Bearded Dragon Bite: Everything You Need To Know About It | Kidadl


Bearded Dragon Bite: Everything You Need To Know About It

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Bearded dragons are some of the most adorable pets.

The bearded dragon is a type of reptile that belongs to the Pogona genus and the Agamidae family. Yellow, tan, red, and olive green are some of the most common colors.

They are usually calm around humans and are rarely aggressive. This aggressive behavior is more prevalent during the breeding season. You have to walk on eggshells around them until they get used to you because even a slight change in behavior could make them feel threatened. Remaining calm around this little reptile is very important. A bearded dragon will drop a lot of hints before it bites you. Changing the color of its beard, hissing, and fluffing its throat are some of the widely observed warning signs. It could bite its owners for a lot of reasons. Owners can avoid getting bitten if they follow some of the basic rules. Did you know the German giant bearded dragon is the largest of all bearded dragons?

Continue reading to know more about why bearded dragons bite and what can be done to stop them from biting you. You can also check out bearded dragon colors and bearded dragon eggs here on Kidadl.

Do bearded dragons bite?

Bearded dragons are lizards of the Pogona genus and the Agamidae family. Lizards generally are not prone to bite unless they are threatened, provoked, or feel cornered. Bearded dragons, just like most reptiles, are capable of biting.

They have small teeth that are only visible if you take a closer look. The teeth are not sharp, so the dragon bite is less likely to cause any serious injuries or pain.

Did you know the teeth of young bearded dragons are very sharp? Over time, they lose their sharpness. Bearded dragons also have cells that help in the regrowth of teeth. This happens when the front teeth are knocked down. Since the teeth at the back are well protected, they do not fall easily and they don't grow back either. Juvenile dragon bites are less painful. In fact, they go unnoticed as the jaws of the newborns are very weak. As a result, it is unable to provide a strong bite. The razor-sharp teeth barely penetrate the flesh. The bite of mature beardies is unique. The teeth are worn down from years of gnawing and grinding.

However, older bearded dragons have extremely powerful jaws. Their bite might cause little discomfort. Their fangs will pierce your flesh. The biting force and discomfort might differ depending on the situation. For example, when the bearded dragon is caught off guard or surprised, the biting force and agony are increased. How does getting bitten by a bearded dragon feel?

The pain generated by a juvenile dragon bite is sometimes compared to the discomfort while receiving a jab. An adult bearded dragon's bite feels like a hard pinch. Both of them have no significant side effects or leave behind unsightly scars.

Why do bearded dragons bite?

Bearded dragons do not simply bite because they are bored. Beardies, unlike humans, are unable to communicate effectively. They convey their feelings through their bites. There are several reasons why your bearded dragon bites. Identifying the causes may not only assist in preventing future dragon bites, but it may also help to build sensitivity to their requirements.

Feeding: A beardie tends to bite more when it is hungry. When you are handling their food, they might confuse your finger for food and bite it by accident. This is very common when they are famished and become excited at seeing food. This type of interaction may be avoided by feeding them on a regular basis. Using tools like tongs to supply food to them might also be beneficial. It will take quite a few months for your beardies to get used to the feeding schedule and register that your finger is not one of the worms that are being fed to them! The biting behavior does not stop with feeding time, it can extend further if you fail to wash your hands properly. Since they are sensitive to smell, they easily get excited even when they get a whiff of their food from your hands.

Discomfort: Sudden behavioral changes or differences in the surroundings might set off and activate the defensive mode in your pet beardie. This will compel them to defend themselves. This behavior may be seen in the early stages when they are still highly self-conscious in their surroundings. They also require time to adjust to being handled. Until then, your beardie will bite your finger every time you pick it up. Always go slowly and gently, as abrupt approaches may not be welcomed. It is preferable to approach it from the side, as approaching from the top will give it the impression that it is being hunted. Bearded dragons might show signs of aggression for no apparent cause or it might be an effect of brumation. Some of the signs of aggression are the beard or spiny projections of your pet beardie being swollen and standing upright or turning black. Some of them will also hiss. Other pets are perceived as a potential threat. So, while placing a tank, make sure it is far enough away from any dogs or cats in your home to avoid unwanted aggression.

Handling: Though the body of your pet beardie has rough scales and needle-like structures, its body is still very delicate. Prodding, squeezing, and placing it in a cramped-up area might tick them off. When your bearded dragon attempts to bite you, it is an indication that they are not very comfortable. Handling them for an extended period of time may not be a good idea. They will wiggle and shake their tail in an attempt to escape your grasp. This is when you have to put it down, else it may bite you in just a few minutes. Humans are way larger than bearded dragons. So even a slight pressure might harm them a lot. This is why proper handling is very essential. If you have kids, teach them how to handle bearded dragons before they pick them up. People other than owners should be very cautious, as the pet beardie is only used to its owners. It can feel threatened when it sees a lot of unknown faces.

Socialization: Bearded dragons must be trained from a young age. Though they may bite more during these stages, it is very important to get them used to this routine. As when they grow up without socializing, they might be more hostile, and the chances of them biting you or being uncomfortable around you can increase. Just like in dogs, it is easier to train a young or newborn bearded dragon rather than training an adult. Purchasing your pet beardie from reputable breeders has a significant influence on this. Legitimate breeders put in the effort to socialize your beardie. When you pick your bearded dragons from rescue camps, make sure to smother them with a lot of love and care. Biting incidents are very common in the early days. So remember to take one step at a time instead of forcing them to get used to you right away.

Red orange breaded dragon.

What happens when a bearded dragon bites you?

A bearded dragon bite is not very painful. So there is nothing to worry about. Just stay calm.

When a bearded dragon bites you, it is best to stay calm. Panicking will only worsen the situation by making them feel threatened. Since they are sensitive to sudden behavioral changes, if you lose your cool, the chances of getting bitten with a powerful force for the second time just increase.

The reptile might bite and tightly grab your arms sometimes. Quickly withdrawing your hand will hurt you more by tearing the skin further. It can also lead to broken fingers. This is just a rare case, as they mostly don't even pierce your skin. When it is has grabbed your hand and is at a long distance from the surface, it will tighten its grip to maintain balance. This will damage your skin. So gently try to place the dragon on a surface where it can rest its entire body. When it feels comfortable, it will either loosen the grip or let go.

If your pet bearded dragon reptile still does not let go, try pulling its jaws apart slowly without harming it. Try pulling it bit by bit instead of pulling it in one go. This may cause some pain. Once you have released your finger, check for damages. Mostly, your finger will be unscathed. If your skin is broken and you are bleeding, you might want to treat it to avoid infection. Sometimes you might even need a tetanus shot when your beardie bites you.

How to treat bearded dragon bite?

A bite from a bearded dragon is not serious. It is not venomous, so you are safe, for the most part.

Infection: Bearded dragons carry salmonella. It can be transferred to humans when we get bitten. This could be dangerous if left untreated. The transfer of the virus can happen regardless of the intensity of the bite.

Treat The Wound: Like previously said, since any form of contact with their mouth can transfer infections to you, it is better to clean the bitten area right away. Children usually think it is less serious, so pay attention to your children when they are around bearded dragons. As even a minor irritation can make beardies aggressive. Wash the wound with hot water and apply any disinfectant. If the skin is broken, you can wash the bitten area and apply a plaster. If you notice any bumps or swelling in the bitten region, seek medical attention.

Even though you handle your bearded dragons carefully and are at your best behavior around them, you will still get bitten in the early stages. This has nothing to do with your behavior but with your fingers, which look like food to them. You are also advised to wash your hands after feeding them, as bearded dragons will eat anything that smells like food. How dangerous is the bite of a bearded dragon? For a very long time, people believed that the bearded dragon will not hurt you. The bearded dragon was also said to be one of the non-venomous reptiles which can only hurt its prey and predators.

Only in recent years, that is in 2005, a group of Australian scientists figured out that a bearded dragon actually secretes venom when it tries to hurt or bite you. This venom gland in a bearded dragon is very small. Scientists believe that it might have been larger in the initial days of evolution. Some bearded dragons also have two venom glands. Luckily, humans and most animals are safe from this venom. The venom's power is mild, allowing it only to kill small animals and reptiles. New owners often confuse licking behavior with biting behavior. A bearded dragon bites only when it feels threatened. But this is not the case with licking.

Licking is more like a friendly gesture. A bearded dragon might lick you to sense the environment. If you notice your bearded dragon licking you on a regular basis, just know, licking it is a bearded dragon's love language. It also means that it is comfortable with the surrounding. At times, you might even be tempted to kiss these adorable creatures when they are very friendly to you. But avoid this at all times. Kissing a bearded dragon is just as dangerous as receiving a bite. Since they could carry salmonella, you should refrain from taking them close to your face.

Did You Know...

A bearded dragon will wave when it sees a familiar face as seen in several videos on the internet which prove this behavior.

Your bearded dragon will enjoy music. If you are someone who likes mild music, then bingo! You have found a perfect partner with whom you can listen to all your songs.

They have been named bearded dragons because of the underside of their throat which resembles a beard. Though a bearded dragon uses all four legs to move, it is well equipped to move using two legs alone. A bearded dragon can hold this pose for prolonged periods. It can, in fact, sleep while standing upright on two legs.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for bearded dragon bite, then why not take a look at bearded dragon gender or bearded dragon teeth?

Kidadl Team
Written By
Kidadl Team

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