How Much Does It Cost to Own a Blue Tongue Skink? (Price Guide 2021)


A Blue Tongue Skink is a super unique reptile. Although it may not be a great starting pet if you’ve never had a reptile before, these little creatures aren’t too difficult to care for, making them the perfect pet for reptile lovers.

As with any other pet, there are quite a few costs associated with Blue Tongue Skink ownership. In this article, we are going to look at all of the costs to expect whenever you own a Blue Tongue Skink. This includes one-time prices and monthly recurring prices. Let’s get started.divider-reptile

Bringing Home a New Blue Tongue Skink: One-Time Costs

Blue Tongue Skink in the field
Image Credit: pen_ash, Pixabay

As with most any other pet, the most expensive time in your Blue Tongue Skink’s life will be when you first bring it home. During this time, you will need to pay for the Skink and set up its new habitat.

In comparison to dogs and other more popular pets, Blue Tongue Skinks are more expensive up front, and you should not expect to find one of these creatures for free. Instead, you will likely need to purchase one from a reputable breeder.

Free

Unfortunately, it is not very likely that you will find a Blue Tongue Skink for free. These pet lizards are typically only taken on by reptile lovers who know they have what it takes to care for these animals. As a result, there are not a lot of Blue Tongue Skinks looking to be rehomed.

That being said, you could always look on Facebook, eBay, and other sites to see if someone is willing to give away their Blue Tongue Skink for free. Once again, we wouldn’t bet on this option, but it is worth considering.

Adoption

$150–$500

Depending on where you live, you might be able to find a Blue Tongue Skink for adoption. These Skinks will have been previously owned, but you will likely need to pay for the Skink and its enclosure setup.

The exact price will depend on the skin type. Northern Blue Tongue Skinks are the most affordable and the most frequently bought for adoption. These Skinks will cost $250 at most. Rarer Skinks will be more expensive, though they are not very common for adoption.

australian blue tongued skink_Martin Valigursky_Shutterstock
Image Credit: Martin Valigursky, Shutterstock

Breeder

$150–$5,000

If you want a Blue Tongue Skink with a known history, you will likely have to go to a breeder. Since Blue Tongue Skinks aren’t the most popular pet, you might have to go to a breeder anyways. This is especially true if you want a rare morph.

For example, some of the cheaper Blue Tongue Skinks can cost as little as $150. However, rarer Skinks can cost up to $5,000. So, the exact price will depend on the breeder and the type of Blue Tongue Skink you select.

Initial Setup and Supplies

$500–$700

In addition to buying the Blue Tongue Skink itself, you will need to buy a number of initial setup and supplies, such as its tank. It’s important to purchase these supplies before getting your Blue Tongue Skink so that its home is up and ready whenever it is brought back to your house.

Unfortunately, the initial setup items are very expensive. On the low end of the spectrum, expect to pay $500, though most people end up spending closer to the high end, which is around $700. If you’re not capable of purchasing all the needed items for your Skink, continue saving up and don’t buy one until you can purchase them all.divider-reptile

List of Blue Tongue Skinks Care Supplies and Costs

Tank $100-$500
Halogen heat bulb $15-$20
Dome lamp $30
Basking stone $15
Infrared temperature gun $25
Digital thermometer/hygrometer $15
UVB bulb and fixture $50-$75
Reptile humidifier $50
Bedding/substrate $30
Moss $15
Food dish $5
Large water dish $20
Tank decorations $30
2 caves $30
Supplements $35
Food $30

divider-reptileHow Much Does a Blue Tongue Skink Cost Per Month?

$30–$300+ per month

Even though purchasing a Blue Tongue Skink and buying all the initial setup items is expensive, Blue Tongue Skink maintenance is actually not that expensive. On the monthly basis, your Blue Tongue Skink will likely cost less than a dog or a cat.

Assuming that your Blue Tongue Skink is healthy, you will primarily spend the most money on food, which is to be expected. Luckily, Blue Tongue Skink food is affordable and can actually be shared with you and your family members.

Health Care

$0–$20 per month

Monthly health care for your Blue Tongue Skink should be affordable, assuming that it is healthy. In a best-case scenario, you shouldn’t have to purchase new health care items every month. Instead, most of the items you use on your Skink’s healthcare will last over several months, making their healthcare super affordable.

For example, you may need to buy some calcium and multivitamin supplements. Luckily, any supplements will last more than one month, which means this shouldn’t be a monthly occurrence. Assuming that your Blue Tongue Skink is healthy, you may have to pay $20 a month at most.

blue-tongued skink_Pixabay
Image Credit: Pixabay

Food

$25–$50 per month

As mentioned above, the most expensive part of owning a Blue Tongue Skink is its food and diet. This is completely normal because the most expensive part of owning any pet is feeding it. Blue Tongue Skinks are omnivores, which means they need a variety of fresh vegetables, fruits, and meats.

As a result, most of your Blue Tongue Skink’s diet will come from the produce section in the grocery store. You can expect to pay between $25 and $50 a month on its food.

Grooming

$0 per month

Like with many other reptiles, grooming is very minimal for the Blue Tongue Skink. You shouldn’t have to do much, assuming that the Blue Tongue Skink is healthy. Keeping care of the environment will allow the Blue Tongue Skink to maintain itself. You should not have to pay anything per month to maintain its grooming.

Medications and Vet Visits

$0–$150+ per month

If your Blue Tongue Skink gets sick, then you will have to pay quite a bit for its health care and wellness. A trip to the vet alone will likely cost between $100 and $150. Keep in mind that you should have an annual checkup once a year, even if your Skink seems healthy.

In the case that your Blue Tongue Skink is not healthy, you may have to pay for additional supplements and medication as well. Exotic pet medication is very expensive and will likely cost over $100.

Luckily, this will not be a monthly occurrence. You should only have to pay for this whenever your Skink is sick.

Pet Insurance

$0–$150 per month

Pet insurance for Blue Tongue Skinks can be a bit pricey simply because they are an exotic pet. The exact price for the pet insurance will depend on the plan you select and the provider you buy.

The range for exotic pet insurance for a reptile of this type typically ranges between $75 and $150, assuming you get price insurance (which we recommend). Since exotic pet medication is so expensive, pet insurance can help you out when you are in a real pickle.

blue tongued skink_Adam Brice_Shutterstock
Image Credit: Adam Brice, Shutterstock

Environment Maintenance

$0–$50 per month

Taking care of your Blue Tongue Skink’s environment is crucial for a happy and healthy reptile. If you properly clean its environment, it should stay happy and healthy, resulting in fewer costs down the line.

Once a week, deep clean the Skink’s enclosure and spot clean daily. You will need paper towels and reptile safe cleaner to get the job done. You will also need to replace the bedding so that the Skink isn’t laying in its own filth. Environmental maintenance can cost anywhere from $0 to $50 a month.

Entertainment

$0 per month

One way that Blue Tongue Skinks are way more affordable than other animals is that they do not need entertainment. Many reptiles simply find looking around their home, preying on their food, and basking in the light as all the entertainment they need.

As a result, you shouldn’t pay any money per month on your Blue Tongue Skink’s entertainment.divider-reptile

Total Monthly Cost of Owning a Blue Tongue Skinks

$30–$300+ per month

Assuming that your Blue Tongue Skink is healthy, you should only pay for its food and monthly cleaning. With these prices in mind, you will most likely be paying under $100 per month.

However, pet insurance and vet bills will make that price go up. Because of how expensive medication can be for these sorts of animals, we definitely recommend pet insurance, especially since other aspects of their maintenance is so affordable.

Additional Costs to Factor In

Of course, there are always some additional factors you want to think about. These sorts of prices may not be consistent, but they can add up to a lot over the Skink’s lifetime. For example, you will have to factor in cost for emergency healthcare and Skink-sitting whenever you go on vacation.

Whenever you go for a trip, you will likely have to hire someone you know. Because Skinks are such a unique animal, most people on Rover and other similar websites do not offer services for a pet of this kind.

Owning a Blue Tongue Skinks On a Budget

If you are on a budget, buying a Blue Tongue Skink can be a big expense. However, owning the Skink after the initial purchase isn’t that expensive. In fact, a Blue Tongue Skink is often more affordable and lower maintenance than a dog.

As a result, Blue Tongue Skinks are completely budget-friendly pets, once you get past the initial price. If you splurge a bit on proper lighting, food, and nutrients, you likely won’t have to spend any big vet bills until the end of the Skink’s life.

Blue Tongue Skink_Cindy Cwaygel_shutterstock
Credit: Cindy Cwaygel, Shutterstock

Saving Money on Blue Tongue Skinks Care

For saving money on your Blue Tongue Skink, we recommend shopping with coupons. This may sound like a no brainer tip, but it is incredibly beneficial for these animals. Since Skinks eat a variety of fresh vegetables and meats, you can easily find coupons for your local grocery store to help you save on your Blue Tongue Skink.

It’s also a good idea to try incorporating some of what your Blue Tongue Skink eats into your own diet. For example, you can buy green beans in bulk, providing both you and the Blue Tongue Skink food for cheap. This may sound like a weird tip, but this is one that many pet owners recommend whenever their pets eat similar foods as them.divider-reptile

Conclusion

At the end of the day, Blue Tongue Skinks are very expensive upfront, costing as much as $5000 for the Skink and $700 for the initial supplies. It’s highly imperative to purchase everything the pet needs before you purchase the Skink itself. You might need to save up for a couple of months beforehand, but it will be worth it.

Luckily, maintaining your Skink’s livelihood is nowhere near as expensive as the initial costs. As long as you keep your Skink healthy, you probably will not spend over $100 a month. Make sure to provide healthy food for your Blue Tongue Skink and a great environment for optimal health and low costs.


Featured Image Credit: RobynJean, Pixabay





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