Bearded Dragon Jumped Out Of My Hands – What Now?

Chances are you enjoy spending time with your bearded dragon and holding it in your hands. However, that does not necessarily mean your beardie shares the enthusiasm. In fact, if not pleased, your bearded dragon might even try to escape or even jump. 

So, my bearded dragon jumped out of my hands – now what? If your bearded dragon jumped out of your hands first, you need to pick it up and assess the damage. Depending on the height from which your bearded dragon jumped, the jump can be consequence-free or result in serious injuries. 

In this article, we will talk about the reasons why bearded dragons jump from hands. Then we will discuss what might happen after the jumping and whether you should seek veterinary attention. 

DO BEARDED DRAGONS JUMP?

Yes, bearded dragons can jump. However, they rarely jump upward to access higher ground. Their jumps are usually directed downwards – from higher objects and surfaces to the floor. Basically, it is more like taking a free leap rather than actually jumping. 

The exact safe height from which a bearded dragon can jump depends on many factors, including genetics, age, size, diet, and type of landing surface. 

Because of the underdeveloped visual perception of distance, young bearded dragons are more likely to take reckless jumps than older, more experienced beardies. 

Although bearded dragons are not natural jumpers, they do have a specific skill set facilitating the activity. Namely, beardies use their tails as steering wheels while mid-air to ensure a better landing position – a concept similar to that of the cat’s tail. 

WHY IS MY BEARDED DRAGON JUMPING OUT OF MY HANDS?

There are many reasons why bearded dragons jump – not just out of your hands but in general and from different heights. Some reasons are benign and characteristic of the beardie’s nature, and others are red flags indicating your beardie is stressed. Here are the top reasons for jumping. 

Reason number 1: Beardie wants to explore

In its natural setting, the bearded dragon travels excellent distances searching for food and water and is constantly on alert. Pet beardies have everything they need to be served, but their explorative nature remains. 

Therefore, if your bearded dragon jumps out of your hands, it might be because it sees an opportunity for exploring. Interestingly, baby and juvenile bearded dragons are more likely to jump in an attempt to investigate the surroundings. 

Reason number 2: Beardie is stressed

Stress is a common issue in pet bearded dragons. Contrary to popular belief, beardies are sensitive and get spooked by things you could never see as scary. For example, your bearded dragon might get stressed if there are guests or your cat/dog is nearby while you are holding it. 

Sometimes, the stress may begin way before you pick up your beardie. Common stress triggers include changes in the environment, moving the tank to a different spot, or rearranging the branches within the tank. 

Reason number 3: Beardie is not used to being handled

Over time, with patience and practice, bearded dragons can learn to be loving and affectionate with their family members. However, being used to handling is not something they are born with. 

If your bearded dragon is not used to being handled, chances are it will jump out of your hands the moment you pick it up. Your beardie may also jump if it is used to handling, but you are doing something wrong – an improper handling technique or using too much force. 

Reason number 4: Beardie is no longer in the mood for cuddles

Everyone has its limits – even the most affectionate bearded dragon does not enjoy a few hours-long cuddling sessions. If your bearded dragon is used to being handled and comfortable with the jumping can be because it considers the cuddling session as finished. 

These jumps are most benign as you will usually sit on the couch during playing and cuddling, and the jump is not likely to occur from a significant height. 

WHAT HAPPENS IF MY BEARDED DRAGON JUMPS OUT OF MY HANDS?

Unlike climbing which is a natural instinct for bearded dragons, jumping is more of a last resort and can have inevitable consequences. Best-case scenario, the jump can be consequence-free, but worst-case scenario, you will have to make an urgent trip to the vet’s office. 

The most common injuries following a fall from height are contusions and bone fractures. Bone fractures in lizards are of particular interest as these pets are already predisposed to bone problems due to Metabolic Bone Disease. 

Metabolic Bone Disease is a potentially life-threatening condition developing due to inadequate calcium intake. The condition results in brittle bones prone to breaking even at low impacts. 

To make sure your beardie is fine and injury-free after jumping out of your hands, we recommend calling your vet. If necessary, the vet will recommend bringing your beardie for examination. If not required, the call will put your mind at ease. 

SUMMING UP: MY BEARDED DRAGON JUMPED OUT OF MY HANDS

All in all, jumping is not unusual behavior for bearded dragons. In fact, it seems like beardies do not have any fear of heights. Given the opportunity and if deemed necessary, they are willing to fist jump and then ask. 

However, jumping can have consequences and result in severe injuries. To prevent such problems, do not hold your beardie against its will. Bearded dragons can learn to be friendly and affectionate, but it will take some time. 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can bearded dragons jump out of their cages?

Making high-distance leaps upward is very unlikely for bearded dragons. However, if asking in terms of assessing the escape possibilities, we should note that a tank lid is a must. Bearded dragons are experienced climbers and have sticky fingers meaning they can easily climb out of the cage. 

Is it safe for bearded dragons to jump?

Generally, yes, a bearded dragon can safely make certain jumps. However, this does not mean you should encourage the behavior. Jumping is considered an accident, and you should carefully examine your beardie afterward.