How to Play with a Bearded Dragon: Enrichment and Activities Ideas

Bearded dragons are friendly and easy-to-care pets. They are always responsive and always like to play, walk and do activities. But new bearded dragon owners always wonder: Do bearded dragons play? Do bearded dragons get bored? If yes, then how to play with bearded dragons? After all, a bearded dragon is your pet and like all pets, they also need your attention. So can you help them stay active and provide enrichment in their lives?

If you’ve been wondering about bearded dragon exercise activities, playtime, and enrichment, this article will guide you and give you tips to make your bearded dragon’s life fun. So, let’s go towards our first question, Do bearded dragons get bored?

The short answer is yes, bearded dragons get bored.

While they can’t tell you this, you must notice their behavior. The most common sign of a bearded dragon getting bored is glass surfing.

Glass surfing is common and easy to notice a sign of bearded dragon boredom. If your dragon is:

  • Restless.
  • Frequently pulls himself on his back legs.
  • Pawing against the glass.

He’s bored.

You need to give attention and spend some quality time with your bearded dragon. You know, lizards love to climb, run, and do other stuff.

There are many other bearded dragon behaviors that you should know to understand what they are trying to say to you. You can read the following article so that you can bond better with your dragon.

Playing is important for two main reasons; to avoid boredom and to bond with your pet dragon. Playing with dragons also keeps their life joyful and healthy.

The bearded dragon is not like your dog, who chases a ball or cuddles with you. Their playing habits are different and like all lizards, they like to climb, run, hide, spend time with you, have a walk outside their tank, etc. All these activities keep them physically active and grant better health as well as bonding with you.

Physical activities also ensure that your bearded dragon is getting essential exercise. In this wild, like all animals, bearded dragons are also very active. They hunt their prey, run in the desert, and dodge predators. While in captivity, they don’t get enough space to do all this physical work. So, playing with them is necessary according to their nature.

Physical activities and exercise also ensure a strong digestive system in bearded dragons. Bearded dragons are omnivorous and they eat plants and insects. To digest them completely and to get all the nutrient benefits, the bearded dragons also need physical activities or they will suffer from obesity. So, physical activities are helpful in preventing obesity.

Like humans, bearded dragons also get many benefits from playing, exercising, and physical activities. But the question is what does your bearded dragon like to play with?

The toy selection for bearded dragons is very vast. There are plenty of toys available in pet stores as well as online. But you need to select the toys that are safe for your bearded dragon.

Bearded dragons like to play with toys that they can climb, chase, see their reflection, hide in them, rest on them, etc.

As each bearded dragon is different, each bearded dragon will have his own choice of toys. Your bearded dragon doesn’t need to love all the toys made for bearded dragons.

The same toy that one bearded dragon enjoys can give stress to another bearded dragon.

So, you need to select the toy according to your pet dragon. Always observe your dragon while he’s playing so that if there is any chance your bearded dragon is getting irritated by the toy, you can change it.

Some common toys that your bearded dragon might enjoy are as under:

Many bearded dragons love to play with small balls. You can get them slotted balls like hamster balls, etc. Always avoid too small balls which they can swallow, as it can cause choking.

Reflection plays different roles for different animals. Some bearded dragons enjoy their reflection, they really get excited and start running in their tank. While other bearded dragons consider it as another dragon who is sharing their tank. Bearded dragons are territorial and don’t like sharing. So, for these dragons, mirrors can cause stress or ignite aggressive behavior.

If you notice that your bearded dragon is happy after seeing its reflection, then a little reflection is good. But if you observe that your pet dragon is not feeling well, you should remove the mirror.

Some bearded dragons like to play with stuffed toys. They look so adorable while playing with them. You need to let them play with stuffed animals under your supervision only. Your bearded dragon can bite the stuffed toys which can cause health issues.

Your pet dragon might enjoy riding the toys, like a remote control car. Again this toy is fun for some dragons and is the source of stress for others. So, you need to notice the reaction of your bearded dragon and act accordingly.

Bearded dragons like bath toys. Like a bath duck, a bearded dragon climbs it, nuzzles it, or pushes it around.

These are some general toys, available easily at home. But if you want to know about safe and great toys, you can read, “Top 10 Safe and Great Bearded Dragon Toys”.

Many bearded dragon owners, especially new owners don’t know about activities that bearded dragons enjoy. There are a variety of activities that you can do with your bearded dragons. These activities are beneficial and healthy for your bearded dragon.

Some activities that you can do with your bearded dragon for its exercise, play, and bonding time are as under:   

Bearded dragons like to watch stimulating colors on your TV screen. Although they don’t understand what is the plot or what is going on in the TV show, they enjoy it. Just adjust the TV volume to low as dragons don’t like loud noise.

Almost every bearded dragon loves to cuddle with his keeper. They feel relaxed and enjoy it.

You can also wrap up your bearded dragon in a soft towel and cuddle him. Dragon will love it.

Your pet dragon loves to walk outside. If the weather is sunny and warm, take your dragon outside to play and walk. You can also use a leash while walking in the park. It will stop your dragon from running away for falling in some harm.

This is an interesting activity but you need to be very careful as there can be many items that can harm your dragon, or your dragon might hide anywhere in the house. You need a hawk eye to supervise your dragon.

Make sure you select a room for walking that doesn’t have loud noise, small items that your dragon can choke on, flashing lights, sharp items, etc. Always do the activity after your dragon has poo.

Some dragons love to swim in warm water. If your dragon is one of them, you can take them to swimming. You can also use an inflatable swimming pool at home for this activity. Bath toys will make this experience even more exciting for you and for your dragon.

Like swimming, a warm bath is also liked by many dragons. It will make them clean, relaxed, hydrated and improve their digestive system.

You can use any interactive feeding toy for this activity. Many reptile interactive feeders are available at pet shops. You need to select the one that is round, no sharp edges, and can easily fit the tank. This activity will stimulate them physically as well as mentally

Chasing laser pointers is common in cats, dogs, and bearded dragons. They enjoy this activity. Chasing laser pointer or cat teaser wands will make them exercised and physically active. You can use insects at the end of the wand as bearded dragons love to eat them. At some intervals, also provide insects as chasing prizes to your dragon.

You can use tweezers to hold insects like Dubia roach or some kind of edible incentive and persuade your dragon to chase it and run through obstacles in the tank. In this activity, they will run, climb, and do the obstacles which is healthy for them.

Climbing a cat tower is again a great activity to stimulate their wild side. You can use a cat tower a dragon bridge or anything that they can climb.

All these activities ensure better health for your bearded dragon. On one side they kill boredom and on another side they make your dragon exercised.

But always do proper handling of your bearded dragon while performing these activities. Always wash your hands after handling your bearded dragon.

Besides playing and spending time with your dragon, you can also do the following to keep your dragon’s life exciting and enriched:

It can be exciting for your dragon to change the tank or décor in the tank after every couple of months. They will explore the new tank and the toys in it. But don’t do this activity frequently as your dragon also needs some time to adjust to a new environment.

A hammock, reptile bridge, and reptile hideout are enriching toys that you can add to the tank.

You can use this clay to create caverns, crevices, tunnels, bridges, and more for your pet dragon to explore.

Hopefully, now you can spend more quality time with your dragon. If you have any questions, please feel free to Contact Us.

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