of the equation sets in when you want to bring home your beardie.
There are some items and supplies that have to at least be placed when they arrive.
Below are the basic items and supplies you’ll need to house your bearded dragon.
One of the first and most important and even expensive costs every potential bearded dragon owner must look forward to is that of setting up an enclosure.
There is a wide range of options to choose from. You also want to be mindful of the size, which will largely depend on the species of beardie you are looking to buy.
You want to set up suitable housing from the start so you avoid having to make upgrades in the future. That’s an extra cost you don’t want to add.
For the simplest of reptile tanks, the cost should fall expect around $75 to $150. But, if you want to go for a high-quality enclosure (vivarium-style), that will cost you about $300 or more.
2. Heat Lamps
Bearded Dragons are known to originate from the forest and arid desert regions of Australia.
This means that they predominantly warm-blooded animals and have been acquainted with a considerably warm temperature of between 24 and 43 degrees Celsius.
In captivity, a similar environment needs to be recreated for them and to do that, a proper heat gradient must be provided within your enclosure. The best way to provide the required range of temperatures is with a heat lamp.
The heat lamp makes it possible for the basking end to be kept around 40-43 Celsius, and the cool end should be around 24-26 Celsius.
For the sake of your dragon’s health, you don’t want to cut costs on this beardie essential. Typically, the basking lamp is priced at between $5-7. Together with the bulb holder will cost between $15-17.
3. UV Lamps
This is another required supply that will impact the cost of a bearded dragon.
In the wild, you bearded dragons have the sun to supply this essential element, which needs to be mimicked mechanically by having UV lamps.
If you happen to be using a D3 basking lamp, you probably may not need it since a D3 provides both heat and UV.
Ultraviolet light helps your dragons to synthesize Vitamin D3 which in turn helps to properly metabolize calcium.
You don’t want your dragons to be at the risk of Metabolic Bone Disease for lack of this function. In the absence of a D3 basking lamb, get a UV Strip light and install it at the back of the tank.
The average cost of the required UV strip light bulb +depending on the size of your enclosure), with the Mount and a T5 fitting will be between $50-60.
It is important that every responsible bearded dragon owner maintains optimal conditions and heat gradient in their pet’s habitat.
We already established the importance/need of a temperature gradient in your dragon’s enclosure in regulating their body temperature.
You want to avoid second-guessing and manually check the temperatures of their habitat as often as possible to make sure that they are being kept at a suitable range.
One tool that comes in handy is an accurate thermometer. You will basically need two thermometers – one for the basking area and the other for the cooler area of the enclosure.
Of course, you know that there are different types and models of this device in the market, and they all vary in prices.
You have the option of either analog or a digital readout thermometer. Analog thermometers are priced around $16 to $25, while digital thermometers are priced around $15 to $25. Note that these prices are for two.
Having the right substrate is an important aspect of your pet’s enclosure.
Knowing that this is what serves as the base and flooring of the enclosure, you want to put in adequate time in selecting a befitting material.
Your choice of substrate goes a long way in impacting their health and providing them a feeling of home even though in their tank.
This has over the years been a big point of contention for reptilian enthusiasts and bearded dragon owners with a wide range of options – everything from newspaper to sand and premium slate tiles.
The cost of the substrate will vary greatly depending on your choice of material and the size of the enclosure. As a rule of thumb, the bigger the enclosure, the more substrate will be needed and of course the higher the cost.
Using unwanted newspapers is a very inexpensive option and also easy to maintain. But, not being aesthetically pleasing seems to be a downside, plus it promotes humidity within the enclosure.
Silica-free and Calci-sand are other options for bearded dragon substrate and can be gotten from home improvement and pet shops at a cost of around $5 to $15 per bag.
The downside to these options is that the substrate may be caught up on the food, which may not healthy for your dragons.
Another commonly used substrate for bearded dragon’s enclosure ceramic tiles, as they are simple, easy-to-find, and easy to clean substrate option.
Generally, one of the best and recommended substrate options for bearded dragons is a reptile carpet.
They are manufactured to simulate the desert grass characteristic of the wild and provide a soft and comfortable footing for your dragons.
They are visually appealing, and thus add beauty to any cage. They are fairly easy to use and clean too, plus they possess a great capability for absorbency.
This substrate can be found at most pet stores for about $10.
One tool you shouldn’t do without is a hygrometer, as they are used to measure the humidity levels of your bearded dragon’s enclosure.
It is extremely important that the right humidity levels be maintained as it impacts the health of your beardie.
Having the right humidity levels for bearded dragons is extremely important as it has an influence on their health. When the humidity levels are incorrect, it can lead to various problems for your dragon such as shedding or diseases.
Once again you don’t want to second-guess such an important element of your dragon’s housing need.
It is important that you are regularly and accurately measuring and monitoring the humidity levels in their enclosure. This you can accomplish with the installation of a hygrometer.
Like thermometers, I would recommend using two of these gauges – whether analog or digital. You should place one in the hot area of the enclosure, and the other in the cool area.
Prices for hygrometers are comparable and like thermometers, and so you can find around $5 to $20.
Needless to say, that food is one of the most important supplies your bearded dragon is going to need. This is especially true during their hatchling and juvenile stage.
This singular supply largely impacts their health and growth. You should feed them with complete and high nutrient food.
As omnivorous animals, bearded dragons feed on a range of live insects and plant matter. There is a wide range of insect and plant matter (greens and veggies) to choose from.
You want to make sure you provide as much variety as possible so your beardies don’t get used to a particular type and get bored. Some insects are more priced than others but should still be mixed as much as possible.
Examples of common insects to look out for are: Locusts, Crickets, Earthworms, Superworms, Grasshoppers, Silkworms, Spiders, Dubia roaches, and so on.
For plant matter you have: Escarole, Sprouts, Kale, and Carnations, Green beans, Watercress, Hibiscus, Okra, Asparagus, and so on.
Regardless of your preferred choice of insects (also considering gut loading), the average monthly cost is going to be between $35 and $100.
The monthly cost for greens is generally much lower. With as little as $30 you can put together a nice mix of leafy greens. You should expect a total of between $50-120 as the cost of food for bearded dragons.
8. Decorations and Furniture
At the end of the day, you want to make your bearded dragon’s space as stimulating, enjoyable, and healthy as possible. This is where buying some furniture and accessories will come in.
Depending on the quality of life and how comfortable you want your beardie to be, there’s a lot of twitch you can do here. Also, depending on your preference and the size of your budget, you can choose to go simple or complex.
Essential accessories and furniture include items such as a water bowl, food bowl, a few hide boxes, some toys, and so on.
Dragons love to do some climbing and perching on branches and rocks and basking as well. So to help them with these natural instincts, you may want to get some pieces of driftwood and rocks.
The goal here is to make their enclosure as authentic as possible, mimicking their habitat in the wild. A few artificial plants or so standing around their vivarium would be a nice addition.
It is recommended that all these items be purchased from a pet store to avoid any form of contamination. Another alternative may be a trusted retailer. On average, your expenditures on these items can span around $30 to $80.
9. Medical/Vet Care
This is one of the most unpredictable costs you should expect to incur as a potential bearded dragon owner.
As a rule of thumb, it is recommended that you visit the vet within the first two days of bringing your bearded dragon home. This is to allow your vet to perform a series of tests to make sure they are in healthy condition and are free from any potentially dangerous parasites.
Together with that, it is expected that your bearded dragon undergoes a complete examination annually by a reptile vet.
Also, there could be an unexpected illness that could arise that will significantly impact this cost. The cost of diagnosis alone could amount to as much as a hundred dollars. Together with the treatments, the cost can sometimes be overwhelming.
This is why it is important to give immediate attention to your dragons whenever you notice anything unusual with them.
In the event of no major or serious problems, the annual medical costs can be around $60-130.
How To Cut Down On Bearded Dragon Cost
We have already seen how pricey it can cost to keep a bearded dragon. Beginning from the upfront cost down to the ongoing cost, a lot goes into maintaining these pets.
For someone who is on a low budget, there some suggestions to help you cut down on cost.
To start with, you can reduce a large percentage of the cost by setting up the enclosure yourself. You should also consider raising your own insects such as crickets.
For items like hiding boxes, water, and food bowls, you can use any or by using items you have around your home as hiding boxes or food and water bowls as long as they are suitable.
There are items you should never skimp on such as UV and heating lamp, as they are very vital for your beardies. There are websites you can visit to find items that have been used and at a very minimal cost. Examples of such sites are freecycle.org, craigslist.org, etc.
When it comes to supplies such as food, I like to buy them in bulk. Doing so has always proven to bring down the cost to the barest minimum.
To avoid the undue medical cost, you want to make sure you take good care of your beardie and get the attention of a vet when necessary. This way, you can avoid serious problems with their health.
Final Words On Bearded Dragon Cost
Deciding to get a bearded dragon for a pet is indeed an exciting thing. But, you want to know what it takes to care for them and be sure you’re up for the task.
As exotic pets that they are, they will need a lot of attention and quality care. For most potential owners, this will boil down to their financial readiness.
Owning and taking care of a bearded dragon is a really big commitment to especially knowing the uncommon lifespan they have.
Apart from the cost of purchasing them in the first place, there is more cost to look forward to.
While there are parts of these costs that you will probably incur once in their lifetime, there are others that will last their whole lifetime.
For instance, until the day your dragons are no more, you will always need to make food supplies available for them. You will periodically have to take them for medical attention.
Be careful to spend wisely on their required equipment and buy from reliable sources. This way, the items, and equipment are guaranteed to be high quality and thus last you a good while.
Hopefully, I have been able to (in this post) help you to see the potential cost of bringing in a bearded dragon and keeping it as a pet.
Should you have any questions about the above subject, I will be more than happy to answer. You can reach out using the below comment section and I’ll respond as soon as I can.
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Last update on 2021-04-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API