bearded dragon flat to the ground in natural habitat

Do All Bearded Dragons Carry Salmonella? [Proper Precautions]

Bearded dragons may appear cute and cuddly, but all bearded dragons carry Salmonella bacteria in their droppings. Salmonella is a common bacteria that, if contracted, can cause serious illness in humans.

Salmonella is easily contracted from a bearded dragon because it can be spread through the dragon’s droppings, saliva, and even touching.

To avoid infection, owners must practice strict hygiene when handling or cleaning their pet’s cage or habitat. Wear gloves when cleaning the cage or habitat and wash your hands immediately after handling the dragon. Owners should also refrain from kissing or touching the dragon’s face.

Seek medical attention immediately if any symptoms of salmonella infection appear, such as fever, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

How Salmonella Can Spread

Bearded dragons, like other reptiles, carry the bacteria Salmonella in their intestines and excrete it. Salmonella can also be transmitted through saliva and direct contact.

From Droppings

Even if they appear healthy and clean, bearded dragons can carry Salmonella germs in their droppings.

From Saliva

Salmonella can also be spread by bearded dragons through their saliva. While infecting humans in this manner is less common, it is still possible.

From Touching

Physical contact between bearded dragons can also spread salmonella. Since bearded dragons tend to walk around in their own waste, they may get traces of salmonella on their body. So touching them without washing your hands after can result in the bacteria entering your body.

Prevention of Salmonella Infection

Be vigilant and cautious when handling bearded dragons. The cage and habitat should be cleaned regularly, and hands should be washed immediately after handling.

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Clean Cage and Habitat Regularly

Keep your bearded dragon’s cage and habitat clean on a regular basis to prevent salmonella infections.Wear gloves when cleaning the habitat to protect yourself from any potential germs that may be present.

When cleaning and disinfecting the pet bearded dragon’s habitat, it is important to have a clean backup cage on hand.

Wash Hands Immediately After Handling

Good hygiene is essential when caring for a bearded dragon. After handling a bearded dragon, you must immediately wash your hands.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends washing your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. This will help to prevent the spread of salmonella and other bacteria found on the bearded dragon’s skin or in its environment.

Washing your hands before and after feeding the dragon can also help reduce the risk of salmonella transmission.

Wear Gloves When Cleaning or Handling

Wearing gloves when cleaning or handling a bearded dragon is essential. This is due to the possibility of Salmonella bacteria being present, even if the dragon appears to be healthy and clean.

Salmonella can be transmitted through droppings, saliva, or even by touching the reptile. Wearing gloves can help keep you and your pet safe by preventing the spread of any bacteria that may be present.

Gloves should always be discarded after use, and hands should be washed right away.

Don’t Kiss or Hold Bearded Dragon to Face

When handling your bearded dragon, remember not to kiss or hold it to your face. Remember, bearded dragons can have traces of salmonella on their body. These traces can spread to your mouth and make you sick if you kiss or hold your bearded dragon to your face.

Symptoms of Salmonella Infection

When infected with Salmonella, a person may experience a variety of symptoms. Fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain are some of the symptoms. The symptoms should be evaluated and treated by a physician if they persist or worsen.

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One of the most common symptoms of salmonella infection is fever. It typically begins 6 hours to 6 days after exposure to the bacteria.

The fever can range from mild to severe, and it is usually accompanied by nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and chills.

If you have a fever and any of the other symptoms listed, you should see your doctor right away for diagnosis and treatment.


Another common symptom is nausea. Those who are affected may experience discomfort and dizziness. If you notice these symptoms, seek medical attention right away because they could be the first signs of Salmonella infection.


Salmonella infection can cause vomiting. In some people, this is the first symptom to appear. In others, vomiting will follow fever and nausea/diarrhea.


Salmonella infection from a bearded dragon most often causes diarrhea. If a person has frequent diarrhea along with other symptoms like fever, nausea, and vomiting, it could be a sign of a Salmonella infection.

Key Points

  • Salmonella, a common bacteria that can cause serious illness in humans, is carried by all bearded dragons.
  • The bacteria can be spread by the dragon’s droppings, saliva, and even by touching.
  • To avoid infection, owners must practice strict hygiene when handling or cleaning their pet’s cage or habitat.
  • One of the most common symptoms of Salmonella infection in bearded dragons is nausea.
  • To prevent their bearded dragons from spreading the bacteria, pet owners should wash their hands before and after handling them and keep the cage clean.