Dogs and people go back thousands of years. On the other hand, reptiles have only been kept by humans for the past fifty years or so.
More than ever, owners are starting to find themselves keeping pets from multiple species, especially of the exotic variety.
While the most popular household pet overall remains the dog, the most popular reptile is the Bearded Dragon, also known as the “Beardie”.
While some owners may worry about keeping these multi species pets in the same home, here are three reasons why we think that Bearded Dragons and dogs can be friends and even make good companions.
Can dogs and Bearded Dragons be friends?
Surprisingly, yes, dogs and Bearded Dragons can be friends! With a careful, slow and steady introduction Bearded Dragons and dogs can get on very well!
If you wish to introduce your bearded dragon and your dog, firstly consider the temperament of your dog – they would need to be pretty calm and chilled and not excitable! Start by holding your Bearded Dragon and showing it to your dog. You may wish to have another person on hand to reward your dog for slow and calm behaviour around the Bearded Dragon. Do this for a few minutes before returning your Bearded Dragon to their tank. Do this a few times and before long your dog will be used to your Beardie and may even be keen to see your lizard!
Always be sure to be on hand and watch their interactions for signs of discomfort or aggression. Even pets who have known each other years may become aggressive for other reasons.
Bearded Dragons are more social than your average reptile, and so may benefit from the sociability of occasionally spending time with another pet in the house. Doing activities together such as watching TV or using enrichment toys can help to promote a positive association with spending time with one another.
There are even reports of Bearded Dragons and dogs playing together. There are videos of dogs and Bearded Dragons playing tug of war and even tag! This being said, all play should be supervised, and there should be a method to intervene should play get out of hand.
When your dog comes into season, it is important to avoid them having interaction with each other as your pets behaviour can change dramatically. Equally, male Bearded Dragons can be aggressive during mating season and so it is recommended that they remain apart during this period of time too.
Some Bearded Dragons enjoy spending up to 8 hours a day basking in the sun. Equally, dogs enjoy sleeping in a warm bed in a sunny spot, and consequently your pets may become excellent napping buddies.
While it may be tempting to leave them cuddled up like this, Bearded Dragons should not be kept out of their vivarium for too long as they can get cold quickly, even basking in the sunlight. Equally, it is important to never leave them unsupervised for any length of time, and so should be separated if you have to leave the house, or you are not in close quarters.
Did you know you can get harnesses for Bearded Dragons as well as dogs? This means you can take your dog on a walk with your Bearded Dragon!
The first few times you take your Bearded Dragon for a walk, you may wish to leave your dog out of the picture. This will allow your Bearded Dragon time to get used to being outside. They may stand still for long time after exiting the home, but this is just their way of taking in the new environment.
I would not recommend that you take them to the park together as there are likely other dogs around, so maybe just limit it to a stroll around a small garden. They do not need a huge amount of exercise, and you must be mindful of the temperature and not have the Beardie out too long.
Though an unlikely pair, Bearded Dragons and dogs can make good friends! Though they will need a little bit of time and work to get to know each other, they can be a compatible pair before long!
Although even if they are the best of friends, it is important to never leave your pets unsupervised while together. It is also important that both parties receive regular health checks, as it is possible for parasites to be passed between the two.
Do you have an unlikely friendship between a Bearded Dragon and a dog at home? Leave us a comment telling us about your special friends below!
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