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Are Bearded Dragons Good with Dogs and Other Pets?

by | Mar 22, 2019 | Behaviour | 0 comments

Bearded DragonBearded Dragons are great pets, but one of the first questions you should probably ask yourself is if your new bearded dragon would be safe in the environment you live in, and one potential hazard is if you own other pets that may feel threatened and lash out at your bearded dragon.

So is it safe to let your bearded dragon and dog play together? In general it’s not safe, and under no circumstances should you ever leave them alone together unsupervised.  

That being said, they can live in the same household in isolation and without having to interact with each other.

I do have friends who also own both bearded dragons and dogs and let them play together freely, so the longer answer would be “it depends”, different dogs and other household pets react in very different ways and have very different personalities, and introducing a bearded dragon to them can be done, but you have to exercise caution or choose to let them live in the same household but in isolation from each other.

Even if you know for a fact that your dog or other pets would never hurt a fly, you have to consider many things and be honest with yourself about various aspects of your pets, and being honest with yourself about your other dogs and/or cats is really important.

Ultimately this decision is down to you, but you have to understand that your dog is probably more than capable of killing a bearded dragon, and your bearded dragon is more than capable of startling your dog or other household pets, so really it’s about how your pets react in these worst case scenarios.

What temperament do your other pets have?

The first thing you have to really think about is what kind of temperament do your other pets have, this includes any household pets, so dogs, cats anything really, you have to be really honest with yourself and assess what kind of temperament you are dealing with so that you can make a judgement call.

As an example, I will talk about my situation, when we purchased our bearded dragon we had two very young labradors, and honestly, they were very boisterous, they would run around the house and play fight with each other constantly.  All these years later they still do this to an extent and are now much bigger, however, they are a touch slower these days and a little more docile.

To say they were a handful when they were puppies is probably the biggest understatement of the century, but they were very excitable as Labradors are (especially when the postman shows up at our door), but when you think about it if someone walks down the garden path every day and pushes stuff through the letterbox it is kind of encroaching on the dogs territory.

Also, we have two very different dogs when it comes to temperament, Wilson is a Red Labrador and he has a lovely nature, however, he is also very timid, if I were to move when he wasn’t expecting it he would shoot across the room in a panic, he’s just a very timid dog and very sensitive to anything that comes near him, we have to be very careful to just not startle him.

We also have Flynn, he is the pack leader and he isn’t timid in the slightest, however, he is very stubborn and if he latches onto something he tends to not let go unless we reprimand him, I could never see him attacking anything but if he did I don’t think it would end well.

The other point about both of my dogs is that they are quite big dogs, when I play with them if they just so happen to stand on me in the wrong place then it does really hurt, I certainly wouldn’t be able to withstand that kind of standing weight on me if I were a bearded dragon.

My dog’s temperaments are lively but if a bearded dragon ran and jumped on Wilson he would just freak out and end up running away or retaliating thinking that his life was in danger.  My other dog Flynn is just very boisterous in general, and I just don’t think he would see a bearded dragon as anything other than a toy.

As I mentioned earlier, a lot of bearded dragon owners do introduce them to their dogs and cats, but for me it’s just not worth it, I feel like it’s more about how the other pets are in general, it’s hard to say how well a cat or a dog will react to another animal in the house because it’s mostly down to their individual behaviour and personalities.

Can bearded dragons and other pets live in the same household in isolation?

The simple answer here is yes, you just need to make sure that you keep them isolated from each other to some degree, our vivarium isn’t actually in a room that our dogs are allowed in very often, and on the rare occasion they do go into that room they mostly ignore it now.

Another point is that you want to have a space where you can let your bearded dragon out and where he can have fun without worrying about being chased off my two playful labradors, we tend to put the dogs in either our kitchen or garden when we let our bearded dragon out, we also give the dogs a couple of nice bones so they don’t feel too left out for an hour or so.

Introducing a bearded dragon to other pets

If you do go ahead and introduce your bearded dragons to your dogs, then there are a few points I would like to make before you go ahead and start this process.

  • make sure you are in a controlled environment where you are 100% present at all times
  • only introduce pets to bearded dragons if you know your other pets have a suitable temperament
  • introduce your bearded dragon very slowly, start by just letting your other pets have a little sniff first, don’t just throw them together and hope for the best, this process may take a lot of time and you may even start out just showing the bearded dragon to the other dogs a few times per week for a month or two.
  • If you have any doubt whatsoever then just let them live in the same household but in isolation, it’s perfectly fine to own both pets this way.

Related Questions

Are Bearded Dragons Easy Pets?

Bearded Dragons are relatively easy to keep and maintain and are probably one of the easiest to look after in the lizard family, compared to other similar pets like chameleons and turtles they are a lot less complicated to deal with.  They can also eat a wide variety of foods which means feeding them is much more straight forward.

However, as with all pets you have responsibilities to take care of and you need to be sure you are ready for those.  Your bearded dragon will need the following as an absolute bare minimum :-

  • An appropriate sized enclosure
  • Heating & Lighting
  • A source of protein (insects)
  • Handling and Stimulation

I would say with some careful guidance and a little research on our website and Google, most people can easily gain the knowledge to look after a bearded dragon and keep it happy and in a safe environment, but be sure to educate yourself first and never buy a pet as a spur of the moment decision, be sure that you are OK with the responsibility of caring, feeding and keeping the bearded dragon happy.

Are Bearded Dragons Dangerous?

Under normal circumstances it’s perfectly OK to handle a bearded dragon without being in any danger whatsoever, however, if you surprise,  startle or generally mishandle your bearded dragon then he can give you a little nibble, this will hurt but it won’t kill you, it’s kind of on par with a hamster bite.

One other point to note is that bearded dragons do in fact secrete venom when they bite, however it is extremely mild and will not do much to humans other than a bit of swelling around a nasty nip, however, if you are bitten be sure to wash the wound thoroughly to avoid any type of infection.

Caring for a bearded dragon is not anywhere near as complex as it might seem, you just have to exercise a little bit of common sense and some caution.

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