Humans love pets, and dogs and cats are the most common pets kept by humans. This is because they provide great companionship, are easy to cuddle, and can ensure your safety.
However, other types of pets help occupy our time; Bearded Dragon is one such pet. So what happens when you want to pet a dog and a Bearded Dragon? Do you think they can be friends and co-exist?
Read on to find out how to introduce your bearded dragon to your dog, but first, let’s look at factors to consider when keeping a Bearded Dragon as a pet.
Things to consider when keeping Bearded Dragon as a pet
In this article, we explore factors you must consider before petting a Bearded Dragon.
Bearded Dragons must be kept in a tank with the right temperature conditions. For instance, it should always range between 80-85 degrees Fahrenheit during the cold season and 95-105 degrees Fahrenheit for the warm season.
If the temperature is low, you can increase the temperature by using incandescent lighting or a heater. Use a thermometer to monitor temperature changes.
It would help to expose your Bearded Dragon to UV rays, preferably 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness. You can outfit the tank with artificial lights such as fluorescent bulbs, which allow you to control the light hours.
Alternatively, you can take your Bearded Dragon outside to bask under the sun. But don’t place your tank outside as the water can overheat, harming your pet reptile.
Do not place your bearded dragon in a very humid place. Recreate their natural environment by ensuring that the humidity in the tank ranges between 35% and 40%. You can use a hygrometer to monitor humidity levels in the tank.
Bearded Dragons love to dig and burrow in the sand, so do not place a fine or loose substrate in the tank. Your reptile may ingest it, and it could lead to intestinal damage. So if you have an undersized or juvenile Bearded Dragon, it would be wise to place reptile carpets or towels at the tank’s base.
Besides making the tank look appealing, the substrate helps maintain suitable humidity levels.
Caution: Do not use any substrate that could damage or harm your Bearded Dragon when swallowed.
Out in nature, Bearded Dragons are omnivores as they eat meat and plants. On the other hand, in captivity, Bearded Dragons are fed a balanced diet, which comprises insects and vegetables.
You may ask, how many times should I feed my Bearded Dragon? Bearded Dragons should be fed at least once a day. Juvenile Bearded Dragons should be fed three times a day. The amount of food depends on the size, but you’d better consult your veterinarian.
Common foods fed to adult Bearded Dragons include crickets, silkworms, earthworms, waxworms, redworms, super worms, butter worms, and pinkie mice.
If you are breeding the live food, you should gut load them with nutritious foods, which will be passed to your pet. And don’t forget to feed your Bearded Dragon with vegetables and fruits. You should also provide water when they are not in the tank.
Ensure you know all the diseases that can assault your Bearded Dragon and their symptoms. One of the most common ailments is a metabolic bone disease that affects their limbs as it weakens the bone structure, making your pet susceptible to fractures.
They are also prone to respiratory illnesses, so if you notice them wheezing or excreting excess mucus from the nose and mouth, know it’s time to see a vet.
Impaction is another common problem observed in Bearded Dragons because of their diet. So ensure that you feed these insects moderately and let them be small-sized.
Now that you are informed of the things to consider when keeping a Bearded Dragon, it’s time to get yourself one and introduce it to your furry baby.
Tips to Introduce your Bearded Dragon to your Dog
If you want to introduce your Bearded Dragon to your dog, use the following tips to ensure the safety of your pets.
1. Do a Health Check
Their introduction could go haywire if any pets are sick and transmit to the other. So, ensure that your dog and Bearded Dragon are healthy and not carrying any diseases or parasites by visiting the vet and getting a clean bill of health.
For instance, Bearded Dragons are salmonella carriers and other parasites which could be easily transmitted to the dog.
Besides the health check, dog owners are cautioned against introducing Bearded Dragon to puppies or dogs below the age of two as their immune system is underdeveloped, making them more prone to diseases.
2. Introduce Them at a Neutral Place
When socializing a dog and Bearded Dragon, it’s wise to move away from their territories and go to a neutral place. And since they are not trying to guard their homes, their aggressive behavior will be toned down a notch. You can head to your library or balcony.
3. Have an Extra Pair of Hands
Since your dog is big and a Bearded Dragon is relatively small, it would be great if you had a helper. Each one to handle a pet and help control them, especially during the first introduction.
4. Get a Harness
Suppose it’s hard to control them while on the loose; you should consider placing your dog on a leash and get a harness for your Bearded Dragon. However, ensure they are not too tight to restrict movement; they should help you gain control when they become unruly.
This will also help prevent your dog from stepping on your Bearded Dragon.
5. Let Them Sniff Each Other
Let them swap their scents. This will help them feel comfortable in each other’s company. Dogs are used as trackers by police as they rely upon scents, so have your dog sniff your Bearded Dragon.
You can do this before the introduction, where you take a piece of cloth and rub it on your Bearded Dragon, then have your dog smell it. Hence, during the introduction, your dog will be friendly.
Make sure to give your furry friend a treat when they behave well in the presence of your Bearded Dragon. It will help speed up the rate at which they become friends.
6. Minimize The Noise
Ensure the place is quiet and no sudden noises as it will disrupt the meeting. Ensure that they are both calm and comfortable and do not invite friends, have music playing at a loud volume, or kids shouting as it could overstimulate them.
7. Keep a Close Eye on Them
Do not leave your pets unsupervised, no matter how well-behaved they are. This is because a sudden movement by your dog could end up injuring your Bearded Dragon. On the other hand, a Bearded Dragon may bite your dog; even if their bite is not toxic, it could lead to excessive bleeding.
Therefore, before your pets are bosom friends, never leave them unsupervised. And even then, don’t go away for too long as anything can happen, and they turn on each other. Ensure you are within reach to intercede on time if need be.
8. Look Out For Their Body Language
When conducting the introductions, watch out for their body language. If the meeting is long, they might start displaying negative signs.
For instance, if your dog is tired, it becomes hostile and displays the following signs.
- Gives your Bearded Dragon a long and unwavering stare
- Starts growling
- Displays its teeth while growling
- Stiff posture
- Blocks your Bearded Dragon path
However, if they are happy, you will see their tail wagging, have a wiggly posture and sniff around your Bearded Dragon.
Although Bearded Dragons are friendly and docile, they tend to extend their beard to appear bigger if they feel threatened. They might also give your dog:
- Long and hard stare
- Chase your dog around
- Bob their head while turning in circles
When you notice these behaviors from your pets, it would be wise to end the introduction by distracting them with treats and toys. And once they are calm and well rested, you can try introducing them again.
How Long Will It Take For Your Pets to Be Friends?
Their first introduction will determine how long it will take before your pets can be friends. If they start off being aggressive to each other, then it can take months. But if they are friendly from the first day, they will play together within a few weeks.
Why Should You Keep a Bearded Dragon as a Pet?
- Long lifespan
- Easy to look after
- Great with kids and other pets
If you want to pet a dog and a Bearded Dragon, you must ensure that you have all the right conditions to give optimal pet care for a longer lifespan.
Then, introduce the two pets as they must co-exist in the same house. You can apply the tips above to help introduce your dog and Bearded Dragon safely.