If you decide to keep a reptile living in your house, a bearded dragon is an excellent pet choice. People who naturally desire a bearded dragon as a pet want to adore it. However, what do these reptiles think of humans’ affectionate touch? Do beardies like to be handled?
Most beardies adapt to being handled by their parents rather soon. They develop affection and appreciation for their owners’ touch and learn to recognize it. Bearded dragons that have reached maturity are often more tolerant of human contact, but beardies that have not yet reached maturity may be more wary.
You can strengthen your attachment to your bearded dragon by playing with it. It will also help your pet get accustomed to being around people. They will no longer get upset when you clean or fix things in their enclosures. Also, beardies used to being touched by people are easier to take to the vet.
Holding a Bearded Dragon
Putting your hand beneath the bearded dragon’s body and elevating it is the most effective approach to grasping one of these reptiles. Use your thumb and index finger to raise the pet by its front shoulders if you can’t get your hand beneath it. Put your hand beneath the beardie and then raise it.
When you raise it, be sure that your palm and fingers support each of its four limbs individually. Use your second hand to hold up its tail for longer dragons. Always remember that providing support for the back area, especially the tail, is vital. The beardie may wriggle or damage its tail if you do not have a good grip.
When holding a beardie, make sure to handle it with care. Don’t put too much pressure on it or hold it too firmly. Allow him to go away if he wants. Don’t annoy it by flapping your hand.
How Often Should I Hold My Bearded Dragon?
Some people say that bearded dragons don’t like to be handled. Herpetologists, on the other hand, say that this is not true. Beardies are easier to handle than most other lizards. They need to be handled frequently so that they become accustomed to people and maintain their demeanour through basic maintenance tasks, such as cleaning their tank, bathing, and having a veterinarian examine them.
Beardie requires one hour to warm up before food and three hours after eating to digest since it absorbs heat and UVB. After ensuring they have enough time before and after feeding, you may take your lovely companion out of the vivarium for as long as you like.
Hold it for a few minutes to protect your safety and the bearded dragon’s, and increase the duration as it grows comfortable. Bearded dragons can be handled for fifteen minutes daily or more if they appear to take pleasure in the interaction. A bearded dragon shouldn’t be kept for more than 2 hours, especially if the weather is bad. Keeping your dragon outside for an extended time might cause them to become chilled.
Some bearded dragons prefer being held for extended periods. In contrast, others do not appreciate being handled for lengthy periods of time or numerous times a day and will become restless after only a few minutes of this.
How to Handle Bearded Dragons?
Although bearded dragons aren’t friendly, they prefer being touched and handled properly. When petting or holding one of these animals, it is possible to unintentionally do serious harm to oneself. When handling your bearded dragon, be sure to follow these steps:
Bearded dragons are easier to handle when they know what will happen. Before you pick them up, make sure they are aware of your presence by chatting with them and letting them know you are there to pick them up. This will set the tone for the whole meeting and ensure you and your Bearded dragon enjoy the time you spend together.
This is an excellent opportunity to read your Bearded dragon’s body language. If they feel upset when you approach their enclosure, it may be best to forego handling that day. If they appear unbothered by your presence or eager to play, you select a good day to touch them.
Slowly Approach the Beardie From the Front
Bearded dragons aren’t very good at responding to quick or unexpected movements. Once the reptile calms down, come closer and carefully extend your hand.
As you get closer to the dragon, make sure it can see your hand, so it doesn’t get scared. Keep bringing your hand closer until it almost touches the bearded dragon’s head, and see how it reacts. If it reacts agitated or begins to hiss when you touch it, it is not yet ready to be handled. You’ll need to wait till it has cooled down before continuing.
Bearded dragons are eager to be held if they walk near you. As long as you walk slowly and ensure they can see you, bearded dragons are typically quite docile and will not attack unless provoked.
Pick up the Dragon’s Front and Back Legs
If the bearded dragon responds positively to your touching, you should now be able to pick it up off the floor. When lifting the bearded dragon, you must ensure that the tail’s base and front and rear legs are supported. If these components are not properly supported, the animal may experience discomfort and may feel unsafe.
Bearded dragons have varying tolerance levels, so establish a limited handling duration before they get upset. Also, you don’t want to keep them too far away from their heat source because they are ectothermic.
Bearded dragons are gentle and make fantastic pets. You may promote this behaviour in a newborn Bearded dragon by handling it 2-4 times a day for 5-15 minutes until it’s comfortable. After then, handling time and frequency depend on your Bearded dragon’s nature, much like other pets.
Clean Your Hands
Experienced reptile keepers don’t find it strange that Bearded dragons might carry Salmonella. This shouldn’t stop people from getting a Beardie or make them worry.
You shouldn’t have to worry as long as you keep up with the maintenance and cleaning of your enclosure and clean your hands after cleaning or handling.
How Can I Treat My Stressed Bearded dragon?
If your Bearded dragon constantly shows signs of discomfort when you handle them, such as avoiding human contact, having a black or dark beard, or a lifted tail, you have some effort to make.
Spending a lot of time in and around their cage, moving your hands softly, and interacting with them frequently will help them get comfortable with people. Once they’re comfortable with you, try hand-feeding them. This helps them become used to your hands without stressing them out and is a terrific bonding activity.
This can be harder with older Bearded dragons whose previous owner may not have handled them much. It’s not impossible, but it’s prone to take more activities.