Picking the Bearded Dragon for You
Blaze, my silkback bearded dragon
So You Want a Bearded Dragon, Huh?
So you have decided that the perfect pet for you is a bearded dragon. Congratulations! A bearded dragon is a great companion and one of the easiest lizards to take care of. Here are a few things to take into consideration when deciding on the bearded dragon for you.
Do You Want a Baby?
Age is one of the first things that you need to decide on when looking at various bearded dragons. Do you want a baby dragon, one that is 6 months old, or an adult? Both baby and 6 month old dragons will need to be socialized, will grow quite a bit more and will require more meats than veggies. Adult dragons are fully grown and will eat more veggies than meats, but you cannot control their level of socialization.
Blaze has a Translucent Morph
In the reptile world, the different color patterns are called morphs. The rarer the morph, the more expensive the dragon. Usually the dragon you get will have more than one morph. An example of some morphs are sandfire, blood red, hypo. Each morph has a different trait or coloring. Sandfire is like a dull orange, blood red is a brighter red/orange color and hypo means that the dragon will not have a black line down the middle of their nails.
What Type of Dragon
There are 3 different types of Bearded Dragons. Bearded Dragon, Leatherbacks and Silkbacks. Bearded dragons are the most common. They have full scales and spikes and are the cheapest to get since they are the most common. Leatherbacks are bearded dragons that have a reduction in scales, meaning they will be smoother to the touch. Silkbacks are without scales and spikes. Their skin is basically like a leopard geckos. Silkbacks are the rarest and most expensive, usually ranging from the high $100-high $200 and they usually have different morphs, such as translucent.
Where to Get Your Dragon
Petsmart, Petco, speciality stores and local reptile expos all sell bearded dragons. But which one to choose?
Petsmart and Petco offer smaller babies up to 6 months usually. Unfourtnatley, if you are looking for bright morphs, this is probably not the place to go.
Speciality stores dealing with exotic pets and reptiles offer a wide arrange of animals, but can also be costly since they are a speciality store. The owners will knoww a good deal about the animals, though.
Reptile expos are where groups of reptile vendors come together to sell their animals. Here you can get great discounts of up to 50- 75% off the big chain stores or specialty store prices. Many of the vendors have some rare morphs as well as care sheets. Also, at reptile expos are all the food and housing items you will need to get you started.
When you see a dragon that you want, with the right colors and age, you want to handle it. Ask to pick it up and see how the dragon reacts. If you really feel a connection with the dragon and it does not jump off of you right away, go for it. Dragons that stay on you, do not inflate their beards and flatten their bodies at you and may even close their eyes when you pet their heads, are usually good tempered and a safe bet when buying a pet. This is not all the time though. My bearded dragon, Winks, was the runt of the litter and quite rambunctious, but she is a great dragon. She is very calm and nice to all those that meet her.
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