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Bonding With a Beardie

March 1, 2021

Have you recently adopted a bearded dragon? Congratulations! Bearded dragons are actually quite intelligent. They’re also much more adorable, affectionate, and personable than many people think. These fascinating lizards can learn to recognize their humans. Many love to hang out with their owners, and will even come running to see you. (This is of course really cute to see.) However, that bond does need time to develop. A local Middletown, DE vet discusses bonding with beardies below.

Smell Association

Bearded dragons actually have quite acute little noses. In fact, when you see your pet ‘licking’ the air, he’s actually tasting scent molecules. You’ll want to get your dragon used to your scent. One way to do this is to just let the little guy hang out on you.


Unlike most of our canine patients, bearded dragons actually enjoy baths. Baths clean your beardie’s skin, and also helps them stay hydrated. Fill your tub or a small container with some warm water. Make sure it isn’t any deeper than his shoulders. This is very important! Hang out with him and pet him while he’s soaking. You can also pour water on his back, and gently brush him if needed. Be careful not to get his eyes wet! Once he’s done, pat him dry with a towel.

Hand Feeding

Beardies eat live bugs, which you may not want to hold. However, you can give your tiny dinosaur things that aren’t still moving, such as veggies. Of course, if you have the stomach for it, you can hand feed your pet live bugs. Just position your fingers so you don’t get bitten. (This probably won’t hurt much if it does happen, but it’s still best avoided if possible.)


Give your lizard buddy some fun time. Give him appropriate toys, and just let him explore a bit. Just do this in a safe, contained area. Also, keep a close eye on him.

Is It Working?

Your beardie won’t purr or wag his tail, but he will show affection in his own way. He might lick your hand, come when called, or change color to communicate. Another good indication is if your little buddy relaxes when you’re holding him. He might even fall asleep!

If you want to learn more about bearded dragon care, give us a call. As your local Middletown, DE veterinary clinic, we’re here to help!

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