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How Long Can You Take Your Beardies Out of Their Cage?

A few days back, we got a heap of inquiries from pet owners asking the question:

Just how long can bearded dragons be out of their cage?

Knowing and understanding how long can bearded dragons be out of their cage is critical, as, like any other captive reptiles, our beardies don’t want to be in cage time their whole lives.

Whether you all are new bearded dragon owners or you’re just planning to get one, read along!

READ MORE: Try Making Your Own DIY Bearded Dragon Cage!

Do Beardies Like to Be Out of Their Cages?

bearded dragon showing his mouth

Yes, a beardie likes to be taken out of its cage from time to time, especially if it’s still a baby beardie.

But it’s not like all of them are the same. It will still depend on two (2) factors: mood or personality and life stage.

My first dragon was not the “social one.” At about 2 months, he was already showing signs of being stressed even if he’s just out for 10 minutes. I knew this because of the negative signs that he exhibited.

How Do You Know if Your Beardie Wants Out?

Two words –body language.

There are a couple of physical behaviors your beardies will exhibit to let you know that it craves attention and wants to be out of its cage. These include:

Related: Can Bearded Dragons Go Outside?

How Do You Know if Your Beardie Wants Cage Time?

a cute yellowish bearded dragon that matches bearded dragon science themed names

Stress signs are the easiest ways to determine the mood of your beardie. The most common signs that your adult or baby beardie is stressed include:

  • Low levels of activity even when outside the cage
  • A darker shade of coloration
  • Stress marks
  • Closed eyes
  • Biting

You will only be the one to know the positive signs and negative signs of your bearded dragons. Keep a keen eye on that and you wouldn’t have a problem understanding what they want.

Check: Bearded Dragon Enclosure Ideas

How Long Can Bearded Dragons Be Out of Their Cage?

an adult beardie eating grasses

You can let your beardies out of their cages for a few minutes up to a few hours. This will depend on their age, personality, and their overall mood for the day. 

During my first time handling one, I rarely allowed him to be out of the cage. And this is simply because my baby beardie is still too small.

Here’s a video outlining the common mistakes new owners do when allowing their baby bearded dragons out. 

Apparently, I was right!

So, being responsible pet owners, this will be important: how long should we let our scaly friends out of their habitats?

Hatchlings

Hatchlings –those that are less than 2 weeks from being hatched, rarely need to be out. This is the perfect period in which they need to rest and bask –keep them under UV lights.

There are only a few select instances when you should take your bearded baby dragon out:

  • When changing or cleaning its habitat
  • When it’s sick

Changing or Cleaning the Cage

Unless the situation is an emergency, there’ll be no need to change or tidy the cages for bearded dragons. I cleaned mine when I started taking it out at about three (3) to four (4) weeks old. And what I only did was change the water dish, or the water bowl, and added a few paraphernalia for its personal entertainment.

When It’s Sick

Imagine not being attended to when you’re sick, how would you feel? Our pets need it, too! So, when you have a feeling that they’re sick, dial up the vet and ask what you can do.

QUICK TIP: You’ll know that your cold-blooded reptile friend is sick when its eyes are puffy or swollen and it barely moves.

Young or Baby Beardies

After two (2) weeks, you can start handling and taking it out of its habitat. You can handle and let them out for 10 to 15 minutes a few times per day.

QUICK TIP: During their time as youngsters, reptile experts suggest picking them up from their side, allowing your not-so-baby bearded dragon to walk on your fingers.

Make sure that you don’t let them out for hours because it can stress them out. The younger the bearded dragon, the faster they’ll become stressed.

Adult Beardies

a bearded dragon walking on a grass but how long can bearded dragons be out of their cage?

Adult bearded dragons, or those that are seven (7) months old or more, can be let out of their cage for up to two (2) hours on a regular basis. Do note, though, that this timeframe is the maximum, not the minimum.

You can use this time to play with them, to interact with them, and to just let them be on their own without four (4) corners restricting their movement.

NOTE: Giving them excessive outdoor exposure can trigger them to exhibit signs of fatigue and even stress. Do it in extreme moderation.

When you notice that they’re showing signs of being stressed like running away, attempting to bite, changing to a darker color,  slow movements, or closing their eyes, they may be craving for their basking light already.  

How Often Should I Take My Bearded Dragon Out?

Other than age, the factor influencing the frequency of taking your beardie out of its cage is its personality. Over time, you will learn whether your pet reptile loves more being in its cage or if it loves the outside world.

Another thing to note is the timing. You shouldn’t just take your bearded dragon friend out whenever you want. Before letting them out, make sure you feed them – or don’t feed them at all.

As per reptile experts [2], they need about one (1) hour to warm themselves up before they munch. After eating, though, they’d need about three (3) hours to digest.

Can I Let My Bearded Dragon Free Around the House?

Yes, you definitely can! The best solution to an angry beardie is to let it out of its cage for controlled amounts of time.

In doing so, you just have to make sure that there are no dangerous spots and corners where it will be. Moreover, you don’t want to leave it unattended. Sharp and cornered objects can harm it.

You can leave your bearded dragons out of their cages just within your home for as long as they’re not stressed and that they’re within the temperature they want. Just prioritize their safety and their personality will get better over time.

FAQs

Want to know more information about the quality time you give your bearded dragon? Here are a few of the most common questions about it.

How Long Can You Hold Your Bearded Dragon? 

hand holding a bearded dragon

You can hold your beardie dragons for as long as they tolerate it. For baby beardies, start by holding them for 15 minutes per day, then a couple times for 20-30 minutes a day until they get used to being handled. Take note of their mood, too as they’ll show you signs that they want to be back to their habitats.

Can Bearded Dragons Sleep Outside Their Cages?

Yes, bearded dragons can sleep outside their cages if the temperature is just right. In fact, I let our beardies snooze off while outside.
But, I make sure that I put it back in its habitat so they can go about their daily regimens when they wake up in the morning.

How Long Can You Play With a Bearded Dragon? 

bearded dragon on a palm of the hand

You can play and handle your adult bearded dragons for at least one (1) hour per day. You can extend it up to an hour and a half if you feel like they want to play more. Doing so will allow your beardie to be more comfortable with you. They’ll also feel safer and more relaxed when you’re around.

What Do I Do With My Bearded Dragon When I Go on Vacation?

When you are to go on a vacation, ensure that your bearded reptile friend will be taken care of. Hire a pet sitter who knows the ropes around caring for and maintaining your baby or adult dragon. Give them ample time to prepare, so you need to inform them ahead of time. 

Final Thoughts

Not sure of how long can bearded dragons be out of their cage? Aren’t you aware of the ideal frequency of when they should be out? With this guide, you’ll no longer have to guess the perfect timing for these!

You can go back to this guide for your next adoption of a baby beardie!

References:

  • 1. Bearded Dragon Behavior and Body Language [Internet]. Terrarium Quest. 2018 [cited 2021 Dec 9]. Available from: https://www.terrariumquest.com/bearded-dragon/behavior/
  • 2. Reptile Supply. How Often Should I Handle My Bearded Dragon? [Internet]. ReptileSupply.com. ReptileSupply.com; 2020 [cited 2021 Dec 9]. Available from: https://reptilesupply.com/blogs/bearded-dragons/how-often-should-i-handle-my-bearded-dragon
  • 3. Caring for Your Pet Bearded Dragon [Internet]. Available from: https://cvm.ncsu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Caring-for-your-Bearded-Dragon.pdf#:~:text=Temperature%3A%20Daytime%20maintain%20between%2075
beardie walking on the grasses

How long do you let your bearded dragon outside their cage? Let us know in the comments below!

Alina Hartley
Alina Hartley

Alina Hartley is a small-town girl with a ginormous love of bearded dragons. It all started with Winchester, a baby bearded who was abandoned at the shelter by his former owners because of a birth defect that caused one front leg to be shorter than the other. Alina originally went to the shelter looking for a guinea pig, but one look at Winchester and it was love at first sight. From that day on, Alina has dedicated her life to learning everything she can about bearded dragons. She loves helping new beardie parents start their incredible journey with these magnificent reptiles.
Follow her on:
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