How Long Can a Bearded Dragon Go Without Eating?
If you are concerned about your Bearded Dragon (Click here to see my best Bearded Dragon Guide) not eating, you may be scratching your head, thinking how this has happened and how long can this go on for. Let me explain…
How long can a bearded dragon go without eating? Bearded Dragons can last up to 2 months without food. This is quite a long time. But I must say, this is not a target, its an average limit. Meaning, you should never have a pet getting anywhere close this, know what I mean?
|Are these foods dangerous for your Beardie?|
|Avacado? Click here to learn, from this guide, if this food is dangerous|
|Superworms? Click here to learn, from this guide, if this food is dangerous|
Now that you understand how long they can last without food on average, let me explain why your Beardie might not be eating, how to look out for red flags of abnormality, and more. Keep reading…
Why your Beardie might not be eating
If you notice that Beardie is not eating, the reality is there are a number of potential issues causing this. For that reason, I will be listing some potential issues here, so you can compare your situation to see if it matches.
- New Habitat.
- Changed Their Diet.
- They are feeling sick.
- Stressed Out.
- Temperature issues.
Believe it or not, little changes in their habitat, or environment can unsettle your pet. This can make them feel uncomfortable and lead to them stopping eating. Have you moved recently? Or changed their enclosure? If yes, or anything remotely similar, this could be the issue.
Beardies like to have familiar surroundings. If they are moved about this can unsettle them and bring them out of their routine. If they feel unsettled, they may stop eating.
Changed Their Diet
One thing to consider. It could be a simple thing like a change in their diet. Beardies can be picky sometimes, and this could turn them off their food. In some cases, it could be a subtle change on your behalf, for example, you may change the particular supplier of a certain food source. Little things like this can trigger him to stop eating.
Depending on the season, you could be facing issues with Brumation. What is this? Think of brumation as the lizard equivalent to hibernation.
It is usually season-specific, hence the reason I said that it depends on the season. During this time, you will notice your lizard’s behavior slow right down, to borderline nothing.
While they brumate, they are not expected to consume any food. They can go up to two months without food during this time. However, they will still need a source of water during this time.
This one is obvious to an extent. Have you ever stopped eating because you feel sick? Well, this is the same for Beardies. The list of health issues is impressive, so I won’t list them all here. But, I think you get my point, right?
Stress is a complex one. There are various delicate triggers that can cause your Beardie to go off his food because of this.
For example, you may have introduced another cage mate, and your lizard is just not feeling her. This could trigger stress and anxiety.
Or maybe, you mistakenly paired up two males, and he is losing the game of dominance? Even things like too much noise in the enclosure could trigger these issues.
What signs should you look out for (for Abnormal behavior)?
Understanding why its happening is one thing. But, the best thing is understanding how to look out for these issues ahead of time. For that reason, I will share with you some red flags that you can look out for.
Has your lizard stopped defecating? If yes, it could be because he is “backed up”. Basically impaction is when he consumes something that could not be digested correctly. If he is not eating, could be related to this issue.
The confusing thing is, your lizard still may eat if this is the case. So, if you see a lack of feces, rather than second-guessing, consult your vet for a professional diagnosis.
This is almost the complete opposite of impaction. You lizard will show some obvious signs of loose feces. It will typically look very runny. During this time he may go off his food.
Parasites are another prime candidate for lack of eating. However, it is not always easy to diagnose this as a Lizard keeper. Sometimes there are obvious signs, such as small moving parasites, that almost look like little dots.
They can vary in color, such as yellow, red, black, etc. The best thing to do is to consult your vet to check to see if your suspicions are correct.
Do Bearded Dragons Have to have Live Food?
If you figure out that your lizard is not eating due to diet. You may find that it’s linked to what type of food you are feeding it. Some squirmish lizard owners try to cut corners and feed their Beardie frozen insects and other workarounds. Why? To avoid live insects.
The reality is, yes, you need to feed your Beardie live insects. This is not all they eat, but it’s the staple part of their diet. You will find, in most cases, they won’t be stimulated to eat insects unless they see movement.
Why? It’s part of their instinctual behavior, are you with me? Even in captivity, these instincts are hard to shake. It’s like, why do humans naturally drink water? We just do, right? Same thing.
So, instead of trying to go “against the grain”, if you like, follow what they want. This will make life easier for you.
In this section, I am going to answer some related questions to Bearded Dragons and their diet. If you have any specific questions in your mind, that you feel has not been answered, please leave a comment below.
Do bearded dragons poop every day? Yes, if they are hatchlings or Juvines. However, for Adults, this largely depends on their diet. If your Beardie is fed mainly insects like Silkworms, there is a good chance he will go daily.
However, if there is more of a mix of veg, crickets, etc, then this could vary. You may see them go 3-4 times a week for example.
Can I leave my bearded dragon alone for 3 days? No. It is not ideal. If your bearded dragon is a baby, then not even overnight is acceptable. Why? Because when they are this young they have fast metabolisms and require frequent feeding and care.
As they get older, according to this site, say, Juvenile, you can consider overnight, but more than that is a stretch. For Adults, there is a bit more flexibility. Because their metabolism has slowed down by that time. However, even then, a couple of days should be fine but not anything more.
How can you tell how old your Beardie is? You can measure them if they are under one year old. This is not an exact science by the way, but it will give you a rough idea of their age. If you have ever had children, you will have seen your midwife use a similar technique, measuring the babies size from within a pregnant mother. Similar concept here.
Do Bearded Dragons Like to be picked up? The reality is they don’t (Click here for my full article on this – do Beardies like being handled). This is not natural for them. But, in captivity, with training, you can handle them without a problem. Typically they prefer their owners, rather than a random person though.
Can Bearded Dragons be potty trained? Yes, as crazy as this sounds, they can be trained. Typically you will be able to condition them to use one particular area of the enclosure. So, it is not necessarily potty training in the purest sense.