As a bearded dragon owner, one of the most basic activities to do with your pet is picking it up and handling it. Bearded dragons are very docile reptiles are after some time will enjoy being handled.
Although handling your bearded dragon is relatively simple there are some guidelines for properly handling to make sure both you and the bearded dragon are safe.
Properly Handling a Bearded Dragon
To make sure you both are safe, and to reduce any risks of injuring the bearded dragon you should practice proper handling techniques.
When picking it up move your hands slowly towards it. Avoid making any sudden movements towards the bearded dragon as this may spook it and make it feel threatened. Carefully slide your hand under the belly of the bearded dragon. If you are picking up a baby, keep one finger under the chin. It will hold onto the finger.
Carefully lift the bearded dragon up slowly and let the tail rest upon your forearm. If the bearded dragon tries to escape or begins fidgeting do not squeeze or grasp it tightly. Let it run off if it wants to. This is just a sign that it is not ready to be held or picked up at that time. Avoid picking up the bearded dragon, or placing it in high places. If it jumps down it could easily break a limb or its tail.
Try to keep the bearded dragon as close to your body as possible. This can prevent it from falling from your arms, and give it a sense of security.
Don’ts of Handling a Bearded Dragon
- Don’t grab them by the tail or the limbs
- Don’t grab it suddenly
- Don’t squeeze the baby bearded dragon
- Don’t put them in places where they may jump from high places. This could cause the bearded dragon to suffer broken limbs or serious injury
- Don’t ever leave it in a room unattended
- Don’t ever leave a child with a bearded dragon unattended
- Don’t ever allow a child to put a bearded dragon in its mouth.
Do’s of Handling a Bearded Dragon
- Do approach the bearded dragon slowly and without any threatening gestures
- Do support the weight of the bearded dragon, including its tail, using your hands and arms
- Do carry your bearded dragon in a carrying cage for visits to the veterinarian, or other trips. The bearded dragon could end up under a car seat and not want to come out while in the vehicle. This can also help to prevent possible car accidents should the bearded dragon want to jump in the floor by the pedals
- Do allow the bearded dragon to gradually perch on your chest or shoulders, but keep a hand ready in case it slips or falls
- If a baby bearded dragon begins to freak out while holding it, do take your other hand and gently cup over it to provide a “hiding place”. This will give it a feeling of security
- Do coerce your bearded dragon to you with food, or treats. It will soon associate being held with food goodies
Health Concerns of Handling a Bearded Dragon
Although handling bearded dragons is relatively safe, there are some precautions you should take.
- Never eat or put your hands in your mouth while handling a bearded dragon
- Always wash your hands with a bacterial soap after handling a bearded dragon
- Make sure to disinfect any scratches or cuts you may receive from the bearded dragon while handling it. Bearded dragons have long claws at times they may scratch the skin if the get nervous or feel threatened
- In the rare instance that you are bitten by a bearded dragon make sure to thoroughly disinfect the wound. If the wound becomes red and sore after a few days consult a doctor