Why Is My Bearded Dragon Not Eating?

James Glover
by James Glover
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QuestionI have a bearded dragon that is about 3 years old and he has stopped eating for 8 days. I really need some help on what to do. (chad toole - South Carolina)


It is very unusual for a Bearded Dragon who is sick to stop eating for so long without any additional symptoms, and we will therefore assume that there are no underlying health concerns. The possible causes I am providing below relate solely to adult lizards which have are not in a new enclosure, and that have no other symptoms.

If your dragon is possibly eating a little, and you simply are not noticing, it is possible that his rate of digestion is too slow - probably because you are not providing a warm enough basking area. The basking area should be between 95 and 105 degrees Fahrenheit. Another way to tell if they are not warm enough is if they don't spend any time gaping - which all dragons, even when kept at preferred temperatures, will spend some time doing.

If you are sure that your dragon is not eating any food, the most likely cause is that your lizard is brumating - a form of hibernating. This may be the first time that your adult lizard has done this, and it comes as quite a shock to many Bearded Dragon owners. Not all dragons brumate, and the time of year they start brumating and the length of brumation varies widely. If your lizard is spending a lot of time with his eyes closed, spending more time in the cooler area of his enclosure, or if he is exhibiting digging behavior, then your dragon is most likely brumating. Unless you notice weight loss there is no cause for concern and you can let your dragon behave as he wishes. Sometimes brumation can last for as long as 6 months, so keep an active eye on his weight.

Disclaimer: This service is meant to provide advice only and is not meant to replace an appointment with a registered veterinarian. Users should always seek a second opinion. Unfortunately we are only able to answer several questions per week so not everyone gets a published answer. And, unfortunately we can't answer by email.
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Added on Dec 10th, 2011
my bearded dragon stopped eating and pooping. i gave her a warm bath and still no poop. what do i do now? she is 3 months old.
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Added on June 28th, 2010
My bearded dragon, Imhotep, is 5 yrs old. When he was 9 months he stopped eating alltogether and got MBD it turned out he had a bacteria in his stomach that made it so painfull to eat he would rather starve. I had to get frozen pinkies, thaw them and pry his mouth open so I could get the end of it in his mouth then he would just eat it. That kept him alive and the MBD from getting worse while the antibiotics worked. It only took 4 days and he was eating on his own and happy again. He has a permanent kink in his tail from the e perience but he is lucky to be alive and I thank god every day because he makes me smile every day!!!
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Junior Member
Added on Nov 3rd, 2009
When we got ours it was stressed so it didn't eat. so maybe it is stressed.