Caring for your bearded dragon

As with any pet, it is important that you know how to handle and care for your bearded dragon correctly. Here, we bring you information on holding techniques, hygiene and more:

Before you handle your bearded dragon, it is important that you wash your hands thoroughly. This is to prevent anything that may be on your skin harming your pet. After handling your dragon or after cleaning the tank, be sure to wash your hands once again to reduce the risk of catching and spreading salmonella. It is also important to wash your pets’ dishes separately - not in with your own dishes.

Bearded dragons love attention and will quickly become used to being handled. When you pick up your pet, support all four feet with one hand and hold them firmly around their shoulders with the other. Never pick them up by their tails!

Bearded dragons don’t bite and, although they do have sharp claws, they are very unlikely to scratch. This makes them perfect pets for children. However, if your bearded dragon is a baby, they will be too delicate for children to handle without careful supervision.

Spot clean your dragon's cage regularly, removing droppings and any unwanted or wilted foods. It's a good idea to disinfect the cage with reptile-safe disinfectant once a month.

Be aware that your pet will shed their skin in small pieces, not all in one as snakes do. Baby dragons can shed their skin up to once a month until they are a year old.

A fit and healthy dragon will have bright eyes and strong legs. He or she will also be active during the day. If your pet begins to look ill, or becomes inactive, take them to the vet as soon as possible. While all vets will have a basic understanding, you may need to seek out a vet with specialist knowledge of reptiles.