Bearded dragons are considered one of the best pet lizards for a beginner. They are fun, friendly, easy to handle and simple to care for.
Many beginners do not know that there are eight different species of Bearded Dragon. Some can be kept as pets and some cannot. Some of these Beardies are just $50 while other species can run to $2,000.
In most cases a beginner should not be spending $2,000 on a bearded dragon! The most common pet species is the Pogona vitticeps which is much cheaper and easy to find in pet stores.
Keep reading to learn how much bearded dragons cost and tips on buying one.
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How Much Is A Bearded Dragon?
Normally a standard (Pogona vitticeps) central bearded dragon costs between $25 and $100.
This species is most commonly kept as a pet and is the cheapest. They can be bought in large pet shops and from reptile breeders.
Many beginners make the mistake of thinking there is only one type of bearded dragon. But there are actually over 8 species and 20 different morphs!
Morphs are color and pattern variations of the central species (Pogona vitticeps). They are typically much more expensive than the standard wild-type beardie. Some morphs like the paradox morph are extremely rare and can sell for over $2,000!
Pet shops may occasionally have a morph for sale, but this is uncommon and they are normally labelled as “fancy”.
Fancy beardies and rare morphs are best left to advanced keepers. As well as being very expensive, morphs can have health problems that require the care of an experienced keeper.
Bearded dragons can live for up to 15 years, so buying the right beardie is important.
A beginner should not make the mistake of buying a bearded dragon that cost more than $100.
Bearded Dragon Cost (Pet Store)
The average price a beginner should pay for a bearded dragon at a pet shop is $60.
At pet shops baby bearded dragons sell for between $45 and $65, while adults sell for $80 to $100. Adult bearded dragons cost more than babies because it is more expensive to care for and feed babies. The cost of caring for them accumulates over time.
A bearded dragon for sale at Petco or PetSmart normally sells for $80. Both stores sell hatchlings between 1-3 months old.
Pet shops normally cannot guarantee the availability of certain ages, sizes, or gender.
Remember that pet shops also sell all of their bearded dragons without pedigree and history. This isn’t to say that these lizards are not good pets or healthy, they are just likely to be a standard (Pogona vitticeps) that grows to a normal size and color.
You may have to do a few trips to your local pet shop before finding the right one for you.
Keep in mind that bearded dragons sold in pet shops may not have had an excellent quality of life. Being transported and placed on display can be stressful.
For that reason, many people like to buy from breeders.
A reputable breeder will be able to provide you with a well-handled, healthy and stress-free lizard. This means your pet will be sociable and calm, which should make your first time owning one fun and easy.
Breeders tend to sell baby bearded dragons for between $50 and $70.
Keep in mind that a breeder selling a bearded dragon with a pedigree or with desirable color genetics will be more expensive. Species, age, color, size, and morph all affect cost.
Bearded Dragon Price List
|Standard (wild-type)||Sandy-brown or grey-brown with darker markings on back.||$25 to $100||Common|
|Reds (citrus, blood, ruby)||Various shades of red, from pale pink to deep red.||$150 to $600||Common|
|Oranges (sunburst, citrus, tangerine)||Various shades of orange, from brownish to bright orange.||$100 to $700||Uncommon|
|Yellows (sandfire, lemon, gold)||Various shades of yellow, from pale, sandy yellow to bright yellow.||$200 to $700||Common|
|Green or Olive||Similar to wild-type, with a green tinge.||$100 to $250||Common|
|Blue||Blue or violet color over the entire body, or blue barring patterns.||$100 to $300||Uncommon|
|Hypomelanistic||Pale, pastel-colored.||$100 to $400||Uncommon|
|Leatherback||No spikes on the back.||$100 to $800||Uncommon|
|Silkback||No spikes.||$80 to $250||Uncommon|
|Translucent||Often a lighter body color than wild-type with clear spikes.||$150 to $700||Uncommon|
|Dunner||Similar to wild-type, but with highly varied markings.||$100 to $800||Uncommon|
|Witblit||Pale with no markings. Can come in different colors.||$100 to $700||Uncommon|
|Zero||Lacks any color and patterns.||$300 to $2,000||Rare|
|Paradox||Splotches of different colors.||$350 to $2,000||Rare|
These lizards have some of the most interesting color and pattern variations. The cost of a bearded dragon will change depending on its color phase and morph.
Standard (Wild Type)
By far the most common and affordable is the classic Pogona vitticeps. This species is also known as the central or wild-type. It is a great choice for a beginner due to its docile nature and ease of care.
Wild-types are a grey-brown or sandy brown color with darker mottling on the back and head. This color makes it well camouflaged in woodlands, coastal dunes, heathland, and deserts in Australia.
This species also has small spines on their jaws, legs, and backs.
These bearded dragons sell for between $25 and $100 at pet shops or from breeders.
One beloved morph is the hypomelanistic, or hypo for short.
Hypo morphs cannot produce dark pigments, so they are a light, pastel color. Their patterns are less visible and their claws are also clear instead of black or brown.
Hypos sell for $100 and $400 and are generally sold by specialized breeders.
One of the most unique species is the silkback morph. This interesting morph has no spines or spikes. Their lack of spines and small scales means they often have health problems such as difficulty shedding, increased chance of sunburn, dehydration, and reduced immunity. Because of this they have one of the cheaper bearded dragon price tags at $80 to $250.
Another popular morph is the leatherback. Like the Silkback this morph also does not have spines on its back. The lack of spines make the red color on their back especially bright.
Leatherbacks can cost as little as $100, but most are generally $500 to $800 depending on their breeding.
A favorite and fun morph is the citrus. Citrus beardies are yellow, but this can vary from pale yellow with patterns to a bright, solid yellow. Some citrus morphs have faint patterns of other colors like white, blue, and pink.
On average they will cost about $150 and 200, but bright citrus morphs can sell for up to $700. A brighter, more vibrant lizard will generally cost more.
The most expensive bearded dragons are the zero and paradox morphs. These two morphs are incredibly rare and sell for between $800 and $1,200.
Perhaps the most striking is the paradox morph.
These morphs have blotches of two different colors. The most common morphs are red and white, but they can also be yellow and blue, or blue and red.
Breeding two hypo translucent morphs together can be tricky as a hypo translucent pairing can create offspring with health issues. Due to this they are extremely rare and difficult to breed.
Are Bearded Dragons Expensive?
Bearded dragons are not an expensive lizard because they are so easy to breed and care for.
Females can lay up to 20-25 eggs in a clutch and can lay several clutches over the breeding season. Hatchlings also grow to maturity fairly quickly. These two factors make bearded dragons very cheap.
They have become such a popular pet lizard that it is easy to find captive-bred species.
For a beginner we recommend buying a central Pogona vitticeps from a private breeder. You should expect to pay a breeder $50 to $70 for a baby. You should know it is illegal to buy bearded dragons from the wild.
A lot of factors will determine the bearded dragon cost, including:
- Color or Morph
Regardless of if you buy a bearded dragon from a pet shop or breeder, you will find that older and bigger species are more expensive. A well-handled, docile lizard will also cost more than one that is not used to being handled.
This is because someone has invested their time and money raising a bearded dragon to full size and adjusting it to handling.
The price of males and females is normally similar. However, many breeders sell females for a slightly higher price simply because the females can be bred.
Buying from a breeder will give you a better chance of buying one that is well-adjusted, docile and healthy. Some will even help and give you husbandry advice and setup tips to help your beardie thrive.
Always take care to ask questions of a private seller or breeder.
Focus on asking questions about their health, such as whether they have had any parasite infections or problems eating. You can also ask the seller if they would be comfortable having the beardie examined by a vet before buying.
A good breeder should:
- Have great knowledge about breeding, genetics, care and husbandry.
- Show good communication skills.
- Be upfront about reptiles currently in their care (i.e. show photos or give you a tour of the facility).
- Give customer support and advice.
Is It Expensive To Own A Bearded Dragon?
Bearded dragons are cheap to buy and easy to care for, but you will need to spend a little extra when setting up their tank. Purchasing equipment makes the initial bearded dragon cost and setup quite expensive.
You should expect to spend $500 to $1,000 on their tank setup.
After this they are generally a cheap pet to care for.
|75-gallon tank||$400 to $800|
|Light/ UVB Heat Lamp Fixture and Dome||$25 to $40|
|Thermometer||$10 to $20|
|Substrate||$15 to $20 for reptile carpet.|
|Furniture||$40 to $80 for climbing rocks.
$15 to $20 for fake branches or hammocks.
Most of the setup cost will be spent on a tank.
Adult bearded dragons need a 75 gallon tank which costs anywhere from $400 to $800. Tanks come in a wide variety of materials, layouts and designs. As bearded dragons are mainly terrestrial (ground-dwelling) a longer tank is better than a tall one.
There is some debate over whether swinging or sliding doors are better for their tank. Swinging doors may be pushed open by your beardie, making it easy for them to escape. Sliding doors can easily trap toes and tails.
Neither design should be a problem if you are careful while opening and closing your tank doors.
Bearded dragons also need lights and heat lamps.
A 10.0 UVA/ UVB heat lamp is perfect for them. It provides both light and heat which is essential for keeping them healthy. Proper lighting and heating helps to improve immunity and digestion.
Standard UVA/ UVB 10.0 light fixtures cost approximately $25 to $40 at most pet shops. You will also need to buy a heat lamp bulb for around $15 to $25 when you are at the pet store. Both bulbs need replacing every six months.
Lights and heat lamps normally come with the fixtures included, making installation simple.
You will also need to provide a suitable habitat for your bearded dragon.
This means selecting a substrate to line your tank with and choosing furniture. Setting up a beardie’s tank can be fun and rewarding when you get to watch them explore their new home.
Many beginners think that sand is a good choice for substrate, but sand can actually be quite dangerous. Juveniles can accidentally eat sand, leading to digestive blockages. Bacteria also grows readily in sand, so it can be difficult to properly clean a tank with sand flooring.
Reptile carpet is a great choice of substrate. It is easily cleaned and a roll large enough to cover a 75-gallon tank should cost $15 to $20.
Finally you will need to buy some furniture.
Bearded dragons need furniture like rocks for basking, but also branches or hammocks for climbing.
Climbing rocks can be purchased in many pet shops and online. Many designs are available, from ledges to caves to basking rocks. Depending on their size and material they should cost $40 to $80.
Fake branches can also be purchased for about $10 and hammocks for $15 to $20. Hammocks are a great way to encourage them to climb. They provide plenty of grip, so are sometimes considered a safer alternative to branches.
If you find all of this a bit overwhelming, that is okay!
There is a lot to know about caring for bearded dragons.
While setting up their tank has some initial costs, creating a great setup is important. An enriching tank will help keep your lizard healthy and active. An energetic lizard will provide you with entertainment and joy over many years.
You will need to provide your bearded dragon with ongoing care to keep it happy and healthy.
For starters, they will need feeding.
Their diet is different depending on their age, but adults need a balanced diet of 80% plant matter and 20% insects.
Babies are best fed small meals several times a day. They need about a handful of chopped vegetables, fruits, and live insects for each meal. Alter how much you feed depending on how much they do or don’t eat per feed.
As a guide, adult bearded dragons will eat 8-12 Dubia roaches every day. A box of 30 large roaches costs approximately $5. Insects can be purchased in bulk from insect breeders for a cheaper price.
Their food will need to be lightly dusted with a calcium/D3 and multi-vitamin powder twice a week. This powder costs about $15 each for 250 grams.
Including vegetables, fruits, insects, and nutritional supplements, your bearded dragon should not cost more than a dollar or two per day to feed.
Food is an obvious cost of keeping a bearded dragon, but electricity is a cost that is often forgotten about.
A 100 watt (10.0) heat lamp that they will need to stay warm each day will cost between $1 and $2 each day in electricity cost.
Occasionally your bearded dragon may need to be treated for parasites, mites or ticks.
Mites and ticks can be treated with spray-on treatments which cost about $20 for a 250ml bottle.
If you are worried about expensive vet visits, you can consider purchasing insurance for your bearded dragon. Insurance can cover the cost of vet visits and basic plans start at around $15 a month from companies like Canstar, PetCover and PetAssure.
Adding It All Up
|Bearded Dragon||$25 to $100|
|Tank Setup||$500 to $1,000|
|Ownership (Food & Insurance)||$25 to $100 a month|
Many beginners do not know that there are eight different species of Bearded Dragon.
For a beginner we would recommend buying a central (Pogona vitticeps). This species is cheap, fun, and generally happy to be handled. They are a great choice.
You should expect to pay a breeder $50 to $70 for a baby bearded dragon. At pet shops babies sell for between $45 and $65.
Rare morphs like the paradox may be tempting with their red and white appearance, but they can be incredibly expensive and hard to care for.
Do not make the mistake of spending more than $100 on your first bearded dragon!
You should also not buy bearded dragons from the wild as it is illegal.
Let us know which species you decide to adopt in the comments.