Bearded Dragons have become one of the most popular pets and certainly one of the most popular pet reptile species. They are usually quite tolerant of being handled and they have some entertaining and intriguing habits that make them an excellent addition to the room where they are placed.
They do have some specific care requirements, not least the cage or terrarium in which they live, and you may need to look for a specialist vet in your area to successfully treat some problems, but because they are such popular pets, it isn’t as difficult to find a beardie vet as you might think.
Their popularity also means that they are more readily available than they once were, so it isn’t necessary to travel miles to find a reputable breeder. You can even buy them at PetSmart and it is easy enough to find appropriate supplies and housing for your new pet lizard. You can expect to pay between $50 and $100 for a Bearded Dragon at PetSmart.
About The Bearded Dragon
The Bearded Dragon gets its name from its physical appearance. It has reptilian scales including spines around the back of the lizard and a spiny beard under the chin. When threatened or anxious the Bearded Dragon can turn its beard black and puff it out while also puffing the spines on its back out, although if yours is well cared for and not put under any undue stress, this shouldn’t be a cause for concern.
There are eight species of Bearded Dragon and many different colors and markings, known as morphs. Some of the more unusual morphs can cost several hundred dollars or more and be very rare – price and rarity typically go hand in hand so the rarer the morph, the more it will cost.
How Much Are Bearded Dragons At PetSmart?
Although there are dozens of morphs, including some extremely rare ones, PetSmart rarely sells these. Instead, they stock standard Bearded Dragons and what they call fancy Bearded Dragons. It is also worth noting that different PetSmart stores may have different Bearded Dragons, but they typically stock the more standard morphs.
Expect to pay between $50 and $100 for a Bearded Dragon at PetSmart but remember that the cost of the reptile itself is only a portion of what you will have to pay when taking one of these fascinating animals home.
Starter Equipment Required For A Bearded Dragon
At the very least, you will need to buy the following items to ensure your Beardie has a safe and comfortable place to live.
It is sometimes possible to keep two females together, but you shouldn’t keep two males or a mixed pair of Bearded Dragons in the same tank. The recommended size tank for a single Bearded Dragon is 48 inches x 24 inches x 24 inches, although nothing is stopping you from buying a bigger terrarium if you want. It should be easy to access because you will have to drop live insects and food in every day. It should offer air end ventilation opportunities and also have the capacity to take a heat lamp and UVB light.
A heat lamp is placed above the Beardie’s basking spot or basking rock and offers additional heat similar to conditions in the desert and other natural habitat. The size of your tank and the distance from the heat lamp to the basking spot will determine the strength required but it will usually vary between 50W and 150W.
A UVB light replicates the sun that your Bearded Dragon would be exposed to if living in the wild. Your lizard absorbs the ultraviolet rays and uses this to regulate vitamin D3 levels. A lack of good UVB light can cause serious illness. Typically, the UVB lamp will take up between a half and three-quarters of the length of the tank and be concentrated above the basking area.
You need a substrate to line the bottom of the terrarium. Some owners use recycled paper or heat sterilized soil. Whatever you choose should be soft enough that it won’t cause injury to feet and the pieces should not be so large that crickets and other feeder insects can hide under them. You can also buy specialist terrarium carpets that are inexpensive and can be washed and replaced.
Although you will primarily be feeding live insects, your Bearded Dragon will eat fresh salad and some insects, such as mealworms, are better fed in a bowl. Therefore, you will need a food bowl. You should also provide a water bowl. Beardies are reluctant to drink from bowls but yours could be persuaded to drink from one that is designed to look as natural as possible.
Although they are usually quite accepting of human company, Bearded Dragons like some time alone and privacy. If they are feeling anxious or even tired, they might look to gain this solitude from a hide or hideaway. Again, natural designs are best and they have a greater chance of your Beardie using them than artificial-looking objects.
Under the basking lamp, you should have an elevated basking position. It is typical to use a rock because the rock won’t discolor or become damaged from the heat of the lamp. Offering an elevated rock means that your Beardie can climb up high to get more heat and retreat down to the bottom of the tank when they get too hot.
There is no doubting that your lizard will prefer live food, and live insects like crickets and roaches, will form the bulk of their diet. However, you can also feed mealworms, will have to feed some salad and vegetables, and they do enjoy the occasional food treat.
Bearded Dragons make great pets and are often described as being the perfect starter lizard. They do need live food and have specific heating and lighting requirements, but they are tolerant of being handled and are fun to watch and experience. They cost between $50 and $100 at PetSmart, although you will likely have to spend a few hundred dollars more buying the enclosure, heat lamps, lighting, and other equipment.
Featured Image Credit: Ery Azmeer, Shutterstock