Must Have Shopping List for New Bearded Dragon Owners #ReptileCare

Posted on Jul 14 2015 - 5:23pm by Susan Bewley

Disclosure: This post is a sponsored post. I am being compensated to help spread the word about Reptile Ownership, but Budget Earth only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. petMD and PetSmart are not responsible for the content of this article.

Planning on bringing home a bearded dragon as a new family pet? Learn what you need to buy to properly care for your bearded dragon here! #ReptileCare

As many of you know, my husband and I have a variety of pets in our home, including bearded dragons and turtles. Just like Ivi and Reya, they are a major part of our family. When our very first reptile came into the family, I have to admit, we weren’t prepared at all. We were poor college students and didn’t even know the right questions to ask at our local hometown pet store. Unfortunately, due to not having the right information to care for it, our poor little baby passed away 6 months later. Now, after having reptiles for over a decade as pets, we want to help others make sure they make the right choices when it comes to reptile care.

One of the first thing we actually did wrong was not buying everything our poor bearded dragon needed to survive. Most lizards require some very basic things that most new owners know nothing about, including UVB lights. Back when we got our first dragon, I would have loved to have had something like the Reptile Purchase Center at Petsmart® to help us make sure we had everything we needed for our new dragon. This area has so much information to get new reptile owners started when it comes to proper reptile care.

Planning on bringing home a bearded dragon as a new family pet? Learn what you need to buy to properly care for your bearded dragon here! #ReptileCare

To help new reptile owners, we created an awesome bearded dragon care shopping list for you guys! What will you need for your new dragon includes –

Planning on bringing home a bearded dragon as a new family pet? Learn what you need to buy to properly care for your bearded dragon here! #ReptileCare

Even though a lot of pictures online show it, do not use sand in your bearded dragon’s tank. Sand can impact (clump in the intestines and block the normal movement of food) and kill most dragons. If you have a dragon that likes to dig, you can have a separate tank with calcium sand for enrichment time. Reptiles should NEVER eat in a tank with sand or any other type of bedding, however, since it can cause impaction.

Also, never place multiple bearded dragons in the same tank. While they can sometimes cohabit, this one is a case by case basis and rarely ends well, since bearded dragons WILL eat other reptiles who are smaller than them.

Planning on bringing home a bearded dragon as a new family pet? Learn what you need to buy to properly care for your bearded dragon here! #ReptileCare

Echo doesn’t like other dragons. Check out that angry black beard!

As for food, bearded dragons love crickets, hissing cockroaches, superworms, and hornworms. Personally, we love to rotate between crickets and superworms, and try hornworms throughout the year as well. All food for your dragons, however, should be gutloaded (pre-fed highly nutritious food) with special food to make sure they have the proper nutrients.  With all of our dragons, we buy all of our crickets, superworms, and hornworms from an online retailer called Great Lake Hornworms. For emergencies, however, we purchase crickets and hornworms from Petsmart. No matter which food you use, however, they should be dusted with calcium and vitamin powder to prevent metabolic bone disease (a nasty disease where their bones weaken or disfigure, and can also cause organ failure). Bearded dragons also should eat vegetables regularly; ours enjoy shredded carrots, bok choy, and kale.

Planning on bringing home a bearded dragon as a new family pet? Learn what you need to buy to properly care for your bearded dragon here! #ReptileCare

Another thing many people do not discuss is what happens when reptiles get sick. It isn’t uncommon for lizards, especially bearded dragons, to get respiratory infections. For this reason, it is important to have a veterinarian that specializes in reptile care. You can likely find a reptile-friendly vet by calling your local vet and asking. Just know that many offices are not prepared to handle reptiles so you have to do your homework first! Personally, if we needed to locate a vet in a new area, we would use the Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarian vet finder on the Kingsnake website.

That being said, it is great reading about reptile behavior and illnesses on the internet if you are worried your reptile may be sick; or even better, before it happens! We love the petMD® Reptile Care Center since it filled with a wealth of information of reptile care for new bearded dragon owners. They also have articles on snakes, tortoises, and many other reptiles that can be kept as pets. My husband and I are very excited about this new resource, especially with all the conflicting information you can find online about reptile care.

Have any questions about reptile care or owning a bearded dragon? Ask us and we will do our best to answer them!

Planning on bringing home a bearded dragon as a new family pet? Learn what you need to buy to properly care for your bearded dragon here! #ReptileCare

Want to learn more? Check out the petMD Reptile Care Center on Social Media!

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Disclosure: Budget Earth received monetary compensation for this post. All opinions on this product are my own and may differ from our readers’ opinions.

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Susan Bewley is a professional writer who has been writing content online & in print format for over 10 years. As well, she is an alumni of the University of Louisville with a Masters Degree in Special Education. When not working as an online business consultant or ghost writing, she can be found writing on Budget Earth, on her own novel, or working with various entities in the pet industry.

70 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Michele Ash July 14, 2015 at 9:22 pm - Reply

    WOW, It seems like there is sure an awful lot to remember when owning a bearded dragon! I’m glad that there are websites available to go to, to help out the new owner of a bearded dragon. My husband told me that the bearded dragons bite! I know nothing, except what I read on your website, about them! I’ll stick to my furry warm blooded babies for now. Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful review, all the terrific pictures, and your personal and professional information on Must Have Shopping List for New Bearded Dragon Owners #ReptileCare with all of us! I truly do appreciate it!! Thanks again! Michele 🙂

  2. Jeanne Melanson July 15, 2015 at 9:43 pm - Reply

    Great post, Susan, and very informative. A lot of people don’t realize reptiles need such specialized care. I’ve heard so many stories of people’s first beardies getting metabolic bone disease and/or dying because they haven’t done their research first. Hopefully your post will find it’s way to reptile newbies just in time. Thanks for that.

  3. lisa July 16, 2015 at 10:30 am - Reply

    I used to have lizards. They require too much care. I don’t know what I was thinking at the time. I’m just not an animal person. I can tolerate them somewhat, but don’t bring them around me.

  4. Lori Pouncey July 16, 2015 at 5:01 pm - Reply

    My mother had one years ago and his name was Harold. These make the most fabulous pets lol they are great! Have been wanting to get one for years. Thank you for sharing ll this great information. 🙂

  5. Natalie July 17, 2015 at 10:56 am - Reply

    I would be scared to own a dragon, but what a cool pet!

  6. Sue M. July 17, 2015 at 11:20 am - Reply

    This is really helpful information! While I think it would be nice to own a bearded dragon, I think it’s best that I don’t get one as I wouldn’t have the time needed to take care of them properly. Thanks for sharing this!

  7. Fee Roberts July 17, 2015 at 1:56 pm - Reply

    I use to breed snakes and Tegu lizards. When I had my kids, I gave it up. It was too time consuming.

  8. KATHARINE COOKMAN July 17, 2015 at 5:23 pm - Reply


  9. Amy Green July 17, 2015 at 5:25 pm - Reply

    He’s very cute! He reminds me of Linda Hamilton’s pet, ‘Pugsley’ from the first Terminator movie, and ‘Jub Jub’, Selma Bouvier’s lizard on “The Simpsons”!

  10. lisa July 17, 2015 at 6:01 pm - Reply

    Lizards really don’t make good pets. When I had mine, I think I did it because it was something different.

  11. Elizabeth H. July 17, 2015 at 6:33 pm - Reply

    We used to own a snake. Never a lizard. The snake took up a lot of time and care!

  12. Debbie Welchert July 17, 2015 at 7:31 pm - Reply

    What a lot of great information. I know my oldest grandson would love to have a bearded dragon.

  13. Katrina P July 17, 2015 at 9:51 pm - Reply

    Aww what a cute little guy! Very informative post! I know where to come if I ever have a child who needs a lizard. 😉

  14. M.Clark July 18, 2015 at 1:00 am - Reply

    This is a great resource for new bearded dragon owners, I’m sure this shopping list will be a great help. Thank you for sharing this post.

  15. Pam H. July 18, 2015 at 7:09 am - Reply

    I have owned three bearded dragons – all rescued. They are awesome. I call them the dogs of the lizard world. I use my current beardie to teach children how to care for lizards at a Pet Summer Camp.

  16. Ann H July 18, 2015 at 7:08 pm - Reply

    Hmmm. I don’t think I could own one.

  17. Theresa C. July 18, 2015 at 7:16 pm - Reply

    Thanks for this post – we have a couple of kids who just got these!

  18. Ron Leyba July 19, 2015 at 1:38 am - Reply

    Wow! This is a must read for reptile owners. Will share this one . Thanks for this!

  19. Carissa Joslyn July 19, 2015 at 9:02 am - Reply

    I don’t have a Beadie but I have always wanted one! I have, however owned Leopard Geckos, and Iguanas! I have also had a Hermit Crab Rescue because a lot of people don’t care for them properly. This is a great list, I’m pretty knowledgeable about animals and such 🙂

  20. RANDY FULGHAM July 19, 2015 at 9:41 am - Reply

    hes a very pretty dragon and i would have a list also if i had a dragon like this , like the colors on the skin

  21. sheila ressel July 19, 2015 at 12:55 pm - Reply

    They are cute little guys! I’ve never owned a lizard and had no idea they needed so many things to help them live a long, healthy life in captivity.

  22. Starla B July 19, 2015 at 3:33 pm - Reply

    How awesome! They are such beautiful creatures. My cousins have two of these and they are so much fun! I can’t believe how big they have gotten over the years!

  23. Jerry Marquardt July 19, 2015 at 7:23 pm - Reply

    I used to have 2 California King Snakes, so I love all reptiles. They are just so darn cute.

  24. Lily Kwan July 19, 2015 at 11:00 pm - Reply

    This shopping list is very helpful. Thanks for sharing!

  25. baldo July 22, 2015 at 7:30 am - Reply

    liked and shared

  26. Patricia Hoffmeister July 22, 2015 at 7:49 am - Reply

    Reptile owning isn’t something I would do, but thing the blog would be great for anyone who does!

  27. Sara Theissen July 22, 2015 at 7:56 am - Reply

    I love bearded dragons! I used to have one named Colossal, haha. Right now my husband and I have 5 snakes.

  28. Lindsey L July 22, 2015 at 10:00 am - Reply

    Such pretty reptiles!

  29. Racquelle July 22, 2015 at 10:43 am - Reply

    I am terrified of reptiles lol.

  30. Charolette Dingley July 22, 2015 at 10:56 am - Reply

    Wonderful information on such an amazing pet. I appreciate the list – who knew!?

  31. Lindsay C July 22, 2015 at 1:10 pm - Reply

    I think people are always surprised at how much work and thought go into caring for reptiles (or fish). It may seem like a good starter pet, but they can need just as much time and effort as larger animals. Hopefully this article and your helpful shopping list will prepare those thinking about purchasing a lizard, snake, or other reptile friend.

  32. Emmalene July 22, 2015 at 3:12 pm - Reply

    Lizards seem like nice pets! My brother has a few different ones. I have a feeling once my twin boys are older they will probably want one. Thanks for the great info on them!

  33. Dina-SavvyInTheKitchen July 22, 2015 at 3:30 pm - Reply

    Very cool pet! I just don’t think I would be able to feed it. I get very squeamish when it comes to insects. I think I will stick with my dog and fish for now:)

  34. Judy Thomas July 22, 2015 at 5:29 pm - Reply

    I don’t think I could have these as pets as I don’t see them as loving cuddly animals like cats or dogs. A bit scary to look at .

  35. June S. July 22, 2015 at 6:05 pm - Reply

    When my son was younger he had a few lizards as pets. I’m not a big fan really.

  36. Tawny July 22, 2015 at 6:46 pm - Reply

    Not a chance!

  37. Brigid OHara Koshko July 23, 2015 at 8:16 am - Reply

    Both my kids have turtles and they love them. I wish I had more information when we rescued them. Its hard to understand exactly what is needed beyond just food to make them happy and healthy. We are struggling with what to do to stimulate/entertain them. I will look up for ideas. Thanks

  38. Marissa C July 23, 2015 at 10:05 am - Reply

    I have had two red ear sliders and two Chinese water dragons. I researched before I got my reptiles and learned a lot. I love the little creatures as much as my furry children!

  39. Lorry C. July 23, 2015 at 1:04 pm - Reply

    Wow. That is a lot of great information. My sons have always wanted one and it’s great to have all the information at hand before getting one!

  40. Lily @Militaryfamof8 July 23, 2015 at 2:07 pm - Reply

    This post actually came at the perfect time, as we are getting ready to move next month, my son is getting a bearded dragon for his new room.

  41. Sandi Tymchuk July 23, 2015 at 4:10 pm - Reply

    Thank you for discussing the needs of these beautiful lizards–any pet requires care and planning, and deserved respect.

  42. M July 23, 2015 at 4:46 pm - Reply

    I found this very informative! We have salamanders in our home but we can’t touch them and play!

  43. Indrani Biswas July 24, 2015 at 1:49 am - Reply

    Interesting pet to keep !

  44. Shannon July 25, 2015 at 9:50 pm - Reply

    I have never owned a lizard of any kind, but I remember wishing that I could as a kid! I wonder how my childhood would have been different if a bearded dragon was apart of it. =)

  45. JACKIE PHIPPS July 26, 2015 at 1:09 am - Reply

    I learned more about the care and feeding of these amazing creatures in ten minutes than I have in my lifetime. Thank you for showing us how much love and attention and care goes into raising such wonderful pets

  46. Leny July 26, 2015 at 10:02 am - Reply

    OMG! so our place it is n0t easy to handle and care the reptiles, how sad about what happened to your baby!

  47. Kim Campbell July 26, 2015 at 3:07 pm - Reply

    I’m not a huge fan of lizardy types, but the last picture is SO cute! He looks like he’s/she’s smiling for the camera!

  48. Anna July 26, 2015 at 8:27 pm - Reply

    This post contains a lot of information that I never knew about reptiles.

  49. seem July 26, 2015 at 10:28 pm - Reply

    thanks.. it’s a great post
    it is really helpful

  50. Ashley Mclellan July 28, 2015 at 11:26 pm - Reply

    thanks very helpful for my new dragon

  51. Nikolina July 29, 2015 at 7:19 am - Reply

    Oh, gosh, don’t think I’d ever own a pet like this…. ,lol

  52. Dorothy Boucher July 29, 2015 at 2:03 pm - Reply

    I guess you need a lot to take care of these reptiles, but my thinking is .. why is it that people are so selfish and wanting these or snakes or anything else that belongs in the wild… just my thought..

  53. Mary Czerczyk July 29, 2015 at 2:17 pm - Reply

    I’m sorry but I’m a little freaked out about lizards. But it is good to have a place to go like Pet Smart to get what you need to take care of them.

  54. Danielle Royalegacy July 30, 2015 at 11:00 am - Reply

    He’s a real cool lizard! I live in a desert, and see lizards every time I step outside. You have some good information here, but I don’t want one inside my home.

  55. fonda July 30, 2015 at 3:55 pm - Reply

    Like and shared

  56. Marcos Batac July 31, 2015 at 4:43 am - Reply

    Reptiles is not my pet

  57. Meg A July 31, 2015 at 11:32 pm - Reply

    I’ve seen a few reptiles last year when I visited the Toronto Zoo, like the Komodo Dragon. I must say that I’m intimidated by most reptiles, if not most animals. I know it takes so much care and responsibility to raise animals outside of their natural habitat, so, I’ve not owned a pet all my life. I also read that some people collect animals and abuse them as they grow up by failing to meet their needs, so it’s good when there are people who take caring for these animals seriously to their old age.

  58. Atsalaki Xanthoula August 1, 2015 at 1:04 am - Reply

    My cousin has two of them ane he really loves them i afraid of the m at the beginning but now i find them very nice guys hehe!!!

  59. Deborah D August 1, 2015 at 12:01 pm - Reply

    there is sure a lot to remember.

  60. Nancy Hilderbrand August 2, 2015 at 6:44 am - Reply

    I always wondered how to raise bearded dragons. I think I will try to raise one.. I appreciate all the information.

  61. denise low August 3, 2015 at 11:07 am - Reply

    Thank you for the information. My grandkids would love this.

  62. caroline tokes August 3, 2015 at 12:40 pm - Reply

    aww how cute i want 1

  63. Sherry Keef August 4, 2015 at 2:39 am - Reply

    I had one of these little guys when I was a young girl. It was so much fun and I loved my little reptile.

  64. Jeani b August 4, 2015 at 10:32 am - Reply

    i’ve never had one of these, and i can’t imagine my daughter wanting one, but this is a great started list.

  65. Melanie Westermann August 4, 2015 at 2:11 pm - Reply

    Really cool pet!

  66. K Davis August 4, 2015 at 4:27 pm - Reply

    We had a gecko for a few months, but the maintenance was too much and we gave it away to a better home.

  67. Betsy Barnes August 4, 2015 at 5:34 pm - Reply

    Very interesting post. I was not a fan of lizards, however, he is very cute and I learned a lot about caring for them. 🙂

  68. Darla Peduzzi August 4, 2015 at 6:45 pm - Reply

    I’m sure it’s a really cool pet but I’m kinda scared of them. Like really scared of them 🙁

  69. Min K August 4, 2015 at 8:42 pm - Reply

    not for me!

  70. Jessica Cyr August 4, 2015 at 10:23 pm - Reply

    Such a cute bearded dragon !

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