• Beardie Bliss

Why Does My Bearded Dragon Stare At Me

Maintaining intense eye contact can be disconcerting for humans. But it is just one odd bearded dragon behavior. You can stare back, but you are probably not going to win a bearded dragon in a staring contest! The bearded dragon stare is legendary.


The behavior can make new reptile owners worried. Are you doing something wrong? Is staring a good sign? Is your exotic pet trying to warn you about something? Is staring a show of affection, or is your beardie simply bored?


This article will explore the common reasons your bearded dragon stares at you. It will also share a few tips on entertaining your dragon pet.


Why Your Bearded Dragon Stares at You


Like head bobbing and arm waving, staring is an instinctual bearded dragon behavior. It could mean a few different things, depending on the situation. As a responsible pet parent, it is normal to want to understand why your reptile companion stares so intensely at you.


You shouldn’t worry too much when your lizard stares at you because most of the reasons for this body language are generally not negative.


Here are some of the possible reasons for your beardie’s intense eye contact:


Your Pet Wants To Be Safe


Bearded dragons are prey animals that need to stay alert about everything happening in their surroundings. Intense staring is their way of observing their environment for possible predators that could pose serious threats.


Of course, there is generally no need to be on guard for predators in captivity. But this is normal behavior for an adult bearded dragon.


No matter how safe you make the bearded dragon’s environment, it simply can’t stop being alert. And regardless of the number of years the exotic pet lives in your house, it still can’t shake the feeling of being watched by a predator.


In other words, it is probably not your fault if your pet reptile stares at you because it feels insecure. Your beardie is merely responding to its instinct to be safe.

yellow and brown bearded dragon face close up

Your Beardie Is Curious


Your bearded dragon may rivet its eyes on you out of sheer curiosity. This is a rather common occurrence with these tricky-to-read lizard species.


Bearded dragons learn and understand their environment by staring at people, objects, and other animals around them. They analyze the different movements to help figure out how best to respond.


It is normal for your beardie to stare at you for several minutes on end, perhaps when you are going about routine activity in your home. It might be trying to learn more about you – that’s in addition to analyzing whether your activities are potentially threatening!


With time, your pet will get used to you and even recognize you when you walk into the room. You will observe this when the pet snuggles up against you. It might even lick you, relax, and close its eyes.


Staring and darting eyes are signs of alertness in bearded dragons. This is why if your pet closes its eyes when it is around you, it is a surefire sign that the lizard recognizes and trusts you completely.


However, do not expect your beardie to completely give up the staring behavior, no matter how much it feels comfortable around you.


Your Bearded Dragon Is Bored


Another reason your pet may stare at you is that it is bored to death! Spending the whole day for the rest of its life in a vivarium (or whatever enclosure you provide) is not a particularly entertaining proposition for a bearded dragon. It is easy to become bored living this way.


For this reason, it is important to provide some form of stimulation or entertainment for your pet. If you don’t provide opportunities to encourage stimulation, your pet will just stare at you instead.


While most of the reasons your lizard pet stares at you aren’t particularly a cause for concern, boredom is something you should try to limit. It may not lead to any immediate negative consequences, but it can affect your pet’s happiness level over a long time.


Like humans, an unhappy reptile is open to a host of physical and emotional issues, including depression. And yes, bearded dragons can get depressed! But that’s a topic for another day.


How to Entertain Your Bearded Dragon

bearded dragon relaxing on green hammock

You can spend all day wondering why your lizard companion stares at you intensely and not find a satisfying answer. A better approach would be to find ways to stimulate and entertain your pet so it doesn’t spend all day moping around.


Here are a few ways to keep your pet happy:


Spend Quality Time Bonding With Your Bearded Dragon


Beyond any toys you could ever offer your pet, nothing beats spending time interacting and bonding with your beardie.


Once you adopt a bearded dragon, learn the correct way to handle the pet as soon as it settles down in its new environment. Take time to hold, cuddle, and be with your beardie for up to an hour every day. You can extend bonding time for as long as your schedule permits, provided the animal is comfortable with the idea.


It is normal for the pet to be reluctant at first. It might even run away when you approach or show some aggression. But it will get used to your presence with time, and even look forward to being with you. Talk to your pet when you bring food. Put your hands in its enclosure and leave it inside for about 10 to 15 minutes. All of these will help build trust, and when the time is right, your pet reptile will enjoy out-of-cage time with you.


Pet your beardie on the head or rub under the chin using slow movements. Put the reptile on your lap when you sit. It won’t be long before it starts to lick the air around you and even lick you. This is a generally happy sign.


Take Your Bearded Dragon for a Walk


It may sound ridiculous to imagine pet owners taking their bearded dragon for a walk like other pets, but this activity is your beardie’s chance to exercise its limbs.


Taking a walk doesn’t mean strolling around the neighborhood with your pet dragon - now, that would be ridiculous! Instead, take the reptile out of its enclosure and let it walk around the rooms of your home.


Before you walk your pet inside your home, make sure there are no potential dangers in the environment.


Let Your Beardie Enjoy Some Time in the Water


Add water into a large bin or plastic container and allow your pet to spend some time swimming in it. Ensure the water level doesn’t cross your pet’s elbows.


Many bearded dragons enjoy playing in the water because it is sheer fun. In addition to helping the reptile stay happy, swimming keeps it hydrated.


However, ensure the water temperature is warm enough to prevent the lizard from going into shock mode. A water temperature of 80o Fahrenheit is ideal for a beardie.


Want to provide enough stimulation? Consider putting some toys in the water! Your beardie will have a great time in the improvised pool.

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