Bearded Dragon Bite. What Do You Do Now?
Your beadie just bit you! It hurts and stings and you want to know what to do. We answer all your questions here. We tell you how to treat it, why you got bit and how to prevent it in the future.
Is A Bearded Dragon Bite Dangerous?
No. You will not die and it is not dangerous. It is true that bearded dragons produce venom. But the venom is harmless towards humans. It is important that you treat the bite. Bearded dragons carry salmonella. Most, if not all, reptiles carry salmonella bacteria in their intestinal tract and intermittently or continuously shed these bacteria in their feces. If you treat your bite you will be fine. So the next question is, how do you treat your bite?
How to Treat a Bearded Dragon Bite
If you are treating a bearded dragon bit the first thing you have to check is if the bite broke the skin or not.
Did Not Break Skin
If it did not break skin then all you have to do is wash the area. There is no chance of anything happening. There is no way any bacteria would have gotten in your system without breaking the skin. But what if your bite did break the skin.
Bite Broke Skin
You will know if the bite broke skin if there is blood. As a result of the bite breaking skin then you treat it like any typical cut or scratch. You still wash the area thoroughly. Next you disinfect the area. You can use alcohol, anti-bacterial sanitizer or Neosporin. Lastly, you put a band-aid to cover the bite.
Why A Bearded Dragon Bites
There are many reasons why a bearded dragon would bite. Bearded dragons are loveable and calm pets. They didn’t suddenly turn aggressive for no reason. Biting is the way of communicating to you. Let’s find out what the biting can mean.
First, it could be that they are hungry. When they are hungry they will bite at anything that looks like food. One of their favorite types of food is worms. In their eyes when you put your fingers into their tank it looks like a buffet of worms.
Don’t wait for your beardie to get that hungry. Make sure that they have plenty to eat. Put them on a feeding schedule so they know when to expect their next meal so you won’t be. Check out our bearded dragon guide to find out how much you should be feeding your bearded dragon.
Next is a simple case of mistaken identity. If you are hand feeding your bearded dragon they might bite a bit too much and take a bite of your hand. They are not angry, they bit off more than they can chew. If this happens consider feeding them with tongs or wear gloves when hand feeding.
When you plan on holding your bearded dragon make sure you wash your hands thoroughly.
Another reason a bearded dragon bite is if your bearded dragon thought you were a threat. Biting is usually the last resort. There should be many warning signs that your bearded dragon is angry before they bite. The signs include puffing, black bearding, and head bobbing. Check out what all these angry signs look like to see if this was the reason your bearded dragon bit you.
Next is mishandling. First, you should always approach from the side and never from the top. This is because all bearded dragons have a third eye on top of their head. All bearded dragon predators attack from above. Their third eye warns them that something is overhead. Their third eye can’t see images but just shadows so that is why they can mistake you for a predator.
The second way of mishandling is picking up your bearded dragon. This is a problem that happens to kids and new bearded dragon owners. You never want to pick up your bearded dragon for their limbs or tail first. Always start by supporting their body and then picking them up. If there is something that could get their claws, slide your hand under their limbs first. For example, claws get caught on logs and hammocks often. Check this video that shows exactly how.
Lastly is that your bearded dragon is not socialized. If they are not used to being handled they will be fearful. Just like anything new, they will not be comfortable and might react aggressively. There are a few easy ways to help socialize your beardie.
- Get them used to your smell by putting an article of your used clothing into their tank.
- Talk to them in a soft tone like you would a baby when picking them up.
- Try to pick them up a few minutes every day. You might have to start off with gloves first if they are very aggressive.
- Stick your hand in the tank and leave it there a few minutes a day. This lets them know that your hands are nothing to be afraid of.
How to Prevent a Bearded Dragon Bite
So there are a few ways to prevent a bit by a bearded dragon.
- Keep your bearded dragon on a routine feeding schedule and stick to it.
- Use a bowl or tongs to feed your bearded dragon
- Learn to pick up your bearded dragon the right way. This is especially true with people or friends that want to hold your bearded dragon
- If your bearded dragon shows any signs of aggression like a black beard, give them time to calm down.
- Wear proper gloves when holding your bearded dragon until they get used to being held.
Are Bearded Dragons’ Teeth Sharp?
Baby and juvenile bearded bearded dragons have small bumps. Think of a baby that doesn’t have their baby teeth out yet. As they get older, their teeth come in and though they are small the can be quite sharp. Check out some of the bearded dragon teeth below.
Are Bearded Dragon Bites Dangerous for Dogs and Cats?
No. You would treat it like you would any cut for a dog or cat.