Sons wanting a Bearded Dragon, thoughts?

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Sons wanting a Bearded Dragon, thoughts?

Postby ReptileJosh » Mon Feb 27, 2017 11:26 pm

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Hello Bearded Dragon forum,

My name is Josh and it's great to be here. As you guys can see from the title, my son is wanting to buy a Bearded Dragon to keep as a pet and I was hoping some of you guys could enlighten me as I have never owned a Reptile before. My son is 14 years of age and really mature, I'm telling you this because he will be the one to look after the Bearded Dragon as I have long hours at work and simply will not have the time daily to look after it. How much maintenance goes into looking after the Bearded Dragon? And what is the monthly cost of keeping one of these reptiles happy?

This is something my son has been fascinated in for a while and now I think he is old enough to look after one but I wanted to make sure of the details above first. Don't get me wrong, I will be there o help him out at the weekends and a couple nights a week but the majority of the work will have to be carried out by him.

Really looking forward to some good replies! And information will be greatly appreciated guys!!

Cheers

Image
https://www.easyprices.com/
Last edited by ReptileJosh on Wed Mar 08, 2017 12:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sons wanting a Bearded Dragon, thoughts?

Postby kingofnobbys » Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:16 am

If he's 14 yo, he should be old enough to be a good beardie parent. Make sure he knows he's making a long term commitment to care for a pet who will likely live over a decade or longer and it will rely on him for all it's needs.

If he's reliable he should be able to care for and raise a hatchling ( very time intensive when very young = minimum of two live insect meals per day ).

Will he be buying the bugs from his pocket money ?.... looking at a expensive food bill for even a single beardie each week.

You and he need to have good sit down discussion and both need to do lots of homework on caring for beardies before buying a beardie from a pet shop or breeder (a good breeder is the best option).
Also setting up even for a single beardie is not cheap , even if it's a hatchling who will go into tub to start off.

Looking at good UV lighting UVA and UVB , need at least 10% UVB.
+
basking light.
+
hide.
+
tank.
Not cheap.
CBDs: Puff (RIP 10Dec2015 @ 3.2 yrs old (aneurism)),Rex (RIP 16Mar2017 @ 4.6 yrs old,Toothless(sudden unexplained death RIP 26Nov2017) @ 2.1 yrs old.Peppa (born 15Nov2015).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : Lucky (wild juvenile), cat attack rescue, fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.Wriggles (rescued injured),thought she was a big lizard, 7-8 yrs old, died in her sleep, RIP 2Feb2016). Fluffy rescued 14Nov2017 about 4 yrs old .
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Re: Sons wanting a Bearded Dragon, thoughts?

Postby nathb1 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:39 am

ReptileJosh wrote:Hello Bearded Dragon forum,

My name is Josh and it's great to be here. As you guys can see from the title, my son is wanting to buy a Bearded Dragon to keep as a pet and I was hoping some of you guys could enlighten me as I have never owned a Reptile before. My son is 14 years of age and really mature, I'm telling you this because he will be the one to look after the Bearded Dragon as I have long hours at work and simply will not have the time daily to look after it. How much maintenance goes into looking after the Bearded Dragon? And what is the monthly cost of keeping one of these reptiles happy?

This is something my son has been fascinated in for a while and now I think he is old enough to look after one but I wanted to make sure of the details above first. Don't get me wrong, I will be there o help him out at the weekends and a couple nights a week but the majority of the work will have to be carried out by him.

Really looking forward to some good replies! And information will be greatly appreciated guys!!

Cheers

Image


My son wanted a cornsnake I wasnt thrilled about it but after looking it up the care I said that is something I can commit too if he loses interest.You replenish the water, clean up poo/pee once a week, and feed it 1 a week and they dont smell! Much better than a hamster IMHO I can do that. My other son 2 years ago wanted a bearded dragon and he lives one week with me one week with his father and I said sorry I cannot commit to get the crickets, gutload them , clean after them, feed the bearded dragon 2-3 times a day , make sure they have the right heat, calcium , vitamins,cut the vegetables...I have no idea why this reptile is in the beginner's list?!?! believe me they require some work, its more of an hobby lol I said I couldnt commit to that type of responsibility if he ever he loses interest . After 2 years owning a snake I still have to remind my 13 year old to feed the snake, pick up poo etc....all kids are different but mine needs reminders.
Also at my house you must be able to afford your pet with the allowance I give you, like food etc...

There is no pet that enters my house if I am not willing or able to take care of it afterwards. Kids lose interest and its the pet that suffers. I bought dragons and a dog for me, cornsnakes I can handle that, thats not a big committment and I was prepare to take over if need be. I am the primary caregiver.

That's my philosophy at my house if I cant commit to it then im sorry... but answer has to be no.

I have been a dog owner all my life and never thought I could love a reptile as much as I do tho lol so... they are very special animals and you might get hooked :P

The cost varies on what you feed your Lizard, worms more expensive then crickets.
Last edited by nathb1 on Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sons wanting a Bearded Dragon, thoughts?

Postby Skipper7 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:48 am

I am 16. For the past 8 years I have done 99% of the work that goes into keeping Skipper. I think your son should be perfectly capable of looking after a beardie. However, like nathb said, there will probably still be more than a few needed reminders.

If for some reason you aren't sure about that, I would reccomend getting an adult beardie. They are a bit hardier. It also costs significantly less to feed an adult dragon.
Skipper is my eight year old female beardie. Follow her adventures on Instagram: ms.skipper | http://instagram.com/ms.skipper or here at https://www.beardeddragon.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=49&t=228697
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Re: Sons wanting a Bearded Dragon, thoughts?

Postby Rankins » Tue Feb 28, 2017 3:11 pm

I started keeping reptiles when I was 5 y/o. My parents didn't know a single thing about how to properly care for them, but they allowed me to keep as many as I wanted. I was the only one caring for them.
When I was young there wasn't an internet and I spent a lot of time at the library. Probably why I had a 12th grade reading level in the 3rd grade.
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Re: Sons wanting a Bearded Dragon, thoughts?

Postby magpieandstuff » Tue Feb 28, 2017 3:47 pm

I don't think your son would have any problem taking care of one. Though, I do agree that an adult beardie would be easier to care for. Also, after you purchase everything for the tank set-up, there are ways to save on money. My bearded dragon, Reptar, eats dubia roaches instead of crickets. Dubias are super easy to breed. Basically you just need to feed them and keep them warm. They will do the rest of the work! :D I also grow all of Reptar's greens during the Summer/Fall. So for half of the year food costs are relatively low.

As for daily chores, it would be good if your son could get his beardie onto a heating/lighting and feeding schedule. He would also need to remember what days to give calcium and multivitamins. Also, I like to let Reptar out once or twice a day to explore and get some exercise.

Just make sure you do plenty of research before getting a beardie :)
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Re: Sons wanting a Bearded Dragon, thoughts?

Postby SDragons » Tue Feb 28, 2017 5:25 pm

The upfront cost can be expensive. - Very large tank 48 x 19 x 24, uvb fixture and light, basking light and fixture, climbing and basking areas, hide, cricket bins, temp gun, timers for both lights, good quality surge protector, tiles for floor

Ongoing costs - New uvb light every 6 months, replacement basking lights, specialty vet bills, crickets bought by the 1000 count. Crickets purchases as a baby are crazy as they eat 80 plus crickets a day, but those numbers go down as they get older. Calcium and vitamins

Other expenses - Second basking areas outside the tank, leashes, upgrades for tank, travel tanks

Handling Time - they need daily snuggles and time outside their tank every single day for many many years

Love - they are very loving animals who really like to snuggle. They are very intelligent and need human interaction to be happy.

Our bearded dragon was my sons bday gift, but my husband and I wanted the dragon as the pet for the whole family. The care is on all of us, but my son is responsible for cutting the veg salads every am before he eats his own breakfast. (He is younger than your son)

Overall, not a cheap pet, needs specialty housing and equipment, and they want a lot of human interaction everyday. But they are the most loving pet we have had. I wished we had gotten a beardie sooner since we love our guy so much.
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Re: Sons wanting a Bearded Dragon, thoughts?

Postby ReptileJosh » Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:29 pm

It looks like I have some serious research to do and a plan to set. I'm happy that my son is safely capable of looking after the beardie and I have no problem getting him back into line if he falls out of responsibilities. I will have a sit-down tonight and tell him to good news and then we will start picking tanks and the environment for the beardie to live in. I will be back soon with the plans to get your thoughts guys.

Thanks again
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Re: Sons wanting a Bearded Dragon, thoughts?

Postby kingofnobbys » Wed Mar 01, 2017 2:50 am

ReptileJosh wrote:It looks like I have some serious research to do and a plan to set. I'm happy that my son is safely capable of looking after the beardie and I have no problem getting him back into line if he falls out of responsibilities. I will have a sit-down tonight and tell him to good news and then we will start picking tanks and the environment for the beardie to live in. I will be back soon with the plans to get your thoughts guys.

Thanks again


You and your son are about to embark on a marvelous adventure when the new spikey four legged child comes into the family. :)

Beardies are marvelous pets and every one of them has a unique personality and character.
CBDs: Puff (RIP 10Dec2015 @ 3.2 yrs old (aneurism)),Rex (RIP 16Mar2017 @ 4.6 yrs old,Toothless(sudden unexplained death RIP 26Nov2017) @ 2.1 yrs old.Peppa (born 15Nov2015).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : Lucky (wild juvenile), cat attack rescue, fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.Wriggles (rescued injured),thought she was a big lizard, 7-8 yrs old, died in her sleep, RIP 2Feb2016). Fluffy rescued 14Nov2017 about 4 yrs old .
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Re: Sons wanting a Bearded Dragon, thoughts?

Postby nathb1 » Wed Mar 01, 2017 5:21 am

ReptileJosh wrote:It looks like I have some serious research to do and a plan to set. I'm happy that my son is safely capable of looking after the beardie and I have no problem getting him back into line if he falls out of responsibilities. I will have a sit-down tonight and tell him to good news and then we will start picking tanks and the environment for the beardie to live in. I will be back soon with the plans to get your thoughts guys.

Thanks again


That's great! They are addictive. I got mine in september and my spouse who was not a reptile kind of person decided to get one for herself! And believe me that is something out of character for her she feeds her own beardie cricket and worms which she said that she wouldnt do that ever when I got mine!

I would suggest when you get a tank that it opens in front and not top, easier to access your dragon and go in the tank which you will be doing a few times a day.

Like nobbys said they are fantastic creatures to have and even to look at!
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Re: Sons wanting a Bearded Dragon, thoughts?

Postby AHBD » Wed Mar 01, 2017 5:44 am

I just want to mention that costs need not be as high as some think. Every bit of cage decor can be gathered from outside. Beautiful rocks can be washed with hot soapy water , rinsed + ready to go. Nice driftwood, half logs or branches can be gathered, these can be popped in to a preheated 250 F oven for 60-90 minutes to kill any potential pests. I've done that for the more than 20 years I've owned beardies + never had a problem, plus the pieces can add to a natural looking habitat. Don't use sappy types of wood. So you don't need to spend a penny on cage furniture. Don't bother with hammocks + other needless climbing ladders + bridges.

Bowls can be bought at a Goodwill store, there are always neat looking old bowls of varios shapes + sized.

And it's true that babies eat a lot, but they don't need more than 35-50 bugs per day, ever. Over feeding may achieve faster growth rate but CAN contribute to gout + other health problems over time. Heat bulbs are inexpensive + can last a year or more. UVB bulbs are all different, buy the best + they can last a year or longer.

If you ever need a travel or temp. tank, a large plastic tote from Walmart will do the trick.
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Re: Sons wanting a Bearded Dragon, thoughts?

Postby Taterbug » Wed Mar 01, 2017 9:44 am

A lot of parents come to this board with neglected lizards their kids lost interest in or younger keepers with a sick lizard trying to find a way to convince their parents to get the right lights or to take the lizard to the vet. I can't speak for your son or your situation but in general I agree with the other posters that you probably will need to have a decent handle on what all is involved.

These are good "beginner" reptiles because they are quite hardy but that doesn't mean their care is as simple as the pet store would want to have you think. Seemingly small details like what lights you choice can mean the difference between a healthy life of one of pain and suffering.
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Re: Sons wanting a Bearded Dragon, thoughts?

Postby traildrifterphalanx » Wed Mar 01, 2017 10:04 am

Taterbug brings up a really good point.

As a kid I was completely dependent on my mom specifically to help me take care of anoles (small lizards) I insisted on having as a kid (maybe between ages 8-12?)
Looking back now, we did all the wrong things. Heated rock, freeze dried crickets, etc. We went through a new lizard each month because we didn't know what we were doing. The internet didn't exist back then like it does now (I'm turning 30 this year for reference) so our only education for keeping them was through the pet store and books.

We did what we thought was research, but without my own form of money, my mom had to be the one buying the food etc, and she honestly had no real interest in keeping them.

If you do plan to get a dragon for your son, please make sure your heart is in it, too, as I can only imagine you will be the main source financially for keeping this little guy in shape.
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Re: Sons wanting a Bearded Dragon, thoughts?

Postby Rankins » Wed Mar 01, 2017 4:57 pm

If you buy used equipment you can get it for fairly cheap. Obviously sterilization of all the supplies would be needed. But you can even find free dragons with complete set-ups...lots of people give them away when they lose interest in thier reptiles. An early exposure to keeping reptile pets usually turns into a lifelong interest. It is educational and can be profitable if breeding is an interest. My goal is to hatch nearly 100 reptiles in the next year. Many of them will sell for almost $1000 each. A hobby can quickly turn into a career.
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Re: Sons wanting a Bearded Dragon, thoughts?

Postby kingofnobbys » Thu Mar 02, 2017 11:31 pm

traildrifterphalanx wrote:Taterbug brings up a really good point.

As a kid I was completely dependent on my mom specifically to help me take care of anoles (small lizards) I insisted on having as a kid (maybe between ages 8-12?)
Looking back now, we did all the wrong things. Heated rock, freeze dried crickets, etc. We went through a new lizard each month because we didn't know what we were doing. The internet didn't exist back then like it does now (I'm turning 30 this year for reference) so our only education for keeping them was through the pet store and books.

We did what we thought was research, but without my own form of money, my mom had to be the one buying the food etc, and she honestly had no real interest in keeping them.

If you do plan to get a dragon for your son, please make sure your heart is in it, too, as I can only imagine you will be the main source financially for keeping this little guy in shape.
\

Not good - a lizard a week.

As a child I did better than that .
Had a long neck freshwater tortle (Chelodina longicollis) = wild caught , kept for about 4 years until it disappeared from the back yard (dad was suspected).
Had a large green tree frog = he adopted me , was a friendly frog who started coming into the bathroom at night and I made a pet of him, he was with us for about 4 years then disappeared.
Had wild caught delicate brown garden skinks and striped skinks http://www.ozanimals.com/Reptile/Robust ... ustus.html , great medium sized skinks who tamed up nicely and loved the grasshoppers, butterflies, moths and earthworms I caught for it. Had a colony for a couple of years.
CBDs: Puff (RIP 10Dec2015 @ 3.2 yrs old (aneurism)),Rex (RIP 16Mar2017 @ 4.6 yrs old,Toothless(sudden unexplained death RIP 26Nov2017) @ 2.1 yrs old.Peppa (born 15Nov2015).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : Lucky (wild juvenile), cat attack rescue, fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.Wriggles (rescued injured),thought she was a big lizard, 7-8 yrs old, died in her sleep, RIP 2Feb2016). Fluffy rescued 14Nov2017 about 4 yrs old .
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