Bearded dragons are quite cute despite their scaly, spiky, and sometimes aggressive-looking faces. They really do come to love their owners, and we, as humans, want to show how much we love them. Could cuddling be an option?
Do bearded dragons like to cuddle? Yes, to a certain extent. Bearded dragons that love and trust their owners will enjoy periods of time sitting on their owners while they play on the floor, watch TV, or do any other activities where the dragon can comfortably and safely sit on the human.
So, bearded dragons are not like dogs and cats who often curl up with their owners on the couch or in bed. But they sure do enjoy sitting and being close with a person they trust- read on to find out how you can get close to your bearded dragon and show how much you love them!
How Do They Like To Cuddle?
Beardies each have their own personalities. So every dragon will show their “love” differently. Some beardies will simply sit on the owner’s leg while on the floor or shoulder while on the couch, looking alert as always.
Other dragons, on the other hand, will lay their heads down and rest as the owner strokes their head. It’s all a matter of the dragon’s individual characteristics.
Some dragons may NEVER enjoy being picked up, and that’s just how he or she is. As the owner, it is your job to respect their boundaries, no matter what even though there are ways to tame a bearded dragon down. Read my article on that here.
Babies tend to be a little more nervous about snuggling and being picked up, so give them some time to get to know you and earn their trust.
I Want To Cuddle My Dragon!
Bearded dragons are so cute, I know I love holding my dragons. In this section, we are going to learn how to handle a bearded dragon properly so that cuddle time is always safe.
Safe Handling Of A Bearded Dragon
Read this section carefully, as this will show you how to handle your dragon safely. The technique is simple but very effective in making sure your dragon feels at ease when you pick him out of his habitat, move him around, and eventually settle into your sitting place.
Begin by moving your hand slowly toward the dragon. He may not mind your hand, because you perform cleanings daily plus bring him fresh food and water, but some dragons can still be shaky.
Be sure to move your hand slowly toward him and do not make any sudden moves. It could leave your dragon feeling frightened and threatened.
Now carefully slide your hand under the bearded dragon’s belly. For baby dragons, just slide a finger under their chins. It will help them grip your finger as you lift them up.
Now carefully lift the dragon up and allow his tail to rest on your arm. Some bearded dragons may fidget around nervously or try to escape. If this is the case, DO NOT squeeze him or force him to stay.
Let him stay in his habitat and relax. It is just a sign that he is not ready to be handled. You may need to work on building up some more trust.
If this is the case, don’t force the dragon- let him learn at his own pace.
If you have successfully picked up your dragon, hold him close to your body. It will keep him from falling out of your hands and will help him to feel safe and secure – not to mention warm!
Avoid These Actions When Handling Beardies
Start cuddle time off on the right foot. Make sure NOT to do these things when handling a beardie.
- Never grab by limbs or tail. Always use the hand under the belly.
- Do not squeeze dragons to keep them in place.
- Do not set the dragon down in a high place as he could become injured/suffer a fatality if he falls.
- Never leave your dragon alone while out of the habitat.
Help Your Beardie Come To You
Now that you know the basic handling technique, let’s learn some additional tips about how to get your dragon feeling comfortable coming to you.
- Offer food or treats to your dragon to entice him to come to your hand. It helps him associate cuddle time with a treat. I offer two blueberries to my dragon-she loves it!
- Babies sometimes need a little reassurance. If they are being held by you but get skittish, cup one hand over your holding hand, so they have a safe, dark hiding place.
- Allow the dragon to climb on you freely, so they get used to you. (Wear a sweatshirt for best results-claws can be a pointy!)
Sitting Down and Cuddling
Numerous bearded dragon owners have their own stories, which you can find online about cuddling with their beardies. I will tell you how I safely cuddle my dragons.
We enjoy sitting on the couch because I can lean back and allow them to crawl on my front and shoulders with virtually no worries. Sometimes they even put their heads down and nap on me.
Sometimes my dragon will sit on my chest, and I simply put one hand gently behind him and pet his head. It helps him feel secure and sometimes leads to a nap.
Some dragon owners have mentioned lying down and holding their dragon while they relaxed. I do not recommend this because if you fall asleep and roll over, crushing your beardie, you are going to be heartbroken and angry at yourself.
What’s more, dragons need heat-they can’t make their own. The blankets on our bed are not a substitute for a heat lamp.
Do Bearded Dragons Like Blankets?
Here is a story some of you may have heard about. Kayto is a 2-year-old dragon who lives in Scotland. He was a pet store dragon and is a real snuggler.
The little guy started out very tiny, and his owner suspects he was being sold much too early. Nonetheless, his new owner took him home and was determined to make sure he grew up strong as an ox.
Despite their best efforts, Kayto was still a very stressed beardie. His owner was patient and kind and worked with him every day to get him feeling good.
His owner reports that he would hide and only come forth to eat. When his owner tried to touch him, he backed away. One day the owner just went on to pet him, despite Kayto moving backward.
He allowed her to do so. And, he then let her pick him up! Then the best part happened-Kayto cuddled right into his owner.
His owner reports that he has fuzzy blankets he loves to use. She adds a warm water bottle to ensure he is always cozy.
Indeed, Kayto is a prime example of how bearded dragons are all different and have their own personalities-and is proof that bearded dragons do enjoy cuddling!
Cuddling your beardie is a fun and enjoyable way to bond. Make sure you do it safely and always wash hands thoroughly before touching your bearded dragon and after putting your beardie in his habitat. Enjoy spending time with your dragon!