It would be dreadful if you closed in on your beardie’s tank, only to find him gaping and looking all flustered. You’re not quite sure exactly how long he’s been doing this for, and terrible concern washes over you. You pretty sure you nailed the temperature settings. So, is he really that hot?
Can bearded dragons get too hot? Yes, bearded dragons can get too hot, especially when you’re in the midst of a heatwave, which takes the room temperature up a few notches and substantially raises the temperature in your bearded dragon’s home. Without a thermostat, you are looking at potential disaster for your dragon.
Keep reading to find out more about why they get too hot, what the potential signs are and how we can quickly avoid a sticky situation if we notice our dragons are on the verge of being cooked.
Why Is My Bearded Dragon Hot?
There are a few reasons your bearded dragon may be feeling a tad bit hot in his home.
Basking Temperature Is High
As bearded dragons are ectotherms, not being able to generate their own body heat to digest food, they require heat from an external source. When bearded dragons are kept within their habitat, we need to mimic the heat they would usually be exposed to living in “The Outback.”
Thus, a basking spot and a cooler side should be provided for in a bearded dragon’s home. It allows them to regulate their body temperatures by moving around between warmer and cooler areas within their habitat.
Your beardie’s basking area may be too hot for him to handle! Always be sure you are adhering to the correct temperature requirements for your beardie’s age to avoid overheating.
Cool Temperature Is High
The temperature in the cool area of your bearded dragon’s habitat may have increased due to the basking area temperature rising significantly.
Your beardie may have a tough time trying to regulate his temperature because his home is too hot, and the cool area does not allow him to prevent his temperature from increasing.
The cool area also becomes hot when the basking lamp has been incorrectly placed far into the middle of the tank, as opposed to hovering over the side of the tank where the basking area is provided for.
Once again, your beardie cannot regulate his temperature as there is no cool area within which to do this.
Temperature Change Outside the Tank
The temperature in a bearded dragon’s home will increase if there is a change in outside temperature. It is expected during summer months and is dependent on where you live, of course.
People who would like to keep beardies as pets need to be aware of changes in temperature during summer months and make the necessary adaptations to basking and cold areas. So, you can be content that your beardie does not overheat and keeps cool when he chooses to do so.
Beardie Feeling the Heat? Spot the Signs!
Beardie parents should observe their bearded dragon’s behavior in order to pick up on any potential signs indicating that they are too hot and make the necessary adjustments to habitat temperature.
Bear in mind, though, that the behaviors could also mean something other than overheating. If you notice odd behavior, don’t fret, just check your habitat temperature.
If the temperature within your beardie’s habitat is nothing to be concerned about, then you can look into other possible reasons for the behavior.
Let’s review a few typical behaviors which may indicate whether your beardie may be too hot.
Beardies May Gape
A bearded dragon often gapes when they are feeling too hot. However, this is not something you should generally be concerned about.
Beardies love basking with their mouths open, and they just do this to release some heat from their bodies when they have reached their maximum temperature.
When you notice this behavior, you can check the habitat temperature using a digital thermometer as a preventive measure. If the temperature is fine, then you would need to determine the root cause of the gaping behavior.
Beardies May Start Digging
Beardies tend to dig holes, when they are feeling a bit hot and uncomfortable, to find cooler areas within the habitat.
Once again, you would need to check the habitat temperature as a preventive measure. He could be digging for another purpose altogether, which you would need to identify in order to help your beardie.
Beardies May Start Glass Surfing
Glass surfing is an indication that your beardie could possibly be overheating in their habitat. Check the habitat’s temperature with a digital thermometer at the basking and cool areas to assess whether the temperature is the issue.
It could also be an indication that your beardie is stressed, in which case the behavior should be monitored, and the actual cause identified.
Beardies May Seek Shelter in Their Hide
When your beardie is consistently using their hide for shelter in their habitat, they might be overheating. The hide provides a cooler space for the beardie to regulate their temperatures.
Hides provide a minor decrease in temperature in comparison to the rest of the habitat, which may feel like a lot to your beardie.
However, there is no reason to be concerned as beardies can normally also be found in tunnels or hides as it is a natural habit for them.
You would need to investigate further to find the cause for the behavior if they regularly opt to spend time in their hide or other sheltered areas within their habitat.
Beardies Are Attached to Their Water Dish
Dehydration in a beardie will have him attached to his water dish, which is a possible indication that your beardie is too hot. And it is probably best to review habitat temperatures just to be sure and make the necessary adjustments if required.
How You Can Help Your Hot Beardie
If you’re ever caught in a situation where your beardie is overheating, you can respond quickly by carrying out the following steps.
- Remove your beardie from the habitat – Quickly take your beardie out of their habitat, if temperatures are high, so you can avoid any further strain or stress on them while you can resolve the habitat temperature.
- Rehydrate your beardie – You can quickly rehydrate your beardie if they have become too hot by misting them with a spray bottle, which will cool them down perfectly, and they will be able to enjoy little droplets of water themselves as well.
- Review your thermostat settings – Make sure that your thermostat and all other habitat equipment is operating effectively and set at the correct temperature.
- Review your basking lamp level – Quickly raise the level of the basking lamp to lower the habitat temperature immediately.
Although these quick tips have been provided, you should always try to avoid a situation where your beardie may be overheating.
Thermometers and thermostats are genuinely the best ways to make sure that temperature levels are consistent and guard against changes in temperature. No beardie home should go without it!
Bearded dragons CAN get too hot if the basking area temperature is too high, the temperature in the cool area has increased, or the temperature outside has increased.
As beardie parents, the safety of our bearded dragons should be guarded by habitually checking habitat temperatures and installing appropriate equipment, including thermometers and thermostats.
Bearded dragons are meek and mild and do not deserve to be harmed by something which we can easily control!
For more information, please go check out this article on getting the right temperature.
May you and your beardie always stay safe!