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My bearded dragon isn't eating should i be worried?

Pogona vitticeps, the species of bearded dragon often referred to as a "beardy," is one of the most popular lizards kept as house pets in the United States. Because they are small, calm, and easy to care for, they are considered good pets for people who want to keep reptiles.

In contrast to domesticated animals such as dogs, all lizards kept in captivity are still wild creatures. This means that they have a wide range of complex, specific needs that must be met by their pet parent, as they are not adapted to living with humans as pets.

When a reptile's needs aren't being met by its keeper or the environment, it's more likely to develop health issues. In this section, we'll talk about anorexia, a common health problem.


Facts and information about bearded dragons

Do your homework before deciding to take care of a lizard or any other pet, utilizing reliable and trustworthy sources. Every element of lizard care must be handled with extreme precision or your bearded dragon may suffer greatly.

It is estimated that bearded dragons may grow up to 18 inches (45 centimeters) in length during the course of a 10- to 15-year existence. They are native to Australia's arid bushland and are mostly active during the day.

The body temperature of all lizards is solely determined by their surroundings, particularly the sun, since they are unable to produce heat internally and must rely on it fully.


A wide variety of foods, including insects (a live food source) and plant material, are part of their regular diet (greens and vegetables). Watercress, rocket, cress, and butternut squash are all acceptable greens to eat, as should insects no bigger than the mouth of your lizard. It's better to stay away from foods like spinach, kale, and cabbage since they might impair digestion if consumed in large quantities.


Beardies must be housed in a vivarium that closely resembles their native environment in Australia. In other words, it must be big enough to accommodate a single dragon (at least 48 inches long by 24 inches high by 24 inches deep), and it must also offer humidity, heat, and ultraviolet light (UV). Bearded dragon enclosures are often created with a cold section (71.6–78.8°F) that gradually rises into an area where your bearded dragon may sunbathe (100.4–107.6°C).

The ideal humidity level is between 30 and 40 percent. Both UVA and UVB radiation should be provided by a specialized UV lamp. To keep your dragon healthy, you must have all components, and the light must be put near enough to your beardie, so read the manufacturer's instructions on the height. For the most part, these lights are set to turn on and off at the same time each day (just like day and night). The lizard will be able to pick between a bright region and a shady one thanks to the gradient of light.

Cleanliness and enlightenment

There should be frequent cleaning of the vivariums, including the removal of excrement, the provision of clean drinking water, and the removal of food that has gone bad.

Enrichment for your bearded dragon includes items like stones, branches, and a hide in a vivarium. The floor (substrate) might be made of sand or a sand/soil combination to allow for digging.

Behavior typical of bearded dragons

Once a day, bearded dragons are fed.

As adults, bearded dragons are fed once a day. Keeping track of how much food a pet consumes is essential, since overfeeding and obesity may occur! If your bearded dragon's weight fluctuates more than 5% from week to week, it's time to get a more accurate scale to monitor your pet's health.

Lounging about is one of the favorite pastimes of bearded dragons.

Daily activity is normal for this species, although they also like to laze about a lot. Aside from drinking, they'll engage with their surroundings, eat, and sleep. They prefer relaxing on rocks and basking in the sun's rays.

Bears molt, which means they lose their outer skin.

Unlike other lizards, beardies, like other bearded dragons, lose their skin in big portions. Allow the skin to shed spontaneously without yanking or squeezing. You might attempt a warm water bath for a few minutes to soften any portions that are glued on. If the beardie's humidity and moisture levels are incorrect, shedding might result in complications like as the loss of toes.

Brumation (semi-dormancy / lethargy) is a bear's natural state of rest and recuperation.

Bearded dragons' appetites should be consistent throughout the year, but during the cooler months, when the temperature drops and the daylight hours shorten, they may eat very little or nothing at all. This is called "brumation." Hibernation and brumation are both natural processes that might extend from a few weeks to months.

In the wild, they would spend this time in a burrow, therefore they don't need as much heat and light at this time. Keep an eye on their weekly weigh-ins to see if they've gained or lost any weight during this time. During brumation, you are free to continue these practices.

Long feces are typical of bearded dragons.

Long and firm, with a dark part (feces) and a white part, normal droppings are expected to look like this (lizard urine). Lizards that are well-hydrated also secrete a little amount of fluids. A issue may exist if the droppings don't look like this or if there haven't been any for more than a few days.

Is it possible for bearded dragons to go without food for long periods of time?

Green Bearded Dragon

Unless the bearded dragon is in brumation, a healthy dragon should not go without food for long periods of time. They will eat very little or nothing while they are in a state of brumation. As the bearded dragon prepares for brumation, it is safe to gradually reduce the amount of food it consumes. Some zookeepers advocate not feeding at all during brumation to ensure that food does not sit in the stomach for an extended period of time. Others, on the other hand, will only give a small amount of food if necessary. The best course of action here is likely to depend on what works best for your pet.

What is the maximum amount of time a bearded dragon can go without eating before becoming malnourished?

An adult bearded dragon can go 4–8 weeks without food if they have enough fat and energy reserves in their body. Brumation, on the other hand, should be the only time this happens. Bearded dragons in growth usually cannot last this long due to a lack of reserves and a high demand for energy during their growth phase. Bearded dragons that don't eat or lose a significant amount of weight should be taken to the vet as soon as possible in normal circumstances if they don't eat or lose a significant amount of weight. They should not lose weight while brumating.

The following are four reasons a bearded dragon could cease eating:

Bearded Dragon

There are several reasons why a bearded dragon could stop eating, just as with people and other animals. These are some examples:

Management and stewardship issues

An unhealthy environment is the most prevalent cause of illness. It is critical that the vivarium be set up regularly and precisely. Consider these helpful hints:

  • For example, your bearded dragon won't attempt to consume insects that are too big or that have been overcooked due to excesses of the improper greens in their diet (for example, too much spinach can affect calcium absorption).
  • If your beardie refuses to eat, it's possible that they've been fed too much. Overfeeding dragons will cause them to become overweight or obese, and they will no longer search for food!
  • The digestive process may be slowed down to the point that animals stop eating and even get constipated if the temperature is too low.
  • There are additional health issues that may lead to a lack of appetite due to incorrect humidity and UV sources (especially through pain).
  • Bowel blockages in lizards may be caused by impaction or by the ingesting of "foreign bodies," or anything that cannot be digested and hence plugs the intestines. Sand substrates, or tiny stones or plastics that are ingested, may lead to this. Make sure your bearded dragon can't get to anything like this.


As with any creatures, bearded dragons may get agitated, which results in a decrease in appetite. If they are uneasy in their surroundings, or if they are treated excessively or improperly, all of these factors may play a role. It is important to ensure that there are several hiding spots accessible.

Bearded dragons are also solitary creatures and may cease eating if faced with competition or bullying for food.


Lizards have their own distinct collection of parasites and diseases in their guts. These are quite frequent and often result in anorexia, weight loss, and softer than normal stools. A veterinarian should examine unusual droppings under a microscope.

Pinworms and a small germ called Coccidia are the most frequent parasites. Both are curable if detected early enough.

Additional illnesses

Lizards are prone to metabolic disorders, which occur when normal metabolic processes go wrong. Typically, they are related with a deficient nutrition or inadequate UV light sources, and therefore everything returns to usual. Typically, problems impact the skeleton through calcium and vitamin D-dependent mechanisms. These may be unpleasant, resulting in a decrease in energy and appetite.

Unfortunately, lizards may get malignancies and tumors as well, which can cause a variety of internal difficulties as well as physical blockage of the intestine.

What should I do if my bearded dragon does not seem to be eating?

  • If your bearded dragon is brumating, this is quite normal. Comparing present behavior to previous conduct may be instructive.
  • The next step is to check for other symptoms. Anorexia is a symptom. Look for weekly weight loss, soft droppings (or a lack thereof), and changes in activity levels.
  • Examine the habitat in which your lizard lives. Bearded dragon management is critical for a variety of health concerns, so ensure that everything that is under your control is in the proper location. Temperature, humidity, ultraviolet radiation, cleanliness, clean drinking water, and a balanced diet are all critical.
  • Whether your bearded dragon is still acting regularly in other ways and the atmosphere is perfect, it is appropriate to give him a few days of alone to see if the issue improves.
  • It is essential to seek veterinary treatment if your bearded dragon stops eating after a few days or exhibits any other symptoms (lethargy, loose droppings, lack of droppings, or weight loss).
  • If possible, locate an exotics veterinarian or a veterinarian with an interest in lizards. While all veterinarians are highly skilled professionals, few deal regularly with lizards and hence are (not surprisingly) less familiar with them than they are with other species. Certain veterinarians are drawn to and like to work with exotic animals.
  • Problems are simpler to resolve if they are identified early and expert assistance is sought promptly. A issue that is ignored for an extended period of time will deteriorate.

What should I do if my bearded dragon refuses to poo?

Constipation is a frequent lizard condition that may or may not occur in conjunction with anorexia (lack of appetite) and lethargy. Constipation may be induced by a slowed rate of regular intestinal movement. This might be a result of low temperatures, low humidity, insufficient water, or an unbalanced diet.

Constipation may also be caused by a physical substance or a barrier, such as sand accumulating within the stomach or an overabundance of mealworm casings (stone). Once again, inspect the surroundings carefully and ensure that everything is in order. Ascertain that there is no substrate or enrichment that your beardie could ingest and regret! If any aspect of the environment is incorrect, fix it immediately.

If your bearded dragon has not pooped in more than a day or two, it is appropriate to inspect the vent (the bottom, on the underside of the animal at the base of the tail) for evident issues and then place them in a warm water bath for 30 minutes.

If your bearded dragon continues to refuse to go to the bathroom, you should seek veterinarian help as soon as possible.


Bearded dragons are gaining popularity as a home pet since they are one of the most acceptable reptiles. Having said that, they remain wild creatures with extremely specialized demands that must be satisfied in full to keep them healthy and happy. It is critical to do extensive study and learn from knowledgeable, reputable, and authentic sources prior to adopting a beardie as a pet.
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