They say you have to kiss a few frogs before finding Prince Charming. Well, maybe you just kiss one frog and die! I´m just fooling around here. I know that he reason why you are reading this article is a serious one. You most probably just got a bearded dragon or you are planning to buy one and now you wonder if bearded dragons carry salmonella?
First of all I want to say that it is very smart of you to do your research about this topic. Just not thinking about certain things doesn´t mean that they do not exist. Especially when it comes to kids you have to be aware of potential dangers.
Do Beardies Carry Salmonella? Yepp!
Most probably not what you wanted to hear but hey, it is the truth. However I am not talking only about bearded dragons here. Chameleons, iguanas, chinese water dragons, monitors, rats and a lot of other animals that people keep as pets carry salmonella.
The Real Reason Why You Are Reading This Article
I know that you are not here because you want to know something about salmonella. You want to know if your pet is a danger for you and for your loved ones. In case of bearded dragons I have a crystal clear answer. I want to mention that this is just my personal opinion, I am not a doctor and I don´t really know a lot about doctor´s stuff.
However in my opinion bearded dragons are not a danger for you or your family. In my opinion the only danger for you or your family is poor hygiene. Bearded dragons can transmit salmonella, but only if you allow it. See it like this: a big dog can kill you, but would you say that people should not keep dogs anymore because they can kill a person? Of course not!
You train the dog, be a good dog keeper, show love and do everything what it takes to have a happy dog. This is how you prevent getting killed by your own dog. It is your responsibility. In my opinion the same goes for bearded dragons.
What You Can Do To Prevent Infection
Salmonella is a serious infection. So it is your responsibility to make sure that you do not get it from your bearded dragon. It should be common sense to wash your hands before and after touching the animal. Wash your hands before to protect your animal and wash you hands after touching your animal to protect yourself.
Some people like to kiss their bearded dragon. I don´t do this but I don´t judge. If you have kids I would not do this. Kids are more vulnerable to diseases then adults and it can be that you can kiss your dragon without getting anything, but your kids do.
Further you should not let your dragon run around on your bed if you want to minimize the risk. Your bearded dragon could even poop on your bed which would increase the risk of getting salmonella immensely.
You should use a hand sanitizer like this here for the prevention of cross infection. Use it whenever you touched your bearded dragon or whenever you worked in the bearded dragon tank.
How High Is The Risk Of Getting Salmonella?
I own bearded dragons and other reptiles for a very long time. I never had anything and I can tell you I did not use a hand sanitizer after touching my reptiles or working in their tank. Have a look at the videos on Youtube or visit a bearded dragon Facebook group. There are thousands of people who touch their animals every day, but we don´t hear in the news that thousands of reptile keepers got a salmonella infection.
So getting a reptile is not dangerous in case of bearded dragons as long as you follow a couple of rules that you should follow anyway even in other situations in life. When it comes to kids you should definitely be a little bit more careful.
I hope that I could take your fear away. Always remember, people who got a dog or a cat have the same risks for other diseases, but in general nothing happens if one cares for hygiene.