Are Bearded Dragons Venomous? All You Need To Know

If you are planning to get a bearded dragon, you may wonder, if their bite (Read: Do Bearded Dragons Bite? Is It Dangerous? All You Need to Know) is venomous as they are reptiles. Are they dangerous like other reptiles? Is a bearded dragon poisonous? What are the health effects of bearded dragon bite on humans? How to prevent bearded dragon bite? Let’s find out.

The shocking but true answer is: Yes, bearded dragons are venomous. But don’t worry, they have mild venom which is not harmful to humans.

Generally, salmonella (Symptoms in humans include diarrhea that can be fever, and stomach cramps. Most people recover within 4 to 7 days without antibiotic treatment.) is a bigger concern than venom or bites.

To mitigate the risk of salmonella caused by bearded dragons, you can do the following:

  • Wash your hands carefully and thoroughly, especially before and after handling your pet bearded dragon.
  • Disinfect anything they poo on or they walk on.
  • Take precautions of cleanliness, e.g. not bathing your dragon in the same sink you use. 

For your interest, here are some fun facts about your pet dragon venom: 

  • The same venom is discovered in snakes and groups of lizards who share the same lineage. Examples are Bearded dragons, Komodo dragons, Gila monsters, and iguanas.
  • “Crotamine” substance is found in bearded dragon venom. It is the same substance that is present in rattlesnake venom.
  • Luckily, bearded dragon venom is made of smaller molecules, and has less effect, which means less chance of allergic reaction if bitten.

If you are wondering if your bearded dragon is poisonous, then the short answer is:

No, Bearded Dragons are not poisonous. Bearded dragons only release venom.

Poison and venom are two different things, even though many people think they are the same. The common thing is that they both are toxic but here is the difference:

Poison: It is a toxin that enters into body via swallowing, inhaling, or absorption through the skin.

Venom: It is a specialized type of poison that enters the body through bite or sting. Venom always has a specific purpose and it consists of large and small molecules. Venom is only effective when it enters the bloodstream.

In short, poison and venom are different, they also enter the body in different ways, and unlike poison, venom has to enter the bloodstream to work. 

Till now, you know that bearded dragons are venomous. The next thing that comes to mind is whether they are safe as pets. Or are they dangerous?

Rest assured, Bearded Dragons are safe, they are not dangerous and they usually don’t bite. All you need to do is to take care of them. Care is what all pets demand and what all pets deserve.

So, if bearded dragons are safe, then what does their venom actually do?

In the wild, bearded dragons use their venom to immobilize the prey by knocking it out. Venom helps bearded dragons to decrease the resistance from their prey, it even doesn’t kill their little prey. Bearded Dragon’s venom is very mild, even though it contains Crotamine. So, it’s again clear that bearded dragons are not dangerous.

If bearded dragons are venomous and their venom is mild, so what happens when they bite humans? What are the health effects? Here are some important things you should know about bearded dragons:

  • Bearded Dragons rarely bite. But if they do, it’s rarely serious. 
  • Bearded dragon bites are painful as their teeth are sharp.
  • The site bitten by a bearded dragon may swell and bleed.
  • Salmonella could be an issue. To prevent it, clean the wound, apply antibiotics, and apply a bandage to secure the wound.
  • Call your doctor if the wound looks infected. You should also make sure you are up to date on your tetanus shot.
  • Venom won’t hurt unless there is an allergic reaction.
  • If you have any signs of an allergic reaction after being bitten, Seek immediate medical attention.

You can easily prevent bearded dragons from biting you or biting anyone. Read: Do Bearded Dragons Bite? Is It Dangerous? All You Need to Know All you need is to take care of them, make them happy and healthy, and keep their environment good. The three main things that you can do are:

  • Know your dragon. You need to know your dragon, know their needs, and especially know the meaning behind their behaviors. They show friendship, submission, aggression, etc. through their behavior. They also let you know that they are not fine or falling sick through their behavior. For example, if your bearded dragon is showing aggressive behavior, you need to wait and let them cool down, or if the situation is like that you need to touch them or pick them up, then use the protective gloves. Read “6 Different Bearded Dragon Behaviors that Can Indicate Illness“, “Decoding 5 Adorable Bearded Dragon Behaviors“, and “4 Aggressive Bearded Dragon Behaviors to Look Out For“. These articles will help you to know your bearded dragon.
  • Don’t mishandle them.   Always handle your dragon gently and properly. Don’t make a fast move or pick them from behind or they will think that you are a predator. Place your hand under their belly, support their legs, and lift them gently. Read, “How to Handle a Bearded Dragon?
  • Don’t feed by hand. Always use tweezers or a food dish to feed your bearded dragon. Don’t feed them by your hand or they will bite you as they are eager to eat.

In the end, let’s say that, bearded dragons are safe as pets. They are venomous but their venom is harmless to humans. The intensity of venom is such that it only immobilizes their little prey in the wild. Furthermore, bearded dragons don’t bite. They will only bite you if you mishandle them. You can also prevent bearded dragon bites by following simple guidelines.

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