A bearded dragon is one of the most gentle, friendly, and docile reptiles that you can pet. But Do Bearded Dragons Bite? Yes, bearded dragons Do Bite. But hold on loving pet owners! It’s not like what you think it’s like. There are only some justified conditions in which a bearded dragon bites. You must know all these conditions before you pet a bearded dragon to save yourself or others in your family from any unwanted incidents.
Although bearded dragons are named dragons and have a scaly and slightly intimidating appearance unlike the cute soft and furry pets, these creatures make the best of pets and are actually more docile than most common domestic pets. And so, even if they bite rarely, their bite is not a vicious one and is not meant to be fatal for the caretaker.
Let’s find out what are the reasons behind the bite of a beardie.
WHY DO BEARDED DRAGONS BITE
The behavior of your pet, if observed carefully, tells a lot about what it’s trying to convey. Hence, if a beardie changes its gentle behavior and bites, you must know that something is out of place. Here are a few reasons why a beardie bites.
1. Your Bearded Dragon is Hungry
One of the most common reasons for a subtle bite from your pet is starvation. If your beardie is looking forward to food and it’s way past its feeding time, then it may be so eager to eat, that it will mistake your finger for food and accidentally bite your finger.
Moreover, it might be possible that you have used your hand to feed insects sometime before, and have not washed your hand before feeding again. Your hand will have the smell of a delicious insect treat and when the dragon smells it, its predatory instincts will activate to attack instantly. To avoid these accidents, make sure you have a scheduled feeding time that does not starve your beardie, and also wash your hands before and after feeding a meal. Also, check out Why Do Bearded Dragons Open Their Mouth.
2. The Beardie Is Threatened
Nature has instilled self-defense skills in every creature who needs them. And therefore, it’s natural for a dragon to bite for self-defense when it feels intimidated or threatened by any other creature in the surrounding area, including the caretaker himself. Make sure you do not catch your dragon by surprise, if it has already seen you approaching beforehand, it will not be surprised or scared when you come near and put your hand inside the enclosure. Plus, make sure the beardie is not seeing any new pets like birds, cats, or dogs.
Plus, make sure there is a background in the enclosure so that the beardie is not frightened by its own reflection. When the dragon is threatened, it usually acts fiercely in self-defense and puffs its throat, and changes its color to black, this will indicate its aggressive behavior and so it’s best to wait for the dragon to calm down first.
3. Is Your Dragon Stressed? Is It Uncomfortable
A beardie is very likely to bite when it’s under stress or is uncomfortable in its place. There are many causes of discomfort that can cause stress to a dragon. You better watch out if you have made any changes to the environment of your pet. Beardies are very sensitive to changes in their environment, it can be said that they don’t adapt to changes easily. You will see your beardie in unusual behavior and a rather aggressive one after you have induced the slightest change in its enclosure.
Bearded dragons are stressed when they are handled differently, handled by new owners, introduced to different Beardies, shifted to a new home, etc. Try to not make any changes in your pet’s environment to keep it relaxed and out of stress and if you are trying to make subtle changes, give it ample time to become familiar with the changes.
4. Improper Handling Of The Bearded Dragon
In actuality, bearded dragons often behave like amazingly calm pets like they are during handling. However, when beardies are new to handling, they might feel discomfort and then bite in defense. A thoughtful and responsible dragon owner must take care of proper handling and use very gentle hands to lift the beardie. Also, the approaching technique should not be sudden. Familiarize yourself with the dragon first and never just grab the beardie from the top of the tank, the dragon might mistake your hand from above for a predator bird, and bite you as a reflex.
If a beardie is squirming or starting to puff its beard, it’s best to immediately put the beardie down as it is becoming uncomfortable. It is essential to teach proper handling to kids, as they are often unaware of the gentleness a dragon needs. Guide anyone who is new to handling a bearded dragon, before they try to pick your dragon themselves to avoid any unwanted biting incidents. These are all the reasons why a bearded dragon can bite a human. Now, you must know that beardies are rather calm creatures and only use biting as a defense mechanism. You may also like Do Bearded Dragons Have Teeth.
IS A BEARDED DRAGON BITE DANGEROUS
Bearded dragons do not give very powerful bites. The younger bearded dragons, babies or juveniles, have weak jaws, and although their teeth are sharper, their bite is not forceful enough to break the skin or cause any bleeding. It will only feel like a pinch if you are wondering what the bite feels like, therefore, the bite is not painful at all.
On the other hand, mature or adult bearded dragons have more jaw power and can bite with greater strength. But, their teeth are blunt and so again, not much harm can be done with them. However, their bite can cause a cut in the skin and cause minor bleeding or sting. Adding to this, every individual has different tolerance levels and feels pain differently. Generally, the pain is bearable and does not cause much harm.
HOW TO TREAT A BEARDED DRAGON’S BITE
The bearded dragon’s bite will not be deep or anything fatal, but you must take some first aid steps if you are bitten by a bearded dragon. Wash the bite with antibacterial soap and plenty of water. Then apply an antiseptic like betadine to prevent infection. Keep the wound clean and apply a wound cream. However, if you see any swelling in the wound that has been there for a while, then see a doctor and get it checked.
Bearded dragons do bite! But their bite is almost harmless. Plus, their bite is only a defense mechanism as they themselves are very gentle and calm creatures. A dragon might bite when it is hungry, stressed, mishandled, scared, or in discomfort. All these causes can easily be taken care of with smart observations and patience. Fortunately, a bearded dragon’s bite is not dangerous and only feels like a pinch or a sting.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Do bearded dragons have teeth?
Yes, bearded dragons do have teeth but they are not very visible. The baby dragons have sharp ones, while the adult dragons have blunt teeth as they have used them for chewing and grinding for a long time. The teeth are not completely embedded in the jaw and so the bearded dragons don’t bite or chew with greater power. Therefore, it’s best to feed them soft foods.
Is a bearded dragon bite poisonous?
No, a bearded dragon’s bite is not poisonous. The bites are mostly harmless, and in the worst-case scenario, you can get an infection from the bite, and that is only if you don’t treat the wound with an antiseptic or antibacterial.
How strong is a bearded dragon’s bite?
Baby dragons or juvenile dragons have weak jaws and so their biting strength is very low. Even though their teeth are new and sharp, their bite will only feel like a pinch. Whereas, adult dragons that have more strength in their jaws, can break the skin and cause minor bleeding, so you will feel a sting. The cut/wound can easily be treated and is not a concern.
Emma is a pet enthusiast, and her way with words makes her an expressive writer. Her interests lie in healthcare and planning nutrition for various pets. She has two girls, and she’s passing her passion to them through occasional volunteer projects in the small neighborhood zoo. Emma joined our team as an enthusiast and has added more years to her experience by researching more about various creatures!