Have you ever wondered if Bearded Dragons can bite?
Bearded Dragons are fascinating reptiles and more and more people are starting to realise they make wonderful family pets, although every new owner will still have concerns about them biting.
Well, let’s answer all your questions regarding Bearded Dragons and biting so you can become more assured when owning one of this amazing reptiles.
So do Bearded Dragons bite? Bearded Dragons are capable of biting as they do have teeth. The chances of a Bearded Dragon actually biting you are very small because they are generally placid reptiles and are accustomed to human interaction from birth.
Read on to find out if a Bearded Dragon bite actually hurts, what can cause them to bite and more.
Do Bearded Dragons Bite – A Closer Look
The name “Bearded Dragon” can cause people to imagine an aggressive fire breathing monster but owning one of these wonderful reptiles couldn’t be further from the truth.
Bearded Dragons are placid reptiles and not known for acts of aggression, although they can show aggression on rare occasions if provoked or if they feel threatened.
But don’t let this put you off owning a Bearded Dragon, you will find that this is the same for any living creature on the planet as they will protect themselves when they feel threatened.
Bearded Dragons that come from a pet store or breeder are accustomed to human handling and interaction from birth and they have no reason to see humans as predators or any kind of threat.
All in all, you should have no fear or reservations when considering a Bearded Dragon as a pet, bites are very rare and even those could usually have been avoided.
Does a Bearded Dragon Bite Hurt?
First, please let me just state once again that Bearded Dragon bites are very rare but if you are unlucky enough to get bitten you can expect a small degree of pain.
Any bite from any animal/reptile will hurt to some degree and Bearded Dragons are no different.
The level of pain you can expect will depend on the age of your Dragon. Obviously, baby and juvenile Bearded Dragon bites won’t hurt as much as an adult bite.
The bite you would feel can be related to a nipping sensation rather than an actual bite you would feel from other animals such as a dog. The shock of being bitten may be worse than the actual bite.
It is possible to actually draw a little blood from a bite on rare occasions but this again will depend on the age of your Dragon and the situation.
How Likely Is a Bearded Dragon to Bite?
Bearded Dragons are highly unlikely to bite and as long as you care for your Dragon correctly, i would be surprised if you even see this behaviour.
Bearded Dragons are naturally very relaxed, placid and docile. These characteristics make them an excellent choice for anybody who is new to owning reptiles.
Bearded Dragons are also perfect for younger owners that aren’t used to handling pets.
If your Bearded Dragon tries to bite you then there’s obviously something wrong.
It’s important that you can pinpoint the reason for this so you can stop it happening again.
What Can Cause a Bearded Dragon to Bite?
As we just mentioned, Bearded Dragons are not likely to ever bite but it’s important to know what situations could cause your Dragon to feel threatened or angry enough to bite.
Knowing these situations in advance will allow you to avoid them and keep a happy and friendly relationship with your Dragon.
Let’s take a look at the main reasons why a Bearded Dragon could possibly bite.
Mishandling Can Lead to Your Bearded Dragon Biting
It’s possible to get bitten if you mishandle your Bearded Dragon.
Some new owners have little to no experience with handling Bearded Dragons and this is fine as everybody has to start somewhere but if you fall into this category then you should get some advice on how to correctly handle your Dragon.
Children can often get over excited when handling Bearded Dragons if they are showing their friends their new pet for example. You should always tell children to simply stay calm and handle the Dragon gently.
If a bite does occur through mishandling then 99% of the time it’s because they are in discomfort/pain and the bite is simply to let you know that you are hurting them.
Taking the tie to learn how to handle your Dragon will help you to have a great relationship with them and hugely reduce the chance of a biting incident ever happening.
Fear/Intimidation Can lead to Your Bearded Dragon Biting
If your Bearded Dragon is intimidated and feels threatened in a certain situation then they will usually try to run or hide.
If they can’t do either of these two things, they might feel like they have no other option but to bite as a means of defending themselves.
This really would be a last resort and a situation that you should see coming way before it actually happens because of certain behaviours they will often display such as puffing up their beard, turning their beard black, bobbing their head or hissing.
Bearded Dragons can display these behaviours for multiple reasons and not just when they are feeling intimidated or angry but if you are unsure you may want to consider not handling them until you can pinpoint the reason for this behaviour.
Here are some reasons why your Bearded Dragon could be feeling intimidated or aggressive:
- Other pets in your home
- Other Bearded Dragon in your home
- A small object in the home mistaken for a predator
- New surroundings
Having a tank with hides and little caves will allow your Dragon to feel safe and less exposed if there are situations where they feel threatened.
Having An Untamed Bearded Dragon Can Cause Them to Bite
Having an untamed Bearded Dragon is actually very rare but it can happen.
This will usually happen if you don’t get your Dragon from a trusted breeder.
Some breeders won’t have the time to give all their Bearded Dragons handling time and that all important human interaction from a hatchling.
This can result in them being very apprehensive of humans whenever any contact is made.
The longer in a Bearded Dragons lifer this goes on the less trusting the Dragon will become.
Ideally, you want to buy the Dragon from a breeder at a young age and ask lots of questions regarding handling.
If you buy a Bearded Dragon from another home then this usually won’t be a problem if they have been a caring owner but you should still ask as many questions as you need to until you are satisfied that the Dragon has been properly treated and given the human interaction and love it deserves.
This should minimise any risk of you bringing home an untamed Bearded Dragon and getting bitten because they are uncomfortable with human interaction.
Hunger Can Cause a Bearded Dragon to Bite
On rare occasions, your Bearded Dragon can actually you bite by mistake at meal times.
If this did happen it would usually be a very light nip as they are just trying to grab the food at hand.
There’s more chance of this happening with baby and juvenile Dragons as they will often get over excited and they don’t yet have full control of their mouth movements when trying to feed.
Adults can still make mistakes if they are very hungry but you will notice that most giddy and excited feeding comes from younger Dragons.
The best way to control this behaviour is to have a regular feeding schedule in place.
This way you are reducing the likelihood of your Dragon ever getting over hungry and therefore too giddy at meal time.
Having a bowl of fresh finely chopped vegetables in their tank at all times will also help as they will be able to munch on those in-between meal times if they start to get hungry.
Mating Season Can Cause a Bearded Dragon to Bite
During a certain period of the year when a Bearded Dragon is feeling the need to mate they can produce some pretty irrational behaviours.
The can get quite territorial and not want to be handled. If you notice this kind of behaviour then you should just give them some space until their hormones have settled down.
If you don’t respect their wishes and you invade their space or keep trying to pick them up when they clearly want to be left alone then there is a slight chance they could bite.
Again, this is a very small chance and they will usually give you lots of signs in advance that they are feeling this way so you have no reason to keep bothering them if they just want to be left alone.
Mating season for males especially can be very ego based and they often want to prove to the female that they are dominant.
A proud and aggressive approach can be part of the dominant display but biting very rarely is unless pushed to the limit.
How to Treat a Bearded Dragon Bite
If you are unfortunate enough to experience a bit from a Bearded Dragon at some point in your life then it’s important to know how to treat the bite.
The first thing you want to do is to clean the area with an antiseptic wipe.
This is something that you still need to do even if the bite doesn’t break the skin.
Bearded Dragons carry bacteria it’s always best to use an antiseptic wipe even if no visible skin break is present.
In fact, every time you handle your Dragon it’s good practice to wash your hands afterwards.i
The next step will depend entirely on if the bite has broken the skin. If the skin isn’t broken you don’t really need to do anything.
If the skin is broken it’s advisable to cover the area with a plaster and regularly use an antiseptic wipe, especially after handling your Dragon to ensure the area is bacteria free.
You don’t need to do anything more than this simple common sense approach.
In the unlikely event that you notice the bite becomes infected then it’s also common sense that you would want to get it checked out by a Doctor.
Do Bearded Dragons have teeth? Bearded Dragons have small, mainly serrated teeth. The front teeth are used for grabbing and chewing small prey such as worms and the side teeth are used for eating vegetables and plants.
Here’s a post that shares all you need to know about Bearded Dragons and their teeth as an owner.
Are Bearded Dragons poisonous? Bearded Dragons do actually have small venom glands but the venom is so weak that it doesn’t pose any risk to humans or household pets. It is thought to have once been used for hunting purposes but is not ineffective.
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