Pets can be our faithful companions and we may love them unconditionally. The only problem is that we forget pets are animals and are compelled by their natural primal instincts.
Bearded dragons are one such animal that might be compelled to bite you. Generally speaking, they are placid creatures – but if they are stressed, they might respond with a bite.
If you do get bit, it’s important that you don’t panic and do not take your hand or arm away too quickly. Simply and gently apply pressure to the bearded dragon’s body and remove their jaws away from your body.
But there’s much more to know than just this. So we’ve written this handy guide which will help to explain everything you need to know if you are bitten by a bearded dragon.
Read on to learn more.
1. Remain Calm
As with any situation, it’s important that you remain calm and do not panic. Panicking in any scenario will always make things worse.
In this situation, panicking could not only harm you further but you could also harm your bearded dragon.
In other words, if you are calm when your bearded dragon bites you, you could escape with very minor cuts or marks.
However, panicking could lead to significant damage because bearded dragons have the ability to break bones when they are threatened.
2. Refrain From Pulling Back Quickly
As we mentioned earlier, one of the key pieces of information is to remember not to quickly pull back when your bearded dragon bites you.
Do not yank or shake your arm or hand because your bearded dragon could bite down harder.
Instead, refer to the previous point and slowly move onto the next point.
3. Remember Body Support
Now, with your other hand that isn’t in the mouth of a bearded dragon, either fully support your pet’s body or place the bearded dragon onto a flat surface like a table.
This is important because if a bearded dragon is in the air or feels as though they are not secure, they have a tendency to clamp down harder for support.
Full support of a bearded dragon and when they finally feel safe enough, they might even loosen their grip immediately.
4. Remove Their Jaw From The Bite Area
With your free hand or with both hands if possible, try to remove the bearded dragon’s jaw from the bite area. At this point, you will probably begin to recognize how strong a bearded dragon can bite.
The best way to do this is to slowly increase the amount of pressure that you place onto the bearded dragon’s jaw. Do not do this quickly or aggressively because this could harm both you and the bearded dragon.
5. Tend To Any Wounds
Once you have finally freed yourself from the grip of your bearded dragon, it’s important that you place them back safely and then inspect your bite area.
If you notice any wounds, it’s important that you tend to them immediately. Here’s some of the steps after you are free from your bearded dragon’s mouth.
Clean The Area
The first thing you should do is clean the affected area. While a bearded dragon’s toxin isn’t too harmful to humans, you will want to ensure that you do not run the risk of infection from bacteria due to an open wound.
Cleaning the area not only allows you to protect yourself from this, but it also allows you to properly inspect the area for open wounds or anything else.
If you do have open wounds, once you have cleaned the area thoroughly with warm water and antibacterial soap, you will then need to use an antibacterial cream for added protection.
You will then need to apply a band-aid onto the area and ensure that it is fully covered to avoid further damage and infection.
Avoid the urge to use peroxide, as some studies have suggested that this can kill healthy skin tissue which can hinder your recovery.
If you suspect your bearded dragon has broken your bone, you must head to the emergency room immediately.
Seek Medical Advice
In any case, if you have a visible injury, it’s always a good idea to seek out medical advice from your doctor for confirmation and proper treatment.
Is A Bearded Dragon Bite Dangerous?
Not really. Generally speaking a bearded dragon bite is only because it’s their response to being threatened. Their threat feeling is likely due to the fact that they are not used to being pets.
As we mentioned earlier, their toxin isn’t harmful to us but this isn’t where your problems would be. As bearded dragons have the potential to break your bones, this is where you will be placing your focus.
Of course, open wounds can lead to infection and this can be dangerous if you do not treat them properly. If you are ever unsure, then you must seek medical assistance as soon as possible.
Why Is My Bearded Dragon Biting?
As we mentioned in the last point, bearded dragons are likely biting as a response to unfamiliarity. They are not used to being pets and as such, they are not used to being treated as pets.
Therefore, human interactions with them such as touching and playing with them can come across as a threat. Bearded dragons will respond to a threat by biting.
However, they might see a threat elsewhere and their response is to bite down right away. Whatever the reason, you will want to be sure of the warning signs and what to look for.
Warning Signs Of A Bite
You might see your bearded dragon exhibit the following signs if they feel threatened and this could lead to a bite:
- Puffy beard
- Black skin
- Hissing sounds
- Open, gaping mouth
Do Bearded Dragons Carry Diseases?
Yes but generally speaking these diseases aren’t harmful to humans as they are a response to their lifestyle and habitat.
However, something they do carry which can be very harmful to humans is salmonella. Salmonella can lead to significant illness and if you are infected with salmonella poisoning, you may show the following symptoms:
- Violent, frequent vomiting
- High fever
- Difficulty keeping food down
This is why it is absolutely essential that you clean any open wounds from a bearded dragon and never, despite the urge, kiss your bearded dragon.
If you must hold your bearded dragon, try to do so with protective gloves – but if not, ensure you clean your hands right after you do and never place your hands to your face in the meantime.
How Can I Build A Stronger Bond With My Bearded Dragon?
If you want to try to reduce the likelihood of your bearded dragon biting you, you may want to build a stronger bond with them. There are a few ways to do this, but the key is to focus on the handling.
Scooping up your bearded dragon from their belly is a great way to start bonding with your pet. They will soon recognize their safety when you are holding them and will begin to trust your hands.
Likewise, you could practice and train them by placing your finger and hand slowly closer to their face to prove you are not a threat on a regular basis.
If you really want them to be happy – consider giving them a bath!
There we have it – that’s everything you need to know about what you should do if your bearded dragon bites you. Be careful and good luck!