Do Bearded Dragons Have Salmonella On Their Skin

Do Bearded Dragons Have Salmonella On Their Skin?

Salmonella is a bacteria that can cause illness in humans and animals. It is found in many different species, including the popular pet lizard, the bearded dragon.

In this article we will be looking at how salmonella affects bearded dragons and their owners. We will explore the possible symptoms of salmonella poisoning, as well as how to prevent it from occurring.

Finally, we will discuss what steps should be taken if you believe your bearded dragon has been infected with salmonella.

What is salmonella?

Central Bearded Dragon (Pogona vitticeps)
Credit: Shane Black

Salmonella is a type of bacteria that can cause food poisoning and is commonly found in the intestines of animals, as well as on their skin.

In regards to bearded dragons, there is some evidence that salmonella may be present on their skin.

It is important to practice zoonotic transmission prevention methods when handling bearded dragons, such as proper hygiene and quarantine procedures.

Dietary considerations should also be taken into account with regard to salmonella prevention, as well as implementing preventative measures such as handling safety protocols and sanitation processes.

Can I get salmonella from my bearded dragon?

Bearded dragons can transmit the bacteria salmonella to humans through contact with their skin, droppings or food.

To help protect against salmonella, it is important to take certain safety measures such as bathing them regularly in warm water, cleaning their enclosure regularly, making sure they have a healthy diet, providing immune system support and minimizing shedding risks.

Additionally, proper handling guidelines should be followed when interacting with your dragon and the cage should be located in an area where temperatures are controlled.

Stress management is also key to helping maintain good health for bearded dragons so regular veterinary visits should be part of any pet care plan.

What are the symptoms of salmonella poisoning?

Credit: Len Austin

Symptoms of salmonella poisoning, which can begin to manifest 6-72 hours after exposure, commonly include diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps, and nausea/vomiting.

In some cases, more serious complications such as sepsis, arthritis, meningitis and inflammatory bowel disease may arise. To avoid contact with salmonella on a bearded dragon’s skin it is important to practice proper cleaning of the enclosure habitats and feeding methods.

Early detection of symptoms is essential in order for prompt veterinary treatment to be administered. Vaccination risks should also be taken into consideration when handling a bearded dragon due to its high susceptibility to infection.

Proper sanitation methods such as temperature control and cage hygiene should also be implemented in order to reduce the risk of bacterial transmission through contact with the animal or its environment.

Avoiding contactTaking steps not to come into contact with any bacteria present on the skin of a bearded dragonCan help protect against contraction of salmonella poisoning from the animal’s skin or environment
Cleaning habitatsRegularly cleaning an enclosure habitat where a beardie lives using appropriate products and techniques like disinfectantsHelps keep all surfaces free from harmful bacteria that could cause illness
Proper feedingOffering food items that are safe for consumption by your pet while avoiding those that can cause digestive issuesReduces chances of contamination from food sources which can lead to potential health risks

How can I prevent salmonella poisoning from my bearded dragon?

To reduce the risk of contracting salmonella poisoning from a bearded dragon, it is important to practice appropriate hygiene and sanitation methods. This includes:

  • Bathing them frequently with lukewarm water and mild soap
  • Practicing proper hand hygiene after handling them, their enclosure, or their food
  • Keeping their enclosure clean and free of feces
  • Not feeding them raw meat or eggs, but rather cooking their food thoroughly

Additional precautionary measures include not allowing your pet to roam freely around your home, supervising children when they interact with the dragon, considering environmental factors such as temperature and humidity levels in its habitat, and regularly visiting a veterinarian for checkups.

Quarantine protocols should also be followed when introducing new pets or pet supplies into the household.

What should I do if I think I have salmonella poisoning?

If you believe that you may have contracted salmonella poisoning, it is essential to seek medical attention as soon as possible.

To prevent developing a bacterial infection, it is important to practice good hand washing techniques and food storage sanitation practices.

Additionally, changes in diet may be necessary for those with a bearded dragon.

Veterinary visits should also be scheduled regularly to examine the animal’s skin and check for any signs of bacterial infections.

If needed, therapy options such as antibiotics or other treatments can be prescribed by a doctor if bacterial testing reveals the presence of salmonella on the skin.

Finally, maintaining a clean habitat and proper skin care are essential in preventing salmonella poisoning from bearded dragons.


Salmonella bacteria is a serious health concern for those who are in contact with bearded dragons. Although it is rare, cases of salmonella poisoning have been reported from exposure to these reptiles.

To minimize the risk of salmonella infection, proper hygiene should be employed when handling a bearded dragon or its habitat. Additionally, people should be aware of the symptoms associated with salmonella poisoning and seek medical attention if any occur.

Finally, regular veterinary check-ups for your reptile can help to ensure that they remain healthy and free from disease. By following these simple steps, one can greatly reduce their chances of contracting salmonella infection from their bearded dragon companion.