There is no doubt that Bearded Dragons are an absolutely great pet to keep. They are such cool animals that are totally freaking awesome in a kind of prehistoric looking way!
However when potential new owners are thinking about adopting a Bearded Dragon there can be a few questions that are raised. One of the first that is asked is “do they bite?!” And it is easy to understand why, they do look like they have just strolled off the set of a Jurassic Park set.
So this article is going to answer this important question and also arm you with the information you need to get avoid suffering a bite.
Do Bearded Dragons bite?
Ok so this is the short answer for anyone who just wants to know the truth and does not want to know how they can avoid it.
Do pet Bearded Dragons bite? The simple answer to this is yes, Bearded Dragons can and do bite their owners. However there are always two sides to every story and more often than not the owner will have accidentally upset their Bearded Dragon causing it to lash out in fear or surprise with the use of its teeth. Do not worry though, read through this guide to mitigate the risks of a bite situation happening.
So there you go, Bearded Dragons can bite and will bite but they usually do not bite for no reason and there is always a cause for the reaction. Below I will tell you more about Bearded Dragon bites and how you can avoid it happening with your pet.
Does a Bearded Dragon bite hurt?
Ok, so usually once a new or soon to be new owner of a pet Bearded Dragon finds out that they can bite the next question they will ask is does it hurt? Well the answer to this question has quite a few variables such as the age of the victim and how tough the skin is in the area of the bite.
So does a Bearded Dragons bite hurt? Yes it sure does. Bearded Dragons do have powerful jaws for their size. Although they do not have huge teeth they have plenty of them and they are small,sharp serrated teeth like a knife. If it bites on a soft part of your body it can draw blood and cause some quite intense pain but bites are rare and the risks can be reduced with good handling.
Why did my Bearded Dragon bite me?
There is always a reason for a Bearded Dragon lashing out with a bite although sometimes it may not seem apparent straight away.
Some of the reasons why a Bearded Dragon might include:
- Rough handling by younger family members.
- Restricting their movement.
- Startling or otherwise shocking the Dragon with quick movements.
- Hunger can play a factor in bites.
- On the flip side bites can occur when the Bearded Dragon is eating.
- A lack of socialising can cause the Dragon to lash out when handled.
- Fear or feeling threatened.
This is a list of the main reasons why you may receive a nip from your pet dragon but rest assured all of these circumstances can be taken away. In the next part of this guide we will take a look at the ways that you can reduce the chances of it happening.
This is how to stop Bearded Dragon bites.
As mentioned earlier bites from a pet Bearded Dragon are quite rare but for someone receiving their first bit it can be a little bit alarming.
The aim is to try to reduce the risks of it happening in the first place and this can be done by taking a few different steps which tie into why a Dragon may bite you in the first place.
- First of all try to make sure that children are supervised whilst handling the Bearded Dragon (at least until they become accustomed to safe handling) as children are usually the first to receive a nip.
- Do not try to squeeze you pet Dragon or otherwise restrict its movement as this can cause it to last out in fear.
- Use slow movements when going to hold it, quickly grabbing it will cause it to be startled.
- Make sure that you set good and regular feeding intervals so that your Bearded Dragon does not go hungry, this will save it from trying to eat your finger!
- When your Bearded Dragon is eating give it space and time, this goes for many animals as they are protective over their food. Speaking of eating, I wrote the perfect article if you would like to know about bearded dragon diet and feeding, check it out!
- Try to regularly handle your pet as this socialisation will allow the Bearded Dragon to become accustomed to you.
- Try not to cause it fear. Although they are one of the larger pet reptiles they are still small compared to a human.
- The last tip on this list is to pick up the Bearded dragon slowly from the side. It’s natural predators attack from above and picking one up from above can make it lash out feeling that it is under attack.
What you should do if you get bit by a Bearded Dragon.
More often that not a Bearded Dragon bite is not a major problem although it can come as a bit of a shock! If you or a loved one do end up on the receiving end there are a few simple steps to take.
Straight after the bite carefully place the Bearded Dragon back into its vivarium to reduce further stress or attacks. Now you can check the wound, if there is no piercing of the skin a simple was with soap and warm water will be sufficient.
However if the bite does draw blood it is best to wash the affected area with an antibacterial soap. Then apply an alcohol based antibacterial soap or wash to the area. You can now bandage or place a plaster over the wound. Change the bandage as needed.
Further treatment should not be necessary however if you do notice any swelling or discharge it is recommended that you go to see your doctor for further treatment. Bearded Dragons are quite clean animals so the chances of infection are very low.
How to handle a Bearded Dragon safely to avoid being bit.
As mentioned above poor handling is one of the main reasons that you may get a bite reaction. So now we will have a talk about how to correctly handle your Dragon in a way that will reduce the chances of an incident.
First off when you are approaching to pick it up take things slowly and try to pick it up so that it can see you coming. The best way is to pick it up with both hands from the side and never from above as this can seem like an attack.
Once you have picked it up let it move freely without restraint by gently guiding it to where you want to go. One of the biggest reasons for a bite is when I child holds or squeezes the Dragon to tightly so watch out for this happening.
You may notice your bearded dragon waving like I talk about in this article, this could be a sign it is stressed and a reason for a bite. You may also notice that your bearded dragon has stopped eating.
Being a Bearded Dragons adaptive parent can be a really rewarding experience as they are one of the most interesting pets out there. With careful handling you will soon be able to see its quirky personality and habits and your children will love it.
If a bite does happen it is important to learn from it and work out why it happened, this should help you to not make the same mistake. The number one thing to remember though is that although bites do happen they are rare and do not let it put you of holding and caring for your Bearded Dragon.
My name is Andy Baines and I am the owner and writer here at Super Crazy Pets.
For the last 20 years I have been the carer/parent of many exotic pets, from reptiles to amphibians I have cared for and looked after them all.
I created this website to share my knowledge of looking after pets with other fellow owners.
My works and articles have been shared on many online publications including The Spruce Pets.
You can read more about my story by visiting the about me page.