How Much Does a Bearded Dragon Cost: A Comprehensive Guide to Expenses

A bearded dragon with a rare color morph like a translucent or zero (a morph with no markings) can cost upwards of $1000. The cost of a bearded dragon can vary depending on several factors, including their age, size, color morph, and where you purchase them from. Color morphs, which are variations in the color and pattern of the bearded dragon’s skin, can also affect the price. 

While the cost of owning a bearded dragon can add up, many people find the joy and companionship they provide well worth the investment. By understanding the costs associated with owning a bearded dragon, potential owners can make an informed decision about whether or not a bearded dragon is a right pet for them.

Initial Costs

Before bringing home a bearded dragon, one must consider the initial costs of owning one. This includes the cost of the bearded dragon, setting up its habitat, and providing it with food and other supplies.

Bearded Dragon Prices

The cost of a bearded dragon can vary depending on its age, color, and where it is purchased from. For example, a standard bearded dragon can cost anywhere from $35 to $100 from a pet store. However, purchasing from a reputable breeder may cost slightly more but can often result in a healthier and better-cared-for lizard.

Habitat Setup Costs

Setting up a suitable habitat for a bearded dragon is crucial to its health and well-being. The initial cost of setting up a habitat can range from $200 to $1,100, depending on the size and type of tank purchased and the equipment quality. This includes a heat lamp, UVB light, substrate, and decorations. In addition, investing in high-quality equipment is important to ensure the bearded dragon’s safety and comfort.

Food Costs

Bearded dragons require a varied diet of live insects, leafy greens, and vegetables. The cost of feeding a bearded dragon can range from $50 to $100 per month, depending on the size of the lizard and the types of food provided. Therefore, providing a balanced diet and purchasing high-quality food is important to ensure the bearded dragon’s health.

Ongoing Costs

Bearded dragons are not just a one-time purchase. Instead, they require ongoing costs that every owner should be aware of. This section will break down the ongoing costs of owning a bearded dragon into three sub-sections: food, veterinary, and supplies.

Food Costs

Bearded dragons are omnivores, meaning they eat plant and animal matter. Their diet should consist of 80% vegetables and 20% insects. The cost of food will depend on the dragon’s size, but on average, the monthly cost is around $20. 

This includes fresh vegetables, live insects, and any supplements or vitamins that may be needed. However, it is important to note that bearded dragons can be picky eaters, so owners may need to experiment with different types of food to find what their dragon likes.

Veterinary Costs

According to the American Veterinary Hospital, regular veterinary check-ups are important for your bearded dragon’s health. The cost of veterinary care will depend on the location and the veterinarian, but on average, a visit can cost anywhere from $50 to $100. 

Having your bearded dragon checked by a veterinarian at least once a year is recommended. In addition to regular check-ups, bearded dragons may require veterinary care for illnesses or injuries. The cost of this care will vary depending on the severity of the issue.

Supplies Costs

Bearded dragons require a variety of supplies to keep them healthy and happy. This includes habitat, lighting, heating, and other accessories. The cost of supplies will depend on the quality and brand, but on average, the initial setup cost can range from $200 to $1000. 

After the initial setup, ongoing supplies costs will include replacing bulbs, substrate, and any other accessories that may need to be replaced. The monthly cost of supplies is around $30.

Factors Affecting Costs

Age and Size

The two most significant factors affecting a bearded dragon’s cost are age and size. First, a young and small bearded dragon will cost less than an older and larger one. The younger and smaller ones cost between $30 and $60, while the larger and more mature ones cost up to $100. 

It’s important to note that the size of the enclosure needed for an adult bearded dragon is much larger than that needed for a juvenile, which means the cost of the enclosure will also increase with the size of the lizard.


The genetics of a bearded dragon can also affect the price. The more unique the color and pattern, the higher the price. A bearded dragon with rare genetics or color morphs can cost anywhere from $40 to $900. For example, a rare morph like the Zero can cost $900 from a private breeder. 

However, it’s important to note that the cost of a bearded dragon with unique genetics doesn’t always mean it’s healthier or better kept than a regular bearded dragon from a pet store or a breeder.


The location where you buy your bearded dragon can also affect the cost. For example, I canvassed the price of bearded dragons, which may be more expensive due to the cost of living, transportation, and other factors. Shopping around and comparing prices from different stores and breeders is important to get the best deal.

Breeder vs. Pet Store

The cost of a bearded dragon can also vary depending on whether you buy it from a breeder or a pet store. Generally, breeders will be cheaper than buying your bearded dragon at a local store. However, buying from a pet store can be more convenient, and you can see the bearded dragon in person before purchasing. So it’s important to research both options and choose the one that suits your needs and budget.