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Can Bearded Dragons Climb? (What You Must Know)

By Kerry
Updated on

Bearded dragons are reptiles native to Australia. They are very social animals and are often kept as pets. These lizards are known for their long tongues, which they use to catch insects.

Bearded dragons are also called monitor lizards because of their large size. Their bodies are covered with scales, which give them a reptilian appearance. The lizard has two rows of teeth, which are sharp and pointy.

Bearded dragon climbing a dry tree

Bearded dragons can climb trees, rocks, and even other lizards. If you want to take care of your pet, you should provide him or her with a safe environment where he or she can exercise his natural instincts.

In this article, we will discuss the best ways to care for your bearded dragon, including how to keep them entertained and stimulated, and how well they can climb.

What Is A Bearded Dragon?

The bearded dragon is one of the most popular types of lizards in the world. It belongs to the genus Scleropages, which means “scaly-footed” in Greek.

This type of lizard originated from Australia, but it can now be found all over the world. Its scientific name comes from the Latin word sclera meaning “scale” and pes meaning “foot.”

The bearded dragon is an omnivorous animal that feeds on both plants and insects. It can grow up to 20 inches in length and weigh between 1.5 and 3 pounds. When it grows larger, it sheds its skin once every year.

These lizards have been around since ancient times, and they were used by early humans as food. Today, they are still eaten in some parts of Asia and Africa.

Important Things To Consider When Keeping A Bearded Dragon

When keeping a bearded dragon, there are many things to consider. The following are just a few; we will touch on these in greater detail shortly.

First, you should make sure you have enough food for your bearded dragon. It is important to feed your bearded dragon healthy foods because this helps them grow well.

Next, you should ensure that your bearded dragon has a safe place to sleep. For example, you need to make sure that your bearded dragons have a hiding place where he or she can hide when they are scared.

Finally, you should make sure that your bearded lizard has a comfortable cage. However, you should avoid using cages made of wire because these could injure your bearded dragon. Instead, you should use plastic or wooden cages.

Bearded Dragon Tank Setup: The Enclosure

When setting up your tank, you must consider safety first. It is important to make sure that your enclosure is large enough to accommodate your bearded dragon comfortably.

For starters, you should buy a cage that is big enough for your bearded dragon to turn around in.

A standard-sized cage should be able to hold an adult bearded dragon comfortably. However, if you plan to breed your bearded dragon, you will need a bigger cage.

Next, you should make sure that your enclosure does not contain any hazards. For example, you should avoid placing anything on top of your tank that could injure your bearded dragon.

Also, you should remove all sharp objects from your tank before adding your bearded dragon.

Finally, you should add some decorations to your tank. Some people like to decorate their tanks with rocks, plants, and even toys. These items can help to create a natural habitat for your bearded dragon.

How Often Should I Change Out Water In My Bearded Dragon’s Tank?

Your bearded dragon needs fresh water every day. Therefore, you should change your water every few days. This ensures that your bearded dragon always has clean drinking water.

If you do not change out your bearded dragon’s water regularly, he or she may develop problems. For example, your bearded dragon may get sick if he or she drinks dirty water.

Also, your bearded dragon may become dehydrated if he or she only gets water once a week.

If you want to know how often you should change out your bearded dragon’s water, check out our article about changing out your bearded dragon’s water.

Location in Your Home

The location where you place your bearded dragon will depend on what sort of home environment you live in. For example, if you are going to take your bearded dragon outside, then you should put him or her in a container with a lid.

However, if you are planning to keep your bearded dragon inside, you should choose a location that provides plenty of space for your bearded dragon.

Tank sizes can vary, but it is a good idea to buy the largest that your budget will allow, to ensure that your dragon has plenty of open space to move around freely.

Also, you should try to find a spot that does not contain any dangers such as stairs or ladders. After all, it would be very difficult for your bearded dragon to escape from a dangerous location.

Ideally, keep the tank or container as close to the look and feel of natural habitat as you can.

You should also think about the temperature of the area where you plan to keep your bearded dragon. If the room is too cold, then your bearded dragon might feel uncomfortable. 

On the other hand, if the room is too hot, then your bearded dragon may suffer heatstroke. A heat lamp is important for helping your dragon to stay as comfortable as possible.

You should also make sure that your bearded dragon has access to sunlight. If your bearded dragon spends most of its time indoors, then it may miss out on the sunlight.

Therefore, you should provide your bearded dragon with a window or skylight.

In addition, you should also provide him or her with a hiding place. A good hiding place is somewhere where your bearded dragon can feel secure. Some places that work well include:

  • A cardboard box
  • A plastic tub
  • An aquarium
  • A terrarium
  • A cage

If you ever need to transport your dragon, you should use a solid container with plenty of holes and ventilation. These holes allow air to circulate around your bearded dragon. This prevents your bearded dragon from getting too hot or cold.

Do Bearded Dragons Like to Climb?

Bearded dragons do enjoy climbing, and this is a behavior that is natural and instinctive to many of them. However, not all of them like to climb, and some may not be able to climb at all.

Some species of these lizards can only climb when they are young. As they get older, they lose interest in climbing.

When these lizards are young, they need to climb so that they can reach high places. Once they become old enough to go outside without supervision, they no longer need to climb.

Wild beardies will enjoy climbing a range of surfaces, including tree trunks, fences, walls, and even other lizards. They prefer to climb vertical surfaces, such as poles, pipes, and wires.

In some cases, bearded dragons will climb as a way of ranking themselves within their social group – the dragon who is situated at the highest point in the group is typically accepted as the leader, while those who are lower physically are also lower in the pecking order. 

The leader is responsible for watching out for threats and danger, and their higher vantage point helps with this.

Bearded dragon climbing fence outback australia

How to Feed a Bearded Dragon

Most people who own a bearded dragon usually feed their bearded dragon two times per day. In fact, some people even feed their bearded dragon three times per day.

Although you can feed your bearded dragon any food you like, most owners prefer to feed their pets live food. Live foods include mealworms, crickets, wax worms, and earthworms.

When feeding your bearded dragon, remember that he or she needs to eat every few hours. 

Otherwise, your bearded dragon will become weak and lethargic. Also, don’t forget that your bearded dragon needs water. It is important that you provide your bearded dragon with clean drinking water at all times.

When you first get your bearded dragon, you should feed him or her about half an ounce of food per pound of bodyweight.

As your bearded dragon gets older, you can gradually reduce this amount. However, never let your bearded dragon go hungry. 

How Well Can Bearded Dragons Climb?

The body shape of bearded dragons means that they are naturally great climbers – their long legs allow them to easily grasp onto small objects.

They use their claws to grip things, and they can move quickly if necessary.

Most of the time, however, they use their tails to help them climb. These lizards often wrap their tail around a branch or pole, and then they pull themselves along using their feet.

If you want to make sure that your bearded dragon has access to a good place to climb, you should try to find a suitable location. For example, you could put a rock or log near a window that faces outwards, so that the lizard can look out into the garden.

Alternatively, you could hang a metal pipe above a wall or fence.

Do I Need To Teach My Dragon How To Climb?

If you are lucky, your bearded dragon might already know how to climb. If not, you can teach him or her how to climb. To begin with, you should provide plenty of opportunities for your pet to practice.

Try to give him or her something to grab onto, such as a piece of string or a stick. Then, slowly increase the height until your bearded dragon learns how to climb.

Once your bearded dragon knows how to climb, you can start giving him or her more challenging tasks. For example, you can attach a rope to a pole or a tree trunk, and see if he or she can climb up it.

This is a fun activity for both of you because you can watch each other from below.

You can also give your bearded dragon a series of steps to climb. For example, you might have a set of stairs leading up to your living room. Your bearded dragon can learn to climb these by taking one step at a time.

How Do I Keep My Dragon From Getting Hurt When Climbing

Bearded dragons have sharp teeth, and they can cause damage to themselves and others if they fall off a ladder or a roof. If your bearded dragon falls from a height, he or she may die from injuries sustained during the fall.

To prevent your bearded dragon from falling, you need to keep him or her safe when climbing. First, ensure that there is nothing dangerous on top of the ladder or roof.

Next, make sure that the ladder or roof is sturdy enough to support your bearded dragon’s weight. Finally, be careful while helping your bearded dragon to climb. 

What Health Issues Can Bearded Dragons Have?

Your bearded dragon will probably live for 10 years or longer. During its lifetime, your pet will grow in size and can be at risk of developing various health problems. The most common problem is obesity.

Obesity occurs when your bearded dragon eats too much food, which makes his or her belly expand. As a result, your pet may become overweight, and this can lead to several serious health issues.

In particular, an obese bearded dragon may suffer from breathing difficulties, heart disease, kidney failure, diabetes, arthritis, and even cancer.

Other than being overweight, your bearded dragon may also experience a number of different health problems. Some of these include:

  • Dehydration – Your pet may lose water through his or her skin. This can happen if he or she spends too long outdoors without drinking any water.
  • Parasites – These parasites can enter your pet’s body through his or her mouth, nose, eyes, ears, and anus. They can then travel around inside your pet’s bloodstream, causing irritation and inflammation.
  • Skin Problems – Your pet’s skin may get infected, irritated, or damaged due to exposure to chemicals, sunlight, heat, cold, or dry air. This can occur if he or she spends a lot of time outside without adequate protection.
  • Liver Problems – Your pet’s liver may fail to function properly, which can affect his or her ability to digest nutrients.
  • Kidney Failure – Your bearded dragon’s kidneys may not work as well as they should, which could eventually lead to renal failure.
  • Heart Disease – Your pet’s heart may stop beating normally, which can cause your pet to feel weak or tired.

If your bearded dragon develops any of these conditions, you must seek medical help immediately.

Following the steps and guidance to care for your dragon properly, and ensuring that they have plenty of space to exercise, move and climb, will all play a part in helping to ensure that your dragon lives for as long as possible.

Final Thoughts

Bearded dragons are inquisitive, curious creatures who love nothing more than a chance to climb and explore.

By ensuring that they have access to everything that they need to climb freely, you can ensure that your pet stays healthy and happy for longer, and enjoy many years of friendship together!

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About the author


Kerry White is an avid dog lover and writer, knowing all there is to know about our furry friends. Kerry has been writing for PetDT for three years now, wanting to use her knowledge for good and share everything she can with new dog owners.Kerry has two dogs herself - a German shepherd called Banjo and a chocolate labrador called Buttons. Kerry knows more than anyone how adjusting to new life with a puppy can turn your life upside down, and she wants to ease some of the burdens through her articles.