Scrolling through the internet you can find countless pictures of bearded dragons snuggling up with their favorite blanket – each one more adorable than the next. Other times us bearded dragon owners notice that our little pets are chilly and our first instinct is to wrap them up in a blanket to get them warm. This begs the question:
Do bearded dragons like blankets? Generally, yes because a lot of them enjoy soft things to snuggle up to. But only use blankets for comfort and not for heating purposes.
In this post we will talk about when to use a blanket, when not to use a blanket, and why bearded dragons like soft, fluffy blankets so much (other than because it makes them look incredibly cute).
What Does It Mean to Be Cold Blooded?
Cold-bloodedness, as defined by Britnnica, is the state in which the internal temperature of an animal is only slightly higher than the external or environmental temperature. Because of this, cold-blooded creatures must rely on other ways to create higher internal temperatures. They can achieve this by basking in sunlight or finding warmer areas to be in (such as burrowing underground).
As most of us reptile fanatics know, bearded dragons fall under the cold-blooded category. This is why it’s so important to make sure their heating lamp is correctly installed and that they are receiving adequate enough heat because they are physically unable to generate it on their own.
Correct body temperature is important for their overall health but is especially important after eating as they need the heat generated from the lamps to have enough energy to digest their food.
So what does this mean in terms of bearded dragons and whether or not they like blankets? There’s a common myth that wrapping your bearded dragon in a blanket means that it will warm them up. It’s easy to see why since doing this on our own bodies quickly generates heat. This, however, is not the case for bearded dragons.
Contrary to popular belief, being wrapped in a blanket will not raise the internal temperature of your bearded dragon at all since the blanket is the same temperature as the environment. Actually, the blanket works more as an insulate than anything else. The blanket keeps the warmer air out and the cooler temperature from their body in.
It is very important that if your heat lamp goes out or if you notice your bearded dragon is cold you immediately put them in warm light or in a warmer temperature room instead of using a blanket.
In some rare cases, like say if your bearded dragon is overheated, putting a blanket around them could keep that heat in for a little while but I always err on the side of caution and I would get rid of the notion completely that blankets mean warmth for bearded dragons (and other cold-blooded animals).
Blankets Plus Added Heat Source
Some bearded dragon owners have thought of some pretty ingenious ways to work around this problem by putting something hot like a hot water bottle in the blanket alongside your bearded dragon. This way they are still getting the heat source while also getting the comfort from the blanket. Just be sure to occasionally switch out the water bottle as the temperature will drop with time.
Other bearded dragon owners put a heated mat or heated pad underneath the blanket or bed while the bearded dragon sleeps. This is another great way to keep your bearded dragon warm but I wouldn’t leave them unattended for too long as that could potentially be a fire hazard.
Okay, so maybe blankets aren’t tremendously useful to bearded dragons as they don’t provide any heat. But that doesn’t mean your bearded dragon doesn’t love having a blanket for other reasons.
Blankets and Baths
Blankets are also a great tool to use during bath time. As we know, those daily soaks are more to make sure your bearded dragon is drinking enough water and that they stay hydrated. Instead of soaking their pets, some owners simply syringe water into their mouths or pour water on their faces.
This would be a great time to use a blanket as you don’t want too much water getting underneath the bearded dragon. Too much water can lead to health issues like pneumonia.
Using Blankets for Scent
Bearded dragons have an excellent sense of smell. Because it is one of their strongest senses, they use their sense of smell a lot to determine if a surrounding is safe or not. Bearded dragons, along with most other reptiles, smell through a process called chemoreception (Chemoreception is a physiological process whereby organisms respond to chemical stimuli).
This is all to say that a primary way bearded dragons learn about their environment and the level of safety within their environment is through their sense of smell. Blankets are a great way to provide added comfort by giving them something with your scent on it.
Once bearded dragons have gotten to know and love their owners, they can find their scent very comforting. If you notice your bearded dragon stressed or anxious you may want to consider giving them one of your blankets as it might help soothe and relax them. It also may help them sleep.
This is also a great way to bond or introduce your scent to your bearded dragon if they have just recently been brought home. Sometimes bearded dragons take a little bit to warm up to their new owners and home.
Who could blame them? Being in a new environment can be intimidating for a little lizard and it’s our job to make their transition to their new home as stress-free and easy as possible. Blankets are a great tool to ease your new bearded dragon into recognizing and loving your scent.
A blanket that smells like you is a great tool to use to get your bearded dragon used to you quickly or is a good tool to use if you are bringing your bearded dragon on unfamiliar territory and want them to feel safe and taken care of.
Comfort and Safety
As for whether or not bearded dragons like the actual feel of blankets? That’s a different story. Just like how humans have their own tastes and preferences, bearded dragons are no different and their taste for blankets and soft fabric usually depends on the individual lizard.
Some bearded dragons like soft beds and soft blankets. Others like rougher fabric like fleece. Some just like their owners beat-up T-Shirts. Generally, though, chances are your bearded dragon will like some sort of fabric to cuddle up with and sleep with.
Even if they’re not into the soft fabric part of it, blankets are always nice to tuck under and catch a much needed lizard nap.
Other bearded dragons may use their blanket for an element of safety. Not only will their blanket have your scent on it, but they also provide great shelter if they’re feeling threatened while taking a nap.
It’s much better to nap under shelter than not (as this is what they have to deal with in the wild with predators). Either way, blankets are a great tool for when a bearded dragon wants to cuddle up and relax and take a nap.
We all want to make sure our bearded dragons are the most comfortable they can be. There’s nothing cuter than watching your little bearded dragon cuddle up with their favorite blanket and drift off into sleep.
Most bearded dragons enjoy a warm blanket to snuggle with. However, it is important to remember blankets are not a great way to generate warmth since bearded dragons are cold-blooded, which means they are unable to generate heat on their own.
That being said, blankets can be a good tool in introducing your scent as well as comforting your bearded dragon with your scent or they can be a great place to hide under.
That being said bearded dragons have their own individual personalities. While some bearded dragons really love soft blankets to snuggle up to, other bearded dragons couldn’t care less and ignore soft fabrics, bed, and even blankets. It’s all about finding what’s right for your bearded dragon.