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Allowing Your Students To Handle A Bearded Dragon

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If you are a school teacher and you recently decided to teach your students about reptiles as part of their curriculum, you may want to consider acquiring a bearded dragon as a class pet. This will give your students a first-hand account in how to care for this type of pet while learning about its habitat and mannerisms. After your students are introduced to their new class pet, there is bound to be some enthusiasm about handling this creature. Here are some tips you can use to ensure your students (and the bearded dragon) do not become injured during the handling process.

Purchase Heavy-Duty Gloves And A Long Shirt For Handling Purposes

Once you've purchased your reptile for sale and brought it into the classroom, it is a good idea to have each child who wants to handle the bearded dragon don some clothing to protect their skin. This will help in keeping them from accidentally becoming scratched or bitten should the reptile be frightened. A heavy-duty pair of gloves can be slipped over a student's hands before they lift the reptile from its new habitat. If a student is wearing a short-sleeved shirt, give them a button-up shirt that you have readily available for covering up the arms before the bearded dragon is to be handled.

Prepare The Bearded Dragon For Handling For A Few Weeks Beforehand

Explain to your students that a bearded dragon will feel much more relaxed and comfortable with being handled if it becomes used to their voices and the classroom's atmosphere first. Encourage your students to speak to the reptile as they pass by its aquarium or cage. Let your students take turns feeding the bearded dragon. The student designated in handling the feeding session should remain next to the bearded dragon's aquarium or cage. They can speak gently to the reptile during the feeding. The reptile will soon associate the students' voices with the comfort of getting fed. When it comes time to allow students to handle the reptile, do so after a feeding so the bearded dragon is relaxed.

Teach The Students How To Lift The Reptile From Its Cage Or Aquarium

When you decide to allow the students to handle the reptile, do not have them crowd around the reptile's living space so it does not become panicked. Allow one or two students to be near the cage or aquarium at a time. Teach the students how to gently place one gloved hand underneath the reptile and how to use the other gloved hand to keep the reptile from falling as it is lifted out of their living quarters. It is a good idea to wait until the bearded dragon closes its eyes or blinks, as this means it is in a relaxed state. Allow the students to mimic your movements one at a time. Each student will enjoy seeing their new class pet up close, and will learn a great deal about caring for another creature during the process.