If you have a pet bearded dragon, then naturally you are going to want to know how much attention that you will need to give them. Do they get lonely and are there any behaviors they may exhibit that will show they are in need of some care. Intrigued, I decided to do some research into the topic. I would like to share my findings with you here today.
So, do bearded dragons get lonely? Bearded dragons do not get lonely. In fact, bearded dragons prefer being alone – they are solitary creatures in the wild and by nature. They do not need interaction with others to be content and healthy, so long as their needs are met.
Bearded dragons will live alone happily, enjoying other aspects of life for example food and warmth, far more than a company from other bearded dragons.
In fact, bearded dragons are understood to tolerate being around other beardies rather than thriving in their company.
Let us now take a closer look at how a pet bearded dragon can respond to periods of time in isolation, what this means for you as an owner, and some other considerations about keeping them.
Be sure to keep reading to the end – you’ll be surprised what you will learn about these fascinating exotic reptiles.
Can Bearded Dragons Get Lonely?
Whether or not a reptile gets lonely depends on its species first and foremost. Most lizards, including bearded dragons, live on their own in the wild; they are solitary. So, it is safe to say that your bearded dragon won’t feel lonely because they have evolved to be on their own.
However, it should be considered that bearded dragons are generally of a laid-back disposition and enjoy human attention from time to time.
Owing to the fact that reptiles’ brains are not as developed as the brains of humans or other mammals, some believe they lack the capacity for a complex emotion such as love.
Specifically, reptiles such as bearded dragons, are not wired and equipped with the mental capacity to be rewarded for social interaction.
This means group behavior does not occur in wild beardies – and they do not seek to establish social bonds.
Instead, they do well very well alone.
Where reptiles are concerned, trust is their equivalent to love.
If you are the owner of a beardie, look out for signs of recognition and trust between you and your pet.
Signs of trust include:
- Head bobbing when being petted,
- Remaining still when being held or petted,
- Sleeping or closing their eyes when you are around them,
- Staying near you, even if you’re not petting them,
- Voluntarily wandering over to you and climbing into your hands.
Whilst bearded dragons do not get lonely, they do thrive off human attention.
Building trust with your beardie is an excellent way of fulfilling this need of theirs.
Studies have shown that bearded dragons who lack human attention can become a little defensive and stressed which is not healthy for them.
So whilst bearded dragons are a solitary pet, they need regular attention from their owner.
Do Bearded Dragons Need A Lot of Attention?
Bearded Dragons, like most reptiles, are solitary by nature. However, like all pets, they do require a certain amount of attention from their owners to ensure that they are properly cared for and healthy.
As a pet, they are reliant upon you as their owner to acquire everything that they need.
You have taken them out of their natural habitat, so it is important that you replicate their environment as much as possible.
Like most other reptiles, the attention required by bearded dragons is different to that of mammals (such as a cat or a dog) because they do not need emotional maintenance.
This is because bearded dragons do not get lonely.
This does not mean that you should leave your bearded dragon alone for extended periods.
In fact, bearded dragons are typically of a friendly disposition and enjoy human attention.
Beardies quite often have laid-back personalities and thrive when in contact with their owner.
Bearded dragons often have distinctive personalities so there are multiple ways in which your beardie may appreciate your attention.
Some beardies enjoy begin held.
When handling your bearded dragon, ensure you are doing so in the correct manner: fully supporting their chest and stomach gently whilst lifting and holding them.
The warmth of your body will be pleasant for your bearded dragon, so why not let them sit in your lap or on your shoulder for a while?
Remember to keep your hands free to support your bearded dragon if they slip or fall when holding them in this way.
Owing to their tame demeanor, bearded dragons often respond well to being fed treats by hand.
This is another way you can build trust with your pet too.
Treats such as berries, apples (chopped into bitesize pieces), and mealworms are a great place to start, as they offer your beardie good nutrients as well as something tasty – win, win!
Talking to your bearded dragon in a soft and calm voice is another way of giving your pet attention that will be beneficial to them.
Encouraging a familiarity with you will allow your beardie to get used to their environment and be able to relax fully.
Bearded dragons who are in a good mood have been known to bob their head – look out for signs that your beardie is happy when you are paying them attention.
Do Bearded Dragons Prefer To Be Alone?
Bearded dragons in the wild usually live alone. For this reason, keeping a bearded dragon on its own in their tank or vivarium is optimal. They will enjoy the best spots in their enclosure, basking in the warmth of their lamp uninterrupted.
It is also important to recognize that bearded dragons can also be territorial creatures, particularly males, another reason that bearded dragons prefer to be alone.
Never keep a pair of male bearded dragons in the same enclosure: they are likely to fight.
In some circumstances, depending mostly on the disposition and personality of the bearded dragons two females can live together or a male/female pairing.
It should however be noted that male/female pairings are usually for breeding purposes – so be aware!
Can Two Bearded Dragons Live Together?
Due to the fact that bearded dragons tend to be solitary creatures and prefer to be on their own, it is not recommended that bearded dragons live together.
Bearded dragons are territorial animals and can become aggressive if they are forced to live together – especially in small or confined spaces.
It has been known that male bearded dragons when enclosed together can even fight to their death. To avoid this, it is best to keep your beardies separate.
If it appears bearded dragons are living peacefully together, it is important to note that they probably aren’t.
They often tolerate the presence of others which can be stressful for them.
In terms of breeding, it is best to house the male and female separately most of the time, only bringing them together when necessary and if you did want them to reproduce.
This is because overbreeding can occur leaving the female stressed and malnourished from egg production.
Bearded dragons do not get lonely.
They are solitary creatures in the wild and thus thrive when they are on their own. They enjoy human interaction from time to time but most will find happiness in their own company.
As an owner, so long as you are meeting your pet’s needs and requirements – ensuring they have all the food, warmth, and lighting they need, your beardie should remain happy and healthy.
You should only hold your bearded dragon when and where they are happy for you to do so. You should start holding them for short periods of time (5-10 minutes). In time, and as they get used to being held you can look to hold them for longer. Some bearded dragons enjoy being held multiple times per day whereas others do not like being held altogether. Either way, you should respect the needs of your pet. If they are getting restless you should put them back as soon as it is safe to do so.
Bearded dragons are generally low maintenance, not requiring much attention from their owners. Adult bearded dragons can generally be left for 1-2 days, so long as you have prepared in advance and they have everything they need during this time; food, water, sufficient lighting, and warmth. 3 days + is typically too long and risks begin to arise. Factors that dictate how long you can leave them on their own include their age (babies require more care and interaction almost hourly), how much you prepare in advance, and the individual needs and personality of your dragon. Ultimately, it is best to not leave your bearded dragon alone for too long – 1 day at most is advisable.
I am a practiced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site I created to share everything I’ve learned about pet ownership over the years and my extensive research along the way.