These are the guidelines and recommendations any potential owner should read while looking for bearded dragons for sale. Buying a bearded dragon is, in many ways, a lot like buying a kitten or a puppy. There are things to look out for upon purchase to ensure your pet doesn’t have a plethora of health problems in the future. The last thing you’d want is to spend tons of money at the vet, trying to save your new dragon. So, I’ve provided some guidelines and tips for any new beardie buyer.
Bearded Dragons for Sale Online
Unless you personally know the owner, I would avoid buying dragons online at all cost. I’m sure there are great honest breeders out there who are just trying to extend the reach of their business. However, it’s impossible to tell which are the good ones from merely a collection of pictures.
If you, or a friend, have made a purchase from an online breeder in the past with no problems, then it may be okay. But even with a referral, there are still precautions you should take. Question your friend by asking about any major or even minor problems they’ve experienced. Sometimes, if owners are uneducated on bearded dragon care, they might not notice a potential health problem. Time of purchase must be taken into account as well. If the purchase of the reptile was made not too long ago, you can’t be sure there won’t be any long-term problems.
The main problem of buying dragons online is that you aren’t able to closely examine them and question the breeder before purchasing. Given the chance to do both will significantly decrease you odds of receiving an unhealthy beardie. There have been several online purchases where the reptiles came out just fine, but do so at your own caution. The rest of my tips are only applicable if you can examine the dragons in person.
Don’t Buy a Lethargic Dragon
A clear sign of an unhealthy dragon is one with very low energy, especially as a baby dragon. Hatchlings, like most other baby animals and reptiles, should be full of energy. If you see that the dragon is lethargic and doesn’t move around very much, you should be cautious.
This may be a sign of MBD, or Metabolic Bone Disease, which occurs in beardies that don’t get sufficient lighting or heat within their enclosures. Those that suffer from MBD have a lack of calcium and will appear inanimate.
It’s a known bearded dragon fact that these reptiles are very curious creatures. If you approach them, they should lift their heads to look at you and sometimes even come to you.
Always Check a Bearded Dragon’s Body
Always check the physical characteristics of your potential baby bearded dragon. You can tell when they’ve been neglected through any signs on their body. For example, seeing sores on the outside of their skin is a sign of bad health. These sores usually appear as a result of malnutrition. You will also see bite marks if there are simply too many dragons in a single cage.
Make sure the eyes are bright and clear. A healthy dragon will have eyes without any pus or anything that resembles it near their eyes. If you do see some, it may mean they’re sick.
A Dragon’s Tail
How do you tell if a bearded dragon has been fed well? By checking its tail. A proper and nutritious bearded dragon diet will ensure that the lizard has a plump tail. The tail is where most of the fat from food is stored. So make sure the color of the tail looks healthy and the texture feels nice and solid.
In the wild, these reptiles can go on for quite a while without food because it is hunting or roaming around. To be able to do this, they burn the fat from their tails. However, in captivity, there should be no reason for a bearded dragon to have to burn much fat stored in its tail.
The Size of a Bearded Dragon
Before picking out a dragon, make that it’s old enough by examining their size. For inexperienced owners, a general rule of thumb is: if the hatchling is less than 6 inches in length, it is too young to take home.
Why is it so important that a beardie isn’t too young? It’s because young dragons tend to become extremely stressed out when they’re taken into a new environment and away from what’s familiar. They require much more care and attention, making it simply not worth the trouble to bring one home at such an early age. You’re better off going with a slightly older beardie.
Question the Breeder
If you’re going to purchase from a specialized bearded dragon breeder, you should ask them as many questions as you see fit. Any questions from what their diet is like, to how much basking time they get, should be asked. It’s really a good way to gauge the breeder’s knowledge on bearded dragon care. Those that have extensive knowledge will happily and easily answer any questions in detail. Sometimes, legitimate breeders will even provide you a care sheet to go with your purchase. Look over these to see how detailed the information presented is and ask more questions.
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Picking out a brand new bearded dragon is certainly an exciting thing to do. It’s just that if health problems occur months later, it won’t be as pleasant of an experience. Make sure you follow these simple guidelines and tips wherever you can find bearded dragons for sale. This guide can save you a lot of time and money, and you’ll be glad you followed it.
If you have any more questions regarding purchasing dragons, feel free to leave a comment in the section below. Happy beardie buying!