Where You Buy Your Dragon
Generally breeders will be cheaper than buying your bearded dragon at a local store. But if you look around you can find great prices for bearded dragons. Places like the classified ads in your newspaper and CraigsList will list pets for sale. You may even be able to rescue a bearded dragon from someone who doesn't want theirs anymore for a small price or for free.
The Type of Bearded Dragon You Get
There are different colors, breeds, sizes, and types of bearded dragons and if you want a specific sized dragon that's a particular color...it's going to cost extra. The more unique your bearded dragon the more expensive it can be. Some breeders have waiting lists for their dragons and prices can go as high as $1,200.00 for very rare dragons.
Cost of Tanks & Enclosures
The size of the tank you buyLearn how to determine the ideal tank size for a bearded dragon. depends on the size of your bearded dragon, however let's assume you will end up getting a 75 gallon tank (since this is the recommended size for most average-sized bearded dragons Learn how big bearded dragons get on average.). A new 75 gallon tank costs anywhere from $70-$150, depending on how nice you want the tank to look. You will also need to get a screen lid for the tank which will cost around $30. You can generally find good deals on used tanks in the newspaper or on CraigsList.
Heat Lamps Price
This is one area not to cut costs at. Heat lights Learn more about heat lights and basking lights for bearded dragons. are very important for your bearded dragon because, as cold bloods, they depend upon external heat to keep their bodies above 85 F° (this means one spot of the tank needs to reach 105 F°-110 F°). You should buy these bulbs at the pet store, since they are very different from standard light bulbs, and they will cost anywhere from $15-$30 (again depending on the size). You will also need a light fixture to screw the bulb into. You can buy these fixtures at any hardware store to save money, but they will generally cost about $10.
Cost of UV Lights
Again, this is vital for your bearded dragons health, so you do not want to save money on UV light bulbs Learn more about UV lights. either. You will need to have a long florescent bulb that spans the entire distance of your tank so there are no dark spots. Its okay if the bulb just says UVB, but it's best to get UVA and UVB bulbs. The chances are that your basking/heat bulb will say UVA or UVB, but that doesn't mean you don't need to get a UVA/UVB florescent bulb for the entire tank. These will generally cost $20-$50 depending on the size of your tank. To save money you can get the fixture the bulb attaches to at a local hardware store for around $20-$30.
Flooring / Substrate Costs
Your dragon will need flooring as well. The flooring you chooseLearn how to choose the best flooring for a bearded dragon. depends on the age of your dragon Learn how to tell how old your bearded dragon is. and how nice you want your tank to look. Sand is very popular, but can cause issues if your dragon accidentally swallows some when eating. Normally cheap substrate will cost $3, but you can get special reptile substrate that is safe at your pet store for less than $10.
You should decorate your bearded dragon's tankDiscover the basic accessories you need for a bearded dragon tank. and give him/her a few branches and rocks to feel more like home. You can find rocks and branches outside to use, but you will need to disinfect them, or you can purchase them at your local pet store.
Food & Nutrition
Your bearded dragon will need live food (crickets, worms, etc.)Learn what live food (bugs) are safe for a bearded dragon to eat. and plants to eatLearn what plants are safe for a bearded dragon to eat.. An average bearded dragon will eat over 100 crickets in a week so it's recommended to buy bulk quantities of crickets which can make their weekly costs a few dollars instead of over twenty dollars. Do not catch insects from outside or use bait insects to feed your dragon because these insects may contain parasites and pesticides which can make your dragon sick.