Bearded dragon lizards are popular pets. But being reptiles, they don’t do tricks, snuggle down to sleep in your lap or do most of the things that make furry pets fun. As long as you respect what’s fun for them, though, they can provide their own kind of likable interaction. However, in the same group of lizards like iguanas, they’re native only to Australia, but in a wide range of habitats. Thus, they’re adaptable and fairly easy to keep.
Entertaining your bearded dragon is very much possible. Many bearded dragons, especially younger ones, are active and curious. Hence, getting toys for your bearded dragon might help spend more time with your pet. Creating a bond and making both of you happy. Likewise, bearded dragons require exercise to keep them fit, healthy and happy. Toys and activities will also help maintain good mental health.
The following information will be addressing things to do with bearded dragons:
- take your bearded dragon for a walk
- take your bearded dragon for a swim
- give your bearded dragon a ball
- take your bearded dragon for a ride
- handle your bearded dragon
- feed your bearded dragon
- help your bearded dragon with thermoregulation
- bobbing and waving
Take Your Bearded Dragon for a Walk
A great way to get your dragon out and about is to use a special leash and take him for a stroll.
This is a surely excellent activity for getting in a little exercise for yourself and some get-away time for your bearded dragon.
Therefore, a walk along the beach, or around your local park is always fun ideas. You will also be the talk of the place, especially when folks see that adorable bearded dragon on a leash.
Take Your Bearded Dragon for a Ride
Do you ever just hop in your car and go for a joy ride on a beautiful day Take your bearded dragon next time!
Many bearded dragons love a good car ride. Just make sure you keep him on a leash and safely secured within the vehicle. It’s a good idea to possibly keep him in a Kritter Keeper while in a moving vehicle just for safety purposes.
Further, always provide clean, dechlorinated water and couple of snacks while out on your adventure. Especially if it will be for several hours.
However, if it is during the cooler months of the year make sure you keep the temperatures in the vehicle warm. You don’t want your dragon to remain in cool temperatures for an extended time.
Take Your Bearded Dragon for a Swim
Who doesn’t love a nice swim on a hot summer day?
Most bearded dragons just love playing around in the water. It’s a great way for them to have some fun while also getting hydrated.
Particularly, a large plastic storage bin that is at least twice as long as your bearded dragon makes for a perfect swimming hole. Likewise, a small kiddie pool works well, too.
Also, make sure the water is at least 80°F and no deeper than the bearded dragon’s elbows (or knees). Dechlorinate the water using ReptiSafe, or any other similar water conditioner, if using tap water. You can also use spring water, but make sure you avoid using distilled water.
Thus, place a couple of small toys in the water for him to play with. A small rubber duck, or any other similar toy would be perfect. Therefore, on very warm days, place the swimming hole outdoors so he can play in the natural sunlight.
Lastly, always supervise your bearded dragon during the swimming activity
Give Your Bearded Dragon a Ball
Although a bearded dragon may not play with a ball the same way a dog usually do. But it’s still a good idea to give your bearded dragon a small ping pong ball, or small rubber bouncy ball, to play with. Similarly, some bearded dragons may take to a ping pong ball and some may not, it really depends on the dragon.
Some like to take the ball and push it around, or nudge it to and fro with its snout. Thus, try to find a ball that is colorful to entice your bearded dragon to check it out and play with it.
This could give you and your bearded dragon hours of fun entertainment!
However, make sure the ball is not small enough that it could possibly fit into your bearded dragon’s mouth. You sure want to avoid possible choke and impaction issues
Handle Your Bearded Dragon
One of the most fun activities for most bearded dragons is interaction with its owner. Therefore, it’s a good idea to try to pet and handle your bearded dragon for at least an hour each day. This will surely encourage your bearded dragon to trust you and feel safe with you.
Gently pick your dragon up by slowly sliding your hand under its belly. Gently wrap your fingers around the bearded dragon’s mid-section with your forefinger under its chest.
Then, slowly begin to raise your bearded dragon up and out of the enclosure.
What if it squirms away?
However, if the bearded dragon begins to squirm to get away do not increase your grasp. Simply let him go and try again in a few minutes.
Once you begin lifting him out of the terrarium, make sure you use both hands in case he tries to jump away suddenly. You sure don’t want your bearded dragon to fall from this distance. It could result in a broken limb.
Sit down with your dragon and place him on your lap. He will probably start checking things out by sticking out his tongue and “licking” things. That’s their way of investigating to see if everything is okay.
Gently stroke the head, under the chin and down their back in gentle, slow movements.
You can even place them on the floor and let them run around a bit. However, here’s a few things to remember:
Remember these when your Beardie roams around
It’s best to let your bearded dragons roam around in a controlled environment. If there are places to hide they will find it (ex., behind the TV, under the couch, etc.).
Avoid letting bearded dragons run around carpeted rooms. Most carpets contain just about invisible strands that can get around their limbs and toes. These strands can cut off circulation and cause the toe or limb to eventually fall off. Hardwood or concrete floors are best.
Also, make sure the area is free of other pets that can attack your bearded dragon, such as cats or dogs.
Further, it’s a very good idea to allow your bearded dragon to roam around some after it has gone to the potty. You sure don’t want to clean poop up off your beautiful floors (or off yourself).
Make sure to always wash your hands well with a good hand sanitizer after handling any reptile.
Always supervise your dragon while it is roaming around. Never leave it in a room unattended.
The most important thing is to have fun with your bearded dragon, but keep its safety at the forefront. Experiment some to find out what he likes and what he doesn’t like.
If at any time your bearded dragon begins showing signs of stress, end the activity and place him back in his terrarium.
Feeding your Bearded Dragon
Bearded dragons are known scientifically as “opportunistic omnivores” with very large stomachs. That means they can and usually will eat almost anything present. Common food for bearded dragons as pets is live crickets. Don’t let your lizard’s home tank get overrun, but give him a few crickets a day when you can enjoy watching him hunt them down.
Likewise, you may also develop some interaction as you offer your lizard different vegetable leaves. And find out which ones he enjoys most.
Like all reptiles, bearded dragons are cold-blooded. That means, they really don’t generate their own body heat, but they must take in heat from their environments. This provides opportunities for you to share your own physical warmth with your pet, preferably skin-to-skin. If the air in your house is cool, your bearded dragon may choose to get inside your clothes. Or you might even encourage a small one to curl into your pocket or sit under your hat.
It’s no fun for any animal to be confined to a sterile glass tank day after day, but dragons will not run in wheels or hamster trails. Therefore, try to keep your dragon interested by changing the environment around in small ways. You do this by introducing branches, twigs and rocks from time to time.
Also, reptiles need both places to warm up and places to cool off. Thus, experiment with
- sun lamps
- electric rocks and
- shady leaves to see how your bearded dragon learns to use the options you provide.
Bobbing and Waving
Two of a bearded dragon’s standard behaviors, which are bobbing its head and waving a front leg, while it stands on the other three. These behaviors can be amusing when we see them in human contexts. However, these are both indications, that a dragon is uncomfortable and defensive. Thus, enjoy them sparingly and don’t ask your pet to perform them indefinitely.
At the same time, your bearded dragon may open the dewlap that gives it its name. This isn’t always aggressive, but maybe meant to impress you or another bearded dragon.