The purpose of this blog is to share general information and is written to the author's best knowledge. It is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. For health concerns, please seek proper veterinary care.
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Bearded dragons are such amazing pets to own. If you already have one of these cool pets, you know how great they are.
They can be so much fun to care for and observe. You know that bearded dragons are supposed to bask for a certain amount of time per day.
When your bearded dragon isn’t basking as it should, you’re going to be concerned. Is this a sign that something is wrong with your pet?
Read on to learn why a bearded dragon will stop basking. There are several potential reasons to consider and they should help you to figure out what’s going on in your situation.
1 – The Basking Temperatures Aren’t Right
The most common reason why bearded dragons aren’t basking is that the basking temperatures aren’t right. You need to get things right or the dragon isn’t going to want to bask normally.
Basking is an important process for your beardie. It needs high temperatures to help it digest its food properly.
You might have made the mistake of setting the basking temperatures too high. When the temperatures are too high, it can cause your beardie to overheat, and it’ll want to escape to the cool side of the tank.
It’s possible that the cool side might be incorrect as well. If the whole tank is hot and uncomfortable, the poor beardie isn’t going to feel very good.
Ensure that you set the basking area up properly for your bearded dragon. The basking area should have the temperature set between 95 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
The cool spot in the tank should be between 75 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. At night, you want the tank to be between 70 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
Use a thermostat to keep an eye on the temperature in the tank. It might be beneficial to own a handheld digital thermometer, too.
This allows you to easily check specific spots in the tank. It makes it simple to verify that every spot of the tank has the recommended temperature for basking.
2 – Is Your Bearded Dragon New?
It’s normal for bearded dragons that are new to a home to bask less often than normal. This is especially true when you bring a baby beardie into your home.
Your beardie is going to take a bit of time to get used to its new environment. It’s likely very scared at the moment, but it should feel more comfortable over time.
Other pets in your home can be intimidating to the bearded dragon. It might see them as predators.
Even humans can be scary for bearded dragons at first. You might notice that your beardie is hiding a lot even when it should be basking.
Give the beardie time to settle and get used to things. Treat it well and be sure to provide it with optimal care.
Ensure that the beardie has a good hiding spot such as a hide that it can slip under. It’ll help it to feel safe as it gets used to you and the house.
3 – Brumation
Reptiles such as bearded dragons go through a period of time known as brumation. Brumation is essentially a type of hibernation for reptiles.
It’s typical for beardies to enter a brumation period during the winter months. They do this both in captivity and in the wild.
During this time, bearded dragons seek out a safe place where they can sleep for a certain number of weeks. They don’t need to bask or eat while brumating.
There are signs that you can look out for that will tell you that the bearded dragon’s brumation period is drawing near. One telltale sign is that the bearded dragon will stop eating as much as normal.
You might notice that your beardie will sleep more often, and it’ll start going to sleep earlier. It’ll begin to bask less often and it might even appear to be sluggish.
Don’t worry because this is all perfectly normal. If all of this is happening during the winter, it’s very likely that your bearded dragon is simply getting ready for its brumation period.
4 – Problems with Other Pets
There’s a chance that you might have other pets besides your bearded dragon. It’s very common for people to own cats and dogs.
In some cases, the bearded dragon will be very intimidated by other pets in the house. Pets such as dogs and cats cause bearded dragons significant stress.
These are animals that the bearded dragon sees as predators. It might take a very long time for your beardie to feel comfortable around them.
If your dog winds up barking at the mailman, it’s going to scare the daylights out of the bearded dragon. There’s not much you can do about that.
Sometimes other family pets will get along fine with bearded dragons. They might not, though.
Be sure to keep an eye on things for the safety of the bearded dragon. If you’re observant and proactive, everything should be okay.
5 – Problem with Other Bearded Dragons
It’s not too uncommon for people to house multiple bearded dragons together. This won’t always go well for the weaker bearded dragon, though.
Normally, the more dominant bearded dragon is going to take control of all of the best spots in the tank. This includes the best basking spot.
Your weaker beardie might be forced to stay in the cool spot due to being intimidated by the other bearded dragon. Sadly, it just isn’t a good idea to house more than one bearded dragon in a tank.
Too much can go wrong when you do so. It’s not even a good idea to keep beardies in separate tanks where they can see each other.
It’d be more peaceful to keep them away from each other completely. This is the best move when you care about the health of both bearded dragons.
6 – Loud Noises Can Scare Beardies
Is your house pretty loud? Beardies can get scared by very loud noises in the house.
There are all sorts of things that can cause a racket in a house. You might have the TV set at too high of a volume.
Perhaps you’re playing your favorite music too loud over your home stereo system. You could even be playing video games and making a lot of noise.
Remember that bearded dragons are going to get scared by excessive noise. Even simply vacuuming the floors could cause significant stress for the bearded dragon.
You’ve already learned that dogs barking can scare beardies. This is why you should try to find a quiet room for your bearded dragon if possible.
It might not be possible to protect the beardie from hearing noise at all. You should be able to keep the beardie happy by giving it a relatively peaceful environment.
Don’t put the bearded dragon’s habitat in the same room as a TV. Consider keeping your family dog far away from the room with the bearded dragon tank.
Taking the right precautions can make things better for everyone. Your bearded dragon should feel much more comfortable and it’ll bask as it should.
7 – Could the Beardie Be Sick?
You should consider whether the beardie is sick or not. Sometimes beardies will show the same signs of brumation when they’re sick.
If the beardie isn’t eating as much, and it’s lethargic, it could be sick. This is especially true if these signs are happening and it isn’t winter.
Bearded dragons get very sluggish when they’re sick. They often simply stay in one spot and it’s common for them to hide, too.
There are all sorts of illnesses that bearded dragons might have to deal with. Your beardie could have mouth rot or parasites.
If you think that your bearded dragon might be sick, it’s best to seek out help as soon as possible. Reach out to an exotic veterinarian right away.
A vet can diagnose the bearded dragon and come up with the right treatment plan. It’ll help you to get your beardie back to normal as fast as possible.
8 – Shedding Issues
Shedding issues can cause problems for bearded dragons, too. If your beardie is having a hide time shedding, it might not feel like basking as normal.
Often, shedding will be a trying time for bearded dragons. These reptiles shed in patches and it takes several days for the process to complete.
When bearded dragons are shedding, they’re going to be very sore and also quite itchy. It’s normal for bearded dragons to be in a bad mood when they’re going through all of this.
If your beardie is shedding, it might wind up hiding instead of basking. It should be fine and will likely return to basking once the shedding process is over.
You might be able to help your bearded dragon have an easier time shedding. There are some things you can do to make the process go smoother.
For example, gently spraying droplets of water on the bearded dragon can make a difference. Shedding becomes easier when the humidity increases in the tank.
Mist the beardie daily while it’s shedding. It’ll make things a lot better overall.
9 – General Depression
Did you know that bearded dragons can become depressed? Sometimes a lack of stimulation will cause beardies to feel depressed and this will make them act lethargic.
You need to do your best to give your beardie a stimulating environment. These reptiles need rocks, plants, and hiding places that will help them feel natural.
Putting a bearded dragon in an empty tank simply won’t do. Be sure to set the tank up the right way to keep the bearded dragon happy.
It’s also possible that the tank itself is too small. Beardies will be very depressed if you force them to live in a cramped environment.
Be sure to buy a tank that is more than big enough for your pet. Otherwise, it’ll make it a lot tougher for the beardie to be happy under your care.
It can be good to buy toys for the bearded dragon to play with as well. This can help to keep it occupied.
10 – Impaction Issues
Finally, you need to consider whether impaction issues are to blame. Bearded dragons will stop basking when they’ve become impacted.
Impaction is a term that refers to a blockage in the digestive system. A hard mass of food might be preventing the beardie from having normal digestion.
As you’d expect, situations like this will be uncomfortable for beardies. A bearded dragon won’t feel like eating or basking when it’s going through this.
It also won’t be able to poop as usual due to the blockage. This can be very painful and it might even keep the beardie from walking around very much.
This isn’t an issue that you should ignore. Impaction can wind up being lethal if you don’t treat it.
Sometimes giving bearded dragons a warm bath will be enough to break up the blockage. Massages can also help.
If that doesn’t work, you can reach out to an exotic vet for assistance. The vet will know exactly what to do to get your beardie feeling better.
You should be able to figure out why your bearded dragon isn’t basking now. There are so many potential reasons to consider.
It’ll be necessary to observe the bearded dragon and use the context of what’s going on to determine what to do. You might need to adjust the temperature of the basking area, but it could be something else.
Beardies will stop basking when they’re feeling depressed. They’ll also avoid basking when they become sick.
Your bearded dragon could be getting ready for its brumation period. It’s up to you to determine which of the reasons above applies to your situation.
If you’re worried and unsure of what’s happening, you can always reach out to a professional. Exotic vets will know what to do to help your pet out right away.
It’s good to have an exotic vet that you can turn to in times of need. When you care about your bearded dragon, it’s best to have help when certain things go wrong.