Bearded dragon certainly isn’t hard to come by in America, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t hard to decide where to shop. Visit any local pet store and you are likely to find cages full of cute baby dragons looking for their new home. There are good reasons to consider buying from a breeder or reptile expo instead of shopping at a pet store. Consider the pros and cons of various ways to buy your new pet. Remember, your bearded dragon could live up to a decade and this is a big decision.
Decide whether you should get your next pet at a local pet store. A local breeder, online, or an at an expo are also good options. There are advantages and disadvantages to each option. Learn what to look for in each of these choices to decide which one is right for you.
Local pet stores have been the classic go-to for many people when shopping for a new pet. Are pet stores the right choice for your new bearded dragon? Consider the pros and cons of pet stores and decide whether this is the right choice for your dragon.
The opportunity for buying from local breeder has increased thanks to the internet and sources like Craigslist. Learn what to look for in a local breeder.
You can buy anything online, including your next bearded dragon. You can find some great pets online, but there are considerations to.
Reptile Expos are exciting and fascinating. Learn whether they’re also a good place to get your next pet.
Local Pet Stores
The local pet store is where many people buy their first bearded dragon. Perhaps you go into the store to buy some dog or cat food or look at the Goldfish. Instead, you are entranced by the cute little lizards staring at you from their tiny desert cages. Some local pet stores carry multiple morphs of bearded dragons or bearded dragons of varying sizes. You may be able to purchase a breeding pair or an established colony.
Advantages of Pet Stores
In a pet store, you will be able to meet your dragon face to face and choose it from a group. This can make the experience of getting your new pet feel more personal. It is like choosing a new puppy from the litter. You can compare the dragon you are thinking about to the other dragons. Compare both size and personality so that you can choose a vigorous healthy specimen.
Many pet stores back there pets with a health guarantee for a number of weeks. If you are worried about the health of your bearded dragon or about the expense, a health guarantee can put your mind at ease.
Pet stores are very convenient for you. You can simply call pet stores near you to see if they have the age, gender, or type of bearded dragon you are looking for. Getting your pet is a matter of a drive to the store to pick out your pet.
Disadvantages of Pet Stores
You may not know where the bearded dragons at your local pet store come from. Sometimes pet stores buy from responsible local breeders or order their dragons online from established sources. Other times pet stores may scramble for low prices.
Sometimes, pet store employees and management are not well acquainted with the proper care for bearded dragons, especially hatchlings. Hatchlings may not get daily misting. No one will have time to carefully mince vegetables. A bad juvenile experience can set a dragon up for health problems later in life.
What to Look for in a Pet Store
It is a good sign if the pet store you are shopping at has dragons of various ages. Even better if they can prove that they can breed their own bearded dragons. The pet store you are shopping at should keep its dragons until they are sold. It should also be able to keep them healthy into adulthood. If your pet store can do this, you can feel more confident that the dragon you buy will be healthy.
You might know a lot about bearded dragons. Still, pretend that you are a noob when you are at the pet store. Ask employees every question that you can think of. See if they really know how to take care of bearded dragons.
Pet stores don’t have room to give every animal as much space as it should have. It is hoped that animals won’t spend too long at the pet store. This isn’t as worrisome as breeding animals being housed in small enclosures.
You should make sure that dragons are at least taken care of well. There should not be a buildup of droppings in the cage. Cages should be large enough for there to be sufficient heat gradient.
Many hobbyists get into breeding their pets, especially since it is so easy to breed bearded dragons. Check the local classifieds and sites like Craigslist. You can find postings from local people who are breeding their dragons and selling the hatchlings.
Local breeders can be an excellent place to get your next pet. They can also be a terrible place, depending on the quality of the breeder. Just because a breeder doesn’t have their own website or other marketing tools doesn’t mean if they aren’t a good breeder. Look for a knowledgeable, caring breeder.
Advantages of Local Breeders
Small-time breeders have the time to dedicate a lot of individual attention to each young dragon. They only produce a couple of clutches a year. Therefore, they enjoy and take pleasure in each one. Small-time breeders can give the hatchlings individual attention. This makes them thrive and sets them up to be confident pets.
Local breeders may charge less than other sources because they do not have overhead to make up. Large breeders and pet stores may have to pay advertising, transportation, or initial purchase costs. Small breeders are, in most cases, simply trying to recoup some of the money they spend on their hobby.
Disadvantages of Local Breeders
In most cases, you will not be able to hear reviews or testimonials from other people who have purchased from a local breeder. To some degree, you will have to take it on faith that the breeder has done what they say they will do. Breeders who aren’t comfortable having you into their home or breeding facility may be hiding subpar conditions. They may also simply be protecting their privacy. Unfortunately, it is difficult to know.
What to Look for in a Local Breeder
The best local breeders show pride and dedication to their hobby. They will let you into their breeding areas and let you see how they conduct their business. Don’t expect the absolute lowest prices from good local breeders. They make it their responsibility to find the best homes for their hatchlings. Charging a good rate is part of this.
Quality small breeders will know a lot about what they do and about their individual dragons. They’ll go on for hours about the great traits of such and such male or how such-and-such female is just the best layer. You’ll be able to feel how much they care about their hobby. But this is true even if they aren’t the best salesman or people.
You shouldn’t have to question a local breeding enthusiast about the proper care of bearded dragons. If they seem shy and don’t volunteer a lot of information, be sure to ask them all of the important questions just as at a pet store.
If you are looking for a particular color, pattern, or scale morphe, one of your best bets for finding the dragon you want is online. There are a wealth of online stores to supply a wide variety different dragons to please every enthusiast.
Advantages of Buying Online
You can search through far more options online than you would ever be able to see in person. The perfect lizards that have just the right looks are somewhere online.
Online sources don’t have to pay middleman fees. Therefore, their prices will typically be a little bit lower than a pet store for normal colored reptiles. If you buy from a reputable online source, the dragons will be well cared for until shipping.
Many dragons become sick while they wait to be bought at pet stores. Buying directly from an online source can be a less stressful option for the dragon.
Disadvantages of Buying Online
You may be able to see pictures of the dragon you want to buy online. You will not, however, be able to meet the dragon itself. It can be hard to get a sense of your perspective dragons personality. Pictures tend to show dragons in their best light, even if they aren’t altered. The dragon that arrives on your doorstep may not be exactly the dragon you thought you were getting.
When you buy a dragon online, the dragon will need to be shipped to your location. While there are good practices in place to keep dragons safe while in shipping, this is doubtless a stressful experience. It may not be the best start for your new baby dragon’s life to be shipped to you.
Irresponsible online sources may tell any number of lies about the dragon you intend to get. They may just steal your money and not send you a bearded dragon at all. It is extremely important to choose only the most reputable online sources to buy your bearded dragon from.
What to Look for In an Online Dealer
Choose an online bearded dragon dealer who has lots of reviews. Don’t use any site that has only good reviews, since you know these have been tailored. Rather, choose sites that have reviews that are both positive and negative and seem to be from real people. Ideally, contact some previous customers and ask them about their experience.
Your online dealer should be willing to interact with you extensively and answer all of your questions. They should be willing to show you pictures of the individual dragon that you are purchasing. You should at least see the clutch
Ask to see pictures or videos of online dealers facilities if they are not already provided on the website. Make sure that breeding animals are housed appropriately and seem healthy.
The bearded dragon online community is rich in discussion boards about where to purchase bearded dragons. If you are looking for an online dealer, search through some of these sites. This is a great way to see what other bearded dragon owners recommend. Again, if possible, contact some of these people directly to discuss the breeder.
Popular Sources for Bearded Dragons Online
Here are some well-known online sources for bearded dragons. These dealers sell a variety of color, pattern, and scale morphs. It is common for them to be out of some of the rarer, more desirable color morphs, so be patient or write to them if you are looking for something specific.
Underground Reptiles sells wide variety reptiles, including bearded dragons. Color morphs include Translucent, Citrus, Red, Hypo,
This large dealer sells a wide range of reptiles, amphibians, and insects. They don’t have as many color morph options as some other dealers, but they may be more likely to be in stock. You can choose a baby of normal color or 5 –
Fire and Ice Dragons
This large breeder focuses on bearded dragons instead of other reptiles. This means that they are able to provide a lot of individual care to their dragons and their customers. They have their own Reptile Pedigree Program and provide a pedigree for your new dragon. This can be very attractive if you would like to start your own breeding program.
This dealer has all of the commonly known color morphs, including Red, Orange, Citrus, and Tangerine. They also have Translucent in red or hypo and Leatherbacks in red and citrus. They even have some of the newer color morphs, including Hypo ice, Zero’s, and Hypo Pastels.
Unlike most dealers which let you choose a color morph but don’t show you the individual dragon, Fire and Ice pictures the actual dragon that you will be purchasing, along with their parents. This lets you very carefully decide on your future pet. Pricing varies depending on color and pattern intensity.
Atomic Lizard Ranch
This interesting breeder breeds dragons outdoors in Arizona, which has an arid climate similar to Australia. They take pride in providing a high quality of life for their breeding animals.
You can choose between Citrus, Hypo, Tangerine, Orange, Dunner, Leatherback, and more. Dragons are individual pictures so you can choose exactly the pet for you.
This is a breeder who cares. They even rescue unwanted bearded dragons and adopt them out to the public.
Reptile Expos are a great combination. They give you some of the benefits of buying from a pet store and the benefits of buying online. At a reptile expo, you can buy directly from the breeder. You can pick out the exact dragon that you want from a group. This makes the experience similar to the pet store. Assuming the breeder is responsible, you know that your young dragon has spent his entire life up to now well cared for. This is the advantage of growing up with a knowledgeable caregiver until sale.
Advantages of Buying from a Reptile Expo
If you buy from a reptile expo you won’t have to worry about a dragon being shipped from an online dealer. You will be able to take the little dragon safely home, right to its well-established terrarium.
For the most part, breeders at expos are knowledgeable and responsible. You have the opportunity to speak with and get to know the breeder. Many breeders can even point you to their website or give you other information about their program. You can ask all of your questions, not just about the species but about this particular dragon.
The most interesting and brand-new color and scale morphs are often available at reptile expos. Breeders are trying to get the word out about their new colors and patterns. Expos are a great place for breeders to make sales. Furthermore, they can spread the word about their new dragons. If you are looking for an interesting and exciting color morph an Expo is a good choice. It is the best place to go to make sure that you get to know the dragon you are buying.
Since there are so many different breeders represented at an expo, you can find different lines of
Disadvantages of Buying from a Reptile Expo
More or less you have to take the breeder’s word for it at the expo. It is very difficult to talk to other people or get a sense of the reputation of the breeder. Sometimes you will have heard of a particular breeder on online forums. As a result, you will already know whether they are reputable or not. Looking at the website they point you to can also tell you a lot about how reputable the organization is. That said, it is possible for a person at an expo to lie. They may not even have bred the animals, but just be middlemen.
There is some regulation to expos. The possibility for fraud is more likely here because of the lack of easy to find references. It is best to know something about what you are doing before you shop at an expo. You should already know how to spot a healthy animal and what questions to ask.
Buying your new bearded dragon is a huge decision. Whether you are just looking for a healthy pet and a normal color morph, or you are searching for something new and exciting, you can find the perfect pet for you. Consider all of your options and do your research before shopping for your new bearded dragon.