As the popularity of keeping reptiles as pets continues to climb, we have noticed more and more people reaching out and asking for advice on keeping a bearded dragon vs a snake as a pet.
Although most people do seem to be considering a corn snake or a ball python, there is some range when it comes to the specific snake species that may change your answer but with both options being great pets, we wanted to publish our own article to try and help as many of our readers as possible.
Bearded dragons and snakes have their advantages and disadvantages as pets with bearded dragons being a great pet for someone who wants to handle or interact with their pet more but bearded dragons do tend to cost more than some snake species while also being higher maintenance.
Most entry level snake vivarium will be cheaper than that of a bearded dragons setup but over handling your snake will often stress it out but they are low maintenance and may only need feeding a couple of times per week making snakes ideal for people with busy lives.
The best option for you will usually depend on your situation but some people will just prefer the look of a bearded dragon or a snake and take that route.
Please note that we know bearded dragons are seeing a huge spike in their popularity right now due to a number of viral videos on TikTok showing them acting goofy and cute but this is NOT guaranteed with your bearded dragon.
Those viral clips show a couple of seconds of the total day of a bearded dragon’s life and these behaviors are not normal so never get a pet due to seeing a viral video on social media.
The Argument For A Pet Bearded Dragon!
Bearded dragons are a great pet that are relatively easy to care for with bearded dragons often being able to be let out of their vivarium to play for short periods of time each day depending on your local temperatures.
Bearded dragons can be handled and played with more often than snakes and other reptiles but they do tend to be higher maintenance as they require feeding more frequently and more food means more poop meaning more tank cleaning.
The main disadvantage of a bearded dragon over a snake is their price point as they will usually need a larger vivarium setup with a higher powered heating lamp when compared to the majority of entry level snake species.
This does change if the snake you are considering is a ball python as the initial costs for a bearded dragon and ball python will be the same unless you are specifically wanting a rare morph ball python then their initial purchase price will be extremely expensive.
Depending on your situation, the amount of care and maintenance a bearded dragon requires can be seen as a disadvantage too, especially if you have a busy life and work long hours.
An adult bearded dragon will usually need to be fed two to three times per day with their tank being spot cleaned at least once every two days, possibly every day depending on the side and food intake of your beardie.
Some people will see this as an advantage of keeping a pet bearded dragon though as it helps to fill up your day if you are in retirement or reptile keeping is one of your main hobbies.
The Argument For A Pet Snake!
Small beginner snake such as a corn snake can be an excellent first reptile for anyone to keep and a corn snake is usually our default recommendation due to how easy they are to care for as well as how cheap a basic corn snake vivarium setup will cost.
You can also take the ball python route with costs usually being higher, especially if you want a rare ball python morph but a large number of people who keep reptiles will fall in love with the beautiful colors and patterns of the rarer ball pythons.
If you do have a job that requires you to be out of your home for large amounts of the day then a snake is almost always going to be the better option over a bearded dragon due to most snake species being low maintenance when compared to that of a bearded dragon.
The majority of snakes tend not to enjoy being handles and will usually need to be fed far less frequently than a bearded dragon. The less food that your snake eats, the less poop that is generates meaning that less spot tank maintenance is usually required in most situations.
Not only are the initial costs of most snake species cheaper than that of bearded dragons but their ongoing costs can workout to be lower too.
Although the actual costs of snake foods such as chicks or pinkies may look higher initially, when you workout how often you will have to feed your snake species of choice as well as the fact that their food tends to be freezable to keep it for longer, it will often workout cheaper than the costs of a beared dragon.
Which Is Better A Bearded Dragon Or A Snake?
Bearded dragons tend to be a better pet for anyone who has more free time to fill and want a pet that they are able to handle more frequently while having the higher budget available for their pet.
Snakes, especially corn snakes are ideal for anyone with less free time available looking for a low cost, low maintenance reptile to keep as a pet that they can handle for a couple of hours a week.
As we mentioned back at the start of the article, when it comes to the snake side of things, the specific species of snake that you keep will play a huge role in the amount of maintenance that the snake requires.
We have stuck to only covering corn snakes and ball pythons in this article as they are usually the best entry level snakes for reptile keepers due to being easier to care for.
This is not always the case though and there are some snake species out there that can be high maintenance and have much higher costs associated with keeping them than the the entry level snakes.
Your local laws will also come into play when it comes to snakes as some species of snake are outright banned in various locations due to being classed as an invasive species or a dangerous pet where as this is usually not an issue with bearded dragons.
That brings our article going over our bearded dragon vs snake comparison article to an end and we hope that you have found it helpful. Our goal was to point out the key differences between keeping a bearded dragon or snake that the majority of people will have to consider. There are more specific differences that less people will care about that we have not covered in our article but for the most part, the stick to the same strategy of bearded dragons are higher maintenance with higher costs with snakes being the opposite.