Going outside with pet bearded dragons may seem tempting during the summer but since these creatures have specific temperature and humidity requirements, owners may be concerned about putting their beloved pets in danger.
This article answers the question “Can Bearded Dragons Go Outside?” by discussing whether taking beardies outside is a good move. We also uncover the specific conditions these adorable lizards require outdoors to enjoy maximum health and productivity.
Can Bearded Dragons Go Outside?
Bearded dragons could go outside during the summer but temperatures should be above 70 F with no more than 65 percent humidity levels. Escape attempts may be prevented by putting beardies on a leash while the owner should keep an eye out for predators like birds. Bearded dragons should be fed at home before the outdoor trip and prevented from eating plants and insects in the wild.
Raising bearded dragons at home can be challenging for many folks despite the rewards. Summer is the best time for outdoor trips for many of us and preventing pet lizards from bonding with nature could be a travesty.
The good news is that beardies love hot weather because it helps keep their internal temperatures healthy due to their cold-blooded nature. Besides, they originate from the Australian deserts and grasslands where temperatures are high during the daytime.
Is It Healthy To Take Bearded Dragons Outside?
Taking bearded dragons outside may be life-changing for the amazing pet lizard thanks to the positive effects of natural sunlight. Beardie owners are advised to place the right UVB lighting in the reptile’s tank to ensure healthy internal temperatures for normal functionality including digestion, hormonal release, and physical activity.
However, no UVB lighting bulb comes close to the direct power of natural sunlight. This becomes evident once the beardie starts enjoying the warm external temperatures during the summer. The captive lizard immediately experiences discoloration to enable maximum absorption of the sun’s rays.
Their color changes back to lighter shades of yellow and orange after basking in the sun resulting in instant energy level ramp-ups. The level of excitement found in bearded dragons after spending time in the sun can be a sight to behold.
Physical activity levels take another dimension when bearded dragons are taken outdoors. Although they move around a lot in their cages, the ability to walk, climb, and roam around in an area with no physical barriers takes their excitement levels up a notch.
Taking beardies outdoors also enhances their mental health and makes them more responsive to their environments. They arrive back in their tanks in positive moods, with increased appetites, and improved overall demeanor.
What Temperature Can I Take My Bearded Dragon Outside?
The best temperature for bearded dragons outdoors is over 70 degrees Fahrenheit. These cold-blooded creatures thrive within that range because it keeps their internal temperatures at healthy levels which ensures the right hormones are released during the daytime.
Bearded dragons become their bubbly selves when temperatures stay within the stipulated range whether indoors or outdoors. The biggest issue with taking them outside is humidity because any levels over 65 F could pose breathing problems.
Beardies do not have the most sophisticated respiratory systems and finding themselves in excessively humid settings may take a heavy toll on their health.
What Age Can I Take My Bearded Dragon Outside?
Bearded dragons should be at least 4 months old before being taken outside to relish the fresh air and change of scenery. While they enjoy the natural sunlight, extended exposure especially during the first couple of weeks after birth could be detrimental to their health.
As they grow older, beardies may be able to spend more time in the outdoors but babies should spend no more than 10 minutes during the initial sessions. Also, pay attention to the lizard’s body language during the initial stages of direct sunlight exposure.
Evidence of discomfort should lead to a quick trip back to their enclosures. Most bearded dragons show amazing comfort when the conditions outdoors are suitable. The opposite effect is only likely when they are suffering from illness or infection.
What Can Bearded Dragons Eat From Outside?
Bearded dragons enjoy insects and plants but should not be allowed to eat those found outdoors to prevent exposure to parasites and pesticides. Bugs in the wild often serve as hosts for many parasites and allowing bearded dragons in captivity to eat these insects could lead to catastrophic results.
Plants found outdoors may also contain traces of dangerous pesticides and other chemicals that could be potentially life-threatening for bearded dragons when ingested. Also, avoid feeding bearded dragons outside because they require basking in their tanks after eating to stimulate digestion.
Feeding beardies during the time outdoors can lead to gastrointestinal problems that may put the beloved lizard’s life in danger.
Can Bearded Dragons Be Kept In Outside Enclosures?
Bearded dragons enjoy outside enclosures during the summer when temperatures soar. However, there should be multiple basking areas comprising rocks, wood, or both. This enables easy digestion after eating and the ability to top up their internal temperatures before dropping low.
How Long Can A Bearded Dragon Stay In The Sun?
Bearded dragons could spend up to 10 minutes in the sun during the initial stages as owners watch out for signs of stress such as discoloration or glass surfing. Once the lizard gets used to the arrangement, they could spend more time absorbing the UVB lighting from the sun’s rays.
It is not uncommon for domesticated bearded dragons to be allowed to spend 30 minutes to an hour in the sun after passing the initial stress tests.
Can I Take My Bearded Dragon To The Store?
Bearded dragons can be taken to the store during hot weather when temperatures are over 70 degrees Fahrenheit and humidity levels are under 65 percent. However, beardies should have spent incremental amounts of time in the sun in the past with no displayed signs of discomfort before being taken to the store.
Avoid throwing pet beardies into the deep end by taking them to the store or on other errands right from the first day of sunlight exposure. This could lead to negative blowback including discoloration and other signs of discomfort.
Can You Walk Your Bearded Dragon Outdoors?
Bearded dragons may be walked outdoors in areas where there are no signs of danger. Avoid spots where potential predators are in abundance to prevent unexpected attacks.
Bearded dragons typically spend more time observing and admiring the outdoor environment than walking. Patience could be vital during this period because the walking pace can be extremely slow.
How To Ensure A Positive Outdoor Experience For Bearded Dragons
Taking bearded dragons outside may have tons of positives but it can be tricky, especially during the first couple of times. Failure to adhere to the right guidelines could lead to disastrous outcomes and a few are listed below.
Put the Beardie On A Leash
One of the biggest mistakes during outdoor expeditions with domesticated bearded dragons is the absence of a leash. Harnesses should always be used without exception regardless of how the beardie reacts to them.
Bearded dragons may seem gentle and obedient when in captivity but dramatic changes occur once they land in outdoor environments. They become extremely hyper in the outdoors and typically run for their lives every time they come across larger creatures like birds.
Bearded dragons can literally give owners a run for their money when outdoors and keeping up could be difficult. The chances of losing your beloved bearded dragon can be high and unfortunately, the long-term chances of surviving in the wild are low, unlike their ancestors.
The risk of getting spooked into trying to escape reduces over time as they get more used to the outdoor environment but harnesses should always be in place every time.
Avoid Outdoor Trips With Bearded Dragons When It Is Unsuitable
Bearded dragons enjoy exposure to direct sunlight but taking them outdoors at all times is not always advisable. Bringing beardies outside immediately after waking up in the morning without allowing some basking time in the tank lighting can be catastrophic.
Taking them outdoors immediately after feeding could also result in negative consequences. We recommend allowing beardies to bask in their tanks after waking up in the morning. Once their temperatures rise enough, offer some food, and allow some resting period to absorb additional heat for digestion.
Outdoor expeditions should only be conducted after proper digestion of the eaten food. Additionally, bearded dragons should not be taken outdoors during cold periods to prevent dramatic declines in internal body temperature which may be potentially life-threatening.
Always make sure temperatures are at least 75 degrees Fahrenheit before taking beardies outdoors while humidity levels should be lower than 65 percent.
Extra Vigilance During The Initial First Couple Of Trips
It is perfectly normal for bearded dragons to show slight discomfort when taken outdoors for the first time. This is why the introduction should be as slow as possible to ease the reptile into outdoor environments rather than taking them out of the comfort of the vivarium straight away to face direct sunlight.
Holding captive beardies near a window a couple of times opens their eyes to the existence of a whole new world outdoors. This can pique their curiosity which could be good news when they eventually hit the outdoor environment.
Also, beardies should get used to wearing harnesses indoors before they eventually hit the outdoors for maximum results. Harnesses may be uncomfortable during the first couple of times but the reptiles eventually get used to it.
The next step is taking bearded dragons on short walks in a harness. They could also be carried outdoors during the initial periods without being set down. If the beardie shows signs of discomfort especially after spotting other animals, owners can cover the reptiles up with their hands to provide a sense of protection.
After a few outdoor trips, beardies should be allowed to roam on the owner’s laps while sitting until the reptile decides to explore the ground. Do not be surprised when they crawl back to the laps during the initial periods spent on the ground.
However, beardies eventually get used to the ground and begin full-scale exploration over time. This is a significant milestone that should be celebrated but things could turn sour quickly when owners neglect their beardies during outdoor ground expeditions.
Vigilance is an important trait for a bearded dragon owner but extra care should be taken every time they leave the comfort of the vivarium. Beardies are popular prey among large animals in the wild including foxes, cats, hawks, and large Euroasian eagle owls.
These predators are always on the prowl and will not hesitate to pounce on the domesticated reptile at the least opportunity. Bearded dragons are also aware of their status as prey to these wild animals and their excellent vision offers awareness of a wide range of environmental threats.
The presence of a “third eye” at the top of their heads serves as an alert to shadows and light from predatory birds that could be hovering above them. Bearded dragons get spooked easily and experience an adrenaline rush that promotes extremely quick running when predators approach.
This is why a harness is non-negotiable when taking captive bearded dragons outdoors since owners cannot catch up with them when they feel forced to run in the face of threats. The creation of a few hiding spots could come in handy when outdoors because it provides refuge when they feel threatened.
Also, be careful not to get attacked by predators like birds and coyotes that may approach the beardie even in your presence due to extreme hunger. Always keep an eye out for such predators in the outdoors and avoid distractions that may lead to losing your favorite bearded dragon.
Avoid Outdoor Eating
Beardies are extremely inquisitive and use their tongues to get a feel of their environments especially when outdoors. This is another reason why you cannot afford to take your eyes off them because they could easily ingest vegetation or bugs found on the ground.
The plants may contain traces of chemicals like weedicides and pesticides while the wild bugs can be hosts for different bacteria. Exposure to toxic chemicals or parasites could lead to severe infections that may result in fatalities.
Keeping an eye on the bearded dragon outdoors is a must for every owner. Just avoid distractions and the little pet lizard should be fine.
Conclusion: Can Bearded Dragons Go Outside?
Bearded dragons can be taken outdoors during the summer when temperatures are pleasant and humidity levels are normal. Making sure of these conditions could lead to fun times with the amazing pet lizard.
Always pay attention to the beardie to prevent environmental threats like wild insects or vegetation that may contain harmful chemicals. Also, keep an eye out for predators like foxes, birds, and coyotes that usually desire to whisk the beardie away to satisfy their hunger.