Despite the popularity of bearded dragons among pet owners many people still aren’t sure about what happens if bearded dragon bites. If this is your first time buying a bearded dragon, you might have various preconceived notions about it. After all, it is very common to have images of a fire-breathing beast when we hear about the word “dragon.”
We all know bearded dragons as highly well-tempered lizards. These temperate dragons usually remain docile and don’t show any signs of aggression. However, in some situations, you might end up getting a bite from a bearded dragon. Bites from bearded dragons are usually less painful than that of cats and dogs.
As long as your bearded dragon doesn’t feel threatened, he or she would not bite you. Hungry bearded dragons are more likely to attack than well-fed dragons. It is highly important to establish a nutritious diet plan for your exotic pet. This way they would not be provoked to cause any harm to you or your loved ones.
If you are a novice reptile owner, then you might have several questions regarding bearded dragon bites. In this article, you will get to know about the basics of bearded dragon bites and how to avoid them. As long as your pet doesn’t feel stressed out in its terrarium, it would be less inclined to bite anyone.
Do Bearded Dragons Bite?
As mentioned above, bearded dragons can bite in some rare conditions. These exotic lizards usually remain calm and relaxed in households. They are usually safe to have around children in the house. When bearded dragons are handled from childhood, they become more accustomed to human skin contact. This means that your pet lizard would not feel irritated or threatened by your presence.
The short answer to this question is yes, bearded dragons do bite. Despite their calm disposition, these tiny dragons can bite in some situations. Normally, captive specimens are less likely to attack because they are used to human presence. So, there must be a plausible explanation behind the cause of a bearded dragon bite.
Reasons a Bearded Dragon Might Bite
Bearded dragons are highly laid back creatures that prefer solitude over social interaction. Despite their calm temperament, they might bite in some situations. Since they aren’t aggressive animals, there must be a valid reason behind an attack.
To avoid getting bitten you need to be aware of some common reasons why a bearded dragon might bite. Knowing about these causes would provide you better opportunities for taking care of your pet.
Just like most animals, you would be able to predict a potential attack from your bearded dragon. They would first give off warning signals when they feel threatened or stressed out. They would always avoid any uncomfortable confrontations. This is the reason you should know about the main reasons why a bearded dragon might bite.
Just like any other animal, a hungry dragon is likely to bite. Hunger can drive your bearded dragon to attack whatever comes in front of their mouth. This is an instinctive behavior that is not based upon aggression or anger. After all, we also sometimes tend to become angry and infuriated when we are hungry.
click here to know about bearded dragon feeding guide
It is always better to have a regular feeding schedule for your bearded dragon. This would ensure that they are well fed throughout the day. When your dragon’s belly is full he would not be motivated to cause any harm to anyone.
Sometimes your dragon might even mistake your fingers for worms or food. After all, our fingers can look like big fat worms to a hungry lizard. All thanks to the acute sense of smell of a bearded dragon, it can easily pick up leftover food scent off of your hands. This is the reason you should wash your hands properly after handling pet food.
In the wild, bearded dragons are prey animals to a wide range of animals. Birds and small animal species consider them an easy snack because of their slow pace. So, bearded dragons are instinctively vigilant about their surroundings. Your bearded dragon might lash out if it senses a predator-like vibe around you.
Birds mostly attack beardies from the above, as they dive down when they detect an easy prey. This means that it is never a good idea to pick up your bearded dragon from the above. You don’t want to startle your adorable pet by making it feel threatened by your presence and you should always handle them from the sides so that they are fully aware that you are not intending to harm them.
You can easily get a hint about the current state of mind of your beardie. If it has puffed up its beard, then it is an indicator that he or she isn’t in a good mood. They might also turn their beard dark in color when they sense danger. You should always watch out for these warning signals before approaching your pet.
Rough handling is often a common reason to leads to a bearded dragon bite.
Most adults know how to hold and pick up a bearded dragon. Children often unintentionally mishandle these exotic pets. No matter how adorable you find your bearded dragon you cannot squeeze or squish it. It is a highly delicate reptile that can easily get hurt if you handle it the wrong way.
Before introducing your children to your bearded dragon you should educate them about proper handling techniques. You cannot cuddle a beardie, as they are quite tiny in size and mass. If you hold it tightly, then you can get a bite from your bearded dragon.
Does A Bite From a Bearded Dragon Hurt?
Now that you know that your bearded dragon can bite, you might be wondering if it hurts when they do so. Firstly, you should not be worried about a bite because your bearded dragon would likely never attack you.
Various factors can affect the intensity of pain experienced after a bearded dragon bite. Understandably, a bite from an adult bearded dragon would be more painful than that of a young specimen. Similarly, your child would feel more pain compared to you.
The pain tolerance of each individual is also different. Mainly it would be the shock that would likely affect you the most. You would never see it coming, as bearded dragon appear highly docile and calm most of the time. But luckily, bearded dragons don’t have powerful bite force. This means that they might not be able to puncture your skin from their tiny teeth. But some people might experience sharp pain or even minor bleeding.
Is a Bite From a Bearded Dragon Dangerous?
Just like any other animal, a bite from a bearded dragon can result in infection if not treated promptly. However, it would not have any long-term consequences.
Bearded dragons’ bite is only dangerous in the sense that it can lead to swelling or infection. In some cases, a person might even suffer from profuse bleeding if the beardie’s teeth are sharp.
Bearded dragons carry salmonella bacteria in their mouth in large quantities. It is always advised to wash and sanitize your hands properly after handling your pet lizard. You should know how to properly disinfect your hands after playtime with your cuddly pet.
Note: If you experience bleeding after a bearded dragon bite, then you might have to get a tetanus shot. This way you would not have any risks of developing serious infections and diseases.
Bearded Dragon Bite Mark
The low jaw force of beardies means that you would likely not get any mark if your pet bites you. Some bearded dragons can have a sharper set of teeth compared to their counterparts. This means that you might get a temporary mark after being bitten.
Usually, scratches of bearded dragons leave deeper marks compared to bites. So, you wouldn’t have to worry about ending up with a mark after a bite.
What to Do if a Bearded Dragon Bites You?
Despite the low chances of getting a bite from your bearded dragon you should know how to treat it.
If you happen to get a bite from your pet lizard then you first need to back off. If he isn’t letting your hand go, then you should first safely hold its body in your hands. Once you’ve had a tight grip, you can slowly pull your hand away from their jaw. Because of their low jaw force, you would be able to easily open their mouth.
It is also a good idea to apply antiseptic to the affected area. This way you would be able to get rid of bacteria and germs. You should also watch out for their tiny claws, as they have pointy nails.
Bearded Dragon Bite Wound
As mentioned above, you should apply antiseptic to the wounded area. This would speed up the healing process of the punctured area of the skin. You would also be able to stop bacteria from spreading around the wound.
You should maintain the habit of disinfecting your hands whenever you handle your pet dragon.
Just like any other pet, bearded dragons deserve to be treated with respect. The more you interact and communicate with your pet the more it would trust you.
Daily human contact would make your pet used to human presence. This would reduce your odds of getting a bite from your pet lizard. Even if you get bitten, you should never punish your beardie. They don’t understand punishment. It would only make it worse by traumatizing your pet dragon.
You should reassess the situation that leads to a bite. This way you would be able to reduce the chances of getting a similar reaction from your pet next time.