Has it ever happened that you get something you longed for, but now that you have it, you have no idea how to handle it?
Not that of a big issue if it’s a toy or an appliance since you have all the time in the world to figure it out. But what if it’s a living thing?
Responsibility increases dramatically!
And if that living thing is Uromastyx, responsibility increases a bit more. The spiny-tail lizards can’t speak but can communicate in a different language. It is a language of signs!
Here is a guide that covers the whole nine yards. We will unroll the science behind varying behaviors with their solutions, walk you through steps to bond with your pet, educate you with dos and don’ts, and a lot more.
Without further ado, let us cut to the chase! How to handle Uromastyx!
Is Uromastyx Friendly?
Uromastyx is calm and quiet by default. They live in their world of peace and tranquility, unaware of the world outside their enclosure – The world we all want to achieve!
Many beginners ask for the best lizards to start with their petting journey.
The name on the top of your list should be Uromastyx.
They are docile and friendly and offer great flexibility in care requirements. All you need is to take care of a handful of things and get tons of entertainment and fun moments in return.
But will your Uromastyx be friendly with you?
Will you be calm if someone touches with cold hands on a chilly day?
See? The key to their mood is in your hands. Avoid keeping Uromastyx of same-sex under one roof to avoid turning the enclosure into a battlefield.
Fine! That was a bit exaggerated. But Uromastyx tends to become aggressive if kept in pair. However, in some cases, a couple of the opposite sex may work like a charm.
Hang on with us till the end to avoid seeing that aggressive side of your pet.
Does Uromastyx bite?
Not that Uromastyx can’t bite, but they won’t do that generally if they are well-tamed. However, their bite is known for being masty and painful.
If you are a beginner, then you must be in the clouds right now. But take a chill pill! We are here to show you a way out for every problem.
There are a few things to bear in mind. Just like any of us, Uromastyx doesn’t like to be disturbed in sleep. They exhibit aggressive behaviors when bothered during their nap and lookout for a bite if you do so.
Similarly, they don’t usually appreciate touching at parts like nostrils and eyes. We have a comprehensive guide on how to handle Uromastyx coming up, so make sure you stick right with us.
3 Steps to Bond with your Uromastyx
Your overall experience of having Uromastyx relies heavily on the way you tame and bond with it. You probably have made it through the taming process if your pet is over 6-12 months old. In the shop, Uromastyx gets accustomed to regular handling and people around them.
To check if a Uromastyx is tame or not, approach to handle them. If they are calmly making themselves comfortable on your hand, then they are tamed. And if they choose to run and hide, you probably have some awaiting endeavors.
However, it is no rule of thumb for an adult Uromastyx to be tamed. They might be new to captivity and adjusting to this new environment. In any of the cases, breathe a sigh of relief as we brought you three steps to bond with your Uromastyx – A bond that is stronger than Tungsten!
Here we go!
Building trust is the groundwork for all relationships.
Now, be it adult or juvenile, tame or wild, change is hard to adapt for every Uromastyx. They are most likely to be on pins and needles in their new environment at first. They may exhibit their anxiety by refusing food and residing in hiding. But don’t worry! It’s a matter of a few days.
Give them space and avoid handling them for a couple of weeks. Also, make sure you don’t approach them by surprise and avoid quick movements near them. Just go there, sit by the tank, and tune in the vibes. Jump onto the next step when your pet no longer runs away to hide as you walk past the tank.
Slowly, start putting your hand in the tank and observe the reaction of your pet. Close in the distance if your Uromastyx does not seem scared. Lure them with their favorite food like peas and seeds to make them take a step forward. One day or another, you will surely get your breakthrough, and that will mark the beginning of a beautiful journey with this establishment of trust.
Hand feed them
It’s time to step up the game once your Uromastyx is comfortable in your hands.
Hand-feeding your uromastyx is the tipping point of your relationship as it provokes an intangible emotional attachment for both sides.
You may not hit a perfect start where your pet feeds from your hand on the first try. But that’s okay! Try feeding your pet from your hands before placing it in the tank. No matter if you succeed or fail, this will develop a sense of ownership in your pet.
And eventually will come a day when your hungry uromastyx won’t be able to resist food. In that situation, keep your cool and remain steady in your movements. Repeat that daily to strengthen trust and normalize hand-feeding.
Green vegetables, lentils, and seeds are hot to trot. They should be enough to overcome their shyness.
Introduce them to new foods
Nothing brings people together as good food does.
And in this case, it brings the uromastyx closer to its owner too. The funda of food is a lot more than filling up the tummy. A change in food can be a change in mood for an uromastyx.
Luckily, uromastyx welcomes a wide range of food that opens up a lot of options for you as an owner. Leafy vegetables like lentils, split peas, and beans are their all-time favorite. They love green leaves like kale, mustard green, cabbage, dandelion green, turnip greens, and all other green veggies – You name it!
Handling Uromastyx the correct way
Handling does not only refer to shuffling uromastyx from one hand to another. There is ALOT more to it!
We are assuming that you have implied all the previous steps, and now you and your uromastyx share a fearless bond. What next?
While handling uromastyx, make sure to keep switching it between hands so that they do not hit a dead end. The freedom to navigate relieves their stress substantially.
Once it is on good terms with handling, place it on the knees or arms, and let it move around happily.
However, there are a couple of things to bear in mind while handling uromastyx. Safe areas to caress are head and back but make sure not to do that from the top as it may trigger their defense mechanism against predators. Avoid touching their nostril, eyes, or tail if you don’t want to mess up with their mood.
Secondly, avoid taking them out of their tank for too long. Uromastyx needs a thermoregulatory environment to stay in good shape. Being out in the open for more than 10 minutes is a high risk to their health. They are prone to get cold and limit their movements.
Don’t mistake this for calmness!
Ideally, take them out of their enclosure several times a day but for short periods.
Dos of handling Uromastyx
- Give them their time and space to get familiar with the new environment.
- Uromastyx can remember faces. Spend time sitting next to the tank to get acquainted.
- Introduce them to foods to shift the mood. Treat your uromastyx with their favorite snacks for practices like disposing of waste at a specific spot in the tank.
- Hand-feed them following the right steps to knot an emotional string with your pet.
- Stay patient and build trust step by step.
Don’ts of handling Uromastyx
- Don’t caress the tail of uromastyx even when they trust you immensely. The tail end of Uromastyx is part of their defense mechanism. They whip it around aggressively when threatened. Let me remind you that they have a spiky tail that you should keep an eye on.
- Don’t keep them out of their tank for long in the misconception that it makes them calm- They feel cold!
- Don’t show rapid movements near them. Stay composed with uromastyx, and it will reflect it too.
- Don’t enforce yourself on them.
- Don’t place two uromastyx of the same gender together. It will start a competition that won’t end well.
If you have stuck around till here, you’ve mastered the art of handling an uromastyx. All these precautions of a few months are priceless in comparison with the fun and amazingness of years to come.
It may take you a week or even months to earn the trust. The key is to follow the famous motivational poster from WWII that says:
“Keep calm and carry on!”