Do Bearded Dragons Bite? 5 Reasons Why | Behaviour

do bearded dragons bite

Bearded dragons can be fantastic pets to have around. They are friendly and intelligent creatures. But sometimes, there can be concerns about having a reptile pet in the house. Are they safe to have around with small kids? Are they dangerous? Do bearded dragons bite? When keeping such a creature in your house, you must be prepared and ask yourself all these questions. 

Do Bearded Dragons Bite?

Yes, bearded dragons can bite. However, this is normal. All animals will bite at times. They are, after all, wild animals and will react as they can. It’s not as if they can speak and tell you how they feel. Biting and nipping is their way of telling you something.

Bearded dragons also use body language to communicate with other animals they encounter. As humans and their owners, we can start to observe and learn to understand what these gestures mean to figure out what our lizard is telling us. 

5 Reasons Why Bearded Dragons Bite

They Feel Unsafe

Sometimes, bearded dragons feel threatened, uncomfortable, or unsafe due to external or internal factors inside their habitat. You might not be respecting them and forcing them to do something. It can trigger a self-defense mechanism, and they will bite and attack you to protect themselves.

They Feel Scared

They can feel scared when they are not appropriately handled. Mishandling is a common situation where bearded dragons can feel scared. If you pick them up roughly or don’t hold them in the correct position and support their weight with your hands, they will feel scared they might fall and bite you to let them go. Instead, hold them gently and securely. 

They Feel Stressed

Bearded dragons are sensitive lizards and can react to small changes around them. They will feel stressed if there is a sudden change in their environment that they don’t like or are not used to, and it can make them anxious and more prone to biting. Stress can also signal that your bearded dragon is not feeling well and it is sick. It is best to observe and keep an eye on them. 

They are Hungry

Food is the most important and exciting part of the day. If you are hand-feeding your lizard, it is very easy to get bitten. They will mistake your fingers for the food. Another reason they might bite you is that you have touched some food, and they can smell this on your hands. To get a taste of this food, they can bite your fingers mistakenly. 

They are Territorial 

If you have other pets around, your bearded dragon will feel territorial, and this will cause them to bite and act aggressively to claim their space. 

Do Bearded Dragon Bite Hurt?

A bearded dragon’s bite does hurt a little bit. The bite of a bearded dragon can be very different for a baby, a juvenile, and an adult. The force of the bite is also a factor to take into account. 

One way to tell your bearded dragon will bite you is they start hissing and puffing up. It means they are getting ready for an attack. It is best to avoid approaching them when they are like this. 

A baby lizard’s bite is not strong enough to hurt, and it will just be a bit of tooth scraping on your skin. Their bite can not break the skin and draw blood. An adult bearded dragon’s bite can be more hurtful, and its teeth can draw blood. It is often harmless, and you don’t have to worry too much. 

They have small razor-sharp teeth that can often feel like serrated knives. In most cases, it is not very painful. In some worst-case scenarios, the bite can be deep and require professional care. 

What to Do If You Get Bitten?

Don’t Panic

If your bearded dragon bites you, stay calm and don’t panic. It might be harder to do in the heat of the moment, but keeping calm will keep you from getting bitten more severely. 

Don’t Pull Your Hand Back

If your bearded dragon bites you, remain calm and don’t try to pull, yank or shake your hand away suddenly. It can scare your bearded dragon and can cause them to sink its teeth into your hand, and its hold on your hand will become stronger. Causing this can lead to deeper cuts and cause serious injury. 

Pull Their Jaws Apart

Once they have bitten you, pick up your bearded dragon and place them on a flat surface like a table. After doing this, use your free hand and gently try to separate their jaws and open their mouth. You can apply slight pressure and do this slowly, and you might feel their grip slacken each time. Keep doing this until they have let go completely. Take care not to open a bearded dragon’s jaw suddenly and roughly, as it can hurt them.

Treat the Wound

After successfully removing your finger/hand from their mouth, look at your hand and take a look at the injury. If the bite is just a nip and the skin does not appear broken, or no blood is visible, then great! You don’t have to do anything. 

However, if the skin is broken and bleeding, you must treat it. First, wash your hands with soap, get some antiseptic or an antibiotic ointment and rub in on the hurt; this will kill bacteria and keep you clean. Finally, you can put a band-aid on it. 

If you notice any serve pain or lumps that could indicate broken bones, it is best to visit a doctor and get medical help. 

How to Avoid Getting Bitten?

Here is some way to avoid getting bitten by your bearded dragon :

  • Feed them regularly so they know when to expect food.
  • Be gentle and patient when handling them.
  • When carrying them, hold them properly
  • Don’t pinch or poke them
  • Forcing them to do something will make them scared and uncomfortable. It will make them feel trapped.
  • Don’t startle them or surprise them. Avoid sudden movements. 
  • They don’t want to be held if squirming in your hand.
  • Stop hand-feeding them. 


Now that we have the answer to the question do bearded dragons bite? We can conclude that bearded dragons bite, and their bites are not very serious and don’t can much injury. Baby and juvenile bearded dragons cannot bite hard enough to hurt you, and adult bearded dragons can have a stronger bite. 

Bearded dragons can bite because they feel scared, unsafe, uncomfortable, hungry, and territorial. Listen and observe your bearded dragon to avoid these situations. They are sensitive reptiles; sudden changes can be hard for them to comprehend quickly. 

If you get bitten, don’t worry. Stay calm and slowly pry the animal’s jaws open to release your hand. Take a look at the wound. Put some ointment and a band-aid to help it heal.

Caring for a bearded dragon is difficult, and you will not be an expert at it on the 1st day. Reading your reptile’s cues and behavior will take time and practice. In the meantime, be patient and learn to observe them. You will get better at it as the days pass. 


Does a bearded dragon bite hurt?

Yes, a bearded dragon bite will hurt a little bit.

Are bearded dragons’ bites poisonous?

Yes, bearded dragons are poisonous. But this is mostly harmless to humans.

Do baby bearded dragons bite hurt?

No, a baby bearded dragon’s bite will not hurt.

What does a bearded dragon bite feel like?

It feels like a long serrated knife, as bearded dragons have tiny teeth.

Are bearded dragon’s teeth sharp?

Yes, a bearded dragon’s teeth are sharp.

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