A lot of people are surprised to find out that their bearded dragon may be getting bored. But, it’s true! Just like with any other pet, dragons can get bored when they are only exposed to the same things every day. In this article, we will talk about a few things that you could do to spice things up for your beardie!
The first thing you can do to enrich your bearded dragon’s day is to simply let them hunt for their food. As beardie parents, it is common for us to feed them their bugs out of no escape food bowls which allow us to feed bugs without them getting lost in cage decor. This makes it easy for the dragon to simply walk up to their bowl and pick out the bugs without them getting away. Although this makes it easy for the dragon and it makes it easy for us to see what has been eaten, it is not the most enriching way to feed your dragon bugs. It may be more fun for your dragon if you just throw their bugs into their enclosure and allow them to chase and hunt the bugs on their own. This does make it harder to monitor how much the beardie eats but it is definitely something to throw something a little fun into the dragon’s day. If you are worried about losing the bugs in your dragon’s cage decor, you can also feed them in a larger plastic tub. A lot of people have a feeding tub that they place their bearded dragon in and then add feeders so that the dragon can run around and chase the bugs without them being able to hide in cage decorations.
Another good way to enrich your dragon is to let them swim. Although they are naturally desert creatures, they are surprisingly good swimmers. You can add a few inches of warm water to a bathtub or kiddie pool for them to swim. They like to swim in short bursts so a lot of people add rocks for them to bask or rest on. Whenever you have your dragon in water, it is very important to never leave them unattended. Most dragons also only enjoy being in the water for 10 to 15 minutes so it is good not to leave them in there longer than that. You also need to always monitor them to make sure that they are not getting overly stressed.
A very common form of enrichment is to take your dragon outside! Many dragons absolutely love the fresh air and natural sunlight that comes with being outside. They love to watch their surroundings, smell new scents and hear exciting sounds. As long as it is warm enough, taking them outside is an amazing form of enrichment. Some dragons may tend to become more unpredictable or “wild” when they are outside. We highly recommend only taking your dragon outside in an enclosed area or on a secure harness and leash. They have great little tents available on Amazon that are marketed for cats but work even better for beardies! These will keep your dragon safe from running off and getting lost but also from possible predators.
Our final form of enrichment would be toys! Most people wouldn’t expect that bearded dragons would play with toys but some do! They actually have toys made specifically for bearded dragons such as balls that you can put feeder bugs in. A lot of people also use things such as cat toys. Dragons like the little cat balls that are bright in colors or that may make different noises. They will also play with the wand type toys that are made for cats.
We are always looking for new ways to make life fun for our dragons and love to try things that you wouldn’t expect. What do you do for enrichment for your dragon?