Should You Give Your Bearded Dragon a Roomie?
What You Need to Know About Bearded Dragon Cohabitation
If you hop on to any reptile owner forum or online community, you will see a lot of questions about bearded dragons cohabitating. Can baby bearded dragons live together? What about siblings? Can females share the same enclosure?
There is no single, absolute answer to this question: All bearded dragons are unique, and in some rare cases, they may tolerate sharing their enclosure with another similarly-sized dragon. But before you eagerly introduce your dragons to a shared space, there are some facts—and words of caution—you should consider.
Bearded dragons like to be alone. While you might think it would feel lonely to spend all day by yourself in an enclosure, we promise you that your pet doesn’t feel this way. In the wild, bearded dragons are solitary creatures. Their health and well-being doesn’t depend on socialization and interaction with other dragons. This is why they usually do better when they have their enclosure all to themselves.
Bearded dragons—especially males—are territorial. It goes without saying that two adult male bearded dragons should never be placed in a shared enclosure. This would spark aggressive—and potentially dangerous or fatal—battles over the territory. In some cases, it is possible that two females could live harmoniously, as well as a male and a female (though remember that they would likely reproduce).
Bearded dragons are prone to stress. Think of how you’d feel if you were happily living alone for months and then a new roommate was dropped in your apartment without warning. Even if your bearded dragon doesn’t exhibit territorial behavior, it may experience feelings of stress and displacement that can affect their appetite and overall well-being.
Any cohabitating dragons should be similar in size. If you are set on testing a shared living situation for two or more dragons, make sure they do not differ in size. An adult bearded dragon could potentially injure or kill a younger and much smaller beardy. They could also dominate access to the food and basking lamps, making it harder for a younger dragon to get the nutrients they need to thrive.
So what’s the bottom line?
While in some rare cases, two or more dragons may be able to successfully share a space, we don’t recommend it. When bearded dragons live alone, they are safe, content, and able to thrive. When they are put in a shared space, the risks increase greatly: You may witness aggressive and territorial behavior and a fight for dominance—and the likelihood of injury to your pets.
When caring for multiple bearded dragons, it may be tempting to want to house them in a shared space. However, we advise protecting the health and well-being of your dragons by making sure you have a separate, safe, and adequate enclosure for each pet.