Dogs have been living with humans as their best companions for centuries. However, since the 1990s, exotic pets especially bearded dragons, have gained popularity. Although dogs are still the most sought-after pet globally, a large number of people (especially in European countries) like to have bearded dragons as pets. There is no shortage of people who have both dogs and bearded dragons at home or want to have both.
If you own a dog and are contemplating adopting a bearded dragon (or vice versa), a lot of questions may be bothering you. Like “are bearded dragons scared of dogs” “Can Bearded dragons and dogs go along with each other” “How can I make my bearded dragon and dog live in harmony” or ” How to introduce a bearded dragon and a dog to make a friendly bond?”
Not long ago, I was going through the same situation, so I researched thoroughly and found out that bearded dragons and dogs can be kept in the same house safely if they are appropriately introduced and some precautions are taken. So I have made this guide to help you understand the topic easily. Read on……
Are Bearded Dragons Scared Of Dogs?
Naturally, anyone can be scared by seeing something a hundred times bigger than you coming toward you. Dogs (especially large dogs) can definitely frighten bearded dragons. In the wild bearded dragons are prey animals, so every time they see a dog wandering around their enclosure, innately, they will take him as a predator that is looking for an opportunity to hunt them. On the other hand, bearded dragons are solitary by nature and easily stressed by loud noises. So if your dog is used to loud barking, it can scare and stress your bearded dragon, even if the dog is not near the enclosure.
Therefore, experts recommend placing your bearded dragon’s tank away from the access of other larger pets in the house. Even if the dog doesn’t have any bad intentions, bearded dragons can get afraid by merely seeing them approaching their tank.
Can Bearded Dragons And Dogs Get Along?
“YES”, bearded dragons and dogs can live together in a single place. Hundreds of videos are available on YouTube where you can see both dogs and bearded dragons sharing the same space. However, it’s not as easy as it seems in videos, and you need to be very careful. You cannot make them face each other and share a place at once just because they have a common owner. Rather, before placing them together, you need to proceed strategically to introduce both of your friends to each other and develop a friendly relationship between them. In addition, you should also make sure that your dog is adequately socialized and taught how to treat smaller pets in the house.
A step-by-step guide and valuable tips are given below. These steps and tips will help you foster a long-lasting relationship between your dog and bearded dragons while making sure both animals are safe.
How To Introduce A Dog And A Bearded Dragon To Each Other
Health & Mood Status
Before introducing a bearded dragon and a dog to each other, the primary point to consider is ensuring that both are happy and healthy. Obviously, when you are not happy, uncomfortable or not feeling good, you will not be happy to meet anyone, especially who is not of your specie even and you have not met before. In addition, younger dogs (less than one year of age) should be prohibited from interacting with bearded dragons. Because bearded dragons can transfer salmonella and many other parasites to dogs, which can be dangerous as the immune system of younger dogs is still not fully developed.
Select Right Bearded Dragon From Right Place
To make the introduction easier, smoother, and quicker and gain the results we want, it’s necessary to adopt the right bearded dragon from the right breeder. When we say right breeder, it means the breeder must be qualified and professional in handling newly born bearded dragons. He must also socialize baby bearded dragons with other pets as soon as possible. A Bearded dragon that was treated well previously and didn’t have any bad memories of abuse or interaction with other pets is more likely to behave positively and develop a bond quickly with you and your dog. On the other hand, if the beardie you adopted was mishandled, abused, or not appropriately socialized and had unpleasant experiences with other pets, he is sure to be scared of the dog. So he may take a longer time to develop a friendly relationship.
Scent swapping is a great way to make both pets familiar with each other before their physical interaction. For this purpose, you can exchange their toys or exchange pieces of cloth after rubbing with their bodies. This practice actually helps them to become familiar with each other’s smells. So when they meet each other, they will not feel like strangers. While exchanging the toys or cloth pieces, you can also offer them something to eat (what they like) to associate the smell with pleasant memories.
Keep Them Apart Initially
For the first few days, bring the dog close to the beardie’s tank for short periods 3-4 times daily. Make sure they can see each other and become familiar with each other. After a few days, take your bearded dragon out and allow him to walk on the floor in front of the dog. However, ensure to maintain a safe distance and keep the dog under control by using a leash or harness. Continue this practice for the next few days until your dog becomes accustomed to the presence of the tiny reptile.
First Interaction At Quiet And Neutral Place
When you think it’s time for the first physical interaction between your dog and bearded dragon, make sure to arrange it in a neutral place that does not belong to any of them. Neutral space is necessary to avoid their territorial behavior and any unpleasant conflict at the first meeting. The place should be quiet and calm and free of any disturbance.
Get A Helper
During the first few interactions, you must call someone to help you because anything unexpected can happen during the first interaction. So you must make sure that both animals are under control. The other person will hold the dog when you first show the bearded dragon (holding softly) to your dog. If your dog remains calm, reward him to encourage this behavior. So that he can associate the meeting with the beardie with a reward.
Don’t Leave Them Unattended
If you leave your bearded dragon and dog unsupervised, they can harm each other. Especially your bearded dragon is at higher risk due to its smaller size. Regardless of how many times they have met before or how good a time they had with each other, their natural instinct can revert anytime. So leaving them unattended (even for a few minutes) can be risky.
Monitor Body Language
Both dogs and breaded dragons have their own body language and show different signs when they are aggressive or stressed. So being able to understand and interpret their body language is crucial. If any of your pets show signs of aggression or stress at any stage during the interaction, separate them immediately.
Know How To deal with Emergency
Irrespective of how well you have socialized and trained your pets and how well you have introduced them to each other, accidents can happen at any time. So you must be capable enough to deal with any kind of Emergency.
Dogs and bearded dragons can get along with each other. However, to make them live together in harmony, you must ensure to introduce them in the right way. We hope the steps mentioned above will help you enjoy yourself with both of your pets simultaneously.