Bearded Dragon Stress

Bearded dragons can become stressed out for various reasons. When stressed out they might have diarrhea, appetite loss, and darkened stomach or show aggression. If your bearded dragon is new to his/her new home, you recently moved or changed the environment; you are bound to see stress. In addition, bearded dragons are solitary animals that do much better on their own. Other dragons or pets in the room can also cause stress.

Signs of a Stressed Bearded Dragon

There are signs to look out for, in order to know, whether or not your animal is stressed out or unhappy. These signs include:

The color of their entire body darkens, almost turning black. (This can also be a sign that your dragon is cold. The darker the skin is, the colder the animal. When cold, they will turn dark under their basking lights, in order to absorb more heat.)

Glass surfing can indicate stress, usually related to something in or near the cage. (Some dragons glass surf because they want to be held).

Black beards can be a sign of stress if other causes like mating have been eliminated. Black beards that are a sign of stress are usually stress related to illnesses and disease, or even pain, so best to Do a health check.

Black stripes of the belly known as stress marks.

Bearded dragon health check

What Can I Do to Calm My Bearded Dragon?

If your dragon had a sudden change of environment, it is best to give them time to adjust.

The right setup – Bearded dragons should have a proper hide inside their cage. Hides help them to de-stress and provides them with security and shelter. A dragon without a proper setup and hide will be stressed out eventually. 
Without sufficient heat, UVB, cage setup, and diet your beardie will be stressed most of the time. 

Bearded dragon health check

Give a bath – A nice Lukewarm bath (NOT HOT) will also calm them down most of the time. (Water should be shallow enough for the beardie to sit comfortably in and lukewarm like that of a baby’s.)

Wrap them up – Beardies love soft, warm blankets. A stressed-out bearded dragon can easily be calmed by wrapping them in a warm blanket. DO NOT close the head or apply pressure to keep them secure. If they do not want to be inside, it is best to let them out otherwise you just stress them out further.

Bearded dragon health check

Remove insects that are not eaten. Insects crawling around their cage at night will stress them out and in some instances can even bite them while sleeping.

A bit of attention – Your bearded dragon is not just a pet that should be left in the cage all day. They love the interaction and being handled. You would be stressed out as well if someone left you in a cage for days without taking you out!

Stretching some legs – Again, being confined in a cage all day is pretty stressful to any living creature. Time should be made to take out your dragon for a bit of free-roaming around the house or in the garden. Obviously, safety comes first! Be sure to keep a close eye when he/she is out.

Bearded dragon health check

Health Check – Do a Health Check, as sometimes stress can be related to your dragon not feeling well. It’s always best to rule this out as soon as possible.

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