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What are the costs of owning a reptile?

Reptiles are specialist animals, and they have specialist requirements for their housing. We get a lot of questions regarding the overall costs of having a pet reptile, so we have done our best to break down some of the costs for you.

This post will be a rough guide, and I will include the energy calculator that was used so you can work out the costs for yourselves.

Bearded Dragons are one of our most popular reptiles so I will explain the costs for this specific animal. Especially with things like Christmas coming up, it is always ideal to have a rough idea of the costs of the animal before committing to purchasing one for yourself or a family member.

Let's say that the average cost of your energy is 27p kWh - without any standard baseline charge. If you have a 39W UVB tube on for 12 hours a day and a 100W Heat bulb on for 12 hours a day, here are the results for what you will be spending on electricity.

Now, we always advise having your heat source connected to a thermostat. With a thermostat, your heat bulb will not be on consistently for 12 hours a day, as the thermostat's role is to monitor the temperatures inside of the enclosure; the bulb will dim down throughout the day and also may completely go off if the enclosure has reached the temperature we set. So your bulb will not be working at 100% for 12 hours a day, cutting down the costs of your electric bill even more. It is difficult to gauge the costs of electricity used when a thermostat is involved as it will be different for everyone.

Moving on from electric costs, let's have a look at some of the other things to consider when purchasing a Bearded Dragon.

Bearded Dragons can have quite the appetite - we say, on average, that most Bearded Dragon owners will go through anywhere between 4-8 boxes of livefood a week, especially when they are young. This can vary depending on the animal itself, and this does generally cut down quite a lot once the animal has reached a certain age and becomes an adult, as it no longer needs anywhere near as much food.

A box of crickets in our shop costs £2.20, and a box of locusts costs £3.30. We also have deals available, such as 5 boxes of crickets for £10 or 5 boxes of locusts for £15. Prices on livefood will vary depending on your animal. Bearded Dragons require a lot of food, but something like a snake wouldn’t cost anywhere near as much to feed. So, the cost of feeding is also something that needs to be thought about when deciding to purchase any animal.

Bearded Dragons will also often eat a mix of vegetation, but this is something that I will not include on this list as it is difficult to work on the average costs, especially when most of the vegetation that they eat is something most of us will already keep in our fridges.

On top of the weekly costs, there are other things that you should take into consideration regarding overall maintenance costs for the animal. Every 4-6 weeks, we recommend doing a full clean where everything gets cleaned out and fully disinfected and substrates replaced. A standard pet-safe disinfectant costs around £7.99, but once you have brought the bottle, it should last you a while, and a 10L bag of Straw Bedding (the substrate we recommend for bearded dragons) costs £9.99.

Every 3-6 months (depending on how long it lasts you), you will also need to look at replacing your supplement powders. Once opened, the contents are viable for 6 months, but you may likely use it within that time. A 450g of Calcium powder costs £7.99, and a 100g of Nutrabol costs £12.50.

There are other costs that I haven’t included on this list, such as the purchasing of any decor or treats or things like that- but they will be costs that are subject to change.

This blog is a rough overall breakdown of some main costs to consider - there may be unexpected vet visits or other costs you may face when owning a reptile. Still, we hope this post gives you a rough idea of the financial responsibilities.

Thank you for reading!



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