A new keeper's guide to the Pogona Rankini / Henrylawsoni Dragon

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 Post subject: food costs
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 3:44 pm 
Rank: An Egg
Rank: An Egg

Sun Oct 07, 2012 3:38 pm
Sorry if this has been asked before, I did search but couldn't find any answers.
After doing loads of research we've decided that a rankin dragon is probably going to be the best pet lizard for us to keep but before buying one I want to make sure that we can afford the running cost.
Just trying to find out how much food costs are per week? I'm not worrying too much about electricity costs as from what I can find out it doesn't add too much onto the bill every month.

I'd hate to buy one then discover that the cost of food is too expensive to keep up with.

 Post subject: Re: food costs
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 5:16 pm 
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Thu Apr 10, 2008 3:52 am
Seattle, USA

Pet Dragon Info:
Rankins: Mitzi (F).
Beardies: Luca (M), Mocha (M)
Blue Tongue Skinks: Teal (F), Cinnamon (?)
Giant Mexican Horned Lizards: Linus (M), Louis (M)
Uromastyx: Brian (M), Chloe (F), Kora (F), Kami (M), Melody (F), Murray (M), Omar (M)

With any lizard the real expense comes with Vet bills. It's an inescapable fact that, even with a healthy animal, you will probably have 2 visits to the vet each year for check-ups. Depending on the vet, an average visit can run you 55 to 75 pounds a time for a basic wellness exam (more if additional tests or treatments are needed). The reason is that there are comparatively few reptile vets compared to animals such as cats or dogs. By comparison, reptile medicine is a long way behind large mammals, so fewer treatment options are available and this makes the ones that are available more expensive.

The amount of food they eat depends on the age of the animal and the time of year. From October through March/April, we see a time of year known as 'Brumation". During this time the lizard will have reduced activity and appetite. A lot has been written and posted on this site about brumation, so use the "Search" tool and browse the articles. They make for good reading.

A young animal neds more protein (insects) during the first year or so of life. They need to grow as bis as possible as fast as possible. Try to avoid waxworms in the diet and stick with things like crickets, silkworms and phoenix worms. They are a better source of proteins, calcium and nutrients. Like humans, Rankins tend to want to eat "junk food" which in the lizard world tends to equate to waxworms and mealworms. It's hard to get them off these things but they are definitely not the healthiest of diets.

So, to answer your original question ;) If you stick with the 'healthy' foods and buy them in bulk you would probably be looking around 15 ounds (plus shipping) each week. This would provide a balanced diet of insects and vegetables. Unlike Bearded Dragons, Rankins need more insects in their diet (about 70/30 split between insects and veggies). They also need a dish of fresh water, changed daily.

Hope this helps.

Best regards,

"Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted" - Prof. Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture
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