5 Reasons Why Your Bearded Dragon Is Not Eating
Ahhh the world is great, right? You bought a bearded dragon and you are the happiest person on earth. Everything is just awesome and you enjoy spending time with your little new friend. Suddenly you realize that your dragon does not eat that much anymore. A couple of days later it does not eat at all.
Now you get worried, you may even panic a little bit. Well, I hate to say it, but when it comes to a healthy bearded dragon the most important things you have to make sure are that your bearded dragon is active, eats and drinks. If it does not eat at all, it could be a very bad sign. However let´s not assume the worst case scenario. Most of the time you can correct things, maybe make a few changes to your tank and your beardie starts to eat again. Maybe the reason why your bearded dragon is not eating anymore is even totally harmless.
Is Your Bearded Dragon Being Oppressed?
Most pet shops do not educate their customers before they buy bearded dragons. Further there is misinformation about bearded dragons all over the internet. That is why most people think that you can put multiple bearded dragons in one tank without any problems. Unfortunately this could cause a lot of trouble. Bearded dragons are loners which means that they do not get along well with other representantives of their species in most cases.
Since bearded dragons are very calm they often times tolerate other bearded dragons (most of the times male with female), but if you are unlucky one of your bearded dragon could be harrassed by another beardie. This could also mean that your dragon is not allowed to eat or that it is too scared to eat anymore.
What Could Happen?
Well, it could happen that the two get along some day. Did you know that male bearded dragons can disguise themselves as female to "hide" from other aggressive male beardies? Anyway, it could happen, but most likely the weaker bearded dragon is going to die. That could be either a rather quick death or a slow dying. A quick death would mean that one bearded dragon would kill the other bearded dragon. A slow death would mean that the weaker bearded dragon gets harrassed the whole day and it will slowly starve. Sorry, I know this sounds fierce, but this is just nature.
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What You Should Do
I know this sucks, but there are two solutions to this problems and both are a bitter pill to swallow. The first solution would be to give one of your dragons away. I know this is hard but this is the only way to save the dragon from dying. The second option is that you buy a second tank and keep two bearded dragons in separate tanks. This means that you would have to spent a lot of money on a second tank with the while equipment. Further the electric bill will be higher. If you have the money and you want to do this - awesome! Here is a guide that will help you to set up a second tank!
A Very Common Reason: Brumation
In the wild once a year, when the temperatures drop bearded dragons slow down their metabolism. This means that they can survive without eating. For this they bury themselves in soil. This keeps them from freezing and they can get moisture from the soil as well.
So if your bearded dragon is inactive, hides all the time and does not eat, it might be the time to brumate. This is a whole other topic and explaining everything would be a little bit too much. Just give your bearded dragon the time to brumate. If you are not sure if this is really the reason for the loss of appetite visit a vet!
You Got The Wrong Tank Set-Up!
Unfortunately many bearded dragons are kept in tanks that are poorly equipped. It breaks my heart to see all those bearded dragons on Youtube sitting in a tank that has only one food bowl and one hide. Most of the time those tanks have newspaper as a substrate.
While your bearded dragon is able to survive in such a tank, this is not the natural habitat of beardies and in my opinion it is very easy to create an environment that comes close to their wild habitat. Have a look at this!
Further you need multiple temperature zones inside a bearded dragon tank. Needless to say that you need a heat source and a UVB bulb. Without those things your bearded dragon is going to die soon! If you need help with that, here is my lighting guide!
Every bearded dragon should eat some greens. The bad news is that not every bearded dragon wants to eat greens and many owner qive up to quickly on feeding them. Feeding an unbalanced diet or the wrong supplements can lead to a vitamin deficiency which could be another reason for a loss of appetite. If you need help with that here is my feeding guide. And here are 88 things you can feed your dragon!
Parasites And Other Diseases
The list of diseases your bearded dragon could have is extremely long, of course. Your dragon could suffer from impaction or it could suffer from metabolic bone disease if you do not have the right lighting. Parasites are often times the reason for a loss of appetite as well. If your bearded dragon shows a weird behavior besides not eating you should visit a vet rather sooner than later. Look for moving red, yellow, orange or black dots on your dragon to detect a kind of parasite. Other than that convulsions, sunken eyes and inactivity are often times symptoms of a disease.
I really hope that this article helps you with your not eating bearded dragon. Hopefully it is just brumating and you can continue to just enjoy your little dragon. Always remember that visiting the vet is always right if you are not sure if your bearded dragon is healthy.
If you have any questions, simply leave a comment in the comment section below and I will get back to you as soon as possible!
About the Author
Hey! I am Pierre. I own bearded dragons and many other reptiles for a very long time. I know from experience that it can be very hard to find the right information about a specific reptile, since there is so much misinformation out there.That´s why I created this website. To help other people to have the best time with their reptiles.