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Why is my Bearded Dragon not Eating?

Why is my bearded dragon not eating?

Bearded dragons are one of the most popular pet lizards and they make great pets for both beginners and experienced reptile owners. They are easy to care for and they come in a variety of colors, including shades of orange, yellow, red, and white. Bearded dragons are also omnivorous animals and they eat a wide variety of food items, including insects, fruits, vegetables, and small rodents. 

However, like all animals, bearded dragons can experience health problems from time to time. One common problem that bearded dragon owners may encounter is when their bearded dragon does not want to eat. There can be a number of reasons why a bearded dragon refuses to eat, but some of the most common reasons include incorrect enclosure temperature or humidity levels, an unhealthy immune system, and an improper basking spot.

If a bearded dragon refuses to eat, the first thing to do is check the temperature of the habitat. Dragons that are regularly exposed to cold temperatures may have difficulty digesting food. They may also get a weaker immune system as a result of treatment. Bearded dragons need a temperature range of 95 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit to sunbathe.

    A bearded dragon that refuses to eat can indicate health problems, whether it is the result of poor food, natural habits, or poor breeding.

    Here is a list of the most common reasons a beardie refuses to eat.
    • Temperature
    • Cold
    • Brumation
    • Stress
    • Parasite
    • Tank
    • UVB Lighting
    • Vitamin deficiency 

    Bruising and molting are common habits in dragons, but they can come as a surprise to new owners. They occur spontaneously during a dragon's lifetime.

    Lighting, temperature, and nutrition can all be adjusted at home, but should ideally be set before bringing your dragon home. Other issues may require the help of a veterinarian.

    Regardless of the cause, if an adult fasts for more than a week, you should take her to the vet for health reasons.

    We'll take a look at the warning signs, why this happens, and, most importantly, how to convince you to eat properly again for each of the reasons listed above.

    Why is my Bearded Dragon not Eating?

    Anxiety and stress

    Anxiety and stress are the first two things that come to mind when you think of anxiety and stress.

    This is one of the most neglected factors when trying to figure out why a bearded dragon isn't eating. Everyone jumps into obvious solutions like lighting or disease (all are correct), but they overlook this!

    As you can see, bearded dragons are far more emotionally complex than most people think. They believe these animals are "typical reptiles" with little personality. But, nothing can be far from the truth.

    Bearded dragons need a comfortable environment to survive. We're not claiming they're high-maintenance geckos, but changes in their environment can make them restless and lose their appetite.

    Lack of lighting

    As mentioned earlier, lighting has a huge impact on a lizard's appetite.

    Just think how hungry you are if you have to eat in the dark or, on the other hand, a spotlight is shining on you.

    Because dragons are day and cold-blooded animals, chilly temperatures and dark atmospheres suggests to sleep or rest.

    Because of their cold-blooded nature, many dragons do not feed until they are sufficiently warm, and must be kept at a higher temp. for at least two hours after eating to ensure proper digestion.

    Lack of adequate lighting can also cause feeding problems. Bearded dragons need 10-12 hours of UVA and UVB light every day.

    Lack of UVB light not only suppresses a bearded dragon's appetite, but can be life threatening.

    As a result, we always recommend setting up a good lighting system for your bearded dragon.


    Brumation is the hibernation phase a bearded dragon goes through to conserve energy in the winter. Brumation begins in winter when the weather is cooler and the daylight hours are shorter.

    Brumation helps wildlife conserve energy and increase their chances of survival and reproduction. For this reason, many morph breeders prefer to brood their pets.

    Keepers should keep the cage out of direct sunlight at all times.

    Bearded dragons lose their appetite during brumation and lurk in their temperament. They have the ability to sleep for 3-4 months!

    Parasitic Bugs

    Bearded Dragon guts have their own unique parasites and diseases. This is rather frequent and often results in loss of appetite, weight loss, and softer-than-usual stools. The veterinarian should examine the abnormal feces under a microscope.

    Pinworms and small bacteria called Coccidia are the most common parasites. Both are treatable if detected early.


    Sometimes, when food or other objects enter the beard's digestive system, it becomes clogged. This obstacle is quite inconvenient as it prevents the bearded dragon from eating its prey.

    Loss of appetite and changes in stool are the most prominent signs of an ambush. Their droppings can be stopped or very small and sandy.

    Reptiles living in cages with inappropriate substrates are prone to collisions (eg sand and gravel). Bearded dragons can easily eat loose temperament, a major cause of collisions. When using substrates such as reptile carpets, newspapers or tiles, the risk of collision is significantly reduced, especially in youngs.

    Sand bumps can be seen on x-rays and can be felt by lightly touching the patient's stomach.

    Stop feeding the bearded dragon and take him to the hospital as soon as possible if you suspect it has been affected. Effects can sometimes resolve on their own, but usually require a visit to the veterinarian.

    Itchy Dragon

    The molting season can cause itching on the dragon's skin, making it uncomfortable and can reduce appetite. When a bearded dragon's scales become pale, dull, or mottled, or when the tip of its tail turns gray, it's time to shed its fur. To help shedding and make it more comfortable during this period, always properly hydrate your dragon with clean drinking water, the correct humidity level, and frequent spraying.

    Attempts to help Beardie shed can be detrimental to them. Allow them to shed on their own. It's a natural process.

    Getting older

    This may be one of the most common reasons people's bearded dragons don't eat as much as they used to. No one believes that it is a normal and natural phenomenon!

    Here's how it works:

    Bearded dragons grow quickly when they are young and are very active. As a result, they have to eat much more food.

    Things start to change as they grow up. They certainly don't need to eat as much food as they used to after they reach adulthood.

    That is, they consume less than before.

    If new Bearded Dragon owners aren't sure what to expect, it's that Bearded Dragons are only eating half of what they were worried about. Fortunately, this is all normal as they age.

    Infection (oral rot)

    Although the name of this disease may scare some owners, it is actually common in bearded dragons and is caused by an oral infection.

    Many wounded dragons will refuse to eat because this is very unpleasant. Swelling around the skull, white or yellow mouth, loose teeth, increased saliva production, and bleeding are all obvious indicators of oral rot.

    Fortunately, while these symptoms may seem serious, oral rot is treatable and a veterinarian who specializes in treating geckos or reptiles can provide the care you need.

    Vitamin Deficiency 

    Bearded dragons need a variety of vitamins to stay healthy. Vitamins E, A, and B1 are essential in your diet.

    Anorexia can be caused by vitamin E deficiency, but this is rare.

    Many bearded dragons are deficient in vitamin D. Calcium supplements are often combined with vitamin D3, so you can avoid deficiencies by adding a calcium supplement to your meal.

    Most, if not all, vitamin deficiencies can be avoided by eating a balanced diet rich in leafy vegetables.

    Deficiency is more frequent in bearded dragons recovering from hunger strikes.

    If you suspect your dragon is deficient in vitamins, take your gecko to the vet to check your blood vitamin levels. Self-treatment of beards with vitamins can lead to overdose.


    Aside from injuries, this is undoubtedly the worst-case scenario on this list.

    If none of the other common explanations seem to apply, your bearded dragon may be ill and need to see a vet.

    In this case, if possible, collect its droppings. This is because viewing or submitting for testing may help veterinarians determine the cause of the dragon's anorexia.

    What should I do if my bearded dragon doesn't eat?

    • If possible, find a specialized outpatient veterinarian or doctor who is interested in geckos. Veterinarians are all highly trained professionals, but few handle lizards on a regular basis, so they are less familiar with lizards than other species. Exotic species are something some veterinarians love to find and treat.
    • Examine the dragon's surroundings. Beared dragon care is very important for many health issues, so double-check that you are in a position to have everything you can control. Temperature, humidity, UV rays, cleanliness, clean water, and a healthy diet are all important factors.
    • If the bearded dragon is still working fine in the other area and the mood is perfect, it's a good idea to let it sit peacefully and quietly for a few days to see if the situation improves.
    • Resolving the problem is simpler if you recognize the problem early and seek professional help as soon as possible. The longer you wait to solve the problem, the bigger the problem will be.
    • The next step is to look for other signs and symptoms. Anorexia is just a symptom. Look for changes in body weight, soft stools (or lack thereof), and changes in activity level.
    • If your bearded dragon has not eaten for several days or has other symptoms, you should seek professional help from your veterinarian (lethargy, defecation, lack of feces or weight loss).
    • This may be common if your bearded dragon is enjoying a bit of friction. It can be helpful to compare your current behavior with your previous behavior.

    Bearded Dragon's Nutrient Needs

    Beardy dragons, like humans, are omnivores, consuming both living things (carnivores) and plants and plant material (herbsible animals).

    Of course, as with any pet, the meat-to-vegetable ratio should be as close as possible to the natural diet in the wild.

    As a result, the traditional average ratio for young bearded dragons is approximately 75% meat and 25% vegetables, and for adults 25% meat/75% vegetables.

    The most meat/animal items consumed by bearded dragons are live insects such as:
    • Cricket
    • Mealworm
    • Dubai cockroach
    • Superworm

    For example, turnip green is one of my favorite types of plants.
    • escarol (chickory green)
    • green collard
    • endive mustard green
    • coriander 
    • turnip vegetable
    • dandelion green

    Non-live food must be cut into bite-size pieces before being placed in the dragon's tank.

    It's also a good idea to provide regular bearded dragon vitamins like Repti Calcium and Repashy pills.

    Bright bugs such as fireflies are all harmful or very poisonous to bearded dragons.

    It's also worth mentioning that any insects that you feed your dragons must be hand-raised and purchased from a reputable professional pet store.

    Wild bugs and insects can carry a variety of dangerous parasites or germs, so bad weather can make Beardie feel a little bit bad!

    As mentioned above, these ratios may need to change for unique dragons and should be reviewed as they age, increasing the amount of greenery to lower the risk of obesity. When we said beardies enjoy their food, we are not joking!

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

    An adult bearded dragon with adequate fat storage levels can go up to two months without eating! However, it is neither desirable nor recommended as it can lead to malnutrition and other diseases. Bromate bears can go without food for weeks, but still need regular watering.

    Young beardy dragons need a lot of protein and minerals to grow and should not be left without food for long periods of time. You should definitely take your young beard to the vet if it doesn't eat.

    When is the time to visit the veterinarian?

    The health of the bearded dragon should always come first, so if you have any concerns, please consult your veterinarian. If health problems are detected earlier, treatment is usually simpler. You can use the checklist above to do a thorough examination and watch your dragon carefully to rule out other causes of loss of appetite.

    If you see obvious signs of pain or injury, such as swelling, pus, or paleness, and your beard's enclosure is in good condition, you should see your veterinarian.

    Fluids, electrolytes, water baths, feeding aids, and dietary or environmental advice are all common treatments that a veterinarian may recommend.

    If your bearded dragon is not eating, do not try to force it unless your veterinarian has instructed you and you know how to eat properly. Because it can be fatal for both you and Beardie.


    Despite all the information available online, it can be difficult to pinpoint exactly why a bearded dragon refuses to feed. One of the many reasons you should have a reputable veterinarian for your bearded dragon is to have someone to call when you don't know what to do. At the same time, keep in mind that bearded dragons often lose their appetite. The possibilities might not be serious.

    Keep an eye out for the variables mentioned above and keep an eye out for the bearded dragon. This is especially true if you are starting to show symptoms of malnutrition or starting to lose too much weight. It may be due to a change in mood or a small stress such as flushing. Early detection of infection is also important, so don't be too careful. Always visit your veterinarian if you have any doubts.

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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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