Why Isnt My Bearded Dragon Brumation




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Key takeaway:

  • Brumation is a natural process in which bearded dragons enter a period of dormancy, similar to hibernation, to conserve energy during cooler months.
  • Signs of brumation include decreased activity, reduced appetite, and spending more time in hiding. The duration of brumation can vary but typically lasts several weeks to a few months.
  • To prepare for brumation, create a warm and well-lit environment for your bearded dragon. Provide a suitable hideaway where they can rest comfortably during this period.


Brumation, a state of inactivity and decreased metabolism observed in bearded dragons, is a fascinating phenomenon that owners often find perplexing. In this section, we will dive into the realm of brumation, seeking to understand its purpose and effects on these reptiles. By exploring the concept of brumation, we can gain valuable insights into the behaviors, physiological changes, and care required during this phase of a bearded dragon’s life.

Understanding Brumation

Comprehending brumation is vital for the welfare of bearded dragons. You must observe the signs during this dormant state and recognize its typical duration. Brumation is a natural process in reptiles including bearded dragons. It usually arises due to alterations in their habitat, such as shorter daylight hours and chillier temperatures. During brumation, bearded dragons enter a dormant state which is indicated by reduced activity and reduced metabolic rate. This lets them save energy and survive during colder months when food is scarce.

Signs of brumation in bearded dragons include: less appetite, sluggishness, more time spent in hiding, and longer sleep. Knowing these signs is essential for understanding brumation. The time of brumation can range from a few weeks to a couple of months and is dependent on factors like the age of the dragon and environmental conditions.

While in brumation, bearded dragons need little care. It’s advised to leave them undisturbed. Also, provide fresh water while limiting their food intake. Before brumation, it’s essential to offer optimal heating and lighting conditions similar to their natural habitat. This includes making a suitable temperature gradient in their enclosure and supplying a full spectrum UVB light source. Plus, providing a hideaway for the dragon is necessary during this period as it offers a secure place for them to rest.

In conclusion, understanding brumation in bearded dragons is essential for their health and wellbeing. Noticing the signs exhibited during this dormant state and recognizing the typical duration are essential. Providing suitable care before, during and after brumation is essential for the health and well-being of these reptiles.

Signs and Duration of Brumation

Brumation, a natural phenomenon in bearded dragons, brings about distinct signs and durations. Recognizing these signs and understanding the typical duration of brumation can help reptile owners navigate this period with confidence. From decreased appetite to reduced activity levels, the signs of brumation can vary from dragon to dragon. Furthermore, the duration of brumation can range from a few weeks to several months. Let’s shed light on these aspects to ensure the well-being of our bearded dragon friends.

Recognizing signs of brumation

Brumation is a special process that certain reptiles, such as bearded dragons, go through. It’s essential for owners to recognize the signs of brumation, to make sure their dragon gets proper care and support.

Signs of brumation include reduced activity and appetite. Dragons may be lethargic and sleep or stay still for longer. Also, their body temperature might decrease. They may not bask under their heat lamp as often, and might prefer cooler areas of their enclosure.

Their skin may appear duller or paler than usual. They may withdraw and become less responsive to human interaction. Plus, their bowel movements may be reduced or irregular too.

Keep in mind that every dragon is different, and some might show different signs of brumation. However, recognizing these common signs can help you understand when your dragon is entering this phase.

If you notice any other unusual behaviors or symptoms that are not mentioned, it’s best to consult a reptile vet. They can provide guidance on how to care for your dragon during brumation and ensure its well-being throughout this restful period.

How long does brumation typically last?

Brumation, the reptile equivalent of hibernation, is a natural biological process that cold-blooded animals like bearded dragons use to conserve energy. This usually lasts from a few weeks to several months.

Signs of brumation include decreased activity, reduced appetite, and a change in basking behavior. They may also find a secluded spot. It’s important to recognize these signs and know that it is normal.

Preparing for brumation means creating optimal heating and lighting in the enclosure. Also, provide a gradient temperature range, warm basking spots, and UVB lighting to mimic the sun. A suitable hideaway is also needed.

When a bearded dragon enters brumation, it’s best to leave them alone. But, provide fresh water and minimal food occasionally.

Ending brumation requires adjusting the heating and lighting back to normal gradually. Also, resume the normal feeding routine.

Be sure to monitor the bearded dragon for any abnormal symptoms during brumation. If any concerns arise, consult a vet specializing in reptiles.

How long does brumation usually last? A few weeks to several months.

Preparing for Brumation

Preparing your bearded dragon for brumation involves creating optimal heating and lighting conditions, as well as providing a suitable hideaway. By ensuring that their environment is just right, you can help facilitate a smooth brumation process for your reptile friend.

Creating optimal heating and lighting conditions

  1. Provide a temperature of 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit with a reptile heat bulb or ceramic heat emitter.
  2. Avoid using light sources or use a low-wattage night bulb.
  3. Check the temperature and lighting regularly.
  4. Adjust heating elements accordingly.

This will help create a suitable environment that promotes rest and reduces activity. This will ensure optimal conditions for your bearded dragon’s comfort.

Providing a suitable hideaway for brumation

  1. To create a suitable hideaway for brumation, choosing the right enclosure is key. Select one that’s spacious for movement but also gives a sense of security, like a terrarium or reptile enclosure with good ventilation.
  2. Darkness and silence are important too. Bearded dragons need dark and quiet, so cover the enclosure or use opaque material to block out light.
  3. Hiding spots like caves, logs, or foliage should be in the hideaway, to mimic natural environments.
  4. Temperature and humidity levels must be monitored regularly, with thermometers and hygrometers. Plus, airflow must be good – avoid stagnant air.
  5. Monitor your dragon and clean and sanitize the hideaway regularly. Soft bedding, such as shredded paper or sphagnum moss, can give extra comfort.
  6. Lastly, resist dressing them up in tiny winter coats – brumating bearded dragons need to be left alone.

Caring for a Brumating Bearded Dragon

Caring for a brumating bearded dragon involves understanding the importance of leaving the dragon alone during this hibernation-like state. Additionally, providing fresh water and minimal food become essential aspects of their care. (Reference: Bearded Dragon Care Guide)

Leaving the dragon alone during brumation

When brumating, it’s best to leave your bearded dragon alone. This is a natural process, helping the reptile save energy and rest. Don’t disturb or handle them during this time.

You don’t need to feed them regularly. Offer minimal food, and make sure they have fresh water to stay hydrated. Create a suitable hideaway for them, so they have a safe comfortable space to rest.

Monitor them during brumation for any abnormal symptoms or behaviours. If you notice something worrying, contact a reptile vet for advice and to make sure the dragon is safe and healthy.

Pro Tip: Keep consistent temperature and lighting before and after brumation. Gradually change these conditions to prevent stress and aid their transition back to normal activity levels.

Offering fresh water and minimal food

Bearded dragons in brumation need fresh water and small amounts of food. This keeps them hydrated and gives them some nourishment. Their metabolism slows, so fresh water helps stop dehydration and keeps them healthy. Limited food avoids digestion problems, and mirrors their behavior in the wild where food is scarce during hibernation.

These tips will help:

  • Give fresh water often.
  • Have a shallow bowl of clean water.
  • Remove any uneaten food quickly.
  • Don’t overfeed during brumation, as it can cause issues.
  • Ask a vet how much food to give.

Fresh water and minimal food are not enough for proper care during brumation. Temperature, lighting and a hideaway are also important. Adjust these gradually when ending brumation.

Fresh water and minimal food are key. Hydration prevents dehydration. Small amounts of food imitate natural behavior in the wild. Doing this has been seen to lead to successful brumation cycles.

Ending Brumation

When it comes to ending brumation in bearded dragons, there are a few key steps to consider. From gradually adjusting heating and lighting to resuming their normal feeding routine, we’ll explore the important factors involved in bringing your bearded dragon out of brumation and back to their active state. So, let’s dive into the process of safely and effectively ending brumation for your scaly companion.

Gradually adjusting heating and lighting

Gradually adjust heating and lighting – crucial for ending brumation for a bearded dragon. This helps with a smooth transition from dormant state to regular activity.

  1. Increase temp: Adjust heating source – heat lamp or mat – to raise ambient temp in enclosure. Do this gradually over several days – so as not to shock the dragon’s system.
  2. Adjust lighting schedule: Alongside increasing temp, mimic natural daylight patterns. Gradually increase daily duration of light exposure, simulating longer days.
  3. Monitor behavior and response: Observe dragon’s response to adjustments. Look for signs of increased activity & appetite – indicating a successful transition out of brumation.
  4. Fine-tune heating & lighting conditions: Monitor & adjust environmental conditions based on dragon’s behavior & needs. Ensure warmer basking spots & cooler areas for retreat.
  5. Resume normal feeding routine: After full adjustment, resume normal feeding routine. Offer well-balanced diet of appropriate insects, vegetables & occasional fruits.

Remember that each dragon may have different preferences. Carefully observe behavior & make any necessary modifications to ensure their well-being during this transition phase.

Time to wake up & fill that dragon belly! It’s time to resume the normal feeding routine!

Resuming normal feeding routine

After the brumation period, it’s key to transition the bearded dragon back to its usual diet. Do this slowly and cautiously to avoid any digestion issues. Here’s a guide:

  1. Begin by giving small portions of easily-digested foods, like soft fruits or veggies.
  2. Over a few days, gradually increase the portion size.
  3. Observe the dragon’s response and adapt.
  4. Once the dragon has resumed its appetite, offer protein-rich foods such as insects or prey.
  5. Keep offering a balance of vegetables, fruits, and proteins.
  6. Provide fresh water all the time and make sure it’s accessible.

Remember, each dragon has different dietary needs. So watch their behavior and tailor their diet. Following this guide, you can resume the normal feeding routine after brumation, without causing harm or stress.

Concerns during Brumation

During brumation, it’s essential to be aware of any abnormal symptoms your bearded dragon may exhibit. From changes in appetite to unusual behaviors, staying alert to these warning signs is crucial for your pet’s well-being. In this section, we will discuss the concerns related to brumation, including abnormal symptoms that may arise and when it’s advisable to consult a veterinarian. By understanding these potential issues, you can ensure the health and safety of your beloved bearded dragon during this natural hibernation period.

Abnormal symptoms during brumation

During brumation, abnormal symptoms may be experienced by bearded dragons. These symptoms can suggest health issues and should be watched carefully. Here are the unusual symptoms that may occur during brumation:

  1. Unexpected weight loss: Bearded dragons may lose a lot of weight, which is not typical during brumation. This must be addressed.
  2. Strange lack of movement: While activity will be lower during brumation, if the dragon is too lethargic or unresponsive, medical help should be sought.
  3. Breathing struggles: Wheezing or labored breathing are abnormal, and a vet should be consulted.
  4. Sudden color changes: Big changes to the skin color or texture could point to underlying health issues.
  5. Little response to stimulation: If a bearded dragon does not react to touch or other stimuli, it could mean a vet’s help is needed.
  6. Unusual discharge from eyes, nose, or mouth: An excessive or strange-colored discharge could mean infection or other health concerns.

It is important to remember that these symptoms may not always mean something is seriously wrong. However, if any of these abnormal symptoms remain or worsen, a vet should be consulted.

Consulting a vet if necessary

Consulting a vet can be necessary if your bearded dragon exhibits abnormal symptoms or behaviors during brumation. It’s natural for these reptiles to be less active, eat less or not at all. But, if you observe extreme weight loss, vomiting, diarrhea, or any other concerning symptom, seek professional advice.

A vet can evaluate your dragon’s health and decide if further action is needed.

Be aware of any behavioral changes, like too much sleep or being unresponsive. If this occurs, contact a vet without delay.

Only a reptile vet can diagnose and provide the right treatment.

Regular vet check-ups, even outside of brumation, can help identify any underlying health issues and keep your pet healthy.


Bearded dragons entering brumation is natural, like hibernation in other reptiles. It helps conserve energy and slow down metabolism in winter. Various factors affect brumation in your dragon. Knowing their needs and behavior is important. Plus, the environment and nutrition must be right for a healthy brumation. In summary, understanding your dragon is key for a successful brumation period.

Some Facts About Why Isn’t My Bearded Dragon Brumation:

  • ✅ Brumation is a natural process that many reptiles, including bearded dragons, undergo during the cold winter months to conserve energy. (Source: Team Research)
  • ✅ Bearded dragons rely on their environment to regulate their body heat, and in captivity, the frequency of brumation varies. (Source: Team Research)
  • ✅ Signs of brumation include lethargy, loss of appetite, increased sleep, hiding or burrowing, and a decrease in bowel movements. (Source: Team Research)
  • ✅ Brumation can last anywhere from a few weeks to several months, depending on the individual dragon. (Source: Team Research)
  • ✅ It is important to provide optimal heating and lighting conditions for a smooth brumation experience and gradually return to normal conditions after brumation. (Source: Team Research)

FAQs about Why Isn’t My Bearded Dragon Brumation

Why isn’t my bearded dragon brumating?

There could be several reasons why your bearded dragon is not brumating:

  • Your bearded dragon may not be experiencing the typical signs of brumation, such as lethargy, loss of appetite, and increased sleep.
  • Domesticated reptiles may have different brumation patterns compared to wild bearded dragons, and some individuals may not brumate at all.
  • If it is not late fall or the cold season, your bearded dragon may not feel the need to brumate as they do in their natural habitat.
  • Some bearded dragons raised in captivity, particularly those from warmer climates, may not brumate due to a lack of exposure to cold temperatures.
  • If your bearded dragon is showing an aversion to being handled, it may be stressed or uncomfortable, which can affect their brumation cycle.
  • It is important to ensure that your bearded dragon’s habitat is providing the appropriate conditions for brumation, including a basking bulb and a decrease in UV light.

Should I force feed my bearded dragon during brumation?

No, you should never force feed your bearded dragon during brumation. Their digestion system shuts down during this period, and attempting to force feed them can cause stress and potentially harm their health. It is best to leave your dragon alone and provide fresh water for them to hydrate if they choose to drink.

Is it normal for bearded dragons to lose their appetite during brumation?

Yes, it is normal for bearded dragons to lose their appetite during brumation. This is part of their natural process to conserve energy. As their digestion system slows down, they may not have the same appetite as they do during their active periods. It is important to respect their decreased appetite and not try to force them to eat.

How do bearded dragons regulate their body heat during brumation?

Bearded dragons are ectotherms, which means they rely on their environment to regulate their body heat. During brumation, their activities and metabolism slow down, and they seek areas in their habitat that provide appropriate temperatures for their needs. They may burrow or hide to maintain their body heat and conserve energy.

What can I do if my bearded dragon’s brumation seems abnormal?

If your bearded dragon’s brumation seems abnormal or if they show signs of illness, it is important to consult a vet. Abnormal brumation signs may include extreme lethargy, significant weight loss, prolonged absence of appetite even after brumation, or any other uncommon symptoms. A vet can perform a fecal test and examine your dragon to determine if there are any underlying health issues that need to be addressed.

When will my bearded dragon wake up from brumation?

The duration of brumation can vary among individual bearded dragons. It can last anywhere from a few weeks to several months. Once their brumation period is complete, they will gradually wake up and resume their normal routine. It may take a few days for them to fully adjust and regain their regular activity levels and appetite.

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