bearded dragon flat on rock

Are Bearded Dragons Poisonous? [Two Potential Dangers]

Bearded dragons are not poisonous, although they do have primitive venom glands. However, the amount of venom they produce is not dangerous to humans. The venom they secrete is much weaker than rattlesnake venom and is only used to paralyze small prey. 

Although the venom is harmless, a bearded dragon bite can result in minor bruising, swelling, and bleeding. Always use caution when handling these lizards and immediately wash your hands afterward.

Beardies Aren’t Poisonous, But Can Produce Venom

The Difference between Poison and Venom

When it comes to bearded dragons, it’s critical to understand the distinction between poison and venom. Poison is a toxin that is ingested, whereas venom is a toxin that is injected into an animal. 

Bearded dragons are not poisonous, but they do have mild venom that can paralyze small prey animals. 

How Bearded Dragons Use Venom

Bearded dragons use their venom for a variety of purposes, including defense against predators and paralysis of prey. They are able to paralyze their prey before consuming. They may also attempt to use their venom on predators, but it won’t be strong enough to paralyze larger predators such as birds or snakes.

Does Bearded Dragon Venom Affect Humans

While the venom does not cause harm to humans, it can cause discomfort such as minor bruising, swelling, and bleeding. 

Potential Health Risks From Bearded Dragons

While bearded dragons are not poisonous to humans, it is important to be aware of the health risks associated with owning one. 

Salmonella Risk

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It is critical to be aware of the potential health risks associated with bearded dragons, such as Salmonella. According to the CDC, bearded dragons have infected 23 people with Salmonella Vitkin and IIIb. 

Salmonella is a bacteria found in the feces and saliva of dragons that can spread to humans if not handled properly. 

When handling bearded dragons, it is critical to practice proper hygiene to avoid any potential infections or illnesses.

Injuries from Bites

While bearded dragons are not considered poisonous, their bites can cause harm. Even though their teeth are very small, infection is still a possibility. 

Parasites

Bearded Dragons can carry parasites that are harmful to their health if not treated, and we aren’t just talking about salmonella! 

Coccidiosis, caused by a single-celled protozoa, is another common parasite that can be especially dangerous to Bearded Dragons. 

Treatment for parasites is usually well tolerated, but it is critical to monitor your pet on a regular basis to ensure both your health and theirs!

Safety Measures When Handling Bearded Dragons

When handling your bearded dragon, it is critical to exercise caution. Always wash your hands immediately after handling your pet and, if possible, wear gloves. Avoid abrupt movements and loud noises, which can startle and stress your pet. When picking up your dragon, take care not to squeeze it too tightly, and never handle it if it is shedding. 

Let’s take a closer look at each of these.

Wash Hands Immediately After Handling

To avoid infection, it is critical to wash your hands as soon as possible after handling your bearded dragon with a good anti-bacterial soap. If you can’t wash your hands right away, use a hand sanitizer. 

Wear Gloves If Possible

Wearing gloves when handling your bearded dragon is also recommended. This reduces the risk of irritation or injury while also helping to protect against any germs that may be present in the tank or on the animal. 

Avoid Sudden Movements and Loud Noises

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When handling bearded dragons, it is critical to move slowly and avoid sudden movements or loud noises, as these can cause the animal to become frightened or stressed. When dealing with your bearded dragon, make sure you are in a quiet and calm environment. 

Don’t Squeeze Too Tight

When handling bearded dragons, keep the entire body supported from underneath and avoid squeezing or holding them too tightly. If a beardie tries to flee or starts fidgeting, don’t squeeze or grasp it tightly; simply let it go if it wants to.

Do Not Handle If Shedding

It is important to note that when a bearded dragon is shedding, it is best to avoid handling it. Many bearded dragons dislike being handled during this time, which can impair their ability to shed their skin properly. Furthermore, the shed skin should never be pulled off because it can harm the dragon.

Always Supervise Children When Handling

When handling a bearded dragon, children should always be supervised. Because children may not understand the fundamentals of safe handling, it is best to provide guidance and instruction to ensure that they properly handle their pet. 

As sudden movements or loud noises can startle the lizard, teach them to move slowly and carefully around their pet. Also, remind them to be gentle and not squeeze the bearded dragon too tightly when holding it. 

Children can learn how to handle and interact with their bearded dragon safely with supervision and guidance.

Key Points

  • Bearded dragons are not poisonous, but they do have primitive venom glands. Humans are not harmed by the venom they produce.
  • The venom is used to paralyze small prey and is far weaker than rattlesnake venom.
  • A bearded dragon bite can still cause minor bruising, swelling, and bleeding.
  • Bearded dragon droppings can contain Salmonella germs, and some foods, such as avocados, are toxic to them.
  • To avoid diseases such as salmonella, it is critical to practice proper hygiene when handling bearded dragons.