Bearded Dragon Won T Eat?

Bearded dragons can stop eating or lose their appetite for a variety of reasons. We as first-time owners of these lizards may experience worry when they go off feed. Reptiles dont need to eat everyday, and sometimes a few days off is a normal occurrence.

What do you do if your bearded dragon won't eat?

If your bearded dragon is not eating, they might be suffering from impaction. … In serious cases, this can be rather uncomfortable and will likely cause your bearded dragon to lose their appetite. In addition to the refusal to eat, your bearded dragon will likely appear fatigues and not very active.

How do I force my bearded dragon to eat?

Fill a small syringe with a puree of dragon diet. In the puree include vegetables, fruit, worms for protein and a liquid vitamin supplement. Apply pressure to the sides of the bearded dragon’s mouth to force it to open.

Will a bearded dragon let itself starve?

Gray-bearded Member. Many reptiles will, and do starve themselves to death. Its usually related to some sort of stressor or illness. Many, many reptiles are very delicate and any upset can shut down feeding. WC are notorious for doing it….but it can happen to captive bred easily also.

How long can a bearded dragon go without eating?

How Long Can A Bearded Dragon Live Without Eating? The answer to this question greatly depends on the age and health of your pet. For instance, adult beardies with extra weight to lose can go up to 2 months or longer without food, although this is far from optimal!

They are usually enthusiastic eaters and have a strong desire for food. A bearded dragon not eating can be cause for concern and a symptom of a wider health issue.

A Bearded Dragon refusing to eat can be a sign of a health problem, the result of a poor diet, a natural behavior or bad husbandry. Brumation Shedding UVB Lighting Cold Tank Temperature Impaction Parasites Stress Wrong Diet Vitamin Deficiency Injury

If an adult stops eating for more than a week, to make sure it is in good health, you should take it to a vet regardless of the reason. In the winter bearded dragons go through a period of dormancy to help save energy, this is called brumation . Brumation helps wild species save energy and increases their chances of survival and successful breeding.

Many pet bearded dragons do not brumate because the temperature and lighting in their enclosures remain the same year round. Make sure you offer food once a week to a brumating dragon and keep a constant supply of water in the enclosure. As the lighting outside begins to become brighter in the spring, he should become active again and you can return to normal tank conditions and feeding schedules.

Your bearded dragon will eat very little during this process and this is not cause for concern unless he starts losing significant weight. As bearded dragons grow they shed their outer layer of skin in a process called ecdysis. This lighting helps bearded dragons synthesize vitamin D and build strong bones.

Metabolic bone disease is a serious health problem that can deform their limbs, spines and skulls. The absence of UVB lighting normally does not result in them refusing to eat or a loss of appetite. However, the symptoms and stress of metabolic bone disease can make it hard for your bearded dragon to eat .

If your bearded dragon stops eating and does not have a UVB light, take him to a vet for blood tests. A combination of adding a 10.0 UVB bulb to their enclosure and calcium injections will be part of their treatment. Bearded dragons are native to the scrublands of Australia and are considered a type of desert lizard .

If your bearded dragon consistently wont eat, one of the first things you should check is enclosure temperature. Temperatures should be checked with a thermometer several times a day to make sure they remain within the right range. Cold temperatures are a common reason for a bearded dragon to not eat, but that can be fixed easily.

Unlike brumation, where his appetite slowly decreases, impaction occurs as a sudden lack of eating. Loose substrate is easily ingested by bearded dragons and is the main reason behind impaction. Using a substrate like reptile carpet , newspaper, or tiles greatly reduces the risk of impaction, especially in hatchlings and juveniles.

But, too high of a load can lead to problems that include a lack of appetite and weight loss . It is important to take any adopted dragon to a vet for a thorough exam to rule out any future problems with parasites. Refusing food, lower activity levels, increased aggression, black beards, pacing and glass surfing are all signs of stress.

Foods like meat, fish, dairy, dead insects, onions, and peppers should not be fed. Try offering a variety of fruits, veggies, and insects to find out which foods your bearded dragon likes. Food variety is also a great way to make sure they get a healthy balance of vitamins, minerals and nutrients.

Sharp and abrasive edges on tank dcor can cause injuries, especially on their soft stomachs and toes. Start by checking the UVB bulb is less than six months old and ambient and surface temperatures are within the correct range.

If youre like most bearded dragon owners, then chances are youve witnessed your beardie show some pretty impressive (albeit alarming) self-control in resisting their food.

The answer to this question, as you may or may not have guessed, depends for the most part on the age and health of your dragon. Mature dragons with plenty of fat stores and weight to lose, can go up to 2 months without food, although this is NOT encouraged.

Dragons who are brumating , can be expected to go weeks if not months without eating, but should still be given water on a regular basis. As briefly touched on above, there can be a wide array of reasons why your bearded dragon has stopped eat. A new habitat , different diet, brumation, an illness , stress , and many more reasons can contribute to a loss of appetite.

A new setup can lead to initial stress in a bearded dragon.Try removing the new items and seeing how the next couple of days to a week goes. If their cage isnt hot enough (basking temp should be between 95 and 105 for adults, 100 and 110 for babies), dragons can definitely lose their appetite. Think long and hard about anything and everything that could potentially be stressing your dragon out and calm them down , as often times, it can be the smallest of things that leads to appetite suppression.

If youve recently introduced new foods into your dragons diet , be prepared for the standoff of the century! It is not uncommon for bearded dragons to snub their greens, especially in the beginning.So, the tricky part about this dilemma is that it essentially comes down to a battle of wills. Your dragon can go weeks (even months) without eating and eventually succumb to the fact that theyre simply going to have to accept their new diet OR you can break down and feed them what theyre holding out for.

Brumation can be a confusing thing for many first time owners, make sure you do your homework!If your dragon is showing signs of getting read to go through this process, I highly recommend you check out my in depth article HERE to fully understand the brumation process and what you can do to make it a success! In the meantime, consider gently and lightly spoon or syringe feeding them stage 1 baby food like squash or chicken to try and make them gain weight . Dragons do a phenomenal job of eating what they need (typically) and force feeding can lead to some health issues.

However, if your dragon is visibly weak and becoming alarmingly thin or youve been given the go-ahead from a trained reptile vet, then by all means try to force feed. If your bearded dragon stops eating it is important to realize that 9/10 times its not for a reason worth getting worked up over and theyll live as long as they can .

This resource will help you figure out why your bearded dragon wont eat and what you should do about it. Dont worry, its not as complicated as it seems!

Figuring out why your bearded dragon wont eat is actually a lot easier than you might think. While this doesnt mean you shouldnt take this seriously, its meant to illustrate that the cause might not be the end of the world!

Also, many of the habitat and health circumstances that cause a bearded dragon to stop eating are fairly easy to fix. If they exhibit any biting behavior , thats also an obvious sign that stress might be the cause (they might turn their beard black too ). Lighting, temperature, and humidity affect their general level of comfort which can be more than enough to cause these lizards to not eat.

UVB & UVA Lamp For Reptiles and Amphibian By TEKIZOO Provides strong and consistent UVB and UVA for reptiles Bulb is compatible with a variety of enclosures Compact size of 6.3 x 4.5 inches Bulb undergoes strict testing before being packaged Expert Tip: Your bearded dragon needs a mix of UVA and UVB light in order to stay healthy and maintain their appetite. Its also important to keep this light on for at least two hours after dinner (their last meal of the day) to help them digest.

Feeding them and shutting off the light immediately after will send conflicting signals that might cause them to stop eating. A change in lighting conditions can also trigger a temporary loss in appetite even if you set everything up properly. To an inexperienced owner who doesnt know what to expect, it might seem concerning if their bearded dragon is eating roughly half of what it used to.

Impaction is a buildup in the gut or intestines that cant be moved by normal digestive or colon contractions. Fortunately, this is easy to notice which makes preventing it straightforward (well touch on that in a later guide). If you suspect that this is the reason why your bearded dragon wont eat, we always suggest taking them to the vet to be safe.

Focusing on adjusting the cause of impaction before addressing a potentially serious health complication is not the right approach. One sign that they might not be eating due to brumation is that theyll spend most of their time in the cooler part of the enclosure. If your bearded dragon is going through brumation theres really nothing for you to do other than keep them hydrated, provide food in case they show interest, and maintain the temperature.

Depending on the situation, the shedding process can make your bearded dragon itchy and dry. As youve probably guessed, a variety of illnesses can cause a bearded dragon to stop eating too. There is a long list of potential sicknesses that can plague these reptiles, but infections and parasites are usually the most common.

Expert Tip: In some situations, parasites can actually increase the amount of food a bearded dragon eats. This could simply be due to discomfort and unwillingness to leave their hiding spot, or something worse (like an infection). If youre giving your beardie a quick scan each day theres a good chance youll notice the issue.

Why Your Bearded Dragon Is Not Eating?

There are few reasons why your bearded dragon may lose his appetite or stop eating altogether.

Parasites

Feeder insects can carry parasites that can make your beardie sick, and less inclined to eat. Other signs to watch out for are lethargy and diarrhea. You will need to take your beardie to a reptile vet in order to get a fecal exam to find out what type of parasite you are dealing with. Oral medication is generally given for a course of about a week or two.

Brumation

Some bearded dragons go into a form of semi-hibernation referred to as

Hunger Strike

For the first year of life, bearded dragons eat nothing but insects. Getting these lizards toFor older dragons who may favor certain fruits or veggies, you’ll have to get crafty to sneak in variety to their diet.

Illness

Lack of appetite, lethargy, and a drop in weight are all significant signs your beardie needs to be checked out by a good reptile vet. There could be an underlying

Signs of Eating and Drinking

As desert dwelling reptiles, bearded dragons can go weeks without food, sometimes a few months. This allows them to survive in their native habitat when food sources are scarce. In captivity, this usually occurs during brumation. There are a few things you can keep an eye on to make sure your beardie stays healthy if he goes off food for a while.

Foods to Stimulate Appetite

Whenever I’ve had trouble getting my beardie to eat on his own, I have had great luck using canned pumpkin. I usually mix in chopped greens or vitamin supplements.Some dragons may eat it straight from their usual food dish, or you can try spoon-feeding them. Along with canned pumpkin, vegetable-based baby foods may also work for you. Again, you can mix in greens or vitamins.

Food Colors

Beardies seem to be attracted to certain colors more than others, such as red, green, or yellow. Many of their favorite foods possess these colors, and they’re naturally drawn to them.Pumpkin, butternut squash, yellow squash, red peppers, strawberries, raspberries, etc. are all things that will catch the eye of your dragons.

Dish Colors

Food dish colors may also place a part in influencing appetite in the same way as food. I have used both blue and red dishes, and I have to say that the reddish seems to get more of a response. Warm colors such as red, orange, or yellow may be something to give a try.

Bugs/Bait & Switch

Here’s another method to try if your beardie is off feed, but still eating bugs. Use your dragon’s favorite bugs and give them to him one at a time. While he is chewing, stick greens or veggies in his mouth.They may manage to spit some of the food out, but you might have some success. This method can be hit or miss because some beardies (like mine) will get wise to what you’re doing, and decide to keep their mouth closed tight.

Force Feeding

I strongly suggest seeing a reptile vet before deciding to force-feed your pet, and especially if you’ve never done so before. Your vet can show you how to safely do it at home under the right direction.

Brumation

A Bearded Dragon refusing to eat can be a sign of a health problem, the result of a poor diet, a natural behavior or bad husbandry. The following list contains theBrumation and shedding are normal behaviors that can be concerning for new owners. They happen naturally for the duration of a dragon’s life.Lighting, temperature, and diet can all be corrected at home, but ideally they should be set up properly before bringing your lizard home. The remaining issues may require a vet.If an adult stops eating for more than a week, to make sure it is in good health, you should take it to a vet regardless of the reason. Juveniles should go to the vet after three days of not eating.For each of the reasons above we will now explain signs to look out for, why this is happening and most importantly, how to get them to start eating healthily again.

Shedding

As bearded dragons grow they shed their outer layer of skin in a process called ecdysis. During this process their skin becomes white and papery, and is rubbed off in patches.Depending on the age of the bearded dragon, the frequency and length of shedding varies widely.A large adult may take two weeks to fully shed. A juvenile may finish shedding in a day or two. Younger dragons can shed every month and sometimes every two weeks as they go through their most rapid growth. Older adults may shed only twice a year.If you notice your bearded dragon is not eating as much as normal, check to see if he is about to shed. If you notice white papery skin, this is the likely cause.Before andSome individuals, especially hatchlings and juveniles, do not lose their appetite and will continue to eat.Shedding happens throughout their entire life. The pattern of a reduced appetite with shedding becomes routine for long-time owners. For first time keepers it can cause concern and take some getting used to.Brief fasting during shedding should not impact their weight, though they may become slightly lethargic and irritable. Give them time and do not try and handle them, unless you are helping with stuck shed.

UVB Lighting

Wild bearded dragons are most active during the day and get plenty of sunlight. Pet species get “sunlight” from special UVB lighting in their enclosure. This lighting helps bearded dragons synthesize vitamin D and build strong bones.A 10.0 UVB bulb is needed for bearded dragons and should be replaced every six months as the UVB output decreases. Beardies can develop metabolic bone disease without this.Metabolic bone disease is a serious health problem that can deform their limbs, spines and skulls. The absence of UVB lighting normally does not result in them refusing to eat or a loss of appetite. However, the symptoms and stress of metabolic bone disease canIf your bearded dragon stops eating and does not have a UVB light, take him to a vet for blood tests. Blood tests can show if your lizard’s blood calcium is too low. This may indicate he is in the early stages of metabolic bone disease.Metabolic bone disease can be treated, and even reversed, if caught early. A combination of adding a 10.0 UVB bulb to their enclosure and calcium injections will be part of their treatment.

Cold Tank Temperature

Bearded dragons are native to the scrublands of Australia and are considered a type of desert lizard. If your bearded dragon consistently wont eat, one of the first things you should check is enclosure temperature.Dragons that are consistently exposed to temperatures that are too lowBearded dragons need a basking spot of 95 to 105°F. Night-time temperatures should be no lower than 75°F, but this can be decreased slightly during brumation. Temperatures should be checked with a thermometer several times a day to make sure they remain within the right range.These lizards are cold-blooded and rely on tank temperature for energy. They will not eat until they are fully warmed up. They also need the tank to remain warm for three hours after eating to help with digestion.Because of these reasons, many beardies are not ready to eat first thing in the morning. Bearded dragons should always be fed in the afternoon.Cold temperatures are a common reason for a bearded dragon to not eat, but that can be fixed easily. Consistently low temperatures can lead to more serious illnesses. If your dragon is wheezing or has discharge from its nose and mouth, it may have a respiratory infection and should be taken to a vet.

Impaction

Impaction happens when food, or any item, gets stuck in your beardie’s intestinal tract and causes a blockage. This blockage is highly uncomfortable andThe most notable symptoms of impaction are a lack of appetite and a change in feces. Their poop may completely stop or be very small and grainy.Unlike brumation, where his appetite slowly decreases, impaction occurs as a sudden lack of eating.Impaction is quite common in reptiles that live in enclosures with the wrong substrate (Sand impaction is easy to see with x-rays and can be felt by gently touching their stomach.If you think your bearded dragon is impacted, then stop feeding and take him to a vet as soon as possible. Sometimes impaction can clear up on its own, but it normally requires a trip to the vet.

Stress

Internal parasites are normally a bigger problem for wild-caught pets. Captive-bred species can get parasites from their prey, or through contact with other reptiles, but this is not as common.Every bearded dragon is able to carry a certain parasite load without it impacting their health. But, too high of a load can lead to problems that include a lack of appetite and weight loss.Protozoans, nematodes, and trematodes are some of the most widespread parasites. Wild insects are often carriers of these parasites so you should never feed wild insects.Also if you are handling more than one reptile, then wash your hands between cages to prevent the spread of parasites.Infected dragons areParasites can be tested for by a vet and are usually easy to treat with antiparasitic medication.

Wrong Diet

A common reason for a bearded dragon not to eat isBeardies are omnivorous insectivores. This means they eat mostly plants, but get most of their protein from insects. Foods like meat, fish, dairy, dead insects, onions, and peppers should not be fed.Adults need a diet of 75% plants and 25% insects. Feeding too many insects can result in constipation and impaction.Juveniles need more insects than veggies, but they should not be fed insects high in chitin (Finally, not all bearded dragons like the same food.Some love crickets and others may only want dubia roaches.Try offering a variety of fruits, veggies, and insects to find out which foods your bearded dragon likes.Food variety is also a great way to make sure they get a healthy balance of vitamins, minerals and nutrients.

Vitamin Deficiency

There are several vitamins that bearded dragons need to stay healthy. Vitamin E, A, and B1 are all very important to their diet.A Vitamin E deficiencyVitamin D is the vitamin that many bearded dragons lack. Calcium supplements are often mixed with vitamin D3, so dusting food with a calcium supplement will prevent any deficiency.Feeding a balanced diet that has lots of leafy vegetables will prevent most, if not all, vitamin deficiencies.Bearded dragons that are recovering from a hunger strike are more likely to have a deficiency.If you think your lizard might have a vitamin deficiency then take him to a vet to check his blood vitamin levels. Trying to self-dose your beardie with vitamins can result in an overdose.

Anxiety & Stress

When it comes to figuring out why a bearded dragon isn’t eating, this is one of the most overlooked causes. Everyone jumps to things like lighting or illness (both valid), but they skip this one!As you probably know, bearded dragons are a lot more emotionally complex than people think. They assume that these creatures are “typical reptiles” (whatever that means) that don’t have much of a personality.But that couldn’t be further from the truth.Bearded dragons need to feel comfortable in order to thrive. While we’re not saying they’re high-maintenance lizards,The most common causes for this are changes to their diet, lighting, temperature, and humidity. While these can influence the overall health of your bearded dragon, they can also take some getting used to.Even these are all still within the recommended guidelines, your bearded dragon might not eat for a bit until they get used to the change. If they exhibit any biting behavior, that’s also an obvious sign that stress might be the cause (they might turn their beard black too).Another common change is if you move them to a new cage or enclosure. It will take some time for them to get used to this new environment, and they might refuse to eat in the meantime.

They’re Getting Older

Proper lighting and temperature are very important for all reptiles, and bearded dragons are no different.Lighting, temperature, and humidity affect their general level of comfort which can be more than enough to cause these lizards to not eat. But on top of that, they actually help the digestion process!The right lighting sends a variety of signals to their bodies that it’s time to eat. Cold and darkness do the opposite.As a result, your bearded dragon probably wont eat if it’s a little too chilly in their habitat. If your light is weak or not set up properly, it might not be doing the job.It’s also important to keep this light on for at least two hours after dinner (their last meal of the day) to help them digest. Feeding them and shutting off the light immediately after will send conflicting signals that might cause them to stop eating.A change in lighting conditions can also trigger a temporary loss in appetite even if you set everything up properly. While this is uncommon, your bearded dragon is a lot more sensitive to these subtle differences than you are.

They’re In Brumation

If your bearded dragon is not eating, they might be suffering from impaction. This isn’t something that many new owners are familiar with, so let’s explain it for a second.Impaction is a buildup in the gut or intestines that can’t be moved by normal digestive or colon contractions. In serious cases, this can be rather uncomfortable and will likely cause your bearded dragon to lose their appetite.In addition to the refusal to eat, your bearded dragon will likely appear fatigues and not very active.If your bearded dragon is experiencing impaction, there’s a good chance it was caused by one of two things:Eating substrate might seem like odd behavior, but it doesn’t always happen intentionally. When your bearded dragon is going after food it’s actually rather easy for them to get a little substrate in their mouths as well.Also, take some time to assess their diet and compare it to the recommended guidelines. Are you giving them too much of the same protein-rich for the sake of convenience? This is a common cause of impaction as well.If you suspect that this is the reason why your bearded dragon wont eat, we always suggest taking them to the vet to be safe. Focusing on adjusting the cause of impaction before addressing a potentially serious health complication is not the right approach.

Shedding

If your bearded dragon is shedding, that could be the cause for their loss of appetite as well. Inexperienced owners are usually surprised to hear this because it’s a natural process.But it can be uncomfortable!Depending on the situation, the shedding process can make your bearded dragon itchy and dry. This constant feeling can definitely impact their mood and willingness to eat.The best thing you can do is keep them comfortable during the process and provide them with food if they’re feeling up to it. Once they’re finished shedding you’ll see their appetite resume.

They’re Sick

As you’ve probably guessed, a variety of illnesses can cause a bearded dragon to stop eating too. This is usually the first cause that inexperienced owners jump to when they get in a panic, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a possibility.There is a long list of potential sicknesses that can plague these reptiles, but infections and parasites are usually the most common.One infection that you’ll see often is mouth rot. This occurs when there’s an infection of the mouth that results in swelling, bleeding, and even loose teeth. As you can imagine, these symptoms would make eating rather painful (which is why they don’t).There’s also the possibility that a parasite is the cause. This will result in the bearded dragon feeling generally ill and unwilling to eat (or do much of anything).It’s common for reptiles to get parasites from the insects they eat, and bearded dragons eat a lot of them! This is yet another reason why it’s so important to only feed them high-quality food from trusted sellers.Obviously, there are many other kinds of diseases and illnesses your bearded dragon can get that will cause them not to eat. There’s a long list (even though many are uncommon), which is why consulting a vet is always useful.In many cases, your vet will ask you to bring in a sample of their poop so they can diagnose the problem.

Injuries

While it might seem unlikely, bearded dragons get injured all the time. Most of the time this is the result of them fighting with other animals or getting hurt by a poorly-made enclosure.And an injured bearded dragon is far more likely to turn away food than a healthy one.This could simply be due to discomfort and unwillingness to leave their hiding spot, or something worse (like an infection). Regardless, it’s another cause you should be aware of.If you happen to be keeping them in a situation that increases their chance of getting hurt, you should correct it as soon as possible. Keeping them with other lizards they fight with (even if it’s occasional) or a low-quality enclosure (be honest here) are easy things to fix.If you’re on top of their care requirements and providing the best possible care, the likelihood of them getting injured goes way down.