It can be easy to forget sometimes that bearded dragons are just like other animals and need both exercise and quality interactive time to keep their physical and mental health in good condition.
Without fun activities, your bearded dragon will become bored and appear lethargic and lifeless.
Think about it this way: in the wild, bearded dragons spend all day exploring their environment, interacting with their surroundings, and hunting.
This means that the best way to replicate this natural instinct to be active is to consider purchasing some fun toys designed specifically for your bearded dragon or by setting up enriching activities and games!
How to Play with Your Bearded Dragon
Before you can start looking out different ways to play with your bearded dragon, you need to learn how to play with your bearded dragon.
While they enjoy playing the same way bigger animals like cats and dogs do, you can’t exactly play the same way.
First, before handling your bearded dragon, if he or she is a relatively new addition to your family, you need to make sure that there is trust between you.
Building trust and forming a friendship with your bearded dragon is an important step that you shouldn’t skip.
Not only will it make play time more enjoyable, but it will help keep your bearded dragon from becoming distressed.
Building trust between you and your bearded dragon will also make later tasks such as cleaning out their enclosure, physical examinations, and other interactions easier.
To help you get started, here’s a short guide on how to build trust with your bearded dragon so that you can play together.
Understand Your Bearded Dragon’s Body Language
Before you begin handling your bearded dragon, it is important that you educate yourself on your bearded dragon’s body language.
Bearded dragons, sadly, aren’t able to communicate with us verbally in our language, so it’s up to us to learn to interpret their body language, as that is their way of talking to us.
This can also help keep you and your bearded dragon safe.
If your bearded dragon starts demonstrating any of the following aggressive signs during interaction, you will need to deal with the aggression before you can play with him or her.
Whatever you do, however, do not stop handling your bearded dragon due to aggression.
Ignoring your bearded dragon means that they will never learn the right way to act.
Just make sure to wear gloves and, if your bearded dragon struggles and squirms during handling, do not let go.
Letting them go when they struggle just teaches them that acting out will earn them their way. Now, here are the aggressive signs to keep an eye out for:
- Arching his or her back
- Flattening his or her body
- Opening his or her mouth
- Whipping his or her tail
If your bearded dragon is distressed, you may also notice that they are waving their arms.
However, this can also be used as a sign of acknowledgement – “hey, I see you there!” – so it’s important to pay attention to the context.
Arm waving may be paired with any of the signs listed above, or it could be paired with other signs of distress.
Learn to Handle Your Bearded Dragon
Before picking up your bearded dragon, you should thoroughly wash your hands.
Not only does this help make sure that you are not passing on any parasites or illnesses to your bearded dragon, but it also helps remove scents that could possibly scare your bearded dragon.
When it’s time to pick up your bearded dragon, be careful with how you approach them. Never attempt to pick him or her up by reaching from the front.
By aiming above their head, your bearded dragon will think you are a predator and will become frightened or even aggressive.
Instead hold your hands with the palms up, gently put under your bearded dragon’s belly and lift them that way, making sure to support their entire body, including their legs and feet.
Let Your Bearded Dragon get Used to Humans
The best way to build trust with your bearded dragon is by letting them get used to humans.
This can involve things as simple as keeping their enclosure in a high traffic room where your human family congregates, such as the living room.
This will help him or her get used to the sights, sounds, and smells that come with humans. You should also interact with your bearded dragon regularly.
Games and Activities for Bearded Dragons
There are many games and activities you can set up for your bearded dragon!
Just remember that each bearded dragon is unique with a different personality than others, and so your bearded dragon might not enjoy something that another bearded dragon does.
Make sure to pay a close eye to how your bearded dragon reacts to different types of interaction when playing.
Believe it or not, but bearded dragons love to swim. On warmer days, you can feel up a small kiddie pool with warm – not hot – water for your bearded dragon to swim and play with.
Only fill the pool up to your bearded dragon’s elbows, and make sure that you never leave him or her alone during pool time.
Inside, outside, in a playpen, on a leash – bearded dragons love to explore their environment.
You can put a leash on them and take them for a walk, let them out around your house, put them in a playpen, or even take them on a car ride.
Bearded dragons love getting out and about and experience new sights, smells, and sounds.
Even if your bearded dragon isn’t actively exploring, they love being outside. Set up a playpen or cage, or put a leash on, and let them soak up some sunshine.
Not only does it allow them to see some new scenery, but the sun is a great producer of UVB rays that will help your breaded dragon’s overall health by increasing the amount of Vitamin D that they produce.
Vitamin D is an important vitamin that aids in digestion and calcium absorption.
While a bearded dragon may not be as lithe and nimble as a dog, they can still have a lot of fun doing obstacle courses.
Save up old toilet paper and paper towel rolls, use cardboard to build bridges and see-saws – get creative!
If your bearded dragon isn’t seeming too into it at first, trying using some treats as incentives.
Top 6 Best Bearded Dragon Toys
1) PIVBY Bearded Dragon Hammock Jungle Climber
While a hammock may not look like much of a toy at first, you’ll be surprised just how much your bearded dragon will enjoy it!
There are going to be times or days where you won’t be able to take your bearded dragon out of their enclosure to play.
This doesn’t mean they have to sit in there and be bored, however.
Hammocks are a great source of entertainment that can stay in your bearded dragon’s cage so it is available all the time.
Your bearded dragon will have a great time climbing and basking in one.
The PIVBY hammock in particular is nice because it is made of all natural materials that won’t harm your bearded dragon.
It also comes with decor in the form of a bendable vine and leaves that will help your bearded dragon feel more at home in their hammock during play time.
It’s durable and safe, and, if after trying it out you don’t like it, the company offers either a 100% Money-Back guarantee or a replacement, so you can try this out without worrying about the investment.
2) Youngever 24 Cat Toys Kitten Toys Assortments
This assortment of cat toys provides a variety of different ways for your bearded dragon to play. The biggest toy is a tube that is a perfect hiding spot for your pet.
It also works with some of the other toys in the kit, allowing you to hang them on it. There is also an interactive wand that allows you to actively play with your bearded dragon.
Other features include small cotton mice, different little balls and other small pieces.
This product provides a great quantity of toys for its value and will let your bearded dragon have endless options of toys to choose from.
However, as noted on Amazon’s website, this product does contain many small pieces and can be a potential choking hazard for your bearded dragon, so make sure that you don’t leave your bearded dragon alone with these.
However, play time is always better with two, so you won’t want to leave them alone anyway!
3) HomeRunPet Smart Interactive Cat Toy Ball
This small ball toy is jam packed with hours of fun for your bearded dragon. You see, in the wild, bearded dragons are adept hunters.
They’re born to use all of their senses – sight, sound, and smell – to find prey.
This toy uses smart technology to roll around whatever surface you put it on to allow your bearded dragon to chase it.
The red-light inside is specially designed to not harm your pet’s eyes and also includes an interchangeable bell that will continuously catch the attention of your bearded dragon.
Thus, this toy is designed to bring out your bearded dragon’s inner predator and allow you two to play together.
The ball is built with safety of your pet in mind and made out of safe and eco-friendly PC material that is meant to be bite, water and dust resistant.
It is battery powered and requires 2x AAA batteries to operate and has an average battery life of 25 days when used twice a day.
This ball of endless fun is a perfect way to entertain your bearded dragon when you can’t find the time to.
4) EcoCity Cat Toys
The EcoCity Cat Wand is just as good for bearded dragons as it is for cats.
This sturdy cat wand is made from eco-friendly and non-toxic materials that can resist some of the strongest pets.
Its close resemblance to a fishing pole allows for high durability and also comes with replacement feathers in case the one you are using is torn apart.
This fun interactive toy is a great way to get your bearded dragon moving.
The company also ensures your satisfaction by offering a 100% money back guarantee if you are not happy, so you can ship safely and experiment with what your bearded dragon likes. Sounds like a win win!
5) OurPets IQ Treat Ball Interactive Dog Toys
This toy rewards your pet for playing with it. The IQ treat ball is an interactive toy that allows your pet to test its brain while still using its energy playing.
This adjustable ball dispenses treats to your pet when it moves it the correct way. This means that you can fill it up with crickets or special bearded dragon pellets.
This allows for hours of play while your bearded dragon attempts to get its beloved treats. It is also adjustable in difficulty allowing you to decide how long it takes to free the treats.
This ball does limit how many treats are dispensed at once in order to help prevent overeating and promote a slower healthier eating.
When you’re not focusing on the treats, you can also sit on the floor and roll this ball to your bearded dragon.
While they may not fetch it like a dog, they may try to hunt it down!
6) Prevue Hendryx 62806 Naturals Rope
These natural ropes will provide a different aspect to your bearded dragon’s cage.
Made from 100% all-natural and sustainable materials, this toy will be a great climbing adventure for your bearded dragon.
This rope bridge will provide good foot exercise as your pet attempts to climb across it. Set it on varying heights and lengths to change the way your bearded dragon has to climb it.
There is also a variety of textures on the logs so every step is not the same. Your bearded dragon will also be able to rest and leisure on this bridge when they become tired.
Keep in mind where and how you place it to ensure the safety of your pet while using this toy.
Top Picks for Bearded Dragon Toys
A lot goes into consideration when picking the absolute best toy for your bearded dragon, and that’s why I’m here to tell you what my top pick is!
I picked this toy based on a lot of things – functionality, safety, and price to name a few – and it is one I highly recommend.
My top pick for bearded dragon toys would have to be the HomeRunPet interactive ball.
There are two things that bearded dragons love: laser lights and balls. Bearded dragons often think that laser lights are insects – read: food – and like to hunt them down and play.
However, they also love chasing balls and are reactive to sounds.
Other than how fun it is for your bearded dragon, it’s also pet and planet friendly, and it is highly durable so you don’t have to worry about your bearded dragon breaking it.
I also really like EcoCity cat toys. I think it’s simple and budget friendly but gets the job done.
Also I like the fact that, unlike the HomeRunPet ball, with this feather toy, you can actually play with your bearded dragon, allowing the opportunity for some great bonding time.
Final Thoughts: Best Bearded Dragon Toys
While a bearded dragon may not chase lights or feathers like a cat or fetch like a dog, that doesn’t mean that you can’t have a lot of fun with them!
Bearded dragons are unique, special animals that love to spend time with their humans – after trust is built.
Bearded dragons have a lot of predators in the wild, and nobody likes being in a new place with new people, so it’s important that trust is established before playing with your bearded dragon.
The best way to build trust is by treating your bearded dragon like the valuable family member they are.
It’s also important to learn how to understand their body language, and you should remember that, if your bearded dragon is squirming, do not set them down.
Wait until they are still. After you have a good bond built with your bearded dragon, then you can begin playing and interacting with your bearded dragon.
From walking outside to swimming to playing indoors, your bearded dragon loves exploring and getting in their daily activity.
Without exercise, bearded dragons can become bored and lifeless, so it’s important that you spend a little bit of time each day playing with them and keeping their spirits up.
For days that you can’t have a lot of one on one time with them, you can also purchase toys for your Bearded dragon to play with either alone or with you!
Bearded dragons can quickly become a beloved member of your family, and you may find that you enjoy playtime more than them!