Bearded dragons are a popular pet choice for many reptile enthusiasts. They are friendly, easy to care for, and make great pets. However, as a bearded dragon owner, you may notice that your pet likes to hide from time to time. While this is a normal behavior for bearded dragons, it can be concerning for owners who are not sure why their pet is hiding or when to worry. In this article, we will explore the reasons why bearded dragons hide, when to worry, and how to encourage them to come out of hiding.
Reasons Why Bearded Dragons Hide
Bearded dragons are known for their friendly and outgoing personalities, but they can also be quite secretive at times. There are several reasons why your bearded dragon may hide, including:
Bearded dragons are cold-blooded animals, which means they rely on their environment to regulate their body temperature. If the temperature in their enclosure is too hot or too cold, they may retreat to a hiding spot to regulate their body temperature. This behavior is known as thermoregulation. As a responsible pet owner, it is essential to ensure that the temperature in your bearded dragon’s enclosure is within the recommended range. The ideal temperature for a bearded dragon’s enclosure should be between 75-85°F on the cool side and 95-105°F on the basking side.
Stress or Anxiety
Bearded dragons can experience stress or anxiety for a variety of reasons. Loud noises, unfamiliar people or pets, and changes to their environment can all cause your bearded dragon to feel stressed or anxious. In these cases, they may retreat to a hiding spot to feel safe and secure. If you notice your bearded dragon hiding more often than usual or being less active, it may be a sign that they are experiencing stress or anxiety.
If your bearded dragon’s tank is located in a busy part of your home, this might be the reason. Your beardie is able to observe things going on outside the tank, so if people are moving near the enclosure a lot, this can stress out your pet, making it hide.
Illness or Injury
If your bearded dragon is not feeling well or has an injury, it may hide to avoid further stress or injury. Hiding can also be a sign that your bearded dragon is not feeling well and needs veterinary care. Some signs of illness or injury include lethargy, loss of appetite, and abnormal behavior. It’s important to monitor your bearded dragon’s behavior and seek veterinary care right away if you notice any of these signs.
Bearded dragons shed their skin periodically, and during this time, they may become more reclusive. Hiding can help protect their skin and prevent irritation during shedding. You may notice that your bearded dragon is more lethargic or inactive during shedding periods. This behavior is normal and nothing to worry about.
When to Worry about Your Bearded Dragon Hiding
While it’s normal for bearded dragons to hide from time to time, there are some signs that you should look out for that may indicate a problem. Here are some signs that you should seek veterinary care for your bearded dragon:
Signs of Illness or Injury
If your bearded dragon is showing signs of illness or injury, such as lethargy, loss of appetite, or abnormal behavior, it’s important to seek veterinary care right away. Bearded dragons are prone to a variety of health issues, including metabolic bone disease, impaction, and respiratory infections. These conditions can be life-threatening if left untreated, so it’s essential to monitor your bearded dragon’s behavior and seek veterinary care if you notice any signs of illness or injury.
If your bearded dragon is hiding for an extended period of time, it may be a sign that they are not feeling well or are experiencing stress or anxiety. If your bearded dragon is not coming out of hiding even to eat or drink, it’s important to seek veterinary care. Prolonged hiding can lead to dehydration, weight loss, and other health issues. If you notice your bearded dragon hiding for several days, it’s important to take action and seek veterinary care.
Loss of Appetite
Bearded dragons are known for their healthy appetites, so if your bearded dragon is not eating or drinking, it may be a sign of illness or stress. Loss of appetite can lead to dehydration, so it’s important to seek veterinary care if your bearded dragon is not eating or drinking. In some cases, loss of appetite may be a sign of a more serious underlying health issue, so it’s essential to seek veterinary care right away.
How to Encourage Bearded Dragons to Come Out of Hiding
If your bearded dragon is hiding and you’re worried about their health or wellbeing, there are some things you can do to encourage them to come out of hiding. Here are some tips:
Provide a Comfortable and Stimulating Environment
Bearded dragons need a comfortable and stimulating environment to thrive. Make sure their enclosure is the right size and has plenty of hiding spots, climbing areas, and places to bask in the sun. Providing a comfortable environment will help your bearded dragon feel safe and secure, which may reduce their need to hide.
Check the temperature and humidity in the tank! If your bearded dragon is hiding a lot, it may be to avoid the heat or cold. Read our guide on temperature management to learn more.
Offer Regular Opportunities for Exercise and Socialization
Bearded dragons are social animals and enjoy regular opportunities to exercise and socialize with their human caregivers. Take your bearded dragon out of their enclosure for supervised playtime and interaction. This will help your bearded dragon get the exercise and stimulation they need to stay healthy and happy.
Avoid Excessive Handling or Disturbances
Bearded dragons can become stressed or anxious if they are handled too much or disturbed too often. Make sure to give your bearded dragon plenty of space and avoid disturbing them when they are hiding. If your bearded dragon is hiding, it’s best to leave them alone and allow them to come out on their own.
Bearded dragons are fascinating pets that require a lot of care and attention. As a responsible pet owner, it’s important to understand why your bearded dragon may be hiding and when to worry. By providing a comfortable and stimulating environment and seeking veterinary care when necessary, you can help your bearded dragon live a long and healthy life. Remember to monitor your bearded dragon’s behavior and seek veterinary care if you notice any signs of illness or injury. With the right care and attention, your bearded dragon can be a happy and healthy member of your family for many years to come.