Do you enjoy getting out and about? Many of our animal companions also enjoy going for strolls. Believe it or not, that actually includes bearded dragons! Read on for some tips about walking your pet lizard in this article from me, your Marion, IA area veterinarian.
The first step is going to be finding a good harness, and getting your reptilian buddy used to it. Look for one made specifically for bearded dragons. Larger beardies may be comfortable in harnesses made for a rabbit or ferret. I recommend getting an adjustable one, just to help ensure a comfy fit.
At first, just let your little buddy get used to wearing his harness in his tank and around the house a bit. Don’t leave it on him when you aren’t home to supervise, just in case he gets stuck on something. Offering special treats with the harness on may also help him form a positive outlook about it. When your beardie seems comfortable with the harness, add a leash and start ‘walking’ him around outdoors.
If all seems to be going well, try taking your buddy for a stroll. You don’t want to leave him outside too long: about five or ten minutes is fine for that first jaunt.
There are some safety concerns to keep in mind. Try to avoid areas where you may run into dogs or even stray cats. Your beardie may prefer a quiet, sunny area, or even just a stroll in your backyard. Watch the ground, and steer away from potential hazards, such as broken glass. It may not be so easy to avoid areas with birds, but be aware that your dragon may become scared if there are a lot of birds around. Another thing to consider is trees. Many lizards will instinctively run up trees when they feel scared. You could find yourself in a pickle if your little dinosaur dashes up a tree mid-walk!
Watch for signs that your beardie is feeling scared or uneasy. You may notice the spot under his chin turning black. He may also keep his mouth open, or try to hide. If your little lizard doesn’t seem to be enjoying his walk very much, don’t force it. Just bring him back in.
Do you have questions about bearded dragon care? Contact me, your Marion, IA area veterinarian today!