Having bearded dragons as pets is a huge responsibility as you need to take care of their health and diet and also keep them entertained. While providing food and a clean and threat-free environment, you might forget that the beardie in the wild used to have access to unlimited resources, and now it’s bound to a limited space, which becomes quite boring for them.
You need to enrich the environment inside the enclosure to let your beardie have some playtime. Playing will stimulate their physical activities and elevate the mood of the beardie, too (as they are friendly reptiles and like to interact with their owner and other things).
If you’re looking for some recommendations about which toys you should introduce to your bearded dragon enclosure or which activities will help elevate the mood of beardie. In that case, we have some listed below, along with the importance of enrichment for your bearded dragon.
The Importance of Enrichment
Well, think of being alone in a room for days on end, did you like the idea of it? Absolutely no!!
Then how do you think your beardie would be happy being alone in the enclosure, sticking to the same old routine forever.
As mentioned earlier, the bearded dragons in the wild have an unlimited space to move around, perform their activities of basking and hunting, and there are several resources available everywhere to keep them occupied throughout the day. So hunting, roaming, playing with things around them in the wild, don’t let the bearded dragon get bored.
However, in captivity, they are bound to be in one limited space and stick to one routine missing on all the fun activities they could do in the wild; this will undoubtedly affect the emotional health of your beardie. In this case, even a small activity with your beardie will escalate its mood; as it adds up to a better quality of life.
In this situation, Introducing a toy in the enclosure will stimulate the mind of your bearded dragon. This toy will also serve as a source of exercise for your beardie; for being in a limited space and not being able to roam freely, they might end up gaining weight. So a toy will keep them engaged and active to stay fit and healthy, which is our ultimate goal.
Different Toys for Bearded Dragons
The good thing about bearded dragons is that you don’t have to spend a fortune on getting the toys for your beardie; your beardie will be happy with even the simplest of toys. This means introducing even a ball can do wonders. Different toys you can have for your bearded dragon to keep him occupied in playtime are listed below.
The hiding spot inside the bearded dragon’s enclosure is a must-have, as a beardie might need to cool down at times or take a break from basking. This hide may also serve as a toy for your beardie at times, as a place that your beardie would love to explore.
During brumation, bearded dragons love to burrow down into things, and a hiding spot will provide them with the same space they want. This will keep your beardie happy and healthy.
- Simulation of natural wood bark
- Large reptile hideout for bearded dragon
- Resin reptile hiding cave won’t rot,
- Easy to clean
The name looks a little weird, and you might want to know the reason for this recommendation. Your bearded dragon is no different than a pet cat, and it may get pleased with similar sorts of toys, as the main goal is to keep your beardie occupied with multiple activities. Cat toys, in this case, are something that your beardie would love to play with and enjoy his time while playing.
You can get teasers and cat wands for your beardie, which helps you dangle a toy at the end of the string controlled by you. You’ll see how much fun your beardie has while chasing down the toys; this will increase their physical activity, which consequently will play a part in good health of your pet reptile.
In addition to this, these toys are very light on the pocket, which means you don’t have to pay hundreds of dollars to purchase them. However, ensure to have the wand free of loose particles, as your beardie might ingest the loose particles unintentionally, which can cause health complications such as impaction.
- Funny interactive cat toys
- Made of soft & lightweight mylar texture in bright metallic colors
- Measures 1.5 inch width balls, easy for cats to bat, chase and pounce
- Package is a Set of 6.
The simplest thing that you can add to the enclosure to let your bearded dragon have the best of his time is a playball. The beardies may react differently when a ball is introduced to their cage, but most of them will interact with this toy by pushing it or sometimes by attacking it. Either way, it is an excellent source of exercise and engagement for your bearded dragon.
However, you must introduce lightweight balls, something that your beardie can move around easily. Heavier balls will make it difficult for the beardie to move it around or play. It is recommended to let your beardie out of the enclosure and move the ball in front of them to let them have a sense of playtime.
- Ultra bounce ball
- Tough and durable
- Best for bearded dragons
Your beardie loves to bathe in the water; however, to make his swimming experience more vivid and fun, you can add floaties in the bathwater. These floaties are a great choice to keep your bearded dragon entertained, and especially for those who do not like to take a bath, these floaties will make the bath time more relaxing and interactive for them.
Adding floaties during the swim-time of your beardie will increase its physical activity, where the beardie can have great exercise by climbing, leaping off, and chasing the floaties. Furthermore, you must ensure that the floaties aren’t too small, or your reptile will not stop from ingesting them, which may cause health complications.
- Package Include Mermaid, Whale, White Swan, Flamingo, Rainbow horse, Crab, Pineapple, Donuts, Coconut Tree, Beach Umbrella, Rainbow Clouds, Fruit.(12pcs)
- Made of high quality PVC plastic, thick and durable.
- Easy to Use
These crinkle balls are made of sheets of paper and plastic wrapped together in the form of a ball. The material that these balls are made of causes a great noise when you hold them and works a great deal to improve the auditory senses of your pet reptile and keeps them engaged in playing.
You can even grab your beardie into playing with these balls by making them sit on the crinkle sheets and let their senses explore the material and its noise.
- Funny interactive cat toys
- Made of soft & lightweight mylar texture
- Measures 1.5 inch width ball
Since your beardie likes to climb to the high points, adding a hammock in the enclosure will provide him with the opportunity not only to climb but also to enjoy his time swinging on it. Most pet owners recommend it as a must-have for your beardie. The hammock is easy to install in a large tank, so if you have 80-120 gallon bearded dragon tank, then definitely go for having one in the enclosure.
A good thing about using a hammock is that you don’t have to watch your beardie while playing on it; this is something that your beardie can do independently. Furthermore, your beardie can use this accessory whenever they want instead of sitting and waiting for you. This will keep your bearded dragon occupied without making them bore in the enclosure.
- Comfortable and climbable lounger
- Can be Attached to glass and acrylic terrarium walls
- Great for use with arboreal and terrestrial reptile species
- The 17”x 20” reptile lounger is the ideal size for Bearded Dragons
A tunnel adds greater chances of your beardie’s movement within the enclosure, as they love to explore new spaces; your beardie will have a great time exploring the tunnels inside its enclosure. For adding more fun to the exploration, you can have your beardie hunt down a toy or cricket with the help of a cat wand.
Adding some insects into the tunnel will give your beardie a feeling of hunting. With food involved, your beardie will have a great time chasing down the food and exploring the tunnel. You can purchase the Zoo-Med Natural Cork bark medium-sized tunnel for your beardie, as it is safe for all reptiles inclusing and can be cut into any desired length and shape.
- Safe for bearded dragons.
- Can be easily cut to any desired length or shape
- All natural green” product”
Bearded dragons enjoy a solitary life in the wild, making them the only ones living in a specific territory. Consequently, they are not very welcoming to any other beardie who comes into their territory intentionally or unintentionally. However, in captivity, you can take advantage of this weakness of your pet reptile.
Introduce a mirror in the enclosure; the beardie will consider his reflection as another bearded dragon and react to the new intruder’s presence. He might get defensive and attack his reflection or show signs of agitation. The reaction may vary from one beardie to another, which is eventually a physical activity.
This will keep your beardie engaged for some time. However, do not leave the mirror in the enclosure permanently as this may raise the level of stress, affecting his overall health. You can get a magnetic mirror to place in your beardie’s tank.
- Magnetic back that sticks to Any ferrous Metal surface
- Suitable size
- Reasonably priced
You can make mealtime more fun for your beardie by adding a feeder ball. These balls have food all around them, and your beardie needs to put some effort into moving the ball to get its hands on food.
We are not able to find any purposed made ball however you can make your customized feeder ball at home. You can do this by putting insects in the ball and covering all the openings except one, which your beardie will hunt down to get access to the food.
A bridge can be added to make cages more interesting for your bearded dragon. This helps your beardie climb and relax and move from one end of the enclosure to the other in an exciting way. You can find bridges in pet stores, mainly in the decoration section, as they are not toys. For example, you can find the Carolina custom cage reptile bridge, which helps your beardie to climb and have fun in the cage.
You can set up your bridge by making mountains with the substrate and then securing the bridge on top of those or simply placing the bridge on top of the substrate. However, you must ensure that the bridge is hazards free before installing it in the enclosure.
- Right size for adult bearded dragons.
- It measures 10″L x 4.5″W x 3.375″H x and weighs about 2 pounds.
- 100% safe to use with beadies
Your beardie loves the chasing game, and having him chase down a laser pointer will be an absolute pleasure for this oddly cute reptile. You can play with your beardie by simply pointing the laser at a point on the floor and have him chase it down the pointer.
Do not use it frequently, or your smart beardie will figure out that it’s not a bug and eventually will lose interest in this. Furthermore, ensure not to point the laser on the beardie’s face as it will damage your pet’s eyes and skin.
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Pim out their homes with excavator clay
This one is an incredible option and light on the pocket, too, as you can make tunnels of different designs over and over again, allowing more enrichment to the beardie’s environment.
- Holds its shape so tunnels won’t collapse
- All natural, no dyes or chemicals
- 100% safe
How to play with a bearded dragon
Providing the toys is not enough; you need to interact with your bearded dragon and involve him in physical activities to keep them engaged. This will stimulate the brain health of your beardie and escalate his mood. There are a bunch of activities that you can engage your beardie with; some of them are listed below.
Bearded dragons may react differently to the commotion around them; some would love to watch people and things move around them, whereas others will get intimidated depending on the personality of your bearded dragon. However, if your beardie loves to be around a crowd, do give them 15 minutes to sneak out of the enclosure and see the world around them.
If you find your beardie enjoying the sneaking time, you may move its enclosure closer to a window where it can have a look at the world moving around them. This will keep your beardie entertained at all times, without much trouble.
Like humans, beardies also enjoy screentime, as the colorful pictures and movements keep them captivated and engaged. It’s similar to watching outside the window, but in a more captivating way where your beardie is introduced to an entirely different world.
You can introduce the screen watching for bringing your beardie along with you during the television time and let them get used to the environment. Once adjusted, your beardie will stay still and pay close attention to the visual display in front of him.
Taking them for a walk
Walking is as beneficial for beardies as they are for humans, as it keeps your bearded dragon indulged in physical activity along with a sense of entertainment as your beardie will see some new sights during its walk. You can’t let your beardie loose for the walk, so you must have a harness to keep your beardie under supervision.
Your beardie might get irritated with the harness at first; however, sooner, they’ll get used to it and be more considerate towards the fun part of the harness that is their walk time.
Most of the bearded dragons love to swim and are excellent swimmers, whereas some would not like the idea of being in the water. You can check this by taking them out for a bath and see how your beardie reacts to it; if your beardie is having fun while bathing, then definitely a yes! You can bring him out again. In another case, don’t bring them to swim, as it will stress the bearded dragon.
You can add floaties to make their swimming experience better and lavishing. Furthermore, do not use chlorinated water for bathing your beardie, as the chemicals can damage the skin of your bearded dragon.
Your bearded dragons love to cuddle and snuggle as much as you do, as sociable reptiles love to interact with their owners. Apart from all the exercises, a relaxing cuddle will help your beardie enjoy new scenery.
During their screentime, you can do it when you’re watching television with your beardie; this gesture will make your beardie more comfortable with you and help them relax.
Introduce a stuffed animal
You can introduce a stuffed toy in the cage of your beardie, whom he can cuddle with and enjoy playing around with at his convenience. Bearded dragons love to play with soft stuffed toys, which provide the beardie with extra warmth.
It’s essential to check how your beardie reacts to the presence of a stuffed toy; if it gets intimidated and shows signs of agitation, then you may remove the toy to avoid giving extra stress to your bearded dragon.
Let them hunt their food
If you have a big enclosure, then make their mealtime fun by making them hunt their food. In the wild, bearded dragons hunt their food, as it’s their natural trait. However, in captivity, they get everything in front of them more like spoon-feeding, making the situation boring for them.
So have your beardie hunt down their food by leaving insects loose or using a cat wand or insect feeder to search for the food.
Frequently asked Questions
Do bearded dragons get lonely?
No, they are solitary reptiles by nature, which doesn’t let them get bored alone. However, to keep them stimulated, active and healthy, you need to introduce different methods of engaging them within the enclosure.
How often should you play with a bearded dragon?
As the beardies are fun-loving reptiles, you can do it every day; they would love to play and interact with their owners. Furthermore, playing will keep them fit and healthy.
What do beardies like in their tanks?
They love to have access to several resources, a natural imitation of the enclosure, and other decors and luxuries to play around with.
The bearded dragons in the wild can play whenever they want and however they want, but in the enclosure, they can’t do this by themselves because of a limited range of resources. So the responsibility comes on your shoulders, and you need to involve your beardie in multiple physical activities to keep them healthy, fit and happy too.
Use accessories such as a hammock, bridge, ball, feeder balls, cat toys to have fun playtime with your beardie. Furthermore, you may have them out for a walk, bring them to have movie time with you, take them swimming. All of these will stimulate your beardie’s mental health and keep them fit and happy.