How much do bearded dragons cost? is a question we often get, so we have decided to write a post about it. First, we will discuss how much a bearded dragon costs, then the initial setup, and then we will get down to the monthly cost of sustaining that dragon.
Bearded Dragon Cost
The bearded dragon has nine subspecies, three of which are sold as pets:
- The Pogona vitticeps is the most common pet species and costs around $40 to $75.
- The central species is also a popular pet, with prices ranging from $50 to $80.
- 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.
How Much Do Bearded Dragons Cost?
When buying a baby bearded dragon from a pet store, expect to pay between $40 and $75. Adults are more expensive since the expense of care increases over time, and the difficult part of feeding juveniles is over.
Morph variations are another factor that affects the price. There are over 20 bearded dragons morphs, all with different price ranges. Their price is affected by color, pattern, scalation, or size.
The most costly bearded dragon is a zero morph that can cost $900.
|Standard or Common (e.g. Tan or Dark Brown)||$40 – $75|
|Red (e.g. Red, Dark Ruby, Sandfire Red)||$50 – $300|
|Orange Morph (e.g. Citrus Tiger, Sandfire, Tangerine, Sunburst)||$100 – $200|
|Silkback||$100 – $200|
|Yellow Morph (e.g. Citrus, Lemon Fire, Olive, Sandfire Gold)||$100 – $300|
|Leatherback||$100 – $500|
|Hypomelanistic Morph (e.g. Pastel)||$100 – $900|
|Translucent Morph (e.g. Blue, Green, Purple, or Polar)||$200 – $450|
|Dunner||$300 – $500|
|Zero Morph (e.g. Snow or Pure white)||$300 – $900|
Common Bearded Dragon Prices
Common Bearded Dragon pets are typically brown or tan. They are commonly found in pet stores and easily bred in captivity, costing only 40 to 75 US dollars, depending on their age.
They feature spikes alongside their torso, arrow-shaped heads, and white bellies.
Pro Tip: If you want a standard bearded dragon, consider adopting one. Brown or tan beardies can be easily found in reptile recuse organizations.
How Much Is A Red Bearded Dragon?
The term “red” refers to a wide variety of shades and colors. A bearded dragon is considered red if it has pink to deep maroon coloration.
Their price ranges from $150 to $300. The deeper the shade of red, the higher the price (e.g., Dark Ruby).
Red bearded dragons are not generally found at a regular pet store.
Only little dots of red appear naturally on the tan or brown body of a common Bearded Dragon. Achieving a vivid red coloration requires years of careful breeding.
To adopt this species, you’ll need to find a private breeder specializing in red.
Orange Bearded Dragon Price
Orange bearded dragons are created by mating red and yellow morphs together. They range in price from $100 to $200.
They’re famous for their wide range of color dulling and brightening, which varies depending on their mood and environment:
- They turn red with orange pops on their legs, spine, and head when they are excited or hot.
- They will be a mellow yellow-orange color when relaxed.
- They can also turn darker grayish-brown when stressed or cold.
Note: This species is generally advertised as a “fancy dragon” at pet stores, but it is usually only available from private breeders.
Yellow Bearded Dragon Price
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. These morphs cost between $100 to $300 and can only be purchased from individual breeders.
Their yellow color ranges from a faint tan to a bright yellow or light orange.
It will be a bright yellow if it is nearly patternless.
One of the reasons why yellow bearded dragons are so popular is because they retain their beautiful color for life.
Zero bearded dragon morphs are the closest to albino. Albinos, in their purest form, do not survive more than a few days due to their inability to absorb UVA/B rays for metabolic function.
Zero morphs are the most costly bearded dragons, costing between $300 and $900 because of their strong resemblance to Albinos.
The zeros are a silver-white tint with no patterns.
Witblits resemble Zero morphs but are tan-white rather than silver-white. Witblits also don’t have any patterns and cost $300 – $800.
Weros are a cross between a witblit and a zero, costing somewhere between $300 to $700.
Hypomelanistic bearded dragons are morphs that lack melanin.
Hypomelanistic morphs can have any hue, pattern, or scalation pattern, but they appear pale. This means you’ll be able to find pastel colors.
Their price is usually determined by other morph factors such as scalation or color.
Translucent morphs are dragons with translucent scales. Their translucent scales give them a blue coloration on their bodies, which is visible on their bellies.
This blue hue is only present during the juvenile stage and slowly fades away as they grow. They are pretty popular among breeders and may be acquired for $100 to $450.
Standard bearded dragons are covered in scales and spikes.
Scalation morphs lose spikes and have smaller scales. A bearded dragon’s pigmentation will appear more brilliant with fewer scales.
Scalation morphs are classified into three categories:
Leatherbacks have a mutation that results in extremely thin scales and reduced spikes on their backs and tails.
Leatherbacks cost around $100 – $500.
Microscales are bred by matting two leatherbacks. They have significantly smaller scales and no spikes on their backs.
Microscale morph will cost you somewhere between $100 and $500.
Silkbacks don’t have any spikes or scales. They have paper-thin skin, and because of this, they cost less than the other scalation morphs.
A silkback typically costs between $100–$200.
Due to their absence of scales, they are unable to metabolize naturally.
Additionally, they require numerous environmental modifications and dietary supplements to stay alive. We recommend avoiding this morph.
Kevin Dunn first founded this unique morph, which is still very popular.
Dunners variants are extremely rare, difficult to breed, and highly specialized.
They cost between $300 and $500.
They have distinct scalation and coloring characteristics.
Their scales are disorganized and turn outwards rather than aligning and pointing downward. Additionally, they have diagonal stripes.
A Dunner may have a noticeable “S” shaped line running down its spine.
The German Giants are the largest bearded dragons kept as pets.
They are the only true-size morph available and cost between $300 and $500.
Giant Morphs are created through selective breeding of the world’s largest beardies.
Bearded Dragon Cost of Ownership
Setting up a Bearded Dragon’s habitat might cost anywhere from $200 to $1,100. This varies depending on the size and type of tank you purchase and the quality of the equipment you get.
Along with the initial setup costs, you’ll have monthly costs of $50–100 for food and heating and annual costs of $100–200 for replacement bulbs and veterinarian appointments.
One way to save some money is to get a kit. These all-in-one kits are OK for baby dragons. However, we don’t recommend it because you will have to upgrade to a bigger tank as your beardie grows.
Typical kits cost around $300 and contain 50-gallon glass tanks. These kits are usually suitable only for babies. Once your pet is fully matured, you’ll need to upgrade to a 120-gallon tank. In addition, the equipment that comes with the kit is not always of good quality.
Initial One-Off Setup Cost: $200 – $1000
Getting your bearded dragon is only half of the battle. You must set up your beardie’s new enclosure before bringing it home.
This is where the majority of your initial expenses will be incurred. Below is a complete list of things you will need to buy before bringing your pet bearded dragon home.
|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|
The enclosure will almost certainly be the most expensive single item. Bearded dragons require a large habitat with plenty of room to exercise.
Expert Tip: Upgrading your enclosure later will cost you more money, so getting a larger one from the beginning is a good idea.
There is a range of enclosures available in the market. You should expect to pay $100 to $150 for a simple reptile tank. On the other hand, a high-quality vivarium-style enclosure will cost you at least $300 or more.
It would be best if you also got a screen lid that fits tightly. You’ll have to pay an extra $30 or so for this.
The best way to save some money on enclosures is to find a used one. If you get a used tank, properly sanitize it before setting it up.
We recommend the Zen Habitat Reptile enclosure. It is simply the best enclosure available for bearded dragons.
Fixtures & Lighting
You’ll need to purchase lighting and fixtures to provide a suitable environment for your lizard. Bearded dragons require both basking and UV lamps.
The basking lamp is used to generate heat. Make sure to get a good quality basking light rather than relying on cheap incandescent bulbs.
The light fixture costs $15 – $30 depending on the quality of the clip or security mechanism that comes with it.
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The lamp, on the other hand, is more expensive. However, it’s an essential aspect of the tank setup that you can’t ignore. The UV lamp helps bearded dragons synthesize calcium properly and stay healthy.
UV light fixtures range from $20 to $30 on average. The bulb alone will cost you approximately $20. Bulbs might cost more than $50 if you have a larger tank.
Those figures reflect the cost of reptile-specific fixtures and bulbs. A hardware store may be able to provide the equipment for a slightly lower price.
- Made of high-quality glass.
- With 97% UVA stimulates appetite and 3% UVB to promote vitamin D3 synthesis
- Simple and easy to install
- This heat lamp’s input voltage is AC 110-120V, power is 75-Watts
It’s critical to choose the correct substrate for your bearded dragon! A substrate covers the base of an enclosure. Because this is what your beardie will come into contact with, you should spend time choosing the correct material.
Bearded dragon owners have a lot of disagreements about what substrate is best for beardies.
You can use many substrates, like newspaper or premium slate tiles. But Generally, one of the better choices is a reptile carpet. You can get it for a few bucks from amazon or any other store.
- A low maintenance bedding
- Safe because it cannot be digested like other substrates
- Treated to reduce odors
- Easy to clean with cold tap water
- Absorbent, non-abrasive material will not irritate reptiles
The ambient temperature may be sufficient for a bearded dragon to thrive if you live in a warm climate. You’ll need additional heat sources if nighttime temps drop below 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
At night, basking lights will not work. Because these lizards require a traditional day/night cycle, you need to get ceramic heating elements.
An excellent ceramic heat emitter will cost you somewhere between $15 to $25.
- Made of solid ceramics element
- Simple and easy to install
- 24 hour heat source with 100% heat efficiency
- Perfect for reptiles and amphibians
A bearded dragon’s home is not complete without adding a few furniture and decoration items. The proper habitat setup will improve your lizard’s quality of life and help them live longer.
When it comes to habitat decoration, there’s a lot of wiggle room. You can go as complex or as simple as you want!
A must-have for beardies is a feeding bowl, a water bowl, a few hiding places, some toys, and a few places to relax. A hammock, a climbing branch, and a basking area are good relaxation accessories.
These are just a few simple pieces of furniture that might help your bearded dragon feel more comfortable. There’s no reason why you can’t get more! Artificial plants, caves, and various natural decor can be added to a bigger enclosure.
The remainder is up to personal preference as long as you’ve covered all essentials. On average, you should expect to spend $30 to $150 on furniture.
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.
- Accurate temperature indication
- Single-button operated
- Remote sensor
- Minimum/Maximum memory
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.
- 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
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.
- 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
Monthly Costs: $50 – $100
The two high monthly costs to consider when keeping a bearded dragon are electricity and food.
Feeding juveniles is more expensive, but it gets cheaper as they age and start eating fewer insects and more vegetables!
|Insects||$25 – $60|
|Vegetables (some fruits too)||$15 – $30|
|Electricity||$10 – $15|
|Total||$50 – $105|
Yearly Costs: $100 – $200
The yearly costs of keeping bearded dragons as pets include the replacement of bulbs and supplements and visiting vets. It’s essential to take your beardie for an annual check-up because vets can identify health issues that you may not have noticed.
|50 – 75 Watt UVA Basking Bulb x2||$8 – $15|
|T5 (High Output) UVB tube light x2||$15 – $30|
|Calcium and Vitamin Supplements x2||$10 – $15|
|Annual Vet Checkup||$75 – $140|
|Total||$100 – $200|
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.
You should avoid wild-caught beardies at all costs. The best place to buy a bearded dragon is reptile expos.
A common bearded dragon costs between $40 to $75, but adults will cost more.
Have fun keeping bearded dragons.