picking up a beardie

How Do You Pick Up A Bearded Dragon [7 Step Process]

Picking up your bearded dragon with the proper technique is critical for both their safety and yours. If bearded dragons are not handled correctly and with care, they can become stressed or injured.

When picking up your bearded dragon, approach from the front or side, never from above, and support their body and tail with both hands. To avoid stress, move slowly and gently and pay attention to their body language. Your bearded dragon will become more docile as it is handled on a regular basis.

Importance of Proper Handling

Avoiding Injuries

When handling a bearded dragon, keep in mind that they are delicate creatures that can be easily injured.

Approaching the dragon gently and slowly is the best way to avoid injuries. Avoid simply grabbing the dragon and lifting them as this can result in a fall or injury. Instead, gently lift them up by sliding your hand underneath the body and supporting it with your other hand.

Make sure to support the tail as well as the body. All movements must slow and gradual so that the dragon has time to adjust and does not become distressed.

Preventing Stress

When it comes to bearded dragons, preventing stress is an important part of proper care. It is advised to keep handling to a minimum and to begin by placing your hand in their tank with your palm up for several minutes before handling them.

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Approaching the Bearded Dragon

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  • Approach a bearded dragon with caution and gentleness.
  • Picking up your beardie is best done from the front or side, never from above.
  • When approaching, keep your palm open and facing them to help them feel more at ease with you.


Approach From The Front

When picking up a bearded dragon, always approach them from the front or side, never from above. Approaching from behind or over the top will cause a great deal of stress to the dragon. Slowly move your hand towards your bearded dragon, keeping your movements gentle and smooth.

Never From Above

Never approach a bearded dragon from above because the nerves in their head are extremely sensitive and they may become scared or stressed.

Gradual and Slow Movements

Slow and gradual movements are essential when approaching a bearded dragon. Move your hand in slowly, keeping your fingers away from their face. This will help to prevent any startling or frightening movements.

Lifting the Bearded Dragon – Step By Step

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  • As stated, move slowly and gently, as sudden movements can startle them and cause them to become stressed and defensive.
  • When lifting a bearded dragon, slide your hand under their body from the side and support their chest with your other hand.
  • Always remember to slowly raise the dragon, allowing the tail to drape over your arm for extra support if necessary.


Sliding Your Hand Under the Body

To ensure that your bearded dragon is lifted safely and without causing stress or injury, slide your hand underneath the bearded dragon’s body.

To do so, approach the bearded dragon from the front or side and move your hand up towards the reptile’s chest/belly area, making sure it stands on your hand. You can also slide both hands under the belly to ensure a secure grip.

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Supporting the Body

When picking up a bearded dragon, you want to support the entire body. Place your index fingers under the dragon’s chest and slowly begin to lift it while supporting its chest and front legs with one hand. Use the other hand to support the bearded dragon’s back legs to keep it secure.

Lifting Gently

Lift your dragon slowly until their front legs are off the ground. When lifting, keep your palm slightly cupped to provide more support for your dragon. You should also avoid gripping too tightly, as this can cause undue stress or even injury.

Tips for Handling Bearded Dragons Safely and Confidently

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  • Begin by keeping an eye on their body language, as they may show signs of stress or fear when being handled.
  • When handling a bearded dragon, you can add an extra layer of protection by wearing gloves.
  • With time and patience, you can build a trusting relationship with your bearded dragon that will make future interactions much easier.


Keep An Eye on Body Language

When handling your bearded dragon, keep an eye on their body language. Bearded dragons often show their alertness by curling their tails up, and if one foot is left out, they may begin to thrash. When approaching them, speak to them and make an announcement to let them know you’re there. You can ensure that your bearded dragon remains calm and comfortable while being handled by paying attention to their body language.

Don’t Forget to Support The Tail

When handling a bearded dragon, keep in mind that the tail does not detach like the tails of other lizards. It will not regrow if it is pulled off, so be gentle and delicate when picking them up. Pulling or yanking on the tail can cause pain or injury to the lizard.

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Wear Gloves if Needed

When working with a bearded dragon, take all necessary precautions. Wearing gloves is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your pet. This will prevent any skin-to-skin contact and will also aid in the reduction of bacteria transmission between you and your reptile.

You should also wear gloves if you have any cuts or abrasions on your hands, as these can be a breeding ground for bacteria that can harm your bearded dragon. Make sure the gloves you’re using won’t snag or tear easily. The last thing you want is for your reptile to get hurt because of a ripped glove!

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  • Always approach a bearded dragon from the front or side, never from above.
  • To avoid stress and injury, use both hands to support their body and tail, and move slowly and gently.
  • Wear gloves if necessary for a firm grip and to avoid scratches.
  • Keep an eye out for signs of distress or discomfort in the bearded dragon’s body language.
  • To reduce stress, place your hand in their tank for several minutes before handling them.