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How long can a Bearded Dragon go without eating food?

How long can a bearded dragon go without eating food?

Bearded Dragons can go without food for up to 3 months in the wild, but they should be offered water and a small amount of food every week to keep them healthy. If a Bearded Dragon does not eat for an extended period of time, their body will go into a starvation mode and they will lose their appetite.

For example, an adult beard who needs to lose weight can go up to two months or longer without food, although not optimal! Young dragons, who need nutrients from food for proper growth and nutrition, cannot survive that long without food.

Beardy dragons can survive without food for varying amounts of time, depending on their age, size, and the reason they go without food. In many cases, fully grown and healthy bearded dragons can survive for up to two months.


    Why doesn't my bearded dragon eat?

    There can be a variety of reasons why a Beard Dragon has stopped eating.

    A new habitat, a different diet, bruising, illness, stress, and many more can cause loss of appetite.

    Read below to better understand why your dragon doesn't eat food.

    You have recently changed their cage.


    Perhaps you have moved their terrarium to a new area of ​​your home, placed it in another terrarium, or put new accessories (egg branches, leather, etc.) in the cage?

    Get rid of the new ones and see how the week goes from the next few days.

    Discard the removed food if their appetite seems to be improving.

    Beardy dragons are sensitive creatures, especially when it comes to home space.

    In the wild, strangely cute reptiles are territorial creatures that sometimes defend their territory with violence (don't keep two bearded dragons in one tank because of this).

    They can also stop eating if you completely change their tank to add new furniture.

    Because they don't know their space yet, so they feel that their space is not safe.

    This will resolve on its own in a few days.

    But before that, if it doesn't solve the problem, it's a good idea to inspect your pet.

    Temperature is off.


    If the cage isn't hot enough (95-105 degrees for adults, 100-110 degrees for babies), the dragon can definitely lose its appetite.

    They need heat for proper digestion, so without heat, their body doesn't feel the need to eat.

    Also, make sure the dragon has a cool side to cool the tank to around 80-85 degrees.

    They are stressed


    Do they share a cage with other bearded dragons?

    Can they see other bearded dragons?

    Are they disturbed by sudden loud noises and/or shaking in their cage?

    Think long and hard about anything that could potentially stress your dragon and calm them down. It can be the smallest thing that often leads to appetite suppression.

    Change in diet


    Bearded dragons are finicky predators, and they can be difficult to deal with, especially when encountering new foods. If your pet is used to eating live insect feeders, they may not want to eat dried insects or anything else.

    It can take a week or more for the bearded dragon to accept new food. That's how stubborn they can be, but that's normal. The truth is that not eating your dragon during this period can have detrimental effects on their health.

    But don't give up yet and continue to provide your pet with new food. Then the pet will eventually succumb and understand that you are the boss. Then the food will be accepted. However, if you find out that your lizard is losing a lot of weight, you may be willing to give him food to eat.


    It's time of the year again - Brumation!


    If you are entering fall, your dragon is most likely simply getting ready to go according to the season.

    If your dragon shows signs of being read to go through this process, I recommend checking out my in-depth article here to fully understand the brumation process and what you can do to make it a success!

    Disease


    You may think that your bearded dragon is not eating because it is growling even though it is actually suffering from an illness. Diseases can cause dragons to reduce their appetite. However, beards are rarely diseased, which means that in most cases they refuse to eat for other reasons.

    However, if you think there is a problem with your gecko, tell your reptile veterinarian. The veterinarian will be in a great position to know if the dragon is ill after diagnosis.

    Going Without Food During Brumation


    If you're not familiar with the term 'brumation', it's basically the reptile version of hibernate.

    If you're still not sure what brumation is, or want to know more, check out this brumation post, which takes you through everything you need to know as an owner.

    Not all bearded dragons will bromate in captivity, but it is likely that dragons will go through this process at some stage.

    Although young bearded dragons are known as bromates, this is unhealthy and brumates are generally only associated with adult dragons.

    When bearded dragons are in a brumation you will usually find that they don't want to eat at all.

    This is just part of the perfectly fine and natural brumation process.

    Your dragon can actually go without food for up to two months or more and will be perfectly healthy.

    In brumation, they use much less energy and their bodies are expertly equipped to use fat storage to drop feed into body nutrients during this period.

    Fresh water should always be provided, even if the Bearded Dragon does not want to eat during brumation.

    Bearded Dragons should not be forced to feed their brumation, as it can cause many health problems.

    There is no need to turn on the lights when they growl, and even if they are on, they often cannot get close.

    This can lead to rotting food in the intestines and even what is called an ambush, which is basically constipation.

    The bottom line is don't try to force feed the bearded dragon while brushing, just let the natural process happen and you'll know when they're ready to eat again.

    Some guidelines on how long a bearded dragon can survive without food

    The following table shows some scenarios to provide some guidance on how long an adult bearded dragon can survive without food. This only applies to adult Beard Dragons.

    Situation Duration Without Eating:
    • Brumating Adult Up to 2 months
    • Normal, Healthy Adult Up to 2 weeks
    • Adult On Medication Consult a vet
    • Adult With MBD Up to 1 week – but Consult a vet
    • Adults After a Surgery Consult a vet
    • Adult With Diarrhea Up to a couple of days. Consult a vet
    • Adult With Parasites Consult a vet

    What to do when they stop eating?

    Did you read my section above? Call your vet. If you have any questions, it's a good idea to ask them. Trust me. The vet won't care.

    Sometimes, after thoughtful deliberation, you can remember a change in their habitat that may have caused them to stop eating, for example, new food, new equipment, or a new cleaner.

    You must return to the previous environment where your pet was eating. Once relaxed and happy, the dragon can start eating again.

    If the veterinarian finds out that your friend has actually stopped eating and needs treatment, he can give the bearded dragon the following treatments to help restore health.
    • Assisted feeding, such as feeding using a feeding tube
    • Nutrition counseling
    • Environmental consultation
    • Liquid, electrolyte and/or hot tubs for rehydration

    Why is it a bad idea to go without food to a bearded dragon?

    Bearded Dragons are no different from any other species on Earth when it comes to food. It needs food!

    Food is not an optional part of the life of Bearded Dragons, they eat or die. It's really simple.

    Bearded dragons need food for basically all reasons we humans grow, keep our organs healthy, and keep our eyes and skin healthy.

    A bearded dragon needs daily food to keep its body in good health. Many other blogs and outlets, such as 'bearded dragon food', discuss this and how it can affect your dragon's health.

    If they go through days without food, they will also go through days without the essential proteins, fats, vitamins and other nutrients they need for good health.

    At the top of this post, we said that an adult Bearded Dragon can go without food for up to four weeks if conditions are right and there is enough fat storage. However, this is definitely not recommended.

    Even if a bearded dragon can survive longer without eating, it should be provided with a balanced diet every day.

    How to Force Feed a Bearded Dragon?

    To be perfectly honest, I do not tolerate forced feeding in very many situations.

    Dragons do an amazing job of eating what they need (usually), and forced feeding can lead to health problems.

    However, if your dragon is noticeably weakened and incredibly thin, or if you see a trained reptile veterinarian, be sure to try force feeding.

    The actual method of the forced feeding method is very simple.

    Following are the steps to follow when forcibly feeding a dragon after obtaining permission from a reptile veterinarian. It's a simple process.
    • Pick your bearded dragon slowly and hold it gently and carefully.
    • Make sure it is comfortable to hold.
    • Pull the lower jaw to open and soften the bearded dragon's mouth.
    • Put food in their mouth.

    Sometimes you may need to use a syringe to feed your baby bearded dragon.

    How long can a Bearded Dragon live without eating?

    The answer to this question largely depends on your pet's age and health.

    For example, an adult beard who needs to lose weight can go up to two months or longer without food, although not optimal!

    Young dragons, who need nutrients from food for proper growth and nutrition, cannot survive that long without food.

    And when a dragon growls, it can go weeks or months without eating.

    What do bearded dragons eat?

    Beardy dragons are not your typical pets. They are classified as exotic pets. Most people don't know what to eat to stay healthy. Before owning a Beard Dragon, you need to know what their typical diet looks like.

    These animals are omnivores. This means they can eat both plants and animals. In the wild, it feeds on insects and small animals, but also eats a lot of fruits and vegetables. This allows them to eat whatever they want and avoids facing food shortages.

    Bearded dragons eat live food, but can also eat plant foods. As for animals, like other lizards, they mainly feed on insects. They are usually not picky and eat insects that they consider edible. They have strong upper and lower jaws. This makes it easy to break up insects such as beetles with hard outer shells. Dragons also eat worms, cockroaches and worms. Adult dragons can prey on rodents such as mice.

    In rare cases, bearded dragons can prey on other dragons, even if they are not cannibals. They are territorial in nature and will often fight each other. However, they rarely eat other dragons.

    When planting prey, it mainly eats wild leaves and flowers. When they meet fruits and vegetables, they happily eat them.

    Pet bearded dragons can expand their diet. They may consume small amounts of minced beef, chicken breast, and even fish (not recommended). For vegetables, you can include sweet potatoes, broccoli, turnips, parsley, and cabbage in their diet. You can also give them fruits not normally found in the wild, such as apples, bananas, grapes, and strawberries.

    If your bearded dragon refuses to eat what you have to offer, you shouldn't force it and try other alternatives.

    Conclusion:

    We hope you enjoyed learning about how long a Beard Dragon can survive without eating.

    It's surprising when you first see your pet refusing to eat, but in most cases it resolves on its own without outside help.

    It's important to know that when a bearded gecko stops eating, it can be quickly resolved in most cases. 

    Now I hope you understand how long bearded dragons can live without eating. It's good to know everything about pets. This will help your bearded dragon to respond in an appropriate way when they need your help.

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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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