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How Much Does It Cost To Feed A Bearded Dragon

Are you looking into getting a bearded dragon as a pet?

Do you need to know about the costs of owning and caring for a bearded dragon?

Taking on a new pet is often scary and overwhelming, so gathering information ahead of time can help make the transition easier for you and your new reptile friend.

But of all the costs, the biggest one over time may end up being food.

So, how much does it cost to feed a bearded dragon?

The cost of feeding a bearded dragon depends on the diet and age of your reptile. As a basic rule, expect to spend anywhere between $5 – $20 per week on food for your beardy.

Read on for more details and cost breakdown for feeding a bearded dragon.

Cost Breakdown

The cost breakdown of feeding a bearded dragon isn’t overwhelming, but over time, it may be the most expensive part of beardy ownership.

Diet elements are broken down into three parts: greens, proteins, and supplements.


These are all-natural vegetation, vegetables, and fruit.

These foods provide a lot of hydration and essential vitamins, such as calcium.


Proteins consist of insects and worms.

These foods provide fats, calories, and some hydration and vitamins.


No matter how balanced your bearded dragon’s diet is, it will most likely need to take some form of supplements when in captivity.

These supplements take several forms.

The most popular of these are powders to sprinkle on food before they eat it and “gut loading” food.

Gut loading is when you feed live food some vitamin-rich supplements before the bearded dragon eats them.

In general, supplements cost the most, but they can last a long time.

Proteins cost more than greens and need to be kept fresh.

Young beardies go through live food like crazy.

Exact prices differ on each product, but here is a table of what to expect on feeding over time.

For more details on average product costs, see the next section.

Time Span
(Pricing adding up over time)
Protein Cost
Green Cost
1 week $5 – $7 $1 – $3 (Monthly)
2 weeks $10 $2 (Monthly)
1 month $20 $4 $15
3 months $60 $12 $45
6 months $120 $24 $90
1 year $240 $48 $180
5 years $1,200 $240 $900
10 years $2,400 $480 $1,800
12 years
(average life
$2,880 $576 $2,160


This table reflects consistent food pricing over time.

You may find deals, prices may go up and down, and you may even be able to save money on food as the beardy gets older.

Check out the later section on age and pricing for how you may save money over time.

How Often Do You Have To Feed A Bearded Dragon?

The frequency of feeding a bearded dragon depends on the age and size of the reptile.

But there are some general rules you should follow.


Beardy diets are broken down into protein and greens.

Read the next section for more details on these categories.

Baby and juvenile bearded dragons need a diet consisting of more protein than greens.

This is because they need the extra calories to gain mass and get big enough to fend off many predators.

As the bearded dragon transitions into adulthood, the bearded dragons eat fewer proteins and more greens.

Greens often come packed with more vitamins, which are essential for a healthy body and a longer lifespan.

For frequency, younger bearded dragons need to eat more often than their more mature counterparts.

Check out this table for more details on what and when to feed bearded dragons.

Age Diet Ratio Amount Frequency
<2 – 3
70% Insects
30% Veg
30 – 80 insects
total per day
3 – 5 feeding times per day
3 – 8
70% Insects
30% Veg
30 – 80 insects
total per day
Two feeding times per day
8 – 12
70% Insects
30% Veg
30 – 80 insects
total per day
One feeding time per day
year +
30% Insects70% Veg 50 insects total per week One day salad, One day insects, One day nothing and repeat

For a complete look at bearded dragons, check out our bearded dragon breakdown.

What Is The Best Thing To Feed A Bearded Dragon?

There is no “best” thing to feed a bearded dragon, but having a good balance of different proteins and vegetation can keep your bearded dragon happy and healthy in the long run.

Remember to mix up what you feed your pet.

Sure, just stuffing nothing but crickets and kale down your pet meets the requirements, but, just like humans, they get different vitamins from all kinds of different foods.

Included in this section are some common foods for beardies broken down by type:

Protein (Insects/Worms)

Greens (Vegetation, Vegetables, and Fruits)


  • Kale
  • Collard greens
  • Escarole
  • Dandelion greens
  • Turnip greens
  • Mustard greens
  • Clover
  • Parsley


  • Okra
  • Sweet potato
  • Squash
  • Carrots (shredded)
  • Green beans
  • Bell pepper
  • Broccoli
  • Peas
  • Cabbage
  • Zucchini
  • Bok choy
  • Asparagus
  • Radicchio
  • Celery
  • Cucumbers (peeled)


  • Apricots
  • Apples
  • Peaches
  • Strawberries (with seeds removed)
  • Grapes
  • Figs
  • Plums
  • Bananas
  • Papayas
  • Melons

How Does Age Affect Food Costs?

The majority of spending when it comes to food is going to come from two places:

  1. Proteins and live food
  2. Supplements and Vitamins

Baby and juvenile bearded dragons need to eat more proteins.

They also need vitamins and supplements more than adult bearded dragons.

This higher need comes from the fact they won’t eat as many greens resulting in lower levels of essentials vitamins such as calcium.

Greens cost a lot less overall than both of these other foods.

Because younger beardies require more of these more expensive items, you may end up saving money on food as the reptiles get older. 

Still, even with young beardies, you most likely won’t spend more than $20 a week on food.


Never feed your bearded dragon insects or worms collected from outside around your house.

These insects may have pesticides sprayed on them, or they may also carry parasites and make your pet sick or worse.

how much does it cost to feed a bearded dragon

Other Bearded Dragon Costs

There are other bearded dragon costs you may want to consider before you decided to get a bearded dragon.

Some of these costs are one-time purchases, while others are recurring.

Keep in mind, for there are often cost-saving methods of getting these things which can drastically lower the price of owning a bearded dragon.

The goal here isn’t to scare you but to inform.

The worst kind of situation happens when someone adopts a pet and is then completely overwhelmed with its care.

If you aren’t prepared, you may end up returning or giving your animal up.

All this will be avoided with some preparation and knowledge.

Enclosure ($50 – $350)

The enclosure or tank is what your bearded dragon will be staying in.

There are many kinds out there at a variety of price ranges.

Most of the time, it’s possible find a good one for around $50 on sale.

This tank will be little more than four walls and space, but sometimes it’s all you need.

For more expensive enclosures, they begin to include things such as lighting, tops, heat elements, built-in thermometers, and other accessories.

The critical part of picking an enclosure revolves around making sure you get the right size.

Bearded dragons need room to move, or they begin to get stressed out.

We recommend at the very least to have a tank which is 50 gallons large. 

The better sizes would be 75 gallons or 100 gallons.

Some of the most giant bearded dragons should be in 100 gallons.

Don’t skimp on the enclosures in quality, or your bearded dragon may end up escaping and potentially hurting itself.

Screen Top ($25 – $40)

With a wonderful enclosure, skip on buying an extra top, but only if the tank already comes with a secured top.

Bearded dragons are natural semi-arboreal.

They climb trees and rocks often to search for prey and escape some predators.

They’re also active lizards during the daytime.

In their enclosures, this means they’ll be moving around a lot and climbing.

You wouldn’t think of these reptiles as escape artists (this is usually reserved for snakes), but beardies do have a reputation for escaping.

If your enclosure top isn’t pre-fixed and secure, you may want to get an extra screen top to put on it.

You may also want one because it just makes feeding and getting your bearded dragon out happen with ease.  

Substrate/Bedding ($0 – $40)

Substrate or bedding may not be a necessity for bearded dragons, but it can make your life easier and your pet happier.

Substrate or bedding is a layer of flooring on the bottom of the tank.

Natural ones such as clay or crushed walnuts can make the bearded dragon happier by giving them something to dig in.

Artificial ones such as newspapers or reptile carpet make cleaning up urine and feces easy.

For more details, check out our article on the best substrate for bearded dragons.

Lighting ($40 – $100)

Lighting for a bearded dragon isn’t just convenient; it’s essential.

Bearded dragons come from the deserts of Australian and have evolved to need sunlight and heat as part of their biology.

While some more excellent enclosures may come with a light, you need to make sure the enclosure is well lit. 

Get more bang for your buck by also getting lighting, which gives off heat or UVB rays.

Heating Elements ($40 – $50)

If you don’t already have one of the best heat lamps for bearded dragons, you will also need to pick up an additional heating element.

Heating lamps work well for providing the needed basking spot for a beardy, but it also needs to heat the whole tank.

With a large tank, you may also consider an overhead heater or heating mat.

Power Strip/ Timer ($25 – $50)

These extras may seem unnecessary, but they are guaranteed to make your life so much easier.

Between the potential lights, heaters, and thermometers, you may have quite a few power cords running behind your tank.

A power strip can help keep things organized and safe.

A timer may make your life easier, as well.

Lights and heaters will need to be turned off at night and on in the morning.

With a timer, you don’t have to worry about forgetting it. Just set it and forget it. 

Thermometers 2x ($10 – $50)

You’ll need at least two thermometers for the bearded dragon tank.

The beardy needs a hot basking spot and a warm overall temperature.

To ensure your pet’s long health, a thermometer needs to be in the basking spot and another somewhere else in the tank. 

These range greatly in price depending on how many features you want.

Check out the best thermometers for more details.

Food And Water Bowls ($0 – $10)

Food bowls make your life easier by letting you assemble salads for your pet and then just placing it in the tank for him to eat.

It doesn’t need to be fancy at all.

The same thing with a water bowl, just make sure the water bowl is shallow.

Don’t be surprised if your pet uses the bowl to swim.

Veterinary Bills ($100 each time)

Veterinary bills are hard to anticipate cost-wise.

Simple yearly checkups may cost some, but when your pet is sick or has parasites, the price will go up a lot.

Without significant illnesses, expect to spend at least $100 per year for medical visits.

When it gets sick, you may pay more.


Now you know how much it costs to feed a bearded dragon.

The cost isn’t too much in the grand scheme of things, but you don’t want to be surprised and disappointed in your pet choice when you see the bill.

Save money by buying in bulk and choosing healthier food options (such as various greens) for your beardy’s diet.

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