How To Play With A Bearded Dragon

Are you looking to keep your bearded dragon happy and stimulated?

Do you get confused when thinking about how to play with a reptile?

Don’t associate these pets with dogs or cats!

The way beardies play is not similar to them.

So what you need to know is how to play with a bearded dragon.

Playing with bearded dragons is fun and a great way to stimulate them and build a bond. Play activities can include going for a walk, taking a swim, handling, playing ball, using a laser pointer, going hunting, or exploring.

However, you also need to know the safe ways to do these activities, so read on for more details.

7 Ways to Play With A Bearded Dragon

In this section, we go over our seven favorite ways to play with a bearded dragon.

These activities are easy to do and require little effort or money on your part.

Still, make sure you read carefully to avoid any potential inconvenient or dangerous mistakes.

#1 Taking It For A Walk

This one is my personal favorite.

Bearded dragons like to exercise and explore.

Going for a walk with these pets is a blast, and you’ll attract a lot of attention as you do this.

Watch out for these things before you go, and make sure you use the suggested harness to keep your bearded dragon from sprinting away:

  • Make sure the temperature is above 80° degrees Fahrenheit (27° C)
  • Check the weather and go on a sunny day
  • Use a harness (such as this harness by KHLZ US)
  • Keep snacks nearby
  • Be prepared to carry your pet if it gets tired
Adjustable Lizard Leash Bearded Dragon Harness...
  • 【Enjoy Roaming Time】The distinctive and adorable design makes you and your lizard look extraordinarily bright and unique...
  • 【Comfortable Fabric】Made of soft leather, protect reptile’s skin and looks vivid. The metal ring of the chest strap is...
  • 【Quality Material】Using durable and lightweight nylon rope, stainless steel swivel link and aluminum buckle, that are all...


Some harnesses are super cool, like the one at the above link.

They can come with unique designs, such as bat wings.

#2 Let Your Bearded Dragon Swim

Swimming is a fun and engaging thing for beardies to do.

But it’s not as simple as throwing your lizard in a kiddie pool!

Just like when bathing, you need to make sure the water temperature is at least 80° degrees Fahrenheit (27° C).

Also, don’t fill up with water in the container any higher than their shoulders.

Inside the container or small pool, give them some floaties or other things to move and chase around.

They also enjoy sitting on top of floats in the water as well.

The reptile can dip its tail in the water while basking in the sun.

#3 Handle Your Bearded Dragon

Another way to play with a bearded dragon is to pick them up and handle them.

Although this may stress them out if they’re not used to it, in time, they learn to like it because they associate it with you and adventuring or food.

Make sure you approach them from the front, support the whole body, and take great care not to drop them, though.

For more details, check out our guide for how to pick up a bearded dragon.

Another step to take beforehand is taming your bearded dragon.

Taming is essentially teaching the bearded dragon to get used to you and being handled by you.

We have a post if you’re interested in learning how to tame bearded dragons that we highly recommend for any bearded dragon owner.

how to play with a bearded dragon

#4 Play Ball

Don’t read this and expect your beardy to start playing fetch with you (as cute as this would be).

Bearded dragons like to engage with things, especially colorful things which remind them of different insects.

A small, colorful rubber ball can something they may want to play with.

This won’t engage all beardies, but some do seem to enjoy it.

Play with them in some of the following ways:

  • Pushing the ball and having them chase it
  • Placing the ball on their tail
  • Hiding the ball
  • Placing the ball up high for them to climb to


Colorful balls seem to work best.

Also, make sure the ball can’t accidentally be swallowed.

#5 Play With A Laser Pointer

I can hear the complaints now:

This is a bearded dragon. Not a cat!

But beardies also love to chase the little red dot of a laser pointer.

This is most likely because it reminds them of some kind of food, so they chase it.

Those who don’t like this play technique have two main problems:

  1. The beardy will chase until it’s exhausted.
  2. You’re “teasing” it with a food trigger, but not rewarding it.

I agree with these points, but if you play within reason, there’s no problem.

Don’t use the pointer to play for more than 5 minutes at a time — 10 at the most.

Always give some treats or food afterward to satisfy its food trigger.

Do these things, and laser pointers will be a ton of fun.

#6 Take Them Hunting

I don’t mean set it up in a deer blind somewhere.

Bearded dragons are predators of insects and, on an instinctive level, enjoy chasing down their food.

Even in a large tank with live insects, the chase is pretty dull at times for our lizard friends.

Help them have more fun by letting them hunt it out.

Do this either by clearing space inside for them to chase live insects, or (if you don’t want crickets in your living room) take them outside on a warm sunny day.

But, when you go outside to do this, make sure you keep the bearded dragon on some kind of leash in a sectioned off area.


Make sure there are no pesticides on the lawn or wherever you’re letting the dragon out.

#7 Explore A Space

In general, exploring new spaces is fun for beardies.

They are relatively curious reptiles.

Make sure this space doesn’t have any other animals (like other dogs or cats).

Also, keep it clear from anything the beardy may accidentally eat.

Be ready to move things if the beardy hides under or around something too.


We hope you enjoyed learning about how to play with a bearded dragon.

These oddly cute pets are a ball to play with when they’re in the right mood.

If you take the right safety steps, all of these (and more) are great ways to exercise your pet and build a bond.

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