Petting is a great way of bonding with your bearded dragon. Showing love for your beardie is an important aspect of building a strong relationship with them. In this article, we will talk about if bearded dragons like to be petted and where you should pet them.
Yes, bearded dragons do like to be petted. The best way to show your love for your bearded dragon is by gently creasing its head. Also, while picking them up you should only hold them by their belly. If the bearded dragon looks hesitant or is trying to run away gently put it back.
While berate dragons are not like other social pets, they do like to be petted occasionally, given that you are doing it at the right time and in the right manner. Beardies are quite receptive to touch and can become very docile when you have built a good bond with them.
When it comes to holding your pet, you should approach it with patience and calmness. This is particularly crucial for newly adopted beardies as they are not accustomed to being held and thus can feel threatened. A panicked bearded dragon might lash out which can lead to injury and distress.
It is also important to understand that every bearded dragon is different, and not every pet enjoys being petted. It is best to give your pet some space in such cases as they can get stressed or agitated. Pet owners should observe the body language of their beardies to realize when they are comfortable being petted.
Signs That Your Bearded Dragon Likes To Be Pet
To gain your pet’s trust, you should respect their boundaries. You should always stay vigilant about your pet’s body language. They will convey to you when they are in a good mood and would like to be held or petted. Here are three signs that your bearded dragon likes to be petted.
Relaxed Body Language
It is very important to observe your bearded dragon’s body language when you are petting or trying to hold them. If your pet is relaxed when you stroke its head, it is enjoying the extra attention and love they are receiving. They generally would close their eyes and not hesitate in being petted, this is one of the signs that your pet is comfortable.
If your bearded dragon is accustomed to being petted, it would lean into your touch or turn its head towards you. You should always make it a habit to notice these small behavior changes to gain the trust of your beardie and make it feel safe.
Purring or Licking Behaviour
Bearded dragons do not vocalize like other pets, but they have their way of showing excitement and love. One such sign of liking to being petted is purring. Purring is a sound that you can rather feel than hear. It is a soft and subtle sound that your bearded dragon will make when you are petting them.
Purring happens when your pet is relaxed and happy, indicating that it feels safe around you and likes to be petted. Another sign that your beardie likes to be petted is licking. Bearded Dragons have a small tongue which they use to taste and smell things. If your pet is trying to lick you while being petted, it is showing gratitude and affection towards you.
Seeking Out Your Touch
Once you have gained the trust of your newly adopted dragon, it might want your attention and love. If your pet moves towards you naturally during feeding time it signifies that it wants your attention. Bearded dragons might come to the edge of the enclosure when they see you passing by.
If they are feeling affectionate enough, they might even move their head towards you. Seeking out your touch means they want to be petted. You should also notice if your pet is more active or responsive around you, indicating they enjoy your company and feel safe.
Signs That Your Bearded Dragon Does Not Like To Be Pet
Now, that we have learned about positive body language, let’s move on to the negative. These signs are easy to notice once you have understood your bearded dragon’s behavior. Here are three signs that your bearded dragon does not like to be petted.
One of the most common signs of not liking to be touched is tail waving. It is an instinct for bearded dragons to wave their tales when they are agitated or under stress. So, if your pet is waving its tail when you are trying to pet them, it is an indication that they are not enjoying the affection.
Tail waving is a warning sign that your bearded dragon is getting defensive and does not like to be held or touched. You should always leave your beardie alone and respects its boundaries if this starts to occur.
If you continue to hold or pet a bearded dragon when they are waving its tail, it might get defensive and bite or scratch you. You should notice this behavior change as your pet is trying to communicate that it is not feeling safe, and you should respect its boundaries.
Head bobbing is another sign that your bearded dragon is not feeling that friendly today. Head bobbing is a way to communicate discomfort from your beardie. This generally happens in the initial days of interacting with your bearded dragon.
If your pet is head bobbing while being petted, it has gone into a defensive position. You should observe this defensive behavior as the bearded dragon might try to attack you if you continue to pet them.
Hissing is also an obvious sign that your bearded dragon does not like to be petted. Hissing is a warning sign that your pet is not feeling safe and needs some space. Also, if your bearded dragon is trying to run away or hide from you, it implies it is not feeling comfortable.
In addition to hissing, your bearded dragon might also puff up its body and expand its iconic beard. Merging with the environment is also a telltale sign that your pet is trying to hide from you.
How Should You Pet a Bearded Dragon?
Bearded dragons are very sensitive to touch. You should know how to pet and hold them correctly for them to enjoy it. Improper handling of your pet can lead to harm and might break the trust of your loving pet.
Hygiene comes first, before petting your bearded dragon wash your hands thoroughly. Pet owners should know that you should wash your hands before and after touching your beardie. There are very high chances to transmit bacteria from your hand and cause illnesses. Bearded dragon also carries salmonella, which can spread to humans through touch.
The next thing that you should do is always pet your bearded dragon at the right time. You would not want someone to disturb your sleep, would you? Bearded dragons can be easily agitated during nap time. Disturbing your pet can cause them stress and put them in a bad mood.
You should never try to hold or pet your bearded dragon from behind. You can easily scare the beardie and cause them to panic. So, make sure you hold them when they are facing you otherwise they might try and run away.
The correct way to pet your bearded dragon is by using your two fingers and creasing its head gently. Just gently stroke their head, and if you want to hold your beardie make sure they are in a good mood.
Gently turn your two fingers from head to tail to pet your bearded dragon. Also, apply as less pressure as possible, doing so will help them establish trust. If everything goes smoothly you can even try to hold them in your hand.
It is also not wise to pet or hold them during feeding sessions. As this can lead to accidental bites or scratches.
Best Spots to Pet a Bearded Dragon
Generally, people pet their bearded dragons from head to tail. Although, these aren’t the only spots you can crease. Here are the three best spots where bearded dragons enjoy getting petted.
Beard dragons love head petting. If approached correctly your pet will enjoy being petted on the head thoroughly. Make sure that you are in visible range and that your pet does not get scared suddenly. Try to be gentle and apply as less pressure as possible. Just run your fingers from the head to tail and your beardie will enjoy this affection.
Also, try and stay away from the mouth while petting the head. Bearded dragons do not like to be touched around the mouth. Doing so can lead to an accidental bite, respect your pet’s boundaries, and everything will go smoothly.
Bearded dragons also appreciate it when you gently pet their nose. It might be an unusual spot to pet, but bearded dragons seem to love it. You can move down after petting their head and tail and gently rub against their nose.
You should not use a lot of pressure and be very gentle while petting the nose. Be very cautious of what you touch when you are petting this area. Moving towards the mouth can lead to a bite or might ruin the whole moment. Be cautious of not touching the eye accidentally, as this might hurt your bearded dragon.
If you get the opportunity to pet your bearded dragon’s belly, you should do so very gently. Do not force your beardie to lay on its back to pet its belly. It is very uncomfortable for your bearded dragon to lie on its back as it makes it difficult for them to breathe. If you see an opening gently rub their belly for a few seconds and see them turning happy.
For How Much Time Should You Pet Your Bearded Dragon?
Having a good bond with your bearded dragon is great, but for how long should you pet them? You can pet your bearded dragon for an hour or two per day but anything beyond that is too much. It is also not a great idea to constantly pet them for hours otherwise they will start to despise human touch.
You should break up your petting sessions into smaller periods throughout the day. In this way, you can bond with your pet without causing it any discomfort. Pet your bearded dragon for 10-15 minutes and see how they feel, if they want you to pet them more it will be visible in their body language.
If your bearded dragon is showing signs of irritation or anger, you should give them some space for a day or two. Every dragon has their level of tolerance to human touch. It is very important to respect these boundaries and cause them no harm or stress. Building a good bond is knowing what your bearded pet is feeling.
Tips for Bonding With Your Bearded Dragon
The best way of gaining the trust of your bearded dragon is by bonding with them. You will gradually develop a good bond with a newly adopted pet, but here are three tips to help you on the way.
Spend Time with Them
The best way to build a strong bond with your bearded dragon is by spending more time with them. Take your pet out of their enclosure more and handle them with care. You should also let them explore their surroundings and get to know you better.
Doing this will help them get comfortable with their environment and feel safer around you. Having a strong bond will help you establish trust with your beardie.
Another great way to bond with your pet is by offering them occasional treats. Bearded dragons love to have certain fruits like grapes and vegetables from time to time. Offering grapes, strawberries, and carrots to your bearded dragon occasionally will help you develop a great bond.
You can also give your pet some home-cooked chicken pieces to show your affection towards them. Feeding such treats by hand is a great way of building trust with your pet.
Always make sure the foods do not contain any seeds and are of the appropriate size. Also, make sure you feed them with treats occasionally, as it could lead to digestive and health issues.
Talking to Them
Talking to them might sound absurd, but it is a great way to bond with your pet. Bearded dragons love the sound of your voice. Getting used to your voice will help them get comfortable and recognize your presence. You can also try and sing for your pet or play them some music as this will relax and make your bearded dragon very happy.
What Are the Pros & Cons of Petting a Bearded Dragon?
There are more positives than negatives when it comes to petting your bearded dragon regularly. The pros include getting to bond with your pet, spotting any kind of health issues, and easier enclosure maintenance.
If you have a great bond with your pet they will be more comfortable around you. Petting them daily will also help you spot any illnesses much more easily. You can also easily clean up their enclosure as you have earned your pet’s trust, and it will let you carry it from time to time.
The cons of petting your bearded dragon regularly include transmitting diseases, shedding problems, and stress. Bearded dragons carry salmonella and can easily be transmitted to you if you do not wash your hands after holding them. Make it a habit to wash your hands before and after petting them so there is no exchange of any illnesses.
Shedding is an important part of a bearded dragon’s life, although it causes them a lot of stress. Petting and holding them at such times can easily cause them discomfort. You should give them time and space when they require it.
Do bearded dragons like being petted?
Yes, bearded dragons like to be petted from time to time. Try and establish trust with your pet and make sure you are petting them at the right time. You should also be gentle while holding them and give them space if they are feeling uneasy.
Is it safe to pet a bearded dragon?
Yes, it is safe to pet a bearded dragon if you are doing it right. Firstly wash your hands before and after petting them so there is no transmission of bacteria. Secondly, use your two fingers and gently crease their head to the tale. If your bearded dragon looks stressed and agitated, give it space and time.
Bearded dragons enjoy getting pet occasionally, just make sure they are in the right mood, and you are doing it right. Pet owners should try and pay attention to their body language to understand when they can show affection to their beardies.
Petting will not only helps you establish a better bond with your beardies but will also help them feel more comfortable in a new environment. So make sure you take some time out for your loving beardies and give them all the affection you want.