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8 Enrichment Activities for Bearded Dragons

Neena is an owner of two bearded dragons and a self-described reptile enthusiast.

A bearded dragon on a leash.

A bearded dragon on a leash.

It can get boring in the daily life of a bearded dragon if things get too routine or if they are spending too much time in their tanks. In this article, I've shared some daily enrichment activities that can stimulate their minds and enrich their lives! Try them out.

1. Take your bearded dragon outside.

Bearded dragons love being outside in the natural sunlight and heat. The sun provides much-needed vitamin D that is required by your scaly friends—much more than UVB lights can provide (which are still essential). Your bearded dragon will love observing their environment outside and running around on a grass field or even just your backyard. Or, you can carry them as you walk around. Just a few things to be mindful of:

  • Make sure that you have a leash or harness for them.
  • Make sure the temperature outside is at least 70 degrees Fahrenheit and that the humidity is below 60.
  • Be mindful of other animals around, including birds. Your beardie may want to just hide around you because they are prey animals and will be skittish if something is flying over them (including airplanes).
  • Watch what they eat outside. There are many things that are poisonous to bearded dragons or that can cause them harm; like rocks, other insects, and certain plants. Don't let them eat any insects you or they find outside because besides being poisonous, they can carry parasites. Mine particularly enjoy eating clovers in the grass and dandelions. I'm even wary of where they eat from, however, because of pesticides.

2. Rearrange their enclosure.

If they see the same thing every day, it can get boring. Changing things up can stimulate them mentally, giving them new things to look at. Change the background paper, add new climbing material, add different color carpet, etc.

3. Give them time for running around the house.

They enjoy lounging in their favorite spot or climbing up the couch. You may want to frequently let them out to stretch their legs before returning them to their tanks to warm up and get their UVB light. Mine love sitting on the windowsill (separately, of course) especially when the windowsill warms up to 100+ degrees in the summertime. (They could sit there forever watching the outside if I let them! They very much enjoy that.)

4. If applicable, have them sleep outside of their enclosure.

This may not always be applicable, but if so, let them walk around and choose where they want to go to sleep. This will give them confidence in making choices for themselves instead of us. Mine, 90% of the time, go to the same exact spot that they like and I then cover them with a blanket. They sleep in separate rooms with the door closed so there's no getting to each other. A few things to be mindful of:

  • That your house or apartment is at least 70 degrees inside.
  • That it's not advisable to have them sleep in the bed with you (to prevent rolling on them).

5. Allow for bonding time.

Beardies definitely love cuddling up with their humans! Your body temperature will keep them nice and warm/cozy and they'll feel safe and comfortable with you.

6. Change what you feed them and how you offer it.

  • Place hornworms on the other side of the room and watch them run like crazy for it. (Plus, they get some exercise! Win-win!)
  • Offer them some baby food as a treat: butternut squash and peas are my beardies' favorites. They will lick it off my finger or a spoon for 20 mins! I would only offer this once a week or every other week, as too much can cause watery stool!

7. Use a laser beam for them to chase.

Much like a cat, if you put a laser pointer aimed at the ground next to your bearded dragon, they may chase it/try to eat it. This is good for mental stimulation. Bonus tip: Aim the laser on their greens and watch them accidentally eat their greens that they so stubbornly refuse to.

8. Offer bath time.

I just recently bought one of those foot massage machines where it has jets and vibrates the water. I tested it out with my beardies (pic below) and they really took a liking to it. Just another way to switch up bath time and break up the usual routine!

8-enrichment-activities-for-bearded-dragons

I Hope These Ideas Were Helpful!

Let me know in the comments section what activities you enjoy doing with your bearded dragons!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Neena Daniels

Comments

the best person on May 03, 2020:

your lizards are so CUTE and ADORABLE and can't stop looking a the lizard in the bathtub, it was SO CUTE!!!!! I LOVE your article. IT was the BEST!!!!!!!

Neena Daniels (author) from Pittsburgh, PA on December 17, 2019:

Thanks for reading, Linda, I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on December 14, 2019:

I enjoyed reading your suggestions and seeing photos of your pets very much. I don't have a bearded dragon in my family, but I wish I did. I think they're lovely animals.