Imagine you had a pet that always seems gloomy and defensive. It can be depressing, right?
The ultimate goal of all pet owners is to love and bond with their pets. Thus, it is essential to consider choosing a pet that is sociable and easy to handle.
For these reasons, people love pet bearded dragons for their temperament, behavior, and tolerance to handling.
Even so, bearded dragons can get sad and depressed in captivity if not kept in a suitable habitation.
Therefore, it is critical to ensure you understand your bearded dragon’s behavior to know when they are happy or sad.
In this article, we will tell you how you can know if your bearded dragon is happy. Keep reading!
How to tell if your bearded dragon is happy?
It is important to ensure that the bearded dragon is happy in captivity. And, to make it so, you must differentiate a sad dragon from a happy one.
Most people don’t even know that a bearded dragon owner can tell when their bearded dragon is happy.
Therefore, we came up with this article to help you tell when your bearded dragon is happy.
And, since bearded dragons don’t have a mouth to communicate, the only way to understand your bearded dragon is by observing its natural behavior.
Here are some of the most familiar characters of a happy bearded dragon.
Not Running Away From You
When bearded dragons are introduced to new habitation, it is natural for them to get stressed.
During this season, they tend to spend most of their time hiding. And, any attempt to handle your bearded dragon leads it to act defensively and to run away from you.
However, when they get assimilated to their new habitat and start to trust you, they voluntarily approach you to handle them.
Therefore, when your bearded dragon is no longer running away from you, it is a good sign that it is happy and already trusts you.
Moreover, you only put your finger under its chest, and it willingly climbs on you.
Laying and sitting on Your Shoulder or laps for a Long Time
Did you know bearded dragons love to lay on their owner’s shoulder for a long time once they are happy and comfortable around them?
Well, this is another excellent sign that your bearded dragon is happy and trusts you. In most cases, a happy bearded dragon enjoys sleeping on their owner’s chest or shoulder.
Additionally, if you lay with it and softly stroke its head, the bearded dragon can fall asleep on your chest. Sounds interesting, right? I, too, would love that.
Don’t Mind You Picking It Up.
If you already own a bearded dragon, you understand how difficult it can be to pick up a defensive bearded dragon.
It can hide, fluff its beards, or twitch its tail to make you keep off. However, when a bearded dragon starts to trust you, it willingly lets you pick it up without showing off its defensive mechanisms.
Therefore, you can tell that your bearded dragon is happy if it’s letting you pick it up.
However, you should understand that bearded dragons can show all the above defensive mechanisms if shedding or breeding season.
Thus, if your bearded dragon allows you to pick it up and then starts being defensive, it could be time to breed it, or it’s shedding.
You should avoid handling during those two occasions.
If Your Bearded Dragon Is Calm
A happy bearded dragon does not try to defend itself from you. Thus, it stays calm and affectionate towards you.
However, when a bearded dragon is stressed or unhappy, it will always keep on hissing, bobbing its head, fluffing its beard, and even trying to bite you.
Therefore, a calm bearded dragon is a good sign to show that it is happy and content with you.
Your Bearded Dragon Is Functioning Normally
A happy bearded dragon should eat, sleep, bask, and poop normally. For instance, a stressed bearded dragon may refuse to eat.
And, lack of proper feeding can then cause constipation. Therefore, it is necessary to observe your bearded dragon daily routine as a change in behavior can symbolize stress or ill health in them.
Inadequate temperature can cause indigestion in bearded dragons. Thus, you should always remember to provide a suitable temperature to make your pet happy.
Normal functioning in bearded dragons is, therefore, a sign of happiness.
Your Bearded Dragon Is Eager to Come Out
Once bearded dragons get assimilated to their new home and owners, they start enjoying spending more time outside their tank.
Therefore, when you finally see your bearded dragon standing on its feet and scratching the glass, it is a sign to tell you it wants to go out.
Bearded dragons enjoy spending time with their owners as they sit on them. However, only happy dragons enjoy it.
Thus, if you see your bearded calling for you to let it out, it is a sign that it is happy and trusts you.
Your Bearded Dragon is alert and Looks Happy.
In most cases, a healthy bearded dragon will be alert and curious. However, a sick bearded dragon will be lethargic and stressed.
Sickness causes stress to bearded dragons. Thus, it is natural for a sick bearded dragon to be unhappy and stressed.
Therefore, it is necessary to observe your bearded dragon’s activities to know if they are happy or stressed.
Additionally, a sick bearded dragon acts aggressively and spends most of its day hiding. You can tell a bearded dragon is unhealthy if you see them.
- Breathing heavily
- Have a dark belly or beards
If you see your bearded dragon portraying any of the above symptoms, you should immediately call a vet doctor for a proper diagnosis.
Positive Body Language
The only way to communicate with your bearded dragon is through their body language. It is natural for a bearded dragon to show positive and negative body language.
For instance, when they are happy, they will have their eyes wide open, and their pupils dilated.
Additionally, they can wave to show submission and friendliness.
On the other hand, an aggressive bearded dragon will continuously have its mouth open. Also, it can try to hiss and fluff its beard to scare you away.
Therefore, positive body language is a good sign to tell if your bearded dragon is happy with you.
What Makes Bearded Dragons Happy?
If keeping your bearded dragon happy is your ultimate goal, it is your responsibility to know how to make them happy.
Luckily, keeping a bearded dragon happy is easy. All you have to do is keep them healthy, provide a suitable habitation, and give good care and attention.
Here are a few steps to keep your bearded dragon happy.
Provide a Suitable Habitat
Suitable habitat for bearded dragons should be able to match their natural habitation. To start with, you should ensure that you provide at least 55 gallons tank to keep your bearded dragon happy.
Secondly, you should include everything that makes the tank feel like their natural habitation.
- Adequate temperature (70-850F cool side, and 100-1050F on the basking spot)
- A suitable substrate. (Newspapers can be a good option as bearded dragons ingest small particle substrates).
- Humidity (30 – 40%)
- Branches to hide
- Tough plants such as aloe and palm for them to dig
- A rock for them to bask on and hide beneath
- A water and food bowl
These are the primary habitat requirements to keep a bearded dragon healthy and happy.
Since bearded dragons prefer high humidity areas, it is necessary to include enough water for them to drink and soak in.
Remember to change the water daily and disinfect the water bowl with bleach at least once a week.
Since bearded dragons love to explore, it would be great to provide them with an outdoor enclosure where they can freely explore, bask, and move freely.
The enclosure should be wire meshed to prevent predators from attacking them. It is also the best place to handle and interact with your bearded dragon.
To keep your bearded dragon healthy, you should ensure that they are checked by an exotic vet doctor at least once a year.
However, if you suspect that your bearded dragon is sick, you should not hesitate to call a vet to check them out.
Fully understanding your bearded dragon will help you better take care of them. As a suggestion, we would recommend you to get a good bearded dragon book. Not to become an expert on bearded dragon care but will help you avoid the common mistake in new pet lizard owners.
Last update on 2020-09-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Bearded dragons are friendly pets that tolerate handling. Therefore, you have done well in choosing a bearded dragon for a pet.
Also, they are easy to keep happy as long as you provide a suitable habitat for them. However, bearded dragons have personality, and thus, it is critical to study your bearded dragon’s preferences.
You can watch TV, go on a car ride, provide a favorite meal, bath, or just lay with your bearded dragon on your chest.
Whichever activity your bearded dragon seems to enjoy most, you can use it regularly to create a bond with your pet and keep it happy.
It is your responsibility to keep your bearded dragon happy and healthy.
All the best with your bearded dragon!