Walking a bearded dragon can be a fun activity, but there are some risks to keep in mind. When I go back out with my rattlesnake, I usually strap him on my shoulder. He enjoys the sun unless he notices a bird of prey in the sky. But actually putting her down on the lawn or even going somewhere with her has always felt scarier – for both of us! In this article, I’ll cover the dos and don’ts of taking your bearded dragon on the streets near your home, so you can keep him safe and have peace of mind for both of you.
Can I take my bearded snake for a walk?
You see all kinds of unusual animals, cats, rabbits and even pet pigs walking the streets these days. So why not try it with your bearded snake? Okay, running around the park with a lizard happily by your side or fetching a lake is probably out of the question, but that doesn’t mean you and your dragon can’t have fun.
Exploring the outdoors together may require planning, but it is possible with the right equipment. You have to make sure the bearded dragon is safe from injury, predators and escape.
Do bearded dragons need walks?
Bearded dragons don’t necessarily need outdoor activities like a dog. But that doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy them. Walks can provide mental stimulation and physical exercise – both of which our beards need. But it’s worth noting that walking outside can be stressful for bearded dragons. In some cases, the negative effects of this stress outweigh the benefits of walking—especially when you can provide exercise and mental stimulation in the safety of your own home.
So the bottom line here is that every bearded dragon is different. Some may enjoy walking, but others may find it stressful. Watch your bearded dragon and work at its pace if you want to try walking it outside. And it goes without saying that you need to take steps to secure them.
Signs of stress in bearded dragons
Before preparing your bearded snake for its first outing, being able to spot signs of stress in your lizard friend will make the process easier in the long run. If you notice these signs, you should take your beard home where it feels safer. Symptoms of stress include e.g.
- Trying to bite you
- Stress marks (dark marks on the stomach and neck)
- Changes to toilet habits
- Loses appetite
- Hissing at you
- They talk about beards
- Mouth hanging open
Of course, many things can stress our beards. But if you notice any of these behaviors on a walk, it’s likely that something outside is causing the stress.
Risks to consider when walking a bearded dragon
Walking your bearded dragon outside can have some benefits, but you should always weigh them against the risks. Here are some dangers you should be aware of before you decide to take your beard out:
- Your dragon could escape
- Injuries from cars, eating things you shouldn’t, etc.
- Wrong temperatures
- Fear of loud noises, predators, etc.
- Stressed beard
If you’ve weighed these risks and found a safe place to walk your pet, you need to think about how to keep them close. Most owners choose a leash and harness.
Can I put a leash on my dragon?
Training a bearded dragon on a leash takes time and patience. Ultimately, a dragon’s temperament will determine whether it can be trained on a leash or not. Unfortunately, some bearded dragons can never feel comfortable walking on a leash, no matter how much effort or instructions you follow.
In general, beardies are docile and non-aggressive pets. So they may be more receptive to handling than reptiles such as chameleons and anoles. This can mean that leash training is easy, but for some owners it may take a little longer. Patience is the most important thing! Here are some tips to make the process smoother.
Buying the right leash
For better control, use a harness instead of a collar. Collars irritate lizards and make it easy to escape, while harnesses keep your beard safely on your chest. Try to get a harness that doesn’t dig into your lizard too much. I recommend a harness strap that can be adjusted on a bearded dragon perfectly.
Harnesses designed for ferrets and rabbits are sometimes excellent for larger lizards such as bearded snakes.
Try the harness first in a familiar environment
Make sure your bearded dragon is comfortable wearing a harness before you start walking. Just drop the harness over the lizard’s head and it’s ready to explore your home in style. Let them try it out and use it in the safety of your home several times before you go out. By doing this, your little bearded friend will be more relaxed outdoors while getting used to the new environment and unfamiliar clothes.
Let your bearded snake acclimate to the outdoors
You can increase your chances of success by gradually exposing your bearded snake outdoors. Once he’s used to being in his harness, try taking him outside for a short time. Keep it small and increase in small increments over a few weeks to see if the experience stresses your beard or not.
Keep your movements slow and calm
Instead of immediately putting your rattlesnake on the floor, sit on the ground and hold it in your lap. This way, it will feel safe in your presence while it gets used to its new environment. Let it go when it’s done.
If the bearded dragon suffers, bring it back inside and try again. Try to avoid places with too much noise and watch out for birds. Your lizard’s natural reaction to a bird is to run and hide. A bearded dragon that is scared and running will probably make a beeline for the nearest tree. Keep a sharp grip on your leash at all times and be ready to take the beard in if they get scared.
Walking the bearded snake
Try taking your bearded dragon for a short walk after it gets used to being outdoors. Remember to go softly and slowly so you don’t startle your lizard. Follow closely behind him, and if he starts to go in the wrong direction, either block his path or redirect him. Take your lizard home and try another day if it squirms or tries to escape.
It is important to remember that it may take weeks for a bearded dragon to be comfortable enough to walk on a leash. Take your time with the whole process. Work at your beard’s pace. You will probably need a lot of patience to help them get used to walking outside.
Don’t forget to put your bearded dragon back in a safe place after some time outside. The terrarium provides a safe environment for your lizard. At home, he can relax after a stressful day outside.
Do not force your bearded dragon outside if it is scared or stressed. To begin leash training, your lizard must be friendly and calm. Leash training a lizard should only be attempted after it has been tamed and a close relationship with its owner has been formed.
Final thoughts on the bearded dragon walk
Before taking your bearded snake for a walk, make sure it is comfortable in its home environment. Try to understand your dragon better by looking for signs of stress in his daily life. Once you know your dragon, you’ll quickly notice when it’s stressed if you try something new.
Remember to use a harness instead of a collar as it is more comfortable for your pet. And try it in your own home before you go out. Take things slow and don’t wait too long for a few weeks. Watch out for birds and stay away from noisy areas. Never let your bearded dragon off its leash.