bearded-dragon-price

How Much are Bearded Dragons? (Price Guide)

Bearded dragons are amazing pets but owning one comes with its own set of costs, some of which might not be apparent at first glance. While their day-to-day care expenses are generally affordable, there are several essential items and ongoing costs you need to factor in, such as housing, food, lighting, healthcare, and more.

In this article, we’ll thoroughly explore the expenses involved in bearded dragon ownership, breaking down both one-time purchases and recurring monthly costs to give you a comprehensive understanding of your scaly friend’s financial needs.

So, let’s dive into the world of bearded dragons and explore the true cost of owning one of these fascinating pets!

How Much are Bearded Dragons

Bearded dragon has eight subspecies, three of which are sold as pets. The price of each specie can vary greatly depending on factors such as age, morph, and breeder reputation.

  1. The Pogona vitticeps is the most common pet species and costs around $40 to $75.
  2. The central species is also a popular pet, with prices ranging from $50 to $80.
  3. The Rankin’s Dragon is the most expensive pet species for sale, which costs between $100 and $400.

Rankin’s dragon is more expensive due to their small size and because they are hard to find. They are relatively more challenging to breed in captivity.

The remaining subspecies, such as eastern Pogona barbata and dwarf Pogona minor minor, are not domesticated and should not be purchased. This means they are most likely wild-caught.

Note: Typically, wild-caught dragons are unhealthy, have a wild nature, and represent a threat to their wild population status.

Since the 1960s, all bearded dragon species have been prohibited from being exported outside of their native habitat in Australia. All lizards sold as pets in the United States are captivity bred.

Most bearded dragons in captivity in the United States are Pogona vitticeps. So, we will be focusing on just this species in this post.

Age: Baby, Juvenile, or Adult?

Common baby beardies, with their tiny, adorable faces, generally cost between $30 and $70. Juvenile bearded dragons, entering their awkward teenage phase, can range from $50 to $100. Adult bearded dragons, now wise and mature, can cost anywhere from $75 to $200.

Remember, young ones require more attention and specific care, while adults might be more set in their ways. So, choose wisely based on your preferences and experience level.

Morph: Your Beardie’s Unique Look

Morphs are variations in bearded dragon color and pattern, and they can dramatically impact the price. If you’re looking for a “designer” beardie sporting a unique and exotic appearance, be prepared to shell out some extra cash.

Common morphs, like the standard wild-type, can cost as little as $30, while the more exotic morphs, such as the Zero or Witblits, can reach prices over $400. But hey, who can put a price on a bearded dragon that doubles as a living work of art?

Breeder Reputation: Trusting the Source

When it comes to where you purchase your bearded dragon, reputation is key. A well-respected breeder or pet store will not only provide you with a healthy and happy beardie, but also give you peace of mind. Prices may be slightly higher when you choose a reputable source, but it’s worth it in the long run. After all, a healthy beardie means fewer vet bills and a happier home for both you and your new scaly companion.

Tips On Finding A Reputable Breeder Or Pet Store

  1. Research: Look for online reviews and testimonials from other bearded dragon enthusiasts.
  2. Knowledge: A good breeder or store should be able to answer all your questions and offer proper care advice.
  3. Transparency: Don’t be afraid to ask about the beardie’s origin, health, and breeding conditions.
  4. Health Guarantee: A reputable breeder should offer a health guarantee for your bearded dragon.

Prices of Different Morphs of Bearded Dragons

Please note that the costs provided are approximate and may vary depending on the breeder, location, and specific characteristics of the individual bearded dragon. Here is a detailed description of each bearded dragon morph listed above:

Morph NameAverage Price
Standard (Normal, Wild-type, Tan or Dark Brown)$40-$60
Hypomelanistic (Reduced melanin, brighter colors)$100-$200
Leatherback (Smaller, smoother scales)$150-$300
Silkback (Silkie, skin-like texture)$200-$400
Translucent (See-through appearance, bluish eyes)$150-$300
Dunner (Irregular scale patterns, unique colors)$200-$400
German Giant (Larger size)$200-$500
Witblit (Patternless, solid color)$200-$400
Zero (Combination of Witblit and Translucent)$400-$600
Paradox (Random color patches)$300-$600
Wero (Combination of Witblit and Zero)$400-$700
Tiger (Banded pattern)$150-$300
Citrus (Bright yellow and orange coloration)$150-$350
Citrus (Bright yellow and orange coloration)$150-$300
Red Bearded Dragons (Predominance of red coloration)$150-$300
Orange Bearded Dragons (Vivid orange hues throughout the body)$150-$300
Yellow Bearded Dragons (faint tan to a bright yellow or light orange)$100 to $300

Standard or Normal

common-bearded-dragon

Wild-type bearded dragons resemble their natural counterparts found in Australia. They typically have a mixture of earthy colors like brown, tan, and gray. They may have some patterns, but these are not as striking as in some other morphs. Average cost: $40-$60.

Pro Tip: If you want a standard bearded dragon, consider adopting one. Brown or tan beardies can be easily found in reptile recuse organizations. 

Hypomelanistic

hypomelanistic-bearded-dragon

These bearded dragons have reduced melanin, resulting in lighter coloration and brighter colors overall. Their colors are often more vibrant than those of a standard morph, and they may have clearer patterns. Average cost: $100-$200.

Leatherback

leatherback-bearded-dragon

The leatherback morph has smaller, smoother scales than a normal bearded dragon, giving them a softer appearance. This can make their colors appear more vibrant, and it often results in unique color combinations. Average cost: $150-$300.

Silkback (Silkie)

silkback-bearded-dragon

Silkbacks have even smoother scales than leatherbacks, resulting in a skin-like texture. This extreme reduction in scales can make them more prone to injury and dehydration. They require additional care compared to other morphs. Average cost: $200-$400.

Translucent

translucent-bearded-dragon

Translucent bearded dragons have a slightly see-through appearance, especially when they are young. Their eyes are often blue, and their scales have a visible “veil” or ghostly appearance. They may display a wide range of colors and patterns. Average cost: $150-$300.

Dunner

dunners-bearded-dragon

Dunners have irregular scale patterns and different scale sizes, which can create a rough and spiky appearance. They often exhibit unique color patterns, with the potential for vibrant colors and unusual markings. Average cost: $200-$400.

German Giant

german-giant-bearded-dragon

These bearded dragons are larger than their normal counterparts, often reaching up to 30 inches in length. They have similar coloration and patterns to standard morphs but may require more space and resources due to their size. Average cost: $200-$500.

Witblit

Witblits have a patternless appearance, usually displaying a solid color or a subtle gradient. They can range in color from tan to gray, with some individuals having more vibrant hues. Average cost: $200-$400.

Zero

zero-bearded-dragon

Zeros are a combination of the Witblit and Translucent morphs, creating a patternless, almost white dragon with a slightly translucent appearance. Their eyes may also appear blue or have a ghostly appearance. Average cost: $400-$600.

Paradox

Paradox morphs are characterized by random patches of color on an otherwise normal-looking bearded dragon. These patches can vary in size and color, making each Paradox dragon unique. Average cost: $300-$600, depending on the rarity and appearance of the color patches.

Wero

The Wero morph is a combination of the Witblit and Zero morphs, displaying a mix of patternless and white or pale coloration. They may also have translucent characteristics, such as blue eyes or a ghostly appearance. Average cost: $400-$700.

Tiger

This morph exhibits a banded pattern on the body, similar to a tiger. They typically have a base color of gray or brown with dark bands running across their body. Some individuals may have more vibrant colors, depending on their specific genetic makeup. Average cost: $150-$300.

Citrus

Citrus bearded dragons have bright yellow and orange coloration. These colors can range from pale to vivid, and they may be combined with other colors or patterns. Some Citrus morphs also have touches of green, creating a unique and vibrant appearance. Average cost: $150-$300.

Red Bearded Dragon Price

red-bearded-dragon

The Red morph has a predominance of red coloration, which can range from deep red to bright orange. This coloration can cover the entire body or appear as a pattern with other colors. Some Red morphs may also have contrasting markings or patterns in black or white. Average cost: $150-$300.

Orange Bearded Dragon Price

orange-bearded-dragon

Orange morphs are characterized by vivid orange hues throughout their bodies. This coloration can range from light to dark and may be combined with other colors, such as yellow or red. Orange morphs may also have unique patterns or markings, depending on their specific genetics. Average cost: $150-$300.

Yellow Bearded Dragon Price

yellow-bearded-dragon

Because of their golden skin, yellow bearded dragons are very popular among the bearded dragon community. You are not likely to find vibrant yellow morphs in pet stores. Their yellow color ranges from a faint tan to a bright yellow or light orange. One of the reasons why yellow bearded dragons are so popular is because they retain their beautiful color for life. Average Cost: $100 to $300.

Essential Equipment and Setup Costs

The initial cost of setting up a bearded dragon’s home can be $200 – $1000. This cost depends on the size and type of tank you buy and the quality of equipment you get.

ItemPrice (USD)
50 to 120-gallon Glass Tank$100 – $500
UVA Basking Lamp Fixture$15 – $30
T5 UVB Fixture$15 – $80
Reptile Mat (Substrate)$5 – $30
Ceramic Heating Element$15 – $25
Food Dish$2 – $10
Bath Dish$10 – $30
Hides$5 – $40
Branches$5 – $25
Hammocks$5 – $35
Plants (real or fake)$5 – $15
Digital Thermostats x 2$5 – $40
(Hygrometer) Humidity Gauges$5 – $15
Timer$10 – $25
Total$200 – $1000

Enclosure

Bearded dragons need a comfortable, spacious enclosure to thrive. A proper tank for a baby bearded dragon starts at around $100, and for an adult, it can go up to $300 or more, depending on the size and features.

The recommended enclosure size for an adult bearded dragon is 120 gallons. Remember, this is their kingdom, and a roomy space allows them to strut around like the majestic creatures they are.

Expert Tip: Upgrading your enclosure later will cost you more money, so getting a larger one from the beginning is a good idea.

We recommend the Zen Habitat Reptile enclosure. It is simply the best enclosure available for bearded dragons.

Heating and Lighting

Bearded dragons require a well-regulated environment that mimics their natural habitat. This means proper heating and lighting are essential.

Heat lamps can range from $20 to $50, while UVB bulbs usually cost between $20 and $40. Keep in mind that UVB bulbs need to be replaced every six months or so, as their effectiveness diminishes over time.

As a tip from one bearded dragon owner to another, mark the replacement date on your calendar or set a reminder to ensure your beardie gets the UVB it needs to stay healthy.

Substrate

Selecting the right substrate can be a bit like choosing the perfect carpet – there’s a lot to consider. Safe options include reptile carpet, non-adhesive shelf liner, and paper towels.

The price for these substrates ranges from $10 to $50, depending on the material and size.

Be sure to avoid using loose substrates like sand, as they can cause impaction if ingested.

Decor and Accessories

A bearded dragon’s habitat is like a canvas for its personality, so adding the right decor and accessories is essential for its well-being.

Hiding spots, basking platforms, and climbing branches help create a stimulating environment and can cost anywhere from $10 to $100, depending on the materials and complexity.

Don’t be afraid to get creative with the decor – your beardie will appreciate the effort, and you’ll have a blast turning their enclosure into a reptile paradise.

Thermometer

Maintaining optimal conditions through second-guessing temperature is not a good idea. To get everything precisely right, you’ll need an accurate thermometer.

We recommend getting two thermometers; one for the warmer side and one for the cooler side of the enclosure.

Depending on the type and features, prices will range from $5 to $40. Choose a unit with digital readouts and a probe for greater precision and accuracy.

Exo Terra Digital Thermometer with Probe
  • Accurate temperature indication
  • Single-button operated
  • Remote sensor
  • Minimum/Maximum memory

Hygrometer

A hygrometer is another item that you must have. Hygrometers are devices that measure the relative humidity in a tank.

Prices range from $5 – $15. For convenience, some models combine a hygrometer and a thermometer into one device.

Sale
REPTI ZOO Reptile Terrarium Thermometer Hygrometer
  • Accurately measure temperature and humidity in vivariums
  • Digital display and easy to read
  • Easy to install
  • One extra battery is included for standby in the package

Timer

A timer is a convenient tool and should be used in every bearded dragon setup. Using automatic timers to turn your bearded dragon’s lights on and off saves you time and effort.

A good quality timer will cost $10 – $25, depending on which brand you go with.

Sale
Zilla Reptile Habitat Lighting & Terrarium Heat Power Center
  • 24/7 Digital Timer allows for daily programming with on/off outlets.
  • 8 Total outlets – 4 daytime/nighttime alternating outlets and 4 constant power outlets
  • Easy-to-use digital programming and LCD display
  • Up to 1875 watts, 15 amps

Ongoing Expenses – $50 – $100 Per Month

Below is a list of costs that you’ll encounter on your bearded dragon parenting journey.

Food Costs

1. Insects: Beardies love their creepy-crawlies! The staple of their diet consists of insects such as crickets, roaches, and mealworms. Depending on the size and appetite of your dragon, expect to spend around $10 to $20 per month on these protein-packed morsels. Remember, variety is the spice of life (even for dragons).

2. Vegetables and Fruits: Bearded dragons also enjoy their greens, which make up around 20% to 30% of their diet. You’ll need to provide fresh vegetables like collard greens, squash, and bell peppers. Occasionally, treat them to some fruits like berries, apples, and bananas. The monthly cost for veggies and fruits can be around $15 to $25.

Bearded Dragon Feeding Schedules

  • Juveniles: Young bearded dragons are hungry little critters! They’ll need to eat insects 2-3 times per day and have access to fresh vegetables daily. Keep in mind that their growing appetites mean higher food expenses in the early stages of their lives.
  • Adults: As they mature, their diet shifts more towards vegetables, with insects offered every other day. This dietary change will slightly reduce food expenses as they age.

3. Calcium: To keep their bones strong and healthy, bearded dragons need a calcium supplement. Lightly dust their insects with calcium powder 4-5 times per week for juveniles and 2-3 times per week for adults. A container of calcium powder can last several months and costs around $5 to $10.

4. Multivitamins: In addition to calcium, a multivitamin supplement is essential for a well-rounded diet. Dust their insects with multivitamin powder once per week. Similar to calcium powder, a container of multivitamin powder costs around $5 to $10 and can last for months.

Veterinary Care

1. Routine Check-ups: Like any other pet, bearded dragons need regular check-ups with a reptile-savvy veterinarian. Expect to spend around $50 to $100 per visit, depending on your location and the vet’s fees.

2. Potential Treatments: If your bearded dragon falls ill or requires treatment, the costs can vary significantly. However, it’s important to have a financial cushion for such emergencies, as they can easily exceed $100.

Electricity Cost

All the lighting and heating equipment will cost you around $10 to $15 depending on where you live.

How to Save Money

The initial cost of $200 to $1000 is based on if you buy all the equipment brand new.  You can significantly reduce the cost by finding used tanks and branches etc. 

Used tanks in good condition can be purchased for under $100. You can try and search on Facebook and Craiglist. If you do find one, be sure to disinfect it entirely with diluted bleach. 

You can also start breeding your insects to save on monthly food expenses. Here is a guide on how to breed crickets for bearded dragons

Summary

From their habitat setup and ongoing maintenance to their dietary requirements and potential veterinary care, there’s no denying that these captivating critters are an investment.

However, as any proud beardie parent will tell you, the rewards of caring for a bearded dragon far outweigh the costs. With their unique personalities, low-maintenance grooming, and adorable head-bobbing antics, bearded dragons truly are worth every penny. Just remember, proper care and budgeting are essential to ensure a happy and healthy life for your bearded buddy.

Before you dive headfirst into the fascinating world of bearded dragon ownership, take the time to research further and consider all the costs involved. This way, you’ll be prepared to give your new scaly friend the best possible home and care. Trust me, nothing quite compares to the feeling of watching your bearded dragon thrive under your loving care.

So, as you embark on your bearded dragon journey, keep in mind that the true cost of these magnificent creatures is more than just the price tag. It’s the time, love, and dedication you put into their care that will make your bond with your beardie priceless. Happy dragon-keeping!

Filled under: Lizards

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