This article will explain how long bearded dragons can go without food and let you know why they occasionally decide not to eat. This article will also tell you what you should do when your bearded dragon is brumating.
Your bearded dragon can go up to two months without any food. Learn why your dragon may be refusing to it and what you can get it eating once more. In this article, I also teach you how to force feed your bearded dragon if it’s becoming too thin.
How Long Can a Bearded Dragon Live Without Food?
As mature bearded dragons store a lot of fat they can go up to two months without eating. However, your pet should have access to food at all times. Allowing them to spend days without food is not recommended as your bearded dragon needs access to food so it can stay healthy.
Furthermore, juveniles who grow quickly and stop eating should be seen by a vet as soon as possible. This is because they need a lot of protein to help them grow up strong and healthy.
Dragons who are brumating can go for weeks, sometimes months without eating. However, there should always be water available.
Finally, brumating is similar to hibernation however, the dragon’s body simply slows down slightly. This is to ensure that the dragon can survive during the cooler months. A dragon that lives in captivity may still brumate even though you can feed them as much food as they want. This is because their instincts tell them when to brumate.
When your Bearded Dragon is not Eating
If your bearded dragon is not eating and they’re not brumating it could be caused by a number of reasons. Your bearded dragon may be stressed, ill, be eating a different diet, or you may have moved them to a new habitat.
Let’s take a closer look as to why a few changes could result in your pet not eating:
Under stress – When a bearded dragon is under stress they may refuse to eat. Have you recently added another bearded dragon to the cage, or can they see another dragon? This could be disturbing them so you may want to have a re-think.
Furthermore, you may want to consider whether there’s a lot of sudden noise in your home. Alternatively, it may tend to shake a lot (Such as when a train goes passed). These factors could stress out your dragon.
Try to consider what may be causing your dragon to become stressed. Sometimes dragons get stressed for the smallest of reasons.
They’re ill – It’s unlikely that your dragon has stopped eating because they’re ill but this is always an option to consider. Finally, if you think your dragon is ill you should take them to a vet as soon as possible.
In the meantime, consider feeding them baby food such as chicken or squash as it could help them gain weight. You may also want to give them a few drops of water every day too. Avoid bathing your dragon until you know for sure what is wrong with it.
You’ve changed their diet – If you’ve recently changed your dragon’s diet you should be prepared for them to complain about it. Bearded dragons like to stick to the same diet. Your dragon may refuse to eat for weeks or even months before they decide they should probably eat something. However, you could change their diet back to what it was before.
Of course, if your dragon is losing weight then you need to give them food they enjoy eating. However, if they are losing weight slowly but they’re acting the same try to stick it out. They will eat eventually.
Similarly, if you do change your dragon’s diet to what it was before they will know you’ve caved. This could mean they’ll be even more stubborn in the future.
You’ve moved them to a new habitat – If you have recently moved your bearded dragon to a new habitat your dragon may be unhappy. You may have moved the terrarium to another area of your home or simply added something new to it. Additionally, all of these things could result in your dragon refusing to eat. Try removing whatever it was that you added. If their appetite improves get rid of the item in question.
How to Make Your Bearded Dragon Eat
If your bearded dragon is clearly weak and is becoming very thin you may have to force them to eat. However, your dragon may have a few health issues as a result of your force feeding.
Of course, if your vet has told you to go ahead and force feed your dragon you may appreciate a few tips.
1. Ensure your have a good grip on your bearded dragon.
2. Ensure your dragon is comfortable
3. Gently open the mouth by pulling their lower jaw down.
4. Finally, insert some food.
Brumating Bearded Dragons
When a bearded dragon goes into brumation it essentially hibernates. As the winter starts to come ever closer a dragon will not be able to absorb as much warmth as it needs to. Warmth is needed so that the dragon can digest food properly.
At any rate, this is why bearded dragons slow down and so they stay alive for a lot longer even when there’s less food around.
A dragon that’s brumating will bury themselves under some soil and go into a deep sleep. While the dragon is asleep it doesn’t need any food or water. However, you should always make sure your dragon has enough water available at all times.
In addition to this, please note that their vents will probably pull moisture in from the soil so they stay hydrated. However, keep some water within reach should they wake up and feel thirsty.
Bearded dragons that live in captivity will still brumate, it’s in their nature and it’s not something you can change. However, not every dragon will choose to brumate when the winter is upon us, so do not worry if yours doesn’t.
Furthermore, the length of brumation can be anything from a long nap to a sleep that lasts weeks. Every bearded dragon is different and they will do what feels natural to them.
Signs of Brumating Bearded Dragons
If your dragon has lost their appetite chances are they’re getting ready to brumate. They may also be lethargic, poop less, and not wish to be handled. They may also fail to bask quite so much, if at all. You may also find it hard to wake your dragon up.
In fact, it’s likely that your dragon is just waiting for all the food that they’ve consumed to be digested. If this is the case they will pass a bowel movement and enjoy a deep sleep.
Finally, if you think your dragon is brumating the best thing you can do is let them get on with it. You should never try to force feed them during this time as it can cause health issues.