Are Bearded Dragons Legal In Texas

Are Bearded Dragons Legal In Texas?

Bearded dragons have become increasingly popular as pets across the United States. However, before considering adding one to your family, it’s important to understand the laws surrounding their ownership.

In Texas, it is legal to own a bearded dragon, but there are some regulations in place that must be followed to ensure the safety and well-being of the animal.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department regulates the ownership of exotic animals in the state, including bearded dragons. Under state law, the possession of wildlife is illegal, and this includes any animal taken from the wild or not domesticated.

In order to qualify as a pet, the animal must be kept in a USDA-licensed facility. The owner must have the proper permits and licenses for the animal, and be able to provide adequate housing, food, and medical care for the animal. These regulations exist to ensure that the wellbeing of these animals is protected.

How to Obtain a Permit for Owning a Bearded Dragon in Texas?

Bearded Dragon 2
Credit: DulcePicoso

In Texas, obtaining a permit to own a bearded dragon requires adhering to state laws. The permit application process can be initiated by gathering the necessary requirements and submitting them to the relevant authorities. Once approved, a permit will be issued, allowing individuals to legally own a bearded dragon.

State Laws

With the responsibility of ownership in mind, it is essential to familiarize oneself with the state laws that govern the ownership of a bearded dragon within Texas.

Depending on the county or municipality, many local governments may have additional ordinances that must be followed. It is important to be aware of any local regulations that may be in place to ensure the proper care of the animal.

In Texas, it is illegal to own a bearded dragon in any of the state’s cities or municipalities. This varies from county to county. However, in the counties where owning a bearded dragon is not strictly prohibited, it is still necessary to obtain a permit in order to own one.

Certain requirements must be met in order to acquire a permit, such as the age of the owner, the size of the enclosure, and the type of food that will be provided for the animal.

Proper documentation of the animal’s health must be provided, including proof of a recent vet visit and proof of any necessary vaccinations. Failing to meet the requirements of the permit can result in the revocation of the permit.

Obtaining Permits

With a comprehensive understanding of state laws and regulations, the next step in obtaining a permit for owning a bearded dragon in Texas is to apply for the permit. To do this, owners must visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife website and download the permit application.

The application requires basic information about the owner, such as full name and address, as well as information about the bearded dragon, such as breed and size.

Additionally, the application requires a veterinarian’s signature verifying that the animal is healthy and free from disease. After completing the application, the owner must submit it to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, along with any applicable fees.

Once all documents and payments are received, the applicant will receive a permit, allowing them to legally own the bearded dragon in the State of Texas.

Permit Applications

With the state laws and permit regulations in mind, the process of applying for and obtaining a permit for owning a bearded dragon in Texas can be undertaken.

In order to apply for a permit, one must fill out a detailed application which outlines the bearded dragon owner’s purpose for owning the reptile, the dates and times of when the owner plans to have the bearded dragon, the location of where the owner plans to keep the bearded dragon, and the species of the bearded dragon.

It is important to provide accurate information on the application to ensure the permit is approved.

The application must also include a valid and government-issued identification card, such as a driver’s license, as well as proof of residency. After the application is submitted, the permitting authority will review the application and decide if the request is approved.

If approved, the owner will be issued a permit with certain restrictions in place that must be adhered to. It is important to follow all the restrictions outlined in the permit to ensure the bearded dragon is kept in a safe and healthy environment.

What Are the Penalties for Owning a Bearded Dragon without a Permit in Texas?

Bearded Dragon
Credit: Mark Florence

The consequences of keeping a bearded dragon without a permit in Texas can be severe. Fines and other penalties may be imposed if an owner is found to be in violation of the law. Legal requirements must also be met, or the owner may face further consequences. Owners must be aware of the potential repercussions of owning a bearded dragon without the appropriate permits.

Penalties for Owning a Bearded Dragon

Having discussed the necessary procedures for obtaining a permit for a bearded dragon in Texas, it is also important to consider the penalties for not adhering to the legal requirements.

The penalties for owning a bearded dragon without a permit can be severe and vary depending on the individual’s situation. In most cases, the owner will be required to pay a fine to the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and may even face criminal charges.

The fines for keeping a bearded dragon without a permit in Texas vary depending on the circumstances, but can be as high as $500. Furthermore, if a person is found to be in possession of multiple bearded dragons, they may face criminal charges, including a $4,000 fine and up to one year in prison.

In some cases, the owner may also be required to surrender their bearded dragon to the state and pay for their care while the animal is in the state’s custody. Additionally, the owner may be prohibited from owning any other animals in the future.

It is therefore essential to be aware of the legal requirements for possessing a bearded dragon in Texas and to secure the necessary permit before acquiring the animal. By doing so, owners can avoid costly fines and possible criminal charges.

Having an understanding of the legal requirements when owning a bearded dragon in Texas is key. In Texas, the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries requires that any person who possesses, sells, or imports any live reptile or amphibian must obtain a permit from the Wildlife Department.

This permit is issued to an individual and is not transferable, meaning that when the permit holder leaves the state or passes away, the permit becomes invalid. In addition, the permit must be renewed annually.

It is important that the permit holder abides by all the conditions of the permit and that the permit is kept up to date. Those who fail to do so may be subject to fines and penalties.

Fines for Keeping a Bearded Dragon without a Permit

Having obtained the required permit for owning a bearded dragon, it is important to understand the consequences of not having a permit. Fines are often imposed for keeping a bearded dragon without a permit, which can be costly and may impact one’s ability to own a bearded dragon in the future.

The severity of the fine is determined by the county or local jurisdiction and can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars. Moreover, unauthorized possession of a bearded dragon may result in the confiscation of the animal, along with the possibility of criminal charges being filed.

Therefore, it is essential to adhere to the legal requirements of owning a bearded dragon and to always obtain a permit prior to keeping one.

What Are the Restrictions for Owning a Bearded Dragon in Texas?

It is important to adhere to all local regulations when owning a bearded dragon in Texas. Obtaining a permit is essential to ensure all restrictions are understood and followed. Additionally, proper enclosure and local restrictions must be considered to provide a healthy and safe environment for the reptile.


A startling reality for many is that owning a bearded dragon in Texas requires a permit. Although this may be surprising, it is an important law to ensure the safety and welfare of the animal.

These permits are issued by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and must be obtained prior to purchasing a bearded dragon or any other native reptile in the state. The permit ensures that the animal is properly cared for and the seller is registered with the department.

Permits must be renewed annually and records must be kept regarding the sale and purchase of any reptiles. Without these permits, the consequences can be severe, with hefty fines and potential jail time for those found guilty.

Local Restrictions

Continuing on the subject of owning a bearded dragon in Texas, it is important to be aware of the local restrictions that may be in place. Depending on the municipality, certain exotic animals may be banned altogether, or there may be specific regulations for their care and handling.

It is important to research local laws before purchasing a bearded dragon, as fines and other penalties may be imposed for violations. Additionally, some cities may require permits for the keeping of exotic animals, so it is important to check with the local authorities to ensure that all laws are followed.

Thus, owners of bearded dragons should always be mindful of local laws and obtain all necessary permits in order to avoid potential legal trouble.

Proper Enclosure

It is of utmost importance to keep bearded dragons in a safe and secure environment. Without proper enclosure, bearded dragons are at risk of injury, exposure to predators, and the spread of disease.

To ensure their safety, it is important to provide the bearded dragon with an enclosure that is at least four times the size of the dragon and has enough space for the dragon to move around and climb.

The enclosure should also be securely locked at all times to prevent escape. Additionally, the enclosure should be equipped with high-quality UVB lighting, a thermostat, and a basking platform for the dragon to bask in the warmth and light.

Adequate food and water should also be provided, as well as toys to keep the dragon entertained. By following these rules, the safety of the bearded dragon can easily be ensured.

In addition to the many popular exotic animals that call Texas home, such as macaws and lizards, it is also legal to own fennec foxes, hedgehogs, and camels.

These unique creatures can offer a unique pet experience with their own distinct personalities and behaviors. For those looking for a truly exotic experience, these animals offer a unique and memorable experience.

Fennec Foxes

While owning a bearded dragon in Texas requires a few restrictions, taking home a fennec fox makes for an equally exotic, yet surprisingly easier, pet-owning experience.

The small desert-dwelling foxes, originating from North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, are popular for their distinctive, oversized ears and their adorable size. Although they are not native to the Lone Star State, it is legal to own them as pets.

Fennec foxes can make a great pet for those who have the proper care and environment. They are active pets that require a lot of playtime and mental stimulation, but they are not as destructive as other fox species.

A fennec fox needs a large enclosure with plenty of hiding spots and a diet that consists of a variety of proteins and vegetables. With the right amount of space, food, and care, these little foxes can make a great companion for any pet owner in Texas.


In addition to owning a bearded dragon, Texans have the opportunity to own other exotic animals, such as the sweet and spunky hedgehog. These small mammals are relatively low-maintenance and provide hours of entertainment.

Hedgehogs require a spacious and secure habitat, with substrate that is safe for them to burrow in. An ideal habitat would have an appropriate temperature range and plenty of areas for them to hide when they become startled.

Hedgehogs are relatively low-maintenance pets, needing a healthy diet of commercial dry food, occasional mealworms, and fresh veggies.

Hedgehogs are social animals and will need plenty of interaction from their owners. They can be trained to recognize their names, to come when called, and to walk on a leash.

They have an array of funny behaviors, like the ability to pop and un-pop their spines when they become startled, and to run around their cage as if they are on wheels. If they are properly handled and cared for, hedgehogs can make excellent pets.


Apart from owning a bearded dragon in Texas, another exotic animal that may come to mind is the camel. This unusual animal is legally allowed to be owned in Texas, with certain restrictions in place. Camels are large and regal animals, and they have a unique history in the state of Texas.

Camels can be found in several places across the Lone Star state. Most are kept as livestock on ranches, but there are also some that live on private property. These camels have to be registered with the state in order to be legally owned, and owners must also make sure that the camels are kept in a safe and humane environment.

The state also requires that all camels be vaccinated against rabies and other diseases. Additionally, owners must make sure that the camels are not allowed to roam freely on public lands.

For those interested in owning a camel, Texas does have a few breeders that specialize in these animals. These breeders offer a variety of camel types, from dromedaries to Bactrian camels. Potential owners should always make sure to do their research and to make sure that they understand the regulations and restrictions that come with owning a camel in Texas.

What Is a Usda-Licensed Facility and How Can One Start It?

Starting a USDA-licensed facility can be a lengthy process, beginning with understanding the regulations. These regulations are put in place to ensure the quality of the facility and the safety of the food products produced.

The application process for a USDA-licensed facility requires an in-depth look into the applicant’s background and operations. Once the facility is approved, it can open its doors to the public and take advantage of the benefits of being USDA-licensed.

Usda-Licensed Facility Regulations

The discussion of exotic animal ownership in Texas brings us to the topic of USDA-licensed facilities. A USDA-licensed facility is a designated area that is officially certified by the United States Department of Agriculture.

These facilities are required to follow strict regulations that ensure the safety of the animals and the public, as well as the humane treatment of animals.

In order to qualify as a USDA-licensed facility, an individual must meet certain criteria. The facility must have adequate space for the animals, a secure perimeter, and a secure environment.

The facility must also be equipped with appropriate veterinary care, proper nutrition, and a veterinarian familiar with the species of animals being housed. Additionally, the facility must be able to provide a safe and sanitary environment, as well as adequate housing for the animals.

The process for obtaining a USDA-licensed facility requires an application, which must be submitted to the appropriate USDA regional office. The individual must provide documentation of the facility’s qualifications, such as the size and specifications of the area, as well as any safety protocols that will be implemented.

The USDA will then inspect the facility to ensure it meets its standards. Once approved, the facility will receive a USDA-licensed facility number, which is used to track and document all activities related to the facility.

The benefits of obtaining a USDA-licensed facility are numerous. These facilities are a safer option for exotic pet owners, as they are regulated and monitored to ensure the safety of the animals and the public.

They are more likely to have higher standards for animal care and nutrition, which can lead to better health outcomes for the animals. Finally, a USDA-licensed facility may be more attractive to pet owners looking to purchase exotic animals, as the credibility of the facility is backed by the government.

Usda-Licensed Facility Application Process

Stepping away from exotic animals, it is important to understand the regulations and application process of obtaining a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)-licensed facility. A USDA-licensed facility is a place where animals are kept and bred and it must meet certain standards to be licensed.

The application process to get a USDA-licensed facility is a lengthy and often complex process. Anyone wishing to apply must begin by submitting a written application to the USDA. The application must include detailed information about the proposed facility, including the purpose of the facility, the type of animals to be kept, and the proposed housing for the animals.

The application should also include a detailed plan for the care and management of the animals, such as veterinary services, nutrition, and sanitation, as well as a financial plan for the facility.

After the application is submitted, the USDA will conduct an on-site inspection to ensure the proposed facility meets the necessary standards. If accepted, the applicant will be issued a license and registration number, which must be displayed at the facility.

Overall, the process of obtaining a USDA-licensed facility is time-consuming and requires a great deal of preparation. However, having a USDA-licensed facility can bring many benefits, such as the ability to transport animals across state lines and to participate in national animal shows.

Benefits of a Usda-Licensed Facility

Moving on from the topic of exotic animals, the benefits of owning or running a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)-licensed facility are vast. Not only does it open up a wide array of animals, but it also allows for some very unique opportunities.

Becoming a USDA-licensed facility means that you can provide care, handling, and transport of certain animals for a variety of purposes, including research, exhibition, breeding, and sale.

The benefits of becoming a USDA-licensed facility are numerous. Not only does it give you the ability to provide care to and handle a wide variety of animals, but it also allows you to be involved in unique activities such as teaching, research, and education.

You will have access to veterinary care and specialized diets, which are both essential for the well-being of the animals. Furthermore, you will be able to provide a higher quality of care than what could be provided in a typical pet shop or zoo.

This means that the animals at your facility will be healthier and happier, which can be beneficial for both the animals and your customers.