Bearded Dragons are one of the most popular lizard pet species. They are tolerant of being handled, fairly docile, and they aren’t particularly prone to biting or nipping. As long as you can meet their health and care requirements, they can live up to 10 years or more, so they will provide you with years of companionship, too.
Although they can be let out of their enclosure to enjoy a runaround and to get the exercise they require, it is also possible to put a harness or leash on your Bearded Dragon and take them for a walk in the garden, the park, or even to the shop. And while suitable leashes are available commercially, it is also quite easy to make your own, typically using little more than a piece of cord or rope and some fabric.
Below are 6 DIY leashes you can make today, using equipment and materials you probably already have laying around the house.
6 DIY Bearded Dragon Leashes
1. DIY Bearded Dragon Harness
Bearded Dragons do have sharp spines or beards, and they have scales. This means that you do need to take care when putting any fabric over your Beardie, but as long as you are careful, and assuming that your Beardie trusts you enough to slip a cut-up sock over its legs, this DIY Bearded Dragon Harness is a simple and convenient alternative to buying a leash. All you need is a sock, some scissors to cut the sock into a harness shape, and a leash or cord to attach to your new harness.
2. Bearded Dragon Harness
|Materials:||Paracord, pony beads, padded leash handle|
Bearded Dragons might have tough, scaly skin, but they don’t really pull. This means that you can get away with using paracord and it won’t fray against your Beardie, nor will it pull or burn against your hands. However, this Bearded Dragon harness guide uses a padded leash handle from a dog leash so it provides even greater comfort. While the basic instructions teach you how to loop paracord so that it acts as a harness, with a few embellishments, you can add a leather harness section and make something that you and your Beardie will be really proud of.
3. Beardie Harness
|Materials:||Paracord, pony beads|
This Beardie harness guide is very similar to the one above, but it doesn’t use the padded leash handle, which isn’t strictly necessary but does make the whole experience a little more pleasant for you while walking. The video does make the guide a little easier to follow, too, and it should only take you a few minutes to finish your very own harness.
4. Homemade Leash for Your Bearded Dragon
|Materials:||Shoelace, cable tie|
This guide to making a homemade leash for your Bearded Dragon doesn’t even require scissors. It uses a shoelace and a cable tie, and you create a simple loop. As well as being a great option if you need a harness in a hurry and don’t have the chance to buy any equipment, this simple design can make a good longer-term option.
5. Reptile Harness
This reptile harness is similar to most of those before except it uses fabric to create the harness and it encourages the use of a pattern to ensure that the harness is made to the right measurements. While you don’t really need to use a pattern, you could just eyeball the measurements, it can help you get an ideal fit. And if you know your way around a pair of knitting needles, you could hem the fabric to prevent it from fraying in the future.
6. DIY Baby/Juvie Leash Under $5
|Materials:||Fabric patches, shoelaces, toggles|
As your Bearded Dragon grows, most of these harnesses will grow with them because you can take the cord loop apart and rethread it. This DIY baby/juvie leash costs under $5 to make, although that does assume that you have shoelaces that you can repurpose in this way, and it is designed for the smaller limbs of a juvie.
Are Leashes Safe for Bearded Dragons?
Leashes are safe for Bearded Dragons, as long as you choose and use the right type. Don’t use a collar-style leash, but rather a harness. The harness sits around the front legs as well as the chest, ensuring that you don’t apply pressure to the Beardie’s neck while still enabling you to guide your little lizard on its walk.
How Do You Get a Bearded Dragon On a Leash?
How successful you will be when trying to put a leash on your Bearded Dragon will depend on a number of things, but it will ultimately mean gently lifting and placing the Beardie’s legs into the right positions. Never force the legs to move, just encourage them to go in the right direction. Otherwise, it will be a question of choosing a fabric that doesn’t snag on the Beardie’s naturally gnarly skin and ensuring that it is loose enough to fit around the legs and body but can then be tightened to ensure it is snug without being too tight.
Can Bearded Dragons Walk on the Sidewalk?
There are no rules prohibiting taking your Bearded Dragon on the sidewalk, but you do need to consider that it is a small animal that might be seen as prey by dogs and other animals. So, you will need to be prepared to pick up your Beardie and airlift them to safety.
Do You Need to Walk a Bearded Dragon?
Bearded Dragons do need exercise. This can take the form of time outside the enclosure. Some may even play with a ball or just enjoy running back and forth in a room. Alternatively, you can, with a lot of time and patience, encourage your Beardie to wear a harness and leash and go for a walk with you, but it isn’t entirely necessary for the good health of your little lizard pet.
As with any pet, you must meet the health and welfare needs of your Bearded Dragon pet, while also ensuring that it leads an enriched and enjoyable life. You don’t want your Beardie getting bored while sitting in its enclosure watching the world through a glass window. With some time and, usually, a lot of patience, it is possible to encourage a Beardie to walk on a leash and using a harness. And, using the plans above, you can create your own harness without the need to buy one from a pet store or online.