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Red Bearded Dragon

Red Bearded Dragon Care Guide: Facts & Fun Tips

Looking for a unique and fascinating pet? Look no further than the red-bearded dragon! These lizards are a popular choice among reptile enthusiasts due to their striking appearance and docile nature. Leatherback bearded dragons, a type of red beardie with a distinct look, are especially sought after by breeders and owners alike.

Bearded dragon morphs can produce various colors and patterns, including the vibrant red hue that gives these lizards their name. However, caring for adult red beardies requires specific knowledge about their diet and habitat needs.

Are you ready to learn more about these captivating creatures? So let’s dive in!

Table of Contents

Size, Weight, and Cost of Red-Bearded Dragons


Red bearded dragons are a popular pet reptile due to their beautiful red coloration and friendly temperament. These lizards can grow up to 24 inches in length from head to tail. They have a stocky build with short legs and a broad head. Adult red bearded dragons can weigh anywhere from 350 to 600 grams.


If you’re interested in getting a red bearded dragon as a pet, one of the first things you’ll want to know is how much they cost. The price of these lizards can vary widely depending on several factors.


The age of the dragon is one factor that can affect its price. Younger dragons are generally less expensive than older ones because they require more care and attention.


Gender can also play a role in the cost of a red-bearded dragon. Female dragons tend to be more expensive than males because they are capable of laying eggs.


Another factor that can influence the price of a red bearded dragon is its morph or coloration. Red bearded dragons with rare or unique morphs may command higher prices than those with more common colors.

Overall, the cost of a red bearded dragon ranges from $50 to $500 or more depending on these factors.

How Much Does A Red Bearded Dragon Cost?

As mentioned earlier, the cost of a red bearded dragon varies based on several factors such as age, gender, and morph. Here’s an overview:

  • Younger dragons (under six months) typically cost between $50 and $150.
  • Adult dragons (over six months) usually range from $200 to $400.
  • Rare morphs or colorations can fetch prices upwards of $500 or more.

It’s important to note that these prices only reflect the initial purchase cost of the dragon. You’ll also need to factor in the cost of housing, food, and veterinary care over the lifespan of your pet.

How Big Does A Red Bearded Dragon Get?

Red bearded dragons can grow up to 24 inches in length from head to tail. However, not all dragons will reach this size. Factors such as diet, genetics, and living conditions can all impact how large a red bearded dragon will ultimately grow.

It’s important to provide your dragon with a suitable habitat that allows for plenty of room to move around and exercise. A healthy diet consisting of fresh fruits and vegetables along with live insects is also crucial for promoting growth and overall health.

How Much Is A Red Bearded Dragon Worth?

The value of a red bearded dragon is subjective and depends largely on the individual buyer’s preferences. While some people may be willing to pay top dollar for a rare morph or coloration, others may prefer a more affordable option.

Ultimately, the worth of your red bearded dragon comes down to how much you personally value it as a companion animal.

Habitat, Tank Conditions & Setup for Red-Bearded Dragons

Red Bearded Dragons

If you’re thinking about getting a red bearded dragon as a reptile pet, it’s important to know how to create a suitable habitat for them. A proper habitat is essential for the health and well-being of your pet. Here are some tips on how to set up an ideal environment for your red bearded dragon.

Suitable Habitat

A 40-gallon aquarium or larger is recommended as a suitable habitat for a red bearded dragon. This size provides enough space for them to move around comfortably and exhibit natural behaviors such as basking and climbing. You can find suitable habitats at most pet stores or online retailers.

Tank Conditions

To mimic their natural habitat, the tank should have proper lighting, temperature, and humidity levels. Bearded dragons require UVB lighting to help them produce vitamin D3 which is necessary for calcium metabolism. The temperature in the tank should be kept between 95-105°F during the day and drop down to around 75-85°F at night. Providing a heat lamp or ceramic heater can help regulate the temperature in the tank.

Humidity levels should be kept between 30-40%. Too much humidity can lead to respiratory infections, while too little can cause shedding problems. A hygrometer can help you monitor humidity levels in the tank.

Water Dish

In addition to providing hydration through misting or bathing, a water dish should also be included in the bearded dragon enclosure. This will allow your pet to drink whenever they need it and also provide an area for soaking if they become dehydrated.

When setting up your red bearded dragon’s habitat, it’s important to keep safety in mind as well. Avoid using any materials that could harm your pet such as sand or gravel which can cause impaction if ingested.

Heating and Lighting: Temperature, Humidity, and Lighting Requirements

Red bearded dragons are fascinating creatures that require specific environmental conditions to thrive. One of the most important aspects of their care is providing the proper heating and lighting in their enclosure.

Temperature Gradient

Red bearded dragons need a temperature gradient in their enclosure to regulate their body temperature. This means that there should be a range of temperatures available throughout the enclosure so that they can move around and choose the temperature that best suits them at any given time.

The basking area should have a temperature between 95-105 degrees Fahrenheit during the day cycle. This is where your heat lamp or heat emitter comes into play. You can use either one to provide heat for your dragon. At night, you can turn off the basking light or lower its intensity to simulate a natural environment with cooler temperatures.

The cool side of the enclosure should have a temperature between 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit during the day cycle. Make sure that it does not drop below 65 degrees Fahrenheit at night as this could harm your pet.

Humidity Levels

Maintaining proper humidity levels is crucial for red-bearded dragons’ health and well-being. The ideal humidity level should be between 30-40% during the day cycle and up to 70% at night.

You can maintain humidity levels by misting your dragon’s enclosure with water once or twice daily. You can also place a shallow water dish inside its habitat to increase humidity levels naturally.

Lighting Requirements

Red bearded dragons need UVB light to stay healthy as it helps them produce vitamin D3 necessary for absorbing calcium from food properly. Without adequate UVB exposure, they may develop metabolic bone disease (MBD) which could lead to deformities or even death.

When choosing a UVB bulb for your dragon, make sure that it is the right size for its enclosure. You can use a UVB bulb that provides full-spectrum light and has a wavelength of 290-320 nanometers.

It’s also essential to provide a day/night cycle for your pet. Red bearded dragons need around 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness daily. You can use a timer to regulate the lighting in their enclosure.

Enclosure Space

Red bearded dragons need enough space to move around comfortably, bask, and explore their environment. The minimum recommended enclosure size is 40 gallons for an adult dragon, but you should aim for larger if possible.

You should also provide your pet with a variety of hiding spots, climbing branches or rocks, and other items to keep them stimulated and entertained.


Lastly, it’s crucial to ensure that your red bearded dragon is getting proper nutrition. They require a diet rich in calcium and protein from insects such as crickets or mealworms.

Make sure to dust their food with calcium powder before feeding your bearded dragon. You can also offer fresh vegetables such as kale or collard greens as part of their diet.

Feeding Your Red Bearded Dragon: Live Foods and Insects

Red Dragon

Red bearded dragons are fascinating creatures that make great pets. They are omnivores, meaning they eat both plant and animal matter. However, live insects are a crucial part of their diet as they provide essential protein and nutrients.

Variety is Key

It’s important to offer a variety of insects to ensure a balanced diet for your lizard. Some good options include crickets, mealworms, waxworms, super worms, and dubia roaches. Each type of insect has its own nutritional value, so it’s best to mix things up.

Crickets are an excellent source of protein and fiber but have low-fat content. Mealworms have high-fat content but are also rich in protein. Waxworms are high in fat and should only be given as an occasional treat. Superworms have more protein than mealworms but also contain more chitin which can be difficult for some lizards to digest. Dubia roaches have a good balance of protein and fat while being easy to digest.

Vegetables and Fruits as Supplements

While vegetables and fruits can also be offered as supplements, they should not make up the majority of a red bearded dragon’s food intake. Some good options include collard greens, mustard greens, kale, squash, carrots, bell peppers, blueberries, raspberries, mangoes, and papayas.

Collard greens are rich in calcium while kale is high in vitamin A. Mustard greens contain both calcium and vitamin A while bell peppers provide vitamin C. Squash is an excellent source of fiber while carrots provide beta-carotene which promotes healthy eyesight.

Blueberries contain antioxidants that help prevent cell damage while raspberries promote healthy digestion due to their high fiber content. Mangoes are rich in vitamin C while papayas contain enzymes that aid in digestion.

Feeding Schedule

Adult red-bearded dragons should be fed once a day, while juveniles should be fed twice a day. It’s essential to provide fresh water daily and mist your lizard with water to promote hydration.

When feeding live insects, it’s important to ensure they are the appropriate size for your lizard. Insects that are too large can cause impaction, which is when the lizard cannot digest the food properly.

Suitable Substrate for Red-Bearded Dragons

Red bearded dragons are captivating reptiles that make great pets. They require a suitable environment to thrive, and one of the essential components of their enclosure is the substrate. The substrate refers to the material used to line the bottom of the tank or vivarium. It provides a surface for your pet to walk on, helps maintain humidity levels, and absorbs waste.


Sand is a popular choice for red-bearded dragon owners because it resembles their natural habitat. However, not all sand is created equal. It would help if you chose fine-grained sand free from any additives or chemicals that can harm your pet. Coarse sand can cause impaction when ingested by your pet, leading to serious health problems.

When using sand as a substrate, ensure you provide an adequate depth of at least three inches so that your pet can burrow comfortably. Also, spot-clean daily by removing feces and uneaten food and replacing it every few weeks.

Reptile Carpet

Reptile carpet is another suitable option for red-bearded dragons’ enclosures because it’s easy to clean and reuse multiple times. You can wash reptile carpets with soap and water regularly without worrying about bacterial growth like other substrates such as sand.

Reptile carpets come in various colors and sizes; choose one that fits perfectly into your enclosure’s size and shape.

Paper Towels

Paper towels are an inexpensive option that works well as a temporary substrate or when nursing sick or injured pets back to health. They’re absorbent and easy to replace when soiled.

However, paper towels don’t provide the best traction for red-bearded dragons’ claws compared to other substrates like sand or reptile carpets.

Ceramic Tiles

Ceramic tiles are durable, easy to clean, and provide excellent traction for your pet’s claws. They come in various colors and sizes and can be arranged to create a natural-looking habitat.

When using ceramic tiles as a substrate, ensure they’re not too smooth or slippery to avoid accidents that can cause injuries to your pet.

Health Issues: Keeping Your Red-Bearded Dragon Healthy and Handling Advice

Regular Check-Ups for a Healthy Life

Regular check-ups are essential to ensure your red bearded dragon remains healthy. It is recommended that you take your pet to the vet on a regular basis, at least once every six months, to prevent potential health problems from developing. During these visits, the vet will examine your pet’s overall health, including their weight, skin condition, and behavior.

If you notice any changes in your red bearded dragon’s appetite or behavior, it is important to contact your vet immediately. These could be signs of an underlying health issue that needs immediate attention.

Proper Care for a Happy Pet

Proper care is crucial for maintaining a healthy life for your pet. This includes providing them with a balanced diet and a clean living environment. Red bearded dragons require a diet that consists of insects such as crickets and mealworms as well as vegetables like kale and carrots.

It is also important to keep their living environment clean by regularly cleaning their tank and replacing substrate materials such as sand or wood chips. Providing them with hiding spots and basking areas will help create an environment where they feel safe and comfortable.

Handling Your Baby Red-Bearded Dragon with Care

Handling your baby red bearded dragon with care is essential to prevent injuries and promote a positive relationship between pet owners and their pets. When picking up your pet, it is important to support their entire body rather than just grabbing onto their tail or limbs.

It is also important not to squeeze too tightly when holding them because this can cause injury or stress. Always supervise interactions between children and red-bearded dragons to ensure both parties remain safe.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do I care for my red-bearded dragon?

To care for your red bearded dragon, provide them with a balanced diet consisting of insects and vegetables while keeping their living environment clean and comfortable. Take them to the vet for regular check-ups, and handle them with care to prevent injuries.

How do I take care of a red-bearded dragon?

To take care of a red bearded dragon, provide them with proper nutrition, a clean living environment, and regular vet check-ups. Handle them with care to prevent injury or stress.

Why is my bearded dragon going red?

Bearded dragons may turn red due to stress or excitement. However, if you notice your pet turning red frequently or for extended periods, it may be a sign of an underlying health issue that requires attention from a vet.

How do I handle my baby red bearded dragon?

When handling your baby red bearded dragon, support their entire body and avoid squeezing too tightly. Always supervise interactions between children and pets to ensure safety for both parties.

Fun Facts and Benefits of Owning a Red-Bearded Dragon

In conclusion, owning a red bearded dragon can be a rewarding experience for any reptile enthusiast. These fascinating creatures are relatively affordable to purchase and maintain, with an average size and weight that makes them easy to handle. To keep your red bearded dragon healthy, it is important to provide them with proper heating and lighting, as well as a suitable habitat and substrate.

Feeding your red bearded dragon can also be enjoyable, as they have a diverse diet that includes live foods and insects. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your pet remains happy and healthy for years to come.

If you’re considering adding a red bearded dragon to your collection, we highly recommend doing thorough research beforehand. This will help you understand the unique requirements of these reptiles and ensure that you can provide them with the care they need.


Q: Are red bearded dragons good pets for beginners?

A: Yes! Red bearded dragons are relatively easy to care for and make great pets for beginners.

Q: How often should I feed my red-bearded dragon?

A: Adult dragons should be fed once per day, while juveniles may require more frequent feedings.

Q: Do I need special equipment to keep my red-bearded dragon’s habitat warm enough?

A: Yes – you’ll need specialized heating lamps or pads to maintain the ideal temperature range for your pet.

Q: What kind of substrate is best for my red-bearded dragon’s habitat?

A: A loose substrate like sand or coconut fiber is ideal, but avoid using materials like cedar chips or pine shavings which can cause respiratory issues.

Q: How often do I need to clean my red-bearded dragon’s tank?

A: Spot clean daily by removing feces or uneaten food. A full cleaning should occur at least once per month.

Q: Can I handle my red-bearded dragon?

A: Yes, but be sure to wash your hands before and after handling them. Be careful not to squeeze or drop your pet, as it can be fragile.

Q: How long do red bearded dragons typically live?

A: With proper care, red-bearded dragons can live up to 15 years in captivity.

Overall, owning a red bearded dragon can provide a unique and rewarding experience for any reptile enthusiast. By following the guidelines outlined above and doing thorough research beforehand, you can ensure that your pet remains happy and healthy for years to come.

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