Baby bearded dragons, also known as hatchlings or juveniles, are popular pets due to their unique appearance, manageable size, and friendly demeanor.
The cost of a baby bearded dragon varies depending on where you purchase it and its morph variation.
On average, a baby bearded dragon costs between $40 and $75 when purchased from a pet store
Factors Affecting the Cost of a Baby Bearded Dragon
Several factors can influence the price of a baby bearded dragon:
Breed and Morph
The breed and morph of a bearded dragon can significantly impact its cost. Rare or highly sought-after morphs, such as those with unique colors or patterns, can be more expensive than more common types.
The age of a bearded dragon may also affect its price. Younger dragons are typically more expensive than older ones, as they have more time to grow and develop.
Health and Genetics
Healthy bearded dragons with good genetics will often command a higher price. Reputable breeders will ensure their animals are healthy and genetically strong, which can increase the cost.
Location and Availability
The cost of a baby bearded dragon can vary depending on your location and the availability of dragons in your area. In regions with limited availability, prices may be higher.
Initial Cost of a Baby Bearded Dragon
The initial cost of a baby bearded dragon can range from $40 to $400 or more, depending on factors such as breed, morph, age, health, and location. It’s essential to research breeders and pet stores to ensure you’re purchasing a healthy animal.
Costs of Housing and Accessories
In addition to the initial cost of the bearded dragon itself, you’ll also need to invest in housing and accessories:
A suitable enclosure for a baby bearded dragon will cost between $100 and $300, depending on the size and materials. As your dragon grows, you may need to upgrade to a larger enclosure.
Lighting and Heating
Bearded dragons require proper lighting and heating to thrive. You’ll need to invest in a UVB light, basking light, and a heat source. These items can cost between $50 and $150.
Substrate and Decorations
Substrate (bedding) and decorations, such as hides and climbing branches, are necessary for your bearded dragon’s comfort and well-being. These items can range from $30 to $100, depending on the type and quality of the products you choose.
Costs of Feeding a Baby Bearded Dragon
Proper nutrition is essential for a baby bearded dragon’s growth and development. The costs associated with feeding your pet can vary depending on its diet:
A baby bearded dragon’s staple diet consists of live insects, such as crickets and dubia roaches, and fresh vegetables. The cost of insects can range from $10 to $30 per month, while vegetables may cost an additional $10 to $20 per month.
Treats and Supplements
Occasional treats, like waxworms and hornworms, and vitamin and mineral supplements are essential for your bearded dragon’s health. Expect to spend an additional $5 to $15 per month on these items.
Ongoing Care Costs
Aside from housing, accessories, and feeding, there are other ongoing costs associated with bearded dragon ownership:
Regular veterinary check-ups and treatments for illnesses or injuries can add up over time. Annual check-ups may cost between $50 and $100, while treatment for illnesses or injuries can range from $100 to several hundred dollars, depending on the severity.
Electricity and Maintenance
Electricity costs for heating and lighting your bearded dragon’s enclosure can range from $10 to $30 per month. Additionally, you’ll need to budget for occasional replacement of lighting and heating equipment, as well as cleaning supplies.
Total Cost of Ownership
Considering all the factors mentioned above, the total cost of owning a baby bearded dragon can range from $1,000 to $3,000 or more for the first year, and between $500 and $1,000 annually thereafter. These estimates can vary widely depending on your specific situation and choices.
Tips for Saving Money on Bearded Dragon Care
To save money on bearded dragon care, consider the following tips:
- Purchase a used enclosure and accessories in good condition.
- Buy insects and vegetables in bulk or grow your own.
- Research and compare prices for veterinary care in your area.
- Choose energy-efficient lighting and heating options.
- Learn about proper care to prevent health issues that can result in costly treatments.
The cost of owning a baby bearded dragon can vary widely, depending on factors such as breed, morph, age, and location, as well as the costs of housing, feeding, and ongoing care. By understanding the expenses associated with bearded dragon ownership and following the tips provided, you can budget accordingly and provide the best possible care for your new pet.
Can I buy a baby bearded dragon online?
Yes, many reputable breeders sell bearded dragons online. Make sure to research the breeder thoroughly and read reviews before making a purchase.
How long do bearded dragons live?
With proper care, bearded dragons can live for 10 to 15 years or more.
Can I keep more than one bearded dragon in the same enclosure?
It’s generally not recommended to house multiple bearded dragons together, as they can become territorial and aggressive toward each other.
What size enclosure does a baby bearded dragon need?
A baby bearded dragon requires a minimum enclosure size of 20 gallons, but upgrading to a 40-gallon or larger.