Whether you’re considering getting a pet reptile or already have one, understanding the real costs associated with owning a Bearded Dragon is important. Keeping these reptiles healthy and happy can be surprisingly expensive. Here we explore the truth about the cost of owning a Bearded Dragon, from the initial purchase to ongoing supplies and maintenance.
Initial Cost of Buying A Bearded Dragon
Bearded Dragons can cost anywhere between $50 and several hundred dollars, depending on the size, age, and coloration. Hatchlings are typically less expensive than adult dragons while rarer colors or morphs will cost more. If you’re looking for a specific look or have your heart set on a certain breed, be prepared to spend more money.
Once you bring your new pet home, there are many additional costs associated with keeping them healthy. These ongoing expenses include:
• Food – Crickets and live insects make up about 75% of a Bearded Dragon’s diet, while leafy greens, vegetables, and fruits make up the rest. You’ll need to buy food regularly for your dragon, and costs can vary depending on where you find it.
• Supplements – A healthy Bearded Dragon needs a calcium supplement with Vitamin D3 added three times per week. Monthly multivitamins are also recommended.
• Lighting – UVB lights should be used 12-14 hours per day to keep your dragon warm and produce vitamin D3 in its skin. Needless to say, replacing these bulbs every 6-12 months can add up quickly.
• Habitat Maintenance – Keeping your Bearded Dragon’s enclosure clean is essential for their health. This means regularly changing out the bedding, cleaning the sides of the tank, and washing their dishes.
• Veterinary Care – Just like other pets, Bearded Dragons need regular check-ups from a veterinarian that is experienced in reptile care. In addition to these appointments, your dragon may require unexpected medical attention at times.
10 Tips For First-Time Bearded Dragon Owners
Bearded dragons, also known as Pogona vitticeps, are a species of agamid lizards that are native to Australia. They are popular among pet owners and their gentle and curious nature makes them ideal companion animals. Bearded dragons come in a variety of colors and sizes and can live for up to 10 years with proper care and attention. In this article, we will discuss 10 tips for first-time bearded dragon owners so they can better understand the needs of these amazing creatures.
Bearded dragons need an environment that is specifically designed for their needs. This includes a large enclosure size of no less than 36 inches long by 18 inches wide with a substrate, such as sand or reptile carpet, that is easy to clean and maintain. Their environment should also include hiding spots such as logs, burrows, or rocks; UVB lighting; temperature control; adequate ventilation; and access to clean water sources for drinking and bathing. Additionally, keep the enclosure away from drafty areas like windows or air conditioners and out of direct sunlight which may cause overheating in the enclosure.
Bearded dragons are omnivorous reptiles that need both animal proteins (insects) and plant matter (leafy greens) in their diet. Insects should be gut-loaded (given nutritious food before being fed to your dragon) before being given as food. Variety is key provide your dragon with different types of insects such as crickets, mealworms, waxworms, earthworms, super worms, or phoenix worms for protein along with dark leafy greens like collard greens or mustard greens for vitamins A & C, calcium, and fiber. Additionally, add vegetables like squash or carrots into their diet occasionally for added nutrition as well as provide them with pieces of fresh fruits such as mangoes or berries every now and then as treats! Feeding juvenile bearded dragons should be done twice daily while adults only require one meal per day due to their slower metabolism rates.
In addition to providing your bearded dragon with a balanced diet of insects/meats and plants/veggies, it’s important to supplement them with additional nutrients through vitamin powders or supplements specifically made for reptiles like bearded dragons. These powders should be lightly sprinkled over their regular meals one time per week depending on what type you buy (follow package dosing instructions). Vitamin supplementation helps ensure your dragon gets all the necessary nutrients they need since some foods may not contain high levels of certain vitamins/minerals that they need in order to thrive!
Handling Your Dragon
It’s important to handle your bearded dragon correctly when first introducing them into your home so they become comfortable with you without feeling scared or threatened by new people/places/things around them! Start by placing one hand underneath the belly near its back legs while using the other hand to support its chest area – this allows you to hold it securely without applying too much pressure on any part of its body! Try not to pick up your dragon often (only when needed) since frequent handling can make them stressed out over time so try talking softly near their cage instead so they become used to hearing your voice regularly! Lastly, always wash your hands after handling any reptile because they carry salmonella which can be harmful if passed onto humans through contact with unclean surfaces/hands, etc.
Interaction With Other Pets
Bearded dragons do not typically interact well with other pets in the house especially cats & dogs so it’s best if they are kept separate at all times! If you have any other pets in the house try keeping them away from each other until you’re sure that there won’t be any issues between them before attempting to introduce them together safely (if desired). This can help prevent unnecessary stress & fights between animals which could potentially harm either one of them! Also, refrain from introducing wild reptiles or amphibians into their enclosures this can spread diseases between captive animals which could lead to health issues down the road…
Bathing Your Dragon
Providing fresh water sources inside your dragon’s enclosure is important but occasionally giving it an occasional bath will help keep it hydrated & refreshed! Use room temperature water that isn’t too shallow so your dragon can fully submerge itself but don’t leave it submerged too long since prolonged exposure can lead to respiratory infection due to over-hydration. It’s okay if some water gets inside its nose but avoid getting any soap or shampoo near its eyes since these products irritate the delicate skin around sensitive areas just use warm water instead! After bathing your bearded dragon place it on top of a towel nearby outside its enclosure until it dries off completely before returning inside this will help avoid potential burns from heated surfaces inside their habitats.
Lighting & Heating
In order to maintain your bearded dragon’s health, it’s important to provide them with proper lighting/heating within its enclosure. You’ll want to invest in a UVB bulb that gives off both UVA & UVB rays which will help absorb calcium from their food sources and aid in the synthesis of Vitamin D3 necessary for bone development! Additionally, you’ll need an appropriate heating source such as an infrared heat lamp that stays on during the day (follow wattage guidelines specified by the manufacturer) so they can properly digest their meals and regulate body temperature – this needs to be kept at around 78-85°F inside their enclosure. Avoid using hot rocks since these emit uneven temperatures that can be dangerous for your dragon…
Feeding Your Dragon
Bearded dragons are omnivores, meaning they will eat both plant and animal material but it’s important to provide a balanced diet for them that includes the proper ratios of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates! Offer a variety of foods such as crickets & other insects, leafy greens, vegetables, flowers/petals/herbs (e.g. dandelion), occasional fruits (e.g. papaya), plus commercial supplements like ReptoMin or Zoo Med’s Natural Aquatic Turtle Food & Calcium Plus Supplement (do not overfeed). It’s also important to offer sources of calcium & vitamins since some foods may not contain high levels of these nutrients – offer a shallow dish of calcium & vitamin powder supplement several times per week. Lastly, feed your dragon in the morning & evening since it’s a diurnal creature (active during the day).
Cleaning Your Dragon’s Enclosure
In order to keep your bearded dragon healthy and happy, it’s important to regularly clean its enclosure! This can be done by removing all uneaten food/waste materials, wiping down surfaces with warm water and vinegar solution, replacing substrates when needed, and adding fresh plant material as necessary. Additionally, water dishes should be emptied and refilled daily with clean water – use only filtered or treated tap water free of chlorine & other chemicals – while also making sure to keep a clean towel inside their enclosure for comfort! Lastly, spot-cleaning any fecal matter on the walls of the enclosure should also be done twice a week. Following these steps will help ensure your dragon stays healthy and happy for years to come!
Owning a Bearded Dragon can be expensive but with proper planning and maintenance, it can be done without breaking the bank. Before you adopt one of these majestic reptiles, make sure you consider all of the costs associated with long-term care. You’ll want to make sure you have enough budget for food, supplies, and vet visits before bringing your new pet home.