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Do Bearded Dragons Bite Hurt? Here’s The Truth

A bearded dragon’s bite is an uncommon topic to be talked about. From the looks of this reptile, its bite is a wonder of prospective owners. And we know the reason why.
Indeed, an interesting question surfaces, do bearded dragons bite? With this reptile’s striking resemblance to a dragon, its bite is definitely the talk of the town.

In this article, we are going to dive deeper into the question, do bearded dragons bite? Well, we got you covered on this one. By the end of this article, you’ll definitely confirm if bearded dragons bite.

To Bite or Not to Bite

Let us just put it right there, all pets may bite or scratch you. A bearded dragon is no exception to this rule. And beardies, as pet owners often called them, do have a painful bite.

Bearded dragons can scratch with their claws and give a painful bite
Bearded dragons can scratch with their claws and give a painful bite

True enough, bearded dragons can scratch with their claws and give a painful bite. These scratches can penetrate the skin and can draw enough blood requiring a first aid medical kit. Now, if you try to pull this beardy from its grip, it will only push the lizard to cling and bite you harder.

Expert Tip: A beardies bite can hurt and break the skin surface. It is like being bitten or scratched by a cat. Remember, bearded dragons are calm and docile reptiles. You may have done something grave that pushed these beardies to bite you.

Reasons That A Bearded Dragon Might Bite You

Reasons That A Bearded Dragon Might Bite
Reasons That A Bearded Dragon Might Bite

In order to prevent any situation where your bearded dragon may bite you, it is important to understand the behaviors of these reptiles. This will make it easier to respond if your beardies need something or they are just in a bad mood.

Studies have shown that there are approximately 73 behavioral patterns observed in bearded dragons. These behaviors are observed when they are alone, mingling with other beardies, or they are in a marked territory. If you only have one pet bearded dragon, it is easier to note down its behavior patterns.

But as you spend time watching your bearded dragon, you will finally learn their normal behavior. Once you are familiar with it it is easier to prevent a situation where they will get aggressive and hurt you.

Listed below are some of the reasons why a bearded dragon may try to bite or hurt you. These reasons are derived from their living conditions and your responsibility as a pet owner.

1. They Do Not Trust You

We listed this reason as the first thing that may trigger your bearded dragon to bite you. We highly suggest that you better take note of this one. Bearded dragons are one of the easiest reptiles to breed. They have a good temperament and are easy to tame. But we tend to forget that these lizards came from the wilds of Australia.

It is in their nature to be wary and cautious around other animals. And also, on unfamiliar people. Biting is a pretty good sign that your bearded dragon is aggressive. It can only mean one thing if your bearded dragon tried to bite you, then it probably learned not to trust people.

Your bearded dragon does not trust you
Your bearded dragon does not trust you

If you have an aggressive bearded dragon, its previous pet owner may have mistreated or mishandled the reptile. Not handling your bearded dragon will even encourage the lizard not to trust you. This is the time that you, as the pet owner, take the risk of handling the bearded dragon.

And your best companion is gloves. You need to gradually build trust and connection with them. Eventually, your bearded dragon will learn to bond and be comfortable with you. This time, you won’t need the gloves anymore. And beardies pretty love treats. You can try hand feeding them with their favorite treats.

We assure you, you will be their favorite human.

2. You Mishandled Them

Bearded dragons can get overly excited. Just like us, our initial reaction is to get shocked or even panicked. Beardies display that same behavior. When you surprise or grab a bearded dragon, it will cause them to struggle against you. A bearded dragon that is tense and alert when you handle it will likely progress to aggressive behavior.

This means that this reptile will bite you in no time. Mishandling a bearded dragon is preventable. You can learn how to handle them better next time. Just like any four-legged pet, a bearded dragon should be gently scooped up where all four of its legs are supported.

Now, if your beardies back away from you don’t try to grab them. It is better to leave them alone if they don’t want to be lifted or handled Just wait for another time that they appear less aggressive or it is better to use gloves the next time you try to handle them.

Our general rule of thumb, place your hand under their abdomen and gently lift them up. When they’re all calm and comfortable while you handled them, these bearded dragons will not even try to be aggressive against you.

3. They Do Not Like Company

Reptiles are territorial. Bearded dragons embody this instinct. Bearded dragons tend to be more aggressive when they are around unfamiliar beardies or animals. And especially during the breeding season, things are getting messier to handle.

A male and female bearded dragon can be kept with each other. But when breeding season arrives male beardies become aggressive. Sometimes, bearded dragons will bite off others’ toes and even smaller beardies will get killed in an instant. At this point, it is best to house male and female bearded dragons separately.

In the animal kingdom, things are settled with a fight ending in a bloodbath. Male bearded dragons live a solitary life in the wild. Each of them occupies its own domain.
This territorial instinct is carried by bearded dragons even if they are kept as pet reptiles.

Expert Tip: As a pet owner, make sure that you observe the behaviors of male and female bearded dragons when they are kept together. And better mark the breeding season in your calendar.

4. Breeding Season Has Arrived

Just like how people will say “winter is coming”, in the domain of bearded dragons, “breeding season is coming”. This is the time that you better separate your male and female beardies from each other. You’ll see behaviors of dominance, aggression, and menace.

During this season, bearded dragons puff out their scale beards as a form of threat and aggression. Both male and female beardies do this thing. To appear even more intimidating bearded dragons will gape’ or open their mouths in a very wide range. This gives an aggressive look because these reptiles have ginormous mouths.

Breeding season is a time where things get complicated in bearded dragons
Breeding season is a time where things get complicated in bearded dragons

The breeding season is a time where things get complicated in these bearded dragons. Most of these beardies open their mouths during this season as a form of defensive display. This sends a message saying you better keep your distance. Beardies are even cautious and wary during the breeding season.

At this time, handle bearded dragons with extra care and awareness. Their reptilian instincts are getting a better hold of them. Things will be a little complicated and menacing during this season. Just make sure that you take the necessary precautions and remember to wear your gloves.

5. They Are Not Comfortable, At All

Bearded dragons make an impressive pet reptile. They don’t get too big or large, they are omnivores, and they are pretty gentle pets to handle. Over time, people love to breed beardies as their reptilian pets. With this, it is even important to make bearded dragons comfortable, or else they might bite you.

Beardies are reptiles and reptiles are ectothermic. This means that bearded dragons need an environment where they can warm up and cool down at the same time. So, we need to have a thermogradient.

You need to position the heat on one end of the vivarium while leaving the other end cool for the reptile to freely adjust its body temperature. If bearded dragons are uncomfortable, they do glass surfing or dancing in their shelter. At first, it may be fun and interesting to watch them do a little dance back and forth.

But, this behavior indicates that something bad is going on. Now if you decide to scoop them up, your bearded dragon might bite you. In this situation, make sure that you observe them first. You need to know if something is wrong with the temperature or they need to have a larger enclosure.

This time, you need to be attentive and keen in observing your beardies’ behaviors.

Do Beardies’ Bites Hurt At All?

Since bearded dragons are known as one of the best reptiles to breed and own. Some prospective pet owners do not have any idea if a bite from this lizard is painful or not. Well, we got you covered on this one.

Expert Tip: As a matter of fact, bearded dragons will more likely scratch you with their claws rather than bite you with their teeth. Both bites and scratches from these beardies can hurt and even break the surface of the skin. This draws the blood that may require a first aid kit right away.

Adult or mature bearded dragons can bite harder compared to younger beardies. As we have mentioned before, bearded dragons might bite you if you have done something to provoke them to be aggressive against you. These reptiles are docile and easy to tame.

It is a different type of pain if these beardies bite you because they were upset or stressed out. Bearded dragons are harmless reptiles unless there is an intrinsic or extrinsic factor that may turn them against you.

What To Do If You Get Bitten?

If your bearded dragon has bitten you, treat your wound just like any wound you would have sustained from a bite of other animals. A bearded dragon’s bite can draw blood requiring a first aid kit right away. Remember, treat the wound just like a small cut. Don’t fret or worry, you are not in any grave danger.

You need to clean the surface area of the bite. In treating your wound, put a small amount of Betadine in a cotton swab and gently press it down. Make sure that you wash your hands with clean water and soap after cleaning them.

Bearded dragons carry a plethora of bad micro-organisms. These zoonotic’ parasites can be transferred between animals and humans. The bitten skin surface may be a gateway for this possible transmission. Now if it is required, you need to take a Tetanus shot just to make sure that these bad micro-organisms do not infiltrate your system.

How to Better Handle Your Bearded Dragon

If you want to maintain a peaceful bond with your bearded dragon, it all goes back to understanding their behaviors and needs in the first place. We already know that beardies are unproblematic and docile reptiles. They are our stress reliever, not the cause of our worry.

As a pet owner, assess yourself. Did you do something that may have provoked your bearded dragons to bite you? You need to observe their behaviors and respond if something is off. Beardies are quite pleasant and they even like it when you gently handle them.

Do Bearded Dragons Bite Their Owners?

Do Bearded Dragons Bite Their Owners?
Do Bearded Dragons Bite Their Owners?

Bearded Dragons are one of the most placid lizards. Most of them form a deep bond with their humans. But, if you are new to Bearded Dragons, there are probably a few things that you would like to know. For instance, do Bearded Dragons bite their owners?

Although it is very rare for a Bearded Dragon to bite its owner, it does happen. Any pet may bite you or attack you when frightened or anxious. Bearded Dragons are not any different.

Most importantly, it is essential to interact with your Bearded Dragon and handle him. That is the best way to form a bond with your Bearded Dragon and get him just to being handled.

Of course, you should not handle him all of the time. He needs to spend time on his own in his vivarium. Bearded dragons need time to “sunbathe” to make sure that they stay healthy.

However, it has to be said that Bearded Dragons seem to enjoy human companionship and seldom bite. The sign and reason for the aggressiveness of bearded dragons. Bearded dragons are usually very friendly to their owner, but sometimes they can be very aggressive and dangerous to humans.

Let’s find out the reason and signs for the aggressiveness of the bearded dragon.

One of the main reasons is the mating season. During the mating season, the bearded dragon will be under a lot of stress and the hormonal change can make your dragon aggressive. Sometimes getting a new dragon and moving it to a new place also can make it aggressive due to the new environment.

This is due to the new tank, the size of it, and the new people they meet. Never put 2 bearded dragons together no matter the sex, they can turn aggressive sometimes. One of the common mistake people make is by scaring it. This also can make it aggressive.

Expert Tip: If you see signs like hissing, head bobbing, black beard, and running away just leave it alone for a few days until it calms down. Eventually, it will be back to normal in a few days.

So the answer to the question, can bearded dragons be aggressive? Yes, it does in some situations like explained above. Otherwise, they are friendly.

Final Thoughts

Please remember that all pet animals might bite or scratch you. This is just how their nature and instinct show. So you see, you are in no grave danger if your bearded dragon might bite you. In fact, you can handle them better next time.

Bearded dragons are docile and quiet animals. Their bite is not something you need to be afraid of. Just create a special bond with them. We are pretty sure you can work things out.

Also, we appreciate it big time if you share and commented on your experiences down below. Just type in your questions about a bearded dragon’s bite and we are here to shed light on this matter. Thanks for reading!

About Rencel Leyran