Do Bearded Dragons Bite?

Do Bearded Dragons Bite

Do Bearded Dragons Bite, photo by Niki Odolphie

When looking for a first pet lizard, most people get pointed in the direction of a bearded dragon. And everyone’s first question is “do bearded dragons bite?”. The answer is YES! Anything with teeth can bite. However, the chances of a bearded dragon biting you are very slim. Most captive bred animals (like bearded dragons) are born with human interaction from day one, so they are accustomed towards being handled most of the time, especially the ones being sold at pet stores. Most bearded dragons are quite docile, which is why they are recommended as one of the beginner pet lizards.

Do Bearded Dragon Bites Hurt?

The amount of pain that a bearded dragon’s bite can cause will depend heavily on the age and size of your bearded dragon. But for a more realistic answer, that answer is yes. Bearded dragons have serrated teeth (knife-like), so you can expect a good pinch and some blood to be drawn if you get bit. But like I said, bearded dragons rarely bite, so do not let this answer scare you off.

Reasons for Bearded Dragon Bites

The best way to avoid getting bit is to avoid giving your bearded dragon a reason to bite you. Below are the main reasons why bearded dragons bite.

Hunger

When hunger sets in, the chances of you getting bit are increased. Always keep your bearded dragon fed on a scheduled routine. The last thing you want to do is mess with a hungry lizard. If you don’t feed your bearded dragon for a few days, he may try going for one of your fingers the next time you pet him thinking they are worms, so be careful.

Threatened

A feeling of threat is another reason why a bearded dragon might bite you. If you see that your bearded dragon puffs up its beard when you try to pet him, just back off. They usually only puff up their beard when they are trying to threaten or intimidate you. They will only do this if they are scared and threatened.

Untame

The is the biggest reason why most bearded dragon bites occur. An untame bearded dragon is a mean bearded dragon. These are the types of lizards that don’t like to be touched because their previous owners never took the time of day to handle them. Unless you have plenty of time to work with these types of lizards, stay away from them.

How to Treat a Bearded Dragon Bite

If your bearded dragon happens to bite you on purpose or on accident, just remain calm. If it’s a quick bite, just rinse your hand with soap and water and apply disinfectant spray on the wound. If it’s a bite that is not being let go, make sure that you first support your bearded dragon’s body with a towel or something rather than letting him hang in the air. The last thing you want to do is have him wiggle and do more harm to the bite. You also don’t want him to scratch you with his long nails. After you have him propped him, gently try opening the mouth. They do not have much pressure in their jaws, so opening the mouth should be easy.  Afterwards, rinse your hand with soap and water, and apply disinfectant spray.

Tips to Avoid Getting Bit

  • Always pick up your bearded dragon from the back.
  • Keep your bearded dragon fed on a routine schedule.
  • Keep your distance if your bearded dragon shows signs of defense (puffed up beard, running away, open mouth, etc…).
  • Wear appropriate clothing or hand gloves if you are dealing with an aggressive bearded dragon.

So do bearded dragons bite? The answer is yes, but it is very uncommon.

1 comment to Do Bearded Dragons Bite?

  • I’ve been keeping beardies for years and never once has one tried to bite me. As you say, while they *can* bite, the truth is that most beardies are very docile indeed (hence the reason why they’ve become such popular pets) and so very rarely bite.

Leave a Reply