How Often Should A Bearded Dragon Poop?
Bowel movements are usually not the first thing that comes to mind when most people think of bearded dragon care. Yet, they could be a sign of an underlying health problem if your pet is not pooping as often as it should.
Every bearded dragon owner needs to understand the normal pooping habits for these reptiles so you can quickly notice when a problem is brewing.
In this article, we discuss how often a healthy bearded dragon should poop. We’ll also highlight possible reasons for infrequent bowel movements as well as what you can do to improve the situation.
How Often Should a Healthy Bearded Dragon Poop?
The normal pooping frequency for a healthy bearded dragon depends on the pet’s age. In other words, you should first figure out how old your beardie is so that you can know what to expect.
Don’t know your lizard’s age? No worries. You can use a bearded dragon growth chart to measure your beardie to help you determine the approximate age.
Usually, beardies measuring around 3 to 4 inches long are babies, while those as long as 11 to 18 inches are young bearded dragons. Adult pet dragons can grow as long as 24 inches.
Armed with these measurement ranges, you can easily figure out the approximate age of your beardie so that you can determine how often to expect a bowel movement.
Baby Bearded Dragons
A normal bearded dragon poop frequency for baby dragons between 0 to 3 months old is around one and three times daily. Typically, a baby bearded dragon eats more protein-rich diets, explaining why it has more frequent bowel movements.
Juvenile Bearded Dragons
For juvenile bearded dragons (ages 4 to 18 months old), you can expect a bowel movement around once a day or thereabout.
Adult Bearded Dragons
A healthy poop frequency for an adult bearded dragon varies widely, depending on a handful of factors such as diet, environment, and more. In any case, a mature pet bearded dragon should poop around one to seven times a week.
When Should You Worry About Your Bearded Dragon Not Pooping?
Consider seeing a vet if your beardie goes without pooping for about a week. However, this will depend on the age of the pet dragon. As mentioned earlier, full-grown bearded dragons poop less frequently than a baby or juvenile bearded dragon.
That said, even adult bearded dragons should stool at least once a week. Babies should have bowel movements at least once a day, and young beardies should not stay more than one to two days without pooping.
Any pooping frequency less than this may signify a problem - possibly an internal parasitic infection. This is particularly the case if the pet reptile shows other signs of abnormal bearded dragon behavior.
However, the last thing you want to do is play the guessing game with your pet’s health. For this reason, you should talk with a vet if you notice that your lizard goes for longer than a week without pooping as your pet reptile may have a health issue.
Reasons Your Bearded Dragon Is Not Pooping
A bearded dragon has good digestion if it eats heartily and poops as often as possible. Something is off if this is not the case. Here are the likely culprits why your pet dragon is not pooping as it should.
Eating Too Little
There is a correlation between the amount of food your pet consumes and the bowel movement frequency. The lizard won’t poop as often as it should if it isn’t eating well.
Again, the eating frequency depends on the age of the bearded dragon. A full-grown beardie should eat about once a day. Eating up to two times per day is normal with young beardies, and babies can eat anywhere between three to four times a day.
If this is not the case with your pet bearded dragon, there might be something wrong with it. Some of the reasons for eating too little include:
Health issues: The presence of an internal parasite can reduce your beardie’s appetite.
Unfavorable tank conditions: Extreme temperature (high or low) can be stressful for your pet dragon. Also, high or low humidity levels in the enclosure can put it at a higher risk of bacterial and fungal infections. In both cases, your beardie eats too little or completely rejects food.
Size of enclosure: A small tank or cage can cause stress for a bearded dragon. Also, your pet may be stressed and eat very little if it has a bullying cage mate.
Frequent changes to enclosure: Animals need time to adjust to a new environment. During this adjustment period, they may eat little or stop pooping for a while. It is not a good idea to change the setup of your pet’s cage too frequently. Allow at least three months or more before you make changes to prevent undue stress and possible food refusal.
A Poor Diet
Bearded dragons should feed on a diet consisting of greens and insects. However, adult beardies should consume fewer insects and more veggies, while younger and baby dragons should eat more insects and fewer greens.
Getting this wrong can lead to a few different issues, including obesity in adults. Consuming too many insects can also cause impaction in adult beardies. This is especially the case if the lizard eats larger feeder insects. It can make them constipated and cause pooping issues.
Apart from a poor diet, using loose substrates like sand, gravel, and alfalfa in your pet’s cage can also cause impaction. While these are cheaper options, they are usually not the best choice for your pet.
Do not forget that water is essential for proper digestion and bowel movement. If your lizard isn’t getting enough water, it will become dehydrated and also have trouble pooping.
Low Activity Level
Indeed bearded dragons are laidback reptiles, but they are not completely inactive. If you do not provide opportunities for your pet to get enough stimulation and exercise, it can become lethargic.
Keeping your beardie locked up all day in its tank can be unhelpful in more ways than one. Inactivity can make the lizard have trouble pooping as well as lead to boredom and depression.
Closely related to low activity level is brumation. The big difference is brumation is a natural occurrence, unlike failing to provide opportunities for activity. There is little you can do to get your pet to eat, poop, or carry on its normal activities when it is in this phase. Like hibernation, all bodily activities gradually slow down when brumation occurs during the colder months. In other words, it is normal for your beardie to stool less frequently at this time.
What to Do if Your Bearded Dragon Won’t Poop
First, make sure the enclosure is conducive and supports the pet’s normal behavior. Check the temperature and humidity levels, and ensure there is adequate lighting during the day and darkness at night.
Next, review the diet composition. What are you feeding your beardie? Do you offer vegetables and insects in the proportion that suits the pet’s age?
If you have made any recent changes in diet or cage setup, consider reverting to the previous ways and see if the pooping will return to normal.
Lastly, take your beardie to see a vet if the condition persists beyond ten days. Even adult bearded dragons should have to hold their feces for that long.