Bonding and love is the ultimate goal of owning a bearded dragon. Most people get a bearded dragon because they are generally sociable, tolerant of handling and even enjoy human interactions.
How do you then know if your bearded dragon is happy? It actually varies depending on how well you and your bearded dragon get along. For some bearded dragons, spraying with water or bathing makes them happy. And for some others, it is eating specific foods, watching TV or going on car rides with you. Of course, this is on top of general care.
The following information will be addressing how to know if your bearded dragon is happy:
- Your bearded dragon not running away from you
- Your bearded dragon laying on you or sitting on your shoulder for a long time
- Bearded dragon not minding when you pick it up
- Non-aggressive behavior from your bearded dragon
- Your bearded dragon exhibiting normal eating, basking, and sleeping behaviors
- When your bearded dragon often wants you outside with it
- When your bearded dragon looks healthy and stays on alert
- Exhibiting positive body language
- How to make your bearded dragon happy
- Presenting it with outdoor exposures
- Providing an indoor home for good comfort
- Constant water supply
- Understanding your bearded dragon’s nature
Not Running Away From You
If your bearded dragon is not running away from you, then consider it a very big sign that it is happy and comfortable with you.
Most of the bearded dragons that are new to their environment will run away and hide a lot. However, with time, your bearded dragon will become used to you and your presence, and won’t run away or hide.
Thus, when you want to pick your bearded dragon up, place your fingers under its chest, and it will climb on you.
Generally, that is a sign that your bearded dragon likes you and doesn’t mind you handling it.
Can Lay on You or Even Sit on Your Shoulder for a Long Time
If your bearded dragon is fine laying on your chest, or if it enjoys sitting on your shoulder or legs for a long time, you can attribute this to the fact that it’s happy and likes you.
Also, once a bearded dragon gets comfortable with its owner, it’s very likely to enjoy being around this person for extended periods of time. Therefore, laying with or on the person is a big sign of being happy and content.
Lastly, another great sign of trust and comfort is when a bearded dragon falls asleep on you when you stroke its head and lay with it.
Your Bearded Dragon not Minding When You Pick It Up
If your bearded dragon allows you to pick it up and it’s fine with you holding it, consider it a very good sign. Generally, this means that your bearded dragon is indeed happy and likes you.
In contrast, if bearded dragon is unhappy for any reason, it won’t allow you to pick it up and will act skittish.
However, there can also be days when your bearded dragon does not want you picking it up, and it’s normal. Although, this does not mean that your bearded dragon is not happy.
Furthermore, bearded dragons also have their own personalities. Hence, they might want to be alone sometimes especially, during the breeding season, when shedding or so on.
When Your Bearded Dragon Doesn’t Show Any Aggression and is Calm
Some of the signs of aggression which bearded dragons exhibit include:
- black and puffed up beard and
- mouth open widely
Obviously, you can say that your bearded dragon is happy and likes you when it shows no signs of aggression, just affection.
Also, if your bearded dragon isn’t
- bobbing its head,
- puffing up its beard when you approach or
- hissing at you, then it’s good.
Generally, a bearded dragon that is happy will be calm and won’t try to defend itself.
Your Dragon is Eating, Basking, Pooping And Sleeping Normally
If your bearded dragon does all the routine tasks correctly, then it is happy. Behaviors such as:
- eating normally,
- basking and
- pooping, are all important functions that make your bearded dragon remain healthy and happy.
It is worthy of note that, most of a bearded dragon’s happiness comes from fulfilling its daily needs. And also comes from having all the comforts of living. Likewise being physically able to do all of them.
When a Bearded Dragon Demands that You Come Out
Many bearded dragons that settle in their homes and become used to owners will actually enjoy sitting on them and spending time outside the tank. Thus, in this case, a bearded dragon will stand on its back legs and even scratch the glass to get out.
Certainly, some bearded dragons become used to and enjoy this time outside the tank daily, that it becomes a routine.
Most bearded dragons react like small dogs. That is, if your bearded dragon starts trusting you and is happy, it will enjoy its time outside the tank. And will even wait for you every day to spend time like this.
When Your Bearded Dragon Looks Healthy and Is Alert
Often times, if your bearded dragon is healthy, it is happy. Thus, healthy bearded dragons
- look alert,
- move around,
- eat and poop properly and
- seem interested in their surroundings.
Likewise, a healthy bearded dragon’s eyes will look alert and they love looking around and being curious.
If a bearded dragon is sick or unhappy, its eyes will give it away. What is more, a sick dragon will be listless and lethargic, and won’t be curious about its surroundings.
Hence, if your bearded dragon becomes stressed, it will be doing the following:
- breathing heavily,
- acting aggressive and
- its beard or belly might be black.
Exhibits Positive Body Language
Bearded dragons indeed communicate with various body language signs. They exhibit both negative and positive body language signs.
Thus, with time, you will learn which ones are positive and negative, some can even have a mixed meaning.
For example, if your bearded dragon has its eyes wide open with the pupils dilated, it means that it’s feeling calm with you. While sometimes, bearded dragons wave, which means submission and friendliness.
Lastly, if your bearded dragon’s mouth is curved (as in a smile) and closed, then it’s a sign of happiness and interest.
However, if your bearded dragon’s mouth is curved but open, it would mean that it’s frightening and aggressive.
How to Make Your Bearded Dragon Happy
Making your bearded dragon happy is easy. This gentle, fairly friendly reptile requires good care and attention. A happy, healthy bearded dragon can share your life for a decade or more.
Therefore, it is important to find a veterinarian specializing in exotics. Like other pets, your bearded dragon should have an annual examination.
Thus, going to the vet might not make him happy, but good health matters for his long-term well-being.
Bearded dragons hail from the dry, arid regions of Australia. In its native habitat, it spends a good deal of time basking in the sun. However, in captivity, your pet benefits from time spent in an outdoor enclosure during good weather.
This gives it an opportunity to soak up natural sunlight and moves about so freely. The enclosure’s floor space should be at least 8 feet, 2 inches which can accommodate up to three adult bearded dragons.
Also, place wire mesh over the top to keep predators out. Lastly, provide a shaded area so your pet can get out of the sun.
Home, Sweet Home
Except you live in a hot, dry climate, your bearded dragon will require an indoor home. Therefore, provide your pet with a terrarium or aquarium of at least 55 gallons, although a larger tank is preferable.
Likewise, the tank requires screening on top.
Newspaper or outdoor carpeting makes a good substrate, a bearded dragon will eat substrates made of small particles, so they’re out.
Also, furnish your beard dragon’s home with branches for perching and rocks to hide beneath. It will also enjoy sharing its digs with tough plants like aloe and palm.
Lastly, your bearded dragon needs fluorescent, full-spectrum lighting about 1 foot above the cage, along with another incandescent bulb placed above a branch in the cage for basking.
Bearded dragons don’t do well in high humidity, but they do require water. Do well to provide your bearded dragon with a dish large enough to bathe in. You’ll need to change the water daily.
Because it’ll probably poop in the dish, make sure you disinfect it with bleach at least once a week. Likewise, it can benefit from gentle misting with water a couple of times a week.
Often times, your bearded dragon likes to explore. Allow it to move about a beardie-proofed room while under your supervision. However, before letting him loose, get him used to regular handling.
It’s a good idea to wear surgical gloves when handling your bearded dragon since he has sharp nails. There’s also the possibility that your bearded dragon has salmonella, which he could pass to you.
Therefore, the more you handle your bearded dragon, the more likely he is to relax and enjoy the time spent with you.