So you have decided to get a bearded dragon after thinking and wondering for such a long time. Maybe you already even bought the new enclosure, already shopped for the substrates and food bowls. Perhaps all that is left is to walk into a pet store and get yourself a beautiful lizard to take home. Then you stop short … there are so many breeds and species of bearded dragons. Which one is best to choose? Are there any factors to consider when choosing a dragon? How do you know which bearded dragon is good for you and which one isn’t?
Choose a bearded dragon that is healthy. Make sure that it is awake and alert and walking around. Always buy a bearded dragon from experienced breeders. Also only buy babies, juveniles or adults bearded dragons. Hatchlings are fragile and may die.
Apart from these, there are so many things to consider when choosing a bearded dragon. I will discuss everything that you need to know when you’re buying your bearded dragon. I’ll discuss where to buy a bearded dragon and if you should choose a male or female bearded dragon. Among the other things, we will discuss is whether gender can determine what bearded dragon is best to have.
Choosing a healthy beardie
The first thing you need to know is that appearance is your best guide. Here are some points to guide you in choosing the healthiest possible dragon.
Don’t choose a bearded dragon that won’t open their eyes or move around. Nearly every bearded dragon is naturally curious. They want to explore their environment, especially when there’s something new there. And you in this care are the new thing in its space so it will naturally be curious. Don’t pick a dragon that doesn’t show these signs.
A healthy bearded dragon will be alert and curious. You can ask the seller to handle a bearded dragon. Observe the way the dragon appears and take a closer look at it. The bearded dragon may try to run away from you. Don’t be worried about this. You are a stranger after all and might be a predator for all he knows.
However, it is very good if the dragon is already very tame, and used to the presence of humans. Another thing is that a little dragon may try to scare you or even bite in rare cases
2. Position of head
A healthy bearded dragon should have its body and head slightly raised while sitting comfortably or walking around.
3. Other signs of sickness and infection
Bearded dragons that don’t move much or at all, have mucus in their eyes or nose and mouth froth are most probably ill. Some other signs of disease are swollen limbs, tail kinking, bend in the back ( this may be a sign of metabolic Bone Disease). Dark patch on the tail that is not consistent with the rest of its body, (tail rot). Yet other signs of ailment could be dirty vents, and there must be no fecal spots.
Bearded dragon body
A healthy bearded dragon should have a round plump belly and head. There should be no ‘dents’ or protrusions on their body. Bearded dragons body should be round, without any bones sticking out near hips or back. You need to be sure bearded dragon’s toes and tail is present and not missing. Avoid picking dragons with super thin wings.
Check the condition of the cage if your dragon had other dragons in the same cage. The cage should be clean and not large. Very large. All the bearded dragons in that cage should look healthy. If even one of them.is sick, there is a high chance that he has infected the rest of them.
Choosing a social/friendly bearded dragon
A good deal of bearded dragons is friendly and docile. Don’t choose a dragon that shows even the slightest bit of aggression. They are feeling aggressive when they open their mouths, puff the throat and seem ready to attack whenever you approach or try to touch them.
What is the right gender of a dragon to adopt?
You need to know that it is very difficult to tell the gender of a dragon until it reaches sexual maturity. This only happens between the 8th and 12th month of life. There are however some basic differences that might be suggestive of gender in dragons.
Most male bearded dragons are bigger than females and have more personality. Males are generally more outgoing. They are generally more social. But they often become territorial and aggressive while females usually remain calm.
You should consider getting a female and a male If you are interested in having young bearded dragons.
What age range should you buy?
Whatever you do, don’t buy a hatchling. Many hatchlings don’t survive. Problems range from not feeding at all, not staying warm enough, not being able to digest their food to just being too weak. There is no way for you to know which hatchling will survive and which ones won’t. Therefore, it is better to buy only the ones that have established themselves and aren’t in danger of dying anymore. Choose bearded dragons that are already babies, juveniles or adults. Babies are dragons that are at least 6 weeks old, or 6-8 inches (15-20 cm) long. Don’t buy a bearded dragon that is smaller than this. Juvenile bearded dragons are 5 months old and over, and adults – 18 months and over.
It is also noteworthy that most baby bearded dragons don’t get their final colors until they are adults (around 2 years old). Many people choose to buy a more expensive morph of a unique color or pattern. So, choosing an older bearded dragon can tell you more about its future coloring.
Can you buy multiples or should you only buy one?
If you intend on buying more than one bearded dragon, then you have to have multiple tanks or a single but very large tank. Dragons are very territorial. It could be better if the dragons you buy are male and female. male dragons can attack the female but it is very rare. But it would be terrible if they’re both males. Bearded dragons live well alone. They are solitary animals like leopards. They don’t need a friend, they certainly don’t need a partner.
Where is the best place to buy a bearded dragon
Below are some places you can get your bearded dragon
One of the most popular places to buy your bearded dragon is a pet store. The good thing about buying a bearded dragon at the pet store is convenience. It is also so much better because you will be able to have a look at the bearded dragon that you will potentially buy. The downside of buying a bearded dragon from the pet store is that employees probably won’t be able to tell you the exact information about genetics and origin of a beardie. This is because the employees don’t have this information, as the bearded dragons at the pet store have been delivered by suppliers. So you won’t get to meet the real breeder.
Breeders can offer many hatchlings, babies, juveniles and adults for sale.
Choosing to buy from breeders is a good choice when you know a reputable seller. Breeders are often the closest to the origin of the dragon as you will ever get. They know everything about the bearded dragon.
Everything ranging from it’s genetics, origin, health, lineage and most times even have the parents! You can find reputable breeders online. You can go to their website and check them out as well as their reviews.
Another place to buy your bearded dragon is online. Buying things online has become easier than it was before. A lot of shipment companies will offer animal transportation to creatures like bearded dragons
Many online sellers promise to send you the lizard that you have chosen and guarantee live delivery. However, it is important to know that traveling is stressful for bearded dragons. Try as much as you can to get your bearded dragons from breeders near to you.
You can also buy your dragon at an expo. This is a particularly good idea because you’ll be meeting with breeders. You can ask questions, look at and touch bearded dragons. The con of this is that an expo could be quite far away. But it is a good place to get dragons if you have the chance.
You should remember to take the breeders number if you buy a bearded dragon at the expo. This is important so that you will be able to contact him if anything goes wrong.
These people represent different breeders who can be hobbyists and commercial breeders. Dealers often have their own website and advertise different bearded dragons for sale. Some dealers even buy unique bearded dragon types and sell them on their website or at the reptile expo. The con is that dealers are not as easily accessible as others. They might not know the history of the dragon.
Shelters and rescues
These places keep unwanted bearded dragons. Some of these might not be in good health. Make sure the dragon is not too sick if you choose to give a shelter dragon a home. You might also have to spend a lot of money caring for it and taking it. You have to consider the cons.