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Can Bearded Dragons Be Emotional Support Animals? How To Register Them As ESA?

Many people have turned to emotional support animals in the past few years to ease social anxiety and depression.

Pets are known to be a source of comfort; they can help with stress and act as a familiar friend in unknown situations.

Emotional support animals (ESA) are widely used around the world today and are not too difficult to get registered. Popular emotional support animals include cats, dogs, rodents, and reptiles. Bearded dragons can be a great ESA, as they are small, calm, and usually do well around other animals.

Can reptiles be emotional support animals?

Yes, they can! Reptiles like bearded dragons can be among the best emotional support animals, and all you need to do is register them with an Emotional Support Animal organization.

Bearded Dragons make an excellent choice as they are probably easier to take care of than others, such as dogs.

How can I register my bearded dragon as an Emotional Support Animal?

This process isn’t too troublesome to complete, but there are a few steps you’ll have to follow in order to get the certification.

Step 1: Retrieve a Professional Recommendation

The first thing you’ll need to do is have your doctor or therapist write a letter recommending an ESA.

This is a crucial step, as you won’t be able to get an ESA without it. If you don’t have a mental health provider, you must go ahead and find someone.

You need proof that an emotional support animal will be truly beneficial to you and that this isn’t something you want just for fun. Ensure the letter is professional; it should be on letterhead, contain no grammar errors, and be signed by the doctor.

Step 2: Register Online

There isn’t an actual website everyone must register from, but there are different ways to register online.

Two such websites are US Service Animal and Support Animal Registry and ESA Registration.

can you Register bearded dragons As Emotional support animal

You’ll want to go with a company that’s certified nationwide, so you can travel with your pet. You should be able to do this pretty quickly with your doctor’s recommendation letter.

You will probably have to pay $100- $200 for the certification, and there is an annual renewal fee.

Step 3: Carry Your Documentation

Now that you have your bearded dragon officially licensed, you will want to carry the registration with you when you go places.

Some companies, such as restaurants, may ask to see it before you enter. It’s also important to note that emotional support animals must not disturb other people or animals.

If your animal is a disturbance in the place you’re at, you could get kicked out.

Make sure your animal is well-behaved before you decide to register it as an ESA. The good news is that bearded dragons are very well-tempered and make great emotional support animals.

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You can carry them on you, and they shouldn’t make any noise or bother the people around you. This is an essential part of having an ESA, as you will probably be taking the animal around with you to many places.

Essentially, you go through all of the registration processes, so you can take your pet with you wherever you want.

How does having a bearded dragon help with anxiety/depression?

Emotional support animals are known to help people in many different ways.

For instance, people with social anxiety can take their pets with them when they go out. That way, they have a soothing presence with them that can also act as an icebreaker.

The pet gives you something to talk about. It can also comfort you to have something familiar with you at all times.

Traveling can cause many people stress. It is easy to travel with your bearded dragon, which gives them bonus points.

Also, taking care of another living creature makes people feel confident. Having a constant companion who gives you a routine is a great way to keep busy.

Bearded dragons are good pets that many people love. They will act as a wonderful ESA.

How Bearded Dragon Help with Anxiety and Depression
Bearded dragons are easy to bring out with you to the street

Can I take my ESA anywhere?

There are some places you probably won’t be able to take your bearded dragon, just depending on the location and what the company policies are.

Even with your registration, you probably will not be able to take your ESA everywhere you go.

It’s a good idea to call ahead of time, especially for events. This way you can ensure that they will let you bring your emotional support animal with you.

A bearded dragon ESA should be no different from cat or dog ESAs, as the rules should all be the same. Just make sure to check ahead of time, so you can be prepared.

Why are bearded dragons good ESAs?

There are a few reasons why bearded dragons make wonderful emotional support animals. We’ve touched on a few of them but will continue to elaborate on why a bearded dragon is an excellent choice for an ESA.

Reason #1: They’re easily portable!

Some people have to worry about carrying around big dogs as their emotional support animals, which may cause a disturbance in certain places.

One of the best reasons a bearded dragon is so great is that you can carry them on your shoulder, and they shouldn’t bother anyone.

However, if you drive, we recommend you read our helpful guide on how to transport your bearded dragon.

Reason #2: They don’t make any noise

Another reason they’re great animals to have in public is that they won’t bark loudly or make other noises that will bother people. They’re quiet and will not cause disturbances.

Reason #3: No crazy reactions

Some animals, such as dogs, get very excitable or angry upon seeing other animals. You won’t have to worry about a bearded dragon’s reaction to other animals.

They are very even-tempered and shouldn’t have any problem seeing other animals out and about. All these reasons make bearded dragons great pets to have as emotional support animals.

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can reptiles be emotional support animals

What else to take note of when having a bearded dragon as my ESA

There are still a few factors you should keep in mind when choosing a bearded dragon as your ESA to make sure the animal is well taken care of.

Tip #1: Heat-controlled climate

Bearded dragons are kept in an enclosure with a heat lamp, which is essential to helping them maintain digestion throughout the day. They can be away from their heat lamp but shouldn’t be far from it for too many hours at a time.

You can take your bearded dragon away for a couple of hours, and they will be fine but don’t exceed two or three hours. You don’t want to stress them out by having them away from their enclosure and heat lamp for too long.

Tip #2: Food Sources

Bearded dragons eat crickets, mealworms, fruit, and veggies. You don’t want to feed them while you’re out and about. Also, it would be best if you didn’t feed them right before you leave.

As mentioned above, they use a heat lamp to help with digestion. If you feed them before taking them out, they won’t be able to digest their food very well.

Tip #3: Your Bearded Dragon’s Stress Level

You’ll want to ensure that your bearded dragon is explicitly a good choice as an ESA.

Some beardies do not like to be out of their enclosure and may get stressed by being out in public around people and other animals.

It may not be a good idea to enlist your bearded dragon as your emotional support animal if you know they wouldn’t like being out that much.

If it stressed them out, it wouldn’t be good for them. Hopefully, you know your pet well and can tell when they are stressed and exhibit signs.

beardie stress marks
Beardie with stress marks

Bearded dragons can display dark coloration, have a loss of appetite, and remain extremely still.

For most bearded dragons, it shouldn’t be a problem to make them your emotional support animal.

But if you have one that is shyer and tends to get stressed easily, you may want to pick a different animal.

The last thing you want is to stress out your pet too much and cause them to be unhappy. Carefully consider this before beginning the registration process.


We hope this was a helpful guide for you, and that you were able to see the many benefits that having an emotional support animal can have on people.

Among the many choices to pick from as ESAs, bearded dragons are surprisingly great picks.

Suppose you have a bearded dragon and have considered getting an emotional support animal. In that case, it’s a great choice to make, and the registration process is pretty simple and not too expensive.

Make sure you know that your animal is cut out for the job and know that there may be places you won’t be able to bring your ESA to. Enjoy having your new ESA!