If you have a dog and are thinking about adding a bearded dragon to your family (or vice versa), the first thing you want to know is whether these specific individuals will get along.
While there are some general guidelines for dogs with pet lizards, it always comes down to your specific circumstances and how well your current pet is likely to do with a dog or reptile.
Planning ahead is the best way to ensure that your beardie gets along well with your dog.
That said, if you already have them both, it’s certainly not too late to build a positive relationship.
Even though it is a non-traditional relationship, your bearded dragon can definitely become friends with your dog.
I’ve been thinking about bringing home a bearded dragon and introducing it to my female Rottweiler as well, so I’ve put a lot of thought into it.
Since my dog is very friendly and can be relatively gentle with smaller animals, I personally don’t worry too much on that front.
The main reason I’ve been putting it off is to do some more research on diet, treatment, breeding, and so on.
In the meantime I have seen and read quite a bit about bearded dragons with dogs or other pets.
Do bearded dragons and dogs get along?
Yes, bearded dragons and dogs can get along well if their temperaments match and they are socialized early and the dog is trained on how to behave around a smaller reptile.
That said, you should always supervise your bearded dragon and your dog when they have direct access to each other.
It’s also important to introduce them properly, so don’t ruin their relationship by hastily throwing them at each other.
You can start by showing your dog the space while keeping your distance so the Beard doesn’t get scared.
Gradually, you can allow your dog to see the bearded dragon in your hand (assuming the bearded dragon is relatively tame and happy to be handled by people).
Don’t let your dog get too close, but don’t let the beardie run free either, as running can cause unnecessary excitement for your dog.
Some brave bearded dragons may even chase your dog, especially if you have a smaller pooch.
Don’t start their relationship with tricks, because one of them might interpret the game as an attack and might even defend themselves.
Witnessing your dog bite the lizard’s tail or your dog’s bearded dragon giving your dog a run for his money is all fun and games… until it isn’t.
So keep in mind to introduce your two pets slowly and gradually so that your bearded dragon and your dog are likely to get along well.
Are bearded dragons afraid of dogs?
Bearded dragons can certainly be afraid of large dogs, but if desensitized early on and introduced in a gentle manner, bearded dragons are among the best reptiles to introduce to other pets.
It is important to keep in mind that every pet has a different starting point.
If the bearded dragon is well raised, healthy, and socialized early on with other pets, the chances of it being afraid of your dog are very small if you introduce it slowly.
However, if you have rescued a bearded dragon that may have had negative experiences with other pets in the past, your bearded dragon may be afraid of dogs.
I mean, it’s pretty common sense to be afraid of another animal a hundred times your size, especially if that animal is invading your space.
Most pet lizards are somewhat impervious to humans (though not all are equally good), but dogs can be a different story.
Although you cannot rule out that the bearded dragon is afraid of dogs, they are, next to geckos, one of the best reptiles for that purpose.
Tegus or Iguanas are said to be even less social and may not tolerate the presence of a dog.
Why is my dog whining at my bearded dragon
Your dog may be craving your bearded dragon because he wants to interact with the lizard as a pet.
Chances are your dog has never been exposed to a lizard and the build-up of excitement can lead to whining.
Don’t let your dog’s excitement ruin the introduction, but make sure your dog has as many positive experiences as possible in the presence of your reptile.
Bearded dragon chasing my dog
It’s not a good idea to let your bearded dragon chase your dog if they have only recently been introduced.
While this may seem funny, it can seriously make your dog want to avoid the beardie or even defend himself.
It often happens in smaller dogs, but it can also occur in rescued dogs or even in skittish large dogs who have not been exposed to smaller pets before.
What doesn’t help is the fact that some bearded dragons are overly brave and – for whatever reason – think that chasing canines around the house is a fantastic idea.
If your dog is showing playful behavior (play bows, relaxed posture, etc.) and the play is not too loud, then that may be great, but always keep an eye on him.
Will Dogs Eat Bearded Dragons?
Dogs need to be desensitized and trained in how to behave around bearded dragons so that they don’t accidentally put the small pet in their mouths and perhaps even swallow it.
Generally, dogs don’t eat bearded dragons, but it can certainly happen.
They are not a dog’s (or wolf’s) natural prey, but your dog may try to play with the reptile and if your dog actually has a mouth, that could potentially lead to a problem.
It is best to never leave your bearded dragon and dog unattended to avoid accidents, especially with larger dogs.
While you can certainly give a bearded dragon some time outside of the enclosure with your dog, they are still better off inside the enclosure due to temperature and lightning (i.e. UV light, sunspots, etc.).
Can dogs get salmonella from bearded dragons?
Yes, dogs can get salmonella from bearded dragons, which can then be silent carriers and infect people in the household.
Dogs always have these bacteria in their gastrointestinal tract, but they usually have no symptoms.
However, dogs can still become infected from your bearded dragon and then transmit salmonella to you.
According to the newspaper, bearded dragons have been linked to a number of salmonella infections CDC but you can take precautions to reduce the risk.
The main way these bacteria spread is through the bearded dragon’s feces, but once they come into contact with it themselves, their entire area and even saliva can spread the bacteria.
- Don’t come into contact with your beardie’s feces (and don’t let your dog sniff it or even swallow it)
- Clean their enclosure regularly and disinfect items
- Wash your hands after interacting with your bearded dragon
- Keep the beardie away from the kitchen, food, or your face if you want to be sure
Of course, these rules also apply to your dog to a certain extent.
Dogs also usually spread bacteria through their feces (think potty accident at home), which is probably the less likely way to spread it to you
However, they can also come into contact with your lizard’s salmonella bacteria and then kiss you, touch your face and voila – in theory you could get a salmonella infection.
Your dog will most likely not infect your bearded dragon with salmonella, but it can happen if your dog has had salmonella first and has had a potty, or if he licks infected areas and then starts licking your bearded dragon’s area.
How do dogs get salmonella? Contaminated feces outside (whether it’s their own or from a friendly stranger), interaction with other dogs who have it, or simply through their food.
Yes, a raw diet that doesn’t properly clean and disinfect all surfaces can easily spread the bacteria, but dry kibble can also be contaminated, so always be on the lookout and clean everything.
My dog ate bearded dragon poop
If your dog has eaten your bearded dragon’s poop, your biggest concern will probably be salmonella or the fact that your dog might vomit, especially if it is an excessive amount of feces.
However, if you clean your beardie’s enclosure regularly, the small feces should not pose a problem to your dog’s health.
Dogs have a much stronger digestive tract and immune system compared to humans, but you should of course try to prevent your pets from coming into contact with any form of feces.
I hope this all helps you successfully introduce a bearded dragon to your dog.
Let’s do everything we can to ensure that both pets have a great relationship with each other!
Disclaimer: This blog post does not and does not intend to replace veterinary attention. I am not a veterinarian or pet nutritionist. If your dog shows signs of illness, call your vet.