bearded dragon looking back on a rock

How Often Should You Hold Your Bearded Dragon? [Follow This Rule]

You should handle your bearded dragon for 10-15 minutes a day. This can vary depending on the age, personality, and health of the dragon. Start small, and as your beardie gets used to being handled, you can extend the sessions. It is important to give them a break every couple of days, so they can relax and have time to themselves.

When handling your bearded dragon, be slow and gentle. Overhandling can be identified by behaviors such as hiding when humans are present or increased agitation when touched. If you notice these signs, take a few days off from handling to give them some breathing room.

Frequency of Handling

Daily for 10-15 Minutes

Handle your bearded dragon for 10-15 minutes every day. This will help them become more accustomed to being handled. Begin slowly and gradually increase the amount of time spent handling them. It is best to end the session and try again another day if you notice any signs of stress or agitation. Your bearded dragon will quickly learn that handling is nothing to be afraid of and will become more at ease with it if you are patient and consistent.

Take a Day or Two off Each Week

Even though your reptile will benefit from daily handling, it is also important to give them a break. Allowing them time to relax and recover lowers their stress levels and promotes socialization. Giving them a day or two off each week will also help to ensure that they are not over-handled, which can lead to stress and agitated behavior. Giving your bearded dragon time to unwind and relax in their own space is part of caring for them.

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Benefits of Handling a Bearded Dragon

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  • Regularly handling your bearded dragon can provide a number of advantages for both you and your pet.
  • With regular interaction, your dragon will grow accustomed to you and recognize you as a source of comfort.
  • Handling your dragon can help to reduce their stress, which is beneficial to their overall health.
  • Spending time with your dragon is also a great way to bond with them and strengthen your relationship.

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Socialization

Handling your bearded dragon on a regular basis aids in socialization. This helps your bearded dragon become comfortable around humans and other pets.

Stress Reduction

Handling your bearded dragon can be an excellent stress reliever. Regular, gentle handling of bearded dragons has been shown in studies to help reduce stress and make them more comfortable in the presence of humans.

Steps to Handle a Bearded Dragon

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  • When it comes to caring for a bearded dragon, you must take the proper precautions to ensure your dragon’s safety and comfort.
  • Set up a safe environment for handling before you begin. This includes removing any potentially hazardous items or areas that could endanger your dragon.
  • Before handling your dragon, make sure you introduce yourself. This allows them to become accustomed to your scent and presence, which can reduce their stress levels.

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Prepare a Safe Environment

You must prepare a safe environment before attempting to handle your bearded dragon. Make sure there are no pets or other distractions in the area. Make sure the ground beneath the lizard is free of any potentially harmful objects.

Place a towel or soft cloth on the surface where you will be handling your dragon to provide extra comfort and protection. Make sure the room temperature is warm enough for your lizard, as cold temperatures can cause them to become sluggish and unresponsive.

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Also, wait a few hours after mealtime to allow their meal to digest before attempting to handle them.

Introduce Yourself

Spend some time getting to know each other by speaking quietly and offering gentle strokes. Because sudden movements and loud noises can startle them, move slowly and speak softly. This can help your dragon become more comfortable with you and gain trust. You can proceed to the next step once they appear relaxed.

Support Your Dragon With Two Hands

When you are ready to begin handling your bearded dragon, use two hands to support its weight. Move slowly and gently, avoiding sudden movements that might startle them. Put one hand under their chest and the other around their tummy to evenly distribute and support their body weight. This will make them feel more secure and at ease in your care.

Be Gentle

Be gentle not only when picking them up, but also throughout any interaction. When petting your dragon, use slow, gentle strokes that they will recognize. Stop immediately if they become agitated or uncomfortable. If you continue to handle them after they show signs of distress, you may cause additional stress and potential health problems.

Signs of Overhandling

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  • Signs of overhandling can be difficult to detect.
  • If your dragon appears to be hiding from you to avoid interaction or becomes more agitated than usual when humans are present, this could be a sign of overhandling.
  • Other stress-related behaviors include gaping mouth, puffing up the beard, and tail twitching.
  • Keep an eye on your bearded dragon’s behavior and take breaks from handling if you notice any of these signs.

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Hiding to Avoid Interaction

If your dragon is hiding more than usual, it could be because they are unhappy with the amount of attention they are getting. If your reptile is normally active and friendly but begins to withdraw, it may be time to reduce the amount of handling they receive. Make sure you take a week off from handling your dragon and keep your sessions short when you do.

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Increased Agitation When Humans Are Around

If your bearded dragon becomes agitated when humans are present, this could be an indication that they are being mishandled. Overhandling can cause your dragon to lose trust and become more anxious. Take breaks on a regular basis to allow your dragon to rest and reset.

Stressed Behavior

When overhandled, bearded dragons can exhibit a variety of stress symptoms. Gaping mouth, puffing up the beard, and tail twitching are all signs of stress. This indicates that the dragon is uneasy and should be given some space. If your dragon exhibits these behaviors, it may be a sign that it has been handled excessively and requires some time away from people.

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  • Handle a bearded dragon for 10-15 minutes per day, gradually increasing the time as the dragon becomes accustomed to it.
  • Allow the dragon to rest one or two days per week.
  • Handling aids in the socialization of the dragon and reduces stress levels.
  • Prepare a safe handling environment and introduce yourself to the dragon.
  • Observe signs of overhandling, such as hiding, increased agitation, and stressed behavior, and take a break if necessary.

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