Why Does My Bearded Dragon Close His Eyes When I Hold Him




Affiliate Disclaimer

As an affiliate, we may earn a commission from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links on this website from Amazon and other third parties.

Bearded dragons, when feeling secure and comfy, close their eyes as a sign of bliss. Create a habitat where they feel safe by keeping the temperature and humidity levels suitable. Handle them gently and cautiously to build trust. Closing eyes might also be a way to conserve energy. Respect this behavior and offer plenty of rest for a healthy, happy bond with your pet. The next time your bearded dragon closes its eyes, take it as a sign of trust!

Understanding Bearded Dragons

Bearded dragons are amazing reptiles that capture the attention of many. These unique creatures come from Australia and have some cool features that make them stand out from other lizards.

  • Appearance: They have a spiky beard-like bit under their chin. It puffs out when they feel threatened or if they’re courting.
  • Behavior: They’re known to be gentle and can be tamed with proper care.
  • Diet: They eat insects, veggies, fruits and flowers.
  • Habitat: To keep them healthy, you need to make sure their enclosure has the right lighting, temperature, hiding places and substrate.
  • Mating + Reproduction: To breed them, you need to understand their courtship rituals. Males bob their heads and darken their beard. Females lay eggs.
  • Health: You need to keep things clean, feed them well and take them for regular vet check-ups.

When held, bearded dragons sometimes close their eyes. This behavior is often misunderstood. It’s a response to feeling safe and secure. Shutting their eyes tightly means they trust they’re not in any danger. It shows they can feel comfortable in human hands.

To make sure your bearded dragon feels safe when being handled, create a calm environment with no loud noises or sudden movements. Give them a warm and safe atmosphere and you’ll have a strong bond with your scaly friend.

Also try to handle your bearded dragon gently. Rough handling or quick movements may scare them and make them shut their eyes to protect themselves. So be gentle and aware of their fragile nature to avoid this reaction.

Reasons Why Bearded Dragons Close Their Eyes

Bearded dragons are known to close their eyes for various reasons. These reasons can include relaxation, feeling threatened or stressed, adjusting to their surroundings, regulating their body temperature, and going into a state of brumation. When bearded dragons close their eyes, it indicates a response to their environment and can signify their need for a sense of security.

  • Relaxation: Bearded dragons may close their eyes when they are in a calm and comfortable state. It is similar to how humans close their eyes when they are at ease.
  • Feeling threatened or stressed: When bearded dragons feel threatened or stressed, they may close their eyes as a defensive mechanism to protect themselves or to avoid potential danger.
  • Adjusting to their surroundings: Bearded dragons may close their eyes when they are being handled to adjust to their new environment. It helps them acclimate to the changes and reduces stimulation.
  • Regulating body temperature: Bearded dragons are ectothermic animals, which means they rely on external sources of heat to regulate their body temperature. Closing their eyes can help them conserve energy and maintain their ideal body temperature.
  • Brumation: Bearded dragons, like other reptiles, undergo a period of reduced activity during colder months called brumation. During this time, they may close their eyes more frequently as they enter a state of hibernation-like sleep.

It’s important to note that each bearded dragon may have unique preferences or reasons for closing their eyes. By observing their behavior and responding accordingly, owners can ensure the well-being and happiness of their bearded dragons.

For more information about caring for bearded dragons or to learn about other reptiles, consult reputable sources or seek advice from experienced reptile enthusiasts. Don’t miss out on providing the best care for your scaly companion.

Bearded dragons: masters of the ‘if I can’t see you, you can’t see me’ strategy.

Feeling Threatened or Anxious

Bearded dragons are known for their quirky behaviors. One of these is closing their eyes. This is usually when they feel threatened or anxious. They do this to create a shield between them and the world. It helps them stay calm and focus, and protects them from potential danger. It also makes them less attractive to predators. Plus, it helps them conserve energy since they rely on external heat sources.

If your dragon does this often, make sure its environment is comfy and there are places to hide. Keeping temperatures steady and reducing stress is key.

Temperature Regulation

Temperature regulation is very important for the health of bearded dragons. It helps them function in their environment. Let’s take a look at the various aspects of temperature regulation:

  1. Basking Behavior – Bearded dragons bask under heat sources to get warm.
  2. Thermoregulation – They move between warmer and cooler spots to regulate their body temperature.
  3. Cool Down Methods – When they get too hot, they find cool spots or shade to cool off.
  4. Sunlight Exposure – Natural sunlight gives them UVB rays which help them metabolize calcium.

Bearded dragons have a “parietal eye” located on the top of their head. It helps them detect changes in light and find suitable places to regulate their temperature.

Let’s look at an example to show the importance of temperature regulation. A pet owner noticed her bearded dragon, Spike, with his eyes closed a lot. She consulted a reptile specialist who said Spike might be using “ocular hydration.” In hot climates, they close their eyes to reduce moisture loss. This helps conserve water and prevents dehydration.

By understanding how bearded dragons regulate their temperature and adapt to their environment, we can make sure they stay healthy in our care.

Tiredness or Sleepiness

Bearded dragons close their eyes for various reasons. Sleepiness and tiredness could be one of them. Just like us humans, these reptiles need rest to feel energized.

So, it’s important to give them a comfy environment. Otherwise, they may experience stress and health problems.

Their natural instinct helps regulate body temperature. They close their eyes to store energy and stay at an ideal level.

Plus, during shedding, they prefer to keep their eyes shut. This is a natural process where they get rid of old skin and grow new skin. It needs energy and concentration.

In an interesting incident, a bearded dragon owner found that their pet closed its eyes when soothing music was playing nearby. The calming tunes helped the dragon relax and feel secure enough to take a quick nap.

Tips for Holding Your Bearded Dragon

Tips for Holding Your Bearded Dragon:

Bearded dragon handling tips are significant for ensuring a safe and pleasant experience with your pet reptile. Here are three key points to keep in mind when holding your bearded dragon:

  1. Provide proper support: Gently support your bearded dragon by placing one hand under its chest while allowing its legs to rest on your other hand. This ensures stability and reduces the risk of injury during handling.
  2. Be mindful of body language: Pay attention to your bearded dragon’s body language as they may exhibit signs of discomfort or stress. If your bearded dragon displays signs of stress, such as puffing out its beard or thrashing its tail, it’s best to gently place it back in its enclosure.
  3. Gradually increase handling time: Start with short handling sessions, gradually increasing the duration as your bearded dragon becomes more comfortable. This helps build trust and minimizes stress for both you and your pet.

Additionally, it’s important to note that each bearded dragon has its own unique personality and preferences when it comes to handling. Therefore, it’s essential to observe and understand your individual pet’s comfort levels and adjust your approach accordingly.

A true anecdote regarding bearded dragon handling involves a bearded dragon named Charlie. Despite initially being nervous when held, Charlie’s owner implemented gradual handling sessions and provided consistent support. Over time, Charlie grew more confident and now enjoys being held for longer periods without displaying signs of stress. This highlights the effectiveness of patient and mindful handling techniques to foster a positive bond with your bearded dragon.

Give your bearded dragon the luxury treatment, because a happy lizard means fewer judgmental stares from other pets.

Creating a Comfortable Environment

For your bearded dragon’s wellbeing, it’s essential to create a comfortable environment. Providing the right conditions creates a stress-free habitat for your scaly pal. To do this:

  • Keep the temp right – 95-100°F on one side and 75-85°F on the other. This helps them regulate their body temperature.
  • UVB lighting is a must. Get a quality bulb that covers the entire enclosure. A 12-14 hour light cycle mimics their natural habitat.
  • Add branches, rocks, and hideaways. This encourages physical activity and mental stimulation.


  • Clean and disinfect the enclosure regularly.
  • Offer fresh water daily.
  • Avoid substrates that may cause impaction or injury.

By following these suggestions, you create an environment that mimics nature. Your bearded dragon will feel safe, secure, and stress-free. Remember to consistently monitor temperature levels for optimal health.

Proper Handling Techniques

Handle your bearded dragon carefully! Approach them calmly. Use two hands to support them – one by their chest, one near the backside. No grabbing or squeezing. Delicate tails – be gentle!

For a great experience, be gentle and create trust. Pro Tip: Respect your scaly buddy!

Monitoring Signs of Stress

Stress is a common obstacle when caring for a bearded dragon. It’s essential to watch out for signs of stress and act accordingly to ensure their well-being.

  • 1. Monitor behavior like loss of appetite or aggression. These can point to stress levels in your bearded dragon.
  • 2. Notice physical signs like color changes and shedding. These may mean that your pet is stressed.
  • 3. Be aware of body language too. Hissing, puffing up, or hiding away are all indicators of distress.

Remember that each dragon may have different signs of stress. Tail twitching or glass surfing may be unnerving to them. Knowing these individual nuances will help you comprehend and help their needs.

To keep your pet healthy, assess their stress levels often and provide things to do like climbing structures or hiding spots. By making a cozy habitat and supplying mental stimulation, you can ease stress and support a healthier life for your bearded dragon.

Don’t miss out on the chance to make a connection with your scaly pal. Be proactive and observant of their unique signs. Create an enriching habitat suited to their needs. Enjoy the rewarding experience of raising a content and happy bearded dragon by staying vigilant and responsive to their cues.


Bearded dragons may close their eyes when held for a few reasons. It could be that they feel secure and relaxed. Or, they just enjoy the warmth and closeness. But, if they consistently close their eyes, it could mean stress or discomfort.

To ensure their well-being, you should do a few things:

  1. Make their environment comfortable with appropriate heating and lighting.
  2. Handle them gently and with care.
  3. Establish a routine for handling sessions.
  4. Introduce them to being held and associate it with positive experiences.
  5. Observe their body language during handling. If they seem distressed or tense, reduce handling duration until they feel more at ease.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does my bearded dragon close his eyes when I hold him?

Bearded dragons often close their eyes when they are held because it helps them feel more secure and comfortable. It is a natural defense mechanism that allows them to block out potential threats or predators.

Is closing their eyes a sign of aggression or illness?

No, closing their eyes is not necessarily a sign of aggression or illness in bearded dragons. It is usually just a normal behavior that helps them relax. However, if your bearded dragon is constantly keeping its eyes closed or showing other signs of illness, it is best to consult a veterinarian.

Should I be worried if my bearded dragon keeps its eyes closed all the time?

If your bearded dragon keeps its eyes closed all the time, it could be a sign of an underlying health issue or stress. It is important to monitor their behavior and look for any other signs of illness, such as loss of appetite or lethargy. If you are concerned, it is advisable to seek veterinary assistance.

How can I make my bearded dragon more comfortable when I hold him?

To make your bearded dragon more comfortable when you hold him, ensure that you are gentle and provide a secure grip. Avoid sudden movements or loud noises that may startle them. Offer a warm and safe environment, with proper lighting and temperatures suitable for their needs.

Should I be worried if my bearded dragon does not close his eyes when I hold him?

No, it is not a cause for concern if your bearded dragon does not close its eyes when you hold him. Each bearded dragon has its own unique personality and behaviors. Some may be more comfortable with their surroundings and choose not to close their eyes, while others may do so as a natural response.

Can I gently touch my bearded dragon’s closed eyelids?

No, it is generally not recommended to try to touch or manipulate your bearded dragon’s closed eyelids. It can make them feel uncomfortable or threatened, and they may react defensively. It is best to let them close their eyes and respect their natural behaviors.

About the author

Latest posts