So, you’ve finally made the decision to purchase a bearded dragon?
There’s just one problem – you don’t know how to find a breeder you can trust. It can be challenging to find a reputable breeder but luckily there are signs you can look for that will help you differentiate good breeders from bad ones.
Here are 12 tips for finding great bearded dragon breeders:
Pay attention to their business practices, whoever you choose will be (or should be) with you far after purchasing your bearded dragon.
1) Ask friends or local Bearded Dragon groups.
If you know anyone with a bearded dragon, they will probably be a good source of information regarding breeders in your area. Another option is searching local Facebook groups and forums, you’ll be sure to find someone who can help you out.
Don’t be afraid to ask people questions about their experiences with the breeder or if they had any health concerns appear after bringing home their bearded dragon. Try to find as many testimonials as you can for the same breeder, this will help determine their reputability.
2) How easy are they to reach?
How quick does the breeder respond to your messages? Are they easily reachable by phone? While you shouldn’t expect an instant response, it is not a good sign if the breeder is difficult to reach or takes a long time to respond to messages.
You need to know that the breeder is easily accessible because the lack of communication will be a huge problem if something goes wrong after the sale.
3) Ask the breeder questions.
A reputable breeder will be knowledgeable about bearded dragons and they will answer all your questions. A good breeder will encourage you to ask questions because it helps them get a better feel for you too.
4) Do they ask you questions?
If the breeder cares about the well-being of their stock, they will ask you questions. They should want to know you can set up their tank properly, about your plans (is this the only bearded dragon, are you looking to breed?), and that you understand the commitment you are making.
If a breeder doesn’t seem interested in you, proceed with caution. It’s a sign that they are more interested in the sale than the well-being of their bearded dragons.
5) Are prices fair?
Research prices of local bearded dragons so you can tell if a breeder is overcharging or undercharging on prices. Overcharging is likely an attempt to take advantage of people who don’t know any better and undercharging is a sign that the breeder’s stock is ill or poorly bred.
Look for breeders with similar pricing, they will probably be a good place to start. Some breeders might be more flexible with their pricing than others, so it might be a good idea to ask before committing to a price.
6) Are they affiliated with a local reptile group?
If the breeder is affiliated with a local reptile group, it means they are active in the local reptile community. This is important because it shows that they have a genuine interest in bearded dragons and other reptiles – it’s not just about making money for them. It would be rare for a respected reptile group to support a breeder with shady business practices.
7) Do they have a website?
Most established breeders will have a website to display their stock, policies, testimonials, and contact information. A website is a good indicator that a breeder is professional and experienced with breeding bearded dragons. Look to see if they explain their breeding and adopting processes, it will give you a good idea of whether you should contact them or not.
It’s not a make-or-break type of thing, and some will use social media instead of having their own website and that’s fine too. Some digital point of contact is definitely a plus, but if they hit every other note, it doesn’t necessarily mean you need to avoid them.
8) Are they willing to let you visit and look at their stock?
A good breeder will have no problem meeting you to show you their stock before purchasing a bearded dragon. If you encounter a breeder who won’t let you see their bearded dragons, there is a good chance some questionable behavior is going on and you should walk away.
9) Observe for signs of illness.
While visiting with the breeder, take time to observe the bearded dragons for signs of illness (cloudy eyes, lethargic, runny stool, swollen limbs)
Don’t be afraid to ask the breeder how they care for sick reptiles and what precautions they take to reduce the risk of illnesses.
10) Take note of living conditions.
Like checking for illness, you will want to take note of living conditions. Do enclosures look well-maintained and clean? Do you notice any enclosures missing necessary equipment?
Bearded dragons kept in poor living conditions will likely have underlying health conditions that could cause serious harm or premature death.
11) Is a warranty provided with the sale?
A good breeder will provide customers with a warranty that will refund the sale or replace the bearded dragon if it becomes sick or passes away within a specified time frame (usually within the first month). Warranties offer peace of mind and show that the breeder is confident about the health of their stock.
12) Does the breeder encourage communication after the sale?
Is the breeder available after the sale to answer questions or help you with any issues that pop up? This is something you will want to look for while gathering customer testimonials. A good breeder won’t disappear after the sale – they’ll want to maintain some level of relationship with you.
Take note of what the breeder would like you to do in the event you can’t take care of your bearded dragon. Some breeders request that you return the bearded dragon back to them, this is a good sign that they care about what happens to their animals.
If you follow these tips on finding a trustworthy breeder, you should have no problem finding someone you can trust.
Don’t be afraid to walk away from the transaction if you observe questionable behavior because you’ll be dealing with the same person in the event something happens with your pet after bringing them home.