Do Bearded Dragons Bite? Are Bearded Dragons Venomous?

Do Bearded Dragons Bite? is one of the most frequent question people ask especially new owners. So we have decided to write a detailed post about it.

Do Bearded Dragons Bite?

Well, it depends, typically they’re not aggressive and aren’t going to bite you, you’d have to really push them to get them to attack you, so you’d probably deserve it.

Bearded dragon is normally a docile lizard and rarely aggressive towards us humans unless we go out our way to provoke them, most often they’d rather run away. Aggression is normally reserved for hunting food or against other dragons, so you are perfectly safe to handle them.

You may think that they’re going to bite you and they’ll certainly give you all the signals that they intend to do so, such as open their mouth and try to look intimidating, but every time I’ve still been able to pick them up, they just make a bit of fuss.

I have heard of people being bitten by their beardies on the ear lobe but again this is likely to be down to confusement more than anything else.

Are Bearded Dragons Venomous?

Remember that their bite is not poisonous, and you’re likely to get a bigger wound from them scratching you. Just be sure to wash afterward as you would after handling them anyway.

Bearded dragons produce a mild venom that is similar in nature to the venom produced by rattlesnakes but because of its very low dosage, it’s not dangerous to humans. As a bearded dragon owner, you are in more danger of getting infected by the salmonella bacteria than the bite.

Why Do Beardies Bite?

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Bearded dragons never bite randomly; instead, they usually have a reason, which may be anything from stress to hunger. Understanding the causes of bites can help you understand any messages your bearded dragon may be trying to convey. This will allow you to address its demands in more depth and make adjustments for good maintenance.

Hunger

Hunger is the most common reaon for bearded dragon bit. The biting is likely to happen out of confusement, when they perceive something like food, such as your finger.

This is quite common because they see your hand always feeding them they get to make that association between your hand and food, frequent holding and non-feeding interaction should help. This isn’t limited to this type of lizard, I have a chameleon and a friend’s monitor that do exactly the same thing.

The precursor to the beardies wanting to bite your finger is them almost sticking their tongue out and looking ready to pounce. They’ll hesitate because they’re not quite sure, if you’re holding an insect then there’s no hesitation. Sometimes they don’t quite get it right and they’ll nip your finger in the process, but it’s never a full bite.

Self Defense

If your bearded dragon feels threatened for any reason, its self-defense instincts will kick in and it will attempt to bite the threat to defend itself. This frequently occurs if your beardie is not yet completely accustomed to handling. This can be avoided by regularly handling your bearded dragon and getting to know it.

Avoid approaching your beardie from above as they will perceive you as a threat. Because in the wild most of their predators (birds) come from above. Since the majority of tanks have a screen top, it is best to grab your beardie from the front or side. Before attempting to grab it, you should also let it know that you are in the tank.

If you hear your beardie hiss or see its beard puffed up – these are generally a sign of aggression. So, its best to let them calm down first before trying to handle them.

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The presence of another male beardie or a reflection on the glass walls of its enclosure also cause it to feel territorial and threatened. Bearded dragos are terretorial creatures and will often fight its own reflection if they see it. Make sure to choose a enclosure with no reflections. If you have a glass tank, you can avoid this by placing a background at the back.

Discomfort and Stress

Biting can also be a sign of stress, discomfort, or unease, which can be caused by a variety of factors. Any abrupt changes in their habitat might stress out bearded dragons, making them more likely to bite.

It’s advisable to wait until they have been accustomed to their new surroundings once more if you have changed their enclosure because this can make them feel a little uneasy. This typically occurs when you first bring your bearded dragon home or when you upgrade their enclosure.

Other pets in your home may also make dragons feel anxious. During mealtimes or when it is stimulated by something new or intriguing in its environment, overly exiting beardies (similar to dogs experiencing zoomies) may bite.

Improper Handling

Bearded dragons often react to improper handling by biting. These include holding them too closely, poking them, squeezing them, and not giving them enough room. Your beardie could be injured by these careless handling methods, and as was already explained, biting is frequently a defensive response to discomfort.

What To Do If Get Bitten by a Bearded Dragon?

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Reflex reactions are difficult to avoid so, the best course of action is to avoid being bitten altogether because, in addition to the bite, there is a risk of harming your bearded dragon. As long as you treat the wound promptly, the bite won’t pose any danger to you, but a fall or any other damage brought on by a sudden reaction could be harmful to your beardie.

If you are bitten, there’s not much pressure in their jaws, the best thing to do is to make sure that your beardie is supported because if you lift your hand in exclamation, remember they’ll still be attached, and then start to wiggle making it worse. Simply remain calm, support them and using a free hand prise the jaws apart.

How To Treat a Bearded Dragon Bite

Clean the wound or scratch with soap and water. To aid in the treatment, you can also apply an antiseptic like betadine or an antibiotic like Neosporin. Their bites won’t be too severe or deep, but you should constantly keep them clean and apply a wound cream to prevent infection. Get the wound examined if you see swelling in the biting area.

How To Avoid Getting Bitten by Bearded Dragons

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Since they are exotic creatures, events like abrupt movements can set off their innate instincts, making them feel threatened and prompting them to engage in self-defense.

Avoid approaching from above as this resembles a predatory bird in the wild. Make sure your bearded dragon sees you coming and move slowly. When lifting it up from the top of its enclosure, try to approach it from the front, back, or side. Being patient is essential for proper handling; wait until your beardie feels at ease in your presence before doing anything else.

Additionally, it’s a good idea to handle your bearded dragon while seated on the ground or in a location where it won’t be at risk of falling from a considerable height if it wriggles or tries to flee. This is also an excellent safety measure in case you get bitten when handling it and release the animal out of shock.

When your bearded dragon feels at ease around you, carefully scoop it up while giving adequate support to its belly and tail.

Conclusion

Bearded dragons bite but not without any reason. Usually they bite because they are hungry, stressed out or threatened. Their bite is not dangerous to humans. Your beardie will never bite you if you keep them happy, health and calm.

I am the editor-in-chief at MyPetReptiles.com, a site that is devoted to reptiles and the people who love them. I have been keeping and breeding many pet reptiles such as bearded dragons, geckos, chameleons, etc. for over 10 years now.

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