It goes without saying that you should properly take care of your bearded dragon, but what about taking care of yourself? Beardies make wonderful pets, but they can make you sick. Many reptiles carry germs that can make people sick, and one of the most common bacteria is Salmonella.
You might think that the only time you have to worry about Salmonella is when you’re handling raw chicken, but did you know that you can also get Salmonella from your bearded dragon? Most reptiles carry Salmonella, which is a type of bacteria that can cause food poisoning in humans. Bearded dragons are no exception. Salmonella can get you sick when the bacteria infects food or water, and is then ingested. You can also get Salmonella poisoning if you handle your bearded dragon, or clean up their cage, and then touch your face or mouth.
The good news is that there are some simple steps you can take to prevent you from getting sick. First, make sure you wash your hands thoroughly after handling your bearded dragon. Second, don’t let your bearded dragon near any food that you’re going to eat. And finally, don’t let your bearded dragon drink from the same water bottle that you use.
If you take these precautions, the chances of you getting sick from your bearded dragon are much lower. However, it’s still important to be aware of the risks. If you have any concerns, please consult your doctor or a qualified reptile veterinarian.
After you’ve handled your bearded dragon, always
Avoid touching your face while spending time with your beardie.
Though it may be tempting to give your lovely lizard a peck on top of the head, don’t do it. You will be increasing your chances of contracting Salmonella.
For the health of your dragon, also always wash your hands BEFORE handling him or her.
After cleaning up after your bearded dragon, always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. You can read some great tips about bearded dragons and Salmonella here.