Do Bearded Dragons Have Claws

Do Bearded Dragons Have Claws?

Yes they have claws, and its located on the tips of their toes. These claws are used for a variety of purposes, including climbing, digging, scratching, and grooming.

It is important to regularly trim the claws of your bearded dragon to keep them healthy and to avoid damage from them becoming overgrown.

Proper maintenance and care of your bearded dragon’s claws will help keep them healthy and free of any damaged or overgrown areas.

The Different Types of Bearded Dragon Claws

The Tale of The Two Lizards
Credit: Alan Rust

Bearded dragons have distinct anatomy, which includes their claws. Let’s take a look at the different components of their claws and the different types of claws they have. Additionally, we’ll examine the role their claws play in their lives.

Anatomy of Bearded Dragon Claws

Continuing on from the previous section, let’s dive into the anatomy of bearded dragon claws. Bearded dragons possess two types of claws that give them the ability to climb and dig. These claws are located in their front and back legs, allowing them to have better traction and grip.

The anatomy of bearded dragon claws consists of:

  • Dactyls
  • Claw Sheaths
  • Claw Ligaments
  • Claw Pads

The dactyls are the sharp pointed parts of the claw. These are made up of keratin, a protein found in the outer layer of the skin. The claw sheath is the protective covering of the claw that is composed of skin and scales.

The claw ligament is an elastic tissue that connects the claw to the toe pad and helps with flexibility. Finally, the claw pad is a flat area made of tough skin that helps to provide grip. Together, these parts make up the anatomy of the bearded dragon’s claws.

Types of Bearded Dragon Claws

Building on the anatomy of a bearded dragon’s claws, there are two distinct types of claws that can be found on a bearded dragon. The two types of claws found on a bearded dragon are front claws and back claws.

  • Front Claws
    • These claws are typically smaller than the back claws and more curved.
    • Front claws are primarily used for gripping and digging.
  • Back Claws
    • These claws are typically larger than the front claws and less curved.
    • Back claws are primarily used for defensive purposes and to help the bearded dragon move along flat surfaces.

Bearded dragons rely heavily on their claws for a variety of purposes, so it is important to keep their claws in good condition. It is advisable to provide a rough surface for the bearded dragon to exercise their claws on, as this will help keep them healthy and strong.

What Do Bearded Dragons Use Their Claws For?

Bearded dragon
Credit: hehaden

Bearded dragons use their claws for a variety of activities, such as climbing, digging, and scratching. Climbing helps them to reach higher places, allowing them to access food and shelter.

Digging is used to hide from predators or to create a cool burrow when needed. Finally, scratching is used to help groom their scales and remove dirt and debris from their bodies.


Having discussed the different types of claws Bearded Dragons possess, let’s explore what they use them for. Bearded Dragons rely on their claws in their day-to-day activities; chiefly for climbing.

Climbing is an essential activity for them, as it allows them to reach higher spots in their habitat, where they can bask in the sun and keep a lookout for predators. To make sure they are able to climb effectively, they possess several adaptations that help them.

Firstly, their claws are curved with sharp edges that help them grip flat surfaces and climb up vertical walls. They also have small plates on the sides of their feet that help them hold onto the surface even more firmly.

In addition, they have grasping toes that work like an extra set of hands. The toes all have claws, with the two middle toes having longer claws than the rest. This helps them cling to surfaces and prevents them from slipping.

These features also come in handy when they attempt to reach prey that may be hiding in crevices or on small ledges. Finally, Bearded Dragons have a long tail that helps them to balance while they climb.

  • Climbing:
    • Curved claws with sharp edges
    • Small plates on the sides of feet
    • Grasping toes with claws
    • Long tail to help balance


Now that we have looked at the different kinds of claws bearded dragons have, let’s take a closer look at what they use them for.

One of the most important uses of their claws is digging. Bearded dragons use their claws to dig burrows and hideouts in the ground. This helps them to stay safe from predators and also to regulate their body temperature.

When digging, bearded dragons use their claws in a variety of ways. Here are some of the ways they use their claws for digging:

  • Pushing and scraping the dirt to create a shallow hole in the ground
  • Using their forefeet to scoop the dirt out of the hole
  • Using their hindfeet to push the dirt away from the hole

Bearded dragons can also use their claws to dig up insects and other small creatures they find on the ground. This helps them to get an easy meal and also helps them to stay safe from predators.

Additionally, bearded dragons can use their claws to dig up roots and other plants they find in the ground. This helps them to get extra nutrition and also adds variety to their diet.

How to Trim Bearded Dragon Claws?

Next, it is important to gather the necessary supplies which include a restraining device such as a towel or a glove, and locate the quick, which is the pinkish vein in the claw.

Supplies Gathering

When it comes to trimming the claws of a bearded dragon, it is important to gather the necessary supplies before you begin. This includes a pair of sharp clippers or a nail file, as well as styptic powder. It is important to have the right tools to ensure a safe and successful trim.

  • For clippers, it is best to use blunt-nosed clippers that are specifically designed for trimming nails. This will ensure a clean cut and decrease the risk of nicking the nail.
    • When using a file, use a nail file that is specifically made for trimming nails. This will help to file down the nails in a gentle and safe manner.
  • It is also important to have styptic powder on hand in case of any bleeding.
    • Styptic powder is a clotting agent that helps to stop the bleeding if the quick is nicked during the trim.

Having the right supplies will make the process of trimming the nails of your bearded dragon much easier.


The next step in learning how to trim a bearded dragon’s claws is to restrain your bearded dragon. This is an important step because it ensures that both you and your pet remain safe during the process.

Restraining your bearded dragon does not have to be difficult. It can be done with a variety of techniques, depending on the size and behavior of your dragon.

  • For smaller, more docile dragons, you can simply hold them in your lap gently. Make sure you firmly but gently grasp the dragon’s body, so that they cannot jump or move away.
    • If your bearded dragon is comfortable with being handled, you can use your hands to gently press down on the dragon’s chest and the back of its neck. This will keep them from moving too much.
    • You can also wrap your dragon in a soft towel or blanket so that it can still move but not jump away. Make sure you give them enough slack to breathe and check on them often to make sure they are not too hot.
  • For larger, more active dragons, you may need to use a restraining device. Bearded dragons can be safely restrained with a towel-wrapped PVC pipe. Place the dragon inside the pipe, so that their head sticks out one end and their tail out the other. You can then use tape or a rubber band to secure the pipe closed. This will keep the dragon from jumping away, and protect them from their own claws.

Once your bearded dragon is restrained, you can move forward by trimming its claws.

How to Keep Your Bearded Dragon’s Claws Healthy?

Trimming your bearded dragon’s claws is an essential part of their overall health and hygiene. For this, you will need sharp clippers or a nail file. To ensure the claws are trimmed properly, you will need to be patient and take your time.

Trimming Claws

After discussing the importance of keeping your bearded dragon’s claws healthy, it’s time to move on to the topic of trimming their claws. Trimming your dragon’s claws is an important part of keeping them healthy and comfortable. Here are a few tips to help you keep your bearded dragon’s claws healthy:

  • Trim the Claws Regularly: Trimming your bearded dragon’s claws should be done regularly to keep them healthy. Depending on how quickly their claws grow, you may need to trim them once a month or once every two months.
    • Start by gently and slowly pushing each toe out from the foot pad.
    • Look for the quick, pink area that runs up the center of the claw.
    • Using a sharp clipper or a file, gently clip or file away the tip of the claw.
  • Avoid Cutting the Quick: If you happen to cut into the quick, your dragon may experience pain and bleed. If this happens, use styptic powder or cornstarch to stop the bleeding.
  • Be Patient: Trimming your bearded dragon’s claws can be a tricky task and may take some time to get used to. Take your time and be patient while doing this task and reward your dragon once it is done.

With these tips in mind, you should be able to successfully trim your bearded dragon’s claws and keep them healthy.

Sharp Clippers/file

It’s important to ensure that the clippers or files used to trim your bearded dragon’s claws are sharp. Dull tools can lead to the tearing of the claws, which can be quite painful for your pet. A sharp tool will provide a clean cut that will be much more comfortable for your bearded dragon.

When choosing a clipper or file to trim your bearded dragon’s claws, there are a few things to consider:

  • Size – The clippers or file should be the appropriate size for your bearded dragon’s claws. Too large a tool will make it difficult to get a clean cut, while too small a tool may not be able to cut through the claw.
  • Material – Clippers and files come in a variety of materials, including metal, plastic, and rubber. Metal is the most durable and easy to use, but it may be too sharp for some bearded dragons. Plastic and rubber are more gentle on the claws, but they may not be as durable.
    • Sharpness – The clipper or file should be sharp enough to provide a clean cut without tearing. If the tool is not sharp enough, it may take multiple passes to get through the claw, which can be uncomfortable for your bearded dragon.
    • Grip – The clipper or file should have a comfortable grip that allows you to maintain control while trimming. This will help reduce the risk of cutting quickly, which can be painful for your pet.
  • By choosing the right clippers or file, you can ensure that your bearded dragon’s claws stay healthy and well-groomed. It’s important to take your time when trimming and to reward your pet for being cooperative. With patience and the right tools, you can keep your bearded dragon’s claws in great shape.


Bearded Dragons have claws of varying shapes and sizes which are used for a variety of purposes. It is important to keep these claws trimmed and healthy, as having too long claws can cause injury to the dragon.

To keep your dragon’s claws healthy, it is important to provide them with a diet rich in essential vitamins and minerals, as well as providing them with a substrate that will not damage their claws. With proper care and attention, your bearded dragon’s claws will remain healthy and strong.