What do I do if my bearded dragon doesn’t eat?

Bearded dragons consume small insects as well as vegetables.

Bearded dragons are wonderful and mysterious creatures that can drive their human parents to distraction when they roll their lizard eyes at a cricket or a lettuce leaf. Without the intellectual capacity needed to master English and the correct oral setup to pronounce most English words, when a bearded dragon doesn’t eat, he really can’t explain why. This means that a lizard owner needs to do some basic investigation to determine if the dragon is feeling anxious, if the habitat conditions need adjusting, or if it’s time to take the creature to the vet for a checkup.

Bearded dragons cannot eat if their environment is not appropriate.

Many types of lizards are a little less sensitive, and bearded dragons are especially sensitive to a lot of stress. While it’s good for lizard lovers to get their dragons out of the cage for a little scaly affection every now and then, it’s important not to overdo it. Too much proximity makes a dragon want to breathe fire, and when there’s that much stress, it usually loses its desire for food, and the bearded dragon doesn’t eat.

Brumation in bearded dragons is sometimes confused with illness because the lizards eat less and sleep more than usual.

If there is a lot of activity going on around a bearded dragon’s environment, stress can also occur. If the cage is in a place where children, dogs, and cats regularly break in or stop by for a visit, the dragon will likely not feel very safe. One thing the owner can do to make the habitat a little more comfortable is to cover the sides of the cage. It might seem logical to move the cage, but since these little ones are creatures of habit, it can backfire on a full-blown hunger strike.

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Bearded dragon babies shouldn’t be housed with big guys. Smaller dragons will refuse food if they are intimidated by older brothers and sisters. The cage must also be clean, because a filthy environment is enough to take any lizards out of their food.

The environment that bearded dragons require is very specific. The wrong temperature or too much humidity can be enough to make the lizard crawl under a rock. When a bearded dragon doesn’t eat, it’s often caused by an environmental problem. They need higher daytime temperatures with part of the cage in the shade. Ninety-five to 110 degrees Fahrenheit (35 to 43 degrees Celsius) is de rigueur, and a flat rock on which to spread out and warm up is something every bearded dragon needs.

If the bearded dragon doesn’t eat despite all these requirements being met, it’s time for a visit to the vet. Possibly the beast is simply going through a period of dormancy. In that case, the vet can offer instructions on how to facilitate some rest and relaxation. It is also possible, however, that the lizard is suffering from an illness or disorder that requires medical attention.

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