If you are contemplating getting a bearded dragon as a pet for your child, there are several steps that will need to be addressed regarding its care so it lives a long and healthy life. One important part of a bearded dragon's care is how it is handled. These reptiles enjoy being touched and carried around, making them a great starter pet for children and adults alike. Here are some instructions you can use when teaching your child how to pick up a bearded dragon so it does not become injured and how to handle it so it remains comfortable.
Instruct Your Child To Prepare By Washing Their Hands
Before your child picks up the reptile, they should wash their hands with hot water and soap to remove any bacteria that may be present upon their skin. This is a protective measure to keep the bearded dragon from getting sick. If you fear your child will drop the reptile when they feel the bumpiness of its skin, it may be beneficial for them to wear a pair of gloves the first few times they handle the creature. As they get more bold about stroking its body, they will most likely be more apt to want to pick it up without the hand coverings.
Encourage Your Child To Use Slow Movements When Reaching For The Reptile
As your child reaches for the reptile to pick it up, they will want to move their hand very slowly so the bearded dragon does not get frightened. They should not reach their hand toward the bearded dragon's head as the reptile will think it is being attacked. Tell your child to gently pet the bearded dragon's head to prepare it for some handling time. When the reptile closes its eyes or blinks while being petted, it will be calm enough to be lifted out of the cage.
Let Your Child Lift The Reptile And Secure It In Their Hands
Instruct your child to place their hand palm side up under the reptile's chest, securing the front part of its body on top of the thumb and forefinger. Have them gently lift the bearded dragon upwards. They can then use their other hand to allow the reptile's stomach and tail to rest upon their palm. Do not allow your child to squeeze the reptile, but rather lift it out of the cage slowly while it remains on the palms. When it is out of the cage, your child can place the reptile on their arm. They can use their other hand to pet the reptile in this position.
For more information on how to care for your bearded dragon or to look for reptiles for sale, check out pet stores in your area.