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Why are bearded Dragons Expensive?

Why are Bearded dragons So Expensive

Bearded Dragons are a popular exotic pet choice with their origin in Australia. Beardies, as they are popularly known, are easy to maintain and don’t require as much living space as other pets such as cats and dogs.

Bearded dragons can cost anywhere from $40 to $900. Some of the most expensive species of bearded dragons include the Zero morph.

This species of bearded dragon resembles albinos and come in varieties such as Snow and Pure white.

Another rare and expensive type of bearded dragon is the paradox morph. These go for between $800 and $1200. So, what makes these bearded dragons so expensive?

Bearded Dragons are expensive depending on their color, genetics, breeder, and availability. Bearded dragons cost anywhere from $40 to $900. Those with rare colors like the zero morphs can cost anywhere from $1000 upwards. 

What is the Average Price of a Bearded Dragon?

Bearded dragons bought at the pet store can cost anything from $40 to $100. There are, however, many species of these pet lizards.

Depending on how rare a certain variety is and the special colors of morphs on their body, the price may rise to as much as $1200. Other factors influencing the price include differing spikes, scales, head shapes, nail colors, and patterns.

The most common type of bearded dragon is the classic or standard morph and it is the least expensive to buy. Here is a sneak peek at other species and their prices;

VarietyAverage Price
A baby bearded dragon$40 – $75
White-bearded dragon$300 – $900
Blue bearded dragon$200 – $450
Red bearded dragon$50 – $300
Purple bearded dragon$200 – $450
Leatherback bearded dragon$100 – $500

How Much Does it Cost to Own a Bearded Dragon?

Owning a bearded dragon involves initial one-off setup costs and recurring running costs. Setting up a bearded dragon’s vivarium can cost anywhere between $200 – $1,100.

The difference in cost depends on the quality and type of gear you get for your pet dragon. Other additional costs for owning a bearded dragon include food and heating.

Bearded dragons require high ultraviolet (UVA and UVB) output light bulbs to mimic the rays that they get from their natural habitat. These amount to about $50 – $100. Lastly, recommended annual vet visits will initially cost around $75 to $150.

What Makes a Bearded Dragon So Special?

Why are bearded dragons expensive?
A Brown Beardie

Bearded dragons are very friendly and love to cuddle up to their owners. They can also recognize their owner’s voice and develop attention-seeking behaviors.

They also have a long life span of 15 years, with the oldest recorded bearded dragon living up to 18 years.

Why is it So Expensive to Own a Bearded Dragon?

Bearded dragons are relatively easy to maintain in the long term. However, the initial costs of buying the pet and setting up a home for it can add up in the first year.

Here is a breakdown of the initial costs of setting up a home for your bearded friend.

1. Cost of buying a bearded dragon

Buying bearded dragons can be costly. Factors such as age, sex, breed, and color greatly affect the buying price of these pets.

 First, the cost varies between pets bought from the store and those from a breeder. Most seasoned bearded dragon lovers prefer to buy their reptile pets from a breeder.

This is because breeders specialize in taking care of bearded dragons and offer the best living conditions. 

Secondly, the age and sex of the bearded dragon can drive up the cost of the pets. Females usually cost more simply because breeders keep them for reproduction.

That means their value is higher than that of the males. Some females sell up to $1,000, depending on the coloration.

 Thirdly, the older the bearded dragon, the longer the breeder had to take care of it. Additionally, it is easier to tell how good an adult will be for mating or showing. Therefore, you will pay more for an adult bearded dragon than for a younger one.

Lastly, the species of the bearded dragon is the single most important factor when it comes to cost. Rare species like the Zero morph will set you back $900. 

2. Enclosure

Bearded dragons should typically be housed in an environment that mimics their natural habitat. It should be large enough, with enough humidity, the right temperature, and enough lighting.

Experts recommend getting a large tank to begin with. Enlarging it later will cost way more. Tank setup costs approximately $500 to $1,000.

Expect to spend $40 to $80 on climbing rocks and $15 to $20 on fake branches or hammocks. 

3. Lights and Heat Lamps

Bearded Dragons require heat for basking as well as UV lights. The two most popular are fluorescent bulbs and mercury vapor bulbs.

With a large tank, bulbs may cost around $50. The light fixtures will cost about $30 depending on the quality. The lights should be left on for 12-14 hours a day to give the pets maximum basking time. This also adds up to the monthly electricity costs.

Additionally, UV rays run out but the bulb may keep lighting. That means that the bulbs need to be replaced every 6 months or so to ensure that they are still working.

4. Recurring Costs

Bearded dragons are omnivorous and eat certain veggies and insects. For your new younger pet, a diet heavy in proteins is recommended.

You can dust the food with some calcium and other multi-vitamins once a week. Once the pet is older, they require more plant-based food than proteins.  Some of the insects that bearded dragons eat include Dubia roaches, Phoenix worms, Crickets, Super worms, and silkworms.

Some of the plants popular with the pets are mustard greens dandelion greens, carrots, turnip greens, bell peppers, and okra. The monthly food costs for a single pet amount to around $40-$120. 

5. Healthcare

Healthcare costs are harder to predict because some beardies may need more medical attention than others. However, these can quickly add up to outrageous figures.

Annual vet checkups for a healthy bearded dragon cost around $75 – $140.

Is it Worth Getting a Bearded Dragon?

Expensive bearded dragon pet

Bearded dragons are popular pets for a reason. They are docile and friendly. They learn to acclimate to their owner’s schedule and will “wave” or rush to the front of their tank to say hi.

Additionally, apart from the initial setup costs, they are relatively easy to maintain. You can share your kitchen vegetables with the pet lizards as you prepare your meal.

They also spend a majority of time sleeping so you can cuddle and watch TV, or just chill and hang out. If you are not a fan of high-energy pets, these docile and gentle pets are worth keeping. 

Where to Buy Bearded Dragons

You can buy bearded dragons from pet stores or from a breeder, though pet stores tend to be a bit pricy. First-time buyers are usually advised to find out more about a pet store before buying.

Some are understaffed and don’t take good care of the animals. With that said, here are some good pet stores to buy your bearded friend from; Petsmart and Petco

A great tip for buying a bearded dragon is to go for pet showings such as those at Repticon. They have information on approved vendors from all States.

The shows offer expert advice on how to care for your pet and offer the best access to some of the best breeders in the country. Tickets go for around $6 to $15 and are free for kids 4 years and under.

Some of the most trusted breeders include Carolina Classic Dragons who have over 14 years of experience in handling bearded dragons.

They play and cuddle with them from a young age to ensure they are docile and domesticated. Their specialty breed,  the Dunner, rainbow, and leatherback morphs cost an average of $500.

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