Where Do Bearded Dragons Like To Be Pet?

Where Do Bearded Dragons Like To Be Pet?Petting your bearded dragon is a great way to build a better relationship with it. An important aspect of keeping pets for many people includes this bond, so it is important to know where you should pet the bearded dragon.

Most bearded dragons enjoy being petted, despite not being the most sociable animals. One of the best ways to do this is to gently stroke its head and to make sure that you only pick it up by the belly. If you notice that it’s stressed, make sure you put it back.

You will want to make sure that you move slowly and avoid scaring your bearded dragon as much as possible. With time, you will be able to build trust with your pet.

Now, let’s see some of the different ways in which you can pet your bearded dragon.

How to Pet Your Bearded Dragon

Some people believe that bearded dragons don’t like to be pet at all. This isn’t exactly true. There are plenty of bearded dragons that want to be handled by their owners.

One of the best things that you can do for your bearded dragon is to handle it in the right way. Some people go on to lift their bearded dragon by the tail, which is the worst way to build trust with your companion.

The first thing that you should do is approach your bearded dragon’s cage slowly. Try not to make any quick movements, and do your best not to stand right above it. And when you slowly move your hand inside its cage, really do your best not to move quickly. This is because bearded dragons are territorial creatures and might become afraid, or might attack you for “invading” their territory.

Once you have calmly and slowly put your hand inside the bearded dragon’s cage, you will want to gently start to pet it using your fingers. You may want to have a treat in your hand to help the bearded dragon feel safer in approaching you.

You can, essentially, pet the beardie anywhere. Try to pet its head, and lightly pet it from head to tail. But don’t pet it backwards- so from the tail up to its head.

Picking up Your Bearded Dragon

If you have started to grow comfortable, and you notice that your bearded dragon has as well, you can carry it. Of course, be sure to examine how your bearded dragon is behaving before you do so. You really don’t want to disturb it if it is eating, and if you notice that your beardie is rather uncomfortable, then picking it up could make the situation worse.

Once you have decided that you should pick it up, here’s what to do.

As you are gently stroking your bearded dragon with your fingers, pay attention to how it is reacting. If it seems to be comfortable, gently place your hand under its belly to pick it up. It is very important that you never, ever try to pick up a bearded dragon by the tail or by its legs.

You need to make sure that its weight is balanced evenly. If your bearded dragon is a baby, getting picked up might cause it to feel worried. You can calm down some of its fears by putting your finger on its chin.

Now, let’s talk about how you hold the bearded dragon.How To Pet A Bearded Dragon

How to Hold Your Bearded Dragon

The best way to hold your bearded dragon in a way that will make it feel safe and calm is by holding it up to your chest. Since bearded dragons like to be in warm environments, and since your chest is warm, this is an ideal area for you to keep your bearded dragon near.

Continue to have your hand underneath its belly. A great way to have it positioned is to place its tail on your arm and hold its body with your hand. You can then pet it with your other hand.

Some other things you can do during this petting session is to reward your bearded dragon with a treat, causing it to feel much more trusting towards you. In reality, petting your bearded dragon will indeed establish a much more bonded relationship between the two of you.

If you live with other people, make sure that none of them speak too loudly or make sudden movements especially while the bearded dragon is out of its territory. Make sure to remind them to speak softly, move slowly, and if they also wish to pet the bearded dragon, instruct them how to, and how they can keep an eye on it to see if it is feeling stressed or agitated.

You can also play with your bearded dragon a bit. If you notice that your bearded dragon wants to walk around, you can allow it to climb on your arms. But make sure that it can’t fall.

It is important to keep an eye on how your bearded dragon is feeling. If you notice that your bearded dragon seems relaxed, then you’re doing great. However, if your bearded dragon starts to seem stressed or upset, that might mean it is time to put it back in its terrarium.

How to Put Your Bearded Dragon Back

It is important to also know how to put your bearded dragon back properly. You don’t want to cause it to feel unnecessarily worried, or even worse, you don’t want your bearded dragon to not feel comfortable with being around you anymore.

Once again, you have to make sure that you are doing everything slowly. This is due to the fact that bearded dragons are afraid of fast movements.

Once you recognize that your bearded dragon might be scared, upset, or simply doesn’t want to be pet anymore, make sure that you go to put it back in its cage. And try not to spend too much time with it, either.

Slowly take the bearded dragon back to its cage, holding on to the bearded dragon firmly (but not too tightly so as not to hurt it) so that it won’t fall out of your arms. When you approach its cage, slowly hold your arm out and into the cage, creating a sort of diagonal line with your arm.

This will allow your bearded dragon to be able to walk back into its habitat. You can perhaps give your bearded dragon a treat too to reward it for its splendid behavior.

With all of that, there are some very important things that you need to keep in mind about your bearded dragon’s body language, behavior, and the best ways for you to handle it.Do Bearded Dragons Like To Be Petted On Their Head?

What to Keep in Mind

One of the most important things for you personally to remember is that you have to wash your hands before and after you touch your bearded dragon. This is because, first off, you don’t want to get any foreign bacteria that you might be carrying onto your bearded dragon- after all, they are a different species, and what might not be harmful to you could be harmful to it.

And secondly, you must wash your hands when you are finished, because bearded dragons carry salmonella. Wash your hands very thoroughly. You should especially take good care with washing your hands if you get bitten or scratched by your bearded dragon- both are rare instances, but they do happen sometimes.

There are also things for you to keep in mind about your bearded dragon and its behavior.

Your bearded dragon might display behavior that will indicate that it is feeling stressed out or angry. If this is the case, you should not be petting your beardie at this time. Some examples might include if it puffs out its chin (often referred to as its beard), if it’s eating, hissing at you, or if it is trying to mate with its partner.

Bobbing heads is also an indication that you should not pet your bearded dragon at this time. This could either mean that it is preparing to mate with its partner, or they will soon start a fight for dominance.

Just as you would avoid bothering any other animal that seems to be stressed at the moment, you should not go on to bother your bearded dragon at that time. Wait until it feels calm, see what the problem is, and try to focus on being slow and quiet in the presence of your beardie.

If you do end up in a situation where your bearded dragon ends up biting or scratching you, don’t worry too much about it. While this should not happen often whatsoever, it does happen to everyone sooner or later. Make sure that you treat the wound immediately and clean it up.

Petting a bearded dragon involves a lot of trust and patience. You need to make sure that you approach its cage slowly and try not to make any fast movements. When you are petting your bearded dragon, be sure to apply as little pressure as possible so as not to hurt it. And finally, never, ever pick up your bearded dragon by the legs or by the tail- only pick it up under its belly.

Related Questions

What does it mean if my bearded dragon closes its eyes while being pet? Many people believe that this is an indication of happiness and contentment, but this is not the case. If you notice that your bearded dragon is closing its eyes when you hold or pet it, this is due to the fact that it feels threatened. It may also not like what you are doing.

How can I make my bearded dragon happy? You have to make sure that your bearded dragon’s needs are completely met. This includes making sure its terrarium is set to all the right settings, it has all the proper nutritional needs, and through allowing your bearded dragon enough time to explore and have fun.

Do Bearded Dragons Need Heat at Night?

Do Bearded Dragons Need Heat At Night?All experienced bearded dragon owners know that their reptile friends require a heat lamp during the day, but they may find themselves wondering if it is necessary to keep it on at night as well. After all, in the wild a bearded dragon is subjected to warmer days and cooler nights, so it makes sense to mimic that for your pet.

So, do bearded dragons need heat at night? Probably not. Unless you live in an area where your house gets chilly in the evenings (below sixty-five degrees Fahrenheit) it is not necessary to provide your dragon with heat. Remember, because his terrarium has been heated throughout the day, his cage will hold some heat on its own as well.

There are many factors to consider when determining what your bearded dragon’s requires at night, such as your dragon’s habitat and preferences. Let’s dissect his nighttime climate needs a bit further.

Bearded Dragons in the Wild

To fully understand a bearded dragon’s needs, you must first have some knowledge regarding where they come from. This will help you provide them with a similar environment in your home.

Bearded dragons originate from the dry, desert-like regions of Australia. They are ectotherms — also known as cold-blooded animals.

Reptiles, including bearded dragons, depend on their surrounding environmental temperature to regulate the temperature of their own bodies.

To stay warm, dragons bask for a good portion of each day, often enjoying the sun from a perfect perch, such as a large rock or tree trunk.

They tend to move in and out of the sun to control their body temperatures, but they prefer their basking spot to be between ninety-five and one hundred and ten degrees.

At night, bearded dragons prefer to move away from their basking spot and find some type of shelter so that they can sleep safely.

Because the desert cools off considerably each night, dragons become used to sleeping in temperatures around seventy degrees, sometimes even a bit cooler.

Nighttime Needs

While cooler temperatures at night are normal to a bearded dragon, it is very important to make sure that your pet dragon does not get too cold while he is asleep. This is dangerous for any bearded dragon and can make him quite ill.

The temperature in your bearded dragon’s cage should be monitored at all times with one or more thermostats to avoid any significant, harmful dips in temperature. There are even thermostats that connect to your smartphone that can alert you via an app to any concerning temperature changes.

Ideally, your dragon’s nighttime habitat temperature should hover between seventy and seventy-five degrees. 

If you live in an environment in which it gets very cold at night, you may find your bearded dragon’s cage dipping below sixty-five degrees occasionally.

In this case, you will need to look at some other options for your bearded dragon come nightfall, as the bright lights of his normal daytime heat lamp are very likely to disrupt his sleeping patterns.Bearded Dragon Night Bulbs

Nighttime Heating Options

  1. Ceramic Heat Emitters – These give off a good amount of infrared heat, but they do not emit any light that may disturb your bearded dragon. Ceramic heat emitters are also fairly inexpensive and very long-lasting. Most dragon owners consider these to be the best nighttime heat solution.
  2. Infrared Bulbs – These nighttime bulbs usually have a lower wattage than normal bulbs. They are used to supply a bit of heat while giving off very little light. The black bulbs provide a dim purplish glow, while red bulbs emit a soft red glow that bearded dragons cannot see. They are cheaper than ceramic bulbs, but they also last a fraction of the time. 
  3. Heating Mats – These are flat pads that stick to the bottom, side, or even the top of a habitat. These can be used to provide extra heat from outside the cage. Remember, a heating mat may cause a fire when placed against a cage made of wood or other flammable material. These are usually recommended for bearded dragon enclosures made of glass, but they have been known to crack the glass if they get too hot, so make sure to get one with settings you can control.
  4. Heat Rocks – These are widely sold and may seem like a great idea for extra heating.  However, most lizards can generally only gauge how hot they are getting if the heat is given from above as the sun would naturally do. Your bearded dragon may sit on the rock for an extended period of time and not realize just how hot the surface really is, causing severe burns on your bearded dragon’s belly. These are NOT recommended for a bearded dragon.
  5. Heating Cables – These are flexible, insulated cables that emit heat when they are plugged in. The cables can be placed in the enclosure in large loops or tight coils. They can also be attached to the outside of the cage using electrical tape. Because heat cables are resistant to water, they are a smart choice for a bearded dragon’s high-humidity enclosure.

Night and Day

So how long does a dragon’s day and night need to last to maintain a bearded dragon’s health and prevent metabolic bone disease? It varies from season to season.

  • During the summer months, you should give your bearded dragon at least fourteen hours of daytime UV exposure and eight to ten hours of nighttime.
  • During the winter months, you need to decrease his UV daylight exposure to ten to twelve hours and allow him a longer twelve to fourteen hours of nighttime. 


If your bearded dragon gets way too cold at night, he will shut down and become very hard to wake up. If this happens, it is imperative that you warm him up immediately.

Make sure his cage is warmed to a toasty one hundred and ten degrees, and then give him a warm bath in a fifty-fifty ratio of warm water to plain Pedialyte. This mixture will be absorbed through his vent area and help him warm up in a safe way. Take care not to overheat the mixture.

After he has soaked for twenty to thirty minutes, dry him thoroughly and place him in his basking area. This should help him recover quickly, but you will want to talk to your trusted vet to be sure your bearded dragon is out of danger if you notice any unusual behavior.

Related Questions

Can I sleep with my bearded dragon? While some owners do admit to letting their dragons sleep in dog beds next to their bed or even under their covers each night, it is not recommended. Even if your dragon stays nice and warm, co-sleeping can lead to your dragon’s injury or death if you unknowingly roll over on him while you sleep. It is better for him to rest in his own space.

How long can a bearded dragon live without heat? A bearded dragon can live without heat for a short window of time. If your heating element goes out, he will most likely be okay for twenty-four hours, so replace it quickly. If you are unable to provide heat after that, you run a good chance of damaging his health or even killing him.

How Social Are Bearded Dragons Really?

Are Bearded Dragons SocialAffable emotions are typically not associated with reptiles but in the case of bearded dragons, there are some notable exceptions. Accordingly, in this post, we will be exploring the social quotient of bearded dragons to determine whether, and to what extent, do they score on this front.

Are bearded dragons social? Bearded dragons are social up to a reasonable point. As compared to many other species of their ilk, bearded dragons are able to display a fair number of behavioral tendencies which point towards their sociability, especially the ease with which they form a bond with humans.

In this post, we will explore a number of behavioral manifestations that are a clear sign of gregariousness on the part of bearded dragons. At the same time, we will also clarify some behavioral aspects which are not linked to sociability but simply to traits characteristic of them as a species.

Rapid Bonding with Humans

An aspect characteristic of bearded dragons – which is a clear sign of their social disposition, is the ease with which they bond with humans. Typically, when you first handle bearded dragons at pet shows, you will find them warming up to you at the venue itself.

Then, once you have brought your chosen pet beardie home, again you will find it bonding with others at home – including other pets that you may have such as a cat or a dog, within no time.

Moreover, in its native Australia, humans are known to handle bearded dragons out in the wild with remarkable ease!

All of this is a clear pointer towards the social nature of bearded dragons. As compared to a lot of other reptiles, bearded dragons do tend to form bonds with humans quite fast.

Communicative Gestures

Some behavior as displayed by bearded dragons is more a matter of communicative gestures than of sociability per se; below, we highlight some of these gestures.

  • Arm Waving

Most often done by young beardies by raising and waving a front limb, this is a sign of submission or being intimidated, especially as you first walk up to your bearded dragon’s enclosure. If your bearded dragon is waving all the time, you should read this article.

  • Flared Beard

This is the most well-known gesture of bearded dragons; in fact, it gets its name from the “beard” on its chin, which in this case, it flares up. It is typically a sign of feeling threatened. At the same time, males sometimes flare their beards simply to sway the ladies!

  • Head Bobbing

Bearded dragons often tend to bob their heads up and down, as if giving an affirmative response to a question posed to them but in reality, they are simply asserting their presence.

This is especially true in case of male beardies when more than one is present in the same enclosure, and one wants to prove to the other “who’s the boss” by bobbing its head! If your bearded dragon is head bobbing very often, read this article!

Watch out for Stacking

An unusual behavior pattern, especially seen among young bearded dragons, is to stack up one on top of the other. This is not really a sign of strong sociability which many pet owners inaccurately perceive.

Rather, it is simply about dominating and capturing resources such as light and heat to the maxim; the one(s) stacked over are compromised while the other(s) on top is able to maximize the light and heat they get.

Remember this is far from ideal behavior and as a responsible pet owner, you must do everything possible to prevent it. That is because the one(s) at the bottom will continue to remain depleted of resources essential to them.

So, the solution lies in either avoiding housing more than one beardie together in the same enclosure, or if you really have to, then providing them with more than adequate space so that they simply do not resort to stacking in the first place.Do bearded dragons need a friend?

Females Flaring their Beards

While males are known to be more pro-active when it comes to flaring their beards, females do it too but often for a different set of reasons, especially to be left alone by their male counterparts. The quirky thing to note here is that males do “get it” and usually tend to leave females alone if the former tried to approach it and was flared at by the female.

Interestingly, when females are “not in the mood”, besides flaring, they are also known to take on a unique posture of their own. Yet again, males do understand this and tend to shy away.

Talk about our male human species learning a thing or two about consent from bearded dragons!

Physical Characteristics that Boost Sociability

It would also be pertinent to mention certain physical characteristics that actually unwittingly end up boosting the social quotient of bearded dragons with humans.

  • Size

Bearded dragons are just the right size for humans to handle them with ease; neither too big (like iguanas) nor too small.

  • Easy to Feed

In the wild, bearded dragons stretch out their sticky tongue to catch their food without involving their teeth. In a domesticated setting, this behavioral tendency negates any chances of being bitten by bearded dragons when you feed them.

  • Thorns on their Neck

The thorns on their necks are really easy (and feel great!) to bristle, whether done by fellow beardies or you!

Mistaking Optimal Resource Utilization for Loneliness

A common mistake made by bearded dragon pet owners is to perceive solitary beardies as “loners” when they may simply be looking to optimally use the resources that are available to them.

An excellent example would be the food that you provide to your bearded dragon within its enclosure; the presence of another beardie would mean competition for that seemingly precious resource.

Accordingly, most bearded dragons would much rather be by themselves and have such resources to themselves, than be compelled to share with others.

It really does not have anything to do with loneliness.

Moreover, bearded dragons have a strong sense of competitiveness among themselves (males not being very comfortable in each other’s presence being a suitable instance). Therefore, ideally, you should avoid housing too many beardies together, whether males or even a male-female pair (which can lead to excessive breeding, causing immense undue stress to the female).


“Reasonably social” as we described in the introductory section, is the best way to describe the social quotient of bearded dragons. You certainly cannot equate their sociability with common household pets such as cats and dogs.

Yet, as highlighted above, bearded dragons have many unique behavioral manifestations of their own, which ultimately render them as even more special pets!

Related Questions

Armed with a solid background on the social quotient of bearded dragons, you might also want to know:

Do bearded dragons feel love? Bearded dragons do not feel a wide range of emotions which we humans (and various other species of animals) do. Love is one of them. At the same time, they have no emotion such as hatred either; “indifference” would be the apt reference in this case.

Do bearded dragons need a friend? Notwithstanding some of the social characteristics reasonably applicable to bearded dragons, for the large part, they are loners and therefore, can make do very well without a friend per se. They certainly do not have a “need” for friends as such, the way we humans do.

Can Bearded Dragons Drink Apple Juice?

Can Bearded Dragons Drink Apple Juice?If you have a bearded dragon, you may already feed them small pieces of apple. Naturally, a lot of pet owners think; can bearded dragons drink apple juice too? Of course, we all want our reptiles to be as happy and healthy as they can be. So, let’s find out the answer to this question.

Can bearded dragons drink apple juice? Well, the answer to this question is yes, they can drink apple juice. But it’s important that it’s only in small amounts and that it’s diluted with water. It’s often a way to persuade your bearded dragon to stay hydrated and train them to drink from a bowl.

Let’s take a look at the answer to this question in a lot more detail so that you can understand why bearded dragons should only have small amounts of apple juice and what their diet should be.

Bearded Dragons and Apple Juice

Apples are a safe fruit for bearded dragons to eat. When they’re cut into small pieces and peels, it’s a snack that these reptiles enjoy. But when it comes to apple juice, it’s important that they’re only given small amounts.

This is because it’s a sugary drink and too much can be unhealthy for them. It can lead to loose stools, which can create a mess in their living environment.

In addition, any apple juice that is given to your bearded dragon should be organic and with no added sugars, additives or other ingredients that are not natural. Otherwise, these chemicals can make your bearded dragon sick.

Apple Juice for Training

When you first get your bearded dragon and bring them home, they won’t be used to drinking from a water bowl. After all, they wouldn’t do this in the wild.

Most of the time, they won’t realize this water is anything important, which means they don’t know they can be hydrated from their bowl. But with the help of apple juice, you can help your bearded dragon learn how to use a water bowl.

The apple juice added flavor to the water and makes it tasty. The sweet smell will make it enticing to your bearded dragon and they will realize they can drink from this bowl. Over time, they will learn this is where they need to come to be hydrated.

So, you can use apple juice for training and add a small amount to the water. After a while, you can stop doing this once your bearded dragon has learned about using a water bowl.

Of course, it’s important for bearded dragons to stay hydrated. While they live in hot and dry environments, they are used to getting most of their water from insects they eat, as well as other plants. But when they become a pet, they need a source of water. This is where the water bowl comes in.

Just make sure that you continually change your bearded dragon’s water every day to make sure it’s clean. If it’s a big bowl, your bearded dragon may bathe in the water, which will make it dirty. In addition, they are known to use it as a toilet too. So, add some fresh water to their bowl every day, as well as cleaning the bowl.

Signs of Dehydration

If your bearded dragon becomes dehydrated, it can make them very sick and it can even be fatal. So, that is why it’s important to look out for the symptoms of dehydration so that you can get help from a veterinarian.

The most common signs to watch out for are lack of appetite and sunken eyes. They may also be lethargic and not move around a lot. A good way that you can see if your bearded dragon has become dehydrated is by pinching their skin with your fingers.

The skin should roll back very quickly. But if it doesn’t, it could be a sign that your bearded dragon is suffering from dehydration. Be sure to take a trip to the veterinarian as soon as possible so that you can help your pet regain their health.Bearded Dragon Drinking Other Liquids Than Water

The Best Diet for a Bearded Dragon

Alongside fresh water every day, a bearded dragon should enjoy a varied and delicious diet. It’s recommended that your adult bearded dragon’s diet is made up of 40 to 50 percent of insects. This includes foods such as:

  • Hoppers
  • Cockroaches
  • Crickets

They’re going to find these creatures very tasty. They’re easy to purchase from your local pet store.

Your bearded dragon’s diet should also consist of around 50 to 60 percent vegetables and fruits. The majority should be vegetables, as fruits that have a lot of sugar may make your pet obese.

Eating too much of the wrong foods can lead to obesity and threaten their health. There are a lot of vegetables that bearded dragons can enjoy. This includes:

  • Peas
  • Sweet potato
  • Bell peppers
  • Kale
  • Rocket

You can mix it up and see what your bearded dragon enjoys the most. Fruit should only be enjoyed as a treat every now and again.

It’s recommended that you peel any vegetables and fruits, as well as cut them into small pieces. This is going to make it a lot easier for your bearded dragon to eat. Since these foods often contain water, they can become dehydrated under the lights and with the temperature of their living environment.

So, it’s best to take out the vegetables and fruits they don’t eat at the end of the day. Then they can enjoy clean and hydrating foods the next day.

Foods to Avoid

There are some foods that bearded dragons should never eat. Often this is because they’re poisonous and they can make your pet very ill. In some cases, it can even be fatal. So, some foods that you avoid include avocados.

They’ve got substances in them that are classed as toxic for bearded dragons. They should be avoided at all costs. Another food that is highly dangerous for your bearded dragon is rhubarb. This contains something known as oxalic acid, which is poisonous for your reptile.

When it comes to insects, fireflies are poisonous to bearded dragons too. They contain toxins, which can do some real damage and may cause fatal consequences if they’re ingested.

Related Questions

What fruits can a bearded dragon eat? There is a wide arrange of fruits you can feed to your reptile. This includes apples, peaches, apricots, and melon. Be sure to remove any fruit at the end of the day so that bacteria can’t grow and harm your bearded dragon.

Can I give my bearded dragon wild insects from outside? It’s always recommended to avoid doing this. They may have parasites that could harm your reptile. The best thing you can do is to purchase insects from your local pet shop or online.

How many insects should a bearded dragon be fed a day? Adult bearded dragons can eat 3 to 5 big insects one to three times per week. Juvenile bearded dragons should eat 20 to 40 small insects every day for proper growth.

Here Is How Affectionate Bearded Dragons Really Are

Are Bearded Dragons Affectionate?Wait, what? Reptiles and affection? Well, as surprised as you may be, reptiles are fully capable of displaying emotions, including an affectionate demeanor. In this post we will be focusing on bearded dragons in particular, gauging their ability to showcase affection.

Are bearded dragons affectionate? Bearded dragons are among very few reptiles that display affection. They easily warm up to their owners and eagerly look forward to their presence. Moreover, their consistently gregarious behavior in the company of their owners is a sure shot sign of their affectionate disposition.

In this post, we will look at a variety of behaviors that confirm the affectionate nature of bearded dragons. Every instance would be based on real life examples where people have actually seen for themselves the affectionate nature of bearded dragons so make sure you read on till the end.

Pace of Displaying Affection

A major aspect that stands out in the case of bearded dragons is the pace with which they begin to display affection. To give you an example, when we first started feeding our brand spanking new member of the family – a bearded dragon of course, she very quickly associated our coming to her habitat, with the fact that she would be fed.

In turn, she started showing signs of warmth and affection towards us quite fast.

This is unlike a lot of other animals – reptiles especially; either do not show any signs of affection as such or take a fair bit of time to bond. In this instance, which we have noticed with many other bearded dragons as well, the speed with which a bond was formed with owners was really rapid.

Voluntary Keenness on Handling

Another aspect which is a clear sign of the affectionate nature of bearded dragons is the way they voluntary seek handling, often taking the initiative on their own. For instance, even before you have extended your hand to your bearded dragon, it would start making attempts to get on it – in anticipation of being handled.

This kind of behavior is unlike most other reptiles that prefer to shy away from being handled. You might notice that in spite of repetitive handling sessions, many reptiles – snakes being a good example, prefer to just shy away.

At best they might “tolerate” being handled but nothing more. But with bearded dragons, it’s a whole new ballgame where they are really happy to be handled and will even volunteer for that!

The More Time you invest – Greater will be the Affection!

While reptiles, in general, show little if any emotion, leave alone affection, some reptiles (like bearded dragons in this instance), do manage to show a reasonable amount of affection or at least some form of attachment.

Snakes, for instance, are known to get fairly comfortable with their handlers over time. They will not try to bite them or make the hissing sound which they usually do whenever they perceive a threat.

So as you can see, time spent with reptiles is of the essence; with bearded dragons – as we outlined in a previous section, in fairly less amount of time, you can gain greater confidence of your pet.

It is in that context that we make our point here – the more time you spend with your bearded dragon, greater will be the affection that it will display towards you.

Actions such as:

  • Petting your beardy
  • Letting it comfortably walk over you
  • Feeding it at certain fixed times such that it gets a cue of being fed
  • Treating it with food which you have noticed it relishes more

All of these actions will ultimately contribute towards accentuating the bond between you and your bearded dragon. So make sure that you frequently spend time “interacting” with your bearded dragon.

At the end of the day, greater the time invested, higher will be the returns in the form of accelerated and intense affection from your pet. As a corollary, if you remain aloof, you will unlikely be privy to much affection from your beardy.Bearded Dragon Affectionate Behavior

Affection increases with Age

With bearded dragons, age makes a significant difference as far as display of affection is concerned. Typically, the younger your bearded dragon, especially if it is in its initial stages – perhaps even an infant, the lesser will be its affection. Instead, it will be jittery and will not appreciate being handled.

This is completely due to the nervousness that it feels at the outset in your foreign presence. As your beardy gets older, it recognizes that you are not a threat – and in fact a trustworthy “friend”. At this juncture, the affection shown towards you will be incrementally higher.

The Way they Display Affection Varies

As a new (or prospective) bearded dragon owner, you must keep in mind the fact that beardies do not showcase their affection the same way; instead, it varies considerably from one bearded dragon to another.

We ourselves have seen instances where one pet owner had their bearded dragon curl up to them every time it was handled while in another instance, their bearded dragon was happy to prepare itself in anticipation of being handled, and once that was done, would happily prance around the owner’s arms and shoulders.

Putting Off your Bearded Dragon

While it is fairly easy to form a bond with your bearded dragon, some callous owners end up turning off their bearded dragon. Examples of such irresponsible behavior include:

  • Handling their beardy very roughly
  • Holding it by its tail
  • Playing loud music or making loud noise, in close proximity to the bearded dragon’s habitat

Actions like these will turn your beardy off you, and chances of a strong bond forming will diminish unless the reckless behavior is done away with quickly and replaced with warmth towards your pet.

Remember that like their reptilian cousins, bearded dragons can also get agitated if handled poorly like in the above-mentioned instances. They can then puff up their big beards in aggression; the last kind of behavior you want to see in your pet.

Also, poor handling is quite likely to cause stress in your bearded dragon, which in turn will lead its own set of detrimental impacts, including the completely undesirable one of your beardy falling ill.


Domesticated bearded dragons have clearly come a long way from their natural habitat down under, to show definite signs of affection. While back “home” in Australia they would be quite comfortable by themselves, once in the midst of new owners, they warm up fast and display the affectionate side of their personality quite quickly.

Related Questions

Now that you have a clear perspective on whether bearded dragons are affectionate (of course they are!), you might also want to know:

Do bearded dragons like being petted? Yes, bearded dragons enjoy being petted! Try petting one for yourself and see – the expression of sheer content in its eyes will say it all! Of course, there may be exceptions to the rule but by and large, bearded dragons do enjoy being petted.

Can bearded dragons recognize their owners? Yes, bearded dragons do recognize their owners. Bearded dragons are especially sensitive to the touch and smell of their owners, and can distinctly recognize those facets fairly quickly, with each feeding or handling session reinforcing their ability to recognize.

Do Bearded Dragons Lay Eggs? They Do!

Do Bearded Dragons Lay Eggs?It is a well-known fact that most reptiles lay eggs, but there are a few exceptions. A handful of reptiles actually develop the eggs inside their body and then give birth to live young. So which category does a bearded dragon fall into?

Do Bearded Dragons Lay Eggs? Bearded dragons do, in fact, lay eggs. Regardless of how many bearded dragons you own – even if you only have a single female – you may one day suddenly discover eggs in your dragon’s habitat. A female bearded dragon can routinely lay a clutch of infertile eggs – similar to a chicken! 

The very first time your female bearded dragon lays a clutch can be distressing, especially if you aren’t really sure what she is doing. Recognizing the general symptoms of a gravid (pregnant) dragon and preparing for her egg-laying are essential to avoid surprises and complications for your bearded dragon.

Before your dragon ever lays her first egg, it is imperative that you are ready, just in case. In order to keep her as stress-free as possible, you will need to be watchful and prepared.

Recognizing a Gravid Dragon

Female bearded dragons can lay their very first clutch of eggs when they are about one year old. If you have a mated female, you can expect a clutch of eggs to be laid in four to six weeks after mating.

A female bearded dragon can lay anywhere between fifteen and thirty-five eggs per clutch, and can easily lay one to three clutches per mating.

Non-mated female dragons can begin spontaneously laying infertile eggs as young as ten months old, but they typically only lay one clutch. Some non-mated females will never lay a single egg during their entire lives. Unfortunately, it is impossible to predict if a non-mated dragon will lay eggs or not.

This makes recognizing the signs of a gravid bearded dragon extra important; otherwise, you may wake up to a surprise. Here are a few good indications that your dragon is gravid.

  • Lethargy – When a female bearded dragon is getting ready to lay eggs, she may seem sluggish. She might spend more time sleeping or laying under the heat lamp than usual.
  • Swollen Belly – Her belly will seem a bit larger than usual since it is full of eggs. Eventually, the eggs will resemble little marbles inside your bearded dragon, and you will be able to feel all the lumps and bumps.
  • Digging and Restlessness – After a few weeks, a pregnant bearded dragon will begin to dig around and scratch continuously, even frantically, in her enclosure.
  • Abnormal Grouchiness – Your dragon may seem a little moodier than normal as she becomes more uncomfortable and feels more protective of the eggs inside her.
  • Decreasing Appetite – As she gets closer to laying her eggs, you may notice your female dragon eating less food than you are accustomed to.

These can all signal the beginning of nesting behavior in your bearded dragon, meaning it is time to take action.Young Bearded Dragons

Gravid Dragon Care

  1. First, you’ll need to fill a nest box--also called a lay box–with a clean, damp material that will make it easy for your gravid dragon to bury her eggs. She will want at least six inches of something to dig in. If you want to use soil to fill the box, make sure that it does not contain fertilizer or plant food, as these additions are toxic to the eggs.  Put the nest box inside your bearded dragon’s enclosure under heat lamps.
  2. Some owners choose to make a nest box in a separate container like a plastic storage bin outside of the cage if the regular enclosure is too small. If you opt to do this, make sure the bedding material is already warmed and dampened before you put your gravid bearded dragon inside.
  3. As you are waiting for your female dragon to lay, make sure that you are providing her with extra food and calcium to prevent any health issues, regardless of whether or not her eggs are fertile. Producing eggs pulls calcium from her bones; a short supply can lead to Metabolic Bone Disease — a serious and sometimes fatal condition.
  4. Your female dragon may also be in need of more hydration than normal. Be sure to offer her clean, fresh water a few times daily.
  5. After your bearded dragon has laid her eggs, she will be completely worn out, especially if it takes more than one day to lay the entire clutch. Make sure to give her a shower (with a mister) to hydrate her and remove any residual nesting material as often as needed.
  6. Continue giving her extra calcium for a few days. She will need to replenish her energy stores.

Fertile Egg Care

Once the eggs have been laid, they will need special care if they are indeed fertile. But how can you tell? If you are unsure, you can hold a flashlight close to the egg and look for a pinkish-colored embryo inside. Infertile eggs are usually dented with a yellowish tint; these can be discarded.

Caring for fertile eggs can be difficult and time-consuming. Here are some tips to help you:

  1. First and foremost, it is imperative that the eggs stay warm–between eighty and eighty-five degrees.
  2. Monitor the humidity and temperature of the egg environment constantly, and keep a vigilant eye out for any mold growing on the eggs. To create a more controlled environment, breeders often choose to use an incubator and leave the eggs out where they can see them. Without an incubator, you will need a thermometer and humidity monitor in the space.
  3. If you are moving the eggs to an incubator, do so immediately after your dragon is done laying; however, if you decide to keep them buried, you should refrain from touching them as much as possible.
  4. Check moisture levels regularly. It is critical that the eggs stay slightly damp and do not dry out before they hatch–which could take between forty and ninety days. Dragon babies will be unable to escape dry eggs because the outside shell will be too thick.


Female bearded dragons that have had eggs inside of them for more than forty-five days could be egg bound. The eggs may have to be removed, and it is quite possible your bearded dragon has low calcium levels that must be raised as well.

If you suspect that your bearded dragon is suffering from this condition, you need to see a veterinarian immediately. This condition is often fatal; a dragon who is egg bound should never be neglected or ignored.

Related Questions

Do bearded dragons eat their own eggs? A female bearded dragon eating her own infertile eggs is not unheard of. Because forming and laying eggs depletes female dragons of so much calcium, they can have a significant deficiency, causing them to eat their own eggs. It can also be an instinctual survival response, as dragons in the wild do not want their eggs to draw predators.

Can two bearded dragons be kept together? While being single is the preferred way of life for a bearded dragon, it is not uncommon to find two dragons sharing an enclosure. While a female-male or female-female combination may work, you should never pair two males. If you do decide to double the dragon fun, be sure that they are close to the same size, and be prepared to separate them at the first sign of territorial battles or aggression.

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.

Source: https://en.wikivet.net/Lizard_Metabolic_Bone_Disease

How To Feed A Bearded Dragon While On Vacation

How To Feed A Bearded Dragon While On VacationGoing on a vacation should be fun and you shouldn´t have to worry about anything that is going on at home. Easier said than done if you keep bearded dragons. What should you do with them while you are on vacation? How to feed a bearded dragon while on vacation? The answers might suprise you.

A healthy bearded dragon can go without food for 2 weeks and more. Put some eatable plants like bolivian jew and edible wild herbs like cress, savory and rosemary in the terrarium before you leave. Those plants and herbs won´t get moldy and your bearded dragon will have food for several days.

You see that it is easier than you thought, but there might be a couple of questions you still have about this topic. For example, what should you do if your bearded dragon refuses to eat greens? How long can you go on vacation? Should you turn the lights off? Continue to read to learn more.

How To Feed A Bearded Dragon While On Vacation?

Most people that go on vacation worry about their bearded dragon. They do not know how long their bearded dragon can go without food and water and most of the times there are no people who would be willing to drive to your house each and every day to check on your bearded dragon.

Moving the entire tank to a friend or a family member isn´t an option either.

The good news is that bearded dragons are very hardy. Probably way more hardy than you think and they can be alone and without food for weeks without any problems.

I still recommend to ask someone to check on your bearded dragon once a week. I mean, we are not only talking about your bearded dragon. If the lights are switched on and off with a time switch each and every day without anyone in the house, I would be worried about my house, too.

So finding someone who would be willing to do that once a week should be way easier then finding someone who would be willing to do that every day.

If you are on vacation for only a couple of days, there is no need to ask someone to check on your bearded dragon and feed it.

Feed Some Wild Herbs!

Most bearded dragons in captivity are overfed and too fat. That is because the majority of bearded dragon owners think that it would be cruel to not feed a bearded dragon live food every day. However, adult bearded dragons should not get food every day and they should eat more greens than live food.

So putting some wild herbs in the terrarium before you leave is not cruel at all. In fact, this is a very natural thing for bearded dragons. They are used to not finding food in the wild each and every day and herbs are part of their natural diet plan.

The good thing about herbs is that they don´t get moldy. Herbs only dry out, so there is no danger for your bearded dragon. Most bearded dragons even love to eat dry herbs, so even if the herbs get dry, your bearded dragon will still have food.

In the beginning of this article I recommended herbs like savory, rosemary and cress, but there are so many herbs that you can feed your bearded dragon unhesitatingly. If you need to know which herbs you can feed your bearded dragon, simply click here for my bearded dragon food list.

Get Some Bolivian Jew!

Bolivian jew (Callisia Repens) is one of my favorite plants for a bearded dragon tank. It has a nice color and it can survive in a bearded dragon tank for a very long time.

What is also great about bolivian jew is that bearded dragons can eat it and they actually love to eat it. I mean, okay after your bearded dragon took a big bite it doesn´t look that beautiful anymore, but who cares? Your bearded dragon is happy.

So if you go on vacation for two weeks, simply buy two bolivian jew plants and put them into the terrarium before you leave. Your bearded dragon will have enough food for days. You can get bolivian jew here!

Live Bolivian Jew Plant Fit 1 Quart Pot - Premium Foliage Houseplant - Easy to Grow

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And if you want to know what other plants you can put in a bearded dragon terrarium, read my article on plants for a bearded dragon tank here!

What To Do If Your Bearded Dragon Refuses To Eat Greens?

As I said, many bearded dragons in captivity get way too much food each and every day and they also eat the wrong food.

For example, if a bearded dragon gets too much food that is high in fat, it can become addicted to it and refuse any other food than food that might be healthier. Food that is high in fat is like fast food for bearded dragons, it tastes great, it is unhealthy, but highly addictive.

Bearded dragons are omnivores, which means that they eat absolutely everything they can catch. So if your bearded dragon refuses to eat greens, you might be feeding your bearded dragon incorrectly.

Feeding only live food is not healthy and you should change that immediately.

Since I know, that many bearded dragon owners have this problem, I have written an ebook on this to help owners to get their bearded dragon to eat greens quickly. So if you want to learn how to make your bearded dragon eat greens within the next 7 days, my ebook will show you exactly how that is done. Click here to get it!

What About The Feces?

Bearded dragons defecate at least once a week, but most bearded dragons in captivity defecate every day. Bearded dragons that defecate every day get a lot of food and probably mostly live food.

A bearded dragon that eats mostly greens and only eats live food two times a week does not defecate that often. A bearded dragon that eats only greens for a couple of days probably only defecates once a week.

My grandma always said, what goes in has to come out eventually. However, if your bearded dragon doesn´t get a lot of food, there is not much that can come out of it.

Still, if you leave for more than 7 days, you should find someone who is willing to clean the tank at least once a week.

What About Water?

Bearded dragons come from the dry woodlands of Australia and it can happen that it doesn´t rain there for months. Bearded dragons are absolutely fine with that. In fact, they are used to being dehydrated. I have written an article on that, read it here.

So even though some bearded dragons like to drink a lot, they do not really need a lot of water. In fact, they mostly get the water they need from their food. So if you put some herbs and plants in the terrarium for your bearded dragon to eat, it will be fine for two weeks.

Should You Turn The Lights Off?

Lighting is a very complicated topic and some people think that they should leave the lights in the tank on 24/7. That´s not true, of course. You should definitely use a time switch to switch the lights on in the morning and off in the evening.

Some people switch the lights completely off when they go on vacation. By doing that, they force their bearded dragon to go into brumation. If you don´t know what that is, bearded dragons brumate once a year. Basically, they sleep for a very long time to rest and to survive the colder days in the wild.

In the wild of Australia they do that around October or November and most bearded dragons in captivity also brumate during that time.

So should you do that? Can you just switch the lights off and leave? Well, in the wild of Australia, bearded dragons do not only brumate in November. They actually also brumate during rainy periods. Rainy periods can lower the ambient temperature rapidly which forces bearded dragons to find a good hide and brumate until the rain has dropped and the temperature rises again.

In the wild, this doesn´t bother bearded dragons too much, so you can do that in a terrarium as well.

However, I still recommend to leave the lights on and feed herbs and plants instead. I like to let my bearded dragons decide when they want to brumate and not force them to.

If you still want to try it, I recommend to read my bearded dragon brumation guide first.

Will My Bearded Dragon Miss Me?

Bearded dragons do get used to their owners and trust them more than other humans. However, a bearded dragon will not miss you if you go on vacation.

Sorry to say that, but who knows what goes on in their heads anyways? 🙂


Bearded dragons can go without food for a long time and it is okay if you go on vacation and your bearded dragon doesn´t get any food for a week. They can deal with that without and problems.

They can even survive without food for two weeks, but I highly recommend to give them some herbs so that they at least have some food for the first days.

Further, you should have someone who checks on your bearded dragon once a week.

So now you know how to feed a bearded dragon while on vacation. Enjoy your vacation!

Any questions? Leave them in the comment section below!