Skip to Content

Bearded Dragon Q&A

bearded dragon f&q


Q: What do bearded dragons eat in the wild?

A: In the wild, bearded dragons primarily consume a mix of insects, small animals, and plant matter. This can include crickets, beetles, worms, small rodents, flowers, and fruits depending on their location and availability of food.

Q: How often should I feed my bearded dragon?

A: Juvenile bearded dragons should be fed once or twice daily, while adults can be fed every other day.

Q: How much should I feed my adult bearded dragon?

A: Adult bearded dragons can be fed a mix of insects and vegetables, about a handful of each. Monitor their weight and adjust as necessary.

Q: How much should I feed my juvenile bearded dragon?

A: Juveniles are growing rapidly and need more protein. Offer them insects daily, letting them eat as much as they can in 10-15 minutes.

Q: Can bearded dragons eat fruit?

A: Yes, bearded dragons can eat fruits, but it should be given in moderation as a treat.

Q: Which fruits can bearded dragons eat?

A: Bearded dragons can eat a variety of fruits such as apples, pears, melons, berries, and grapes. Always ensure they are chopped to an appropriate size and remove any seeds.

Q: Can bearded dragons eat vegetables?

A: Yes, vegetables should form a significant part of an adult bearded dragon’s diet.

Q: What vegetables can bearded dragons eat?

A: They can eat leafy greens like collard greens, dandelion greens, and mustard greens. They can also eat bell peppers, zucchini, and carrots among others.

Q: What vegetables are safe for bearded dragons?

A: Safe vegetables include but aren’t limited to squash, carrots, bell peppers, leafy greens, and green beans.

Q: How do I safely wash and prepare vegetables for my bearded dragon?

A: Wash the vegetables thoroughly under running water to remove any pesticides or contaminants. Chop them into small, manageable pieces before offering them to your dragon.

Q: What insects are best for bearded dragons?

A: Crickets, dubia roaches, and earthworms are among the top choices. They provide good nutrition and are easily digestible.

Q: Do bearded dragons need calcium supplements?

A: Yes, especially if they are kept indoors without regular UVB exposure. Sprinkle calcium powder on their food to ensure proper bone health.

Q: How often should I give vitamin supplements to my bearded dragon?

A: A multivitamin supplement can be offered once a week to ensure they’re getting all the necessary nutrients.

Q: Is it safe to feed my bearded dragon wild-caught insects?

A: It’s preferable to feed them captive-bred insects to reduce the risk of parasites or pesticides.

Q: Can bearded dragons eat mealworms?

A: Yes, but they should be given in moderation as they can be harder to digest.

Other Dietary Concerns.

Q: How does a bearded dragon’s diet change as they age?

A: Juveniles need more protein from insects as they grow. As they mature, their diet should shift more towards plant matter with insects being a lesser part of their overall intake.

Q: Can bearded dragons eat raw meat?

A: While they can eat it, it’s not recommended as part of their regular diet. Stick to insects and vegetables.

Q: Should I remove uneaten food from my bearded dragon’s enclosure?

A: Yes, to maintain cleanliness and prevent any potential bacterial growth.

Q: Why isn’t my bearded dragon eating?

A: Various reasons can cause this – stress, illness, or changes in environment. If your bearded dragon doesn’t eat for an extended period, consult a vet.

Q: How can I encourage my bearded dragon to eat greens?

A: Introduce greens gradually and mix them with their favorite insects. Over time, reduce the insect proportion in the mix.

Q: Do bearded dragons drink water?

A: Rarely from a bowl. They typically get their hydration from their food, but it’s good to mist them occasionally or provide a shallow water dish.

Q: How can I ensure my bearded dragon stays hydrated?

A: Provide a water dish, mist them occasionally, and ensure their diet includes moisture-rich foods like fruits and veggies.

Q: Are there any foods toxic to bearded dragons?

A: Yes, avoid feeding them avocados, rhubarb, and fireflies. Always research before introducing a new food item to their diet.

bearded dragon


Q: What kind of habitat do bearded dragons need?

A: Bearded dragons require a dry, arid habitat that mimics the desert and semi-desert regions they originate from. Their enclosure should include a basking spot, a UVB light source, proper substrate, and hides or shelters.

Q: How big should a bearded dragon tank be?

A: A juvenile bearded dragon can start in a 20-gallon tank. However, adult bearded dragons need a minimum of a 40-gallon breeder tank, with a 75-gallon tank or larger being ideal to provide ample space for movement and exploration.

Q: What is the best substrate for a bearded dragon?

A: Newspaper, reptile carpet, and ceramic tiles are recommended. Loose substrates like sand can cause impaction if ingested and should be avoided.

Q: How often should I clean my bearded dragon’s enclosure?

A: Spot-clean feces and uneaten food daily. A full clean, where you replace the substrate and disinfect the tank, should be done monthly or as needed.

Q: What temperature should a bearded dragon’s habitat be?

A: The basking area should be between 95°F to 110°F, while the cooler end should remain between 80°F to 85°F. Nighttime temperatures should not drop below 70°F.

Q: How do I set up UVB lighting for my bearded dragon?

A: UVB lights are essential for bearded dragons to synthesize vitamin D3 and absorb calcium. The light should span at least 2/3 of the tank‘s length and be placed overhead, not on the side. Ensure it’s a reptile-specific UVB light and replace it every 6-12 months.

Q: Do bearded dragons need a heat lamp?

A: Yes, they require a heat source to bask and regulate their body temperature. Infrared or ceramic heaters can be used at night if needed.

Q: How long should the lights be on in a bearded dragon’s tank?

A: They need 12-14 hours of light during the day and darkness at night to mimic their natural environment.

Q: What kind of decorations or hides should be in a bearded dragon’s tank?

A: Include a combination of branches, rocks, hides, and possibly hammocks. Ensure all items are stable to prevent accidents.

Q: Do bearded dragons need a water dish in their habitat?

A: While they get most of their hydration from food, it’s still recommended to have a shallow water dish in the enclosure.

Q: How often should I mist my bearded dragon’s enclosure?

A: Misting is not frequently required due to their arid habitat preference, but a light misting every few days can aid in hydration and shedding.

Q: What’s the difference between a juvenile and adult bearded dragon’s habitat?

A: While the basic requirements remain the same, juveniles can be housed in smaller tanks (20 gallons), but they quickly outgrow them. Also, juveniles might require more frequent feedings.

Q: Do bearded dragons need a basking spot?

A: Absolutely. Basking is crucial for digestion and thermoregulation. Ensure a designated basking area is set up with the appropriate temperature.

Q: How do I regulate humidity in my bearded dragon’s tank?

A: Use a hygrometer to monitor humidity levels. They should stay around 30-40%. Reduce moisture or use a dehumidifier if needed.

Q: Can I keep multiple bearded dragons in one enclosure?

A: It’s not recommended. Bearded dragons can be territorial, leading to stress or even physical harm.

Q: What kind of plants are safe for a bearded dragon’s habitat?

A: While live plants can be used, ensure they’re non-toxic to bearded dragons, like haworthia, aloe, or echeveria.

Q: How to set up a bioactive enclosure for a bearded dragon?

A: A bioactive setup includes live plants, microfauna like springtails and isopods, and a layered substrate system that promotes a natural cleaning cycle.

Q: Can I use sand as a substrate for my bearded dragon?

A: While sand mimics their natural habitat, it poses a risk of impaction if ingested. If you choose to use sand, ensure it’s a fine grade and monitor your dragon closely.

Q: What are the risks of using loose substrate for bearded dragons?

A: The main risk is impaction, a blockage in the digestive tract from ingesting substrate.

Q: How to ensure proper ventilation in a bearded dragon’s habitat?

A: Most commercial reptile enclosures come with mesh tops to allow for adequate ventilation. Ensure the mesh is clear of obstructions, and the room where the tank is located has good air circulation.


Q: Why is my bearded dragon waving?

A: Arm waving in bearded dragons is a submissive gesture. It’s a way of communicating to other dragons that they recognize their dominance or to show they’re not a threat.

Q: Why is my bearded dragon bobbing its head?

A: Head bobbing is typically a sign of dominance in bearded dragons. Males often bob their heads to show they’re the dominant male, especially during mating season.

Q: Is my bearded dragon aggressive or is this normal behavior?

A: While bearded dragons can display aggressive behaviors like hissing, puffing up, or blackening their beard, especially when they feel threatened or during mating season, they’re generally known as calm pets. Consistent aggressive behavior might indicate stress or illness.

Q: Why is my bearded dragon digging?

A: Digging can be a natural behavior, especially for females, which may dig when they’re gravid and looking to lay eggs. However, dragons can also dig out of boredom or to try and create a comfortable spot.

Q: Why does my bearded dragon puff up its beard?

A: Puffing up the beard can be a sign of feeling threatened, a display of dominance, or a method to stretch their skin, especially after waking up.

Q: Is it normal for bearded dragons to brumate?

A: Yes, brumation is similar to hibernation in mammals. Bearded dragons may go through this phase during colder months, becoming lethargic and eating less.

Q: Why is my bearded dragon hissing?

A: Hissing is a defensive behavior. It might indicate that the dragon is scared or feels threatened.

Q: How can I tell if my bearded dragon is stressed?

A: Signs of stress include a darkened beard, decreased appetite, aggressive behaviors, frequent hiding, and irregular bowel movements.

Q: Why does my bearded dragon open its mouth when basking?

A: This behavior, known as gaping, is a way for bearded dragons to thermoregulate. By opening their mouth, they release excess heat.

Q: Do bearded dragons recognize their owners?

A: While they don’t recognize owners in the same way mammals might, bearded dragons can become familiar with their keepers and be more comfortable around them.

Q: Is it normal for bearded dragons to climb and hang?

A: Yes, they are naturally inclined to climb branches and rocks in the wild, so they might try to do the same in captivity.

Q: Why is my bearded dragon sleeping during the day?

A: Occasional daytime napping can be normal, but consistent daytime sleep might indicate illness, incorrect habitat temperatures, or brumation.

Q: How can I tell if my bearded dragon is happy?

A: Signs of a content bearded dragon include active exploration, a regular eating pattern, and a clear, alert appearance.

Q: Why does my bearded dragon run away from me?

A: It might still be getting used to you. Bearded dragons can be skittish around sudden movements or unfamiliar people.

Q: Is it normal for a bearded dragon to hide often?

A: Occasional hiding is normal, especially after relocation. However, excessive hiding might indicate stress or illness.

Q: How do bearded dragons communicate with each other?

A: They communicate mainly through body language, like arm waving, head bobbing, and beard puffing.

Q: Do bearded dragons like to be handled or petted?

A: With regular and gentle handling, most bearded dragons get used to human interaction and can even seem to enjoy it.

Q: Why does my bearded dragon lick everything?

A: Licking helps them explore their environment. By tasting surfaces, they get information about their surroundings.

Q: Are bearded dragons territorial?

A: Yes, especially males. They can be territorial towards other dragons, which is why it’s often not recommended to house multiple males together.

Q: How can I socialize my bearded dragon or make it more comfortable with handling?

A: Start with short, daily handling sessions, being gentle and calm. Over time, the dragon should become more accustomed to you and less skittish.

bearded dragon questions

Health and Wellness

Q: How can I tell if my bearded dragon is sick?

A: Signs that a bearded dragon might be sick include lethargy, decreased appetite, irregular bowel movements, labored breathing, discolored patches on the skin, sunken eyes, and uncoordinated movements. Regular observation and familiarity with your dragon’s normal behavior are essential in detecting early signs of illness.

Q: Why is my bearded dragon not eating?

A: Various factors can affect a bearded dragon’s appetite, including stress, illness, improper habitat conditions (temperature or lighting), shedding, or brumation (a hibernation-like state). If the loss of appetite persists, a veterinary consultation is recommended.

Q: How often should a bearded dragon poop?

A: The frequency can vary based on diet and age. Juveniles might defecate daily due to rapid growth and a frequent feeding schedule, while adults may poop every 3-7 days. Consistency and appearance are more critical than frequency. If you notice any drastic changes, it’s a good idea to consult with a vet.

Q: What are signs of metabolic bone disease in bearded dragons?

A: Common signs include softened or swollen jawbones and limbs, difficulty walking, and bumps along the vertebral column. This disease results from an imbalance of calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D in their diet. Proper UVB lighting and dietary supplements can prevent and treat early stages of the disease.

Q: How can I treat a bearded dragon with a respiratory infection?

A: Respiratory infections, indicated by mucus discharge, wheezing, or labored breathing, often result from improper habitat conditions. Ensure the right temperature gradient and reduce humidity. However, severe infections require veterinary care and possible antibiotic treatments.

Q: What causes a bearded dragon’s mouth to turn black?

A: A black mouth can indicate mouth rot or a sign of stress. If it persists or is accompanied by swelling, a visit to the vet is vital.

Q: Why is my bearded dragon shedding unevenly or having trouble shedding?

A: Inconsistent shedding might result from low humidity, inadequate hydration, or underlying health issues. You can assist by providing a moist hide and regular lukewarm baths.

Q: Is it normal for a bearded dragon to sleep a lot?

A: While bearded dragons can have lazy days, excessive sleep might indicate brumation or health issues. Ensure the habitat temperature and lighting are optimal. If the behavior persists without clear reasons, seek veterinary advice.

Q: How can I tell if my bearded dragon is dehydrated?

A: Signs include sunken eyes, wrinkled skin, and decreased elasticity when pinching the skin. Providing a shallow water dish, regular baths, and misting can help maintain hydration.

Q: Why is my bearded dragon’s belly turning black?

A: Blackening or darkening of the belly can be a sign of stress, an attempt to absorb more heat, or a sign of illness. It’s essential to monitor any additional symptoms and behaviors.

Q: Can bearded dragons get mites, and how do I treat them?

A: Yes, they can get reptile mites. Treatment involves thoroughly cleaning the habitat, using mite treatments, and sometimes consulting a vet for severe infestations.

Q: What are the common parasites that affect bearded dragons?

A: Internal parasites like pinworms or coccidia can affect bearded dragons. Regular fecal checks by a vet can diagnose and treat these infestations.

Q: How often should I bring my bearded dragon to the vet for a check-up?

A: Annual check-ups are advisable. However, if you notice any irregular behaviors or symptoms, schedule a visit sooner.

Q: Why is my bearded dragon’s poop white or discolored?

A: Bearded dragons excrete urates, which are often white or chalky. However, changes in fecal appearance can indicate dietary or health issues, so monitoring and potential vet consultation are vital.

Q: What are the common skin conditions or infections in bearded dragons?

A: Fungal and bacterial infections, as well as burns or abrasions, can affect their skin. Proper habitat maintenance, regular cleaning, and monitoring can prevent many of these conditions.

Q: Why is my bearded dragon puffing up or inflating?

A: Puffing can be a display of dominance, a method to stretch the skin during shedding, or a sign of distress. Context and accompanying behaviors can provide clues to the specific cause.

Q: Can bearded dragons get overweight, and how can I help them lose weight?

A: Yes, they can become overweight due to overfeeding or lack of exercise. Adjusting their diet, reducing fatty treats, and ensuring they have space for activity can help.

Q: Is it normal for a bearded dragon to lay eggs, even if not bred?

A: Yes, female bearded dragons can lay infertile eggs without breeding. Providing a laying box with moist sand or soil can help them lay comfortably.

Q: How can I tell if my bearded dragon has impaction or constipation?

A: Impaction can result from ingesting substrates or oversized food. Symptoms include bloating, lack of appetite, and straining. Lukewarm baths and gentle belly massages can help, but severe cases require veterinary attention.

Q: What are the signs of stress in bearded dragons, and how can I reduce it?

A: Signs include darkening of the beard or belly, frequent hiding, and lack of appetite. Ensuring a proper habitat, reducing sudden changes, and handling them gently and predictably can reduce stress.

Pierre And The ReptileCraze Team
Latest posts by Pierre And The ReptileCraze Team (see all)