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Bearded Dragon Not Eating

If you’ve noticed that your fierce little bearded dragon is not eating has stopped slopping up the bugs, fruits and veggies, you may want to start doing a bit of observing and research.

Your bearded buddy’s lack of appetite could be the result of many different circumstantial issues, but it could also be your lizard’s way of acclimating to certain environmental factors. Not eating isn’t always a cause for concern since this happens frequently to lizards in the wild. However, considering diet is one of the leading causes of deaths for these amphibians, we suggest taking precautions by closely scrutinizing how long your lizard has gone without food.

Below is a list of six common reasons why your dragon is skipping the chow and not eating.

Shedding…

Does your companion have more grey-ish skin than usual? Is he or she scratching a lot or rubbing their body across their floor or cage? Your lizard could be starting to shed. This is frequently a cause of a decreased appetite in younger lizards. Adults can experience this as well, but it’s much less frequent.

Solution: A bath will help the skin peel, but don’t force it yourself.

Sharing Cage Quarters…

It doesn’t matter if you have two females, mixed sexes or two males together in a single cage, your lizard’s behavior will change if they’re kept with other bearded dragons. That includes changes in eating and feeding patterns.

Solution: Our best advice is not to house these little guys together.

Temperature and Bulbs…

When was the last time you changed your UVB bulb? Even if it looks like it’s still working, the average bulb loses its UVB output in between six and 12 months. Without the proper rays, it’s likely that your lizard’s diet will change. If the bulb isn’t also putting off a minimum of 10% UVB, your bearded pal won’t be able to metabolize calcium, thus, causing huge issues later. Keeping the right temperatures is the only way that dragons regulate their body temperatures.

Solution: Check your bulbs and replace them when necessary. Keeping in mind the proper temperatures and UVB exposure.

Stop Eating That…

Often the reason a bearded dragon will stop eating is because they ate something that they shouldn’t have. The most common include:

Substrate…

Baby beardies will sometimes eat substrate. It will then build up in their systems and cause a blockage. If they develop a blocked gut, they’ll stop eating.

Solution: A bath will help them pass the substrate, and use newspaper or papertowel along the bottom of their enclosure instead.

Insects…

Was that butterworm just a bit too large? Like substrate, your lizard can develop a blockage from eating insects that are too large or from being overfeed. This is especially common if your not feeding your friend a lot of vegetation.

Solution: Bathing them! The hydration will help he or she pass whatever is blocking their system.

Parasite…

Parasites or viruses are also a very common problem that can cause your buddy to stop eating. If you noticed open sores, coughing, weight loss or that his or her alertness seems off, you may want to consider that your bearded dragon may have a parasite or virus.

Solution: Take your pet to a vet as soon as possible.