A bearded dragon can be a great pet to keep if you understand how to look after them and how to find and buy the one that’s right for you. Although you can gain a lot of satisfaction from keeping a pet beardie, you need to ensure you buy one that’s free from any health problems before you bring him home. Failure to do this could be a recipe for disaster! After all, you don’t want to spend your hard earned cash on a sick or undernourished new best friend. To avoid this, there are some questions you need to ask your breeder before you buy, especially if you’re having your dragon delivered and haven’t been able to inspect him yourself.
1. Age? This is the very first question you should be asking. It’s significant because the age of the dragon will determine the equipment that will be required and what his diet should include. After all you’ll need to be very well prepared before your beardie comes and you don’t want to get him and discover you’ve got the wrong setup. It will also be an indication of possible problems you may encounter, such as behavioral issues, eating habits and social interaction, etc.
2. This brings me to the next question – eating habits? You’ll need to enquire about his daily diet, how well, and what he eats. This is to make sure he’s eating properly and won’t be susceptible to nutritional disorders down the track. You want to make sure the dragon is eating a healthy mix of protein (insects) and fruit and vegetables.
3. Next make sure you ask to see a picture of the bearded dragon. In this way you can gain some insight into his health. Is he a good size? Not over or under weight? Does he have any unusual marks, coloration or lumps and bumps? Does he hold his head up and keep his mouth closed? Does he have all body parts attached?! These are all things you need to watch out for. And of course, a picture isn’t the same as seeing the real thing, so it would be best if you could see a number of pictures that show all angles.
4. Because you are unable to meet your bearded dragon before he arrives, you’ll need to make sure the breeder has a warranty policy and check the terms and conditions. I’m sure you don’t want the nasty surprise of an unhealthy beardie and then be unable to send him back. Basically you need to cover all bases and know what you’re getting yourself into.
5. Finally check the price of the dragon. Yes not all beardies cost the same. Actually they can vary quite significantly depending on the age, size, coloration and species. The coloration is also known as a morph. Some morphs can be quite rare and there is a very large variety to choose from. Rare morphs will obviously cost much more than common colors, therefore it’s something to watch out for. You might also like to shop around a bit to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth.
These are just a few of the questions you should ask before buying. Remember to stay informed and learn everything you can about them before taking the plunge! Do this and you should enjoy a happy beardie for a long time to come.