Dogs are a person’s best friend, and many of us, animal lovers, own reptiles and dogs. Wouldn’t it be great to have them interact with each other? In this article, we will explore if having your dragon and your dog is possible.
Can bearded dragons play with dogs? Yes, bearded dragons will do fine with dogs. However, you have to be very watchful of the two as they interact. Playtime with your dragon is NOT recommended if you have a dog known to be aggressive. Most bearded dragons will not bite or become aggressive to the dog.
Go on YouTube, and you will see many dogs and beardies playing together with no problem. But what are some things to be aware of? How can you keep everyone safe? Read on to find out.
Will My Dog and Bearded Dragon Get Along?
Yes, most likely, the bearded dragon will get along just fine with your dog. However, there are some tips you can follow to keep everybody happy.
- Introduce your pets to one another and watch them closely as they go about their business.
- Limit their time together for the first few visits-say, no more than 10 minutes.
- Do not leave your pets unsupervised.
- Be mindful of any signs of aggression (In beardies this means puffing of the beard, bobbing the head, biting; for dogs, this means growling or showing teeth)
Take it slow as the beardie, and the pup get to know each other. Hold your beardie gently in your hand and let your dog sniff the reptile, taking some time to get used to it.
Your goal is to get your dragon used to your dog and vice versa, so everybody knows each other, and understands there are no threats here.
Never Leave Them Unsupervised
Something terrible can happen when you turn your head even for just two minutes. One of the pets might feel threatened and then act in accordance with their instinct. Even if they’ve been around one another for a while, it is not recommended you EVER leave them alone.
After all, the things Mother Nature taught them will always come before any training you have administered.
Most of the time, it is the dog you will have to worry about, not the bearded dragon.
Beardies And Dogs: Best Friends?!
Funny animal stories always tickle my funny bone, and this cute story from the DailyMail is a good case for why beardies and dogs can really play together. (I show you the video to that story below)
Foxxy Cleopatra, the chihuahua, and Ryuu, the bearded dragon, are seen in this video running around the coffee table playing tag.
It’s funny to watch the two execute strategy as they play the game of tag, with Ryuu looking like he is totally disinterested in the game, but suddenly reacting when the dog gets near him.
It is just one story out of many, and the chihuahua is not an aggressive breed, but it really makes the case that bearded dragons and dogs can genuinely get along with one another and help each other get some exercise in the process.
Could My Beardie Be OK with Other Pets?
Most household pets can get along just fine with your bearded dragon. If you have a pet mouse, I suggest NOT getting them close, as bearded dragons have been known to eat mice.
Aside from this, your beardie can interact with other household pets provided you are closely supervising the two of them.
You should also make sure both pets are healthy. For instance, if you have a guinea pig who is recovering from being sick or a dog that is recovering as well, it’s best to keep them separated.
After all, bearded dragons are usually clean animals provided you are keeping up with daily, weekly, and monthly cleaning tasks. The same goes with your other pets – keeping them clean will help keep them healthy.
Bearded dragons can be hosts for parasites and salmonella. It can be transferred to dogs and even cats. It’s not something you have to worry about if you are keeping everything clean, but you should know about it.
What Are the Signs of Salmonella?
Most of us think about salmonella as something that comes from undercooked meats like chicken. However, it goes way beyond food-and it can live on the skin of bearded dragons of other reptiles.
Salmonella infection signs are things like:
- Appetite Loss
- Cramps in the abdomen
Symptoms of this ailment can last up to a week. It is critical that if you suspect you have salmonella, you get to a doctor right away for help. You should also take your pets to the vet if you think they have salmonella poisoning.
And as a final note: ALWAYS wash your hands after handling your bearded dragon, cleaning their habitat in any way, or feeding them. Never eat or drink while playing with your bearded dragon.
What About Parasites?
A yearly vet visit will help your bearded dragon stay safe and healthy from parasites. Your vet can examine their feces to see what’s inside and determine if any parasites are present.
Look for signs like weight loss or diarrhea in your bearded dragon if you suspect that he or she may have a parasite.
Also, did you know that bearded dragons also get mites? It is a result of hygiene that is poor, such as having a dirty tank. The reptile may have got the mites from another bearded dragon, too.
You will know mites are present when you see defecation from the pests on your bearded dragon’s body, which appear to be dust or redness near the eyes. It is a sign they’ve been itching in those areas a lot and could be in pain.
They may not even want to bask; that’s how bad the pain gets at times.
After calling your vet and making an appointment, use Betadine to help get rid of the mites. I have published a great article on beardies and mites here, so check it out!
When to Avoid Playtime
During your pet’s mating season is time to avoid having them interact with each other. Most dogs are spayed or neutered nowadays, so this is not typically something you need to worry about.
With bearded dragons, it’s different. If you know your bearded dragon, whether male or female, is in season, it is best to keep them separated. During this time, aggression is at its peak, especially for males. Keep it safe for everybody by keeping animals in heat away from one another.
Having a bearded dragon and a dog play together is not a bad idea at all. You can help your dog, and your beardie feel enriched and happy by introducing them to one another and allowing them to play and interact.
The key things to remember are:
- Keep a close eye on your dragon and your dog to make sure they aren’t aggressive
- Never leave your pets unsupervised
- Make sure both pets are healthy before they play together
- Always wash your hands after playing with any of your pets.
Enjoy the laughs and cute pictures you get when your bearded dragon and your dog interact with one another!