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Bearded dragons can be relatively expensive, but the upfront cost of buying one is insignificant in comparison to its long-term housing, food, and medical costs. The price of a bearded dragon includes a large enclosure to keep the animal secure, plus various heating options to ensure its comfort. In addition, bearded dragons need food such as crickets, meal worms, and mice. Their medical costs typically include at least one exam per year, plus the cost of unexpected injuries or illnesses.
The price of a bearded dragon depends on where the animal is purchased. Buying directly from a breeder is usually cheaper than buying from a large chain pet store. A lot of pet stores buy from breeders, then mark up the price of the bearded dragon to make a profit. Some places also have pet stores that only sell reptiles, which might be more reputable and cheaper than a pet store that sells puppies, reptiles, and rodents.
Bearded dragon enclosures are sometimes the most expensive purchase. The size of the enclosure greatly affects its price. Bearded dragons like to move around a lot, so in general, larger aquariums are best.
This type of animal needs some sort of lighting. Without light, bearded dragons become prone to certain diseases and lose their appetite. The fixtures and bulbs can be pricey and do not last forever. In addition, leaving a light on most of the day contributes to a home’s power bill.
The price of a bearded dragon is increased by the necessity of controlling their temperature. Bearded dragons require varying temperatures to remain healthy, depending on the time of day and age of the lizard. Ceramic heat emitters, heating pads, and other devices can be used to control a bearded dragon’s temperature. Prices vary, but the devices that offer the most reliability and control usually cost more.
Bearded dragons should be looked over every 12 months by a veterinarian skilled in working with exotic pets. With a clean bill of health, bearded dragon owners are usually only charged for the visit. If something is wrong with the pet, the cost of medicine or surgery can be significant.
Food requirements increase the overall price of a bearded dragon. People used to keeping pets such as fish or birds are sometimes unprepared for the complication and cost associated with lizards. Meal worms and crickets are typical bearded dragon food, along with other small insects, but baby mice can be used as well. The size and difficulty of the food choices are usually adjusted based on the age of the bearded dragon being fed.