If you’re a reptile enthusiast, chances are you’ve heard of the red bearded dragon. Known for their striking colors and unique personalities, these reptiles make excellent pets for those willing to put in the time and effort required to care for them. But how much does a red bearded dragon cost? In this article, we’ll explore the factors that determine the price of these reptiles and offer some tips for caring for them.
What Is a Red Bearded Dragon?
Red bearded dragons are a subspecies of Pogona vitticeps, a type of lizard native to the arid regions of Australia. As their name suggests, these reptiles have a distinctive red hue that sets them apart from other bearded dragon varieties. They also have unique patterns and markings that make them a favorite among reptile enthusiasts.
How Much Is a Red Bearded Dragon?
The cost of a red bearded dragon can vary depending on a number of factors, including:
- Age: Younger red bearded dragons are generally less expensive than adults.
- Morph: Red bearded dragons with rare or unusual patterns may cost more than those with more common markings.
- Breeder: Some breeders may charge more for red bearded dragons than others.
- Location: Prices can vary depending on where you live.
On average, you can expect to pay between $279.95 and $799.95 for a red bearded dragon. However, some rare morphs can cost as much as $1,000 or more.
How to Care for a Red Bearded Dragon
Before bringing your new pet home, you’ll need to set up a habitat that mimics their natural environment. A few things to keep in mind:
- Tank size: A 40-gallon tank is recommended for a single red bearded dragon.
- Substrate: Use a substrate that won’t cause impaction, such as reptile carpet or paper towels.
- Decorations: Provide hiding places, climbing structures, and basking spots.
- Water: Provide a shallow dish for your dragon to soak in.
Red bearded dragons need specific temperatures and lighting to stay healthy. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Basking temperature: Keep the basking spot at 100-110°F.
- Cool side: The cool side of the tank should be around 80°F.
- Lighting: Use a UVB bulb to provide your dragon with the necessary light spectrum.
Red bearded dragons are omnivores, meaning they eat both plants and insects. Here are some tips for feeding your pet:
- Offer a variety of insects, such as crickets, mealworms, and dubia roaches.
- Provide leafy greens and vegetables, such as kale, collard greens, and squash.
- Dust insects with calcium and vitamin D3 powder.
Handling Your Red Bearded Dragon:
Red bearded dragons are generally docile and can be easily handled with proper technique. Here are some tips:
- Approach your dragon slowly and confidently.
- Support their body with both hands.
- Avoid grabbing the tail, as it can cause injury.
Common Health Issues and How to Prevent Them:
Like any pet, red bearded dragons can experience health issues. Here are some common problems and how to prevent them:
- Metabolic bone disease: This condition is caused by a lack of calcium and vitamin D3 in the diet, which leads to weakened bones and can even be fatal. Symptoms include twitching, difficulty walking, and deformities. To prevent metabolic bone disease, provide proper lighting and supplements. Use a UVB bulb to provide your dragon with the necessary light spectrum, and dust insects with calcium and vitamin D3 powder before feeding.
- Respiratory infections: Respiratory infections are caused by bacteria or viruses and can lead to pneumonia if left untreated. Symptoms include wheezing, labored breathing, and lethargy. To prevent respiratory infections, keep the habitat clean and avoid drafts. Make sure the humidity levels are appropriate, and provide a basking spot that’s warm and dry.
- Impaction: Impaction occurs when a bearded dragon ingests something that can’t be digested, such as sand or large prey items. Symptoms include lethargy, lack of appetite, and constipation. To prevent impaction, use a substrate that won’t cause impaction, such as reptile carpet or paper towels. Avoid feeding large prey items and make sure your dragon has access to fresh water.
- Parasites: Red bearded dragons can contract parasites, such as mites and worms, from contaminated food or substrate. Symptoms include itching, weight loss, and diarrhea. To prevent parasites, make sure the habitat is clean and use a substrate that’s easy to clean.
- Shedding problems: Bearded dragons shed their skin periodically, but sometimes the process can be difficult or incomplete. Symptoms include retained skin, dull coloration, and loss of appetite. To prevent shedding problems, provide a humid hiding spot to help the skin shed properly. You can also mist your dragon with water to help loosen the skin.
By being aware of these common health issues and taking steps to prevent them, you can help keep your red bearded dragon healthy and happy. If you notice any unusual symptoms, don’t hesitate to consult a veterinarian who specializes in reptiles.
Q: Can red bearded dragons live with other reptiles?
A: Red bearded dragons can be housed with other bearded dragon subspecies, but they should not be housed with other types of reptiles.
Q: What size enclosure do red bearded dragons need?
A: Baby red bearded dragons require a minimum enclosure size of 40 gallons and adults require a minimum of 75 gallons, but larger is always better.
Q: How long do red bearded dragons live?
A: Red bearded dragons can live up to 10 years,although there is evidence for up to 20 years with proper care.
Red bearded dragons are a beautiful and fascinating type of lizard that make excellent pets for those willing to put in the time and effort required to care for them. While the cost of a red bearded dragon can vary depending on a number of factors, they are generally a relatively affordable reptile to own. If you’re interested in getting a red bearded dragon, be sure to do your research and provide them with the care they need to thrive.