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do bearded dragons bite

It might surprise you to learn that there are eight different types of bearded dragons! You may be considering getting your own, but you’re also curious: “do bearded dragons bite?”

Despite being called a “dragon,” you’ll find that bearded dragons are not aggressive nor are they dangerous. However, while they may not be aggressive, that does not mean that they don’t bite. They have a mouth after all.

Bearded dragons can bite, but their bites are more surprising than they are painful. If you have kids and are wondering if a bearded dragon is a safe pet, then you can rest assured that even if your “beardie” (bearded dragon) does bite, it won’t be anything serious.

Now, let’s take a closer look at why do bearded dragons bite, what does a bearded dragon bite feel like, the bite force of a bearded dragon, and what to if a bearded dragon bites you!

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bearded dragon bite force

Do Bearded Dragons Bite?

While bearded dragons do bite, it is not very common. Beardies are known to be quite docile creatures and if they do bite, then it is usually on accident.

Bearded dragons are not carnivorous. They primarily eat insects and some vegetables. Because of that, you can rest assured that they don’t see you as a potential snack!

Most bites from beardies happen when you are feeding them. They may mistake your finger for the food that you are feeding them, or they may just miss the food altogether and accidentally bite your finger instead.

Whatever the reason, it is rarely due to aggressive behavior, and there are ways to avoid getting bitten, as we’ll discuss later on.

Are Bearded Dragons Aggressive?

Bearded dragons are not naturally aggressive. However, they can become aggressive if they feel threatened.

Thankfully, as long as you understand how to properly care for and handle your beardie, you should be fine. You’ll also want to make sure to avoid situations that may cause the bearded dragon to become aggressive.

Keeping more than one male in a tank, for example, is a prime way to cause your beardie to become aggressive. Reflective surfaces can also cause a bearded dragon to think that there is another beardie in its enclosure. Since bearded dragons are territorial, they may be prompted to aggression.

Unfamiliar environments or other animals can also prompt your beardie to aggression. All in all, bearded dragons are not aggressive creatures and if they are showing signs of aggression, then there is something wrong that you need to be aware of.

How Do You Avoid Getting Bit?

Bearded dragons are wary of unfamiliar environments. As such, it is important not to overstimulate your beardie. While you may have the urge to show your beardie to others and to bring it to different environments, it is best to take it slow.

Learning how to properly handle a bearded dragon will help keep your beardie at ease and therefore prevent accidental bites or aggressive behavior.

If you want to pick your bearded dragon up, it is important to make sure your beardie knows what you are about to do. So, you don’t want to surprise it or pick it up from above because it may cause your beardie to go into defensive mode. Instead, it is best to pick it up from the side so that your beardie knows what is coming.

handle a bearded dragon

Why Do Bearded Dragons Bite?

There are many reasons why bearded dragons bite. It is important to know why they might bite so that you can work to mitigate that risk.

Again, bearded dragons are docile creatures; so, if it does bite, there is a reason why, and therefore something you can do to prevent it.

#1. Shy (Not Used to Being Handled)

Perhaps you are trying to train your bearded dragon. Doing so may require a lot of handling. Improper handling could very well lead to you getting bit.

For one, your beardie may not be used to being handled. Because of that, it may become defensive or scared. This is especially the case when a bearded dragon was not socialized and handled when it was younger.

Or, you may have a friend or another unfamiliar individual handling your beardie that your bearded dragon is not familiar with. If you bring your beardie to another environment, then it may also become uneasy. The best way to avoid these situations is to, again, take it slow.

Make sure that you do not appear to be a threat through the use of proper handling. If you introduce your bearded dragon to a new environment, try not to overstimulate it. Instead, let your beardie slowly become accustomed to the environment before playing with it or feeding it.

#2. Hunger

Bearded dragons don’t mess around if they are hungry. If they are too hungry, they may get overly excited when you feed them. Because of that, accidents happen.

Your beardie may bite you on accident or, if it smells food on your fingers, it may mistake them for its next meal. So, it is important to wash your hands before your handle your beardie.

You can also try feeding your bearded dragon with tongs or tweezers to avoid accidental bites.

If you find that your beardie is overly excited when you feed it, you may want to adjust its feeding schedule-as it could be the case that you are not feeding it enough.

#3. Self-Defense

If you ever noticed that your bearded dragon’s beard is puffed up, it could mean that it is agitated. While that is not always the case, you should be aware of it when it happens and wait to handle it until its beard is no longer puffed up.

If there are any animals nearby, your beardie may go into self-defense mode if it feels threatened. Infringement on your beardie’s territory by another animal or bearded dragon can also cause it to lash out.

So, make sure to not surprise or do anything that may make your beardie feel threatened. Any sudden movements could end up with you getting bit. Again, as with any healthy relationship, just take it slow.

#4. Stress

A bearded dragon may also bite you if it is stressed. Uncomfortable situations or over-stimulating environments could cause your beardie to become stressed.

New changes to a bearded dragon’s enclosure can also cause stress even if they are small. If you do want to update your beardie’s enclosure, make sure to add a little at a time and to give it plenty of time to adjust.

Lastly, stress could also be a sign that your beardie is not feeling well. So, if your bearded dragon is stressed over time, it is good to have a vet look for any signs of illness.

#5. Annoyance

No one likes to be annoyed, and the same goes with bearded dragons. Prodding, poking, and excessive petting could cause your beardie to give you a sharp “no” by biting you.

Again, bearded dragons are docile creatures; so, if you find that they are regularly getting annoyed for no apparent reason, then it is very possible that your beardie is sick and needs to be taken to the vet.

Anyways, as long as your treat your beardie with respect, and are aware of its body language, then you have nothing to worry about.

How to Handle a Bearded Dragon?

While dogs may like “rough play,” bearded dragons do not. Slow movements are best when “playing” with a bearded dragon.

When handling your beardie, make sure that it is aware of all your movements. Surprises are unwelcome and could end up in a bite.

There are times when your bearded dragon may just want to be left alone. So, to keep from agitating it, it is best to leave it alone.

Lastly, it is also best to handle your beardie close to a surface so that it is not in any danger of falling.

Are Bearded Dragons Venomous?

Yes and no. Bearded dragons are venomous, but you are not in any danger if you get bitten. Its venom glands are often considered to be vestigialwhich means that they no longer serve a function.

If you do get bit, the worst that could happen is some swelling. The bearded dragon’s venom wouldn’t even kill a small animal like a mouse-much less a human.

So, you have nothing to fear if you do get bitten. However, as with any bite, it is best to wash it right away with soap and water to prevent infection.

Do Bearded Dragons Have Teeth?

Though you may not see them, bearded dragons do have teeth. While a baby bearded dragon has sharp teeth, as it grows, its teeth slowly dull over time. This is due to years of gnawing down on food.

Do Bearded Dragon Bites Hurt?

A bearded dragon bite will not hurt. Considering their size, you may ask: “Do bearded dragons bite hard?” A bearded dragon has a bite force of 94 psi. In other words, though it is impressive for its size, it will not cause you much pain-if any.

Bearded dragon bites are trivial, and your main concern should be on why your beardie bit you-so as to prevent it from happening again.

It is possible that an adult bearded dragon bite may break the skin. If it does, it is important to clean it to prevent infection.

Do Baby Bearded Dragon Bites Hurt?

While baby bearded dragons have sharper teeth, they don’t have a strong bite force. This is because they are not yet fully developed. Because of that, it is doubtful that their bite will even break the skin.

What Does a Bearded Dragon Bite Feel Like?

A bearded dragon bite is more surprising than it is painful. It usually happens fast and can be unexpected.

Regardless, a bearded dragon bite will only consist of momentary pain. Any swelling or bleeding that may ensue will not result in increased pain.

What To Do if a Bearded Dragon Bites You?

If you do get bit, do not panic. You could inadvertently cause much more pain and damage to your beardie if you panic. Though you may automatically pull back if you get bit, try not to.

It is unlikely, but your beardie may not automatically let go. In this case, stay calm and gently pry open its mouth. Any sudden jerks or moves may result in your beardie clamping down harder or cause injury to your bearded dragon.

Also, it is important to know that your bearded dragon will not automatically feel safe after it bites you-if done in self-defense. So, make sure to place the bearded dragon back into its enclosure and leave it alone for the time being.

Once you have taken care of yourself, look for signs of injury on your bearded dragon. Also, try to figure out the reason your beardie bit you so as to avoid any future problems.

How Do You Treat a Bearded Dragon Bite Wound?

A bearded dragon bite injury is not serious and can be treated at home. You will want to:

  1. Rince the affected area with water
  2. Use soap to disinfect the affected area
  3. Dry and (if needed) apply a band-aid

You can also apply an antibiotic ointment like CareALL to prevent infection. If swelling ensues, while not serious, some ice can be used to reduce the swelling.

Final Thoughts

All in all, if you’re wondering, “do bearded dragons bite?” the answer is yes, but seldomly. Bearded dragons are not naturally aggressive and are a great safe choice for a pet. While they can bite, it is unlikely that they will unless it is on accident or provoked.

Always make sure to use proper handling techniques and to have a regular feeding schedule. Lastly, when in doubt, take it slow.