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Bearded Dragon Brumation: Do Bearded Dragons Hibernate?

Bearded Dragon Brumation: Do Bearded Dragons Hibernate? 

Bearded Dragons often become ferocious throughout the summer of June, July and August in the Southern Hemisphere. Usually the animal digs a hole and sleeps deeply until the temperature rises again. It is a process similar to hibernation that many reptile species undergo.


    What Exactly is Brumation?

    Brumation is a hibernation-like condition in which certain exothermic (cold-blooded) animals, such as Bearded Dragons, enter throughout the winter. Brumation is a natural process that many reptiles go through in the wild to conserve energy during cold winters.

    The dragon's stomach system is virtually shut down during brumation, his heart rate drops dramatically, and he appears to be in a deep sleep. This process is similar to, but not identical to, hibernate.

    Do bearded dragons hibernate?

    Bearded dragons are extraterrestrial and cannot regulate their own body temperature. They are kept warm or cold by their surroundings. Because it is too cold to roam the desert in winter, they dormant by burrowing into the ground or trees. The cold temperatures allow certain somatic animals to seek shelter underground or in rock crevices during the winter to keep them safe and warm. Similar to the hibernation endotherm, activity level, heart rate, body temperature, and respiration rate all decrease (warm-blooded animals).

    Body fat is used to sustain life while an animal hibernates. They don't need to eat or drink, and they don't come out of hibernation until the time is right. Reptiles do not eat or defecate during brumation, but occasionally wake up to drink water.

    What is Brumation in Bearded Dragon?

    Bearded dragons become lethargic and less interested in their diet when brumate. They will find an isolated location where they will spend most of their brumation period. Brumation oysters can be crafted from oysters, planters, caverns and natural decorations.

    This behavior can make you worry at first and think your bearded dragon is sick. This is rare, but if your bearded dragon is losing weight rapidly, slowly, or less than 10 months old, it is recommended to be cautious with the help of a veterinarian.

    How old should a bearded dragon be when it reaches brumation age?

    There's not much you can do to prevent Bearded Dragons from scurrying at any age. Bearded dragons should not brumate until they are at least 10-12 months old.

    This is because by 12 months of age, development almost stops, starting to grow larger and fat accumulates. This fat can then be used as a drip feed during brumation when you are not eating for several weeks.

    Brushing them can help them live a long time.

    Bearded dragons are known to sleep for weeks or months at a time. During this time when they eat a little but don't sleep deeply, it's likely that they're just in brumating. Perhaps it will sleep for a few days and then come out and stay asleep for several days. Or they can curl up in a location of your choice and stay there for months.

    The habitat a bearded dragon is provided has a significant impact on how long it will bruise in captivity. To stimulate bruising, you need to set the winter temperature and light cycle correctly.

    Can you stop my bearded dragon from brumating?

    Simply put, once your bearded dragon starts brooding, you shouldn't let it go and try to increase the light time or temperature. Brumation is a perfectly normal phenomenon that should not be disturbed.

    If the bearded dragon is very young or not healthy enough to survive the brumination phase, the only thing they can do is to ensure that the lighting times and temperature do not drop on the day before the brumation period, but this is not guaranteed. They won't brumate.

    Can Bearded Dragon Brumation be prevented or stopped?

    Many reptiles, including bearded dragons, go through a natural process called brumation. In most cases, it's best to let the dragon do what its biological clock dictates. However, in rare cases, your veterinarian may urge you to avoid brumation.

    This is due to the fact that brumation can be fatal to sick or malnourished dragons. If your dragon starts to become savage in the following situations, see your veterinarian:

    Your dragon is less than 1 year old.

    Baby Bearded Dragons are not barbarians in the wild. Brumation needs to survive months without the dragon eating it. A baby's developing body can suffer serious damage from a lack of nutrients. In most cases, it's a good idea to intervene when a young dragon starts to brumate. For best advice, contact your veterinarian.

    What if during the summer, your dragon will start to brumate?

    Does your dragon show symptoms of brumation in seasons other than winter? One theory is that dragon brains are still anchored in Australian desert ancestors. So, it's winter in Australia right now, so the dragon's biological clock says "Hey, let's go fast."

    This is usually not a problem and you can just let the dragon shed. On the other hand, sheding in warm weather may be a sign that something else is going on. This can happen in the following cases:

    Dehydration.

    Dragons can sometimes come out of a brumation to get water, but should not enter the brumation while dehydrated. Blurred eyes, loose skin, or decreased appetite may indicate that the dragon is dehydrated.

    Malnutrition.

    Off-season brumation can be caused by malnutrition. To keep your dragon as happy and healthy as possible, it is important to ensure that your dragon always eats a comprehensive and balanced diet. In this case, your veterinarian can help.

    UVB lighting and heating issues.

    If the dragon is too cold, you might think it's not winter in the northern hemisphere. Heating and lighting problems can lead to a variety of health problems, some of which are quite serious, such as metabolic bone disease. If you realize that your warmth and lighting aren't enough, have your veterinarian examine your dragon before brumation starts.

    Illness or medical problem.

    If your bearded dragon has serious health problems or is sick and shows signs of bruising, call your veterinarian immediately. Your veterinarian can advise on how to avoid bruising in these situations.

    Bruising symptoms

    So how do you know if a bearded dragon is grooming? As mentioned before, we will go into more detail in this section.

    Knowing what to search for is an essential aspect of the process. If you don't understand what's going on, it's difficult to take appropriate action.

    Recognizing warning signs may help you avoid panic. It is common for novice beardie owners to believe that there is something wrong with their growling beard when in fact everything is perfect.

    A bearded dragon brumation will appear extremely lethargic or lack of vitality from a distance. They don't need as much exercise or food as they used to because their systems start shutting down and their metabolism slows down.

    Here are some of the most common warning indicators to look out for:
    • Sleeps often
    • There is little movement.
    • Food aversion
    • They spend most of their time in our cool places.
    • Increase the burrow time of the substrate
    • There's little or no excrement.

    As you can see, most of these symptoms are similar to those seen in bearded dragons with health problems. This is why many owners, unfamiliar with the brumation process, are concerned when they see a change in behavior.

    Fortunately, there are steps you can take to make sure you are dealing with a more serious brumation.

    How often does brumation occur in Bearded Dragons?

    Wild bearded dragons are savage and it happens once a year throughout the winter. A tamed bearded dragon is a little different. The fact is that it is different. All of the brumation patterns listed below are considered generic.

    Bearded Dragon can brumate as follows.
    • She will only do it once in her life.
    • Every two years or every few years, it happens predictably or unexpectedly.
    • Every year, during the Australian winter.
    • Every year, once a year in the current cold season.

    All dragons are unique and it is virtually impossible to predict their brumation patterns. The idea is to keep an eye out for the symptoms of bruises in bearded dragons and leave nature alone.

    Distinguishing between Brumation and Disease

    There are several key indicators to look for when deciding whether a bearded dragon is ferocious or unwell. Unusual physical signs are common in sick bearded dragons.

    Most of the symptoms of brumation are behavioral. If you see any physical changes, anything could be wrong.

    Here are some examples:
    • a beard of black or dark tones.
    • tail rot
    • overall color change
    • noticeable weight loss

    If the Bearded Dragon doesn't move, it's a sign that he's ill or worse. Brumation indicates that he is resting rather than pretending to be dead.

    If you are very concerned, place the Bearded Dragon gently on its back. Even if your bearded dragon is sleeping, it will try to wake up.

    What to do when bearded dragons brumate?

    When your bearded dragons brumates, that's not a sign that you can relax and stop caring for them until they can wake up again.

    A competent owner must take certain steps to ensure that the process is successful for both you and your dragon. First and foremost, a stool test will tell you how to properly care for your dragon.

    There are two main areas to follow after getting your veterinarian's approval. The temperature and light of the cage, and the food and drink it provides. Essentially, you're trying to work with them to replicate winter and their native environment as closely as possible. Keep checking every day until they start brumate full time.

    Lighting

    Bearded dragons are likely to spend most of their time in hiding, so you can supply slightly less light than usual. Although not required, many owners like to do so to mimic the natural environment that causes bearded dragons to brumate in the first place.

    As a result, you can limit UVB and the total amount of light exposed to UVB. To start, I suggest reducing your typical lighting time by a few hours and adding a few more over the next few weeks.

    Enclosure cleaning

    It's a good idea to keep your beardie clean during brumation, even if you don't use the cage as often as you normally would.

    A clean atmosphere not only helps prevent disease, but also makes the brushing process more enjoyable. Particular attention should be paid to their hides as this is where they spend most of their time. Wipe it as clean as possible without waking it up.

    Lower the temperature.

    You probably don't want to turn off all the heat and lights when your bearded dragon starts to fuss for the first time!

    There are many intrinsic reasons for this. For example, dragons may still be eating small amounts of food, and blocking all access to the basking light prevents them from digesting the food they eat.

    Undigested food in a bearded dragon's stomach can be a health hazard if it starts to rot, and this is likely to happen during brumation, so allow time to digest the food you eat.

    Once you're sure their meal has been digested and pooped, you can gradually lower the temperature in the tank and eventually turn off all the heat and UVB rays.

    What do you eat during Brumation?

    As mentioned previously, lack of food is a common symptom of bearded dragon brumation. Their metabolism has slowed down dramatically and they no longer need as much food as they used to.

    That said, people don't usually stop eating completely. Instead, they may only have a little bit of what they ate before (and are very reluctant to venture out of hiding for food).

    Your beardie hasn't finished brumating because it has decided to chew something. Many new owners are not aware of this, which can lead to maintenance errors.

    It's a dangerous time for the bearded dragon to brumate

    Here are two dangerous periods for a bearded dragon to brumate.

    Give or Take is about a year old. No brumate is expected for bearded dragons under one year old, but some don't put their best efforts into it. This is mainly because this is the time when proper nutrition is most needed to support the needs of the developing body.

    Do not force a sick bearded dragon to brumate. They may not survive the process as the temperature cools down and the immune system cools down too. Your best bet is to get help from your veterinarian.
    dehydration. Before grooming, the Bearded Dragon must be well hydrated. 

    What should I do when the Bearded Dragon wakes up?

    Once the bearded dragon starts to wake up (you need to allow it to do it naturally without pushing it out), all you need to do is reset the breeding settings to normal. If you're not sure about the requirements for a bearded dragon outside of the brumation stage, take a look at our in-depth bearded dragon taking care article.

    If the Bearded Dragon was in good health before going into the brumation, it should be the same weight as when it started and it doesn't require more monitoring than usual.

    What to do with Bearded Dragons after Brumation?

    Caring for sleeping animals for weeks can become a calming habit, but one day when you go to check them out they will stare at you or just wander around the cage.

    Give a bath to start their waking hours. It also provides an opportunity to stimulate drinking. Start all over again gently, increasing the amount of food they eat each day until they return to their usual intake. They will most likely not eat much at first, and this is normal.

    Once they start eating regularly, they will have an insatiable appetite. Make sure what you give them is still balanced, and include nutritious greens and water options.

    Brumation is another aspect of owning a lizard.

    Do you still need UVB lighting during brumation?

    Bearded Dragons are not exposed to UVB rays during brumation in the wild. Because it is buried in a hole that is completely out of the path of the sun.

    Bearded Dragons need UVB lighting for a variety of important tasks, but they sleep most of the time, so they don't need UVB lighting during brumation.

    As a result, the amount of time the UVB lamp is on each day can be gradually reduced and eventually turned off.

    Conclusion

    Bearded dragons brumate annually during the cold winters in the wild. Because it lives in artificially heated and illuminated enclosures, it does not require brumation to survive the cold months in captivity. 

    However, they are wired to recognize the signs of an approaching winter and begin to slow down or hibernate. The most important thing to understand is that brumation lasts from 3 weeks to 4 months and mainly affects adult bearded dragons, although dragons under 12 months of age can also brumate.

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    About the author

    I am Paige and I love pets. I have a bearded dragon and a husky. My bearded dragon's name is Bart and he is a lot of fun. He likes to eat crickets and play in his cage. My husky's name is Sandy and she is a lot of fun, too. She likes to run and play in the park. I love taking them for walks and playing with them. They are both a big part of my family.
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