What to look for when buying a bearded dragon

What to look for when buying a bearded dragon

Bearded dragons, or also known as ‘beardies’, are gentle natured and easy-going, so make the perfect pet, and they can live up to 8-12 years if looked after well.

Before buying a bearded dragon

Before deciding to dive in and buy your new pet, make sure you are clued up on everything they will need, what they eat, how much it is going to cost and more.


Just like any other pet, there will be some costs involved in purchasing a bearded dragon, for example, housing, food and health care/insurance. Keeping a beardie can cost anywhere between £100 and a couple thousand pounds, depending on how elaborate you want to get. Get our full list of costs.

Housing & space

Before you buy your beardie, make sure you have their enclosure ready and set up. Their habitat should include a substrate, hide box, basking perch, thermometers, food bowl and water bowl. And don’t forget about their heating and lighting. The recommended size for their enclosure is a 125-gallon tank (72 inches long, 18 inches wide and 21 inches tall). This is quite large, so make sure you can accommodate accordingly.


It’s always best to have a bowl of water and a bowl of food available in their enclosure before you put your beardie in their new home. This means they are less likely to get spooked by things being rearranged while they are getting used to this, quite stressful, rehome.

Want to know what to feed your baby, juvenile or adult bearded dragon? Read our blog post ‘bearded dragon feeding tips’.

Health care/insurance

As vet bills can get quite expensive, it’s always a good idea to take out insurance for your bearded dragon, this will also give you peace of mind. And to make it even easier, you can get a free quote now!

A few common illnesses beardie’s can get are:

  • Dehydration
  • Impaction
  • Metabolic bone disease
  • Mites
  • Mouth rot
  • Parasites
  • Respiratory infection
  • Tail rot
  • Yellow fungus

Buying your bearded dragon

The last thing you want is to buy a bearded dragon and 1 week later it shows signs of a nasty health condition. Here are some tips on how to buy a healthy and happy bearded dragon.

TIP: Babies are usually 3-5 inches long, including the tail. If you are choosing a baby, make sure they are at least 4-6 weeks old and eat insects and vegetables.

Pet store

If you are going to a local (or not) pet store, make sure you observe the actual shop; is it clean & tidy? Are the cages/tanks clean and maintained well? Do the pets look healthy and well-presented?


When you get to the bearded dragon section of the pet shop, ask yourself a few questions; is the enclosure in good shape, clean and well-maintained? Is it overcrowded? Is there faeces laying around? Do they have clean water and food?

Bearded dragon

Have you found a beardie that you like? Take some time to observe its behaviour; is it active and alert? Is it plump and looks well fed? Are their eyes clear and alert? Do they react to movement outside the enclosure? Do they have a complete tail, and all five toes with claws on each foot?

If you answered yes to all those questions and have researched fully, then congratulations! Welcome to a great new pet that will give you many years of happiness and companionship.

British Pet Insurance Services offers a range of exotic pet cover levels, insuring; lizards, snakes, tortoises, parrots, birds of prey and small mammals. With up to £5,000 vet fees and a range of optional extras, select the level of cover to suit your needs.

Get a quote today