When your bearded dragon falls asleep on you, it could indicate a few different things. The main one is that they trust you.
Sometimes, bearded dragons can be difficult to read. They could be closing their eyes or showing body language that tells you they don’t trust you yet. If you’re new to owning a bearded dragon, it can be challenging to understand their behaviors and why they do them.
Read on for more information on what it means when your bearded dragon falls asleep on you and other signs that could indicate that they trust you.
They trust you and see you as non-threatening
Naturally, bearded dragons in the wild are alert and have their eyes open for predators. Therefore, when they’re willing to close their eyes and lay on or against you, they see you as safe and trustworthy.
Unhappy bearded dragons tend to be overly aggressive, fearful, and avoidant. An easy way to tell if they’re comfortable with you is to see how they react to you trying to pick them up. If they’re running away from you, trying to bite you, or their beards turn black and puffy, it’s time to try a different method.
Bearded dragons are very food-driven. Gain their trust by feeding them and teaching them that you’re friendly. Giving them their favorite food or doing something they like, such as bathing them, can also help with bonding and gaining their trust.
They like your scent
Your beardie may associate your scent with food when being taken out. They may also enjoy hanging out with you, and laying on you can give them a sense of safety and protection.
Unlike a dog, when a bearded dragon licks you, it’s not to show affection. Licking you or the air means that they’re smelling you and maybe even like your scent. It’s how they recognize and identify who you are and how to feel towards you.
They like your body heat
It’s no surprise that bearded dragons like heat and warmth. So while you have them out of their homes and not under a heat lamp, they’ll snuggle up to you for that extra warmth that they like.
It’s completely okay for your bearded dragon to sleep on you, but it’s not recommended for you to fall asleep with them. They could wake up and get into trouble while you’re still sleeping. Your dragon could take the opportunity to eat something they’re not supposed to.
There’s also that chance that you may roll on top of them and hurt them. It’s always safer to just relax with them as they nap.
If you still decide to take a nap with your bearded dragon, make sure they can’t get into something they’re not supposed to. Prevent them from also being able to hurt themselves. Additionally, make sure to take safety precautions to prevent you from rolling on top of them and hurting them.
Otherwise, just letting them nap on you for a while is entirely okay. It’s a great bonding experience for both of you. They’re likely in a delighted state at that moment and will repeat this behavior in the future.
They may even gain more trust after each experience. Having your dragon’s trust is necessary for taking care of them, not just bonding with them.
Having your bearded dragon’s complete trust is extremely helpful when you feed them, take them out of the cage, give them water, clean the cage, etc. It’s much more challenging to take care of a pet that is stressed all the time and doesn’t trust you to take care of them.
When was the last meal?
If it is just after a meal, they need heat for at least one to two hours. This is necessary for digestion because they need the heat to regulate their body temperature after they eat. Therefore, it’s not recommended to take them out of the cage immediately after they eat.
Beware of height/fall/jump to injury.
You should be wary if you’re on a bed that has a ledge where your bearded dragon could fall a few feet and hurt themselves. If you find yourself falling asleep with your bearded dragon on a high surface, you should probably take your buddy somewhere else to nap safely.
They may wake up and decide that they’re energized and ready for an adventure. Unbeknownst to them, there’s a few foot drop that could potentially hurt them.
Signs of a bowel movement.
It is not always easy to tell if your bearded dragon is about to defecate. They usually only do this one to seven times a week (depending on their diet).
One thing to note is that water seems to encourage them to have a bowel movement if they need to. If you notice that your bearded dragon hasn’t had a bowel movement in a while, you can bathe them before letting them relax.
One way to tell if your bearded dragon is about to pass a bowel movement is if its tail lifts up. Additionally, your dragon may present a different behavior than the previous example. Keep an eye on them and learn to recognize different behaviors so you can react quickly.
If and when you decide to wake up your sleeping bearded dragon, do so carefully not to scare them. If possible, entice them with some food.
Knowing how your bearded dragon behaves and feels towards certain actions is important. If they’re asleep on you, you could try talking to them to wake them up or gently pet their heads. If your dragon doesn’t like being touched too much, it would be best to try the other method.
If they’re in their cage, don’t try and scoop them up quite yet. They’re going to be in a very relaxed state, so sudden quick movements could freak them out.
Their instincts may kick in, and they could think you are a predator coming to scoop them up. If they start freaking out, take a step back and try a different method after they’ve calmed down.
- They don’t freak out when you come near them. If they’re running around and going crazy when you come near the cage, they’re probably stressed out. On the other hand, If they go crazy by coming towards you to get picked up or fed, they probably like you.
- They lick you. This is how they can pick up your scent, and licking the air when you are around can indicate that they like your smell.
- They get excited, move around the cage, and come towards you both in and out of their cages. They climb on you and want to be a part of whatever you’re doing.
- They don’t bob their heads or wave their arms in submission around you. This is aggressive behavior that you want to take precautions towards. There is a chance that if you put your hand in the cage and try to pick them up, they will try to bite you. It’s also important to note that they may bite you other times because they’re hungry.
- They lay flat and relaxed when you’re around and while holding them. When they’re not relaxed, they tend to have black beards and become puffy both in their beards and all over their body. It’ll be very apparent when your dragon is upset and tense.
- They’re happy to see you; they acknowledge you in a calm and friendly manner. They relax and close their eyes. They’re not on edge, they don’t act aggressively by bobbing their heads at you, and their beards don’t turn black from annoyance or stress.
- Your dragon’s colors are bright and colorful instead of dark and dull. This one is often not thought about, though it’s essential to take note of. Recognizing your dragon’s colors and their state can help indicate if they’re happy and healthy or stressed and sick.
All Bearded dragons have different personalities, so certain behaviors may not always mean the same thing. Some may just want to be around you at all times and always look happy to see you.
Others may be a little hyper and are almost constantly exploring and on the go. It can take some time to get to know your bearded dragon buddy, and the longer you spend time with them, the more you’ll bond with them. On the other hand, if they are comfortable enough to sleep on you, you two have likely bonded, and they completely trust you.