Getting a Bearded Dragon?
~ Here’s What You’ll Need to Get Right Away~
This post is sponsored by petMD Reptile Center®, and the BlogPaws Professional Pet Blogger Network. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Reptile Ownership, but ANIMAL BLISS only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. petMD and PetSmart are not responsible for the content of this article.
You’re getting a Bearded Dragon?
I’m so excited for you!
Before getting a bearded dragon, I advice you to be responsible and do your research about their specialized needs and requirements. It is imperative that you have the housing and lighting before you bring him home. Don’t wait until after you’ve brought the dragon, or “beardie,” home to figure out what they need. A beardie has complex needs, and although it is considered the ideal pet for a reptile newbie, it does have strict requirements that cannot be left to chance.
This post will give you a fairly good idea of what supplies you will have to purchase upfront, as well as ongoing necessities, and what you can expect the costs to be for keeping a bearded dragon.
The new petMD Reptile Center is a great resource for learning more about your bearded dragon too!
The Bearded Dragon Minimum Setup
- 20 Gallon Aquarium, Minimum, for Babies and Juveniles (approx. $150-$200. USD)
- 40 Gallon or Larger for Juveniles-Adults (approx. $350. USD)
- Paper towels is a good, inexpensive, way to start. If (when) it gets soiled, simply lift the dirty part and replace.
- Sand Mats are a good choice and allows the dragon to have a good grip.
- If you want a prettier floor, slate tiles are perfect. You can get 12 x 12 tiles at your local hardware store. They will cut pieces for you too, so have your measurements ready before you go. (approx. $2-$10 each)
- DO NOT USE SAND or loose substrate! Some pet stores still recommend sand, and you can buy terrarium kits that include sand. Throw it away. Your bearded dragon will ingest it, little by little, and this may cause impaction time in the future. This can be FATAL and is not worth it.
Lighting (crucial must-have):
- ReptiSun T5 HO – Min. 24” Hood
- The Zoo Med ReptiSun T5 HO 36” Hood
- ReptiSun T5 HO 34” 10.0
- UVB Lighting
Heat (must-have for when house temperatures drop below 65° F at night):
- Mini Deep Dome
- Ceramic Heat Emitter
- Wattage will depend on the size of the tank, as well as how far away the basking spot is from the bulb. For most 20 and 40 gallon enclosures, a 75-100 Watt bulb will do.
- See Bearded Dragon Fax for more on this topic.
- Digital Thermometer, Repti Temp Gun, or Thermo/Hygro Combo Meter (must-have)
- Climbing Structures (must-have)
- Basking Platform (must-have)
- Food/Water Dishes (must-have)
- Repti Hammock (optional)
- Hide (optional, but beardies really like these)
- Reptile Safe Terrarium Cleaner (should have)
- Other optional furnishings, plants, etc.
- Multivitamin w/D3 or SuperVite (must-have)
- Calcium (crucial must-have)
- See Bearded Dragon Fax for more
Bearded Dragon Food:
- Dragons are omnivore, meaning they eat bugs and greens. Find out what they can, and cannot, eat. Know what’s toxic and keep your dragons safe. For example, if a Dragon eats a firefly, it could die within hours. Here’s a general list:
- Crickets, Dubia Roaches, Phoenix Worms, Hornworms, Superworms, Silkworms
- Greens should have a high Calcium to Phosphorus Ca:P ratio and be low in oxalic acid.
- The best greens are collard greens, mustard greens, turnip greens, endive, escarole, kale, dandelion greens, komatsuna, prickly pear cactus, afalfa leaf, hibuscus leaf, mulberry leaf, and winter squashes such as butternut squash.
- Refer to What Should Bearded Dragons be Fed? for more on this topic.
Getting a Bearded Dragon is a big decision, and not one to be taken lightly. Many people don’t realize that a dragon can live 10-12 years. Please give it a lot of thought to avoid one day deciding it’s not for you.
Along with the purchase of your bearded dragon (approx. $40-$150), you can expect to pay, on the generous side, up to $500 for your supplies, depending on your budget. You don’t have to buy everything at once, but do have the essentials — the tank, lights, heat and food.
Don’t forget all the ongoing costs as well, such as the food, lights, and supplements. Oh, and vet bills!
Finding a veterinarian that works with reptiles is important too. Not all vets fit this bill, so be prepared for an emergency by looking for one now. Ask another reptile owner, call vets, look online. You want one that is familiar with these animals.
NOTE: There are many bearded dragons at rescues that are needing homes. You can also find these by asking around, or looking online. One good place to start is Petfinder.com
You might also like to read: Reptiles as Pets : Things You Should Know
A QUESTION FOR YOU:
Are you getting a Bearded Dragon?
Do you already have one?
Tell me about it.
*** Leave a comment below and remember to share. ***
It’s just sexy!
As always, thank you for taking the time to visit my blog!
♥ PEACE ♥
Latest posts by Jeanne Melanson (see all)
- Common Pet Diseases – How to Prevent Them (Infographic) - June 17, 2018
- Ultimate Dog Grooming Guide Infographic - June 16, 2018
- Why Your Next Pet Should Be a Guinea Pig - June 11, 2018