Bearded Dragons are known to live in tanks, that ideally replicate their natural habitat but is it also possible for Bearded Dragons to run around the house and spend time out of these purpose-built tanks?
This is a question that many new and potential Bearded Dragon owners are now beginning to ask so I’ve decided to write this post to give you all the answers.
So can Bearded Dragons run around the house? Yes, Bearded Dragons can run around the house. It can be good for them to spend time out of the tank but there are also potential dangers in every room. if you take time to eliminate the potential dangers and never leave them unattended then letting them have some freedom is a great idea.
Read on to discover the benefits of letting your Bearded Dragon run around the house, find out what the potential dangers are and how to eliminate them, how long they should be safely out of the tank for and much more!
Do Bearded Dragons Like to Run Around the House?
This is actually a great question for the simple reason that there’s no point in taking your Bearded Dragon out of the tank and letting it run around the house if it doesn’t enjoy doing so.
There’s actually no yes or no answer to this question. Some Bearded Dragons will love coming out of their tank, running around the house and exploring different areas.
In contrast, other Bearded Dragons will like to stay close to their basking lamp and bask all day and enjoy the comfort of their tank.
If a Bearded Dragon enjoys running around the house or not it will usually depend on 2 things, the first is its personality.
Just like humans, Bearded Dragons have their own personality and while some will enjoy stretching their legs and wondering around others will much prefer to be left alone and no nothing all day.
The second reason is that it can take a while for a Bearded Dragon to get comfortable with the idea of being out of the tank. It can be very daunting for a Bearded Dragon once they are outside of their comfort zone and even the most adventurous of Dragons can take a little time to adjust to the concept of being outside of the tank.
You should always bring your Dragon outside of its tank on a few separate occasions and allow it to become familiar with its surroundings (more on how to do this later in the post) before you decide that they would rather stay in their tank.
From my experience and research that I’ve conducted, most Bearded Dragons love to come out of their tank and run around once they are comfortable in their surroundings and they are sure that there are no potential predators around.
Are There Any Benefits Of a Bearded Dragon Running Around The House?
As well as finding out if your Bearded Dragon enjoys coming out of their tank and running around the house, it’s also important to know if there are any benefits of them doing so.
Let’s take a look at some of the possible benefits of letting your Bearded Dragon run around and how important they could potentially be.
Lots Of Good Excercise
The most obvious benefit of letting your Bearded Dragon run around the house is that they will be getting some much-needed exercise.
In the wild, Bearded Dragons would naturally spend much more of their time moving around to try and find good quality basking spots, find insects and vegetation to eat as well as hiding from potential predators.
In captivity, Bearded Dragons are limited to the amount of exercise they get as they don’t really need to do any of these tasks and more the most part they are stuck in their tank most of the time.
When a Bearded Dragon is allowed to spend time outside of the tank and run around it can be a fantastic source of exercise and something you should consider doing on a regular basis.
Great For Mental Stimulation
Another great benefit of letting your Bearded Dragon run around the house is the fact it’s great for mental stimulation.
As we mentioned above, in the wild, Bearded Dragons constantly have something to do such as hunt for insects and find vegetation or be on the lookout for predators. This kind of natural behaviour keeps their mind constantly stimulated and a Bearded Dragon in the wild wouldn’t get the opportunity to get bored.
In captivity, although having food brought to them and not having to worry about being eaten by dingoes is a positive, it can also leave them with little to focus on.
This lack of natural behaviour, coupled with the fact that your Bearded Dragon can often spend hours upon hours in the same tank with little to do can easily leave them feeling bored with no mental stimulation at all.
Allowing your Bearded Dragon time outside of their tank to explore and experience new surroundings is a fantastic way to keep them on their toes and curious.
As I mentioned earlier in the post, Bearded Dragons can be a little cautious when venturing out of their tank for the first few times so you may want to let them adjust to the surrounding slowly and not keep them out too long if they appear to be stressed but a healthy curiosity of the unknown will be wonderful to relieve their boredom.
Having Fun With Your Bearded Dragon
Letting your Bearded Dragon out if its tank and have a run around is also good run for both you and your Dragon.
One of the best things you can do is play games and activities with your Dragon rather than just letting them wander around the room.
This way you can get involved and spend some quality time with your beloved Bearded Dragon and I would really recommend this as a bonding exercise too.
At first, it might seem like there isn’t any real games or toys you can play with a Bearded Dragon but you will actually be surprised at the number of things you can actually do.
If you want to know some great toys and fun activities you can play with your Bearded Dragon I’ve shared a post that gives you some great ideas, you can take a look at the best toys and activities for Bearded Dragons post here.
Is It Safe to Let a Bearded Dragon Run Around The House?
Ok, so now we’ve established if Bearded Dragons actually like to run around the house and if there and any benefits to this but now let’s take a look at if it’s actually safe for them to run around outside of their tank.
Below I’ve listed some possible hazards that you need to be aware of whenever you let your Bearded Dragon out of its tank. Most of them are easy fixes and general housekeeping rules and as long as you stick to these guidelines you should be fine and your Dragon will have great fun whenever it comes out to play.
Do You Have Other Pets?
If you have other pets such as cats or dogs, then letting your Bearded Dragon run around while they are in the room could be dangerous.
Some dogs and cats can see Bearded Dragons as a threat or even food and it’s not unheard of for them to attack a Bearded Dragon.
It’s essential that you either only allow your Bearded Dragon out of its tank when your cat or dog isn’t around or you take the steps to allow your cat or dog to become comfortable with your Dragon.
I’ve written a full post here that talks about how Bearded Dragons can play with dogs, If you have a dog then you may want to check it out.
Once other household pets become accustomed to Bearded Dragons they usually don’t bother them and they often can get along quite well but you must always treat the situation with respect and never leave them unattended.
Also, remember that coming face to face with a larger animal can be a frightening experience for your Dragon so you need to make sure they aren’t feeling intimidated or stressed.
Can Your Bearded Dragon Get Outside?
Whenever you let your Bearded Dragon out of the tank it’s really important that they can’t wander outside without you knowing.
Taking your Bearded Dragon outside in the garden is a good idea for many reasons but you need to make sure that you have full control of the situation and you are aware of where they are at all times.
I’ve written a post right here that tells you everything you need to know about your Bearded Dragon going outside as an owner, it’s worth checking out if you are considering taking your Dragon outside.
In order to keep your Bearded Dragon safe, I would recommend that you limit their space to one room in the house and never take your eyes off them. This way you can be sure that your Dragon doesn’t find a sneaky way to get outside or into any other trouble.
Finding Hiding Places
Ok, so you’ve confined your Bearded Dragon to one room in the house and there’s no way that they can get outside, so now they are totally safe and you can relax, right?
Wrong! Even if you only allow your Dragon to stay in one room of the house, there’s still a chance that they can find hiding places in the most unusual and hard to find places.
When a Bearded Dragon is put in an uncomfortable position or becomes intimidated they will usually run and hide to keep safe.
This can be quite common when they are taken out of their tank and allowed to run around the house for the first few times.
The room you thinking about letting your Bearded Dragon run around in should first be checked for potential hiding spots.
These could be behind a cupboard, on top of a wardrobe, under a TV cabinet or basically anywhere that they think would make a good place to hide.
Once you have identified potential hiding places that will be hard for you to get them out of you should block the entrance to that hiding spot because believe me the last thing you want is to have to try for 3 hours plus to get your Dragon from out under a wardrobe because it was spooked.
Carpet Too Long
I have never experienced this myself, but I just want to make you aware that I have heard of other owners reporting that their Dragon claws have got caught in small loops of their carpet.
This may not be an issue for you depending on if you have wood or tiled floor and even depending on the carpet you have but it’s just something to keep an eye on.
If your Bearded Dragon does get its claw stuck on the carpet loop then you would need to act pretty quick and try to unhook the claw.
This is yet another reason why you should always keep an eye on your Dragon whenever they are out of their tank and running around.
This comes down to general housekeeping rules really, but you should always make sure that there is no small consumable object laying around on the floor of the room.
This is basically the same principle of having a toddler in the house and making sure that the room is baby-proofed. You will need to do exactly the same for your Bearded Dragon because they love to lick almost everything and if they mistake something for food then it’s definitely going to get eaten.
Understanding why Bearded Dragons lick just about everything is important as an owner, that’s why I’ve written this article that explains all you need to know and there are some fascinating reasons for this behaviour.
Staying Out Of The Tank For Too Long
Bearded Dragons need access to external heat sources such as the sun or a basking lamp when in captivity.
Without access to an external heat source, a Bearded Dragon wouldn’t be able to perform many of its bodily functions such as food digestion.
Ideally, you don’t want to let your Dragon be away from the basking lamp for any more than 2 hours which I think is ample time for you to let them wander and run around in the house.
Most owners will let their Dragon run around for about half an hour to an hour which is a good amount of time for them to be out of their tank.
I’ve written a post that talks about all the different aspects of how long a Bearded Dragon can go without heat and what you can do to provide heat in an emergency. You can take a look at the post on Bearded Dragons and heat here.
As well as not letting your Dragon out for too long, you don’t want to take them out of their tank just after they have eaten.
This is because Bearded Dragons rely on the basking lamp to increase their temperature so they can digest their food, if you take them out of their tank straight after a mealtime then they won’t have had time to digest the meal under the basking lamp and the food could go undigested for a number of hours and potentially give them gut rot.
Never Leave Your Bearded Dragon Unattended When They Are Running Around The House
I know I’ve already talked about this in little bits here and there throughout this post but this really is so important that it deserves its own subheading.
As a responsible Bearded Dragon owner, you should never and I mean never leave your Dragon unattended and wandering around the house even if they are confined to a single room.
It only takes a second for a Bearded Dragon to get into some mischief or for them to go missing and then you will have to spend hours searching your home hoping that the cat hasn’t eaten your beloved Bearded Dragon.
Teaching Your Bearded Dragon to Come Running to You On Command
Wouldn’t it be cool if you could teach your Bearded Dragon to come running to you on command whenever you should their name?
Think of how this could help you in those sticky situations that we’ve talked about in this post where you Dragon has found a hiding place and they won’t come out or you have simply lost them something in the house or the garden.
Well, it is actually possible to teach a Bearded Dragon to come running to on command when you call their name and it’s not actually and hard as you might think.
I’m not going to go into the exact steps you need to take in this post, however, I’ve written a guide on how you can train your Bearded Dragon that you can access here and it details the exact process as well and 4 other ways to train a Bearded Dragon.
Should You Let More Than One Bearded Dragon Run Around The House? There’s actually no right or wrong answer to this question. If you can keep your eye on all the Bearded Dragons and make sure that they are safe then I can’t see why this would be a problem.
If you have a partner or family member that can watch one Bearded Dragon while you keep an eye on the other then this would be the best option.
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