Bearded dragon toys are something that many owners don’t think about when purchasing their pet. They consider everything to do with the enclosure, but that’s about it!
But trust us, toys are a must-buy.
Bearded dragons need enrichment just like any other animal, and letting them play with toys is a great way to provide it. Not only that, but you’ll also be able to use this time to build a stronger bond with your pet.
This guide will show you some of our favorite bearded dragon toys, as well as fun activities you can do with them for additional enrichment.
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Different Toys For Bearded Dragons
Looking for some toys that your bearded dragon can use to stay busy? You have a lot of great options.
Beardies are pretty easy to please. They don’t need anything super fancy or expensive. Simple accessories are more than enough to keep your lizard entertained and provide some enrichment. Here are some good bearded dragon toys to try out.
Hides might not look like toys in the traditional sense, but in the eyes of a bearded dragon it’s a wonderful new space to explore!
- Looks like natural wood bark
- Perfect size for large reptiles like bearded dragons
- Material won’t rot and is easy to clean
- Additional openings provide extra stimulation
Bearded dragons love to burrow and sneak into confined spaces when they’re living in the wild. In most enclosures, there aren’t a ton of places like that to utilize. Hides help to address that.
Essentially, hides are miniature shelters. Think of them as a home within a home. A hide gives your beardie some additional privacy while also giving them a place to relax and feel safe.
Hides come in all shapes and sizes. Larger molded hides are often designed to look like caves. They may have additional features as well, such as multiple rooms or steps to climb.
If you want to keep costs low, DIY wooden shelters or overturned containers work, too. Whatever you use, make sure it’s large enough for your lizard to get in safely.
2. Cat Toys
Cat wands and teaser toys are excellent for bearded dragons! These typically feature a dangling toy on the end of a long wand that you control. Just wave the wand in front of your beardie and watch them chase it!
- Durable toy that won’t fall apart quickly
- Unbreakable polycarbonate handle
- Made from non-toxic materials
- Made in the USA
Like cats, bearded dragons will become infatuated with the toy and do all they can to try and grab it. You can use it to engage your beardie while getting them to exercise a bit.
The toys are very affordable, so you can replace them if your reptile does any damage.
Expert Tip: Steer clear of any wand that has feathers or other loose bits. Your beardie will likely try to eat whatever is hanging on the end of the string. If they get ahold of small parts, there is a risk that your reptile will experience impaction.
3. Play Ball
Sometimes, all it takes to get your beardie active is a simple ball for exercise!
Not all bearded dragons will react to a ball the same way. Some will downright ignore it. But, a vast majority will try to interact with it in some way.
Usually, beardies will try to push the ball around with their snouts. More active lizards may even go on the “attack” and hit the ball around. Either way, it’s certainly an entertaining sight.
The best exercise balls for bearded dragons are going to be small, lightweight, and easy enough for them to maneuver. Avoid large heavy balls. Instead, stick with ping pong balls, light rubber balls, or balls made for cats.
When you play with your beardie, sit in an open area. They can play with the ball in the enclosure if it’s large enough. But it’s better to give your lizard plenty of space to play.
Believe it or not, swim floaties can make bath time a lot more enjoyable for beardies.
- Made from safe and non-toxic materials
- Can be inflated in 10 seconds
- Multiple shapes and objects to provide variety
- Inner circle diameter is perfect for bearded dragons
Some bearded dragons despise baths and will do everything they can to get away. Oftentimes, a floaty can provide a bit of solace and make the process more manageable for them. Floaties act as a perch that they can cling onto as you get them clean.
If your beardie already enjoys swimming, a floating toy is still a great addition to your toy arsenal. It’s an interactive accessory that they can swim to, climb on, and leap off of!
You can use a standard inflatable ring or raft. Or, you can try pieces of floating foam noodles. If you want to take things a step further, you can even try inflatable slides or other standard pool toys.
5. Crinkle Ball
Crinkle balls are nothing more than sheets of plastic or paper folded up into a sphere. Most are made out of mylar, which gets pretty noisy the more you interact with it. You can usually find them in the cat toy section of your local pet store.
- Fun toy for enrichment and exercise
- Made of soft and lightweight mylar
- Crinkle noise is sure to excite your pet
- 1.5 inches in width
These toys work to tickle your lizard’s auditory senses. They produce noise that provide enrichment and entice your bearded dragon to keep playing.
While they are affordable, you don’t have to shell out for preformed balls. Any crinkly paper works well!
Rough up the paper or ball in your hand a bit to catch your lizard’s attention. Then, set it down next to them and see how they react.
Expert Tip: If they don’t seem very interested, try setting your bearded dragon on top of the crinkly material so that they get a better understanding of what it does.
Hammocks are a staple when it comes to toys for bearded dragons. Most owners will tell you that it’s a must-have in your habitat setup.
- Made from sturdy hand-woven seaweed
- Comfortable material that your bearded dragon will enjoy
- Strong suction cups for safety
- Easy to set up
These accessories are simple pieces of fabric or mesh that cling to the glass of the enclosure. Your beardie can climb in to bask in the light or relax.
The cool thing about hammocks is that you don’t have to be there for your bearded dragon to enjoy them. It’s something that they can use on their own time whenever they want! Hammocks are wonderful additions to the habitat that provide tons of enrichment without any real work on your part.
Hammocks come in all shapes, sizes, and materials. Consider how big your bearded dragon is and the dimensions of the enclosure to find one that’s suitable. They work best in larger tanks. But, you can still install one in a smaller enclosure if it’s designed to work in the corner.
As we mentioned earlier, bearded dragons like to burrow through confined spaces. A tunnel is a great way to feed that urge while keeping your pet safe.
- Fun exercise tunnel promotes play and enrichment
- Sturdy metal frame
- Collapsible for easy storage
- Measures 7.9 inches in diameter by 35.4 inches in length
You have a couple of different options here. The first is to install a tunnel within the enclosure. You can easily find small tunnels that look like rocks or overturned logs.
Another option is to use a larger tunnel made for cats or large rodents. These toys are best when used outside of the habitat. Set it up in an open space so that your beardie can enjoy it freely.
Multi-tunnel toys with distinct paths to enjoy are best. You can use a cat wand to encourage exploration. Some owners even like to toss a few food items in the tunnels for their beardie to hunt.
In the wild, bearded dragons are solitary creatures. They live most of their lives on their own and don’t always react well to seeing other beardies in their midst.
You can use this behavior to your advantage! A mirror is a great way to keep your lizard on its toes.
Put an old mirror against the walls of the enclosure for about 15 minutes. Upon seeing its reflection, your bearded dragon will likely mistake it for a completely different beardie!
What follows will depend entirely on their personality. Some will get defensive and start exhibiting behaviors that reflect anger (like a black beard). Others may just show signs of intrigue as they inch closer to see what’s going on!
Expert Tip: If the mirror seems to be upsetting them, retire it from your toy collection.
Even if they seem to enjoy it, don’t leave the mirror by the cage at all times. This can eventually cause undue stress. Let them see the mirror in short intervals so that they don’t perceive their reflection as a threat.
9. Feeder Ball
A feeder ball will infuse some fun into mealtime.
These bearded dragon toys follow the same principles as feeder balls for dogs. They’re simple balls that contain food. Your lizard must move the ball around to gain access to the food. So, it provides mental stimulation and fun in one go.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a bearded dragon feeder ball at the store. So, you’ll need to make one yourself.
Cover the holes in clear transparent tape, but leave one open. Then, fill the ball with live insects and place it next to your beardie.
Once your beardie gets a sight of the bugs, they’ll try their best to gain access to those tasty treats. But because you blocked most of the holes with tape, they have to use their wits to find the opening.
Bridges are another easy bearded dragon toy that will make the habitat a bit more interesting. You can usually find bridges at most pet stores. They’re not toys, per se, so look in the decoration section!
- Perfect size for a full-grown bearded dragon
- Made from hardened resin that is easy to clean
- Won’t collect bacteria like other bridges
- Sturdy – weighs about 2 pounds
When you set up your tank, secure the bridge so that it’s stable and safe. You can use the substrate material to create modest hills that the bridge connects. Or, you can simply set it on top of the substrate.
Beardies will climb bridges and use them to relax. If you have an arch-shaped bridge, it can also do double-duty as a hiding spot! You may find your pet lounging underneath it every once in a while.
There are several bridge designs available out there. Before you install it in the enclosure, make sure that it’s free of any sharp points or hard edges that could scratch your beardie.
11. Laser Pointer
Finally, we have laser pointers.
These toys are all about tricking your bearded dragon into thinking that there’s a bug nearby. Just shine the laser onto the floor and move it around until your reptile gives chase. It can get your lizard moving in seconds!
Now, laser pointers are not a toy that you can use all of the time. A few minutes here and there a couple of times a week is best. Eventually, your beardie is going to catch on and realize that it’s not a bug. So, you don’t want to overdo it and make them bored.
Expert Tip: You have to be careful with lasers. Never point it at your bearded dragon’s face. The concentrated light energy will damage their eyes. Keep it pointed to the floor and always a few inches ahead of them.
The Importance Of Enrichment
There are several reasons why you should invest in toys and make time for play. Ultimately, it all comes down to a better quality of life.
In the wild, bearded dragons have free reign of their natural habitat. They can go wherever they want and explore the territory to their heart’s content.
There’s no shortage of things to do out there! Bearded dragons can explore plants, find hidden caves, or climb natural rock deposits to bask.
Captive beardies don’t have that same level of freedom. While everything they could ever need is provided to them, pet bearded dragons can easily get bored. There’s not much to do in a basic enclosure all day long.
Imagine having to stay in one room with nothing to do all day! You’d need something to do to keep you occupied, and these reptiles are no different.
Bearded dragon toys offer some much-needed enrichment. They can help keep the mind stimulated and stave off boredness.
Another important benefit of toys is that they promote exercise. Bearded dragons don’t have enough room to run around in a standard enclosure. As a result, many will gain weight.
A sedentary life isn’t going to do your bearded dragon any favors when it comes to their lifespan. But if you give them a chance to play, they will have no problem burning off any excess calories!
Bearded dragon toys don’t look like they would do much. But, you’d be surprised at how big of a difference having access to playthings makes. Before you know it, your dragon will be happier and healthier.
At the end of the day, we just want what’s best for our beardies, right? Providing some ways to live an enriching life is a big part of that.
How To Play With A Bearded Dragon
In addition to providing toys, you can play with your beardie! Playtime activities will keep your bearded dragon active and improve their quality of life. Plus, it will help strengthen the bond you have with your reptile.
Try these activities on for size and spend some fun quality time with your pet.
Here’s an activity that beardies will either love or hate! Some bearded dragons are intrigued by the unknown. So, they don’t mind being exposed to unique sights and sounds for a few minutes every day.
You can bring your beardie to a window and let them watch the world go by. The activity gives your beardie the chance to see new animals and people from a safe space.
If your bearded dragon shows no sign of stress during this time, you may want to consider moving their habitat closer to the window. That way, they can stay entertained around the clock.
That said, you have to be careful about monitoring your lizard’s response. Some will grow fearful and stressed when they see unfamiliar things. If they start to hide or bob their heads up and down, it’s best to stop and find a different activity.
Like staring out a window, a bit of screen time can be beneficial. Many owners find that their beardies love to stop and stare at a nearby television, phone, or tablet.
Those screens are giving your beardie a glimpse into an entirely different world. Obviously, they don’t understand what’s going on. It’s not like your beardie will suddenly become a TV connoisseur and start analyzing plot points!
But, that on-screen action will keep them captivated.
You can bring your beardie with you to watch television for a few minutes every day. Once they see the on-screen action, most will stand still and pay attention.
Propping up a phone or tablet next to their enclosure works well, too. You can even make things a bit more interactive by bringing up some videos of insects! Just make sure to provide some real-life insects afterward.
Taking Them For A Walk
Yes, you read that right. You can take your bearded dragon on a walk outside!
There’s nothing healthier than a brisk walk (for both of you). During your adventure, your pet will also see some new sights to stimulate their mind.
So, how do you take a bearded dragon for a walk?
It’s simple, you have to use a specialty harness! Harnesses wrap around the body of your reptile. They provide enough freedom to walk around but also keep them contained.
- Comes with three different harness sizes plush a leash
- Made from soft handmade leather to keep your pet comfortable
- 100% non-toxic materials
- Easy to adjust and make snug
Your beardie might not light the feeling of wearing a harness at first. But just give it time. By the third or fourth walk, your beardie will associate it with the fun they had. After that, they will likely have fewer objections when you put it on.
Of course, be extra vigilant about safety on walks. Avoid crossing paths with dogs or any other animal that could potentially harm your beardie.
Bearded dragons are surprisingly good swimmers. However, they don’t always enjoy being in the water. You must gauge their comfort levels if you want to take them for a swim.
Many owners will let their beardie have some fun after bath time. This is a perfect opportunity to gauge the situation and determine if swimming is right for them. If they hate baths, they probably won’t enjoy a swim.
If they do, you can use your bathtub or a small plastic kiddie pool. Don’t forget to add a few floaties like we discussed earlier!
Expert Tip: Another important thing to remember is that you should never use chlorinated water. The chemical can do a lot of damage. Stick to clean and clear water to ensure that your beardie is safe while they’re having fun.
Who doesn’t love a good snuggle? While most people don’t think of bearded dragons as the most cuddly pet in the world, they do appreciate some alone time with you.
Not every playtime activity has to be full of action and exercise. A relaxing cuddle session is more than enough to give your bearded dragon a change of scenery.
Consider bringing them out of the cage when you’re watching television on your couch. Let your lizard enjoy the smooth surface. You can even give them a soft blanket to snuggle under.
Bearded dragons love being handled (once they’re comfortable with you). Cuddling is just an extension of that. The more you do it, the better off your pet will be.
Not only will they be happier, but most will mellow out and become more time when they spend time with you regularly.
Introduce A Stuffed Animal
Speaking of snuggling, why not give your beardie a soft companion to play with? Reptiles, as a whole, seem to enjoy having soft stuffed animals. It’s a new texture that they don’t get to experience very often. Plus, stuffed animals provide some additional warmth.
Place a small stuffed animal into your bearded dragon’s habitat and see how they react. Like anything else, not all lizards will enjoy or use it. If they don’t use the stuffed animal, it’s just taking up unnecessary space in the enclosure.
Keep an eye on how they behave. If you don’t see them snuggling up to the stuffed animal after a few days, just remove it and try something else.
Here’s a fun activity that feeds into your bearded dragon’s primal instincts. Instead of feeding them in the same old dish, you can let them hunt their food.
Before you try this activity, there are some caveats to consider. First, only do this when you need to feed your beardie. The last thing you want to do is overfeed your reptile. Doing so would only lead to weight gain and poor health.
Secondly, you must make sure you have a suitable space! It’s best to try this outside. A clean concrete patio works well. Grass backyards are suitable, too. But, you must make sure your grass is chemical-free before you let your bearded dragon crawl on it.
Simply release a few insects and let your pet scurry to catch them! They’ll jump into action pretty quickly to gobble up as many insects as they can!
Expert Tip: Don’t let your dragon hunt down wild insects. Stick to your purchased gut-loaded insects instead.
Time To Start Playing!
Now that you have a handy list of bearded dragon toys to try out, pick some up and start playing!
Playing with toys is a very fun thing you can do with your beardie, and we highly recommend it. It’s not only fun for them, but it will be fun for you as well.