Among all pet reptiles, bearded dragons are the easiest to care for. But they too need enough care to keep them healthy and happy. And knowing all about beardie poop can give you a ready window into your pet’s health and well-being.
Is your bearded dragon’s poop white? Usually, the white part in the beardie’s poop is urate. But if the entire quantity of feces is white in color, it could be an indication of over-hydration. However, it is rarely a cause for concern since completely white poop means urine.
By looking at your bearded dragon’s poop, you can get to know a lot about how well it is doing. You can also detect any health issues early on. This way, you can make sure that if the beardie is sick, it gets timely treatment. In this article, you can learn all about how the color and consistency of your beardie’s poop can tell you a lot about it.
What does white in the poop mean?
Bearded dragons don’t pee like other animals. However, their excreta contains both fecal matter and urates. The fecal matter is usually brown in color whereas the urates are white.
Hence, a healthy beardie’s poop will naturally have some white portion which is completely normal.
What are Urates?
Kidneys produce waste products in the form of urates. Since bearded dragons don’t pee, the urates are stored in the gut and they come out only with poop.
How should the urates look?
The urates should be well-formed, yet soft but not runny. Hard and chalky urates can indicate that your bearded dragon is dehydrated. On the other hand, if the white part is runny, or if the poop is completely white and runny, it means that the beardie has had more than enough hydration.
If the beardie looks dehydrated, provide it with some water to drink or for soaking in. You could also give it a spray bath to restore its hydration.
When should you be worried?
While white poop is not a red flag, there are certain inconsistencies in beardie poop that indicate some problem with its health. If you notice the below things, you should be worried and take corrective action or see a vet.
Blood in the feces
This could require veterinary intervention. Blood in the feces can indicate an infection, internal bleeding, or constipation. Monitor the beardie for a couple of days to see if the poop normalizes.
But, if the beardie stops pooping or the blood in the feces persists, you should consult a vet. Home remedies such as a warm bath to relieve constipation can also be tried. Similarly, you can give it some applesauce pumpkin (baby food) as a laxative for constipation.
Poop is runny
If the poop is runny, it could be a case of diarrhea. Look for the frequency of poop, too, in such cases. If the beardie is pooping quite a lot and if the excreta is always runny, a vet should be contacted.
Reasons for diarrhea could be changes in diet or parasitic infections.
One of the benign reasons behind runny poop could be the presence of too many water-heavy vegetable portions in your pet’s diet. If you think this could be the reason, switch to fibrous vegetables.
Parasitic infections are trickier to treat. This is because treating parasites can completely wipe off the healthy microorganisms from the beardie’s gut. The ‘good bacteria’ which is needed for healthy digestion and overall health of the bearded dragon could also be removed while treating parasite.
However, in case of severe diarrhea where the beardie is getting dehydrated, a vet can help with the correct treatment.
If you can´t visit a vet, you should read this article on bearded dragons and diarrhea to know what you can do yourself to help your bearded dragon.
What else to look out for in beardie poop?
Your bearded dragon’s poop can tell you a lot of things. But try not to worry every time the poop looks different.
- Color of the poop could change due to changes in diet. In such cases, substituting those food items will usually make the poop look normal again.
- Don’t get too anxious if the poop looks abnormal once in a while. If this is persistent, however, you should inspect further.
- If your beardie is brumating, it will neither eat, nor poop. This is a natural phenomenon and there is no cause for worry if this happens.
- Abnormal feces can also be a result of improper digestion due to suboptimal temperatures. Make sure to adjust the lighting and keep the temperatures within the ideal range.
Apart from this, if you see abnormal poop, watch out for the below signs to see if there is really anything wrong with your pet bearded dragon.
- Is your beardie eating well? If your beardie is not eating well and rejecting even the foods that it usually likes, you need to monitor it well for any health issues.
- Does your beardie have a healthy weight? If your beardie is losing weight, it should be a cause for concern. If you think that your healthy pet is looking thin and skeletal, you should try to find out the root cause.
- Is your beardie active? If your beardie has normal activity levels and is alert to stimuli, it is a good sign. However, if it looks lethargic and tends to not move for longer periods, then you need to monitor it closely and see a vet if condition worsens.
How to help a bearded dragon who is going through a phase of abnormal poop?
If your pet bearded dragon is not pooping, you can try the below tips to help relieve its constipation.
- Give it a warm bath.
Massage its stomach in a downward motion towards the vent.
- Give it homemade laxatives such as applesauce or few drops of olive oil.
- If the beardie is not eating, feed it using a dropper. Or you can even dab some baby food on its mouth so that it can lick it.
If your pet does not poop for more than a week, consult a vet.
(Most bearded dragons get impacted from eating substrate. That´s why it is important to have the right substrate, but it is even more important to understand why the beardie is eating substrate. This article on bearded dragon substrate will explain exactly that and it shows you which substrate you should use.)
Your beardie is dehydrated if the urates are hard and chalky. Another indication is that the beardie’s saliva becomes thick and stringy. You can notice this when you feed the beardie. Also, if you pinch its skin, it wrinkles and does not immediately go back to its original form.
Many beardies do not drink water even when you provide a water dish in their terrarium. Spraying them with water or giving them baths can help them soak some water and restore healthy levels of hydration.
How often should I bathe my bearded dragon? You only need to bathe your bearded dragon if it is impacted, extremely dehydrated, suffers from mites or similar parasites or if it somehow got really dirty.
Do bearded dragons need to hide? In the wild, bearded dragons need to hide from predators from time to time. Hence, even for pet beardies, you should have a hide box in the terrarium. This is so that when the natural instinct to hide strikes, they have some place to go to.
Do bearded dragons get lonely? Bearded dragons are primarily solitary animals. Hence, they do not get lonely if they are kept alone in their enclosure. On the contrary, they prefer being alone.