Bearded Dragon Brumation: What to Do Now for Babies AND Adults

From a very young age, we’re taught in school about seasonal patterns in the world of plants and animals alike.

From the mating and flowering season of Springtime to the hibernation period of Winter, even the smallest of minds tend to have some general understanding of seasonality and its role in nature.

But, what we’re NOT taught about?

Virtually anything having to do with reptiles, with the exception of learning about dinosaurs. So, it should come as NO surprise to anyone that bearded dragon brumation can be quite an alarming experience for new owners!

The purpose of this article is to set the record straight about brumation. From what brumation actually is to tips on how to care for brumating bearded dragons, no stone will be left unturned!

✅ Brumation At A Glance: Brumation is essentially the reptile version of hibernation and is practiced naturally by bearded dragons, turtles, tortoises, snakes, and other lizards. The bearded dragon brumation signs are a dramatic decrease in appetite, drinking, defecating, and a major increase in sleeping/nap time. Brumation varies from reptile to reptile.

What is Brumation for Bearded Dragons?

bearded dragon sleeping during brumation
Brumation is best described as hibernation for bearded dragons. Occurring during the cooler seasons, brumation allows beardies to better copy with less sunlight, lower temps, and less sources (i.e. insects) of food.

In laymen’s terms, brumation is essentially the reptile equivalent of hibernation, with a few key differences. During brumation, a bearded dragon’s metabolism slows down significantly. This leaves them with less energy and less of an appetite

You see, bearded dragons go into brumation as a direct response to the changing of the seasons…

As Winter approaches, not only does the sun grow weaker, but daylight hours get shorter. This leaves bearded dragons unable to absorb enough warmth to properly digest their food, and well, to put it bluntly… survive

In addition to changes in the sun, the weather itself will also be changing, leading to colder temperatures. This affects the availability of the food beardies NEED to survive; plants go dormant until spring and insects die off.

A bearded dragon without food cannot possibly sustain themselves (obviously), so their metabolism has evolved over thousands of years to significantly slow down. This allows them to remain alive without food for as long as several months! Pretty cool, right?

Burying themselves under the soil, bearded dragons will rest and nap on and off, without needing food or water. However, their vents will often pull in moisture from the soil to keep them sufficiently hydrated, just as a side note.

By being underground, bearded dragons also avoid freezing to death as the temperature slips lower and lower.

Why do Bearded Dragons Brumate in Captivity?

While any responsible owner is going to supply their bearded dragon with enough food, warmth, and light to keep them healthy year-round, it doesn’t necessarily mean you can change their biology just like that.

You see, it is important to acknowledge that despite the resources we provide, bearded dragons have evolved to welcome brumation as simply a part of their life.

It should also be noted that not all dragons will brumate in captivity, nor will all dragons brumate in Winter! Some dragons may never brumate, while others feel such a strong instinct, that they may brumate every year.

Some dragons may even be so in tune with their instincts, that they go into brumation in Spring or Summer, despite being in the Northern Hemisphere!

Seeing as this is around the time they would brumate in their native Australia – which experiences Winter and Fall during the Spring and Summer of the Northern Hemisphere –  goes to show just how intuitive these little guys truly are!

How Long Does Brumation Last?

How long does brumation last for bearded dragons
It is important to realize that brumation is different for every bearded dragon. While some may never brumate, others might sleep for months! Only time will tell what your beardie’s preference is.

Just as how not every dragon will brumate during the same time frame… the extent of how long brumation lasts will vary from dragon to dragon.

And while this may not be the succinct and helpful answer you were looking for (I’m sorry!), it IS the truth. You see, it may take you a brumation or two with your dragon to figure out exactly what you can expect from them.

Some dragons will go into a single long sleep for weeks on end, others will take long naps on and off, and some may never even really sleep at all!

Bearded Dragon Brumation Time

Bearded dragon brumation time will depend on what hemisphere you live in.

For instance, bearded dragons living in the southern hemisphere (such as in Australia) will typically begin brumating around March/April and may remain brumating as late into the year as August or September. 

And right as Australian bearded dragons begin waking up, those in the Northern Hemisphere (United States, Europe, Canada, U.K,, etc.) will begin to brumate! Bearded dragons in this hemisphere will typically brumate anytime from September through March.

Bottom line? You can expect your bearded dragon to begin brumating in response to the seasonal changes around you. So, when the temperatures drop come Fall and Winter, expect your beardie to brumate during this time.

Do Bearded Dragons Eat During Brumation?

While all bearded dragons should be offered food during brumation around once a week, it isn’t a big deal if your pet refuses to eat. Brumating bearded dragons will experience a decrease in their appetite and a slowed metabolism rate. This means, it isn’t so critical they fuel their bodies daily.

Now, if they do eat, make sure they digest and pass their food before being left alone again. Try to encourage them to bask under their UVB and give them a bath daily until they have a bowel movement

Once out of brumation, you can expect your bearded dragon to regain a regular appetite within a few days to 2 weeks. However, try to wean them back onto their diet. Don’t overload them with insects initially as this can upset their stomachs.

Signs of Brumation in Bearded Dragons

As bearded dragon owners, we have a tendency to become slightly frantic and paranoid whenever our pet seems to be displaying strange behaviors that extend for longer than just a couple days.

With so many things that can go wrong with bearded dragons, it’s only natural that abnormal behavior triggers an alarm within us! After all, our beardies are family.

May times what we worry may be the signs of a serious health concern, such as impaction or virus, can oftentimes just be signaling the onset of a perfectly normal bearded dragon part of life, such as brumation or a shed.

Signs your dragon may be preparing to brumate: 

  1. Loss of appetite
  2. Lethargy
  3. Going to the bathroom less (#2)
  4. An atypical aversion to being handled
  5. Refusing to bask
  6. Sleeping on the cool side of their vivarium, even in the day
  7. Burying themselves
  8. Difficulty being woken up
Expert Tip: Do not try to force-feed them as this goes against the natural course of things and can cause health issues. In fact, your bearded dragon is most likely counting down the days until all the food in his stomach is 100% digested, so he can pass one FINAL bowel movement before transforming his lethargic naps into a deep sleep. 

Once you’ve realized your bearded dragon is preparing to brumate, it is best to just leave them alone, as force feeding will only complicate his calendar (on top of causing health issues).

Now, you can by all means still provide your dragon with a little bit of food and allow him to decide whether he wants to eat or not. But brumation is simply not a time for force-feeding, even if it would make YOU feel better.

Baby Bearded Dragon Brumation

baby bearded dragon brumation
Brumation in baby bearded dragons is certainly rare but NOT unheard of! Often times, it is better to try and get ahead of the situation should you notice signs of brumation…

Baby dragon brumation is definitely a hot topic amongst bearded dragon owners. You see, typically brumation is NOT recommended for beardies under a year of age.

Because brumation can involve long periods of not eating, it can present issues for a young, growing bearded dragon. Babies who brumate risk their development and health.

However, it is typically pretty rare for a beardie younger than 6 months to show signs of brumation, with many waiting until they’re at least a year and a half (or older!) to brumate.

Now, if you witness your baby displaying some tell tale signs of brumation, it’s probably best that you attempt to stop the process. Of course, within reason though…

It will be more stressful and damaging to your baby bearded dragon to fight them on brumation in the long run. If they are adamant about going through brumation, let them. Just wake them up once a week and offer them food, a bath, and keep waking them up daily until they poop (if they ate that is).

Expert Tip: Often times, bearded dragon owners mistake a lack of energy in their baby beardies for brumation when in reality… it’s due to either A) Lack of UVB, B) Inadequate temperature zones, or C) Growth spurts. Make sure you are able to rule these culprits out before assuming brumation is at play.

How to Tell if a Bearded Dragon is Sick, Dead, or in Brumation

With new owners especially, the signs of brumation may often times go misdiagnosed and lead to some pretty scary assumptions about the health of your dragon. As such, it is important to be able to differentiate between a sick, dead, or brumating bearded dragon. Consider the following…

Bearded Dragon Brumation or Sick?

A good indicator of whether your bearded dragon is sick or in brumation is to look at their physical state.

Sick bearded dragons may display black beard, have depleted fat pads, mucus in their mouth, rotting tails, scale discoloration, sunken eyes, and other physical signs of illness.

However, a healthy dragon who is preparing to brumate should display none of these signs. Dragons preparing for brumation show more behavioral changes than physical.

Bearded Dragon Brumation or Dead?

If you’re concerned your bearded dragon may be dead, first I must say I am quite sorry if this turns out to be the case. Losing a pet is never fun and I extend my condolences to you in this trying time.

To be certain whether your dragon has passed on, I advise you to not make any rash decisions or act too quickly as they are known to be pretty convincing at playing dead.

Dead bearded dragons will feel cold to the touch and can go stiff from rigor mortis. You will also likely notice a smell and their coloring changing depending on how long they have been dead for.

Here’s a test you can do to determine if your dragon is alive or not…

Try laying your dragon on their side and see if they move. If no movement is evident, turn them onto their back.

Any alive dragon will find this very uncomfortable and should try to wiggle themselves upright. If there is no movement still, it is entirely likely your dragon is dead.

How to Care for a Bearded Dragon in Brumation

Once you know your dragon is about to brumate, it isn’t as easy as simply checking out of their lives for a few weeks and coming back to care for them once they’ve woken up!

You’ll want to enact a couple of measures to make sure their brumation goes as smoothly as possible so that they wake up healthy.

Brumation Tip #1: Get Them a Hide

Bearded Dragon on Hide
In the picture: This wooden hide (size Large) provides security and peace of mind for bearded dragons during brumation who are looking to find a safe and dark space to hunker down in – get more info:


1. Fluker’s Small Critter Cavern
2. Zilla Reptile Habitat Décor Hideouts Bark Bends
3. Penn-Plax Shale Step Ledge and Cave Hide-Out

It’s only natural that your bearded dragon is going to want to bury themselves under something to feel safe and secure while they brumate.

You can make brumation a much more peaceful and enjoyable experience for your pet if you provide them with a hide on the cool side of their tank. Strive to provide a hide just big enough for them to fit their entire body in comfortably.

Brumation Tip #2: Take Them to the Vet

If you can, schedule a vet appointment before your dragon is set to brumate to ensure that there won’t be any health issues related to them not eating for an extended period of time.

Certain ailments like parasites lurking in the digestive track, can be very difficult to account for, especially in well-fed healthy weight dragons who get plenty to eat.

If a bearded dragon begins brumating WITH parasites in their digestive system, the parasites will begin to eat the dragon’s fat stores and can lead to them losing a scary amount of weight.

Expert Tip: Consider requesting a stool sample prior to brumation to ensure no parasites are lurking in your bearded dragon’s body. Stool samples are relatively cheap at around $30 or so at most vets.

Brumation Tip #3: Dial Down the “Daylight” (Optional)

Want to mimic your dragon’s natural environment as closely as possible for them and save a little on your electricity bill at the same time? Consider turning the lights on for just 8 hours a day while they brumate!

If you want, you can even increase the light time little by little as you anticipate them coming out of brumation.

However, you likely need to be familiar with their brumation schedule to pull this off successfully, so new owners don’t fret too much over this.

Brumation Tip #4: Keep Them Hydrated

While your dragon brumates, you’re going to want to make sure they stay hydrated. Unlike in the wild, your dragon won’t be able to take in moisture through his or her vents. So, you’re going to want to make sure you offer your pet water.

If your bearded dragon can be woken up or wakes up on a weekly basis, simply drip some water on their snout and see if they seem receptive to drink. Continue doing this until they stop.

Now, if your bearded dragon WON’T drink any of the water you drip on his snout OR simply is in such a deep sleep they can’t wake up, consider soaking them weekly in a nice warm bath.

Fill up a plastic bin or your bathtub no more than 2 inches, just enough to cover your beardie’s vents and allow them to soak for 20 to 30 minutes. If your dragon doesn’t wake up for their bath, fear not this is perfectly normal.

However, you will need to watch them to ensure they don’t take in any water in their mouth, as this can not only lead to pneumonia, but in more severe instances… death by drowning.

Make sure you dry your dragon entirely before placing them back in their vivarium as wet scales can lead to fungus. If your dragon is awake, dry him gently and place him on his basking spot to let him fully dry, just make sure the temps are right.

Brumation Tip #5: Monitor Their Hunger

Now, if your beardie seems hungry at any point, you can try to feed them, but don’t get upset if they refuse food as they will know what is right and wrong for their body.

If they do decide to chow down, if even just a little, don’t let them simply go back to sleep as they will need to digest their food. Encourage them to bask by removing their hide.

If you have a stubborn beardie on your hands, you can promote a bowel movement by simply waking him up once daily for a quick soak until he passes a movement.

After he has an empty stomach and his food has passed, you can now allow him to sink back into a deep sleep.

How to Get a Bearded Dragon Out of Brumation

So, what do you do if you need to keep your beardie from brumating? Regardless of whether they’re under a year old, sick, or simply not up to brumate in some way, shape or form, just follow the tips below!

Also, be forewarned that keeping some dragons from brumating is much easier said than done.

Some bearded dragons are so prone to brumation and can fall into such deep sleep that preventing brumation isn’t really a realistic option.

Typically, the ONLY reasons you should attempt to stop your bearded dragon from  brumating are because A) They are not healthy enough to go without food for that long or B) They are under a year old (although this is still a topic of much discussion).

Also, you should be prepared for your dragon to potentially undergo a slight personality change as not allowing them to brumate can lead to aggravation, stress, and even some hostility.

Since brumation is such a natural, instinctual part of a dragon’s life, you will need to think long and hard about whether preventing brumation is ideal.

If you suspect your bearded dragon is too sickly or weak, make an appointment with a legitimate reptile vet ASAP. They’ll help you decide if you should allow your dragon to brumate or not.

If your vet advises you to prevent/stop brumation OR your dragon is under a year old and/or quite small for their age, consider the following tips…

Increase Handling Time

Handling bearded dragons
One of the best ways to stop bearded dragon brumation, is to start handling your bearded dragon more. Bring them out of their tank, take them outside, and ultimately try to keep them active.

Make sure you handle your dragon frequently and allow them to get out and explore often. If you can, also take them outside and allow them to absorb sunlight.

By keeping them stimulated and active, you can help essentially trick them into no longer wanting to brumate. This

Increase Their “Daylight” Hours

Another tip for how to get a bearded dragon out of brumation is to leave their lights on longer in their tank. 

Remember, one of the triggers for brumation in the wild is less daylight. As such, if you provide your bearded dragon with more light, they’ll begin to think it’s not necessary to brumate.

Because of this, you should highly consider leaving your lights on for a little longer than normal. Aim for around 14 to 15 hours of basking and UVB per day.

By convincing your bearded dragon that it’s quite “sunny” out, you stand a good chance of at the very least shortening the brumation period, although no promises.

Wrapping Up Bearded Dragon Brumation

So, by now I hope you feel confident in your understanding of bearded dragon brumation!

From understanding what bearded dragon brumation is, to how to care for a brumating beardie, to even how to stop bearded dragon brumation altogether, it is my sincerest hope that this article has given you the clarity you need to feel comfortable during this time.



39 thoughts on “Bearded Dragon Brumation: What to Do Now for Babies AND Adults”

  1. My bearded dragon is 8 months old is about 1ft long including the tail and quit fat,
    I have had her from a baby and she has always loved her food, until about 1month
    Ago she just whent off her food and sits in the cool end all day.
    At the time she was in a 3 ft vivarium,as she was getting biger I decided to aquire a 4ftx2ftx2ft viv.she is still sitting in the cool area all the time in the same spot not even moving but she is not asleep she just sits their looking around sleeping now and then.the temps are 108 in basking area and 86 in cool you think she is Brumation? She seems quite healthy.

    • When they get bigger, they need less heat. 80-95 degrees is ideal. She may just be too hot under the light. I give my baby beardie temps of 105, but Aegon gets kept at about 85 by using a lower watt basking bulb. I don’t know if that helps or not! 🙂

      • 80 degrees on a hot side is never a good temp. 80s is ok for the cool side. 90’s to 105 for older beardies is ok. If they become lethargic at that point, your temps may be too low. If the temp is too low, they won’t be able to properly digest their food which will put them at risk as the food will rot in their gut and make them ill.

    • I have a baby bearded dragon idk how old but for the past few days it quit eating and I’ve offered it a small cricket and some food with its multivitamin and a little bit of calcium powder but it refused it so I put it under it’s baskin light and I misted it with some water and put water on the top of it’s snout it still hasn’t eaten it’s been about 2-3 days but it’s acting hungry but won’t eat I can’t take him to the vet cause all of ours are closed due to corona rn it’s in my window getting some sunlight (asleep ofc) itss color has darkened while it’s been in my window I need some tips cause I lost my other one while he was 6-8 months old I’m thinking about going down on wattage for the basking side but idk

  2. Thanks for the information. Brumation always makes me worry. I have a healthy 2 year old female and a special needs 4 year old male. Separated of course. I worry about the male not eating for a while. Last year he slept over a month. My female slept for 1 week. They went in to brumation early this year.

    • I’m so sorry to hear that. You clearly are mourning the loss of Louie, which to me, means he was well loved and cared for. Try and focus on the time you two were able to spend together here, as it is nothing less than a blessing. Speak to Louie’s spirit and ask him to give you a sign that he is still near. I hope you are able to heal. I too, lost my dragon Sairys, and both of my cats in June, and it was beyond traumatizing. Be well and take care of you. Each day is a gift, be present 💕

  3. Thank you for the info already lost a beardie at the age of 4 months due to lack of UVB lighting. thanks a lot petco. but now have gotten a new baby hes probably 8 or 9 months & went crazy this morning out of no where and it makes sense its fall in New York

    • My dragon started signs of brumation at seven months old. I was frantic, thinking he was sick. He’s my first beardie and almost everything I read states they don’t brumate until 18 months and up. Well, there was nothing medically wrong so I finally realized what was going on, that he was trying to brumate! My guy never fully sleeps though, just stays in his hide all day in a semi-sleep mode, along with the decreased appetite. He finally came out of it recently, I was so happy!, but now less than two months later he’s at it again. Only thing I can figure is because I kept messing with him before (because I didn’t know what was going on at first) he’s now trying to finish up the brumation he needs. Idk. So for now I’m just letting him be, giving bath once per week, offering food that day since he’s awake and out of hide hide, and monitoring his weight. I use a plastic shoe box on top of a kitchen scale. That last is very important. If the weight drops more than a few grams I’ll know he’s sick and not brumating and take him to the vet straight away.

  4. I have a beardie named Yoshi, he’s(?) about a year old, he’s started to not lay directly under his light but, he lays near it..? i’ve needed to get him a new hide, hes become to big for his. Is a hide extremely necessary for brumation?

    • Hi Avery!

      A hide is not 100% necessary for brumation but without one, the process may become stressful for them. Beardies enjoy being able to sleep in dark environments, which a hide can provide. Now, this doesn’t mean you should turn your lights off – although you can certainly slowly decrease how long they’re left on during this time period. I recommend 12 hours a day during non brumating months, which you can begin to slowly wean down to around 8/9 hours a day to help the process feel more natural for your bearded dragon.

      If you don’t have money for a hide, you can always make your own using a small cardboard box.

      I hope this information helps!

  5. I have a 5 month old. She has slowed down her eating and is curled up in her hide dozing all day. She is quite large for her age at nearly 17” and by all appearances is healthily. I am guessing brumation. From what I have read, she seems healthy enough to let her sleep. Thoughts?

    • Hi KR!

      Although it isn’t impossible for baby bearded dragons to brumate, it is pretty uncommon and not ideal considering this could slow down their development. My guess is that there could be an issue with UVB as this is what will most commonly lead to babies and juveniles being lethargic/losing an appetite. Can you share some specifics about your cage setup? Specifically…

      1. What brand UVB bulb you’re using + it’s wattage
      2. Whether the UVB bulb is a coil, compact, or tube
      3. Whether they UVB is behind a mesh lid/obscured in some other way
      4. How far away the UVB bulb is from her

      This should help us determine if UVB is in fact what is giving your girl issues.


    • I have a 1 month old baby beardie and he refuses to eat has lost a lot of weight and I dont see any signs of illness he dont have any red or black spots on his body. I read through the article and there’s no signs of sickness. HELP! I dont wanna lose my baby.😢

    • Keep a close eye on her weight (once per week should be fine). If she doesn’t drop more then a few grams just let her sleep as she’s most likely trying to brumate as you suspect.

  6. I am a new bearded dragon owner to a lovely dragon named Groot. I had gotten Groot as baby in May 2019. It it now nearing the end of November and earlier this month Groot’s appetite has decreased as well as pooping. Groot is hiding all day on the cool side under her hide, but she is awake just not very active. I have been reading about brumation like a crazy lady because I am so worried I am caring for Groot incorrectly or not providing what she needs. I have kept all lights and heat on. I do have a timer for the UVB and Heat that is in accordance with sunrise and sunset, my ceramic heater is kept on at all times. I am so confused by this brumation process as I had no idea dragons did this at all and I was not informed about how to care for a dragon properly by the pet store. After I purchased her I have done an immense amount of research on them and made the proper changes I needed to ensure her well being. Other than her hiding and not being active she appears to be healthy, not losing any weight. Should I be this worried? Are there things I should be doing that I haven’t? Should I just let her be? Should I continue to give her food since she is refusing it? I am looking for guidance and tips because I feel like one lost bearded dragon momma! And I want to provide the best care for her!

  7. I have a 4 year old male Thor he has been inside his tree all day And nite this has happened before but he does get up but he really isn’t eating or drinking yesterday he got up went on the tree and fell asleep sideways on the tree and today he went back insides the tree truck again is this normal to go in and out if his tree trunk?

    • Hi Lynne!

      Assuming your lighting setup is correct, it’s entirely likely your beardie is just getting ready to brumate. When was Thor’s last bowel movement? It could be that he’s waiting to empty is stomach before going down as this is quite common. Beardies will need to relieve themselves before their big sleep or they risk becoming sick.

      It’s important to remember that all bearded dragons can have their own specific brumation sleeping schedules. While some will go to sleep and not wake up for weeks or months, others may just enjoy long naps that last a few days at a time or less. All in all, try not to worry too much as Thor is the best judge of what is right for his body. As long as he’s healthy and his vivarium is setup properly, he’s probably just getting ready to do his own thing for brumation.

      I hope this answer helped give you a little clarity. Please keep me in the loop if you can 🙂

  8. HI! I have a girl bearded dragon and she is about 1 year (October) however, back in September she started to rip up at the her bedding and hide from her basking light. So I after I did some research and reading numerous blogs, I assumed she was ready for brumation. How long do they usually bromate for? My Alex, has been brumating since September 23rd. Every week, I go a head and give her a warm bath and see if she is interested in food. She will eat a few bites of carrots and collard greens but not her usual bites. Then she goes back to sleep… Do I have to interrupt her brumation or will she let me know when she is ready? Is it normal for her to be asleep for this long? Im just worried and I can’t find anything anywhere that leads me to my answer.

  9. Hey there! I’ve had several beardies before, both of whom never went into a super deep sleep during the winter. I have a new girl, nine months old and about 16 inches long and she started sleeping super deeply about a week ago. She’s a very hearty girl; should I wake her up wince she’s under a year old?

  10. Hi Stacy, thank you so much for this article was extremely helpful! As it seems like many other people who commented I had no idea about brumation and, I have a 1-1.5 year old beardie (Cody) I am sincerely worried for the following fact, I have a large feeling that he is going into brumation being that it is January in California and this is pretty much the only time of year it gets this cold, what I’m worried about however is that he has not passed a bowel movement in 2 weeks, he passed about three very large ones during the 3 days before this started, he has eaten little bits since but has not passed any bowel movements. I have given him several baths and massaged his belly, tried giving him squash and leeks to promote a bowel movement and to no avail. Is it very important for him to have a bowel movement before going into brumation? Or even during brumation? He still hasn’t passed anything and it has me concerned. Other than that he seems healthy. I don’t know if his eyes seem really sunken in or if they just seem tired. His beard tends to be on the darker side quite often. I’m really quite new to this I’ve had snakes and other reptiles but never bearded dragons. Where I live it’s very hard for me to get him to a decent reptile vet and I dont want to move him and cause stress if its not necessary. I’ve been doing days of research for advice the moment a week went by and he didnt poop. I’m worried that hes going into his brumation impacted and it has me terrified.. please help in any way possible!! Thank you again for this amazing article!

    • Hi Samantha,

      Has he had a movement since? With brumation, you really don’t want to let them sleep for long with food sitting in the stomach as this can lead to impaction and the food rotting. You’re absolutely right to be concerned about impaction. I have a pretty in depth article on impaction you can check out. If you scroll to the bottom, you’ll see some at home treatments you can try to hopefully get things moving. Until then, wake him up once a day for a warm soak until he goes to the bathroom.

      Best of luck to you!

  11. Hello! I am a new beardie mom. Hubby gave me Merlin for Christmas. We’re not positive on his age but he was about 4 inches when I got him. He is now a little over 11”. I recently made him a customized habitat that is approximately 34”high x34”side x17”deep. I have a 34” Reptisun 10.0 fluorescent light on the top, across the back of the enclosure. There is no screen under it. I also have a heat light that sits on a metal screen on top, in front of the UVB. The rest of the top is wood. I have a wicker style hammock about 8” under the UVB and a basking platform about 8” under the heat bulb. The basking platform is about 108 degrees and the lower part of the enclosure is around 72 degrees. I’m concerned that I am not providing proper UVB for this size area. Also, I have a hide in the lower section that is approximately 16”x18”x5”. I have Excavator Clay in there but not much. Just an inch or so on top, bottom, sides, and back wall. It is only open in the front and about 4”or 5” on the front side. Is this a suitable hide? Please forgive me for so many questions! I’m a worried new mom!

    • I am having about almost the same issues as KR is. My beardie is about 7-8 months and also on the larger side. I thought the same thing about the UVB bulb being an issue but we just got a whole new terrarium for Lizzy, with new lamps and all but still, the behavior went on. She sleeps most of the day, waking up on and off. She was eating, peeling, and pooping so much I was starting to wonder if I was rich enough to own a beardie then one day it suddenly stopped. I have been CONSTANTLY worried, feeling like a bad parent, maybe I was doing something wrong. But the more I read about brumation, the more likely it seems to be a possibility, even down to the aggressiveness. I went to check on her and I lifted up her hiding rock she went to bite me (which she has not done in a while)! Any tips considering it most likely is not the UVA/UVB bulb I just got?

  12. My Beardie is still very small and was acting fine when I first got it but all of a sudden recently I have noticed that he stopped eating and sleeps all day, he is also slightly pale and isn’t in his usually basking spot. Could he be sick or is this usual brumation behavior???

    • Hi Isabel,

      I’m so sorry to hear this! Would you mind running me through your lighting setup? Often times, baby bearded dragons can become sickly if they are not getting proper UVB exposure and their cage is too cold. Would you mind telling me what his basking spot temperature is? Also, what are you using for a basking light and UVB bulb? If you live in the Southern Hemisphere he could be getting ready to brumate. But if he’s under 6 months this isn’t likely…

      I highly recommend you check out these two posts here to help make sure you have his lighting and diet on point!

      1. Bearded Dragon Lighting Guide
      2. Bearded Dragon Diet Guide

      Best of luck to you and your baby!

  13. Im one of those owners that does worry about my boy Beardie Bruce 8 months old. He has been sleeping in his cave but I finally got him out to eat a little. He currently like the cooler side. I gave him a bath and let him walk around my apartment. He feel asleep under my coach and has been there for 3 days now. I covered him with a lite blanket and check on him daily. My concern is when they’re in brumation in there natural habitat they cover themselves with dirt. This allows them to get moisture from the damp dirt. But while on my carpet in my living room, he doesn’t get the moisture he requires. Question: Can I spray him with water daily or weekly or not?

  14. Thank you very, very much for your articles, especially this one. I’m a new beardie parent (Bowser and I have been together for a year). He’s 7 or 8 and needed a home. I had been recently petless (my kitty passed) so needing something to care for, I adopted him. I immediately started watching every video and reading every article about Beardies so that I could care for him as best as I could. When I got him he had a bad eye and a fungus. The fungus is gone and the eye, well that will need to be gone too. The eye is dead but the infection won’t seem to go away even with eye drops, antibiotics and pain meds. Lately he hadn’t been eating, no bowel movements, plus his eye was swollen more then usual, so yesterday we got him on antibiotics and pain meds again and this morning he had a healthy bowel movement. Unfortunately, he’s still not interested in eating. My sister asked me if reptiles go through a cycle. I googled and found your article on brumation. Thinking back this week, I noticed him curling up under wood in his vivarium. I will continue to offer him food but will not panic so much if he doesn’t accept it. I will also continue giving him his bath every night. Plus I will continue reading your articles. Again, thank you for your articles. I want to learn as much as possible in order to be the best mom for Bowser because he is pretty dang special.

  15. New beardie mom here.. My guy is about 7 mo old i got him when he was about 4 mo old.. He has been the coolest family member ever… Took to us well and loves me and my attention/love for him.. I have read all of the articles on this site for knowledge and posts for support.. But it doesnt stop my worry.. He has grown and progressed greatly all this time.. But the last few days has bothered me.. He doesn’t want to eat. He looks like he has lost weight. He is wanting to sleep.. He is shedding (twice now in 2 weeks).. He is easily aggravated.. And yesterday his poop seemed runny.. I know most of this sounds like brumation but with the way he looks today Im not sure if he should.. What i have done to help.. Is bath him daily if not every other day (for 2 weeks think brumation) I have handled him more.. Tried hand feeding him (he seemed to like that before). We got him a larger terrarium cause he was growing so quickly.. Any help or advise would be greatly appreciated..

  16. My sister received a baby bearded dragon Christmas eve 2019. Her set up was a thrive 40b front door opening terrarium 36x18x18 kit. I ended up ordering a 12% arcadia T5ho for my anoles as they would hang on the top of their breeze like the uvb wasn’t enough. I flipped that and rescreened the new top with 1/4 inch hardware cloth and gave my sister the 12% arcadia. Her basking was 106-100 depending where she was laying. She grew really well and ate really good. Suddenly mid May 2020 she went off all feeders but maybe one or two a week. We gave her reptiboost nightly and her growing basically stopped. When we could get her in the vets in August, everything was great, he said try different feeders. We have anoles also and keep lots of different feeders around for all. Nope, even tried fff, she looked at them like you have to be kidding me. In Sept 2020 early she started running around like crazy, wearing two people out trailing from room to room all over. At this point Puff is about 10 months old, never mated. Most say she was too young to be gravid. The digging started and she would not stay in a dig box so it went in her new home a 4x2x2 zen. Sept 26th 2020 she laid 23 infertile eggs. Three days later she started eating again and has been but slowed down the past few days. She passed another vet appointment, eating well she started growing again. Before she laid she was 363 grams and she lost 42 grams. Puff is gravid again and weighs 409 grams. While she wasn’t eating she stayed pretty much the middle to the cool end of the cage. She is following her natural instincts of her ancestors in Australia (Some dragons may even be so in tune with their instincts, that they go into brumation in Spring or Summer, despite being in the Northern Hemisphere!) It seems that she followed Australia’s brumation time, she is now following their mating/laying season too. We now fully expect her to brumate again this coming spring. So funny, this little girl! This is the article that helped me understand what and why she brumated compared to others over here.

  17. Same here I bought hazel moon at petco Feb 16 2020. she was fine for about month all of sudden she kept flopping like she was paralyzed took to vet he said it was calcium deficiency well I know that wasn’t it cuz I had every thing right cuz I have 2 others both adults and went to casino in May and My friend who took care of her told me she passed away middle of the night. Only had her 2.5 months she passed May 2 2020. I think it was petco they get them too young or it was breeding thing

  18. I just got a bearded dragon about 5 days ago. The pet shop owner told me it is around 5-6 months old but to me it seems much younger. He is about 15 centimeters long if not a
    little bit shorter. He travelled for some hours so he was quite stressed when he came. He has been basking and drinking the water I drop on his mouth as well as having a bath yesterday and enjoy being handled for a little time.But he barely eats. He has eaten about 2-3 worms and I tried giving him dried crickets but it only licks it, without eating it. The is not a variety of food available due to corona, only worms. It also refused any fruits and vegetables I tried to give it.How long can it go without eating due to stress? I am also considering brumation but I try to avoid that because he is so young. How can I get it to eat?


Leave a Comment