Bearded Dragon Mouth Open: Understanding this Common Behavior

Bearded dragons are fascinating pets, but sometimes their behaviors can be confusing to their owners. One such behavior is when they open their mouths.

While it may seem alarming at first, there are many reasons why a bearded dragon might keep their mouth open that are not cause for concern.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the various reasons why your pet might open its mouth and what you can do to ensure its health and well-being.

Why is your bearded dragon opening its mouth?

An open mouth in bearded dragons is a common behavior that can occur for various reasons. One of the most common causes is thermoregulation, where they bask under their heat lamp and open their mouth to cool themselves down. However, if your bearded dragon’s open-mouth behavior appears alarming or aggressive, it could be a sign of stress or anxiety.

Key Takeaway

Bearded dragons may open their mouths to regulate their body temperature or as a sign of stress, anxiety, or respiratory issues.

Another reason why your pet might have an open mouth is due to respiratory infection. If you notice other symptoms like wheezing or coughing, it’s essential to seek veterinary attention promptly as respiratory infections can quickly become severe in reptiles. Understanding why your bearded dragon has its mouth open is crucial in determining whether it’s natural behavior or something more concerning that requires immediate action.


Bearded dragons cannot sweat or regulate body temperatures higher like humans can – instead, they have to move into warmer or cooler zones, or engage in behavior like keeping their mouth open.

Basking behavior is crucial for bearded dragons to regulate their body temperature. These animals require a basking area in their enclosure that provides ample heat and UVB light.

The ideal temperature for this spot should range between 100-110 degrees Fahrenheit. Pet owners must ensure that the rest of the enclosure has a cooler area with temperatures ranging from 75-85 degrees, allowing these reptiles to move between different areas to adjust their body temperature.

It’s essential to provide proper heat gradients in your pet’s enclosure as it affects its health significantly. Without proper thermoregulation, bearded dragons may exhibit alarming behaviors such as aggression or lack of appetite, indicating illness or discomfort. Creating a suitable basking area is crucial because these creatures rely on external sources of warmth to maintain their optimal body temperature and overall well-being.

Stress or anxiety

Identifying signs of stress and anxiety in bearded dragons can be alarming for pet owners. Common sources of stress for these creatures include a change in environment or diet, aggression from other animals, and inconsistent body temperature regulation. When stressed, you may notice changes in your bearded dragon’s behavior such as pacing or hiding.

To reduce your pet’s stress levels, ensure they have a consistent basking spot to regulate their body temperature and avoid overcrowding with other animals. Additionally, it’s important to provide plenty of hiding spots and stimulation through toys or activities. By paying attention to the signs of stress and anxiety in your bearded dragon, you can take steps to improve its overall well-being.

Respiratory infection

Respiratory infections in bearded dragons can have alarming symptoms, including lethargy, wheezing, and open-mouth breathing. These infections are typically caused by bacteria or viruses that affect the respiratory system. Treatment options may include antibiotics and supportive care to help your pet recover.

Prevention is key when it comes to respiratory infections in bearded dragons. Keeping their environment clean and at the proper temperature can help reduce the risk of infection. Make sure to keep the humidity levels in the tank within the appropriate range of 30-40%.

If you suspect your pet has a respiratory infection, seek veterinary care immediately as these conditions can quickly become serious without prompt treatment.

How to tell if your bearded dragon is sick

Regularly monitoring your bearded dragon’s behavior is essential to ensure its health and well-being. One common sign to watch for is if the dragon’s mouth remains open for extended periods of time, which could indicate a respiratory infection or overheating. Additionally, other symptoms such as lethargy, lack of appetite, or discharge from the nose should not be ignored.

If you notice any concerning behavior in your bearded dragon, it’s crucial to take action quickly. Schedule an appointment with a reptile veterinarian who can properly diagnose and treat any potential illnesses. Prompt medical attention can mean the difference between life and death for your beloved pet.

Other symptoms to watch for

Lethargy or lack of energy, loss of appetite or refusing food, runny nose or discharge from the eyes, swollen limbs or joints, and discolored patches on the skin are other symptoms to watch for in your bearded dragon.

If you notice any of these symptoms along with an open mouth behavior in your pet, it is important to have them checked by a veterinarian as soon as possible. These can be signs of various health issues such as respiratory infections, metabolic bone disease, and more that require prompt medical attention.

When to see a vet

If you notice any sudden changes in behavior or eating habits, it may be a sign that your bearded dragon is experiencing health issues. Another concerning symptom to look out for is if their mouth remains open for an extended period of time without signs of stress, heat regulation, or excitement.

Additionally, lethargy, loss of appetite, runny nose, and swollen limbs/joints are also symptoms that should not be ignored. If you observe any of these symptoms in your pet reptile, it’s important to seek veterinary attention as soon as possible.

Tips for keeping your bearded dragon healthy

Maintaining the health of your bearded dragon is crucial. One behavior that may cause alarm in pet owners is when their bearded dragon opens its mouth wide.

This behavior can look intimidating, but it’s actually a common occurrence for these reptiles. When a bearded dragon opens its mouth and breathes heavily, it’s usually trying to regulate its body temperature or communicate with other dragons.

To ensure your beardie stays healthy, make sure to provide them with proper nutrition and hydration by offering a variety of vegetables and insects as well as fresh water daily. Establishing an appropriate habitat setup that includes proper lighting, heating, and substrate will also help keep your pet happy and healthy.

By understanding open-mouth behavior in bearded dragons along with these tips for care, you’ll have a better chance at raising a thriving pet!

Proper diet and hydration

Offering fresh veggies and fruits is crucial for providing proper nutrition to your bearded dragon. These foods are high in vitamins and minerals that keep your pet healthy and happy. Providing clean water daily is also essential, as bearded dragons can easily become dehydrated.

To ensure your bearded dragon’s safety while eating, avoid giving them food that is too big or tough for their small mouths. This could cause choking or digestive issues. Instead, opt for smaller pieces of food that are easier to swallow.

Proper diet and hydration are vital components of keeping your bearded dragon healthy. Consider the following tips:

  • Offer a variety of fresh vegetables such as kale, collard greens, carrots, squash
  • Provide fruit in moderation such as apples or berries
  • Always have clean water available in a shallow dish
  • Avoid feeding insects larger than the space between their eyes
  • Be mindful with hard-to-digest foods like mealworms

By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your bearded dragon stays nourished and hydrated without any potential health risks.

Proper habitat setup

Maintaining the proper habitat setup for your bearded dragon is crucial to their overall health and well-being. Here are a few key elements to consider:

Temperature gradient:

Bearded dragons need a basking spot that reaches 95-105°F during the day, with cooler areas around 75-85°F. Use thermometers to monitor these temperatures regularly.

UVB lighting:

This type of lighting helps bearded dragons digest their food and promotes healthy bone growth. Make sure it’s on for 10-12 hours per day and replaced every six months.

Comfortable substrate:

Avoid loose substrates like sand or gravel as they can cause impaction if ingested. A simple substrate like reptile carpet or tiles are safe and low-maintenance, but a more complex bioactive setup provides the most natural experience. Learn more about choosing the right substrate in our guide!

By ensuring that your bearded dragon has a suitable environment, you can help them thrive and enjoy a long, healthy life by your side!


In conclusion, understanding your bearded dragon’s open mouth behavior can help you identify potential health issues and ensure that your pet is receiving proper care.

By providing a balanced diet and maintaining a suitable habitat setup, you can help your bearded dragon thrive and live a happy, healthy life.

Remember to always consult with a veterinarian if you have any concerns or questions about your pet’s health. With proper care and attention, your bearded dragon can be a wonderful companion for years to come.

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