Bearded Dragons Are Better At Climbing Than You Think

Can Bearded Dragons Climb?Many reptiles like and actually need to climb. Chameleons, for example, live mostly in trees. What about bearded dragons? Do bearded dragons like to climb?

In the wild, bearded dragons often climb on trees or other high places to have a good view. This helps them to see predators or other bearded dragons earlier. So while bearded dragons in captivity are mostly kept in long, but not tall terrariums, they are actually very good climbers and like to climb.

However, does that mean that you have to get a new terrarium now? And what should you get for your bearded dragon to climb on? Logs? Branches or stones? Continue to read to learn more.

Do Bearded Dragons Like To Climb?

There are bearded dragons that are not as active as others, but all bearded dragons have an urge for movement and they also have an urge for climbing. In fact, in the wild of Australia, you can see a lot of bearded dragons lying on trees, high rocks or even fences.

Actually, in the wild, bearded dragons that want to flee from a threat often times run to trees in order to hide. They run to a tree, climb on it and rely on their body color, their natural camouflage. It almost looks like bearded dragons melt with trees, because their camouflage works so good with them.

Their claws are perfectly shaped for climbing trees and other rough surfaces and they can climb very quickly. If they see a possible threat, they simply jump down the tree and run to a safer place or they fight off the threat.

Besides that, if bearded dragons are kept in a group, you can see the alpha male always lying on the highest place possible. Yes, even though bearded dragons should not be kept in groups, they also have alpha males and the fact that they always choose the highest place as best place says a lot.

If you want to know why bearded dragon should not be kept together, read this.

So as you see, bearded dragons like to climb and they have no problems to climb quickly to the top of whatever they climb and come down even quicker.

Why Are They Kept In Long Tanks Then?

Most people simply do not know that bearded dragons climb a lot. It is not known why only long terrariums have established for bearded dragons instead of long and tall terrariums.

However, even though bearded dragons can climb pretty high, it doesn´t mean that bearded dragons need to do that. It is also okay if you just give your bearded dragon the opportunity to climb, if it can´t climb highly it´s not a problem. At least it can climb.

So if you have a tank that is only long, but not very high, that is totally fine. However, if you want to get a new tank in the future, think about getting a tank that is long and tall.

What Should You Get For Climbing?

It is best to get some branches and position them horizontally, but also vertically, to give your bearded dragon a very natural climbing experience.

Logs and branches made of cork are great for bearded dragons to climb on as they have a very rough surface which is optimal for a bearded dragon´s claws. However, that doesn´t mean that only cork is great for bearded dragons.

You can take any branches you want as long as they have a rough surface and your bearded dragon can´t get hurt climbing on them. So for example, bamboo should not be put into a bearded dragon tank as bearded dragon´s can´t climb on it.

You can even bring branches from outside and put them into the tank as long as they do not contain any pestizides. This way you can create a very natural habitat for your bearded dragon without spending a lot of money.

Still, if you want to buy some pieces of cork for your bearded dragon, I recommend to get this cork bark. It is not only great for climbing, it is also great for hiding. Combine this cork round with a couple of other branches and your bearded dragon can climb all day.

You should still leave some space for your bearded dragon to walk normally though.

Zoo Med Cork Bark

Click For More Images

Further, you should make sure that your bearded dragon can´t get too close to the heat bulb while climbing.

Creating a basking spot is okay, but if your bearded dragon can get too close to the heat bulb your beardie could be burned easily.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are a couple of further common questions on bearded dragons and climbing that I´d like to answer in the following section.

Do Bearded Dragons Like To Climb High?

Yes, bearded dragons like to climb very high. The higher they climb the better their view and that is what bearded dragons want. In the wild, people found bearded dragons in trees at a height of 2 meters and higher.

Do Bearded Dragons Climb Trees?

As I said, bearded dragons love to climb trees and trees are excellent as bearded dragons are perfectly camouflaged on them. However, bearded dragons can´t climb on all trees. They prefer trees with a lot of branches and with a rough surface that makes climbing easier for them.

Can Bearded Dragons Climb Walls?

Bearded dragons can climb some walls, but it always depends on the surface. If the wall has a very rough surface, a bearded dragon will be able to climb it. However, they do not climb walls as easily as most geckos do.

Can Bearded Dragons Climb Glass?

Bearded dragons can´t climb glass as they only use their claws to climb. A gecko´s skin is made for climbing any surface and they don´t need their claws for that, but bearded dragons do not have such a skin. (Not all geckos have such a skin)

So if your bearded dragon tries to climb the glass of its tank, it is probably doing something that is called glass-surfing. This can have several reasons, from seeing food on the other side of the room to wanting to get out of the tank.

Can Bearded Dragons Climb Stairs?

Yes, bearded dragon can climb carpeted stairs or other stairs with rough surfaces. Some bearded dragons can even climb stairs with slippery surfaces as they can jump pretty well, too.


Bearded dragons do not only like to climb, they are actually made for climbing and do so in the wild every day.

However, you don´t have to get a new tank now, it is enough to put some branches and logs into the bearded dragon tank so that your bearded dragon can at least climb a little bit.

Any questions?

You Can Feed Your Bearded Dragon Mice If This Happens

Can Bearded Dragons Eat MiceIf you own a bearded dragon, you probably already have noticed that bearded dragons eat almost everything unhesitatingly that´s alive. However, what about mice? Can bearded dragons eat mice?

Bearded dragons should eat mice very rarely. For example, they can eat mice after very bad diseases or during pregnancy as they need a lot of nutrients during this time. Feeding mice too often can lead to diseases like fatty liver disease.

So that was the answer in short, but there are a couple of questions you should still have. For example, how to feed mice? Dead? Frozen? Further you should know which mice are the best for bearded dragons. Continue to read to learn more.

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Mice?

As you just have learned, there are only two good reasons to feed your bearded dragons mice, otherwise your bearded dragon might get sick.

During Pregnancy

Pregnant bearded dragons need a lot of energy and a lot of nutrients. It does not matter if your bearded dragons lays fertilized eggs or unfertilized eggs, the production of eggs requires a lot of energy.

It is not only that your bearded dragon has to produce the eggs inside its womb. It´s also that your bearded dragon will look for good places to lay the eggs. During that time, you will see your bearded dragon digging , since bearded dragon normally lay eggs in caves they dug themselves.

Digging and laying the eggs require a lot of energy.

Further your bearded dragon needs a lot of calcium during this phase as they need it for themselves and for producing the eggs (a big part of the egg is made of calcium). That´s why you only should feed mice with a certain age, but I will explain how to feed mice and which mice to feed later in this article.

After A Bad Disease Or Similar

Most Bearded dragons that suffered from a bad disease or from parasites are very weak. To help your bearded dragon to get strong and healthy quickly, you can feed mice.

Mice are high in fat and high in protein. Protein and fat are energy and this is exactly what your bearded dragon needs after a bad disease or after suffering from parasites. Especially parasites are known for draining a bearded dragon´s energy.

Beardies that suffer from parasites are most of the times very inactive and lethargic.Should Bearded Dragons Eat Mice

What Happens If You Feed Mice Too Often?

As I just said, mice are very high in protein and high in fat and normally, bearded dragons should not eat mice. It is just too much for them and bearded dragons that live in a tank do not really have use for that energy.

However, feeding mice too often can also lead to diseases. It can lead to renal gout, because mice contain so much protein. Further it can lead to fatty liver disease, because mice contain so much fat.

Especially fatty liver disease gets more and more common in bearded dragons. That is because a lot of bearded dragon owners just feed too much food that is high in fat. Most bearded dragons in captivity are simply overfed.

Not only mice are high in fat, mealworms, for example, are also very high in fat and should not be fed too often.

In fact, I do not feed any mealworms at all. You can read here why I do not feed mealworms.

How To Feed A Bearded Dragon Mice

You just have learned when to feed a bearded dragon mice. Here is how to feed them and which mice you should feed bearded dragons.

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Mice Pinkies?

Bearded dragons can eat mice pinkies. In fact, it is recommended to feed mice pinkies instead of mice that are a week old, for example. Mice pinkies are lower in fat and they have a better calcium:phosphor ratio than mice that are a week old.

Mice pinkies that are 1 to 2 days old have a calcium:phosphor ratio of 1,7:1,0. Mice that are 7 to 8 days old, which are also referred to as fuzzy mice, have a calcium:phosphor ratio of 1,0:1,3.

So as you see, mice that are around 7 days old are higher in phosphor than in calcium. However, bearded dragons need a lot of calcium and it is always recommended to feed food that is higher in calcium than it is in phosphor.

That´s why feeding mice pinkies is ideal.

Here are the most important nutrients in mice pinkies and in mice that are 7 days old:

Mice Pinkies per 100g

  • Protein: 64g
  • Fat: 17g
  • Carbohydrates: 1,7g
  • Calcium: 160g
  • Phosphor: 90g

Mice That Are 7 Days Old (Fuzzy Mice) per 100g

  • Protein: 44g
  • Fat: 30g
  • Carbohydrates: 3g
  • Calcium: 140g
  • Phosphor: 180g

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Frozen Mice?

Yes, bearded dragons can eat frozen mice. However, before you feed the mice you have to unfreeze them and the mice should have a temperature of 86 °F (30 °C) to 95 °F (35 °C). Food that is too cold or too warm can irritate a bearded dragons digestive system.

Do Bearded Dragons Eat Mice In The Wild?

Bearded dragons are omnivores, which means that they can and do eat everything. In the woodlands of Australia, there is a huge variety of food and bearded dragons can also find mice there. If a bearded dragon is able to catch a mouse, it will eat it. However, an adult bearded dragon´s meal plan consists of around 80% greens and only 20% is live food.

So they do not eat mice often in the wild and even if they would do that, in the wild, bearded dragons get way more exercise than they get in captivity. They simply can burn the fat, the calories and the protein quicker in the wild.

The video below shows a captive bearded dragon that is allowed to go outside. It actually caught a mouse while being outside.

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Fuzzy Mice?

Fuzzy mice are mice that are around 5 to 9 days old. Bearded dragons should only eat pinkies as they are smaller, lower in fat and they have a better calcium:phosphor ratio than fuzzy mice.

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Hopper Mice?

Bearded dragons should not eat hopper mice. Hopper mice are too big for bearded dragons and a bearded dragon could even die from trying to swallow the mouse. Further, alive hopper mice can even be dangerous to bearded dragon as they tend to bite. Only feed your bearded dragon mice pinkies if you have to.


There are not a lot of situations that allow you to feed your bearded dragon mice. Honestly, I do not do this at all, but if your bearded dragon is pregnant or suffered from a bad disease, it is your choice.

So, can bearded dragons eat mice? They can, but usually, they shouldn´t.

Any questions? Leave a message in the comment section below.

7 Reasons Your Bearded Dragon Is So Small

Why is my bearded dragon so smallAs you probably know, bearded dragons can get pretty huge. They do not get as big as iguanas, but they definitely can become big boys or girls. If your bearded dragon is not growing, something has to be wrong. So if you ask yourself: Why is my bearded dragon so small? – Here is your answer!

Often times, small bearded dragons that do not grow properly are malnourished or live in a tank with an insufficient lighting setup. Further, not all types of bearded dragons become big. The pygmy bearded dragon (Pogona Henrylawsoni) only gets around 12 inches (30cm) in size.

However, the are are even more reasons that could lead to slower growth or no growth at all in bearded dragons. Below I show you, what those other reasons are and what you can do about it. Further, at the end of this article I show you an easy way to tell if your bearded dragon is growing properly or not.

Why Is My Bearded Dragon So Small?

As you just have learned, there are several things that could cause your bearded dragon to stay small. Fortunately, most of the reasons are easily explained and also easily fixed. So if your bearded dragon is smaller than it should be, in most cases that can be changed quickly.

However, that does not mean that you should take this lightly. Actually a couple of reasons require immediate action. So here are all reasons for lack of growth.

1. Is Your Bearded Dragon Suffering From Parasites?

A lot of bearded dragons in captivity suffer from parasites at least once in their lifetime. While parasites can occur if you do not clean the tank properly, your bearded dragon could also get infected with parasites by only eating its food.

Sometimes, the box of crickets that we get from pet stores or online can be infested with parasites. So even if you do everything right, this can happen.

Parasites are known for draining a lot of your bearded dragon´s energy. If your bearded dragon is still young, it can happen that those parasites drain so much energy that they reduce your bearded dragon´s growth and the beardie stays small.

Needless to say that you should take your bearded dragon to a reptile vet immediately. If you can´t take your bearded dragon to a vet right now, but you suspect that your bearded dragon is suffering from parasites, send a stool sample of your bearded dragon to the reptile vet.

This way they can check your bearded dragon on parasites quickly even if you can´t drive to the vet.

Some parasites do not only slow down growth. They can also kill your bearded dragon slowly or quickly, so it is very important to check your bearded dragon on parasites at least once a year or as soon as your bearded dragon acts weird.

2. Do You Keep Multiple Bearded Dragons In One Tank?

Even though a lot of pet shops sell bearded dragons in groups, you should not keep multiple bearded dragons in one tank.

Bearded dragons are solitary animals or in other words, they are loners. Most of the times, keeping multiple bearded dragons in one tank just doesn´t work. Male bearded dragons are very territorial.

If you keep two male in one tank, one of those males will get oppressed and even attacked. Even if you keep one male and one female or two females in one tank, things like that can happen.

Male bearded dragons can even suppress their gender in order to appear like a female. This way, they can survive living with another, stronger male bearded dragon in one tank.

People that keep more than one bearded dragon in one tank often say that one of their bearded dragon is substantially smaller than the other bearded dragon. This happens mostly because the smaller bearded dragon gets oppressed.

So if you have a very small bearded dragon, you should separate the two immediately before worse things can happen.Small Bearded Dragon

3. Not Enough Calcium?

Bearded dragons need calcium to grow properly. Calcium is very important for healthy bones and if a bearded dragon does not get enough calcium, it won´t grow and it bones will get soft over time.

A bearded dragon that suffers from soft bones over a long period of time, will become deformed and it won´t be able to hunt nor to even stand still as it´s limbs are so weak that a stable position will be impossible. Eventually your bearded dragon will die from that if left untreated. This disease is called metabolic bone disease.

While most people already dust the feeder insects with a calcium supplement, that might not be enough. It is very important that you offer calcium at all times. If you do not do that yet or if your bearded dragon isn´t growing properly, I highly recommend to read my article on beardie diet tips. Click here to read it.

4. Wrong Temperature?

Bearded dragons come from the wild of Australia. As you can imagine, it is pretty hot there and that´s why you have to get heat bulbs that can get really hot. The temperature under the basking spot should be around 110 °F.

However, not only the temperature under the basking spot is important. The temperature in the whole tank is important. If the temperature in your tank is too low, your bearded dragon might not be very active, because it can´t get it´s body on temperature.

As you probably know, bearded dragons are cold-blooded, which means that they do not have a stable body temperature and need an external heat source to control their body temperature.

If they are not able to heat up properly, a bearded dragon´s body won´t function properly. It can´t move as fast as it normally could, it will be pretty lazy or even lethargic and young bearded dragons won´t grow properly.

As you see, the temperature in your tank is highly important. If you need to know what temperatures your beardie tank needs and what heat lamps you should get, click here to read my article on that.

5. Wrong UVB Lights?

Having no UVB lamps or insufficient UVB lamps and not offering enough calcium have the same results. Your bearded dragon´s bones will become soft, it won´t grow and it will become deformed and eventually it will die.

That is because, bearded dragons need to produce vitamin D to be able to process calcium. Bearded dragons can only produce vitamin D if they get enough UVB rays from a UVB lamp.

Unfortunately, not all UVB bulbs are good. In fact, most of them have an insufficient UVB output. Further, it is highly important to change the UVB bulb every 6 to 8 months as the UVB output of those bulbs reduces over time.

If you need to know what the best UVB bulb is, read my bearded dragon lighting guide. Click here to read it.

6. What Type Of Bearded Dragon Do You Have?

Actually, not all bearded dragons do get really big. While there are bearded dragons that simply do not get as big as other bearded dragons, there are also different types of bearded dragons.

For example, most bearded dragons in captivation are Pogona Vitticeps and can become 20 to 22 inches in length. Pogona barbata, or the eastern bearded dragon, can get even 24 inches in length in captivation.

The pygmy bearded dragon, Pogona henrylawsoni, only gets 12 inches in length.

If your bearded dragon is pretty small, it might be that you have a pygmy bearded dragon and not a standard bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps).

Pygmy bearded dragons do not have spikes as normal bearded dragons have. That´s how you can identify them.

7. Is Your Bearded Dragon Malnourished?

Juvenile bearded dragons should be fed live food each and every day, even multiple times a day. The protein they get from live food is very important for proper growth. Juvenile bearded dragons that are not fed properly won´t grow as quickly bearded dragons that get enough protein.

Baby bearded dragons can eat a full box of micro-crickets or small crickets per day. Some can even eat more. Just look at the baby beardie in the video below!

How To Tell If Your Bearded Dragon Is Growing Properly

Many people are worried that their baby bearded dragon, or young bearded dragon is not growing properly. That´s why a lot of bearded dragon owners weigh their bearded dragon every week or every month to ensure that their bearded dragon is growing as it should.

However, there is another way to tell if your bearded dragon is healthy and growing properly – regular shedding.

If you have a young bearded dragon it will shed every 4 weeks or even more often. The older they get the longer they need to shed. So if your young bearded dragon shedding at least once a month without any problems, your bearded dragon is growing properly.

Reptiles grow their whole life. However, young reptiles grow faster than older reptiles and that´s why they shed more often. If your bearded dragon is not shedding, it is not growing. More on shedding here.

Do Bearded Dragons Grow To The Size Of Their Cage?

That is a myth. Bearded dragons do not grow to the size of their cage. Lack of growth in bearded dragon is a result of insufficient lighting, bad feeding, diseases or parasites. Bearded dragons can get around 24 inches in length and they do not stay small just because they live in a small tank. Bearded dragons that are kept in a too small tank for too long will die eventually.


As you see, if you have a small bearded dragon, there are several things you might have to change quickly.

However, you should always keep in mind that some bearded dragons simply do not get as big as other bearded dragons. That´s just normal and if your bearded dragon is active, attentive and shedding properly, you don´t have to worry about it.

Why is my bearded dragon so small? – this article should have answered all the questions you had.

Still, if you have further questions, leave a message in the comment section.