How to Get Rid of Bearded Dragon Stress Marks
If you have noticed some weird markings on your Bearded Dragon and you wondering if they are stress marks (Click here to learn, from this guide, what to avoid to keep your Bearded Dragon safe), why they have occurred or how to get rid, then keep reading for some answers.
How do you get rid of bearded dragon stress marks? To get rid of the stress marks, you need to identify the root cause of the stress (more on this later) and deal with that first. For established pets, you can try a couple of techniques immediately to calm him down and remove the marks.
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Now that you understand what needs to be done. Keep reading so I can explain exactly how you can get rid of these stress marks, identify what has caused them, and learn how to prevent them from coming back.
What are stress marks?
Before we delve into how you can deal with your Beardies stress marks, let me explain, in this section, exactly what they are. This is important for you to fully identify if your Beardie has them.
At a close glance, you will notice some coloration differences in your Beardie’s skin. In particular, dark lines or even oval looking shapes.
Usually, you can find these stretch marks on certain common locations on his body. In particular, you can expect to see this on his belly, limbs, or even on his beard. The reality is, you will know it when you see it because it will be noticeable.
What causes stress marks (& prevention)?
To prevent this from happening, you need to understand what causes these marks in the first place, are you with me? Therefore, in this section, I will explain several issues that can cause him stress, and in turn, stress marks.
This type of stress is caused by a change in environment. Usually, this will be quite a significant change. For that reason, it is common amongst new Bearded Dragons.
Meaning, not necessarily young, but new, are you with me? So, when you get a new Beardie and move him in, you may notice that he gets stressed out and develops these stress marks.
There is no real way to prevent this, if he is new, you can’t prevent it. But, you can help to cure the problem (more on this later).
Harassment from other pets
If you have another pet, for example, a dog or a cat. They are naturally curious creatures. And, even worse, they are natural predators. So, they may see your Beardie as a threat or even food!
So, they may harass him and stress him out. This is not just cats and dogs, it can be any other pet you have around the house.
The best way to prevent this is to keep your pets away from your reptile. You need to have a location that your Beardie can feel safe in, are you with me?
Getting the environment conditions correct is critical to keep him happy. Think about it yourself, if you were trapped in a flat and it was wintertime, with no heating, wouldn’t you get stressed?
Exactly, the same thing for your Beardie. It’s important to get the temperature correct and not just that, maintain the correct temperature at a consistent level on an ongoing basis.
To prevent this, make sure you maintain the correct temperature (Click here to see the correct temperature for your Beardie).
Conflict with other Bearded Dragons
If you have more than one reptile in the house, that is fine. But, trying to share an enclosure with a Beardie is difficult. And, in most cases, you will have conflict.
Inevitably, one of the Beardies will try and claim dominance. And, in turn, one will become submissive, get bullied, and get stressed out.
So, to prevent this even happening, it’s not even worth trying to get them to share. I know its more expensive having two enclosures, but if you have one that’s not happy, it may limit his lifespan anyway.
Incorrect tank size
In the wild Bearded Dragons have a lot of room to roam around. So, when they are moved to a small enclosure they are generally not happy.
Adult and Juvenile Beardies are physically bigger, so they will naturally need more space. Baby Bearded dragons, on the other hand, do not need a massive tank. They need time to acclimatize in a smaller tank.
Also, for babies, they may find it hard chasing their insects in a large enclosure.
They need the correct tank size to make sure that they feel happier and avoid getting stress marks. Therefore, prevention is simple, get the tank size right (Click here to learn how to get the tank size right).
No hiding spots (or not enough)
The tank size and temperature is one thing, but if it’s just a tank, regardless of the size, they will not feel comfortable. Bearded Dragons are introverted, they like to hide behind rocks, under tunnels, etc.
So, if they do not get access to these items, they are likely to get stressed about it. Why? Because they feel exposed and uncomfortable in their environment.
The prevention, in this case, is simple, get some rocks, wooden bark (Click here for the price on Amazon), tunnels, etc, to keep him happy.
If your home is quite noisy, this could be your family members, music, other loud pets, etc. It could make your Beardie get stressed out. It’s ok, within reason. But, if it is an ongoing noise that is quite loud he won’t like it.
The obvious solution is to relocate the enclosure to a quieter location in your home. I understand that this is not always that easy.
This boredom can stress out your Beardie as well. I don’t mean that he should have a cage mate. As discussed earlier, he will not usually get on well with them. This is more geared towards the contents of the enclosure.
Earlier, I talked about their need to have rocks, tunnels, etc, right? Well, that was to hideaway. But, they also provide activities for them. Meaning, he will get bored without them. So, the same solution here, get some toys, activities, etc.
How do you get rid of the stress marks?
Now that you know what might have caused the stress and learned how to prevent it from coming back. You may be wondering how you can deal with the immediate issue, the marks on his body that you can see.
If its one of the issues above, except for relocation stress, you need to look at my advice for prevention. However, if it is relocation, there is a question you need to ask yourself…
Is he new or have you had him a while?
Calming down a new Beardie
Dealing with a new Beardie is different. Why? Well, you need to avoid direct contact. In time this will change, but you need to work up to it, are you with me?
Do not mix him with other Bearded Dragons, keep him on his own, or this will just make matters even worse. Make sure the decor in the tank is correct. Meaning, plenty of hiding spots and activities to keep him happy.
Next, you need to start gaining his trust, you do this by using food, in particular insects. Offer him some crickets. But instead of just leaving there for him, feed them using a feeding tool, such as some tweezers.
This will make him associate you with positive experiences. As the saying goes, “don’t bite the hand that feeds you”. And, in this case, it goes well. Because you will build a bond with him.
Gently increase the feeding sessions so he learns to get happy when you show up. In time, maybe a week or two, he will start to develop some trust for you. Use your tone of voice, gentle and soft, to make him feel at ease and relaxed.
Relieving the stress with an established Beardie
With a more established Beardie, you have an advantage, he knows you. And, the chances are he trusts you. Therefore you can make direct contact. There are two things that you can do to try and get him to relax quicker:
- Offering him a bath
If you know him, chances are you have picked him up before and for that reason, I won’t explain how to do this, because you have probably done it loads of times, right? But, one thing I will say. Be careful not to try and pick him up by reaching to grab him from above.
The problem is, he may get startled, and this may stress him out even more. The thing is, he has a third eye. This third eye is used to detect lights and shadows. If you attempt to grab him in this manner, his third eye may alert him and freak him out, are you with me.
Instead, pick him up from the side, or even from the front so he can see you approaching him.
Offering him a bath
One of the other options is offering him a bath. This bath with help to calm him down and also make a physical connection with you.