Do dogs eat bearded dragons?
If you are the owner of multiple pet species, you may find yourself wondering if one pet will harm the other.
What is the likelihood of a beardie and a canine getting along and acting as pals?
What are the chances of one harming the other, intentionally or unintentionally?
When deciding to become the owner of any animal, it is essential to perform your due diligence and learn how to properly care for and protect it before bringing it into your home.
As animal lovers ourselves, we have wondered what would happen to live with a bearded dragon and a dog under the same roof.
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Will My Dog Eat My Bearded Dragon?
There is no definitive answer as to whether your dog will eat or harm your bearded dragon. Every animal is different with its demeanor and personality. With no guarantee your pets won’t harm one another, it is best to assess their behaviors and monitor their interactions.
When you introduce a new animal to the pet you already have, you always run the risk they won’t get along.
This holds for animals of the same species, similar species, and species completely different from one another.
Before bringing a new pet home, ask yourself if your current pet will adapt well to another animal being in the house.
Some pets are docile and loving, while others are more independent and may show signs of aggression and resentment towards other animals.
If, for some reason, you do not have the opportunity to properly assess this situation before it is put into action, then be sure to practice caution when introducing pets to one another.
If you are already a dog owner and a bearded dragon is entering your home, ask yourself some questions before deciding whether or not to introduce the animals.
First, is your dog large enough to eat or cause major bodily harm to your beardie?
If so, is your dog naturally energetic or aggressive?
Keep in mind, even if your dog is not aggressive, your dog still poses a potential threat to your beardie’s life if it decides to treat your lizard-like a new chew toy.
No dog is the same, and no breed is definitively worse than another.
No matter what breed of dog you own or its general demeanor, all dogs share some instincts.
One of the most critical natural instincts to be aware of in this situation is your dog’s hunting instincts.
Some dogs are more known for hunting, such as bloodhounds and beagles.
Other more miniature dogs like chihuahuas and Yorkie terriers are not thought of as hunters.
However, dogs are natural predators, and there is always the risk of your dog seeing your beardie as prey.
If your dog exhibits naturally calm behavior, you may have a better chance at successfully introducing it to your pet reptile than an individual with a wild or aggressive dog.
It is also worth noting how your dog reacts under stress.
If you have seen your dog react abnormally when put in a situation with stress, keep their behaviors in mind.
You could have the kindest, calmest, most laidback dog on the planet, but if your dog does not handle stress well, it may seem like a completely different animal when pressured.
If you know your dog has a strong predatory instinct or sees everything as a new chew toy to throw around, you may want to rethink allowing it to meet your bearded dragon.
Bearded Dragon Behaviors
A bearded dragon is a very popular reptile and is an excellent lizard to have as a pet.
While bearded dragons make for great pets, there is no guarantee your beardie will enjoy spending time with the other animals living in your house.
Even the most docile beardie has the ability to bite if provoked.
While these animals’ behaviors may vary, many bearded dragons do not enjoy interacting with other animals or pets within the household.
Bearded dragons are not generally known to bite unless they feel threatened or are in a stressful situation.
A beardie bite is a defensive mechanism and is not something to worry about in general.
However, if you decide to introduce your beardie to your pet dog, be wary of both animals’ behaviors.
While it is easiest to imagine a dog potentially harming a bearded dragon, the opposite situation is also possible.
Bearded dragon bites are strong, and the chance of blood draw from an injury is high.
Get to know your bearded dragon’s personality before deciding to introduce it to any other animals.
Is your beardie energetic, adventurous, and confident?
If so, you may be in a better position to bring your dog into the room than if your beardie is skittish, shy, or known to bite out of fear.
Bearded dragon owners should give their pet lizards a bit of time to adjust to their new home before attempting to introduce their dog.
Dog Training With Bearded Dragons
Another factor to consider when deciding if you should show your dog your pet beardie is the level of training your dog has and your ability to control it.
The ideal dog to introduce to bearded dragons is a dog who will listen on command with treats.
Some dogs may be impeccably trained, and treats are not necessary to gain their cooperation.
Either way, having treats on hand may be a good idea for obedience and possible distraction during your pets’ first meetings.
Unlike cats, dogs are not carnivores.
Dogs are omnivores and need both plant and animal matter to survive.
This omnivorous characteristic, along with bearded dragons not being natural prey to dogs, is a positive factor.
Even though dogs are not natural predators to bearded dragons, this fact alone does not mean all dogs will ignore beardies.
As stated previously, your dog’s behavior plays a major role in how this interaction will play out.
If your dog is not well trained or if you are an owner who is not the best at controlling your dog’s actions and behaviors, it is best to put off the introduction of your pets.
The idea of your pets getting along may seem like an ideal situation in your mind, but it is not always the reality of the situation.
If you feel very strongly about at least introducing your dog and bearded dragon and want to see how they will get along, be sure your dog has basic training at a minimum.
You should be able to command your dog to come to you, stay, and leave the bearded dragon alone if it goes in to play or attack.
Having your dog trained with basic commands is essential for the safety of both the dog and the bearded dragon.
Remember, even if your dog is fun-loving and would never hurt a fly, this does not mean your bearded dragon won’t attack the dog if it feels threatened.
Since it is difficult and likely impossible to train your beardie to react on command, it is best to have your dog trained to ensure the safety of both of your pets.
Possible Dog Injuries With Bearded Dragons
Of course, allowing two animals of any species to be around one another poses the risk of possible injury.
Even though we as owners like to think we know our pets and how they will react in every situation, it is essential to remember our pets are animals at the end of the day, and we have no way of truly communicating with them.
Both animals can injure the other in some capacity, whether it is intentional or unintentional.
Bearded Dragon Injury
The main question to be answered in this article is whether or not your dog will eat or injury your bearded dragon.
Bearded dragons are at risk of sustaining a playful or even malice bite from your dog.
In order to prevent any unsupervised interactions from occurring, there are a few steps you should take.
Be sure to keep your beardie’s enclosure out of reach of your dog.
The tank should preferably be in a room where the dog does not have free-roaming access.
Also, be sure to keep your beardie securely inside of its tank whenever you are not interacting with it.
These three steps will keep stress levels down for your beardie and will decrease the risk of your pets meeting in an unsupervised encounter somewhere in the house.
Although it seems less likely, your dog is also at risk of sustaining an injury from interacting with your pet beardie.
The most obvious injury threatening your dog is a bite from a threatened bearded dragon.
These bites may draw blood and run the risk of infection.
Another risk posed to your dog is the possibility of your lizard carrying salmonella.
Salmonella is a bacteria which will cause an infection in the intestines of the person or animal suffering.
It is common for reptiles such as turtles and bearded dragons to carry the salmonella bacteria even when they appear to be clean.
This bacteria can spread along the lizard’s skin and throughout its enclosure.
It is crucial to clean your beardie’s tank regularly and to be sure to wash your hands before and after each interaction.
In the rare instance where your dog eats your bearded dragon, the dog may sustain injuries as well.
If your dog does not throw up after the event, they run the risk of becoming ill from salmonella poisoning.
Signs of salmonella poisoning in dogs include lethargy, loss of appetite, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.
In any instance of injury to either your bearded dragon or your dog, the injured pet should be taken to the vet for medical attention.
It is best to obtain a professional medical opinion on the situation and advice on how to treat the injuries and prevent them in the future.
Some bearded dragon owners may be determined to introduce their pet lizard to their dog.
If you are one of these owners and you have decided the situation will be safe for all parties, follow the steps below for the first few introductions.
The first and most important aspect of this introduction is the location.
Be sure to introduce your pets in a quiet area of your home with few distractions and stimulants.
You want your pets to meet in calm environments where they feel comfortable.
The second most important part of this meeting is having another person there to assist you.
You need to have one person for each pet.
This way, if the meeting does not go well, one person can control the dog, and the other can get the bearded dragon back into its tank.
Other than the two necessary individuals involved in the meeting of one dog with one bearded dragon, avoid having other people in the room.
Having spectators for this interaction may seem like a fun idea, but extra people means extra stimulation and extra stress.
The final aspect of this meeting is your attentiveness.
Your pets should never be left alone, even if you are in the room with them.
When the animals are meeting, it is crucial to never turn your back from them or to leave them unsupervised.
This attentiveness also applies to your observation of body language and your ability to assess the situation appropriately.
If you are in charge of supervising the dog in this situation, consider having it on a leash for easy access.
Be conscious of long, unbroken stares, growling, guarding you or the other person in the room from the beardie, and stiff dominating body language.
As the owner, you will know your dog well and should already know the warning signs of it being stressed, scared, or asserting its dominance.
As the person in charge of the bearded dragon, you should also be aware of long uninterrupted stares.
If the bearded dragon attempts to chase the dog, be mindful this is most likely an intimidation factor, and your beardie probably feels threatened.
The final behavior to look for is circumduction.
Circumduction is a behavior bearded dragons display by bobbing their heads up and down and moving their legs in circulation motion.
While it is unlikely your dog will eat your bearded dragon, the risk of injury is present for both animals.
It is important to remember to never allow your pets to interact unsupervised and to respect their needs.
If you do decide to introduce your beardie to your dog, be sure to take all appropriate safety precautions and to be aware of the signals each animal gives off.