Are you curious to know if your Bearded Dragon can go outside? and if it’s a good idea?
Bearded Dragons are known to make great pets and as a result, owners simply love to spend as much time as possible with these fascinating reptiles. An increasing number of owners are now considering taking their Bearded Dragon outside as an opportunity to spend more time with them but is this a good idea?
This question is something that I’ve spent a lot of time researching as well as using my own experiences to give you all the answers you need.
So can Bearded Dragon go outside? Yes, Bearded Dragons can go outside and this can be great for exercise and mental stimulation, however, there are lots of things you need to consider such as the outside temperature, any predators that may be nearby.
Read on to find out if going outside is a really good idea for your Bearded Dragon, all the dangers they could face and how to reduce them if taking your Bearded Dragon out in public is a good idea and also if they can live outside?
What Are The Benefits Of Your Bearded Dragon Going Outside?
In the wild, Bearded Dragons obviously live outside but in captivity, they will spend much of their time indoors usually in the confines of their tank.
Let’s look at the benefits of taking your Bearded Dragon outside and why you should consider doing it regularly.
Taking your Bearded Dragon outside into your garden is a wonderful way for them to get some much-needed exercise.
In the wild, Bearded Dragons are much more active and cover a lot more ground then they do in captivity.
This is because, in captivity, they are stuck in their tank for most of the day without anything to do or any room to do it.
Having a little 30-minute wander around the garden 1-3 times a week is a fantastic way to let them stretch those legs and burn a few calories.
Similar to lack of exercise, Bearded Dragons in captivity often have a lack of mental stimulation.
This again is due to the fact that they are locked up in their tank for much of the day and don’t have anything to do.
Bearded Dragons can quite easily get bored and this is obviously something you want to avoid. There are lots of toys and games you can introduce to your Dragon to keep them mentally stimulated but allowing them to go outside is certainly one of the best and because it’s so accessible It’s something that I would recommend.
Going outside with your Bearded Dragon is one of my favourite activities for bonding. Spending quality time with your Dragon is essential for building a healthy relationship.
It’s also a wonderful way to build trust or simply have some good old fun together.
If you’re a new owner this can be an excellent way to establish that first bond but it’s also a good idea to let your Dragon settle into their new surroundings a little first.
Bearded Dragons can get very easily intimidated if they’re unsure of something so it’s always best to let them become accustomed to both you and their new home before taking them outside.
Are There Any Dangers When Taking Your Bearded Dragon Outside?
While there are lots of positives to taking your Bearded Dragon outside, there are also some things that you need to be aware of.
Let’s take a look at some of the potential risks and dangers of taking your Bearded Dragon outside.
As you probably already know, Bearded Dragons are exothermic. This means that they need to regulate their body temperature from external heat sources like the sun in the wild or a basking lamp if they are in captivity.
If you take them outside and the temperatures are too cold this can potentially make your Dragon lethargic, unable to digest food, unable to perform other important bodily functions and even become ill.
Ideally, depending on which country you live in, you only want to take them outside when the weather is hot in the summer and if the temperature isn’t great then either keep your Dragon inside or make the outside adventure short.
When winter comes then it’s probably best that you keep them indoors as they won’t get any benefit from going outside in the cold environment.
They will spend most of their time wondering why the temperature has suddenly dropped and then trying to find a good spot to brumate.
If you’re not sure what brumation is or you want to learn more about it then I’ve written this article that shares everything you need to know about brumation as an owner.
One more thing that’s worth mentioning when it comes to temperature is that I wouldn’t recommend taking your Bearded Dragon outside just after mealtime or first thing in the morning.
This is because after mealtime they need to have the opportunity to bask under the basking lamp and digest the meal and in the morning they need to bask to get their body up to its optimal temperature (you can find out everything you need to about basking in the article I’ve written here)
One of the biggest fears of any Bearded Dragon owner is that they take their beloved pet outside and it goes missing never to be seen again.
This is certainly something that could potentially happen if you don’t follow the steps I’m about to show you, however, if you do follow the steps I’m about to show you then there’s no chance what so ever that your Dragon could get either lost or escape.
The first thing you need to do is get a harness for your Dragon period!
You shouldn’t even contemplate taking your Dragon outside if they aren’t in a harness unless you have done this many times and you are certain of their behaviour when outside.
If you’re not sure what a harness is, it’s basically a leash that’s similar to what a dog would wear that will stop your Bearded Dragon running away or getting lost as long as you are holding the other end.
Having your Dragon on a leash/harness should put your mind at ease and give you the peace of mind that you can take them outside and know they are always going to be close to you.
In the highly unlikely event that your Dragon manages to get away from you, there’s a very clever way that you can call your Dragon back to you on command.
Believe it or not, it’s possible to train your Bearded Dragon to come back to you when called. This may sound a little far fetched at first but you can train them to do this and more in a very short period of time.
I’ve actually written a post that shares details of exactly how you can do this, you can check out the post on training here.
Having a bearded Dragon that will come running back to you every single time you call its name can be so important if the get lost outside or even if you go into hiding in your home.
Something you always to be aware of when you take your Bearded Dragon outside is the risk of potential predators.
The predators you may encounter will obviously vary depending on the country you live in but even common animals such as birds, dogs and cats are all something that you need to keep an eye out for.
You should never leave your Dragon unattended and if you followed the advice from the previous section then you will understand the importance of always having them on a leash/harness and keeping hold of it.
There was a story in England Uk recently where a small dog was in the back garden with the owner and a Seagull swooped down and picked up the dog and took it away.
I don’t mean to scare you or anything as I think taking your Dragon outside is a great idea but you just need to stay with them at all times and I mean at ALL times.
As long as you keep your Dragon on a harness and you stay with them at all times then any potential predators shouldn’t be a problem at all.
Eating Insects That Contain Parasites
Another reason why you need to stay close to your Dragon at all times and be super vigilant is the risk of them eating insects from outside.
Bugs and insects from outside can quite easily carry parasites and these can be transferred to your Dragon.
Under no circumstances should you ever let them eat a bug or insect from outside.
Again, depending on what country you live in, it could be a good idea to have a good look around the garden or area you intend for them to occupy before letting them outside. Obviously, you can’t find and remove every insect in the garden but at least you can keep your Dragon away from an area that’s prone to insects.
If you even suspect that your Dragon has eaten insects from outside or has parasites then you should consult your local ver for an examination.
I understand that vet bills can mount up but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
If you have ever thought about taking out a reptile insurance policy then I’ve researched the best policies for the US and UK and shared my finding in this post here. It may help you to decide if an insurance policy is better for you then paying vet bills upfront.
Although this isn’t a danger as such, your Bearded Dragon can quite easily get intimidated when they first start going outside.
This will totally depend on the personality of your Dragon among other factors.
The best thing to do is to take it slow, build up to longer periods outside and let them get used to the new environment a little bit at a time.
Can Bearded Dragons Go For a Walk In Public?
Taking your Bearded Dragon outside for a walk in public is not something that I would recommend.
Going out in busy surrounding can be very stressful and intimidating for a Bearded Dragon so for this reason alone I don’t think it’s worth it.
Even if you use a harness to walk them on the floor there’s a very high chance that they could get kicked or even stood on and this doesn’t even bear thinking about.
If you carry them on your shoulder they can easily get bashed around and squashed if people knock into you. This can obviously cause them injury or at very least make your Dragon feel intimidated and want to hide.
Carrying your Dragon on your shoulder also runs the risk of them either urinating or pooping on you in public and I’m guessing that’s not your idea of a great day out.
There’s also the possibility of predators getting hold of your Dragon. Imagine if a dog walking walks round a corner just at the same time as you and they have an aggressive dog, the dog could quite easily grab or bite your Dragon or at very least bark and scare them before you have a chance to react.
Again, this is another reason why I really don’t recommend you take your Bearded Dragon out in public, especially into busy places. I know as a proud owner it’s nice to show them off and let other people enjoy and appreciate how amazing Bearded Dragons are too but in reality, the risk just isn’t worth it.
Can Bearded Dragons Live Outside?
In the wild, Bearded Dragons obviously live outside so the short and logical answer to this yes, however, there are a lot of things to weigh up before you even consider letting your Dragon live outside.
The Country You Live In
Bearded Dragons come from Australia so unless you live in Australia or a country that has a climate that mimics their natural habitat very closely then it’s not something you should even think about.
Bearded Dragons need to be in an extremely warm climate to operate their body in an optimal way. If they don’t get enough heat from the sun then they will struggle to perform simple tasks such as digesting food.
If you do live in Australia or in a climate that is close to that of Australia then keeping your Dragon outside could be an option.
If you were to think about letting your Dragon live outside then you would certainly need an extra safe cage.
This will be needed in case any predators try and attack the cage. This will come at an extra cost and is something that you must be prepared for as you will likely need a custom cage to be built.
Lots Of Hides
If you are going to let your Dragon live outside then you will need lots of hides for them to feel safe and secure at all times.
It can be very easy for them to feel frightened and stressed if they can see or even hear birds or if a cat comes and tries to get in the cage.
So having a large cage with plenty of places to hide is the only option if you are going to let your Dragon live outside.
It can be hard to know what kind of hides your Bearded Dragon will love no matter if they are living inside or outside. Here’s a post that lists my favourite hides, tunnels and more.
Is Living Outside a Good Idea For a Bearded Dragon?
In my opinion, I don’t recommend that you let your Bearded Dragon live outside even if you have great conditions for them to do so.
I think that the stress of predators isn’t something they should have to face if they live in captivity and for that reason alone it’s not something I would ever consider.
If you have a Bearded Dragon then I’m sure they will be much happier in the home with you and the family where they are safe, they can have cuddles, you can have fun together and ultimately you can keep an eye on them.
Do Bearded Dragons get bored? Bearded Dragons can get bored if they are stuck in their tank all day every day with no interesting decor in their tank and with no human interaction. Bearded Dragon doesn’t need the company of other Bearded Dragons though as they are solitary reptiles and very territorial.
Do Bearded Dragons Like to Be Held? For the most part, Bearded Dragons do like to be held but each Bearded Dragon has its own personality and some like to be held more than others.
Bearded dragons are extremely quiet creatures that rarely make a sound. This means It can be quite worrying to suddenly hear your bearded dragon cough. But why do bearded dragons cough? And is it a cause for concern? In this post, we will look at possible reasons why...
As an owner, you will understand that water and its hygiene plays a very important part in the health and well being of your bearded dragon. For this reason, many owners ask how often should you change a bearded dragons water? This is a great question as running out...
The fact that bearded dragons need to eat a healthy and balanced diet containing calcium-rich greens has prompted owners to add both new and interesting foods to their beardies diet. Many owners are now asking if bearded dragons can eat bok choy as part of their...