Do Bearded Dragons Bite? Yes, they can! Learn what triggers this behavior and how to prevent this from happening below!
Bearded dragons are friendly and good-natured, making them ideal pets for families. But ‘Do Bearded Dragons Bite?’ Let’s find out the answer and more in this informative article.
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What are Bearded Dragons?
Bearded dragons, scientifically known as Pogona, are a lizard species native to Australia. They belong to the family Agamidae and have stocky bodies covered in rough, spiky scales. Bearded dragons earned their name from the “beard” of spiky scales under their throats. These omnivorous reptiles are diurnal, with a diet of insects, leafy greens, and fruits.
Do Bearded Dragons Bite?
Bearded dragons are docile and friendly creatures. While these reptiles use their teeth for feeding, they are not inclined to bite humans. However, they can bite out of fear, stress, or feeling threatened. To minimize the risk of being bitten, handle your bearded dragon gently and calmly. Approaching them with care and giving them time to adapt to their environment will help prevent biting incidents.
Do Baby Bearded Dragons Bite?
Baby bearded dragons, like their adult counterparts, also have the potential to bite. However, it’s rare and less severe compared to bites from adult dragons. The primary reasons for biting are stress, fear, or mistreatment. When they bite, baby bearded dragons don’t have the jaw strength to cause significant harm.
Does Bearded Dragon Bite Hurt?
Bearded dragon bites, while not painful, can be startling and discomforting. Their teeth are small and not designed to inflict serious harm. Most bites from bearded dragons feel more like a pinch or a nip rather than a severe bite. However, the level of discomfort can vary depending on the individual and the circumstances.
Note – Bearded dragon bites rarely break the skin or cause lasting damage. In the rare event that a bite does break the skin, clean the wound thoroughly and seek medical attention.
Why Do Bearded Dragons Bite?
Here’s a detailed explanation of the common reasons why bearded dragons might bite:
Fear and Stress
Bearded dragons are wild prey animals, so they have developed defense mechanisms to protect themselves. When they feel threatened or stressed, their instinctual response is to bite.
Male bearded dragons can exhibit territorial behavior, especially during the breeding season. In such cases, they can bite if they feel their territory is invaded.
Improper handling can lead to a bearded dragon feeling uncomfortable or threatened, prompting them to bite.
Hunger or Mistaken Identity
Bearded dragons are opportunistic feeders, and they might nibble at anything that moves near their mouths if they are hungry.
Illness or Pain
Underlying health problems can make bearded dragons irritable, leading to biting behavior.
Is Bearded Dragon Bite Venomous?
While bearded dragons have primitive venom glands, their bites are not venomous like a snake’s bite. These glands produce a mild secretion used by bearded dragons for mobilizing their prey. These secretions are not harmful to humans or other large animals.
How to Prevent Bearded Dragon Bites?
Here are some tips that will help you avoid bearded dragon bites:
- Proper Handling: Handle your bearded dragon gently and without sudden movements. Use both hands to support its body, making it feel secure.
- Non-threatening Approach: Approach your bearded dragon from the side rather than from above, as a top-down technique mimics how predators attack.
- Respect Their Space: Bearded dragons have their territories within their enclosures. Avoid disturbing them when basking, eating, or resting in their favorite spots. Intruding into their space can lead to stress and potential defensive biting.
- Use Gloves: If you’re still taming your bearded dragon, consider using gloves during handling to protect yourself from bites.
- Feeding Techniques: Use feeding tongs to offer insects or vegetables to prevent biting.
How to Deal With a Bearded Dragon Bite?
If a bearded dragon bites you, take the below steps to address the situation:
- Remain Calm: It’s natural to feel surprised or alarmed if you are bitten, but it’s crucial to remain calm. Avoid sudden movements or loud noises, as these can stress your bearded dragon further.
- Gently Remove the Dragon: Use slow, deliberate movements to remove the bearded dragon from the bite gently. Do not attempt to pull or shake them off, as this can cause more harm.
- Clean the Wound: If the skin is broken, clean the bite area with mild soap and warm water. Thoroughly rinse the wound and pat it dry with a clean, sterile cloth. Apply an over-the-counter antiseptic ointment to help prevent infection. If you have concerns about infection, consult a medical professional.
- Monitor for Infection: Keep a close eye on the bite area for any signs of infection. These include redness, swelling, and increased pain. If these signs develop, seek medical attention to address the infection.
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