Do bearded dragon bites hurt? Beardies have sharp teeth but small mouths. So, in my experience, their bites can be a little painful, but they won’t hurt too much. Of course, pain is subjective, so some people may find bearded dragon bites more painful than others. Ultimately, if this reptile bites you, you might be surprised and say, “ouch,” but you should not have any lasting pain. Think of it as a sharp pinch. In this guide, I’ll take a closer look at why a dragon would try to bite someone, how much pain it could cause, and how to prevent it in the first place!
- Are these reptiles aggressive?
- Do bearded dragon bites hurt?
- Do they have teeth?
- Are these reptiles venomous?
- What happens if a beardie nips you?
- What if your dragon draws blood?
- Can they sever a finger?
- How to avoid being bitten
- Are beardies dangerous pets?
Are Beardies Aggressive?
Many lizards bite to hunt prey and defend themselves, and bearded dragons are no exception. For bearded dragons, however, biting is a last resort. Before snapping at you, your beardie will try to run away, hiss, or make itself appear bigger by puffing out its beard. The puffy, black beard is how your lizard got its name, after all! These reptiles do bite, but only if they feel unsafe or confuse your fingers with food.
Do Bearded Dragon Bites Hurt?
Well, now we know that these animals can snap and nip at you in some circumstances, how much pain should you expect? As a general rule, the bigger the reptile, the harder the bite. Fortunately, the teeth on beardies dull as the lizards get older. So, even a nip from a full-grown dragon should not hurt too much.
Sometimes, the hardest part is getting your lizard to let go! You can do this by supporting his or her body and gently releasing its jaw from the bite site.
Do Bearded Dragons Have Teeth?
Yes. These reptiles may have up to 80 teeth in their mouths at any given time. They also have two different kinds of teeth, acrodont and pleurodont, and they can grow extra teeth if they lose some. Their teeth are hard to see, but they are there.
Are Bearded Dragons Venomous?
These reptiles are not venomous. So, you don’t need to panic if you’re bitten by one. Many people get confused because beardies fall within the Toxicofera clade. But, they are not poisonous like some of their ancestors and relatives. Do not worry – beardies are a safe house pet!
What Happens if a Bearded Dragon Bites You?
If your pet bites you, try not to panic. Remember that the situation is always more dangerous for your pet than it is for you.
Whatever you do, do not pull your hand back or dangle your lizard in the air. Instead, support your dragon’s body and slowly encourage them to let go of the bite site. You may need to gently pry your pet’s jaws open with your fingers.
Once you are free, return your beardie safely to his or her enclosure. Next, wash your wound with soap and warm water. If they broke your skin, you may also want to apply an antibiotic ointment, like Neosporin, and put on a bandage. If your bite seems severe or gets infected, do not hesitate to call a doctor.
My Bearded Dragon Bit Me and Drew Blood
Occasionally, these reptiles can break the skin and draw blood. If this happens, take extra care to clean and disinfect your wound. You may need to take steps to stop the bleeding, as well.
While bearded dragon bites are not very painful and don’t usually leave a mark bigger than a paper cut, they can easily get infected. This is true for all animal bites, so always wash your wound and apply antibiotic cream after an incident with any pet. Don’t forget to watch for signs of infection – swelling, redness, pain, and oozing.
Can a Bearded Dragon Bite Off a Finger?
All this talk about blood and breaking the skin is sounding pretty serious. But, your bearded dragon does not have a big enough jaw nor sharp enough teeth to remove your finger. Bites are usually mild, especially when you respond calmly and appropriately. Most people find that the shock of being bitten is the worst part.
How to Prevent Bearded Dragon Bites
These reptiles only bite when they are scared or stressed and feel like they don’t have other options. If your bearded dragon runs away, hides, puffs up, or hisses at you, leave it alone and give it time to calm down. You should also give your lizard space after relocating them. And younger beardies may need to be socialized.
Occasionally, bearded dragons mistake their owners’ fingers for food. To avoid bites, make sure your lizard is well fed and avoid hand feeding.
Are These Reptiles Dangerous Pets?
Rest assured that bearded dragons are safe pets, even though they sometimes snap or nip their owners. Bites are rare and feel like a sharp pinch. Plus, your lizard is not venomous or dangerous, so there really is nothing to worry about.
Of course, persistent biting, like any other unusual lizard behavior, could be indicative of a bigger problem. If your lizard is acting particularly aggressive or biting without other warning signs, contact a veterinarian for assistance. Otherwise, know that beardies make safer pets than scratching cats or biting dogs!
Do Bearded Dragon Bites Hurt? The Bottom Line
Bites from these reptiles will feel like a sharp pinch, but the worst part is the surprise. Once the shock wears off, your wound should not hurt very much – and all you need to do is clean it up. Aside from the potential for infection, there are no major risks.
Bearded dragons only bite when they feel threatened or confused, and a biting incident is always more dangerous for your pet than it is for you. Avoid these incidents by listening to your lizard’s warning signs and feeding him with tweezers or live bait instead of your fingers.
After a bite, make sure your pet is safe and wash your wound with soap and water. Remember not to panic – and to give them plenty of time and space to calm down. Apply antibiotic ointment to your wound and watch for signs of infection. When in doubt, see a doctor.
More Bearded Dragon Care and Advice
- Lighting your beardie enclosure at night
- Is it safe to walk a dragon outside?
- Your complete care guide
- Bearded dragon predators
- Jackson, T. ‘The Tale of Toxicofera, Part 1 (Which Animals are Venomous? Part 2)’, The University of Melbourne (2020)