Ever had a bearded dragon poop on you? This happens to almost all new owners of these reptiles. While this may be an unpleasant thing, especially when you’re wearing white, to be honest, it is an honest mistake on the Beardie’s part.
Either way, you’re not here to blame your Beardie for pooping on you, you want to understand why he does this and how to stop him from doing so.
Well here is the short answer to why your bearded dragon keeps pooping on you:
Your bearded dragon may poop on you for a number of different reasons. Stress, comfort or fear are the usual reasons why it happens or it could be totally unrelated and your bearded dragon may have poop in the wrong place by accident.
Keep reading below for a more in depth reasoning and what you can actually do to prevent it from happening.
Pooping on you because of stress
Bearded dragons can be easily stressed by changes in their lives. These changes may be in form of
A New environment: A new home is a new environment for your pet. The reason behind this behaviour could be the stress of moving into a new place. A stressed-out lizard tends to urinate everywhere and poop on its owner. To avoid this scenario, try keeping your pet at one place for up to 2 days before introducing him into his new home. This will help him settle down in his new home without causing any mess or unwanted accidents.
Frustration: Another reason that triggers fear of a bearded dragon to poop on its owner or anywhere in its surrounding is fear of being held by someone he doesn’t know or being frustrated by something. Frustration could be brought by, being dragged out of its habitat or being held against its will. They tend to be frustrated when they’re removed from habitats they’ve already familiarised with or when a new Beardie is introduced to their territory.
A change in diet: When you place your pet on a diet, he may tend to hold onto his poop or relive himself at unwanted times. This is because of the sudden change in food that he’s receiving. It takes time for the lizard to get adjusted to his new food.
Pooping on you because of fear
While some bearded dragons show affection towards their owners, there are some who tend to be scared of them. Could be scared because they are handled roughly or controlled too suddenly. This fear may result in a poop on the owner.
To avoid this problem, do not handle your lizard if it doesn’t want to be held and try giving it space when you sense it is getting too stressed out. It’s important to understand that this issue might need professional help from a vet as well considering how traumatic the experience must have been for your pet.
Handling a bearded dragon when it does not want any attention could end up with a nasty bite, so be careful to read the signs.
Pooping on you because they need warmth and comfort
Your pet may poop on you out of fear or stress, but another reason why lizards poop on you could be due to cold and loneliness. Ironic, isn’t it? They have an unusual way of showing emotion. When a lizard’s body temperature drops too low or increases too much, it causes them to poop more often or unexpectedly.
What can you do to stop a bearded Dragon from pooping on you?
Make sure they’ve had a number 2 before you carry/hug them. While Beardies are intelligent creatures, their bathroom behaviours are quite “predictable”. They’ll usually have one “big” poop at a regular time of the day and another one 5 hours later. You can confidently carry them after they’ve done their business.
Fun Fact: Beardies love pooping in warm water. Whatever you do with this knowledge is up to you.
Keep a comfortable enclosure for your pet. Try placing a warm water bottle or heating pads on one side of its habitat. This will help your pet get rid of the chills it feels and make it feel warmer than before as well.
Do not handle your pet if it doesn’t want to be held. Letting them walk and explore their environment on their own will help you avoid confrontations in future where they may poop everywhere due to fear or stress.
Handle your pet with care and affection. Don’t try holding him too tightly or too close to you, understand that he wouldn’t like your touch if he doesn’t want to be hugged.
Feed them whatever they like the most. Make sure you feed them the foods that they can digest easily. Do not feed them too much or too often though as it can cause digestion problems in your pet (for example, vomiting).
Make sure to understand his body language. What do they usually do before taking a poop? A friend’s Beardie gets a little fidgety and spreads the hind legs wider than usual before doing his thing. Keep a towel or toilet paper nearby so that you can transfer the Bearded Dragon there when you notice that he’s getting into his poop “position”
What should you do if you get pooped on by a bearded dragon?
Simply wash off the poop from your hands and clothes with warm water and an antibacterial hand wash. Many reptiles including bearded dragons can carry Salmonella which can be dangerous to your health.
If you’re wearing white, you shouldn’t bother to wash it straight away as this will cause more staining. Wait for it to dry up and then scrape off as much poop as you can before washing.
If the poop on your hands has been there for more than a few minutes, try rinsing them with vinegar and then dry with a towel or tissue. Vinegar is very effective in breaking down any bacteria left on your skin and has a refreshing feel.
How an owner can ensure their bearded dragon does not poop on them.
Make sure your pet has a schedule when he eats and poops. A healthy Beardie usually eats at least two times a day in regular intervals between feeding times.
This feeding schedule will sync with their poop schedule (what goes in must come out) and you will be able to predict their poop times. Some owners find it easier to have their pets on a timed meal schedule by simply feeding them twice in a day at specific times of the day every time (like 6 am and 5 pm).
You should keep in mind that a pet dragon is also just like any other animal, it may not like to be held or have someone touching its tail or feet. If proper care and attention is given to your Beardie, you will notice that it will make fewer mistakes while growing up! Beardies are known for their intelligence and their ability to learn from their mistakes