Our pets are our pride and joy, and we love nothing more than taking care of them and making them happy.
However, as good as it can make you feel to see your pet thriving, taking care of them is by no means easy, and there are times when it can prove extremely challenging and taxing.
This is best exemplified when our pets suddenly stop eating, and there is no apparent reason why. This often happens with bearded dragons, which can cause their owners stress, confusion, and concern.
Luckily, there’s little cause for concern! In this article, we will discuss how long-bearded dragons can go
without food, as well as shed light on some of the reasons as to why they stop eating, and what you can do about it. Read on for more!
How Long Can Bearded Dragons Live Without Eating Food?
Typically, a bearded dragon can live from anything between a couple of weeks to three full months without any food.
However, baby bearded dragons will not be able to live for long if they do not eat food every day, or at least almost every day. This is because young bearded dragons rely on protein in order to grow.
However, the length of time your pet bearded dragon can live without eating food depends entirely on numerous factors.
Every bearded dragon is different, and their weight, age, and other general health factors can affect their life span without food.
If your pet bearded dragon suddenly stops eating food, then it is vital you ensure they’re drinking water.
Why Do Bearded Dragons Stop Eating?
There are many reasons why your pet bearded dragon has stopped eating food. Let’s take a look at a few examples below:
A Change To Their Food
Bearded dragons can be extremely willful creatures. If they are eating something they do not like, then they may refuse to eat it.
It is important to not back down at this stage, or else your bearded dragon will learn that it can pull this stunt again if you try to make dietary changes in the future.
Stick to what food you think is best for them. Once your bearded dragon realizes that you will not back down and the new food is here to stay, they should begin to eat again.
However, you must keep a close eye on them during this period. If you notice any drastic changes, like extreme weight loss or weakness then you should give your pet the food that they like.
While this is very unlikely to happen, it is better to keep your pet alive and healthy with their favorite food than it is to be too stubborn with their new diet and risk losing them.
You can purchase bearded dragon food from a variety of pet stores, and online. Check out our favorite brands by clicking the link here!
A Change To Their Environment
Bearded dragons can become very stressed out if they feel a change to their typical environment. For example,
if you move their terrarium to a different part of the house, or if you change their terrarium altogether, then they may lose their appetite due to stress, and withdraw from their food.
If you only changed the layout of toys or accessories in their terrarium, then try and switch it back to see if this restores your pet’s appetite.
However, if you made any bigger changes, then it is best to allow them time to get used to their surroundings.
At this time, you need to watch their eating habits closely and make sure you provide your pet bearded dragon with a lot of drinking water.
If you’re looking for a terrarium for a new bearded dragon, then check out our favorites by clicking the link here!
The Brumation Period
This is by far the most common reason for a lack of appetite in bearded dragons. The Brumation Period is similar to a state of hibernation for bearded dragons.
When they are in this phase, they will burrow under the soil and will stop moving, defecating, and eating.
The Brumation Period happens to all bearded dragons, although sometimes bearded dragons kept as pets will not brumate.
In the wild, brumation happens during the winter but can happen at any time for pet bearded dragons. It is most likely to happen with the changing of the seasons.
Brumation can last for many months, but it is nothing for you to be concerned about. However, it is important
to note that your pet will still need to drink water during this period, and if you see that they have lost a considerable amount of weight, then it is best to take them to the vet.
A Particularly Low Temperature
Bearded dragons need warm surroundings to maintain digestion. If they are too cold, then there’s a chance they will lose their appetite.
Ideally, you should keep both a hot and cold area in their terrarium. The hot area is for basking, and it should stay at 95-100 degrees. The cold area should stay at around 80-85 degrees.
Younger bearded dragons need hotter basking areas. If you fail to provide this, then your pet bearded dragon may lose their appetite.
So, it is important to continuously check the tank temperature to ensure your pet remains healthy and happy.
Your Bearded Dragon Has Taken Ill
It is rare that bearded dragons will stop eating food because they are sick, but it can happen.
If you believe this to be the case with your pet, then it is best to take them to a vet so you can get a diagnosis and any necessary treatment.
Additional Reasons That Cause Your Bearded Dragon To Stop Eating
A lot of the time, a bearded dragon will stop eating due to stress. These creatures can become stressed for many reasons other than the ones listed above. These include:
– Other bearded dragons. If your pet can spot a different bearded dragon from their terrarium, or even shares a living space with one, then they may become stressed and stop eating.
– A cramped terrarium. This prevents the bearded dragon from roaming freely.
– Loud noises. If there is maintenance or construction work going on in your house, then this may cause stress to your bearded dragon.
– Overstimulation. This is more likely to happen when there are too many people surrounding the tank.
You can tell that your bearded dragon is stressed if they begin to grow dark in color.
What Should I Do If My Bearded Dragon Stops Eating Their Food?
Most of the time, you only need a little patience. If you simply wait for your pet to resume eating, then they will.
However, there are a few things you can do to help your bearded dragon destress and regain its appetite. Let’s check them out now:
– Don’t handle your bearded dragon too much right away, wait until it adjusts to you and your home.
– If stressed, give your pet a warm bath.
– Cover the terrarium with a clean towel if your home is busy. You only need to do this if you feel like your pet is stressed.
– Buy a big terrarium.
– If you have more than one bearded dragon, put their terrariums in different rooms.
– Try to keep the noise down in your home.
– Have one bearded dragon per tank, and never more than that.
Feeding Your Bearded Dragon
The majority of the time, we would strongly advise against force-feeding your pet bearded dragon. They are intelligent creatures who know when to eat.
However, if your pet has stopped eating for a long time and is growing unwell because of it, with veterinary approval,
you may force-feed them. If this is the case, then you should do so in a safe way, using the following steps:
– Hold your pet securely, but gently.
– As best you can, tug at its jaw and pry its mouth open.
– As quick as you can, place food into its mouth.
Alternatively, you can use a syringe to feed your bearded dragon baby food.
Is It Ethical To Force Feed Your Bearded Dragon?
If you have veterinary approval, then it is okay to force-feed your pet bearded dragon. This typically only applies if your pet is unwell or malnourished, and the veterinarian will offer many alternatives before this.
How Often Should Bearded Dragons Eat?
Bearded dragons eat every day unless otherwise instructed by your veterinarian. They usually feed three times
a day, once in the morning, mid-day, and late afternoon. The amount they eat depends on how old they are, as well as what size they are.
What Do Bearded Dragons Eat?
The most common foods fed to bearded dragons are insects. These can include crickets, mealworms, and wax worms. Some owners also vegetables and fruit – but fruit should be given sparingly due to its sugar content.
How Long Do Bearded Dragons Live?
If in the wild, a bearded dragon may live for up to five to eight years. In captivity, bearded dragons may live for around ten years. But, with proper care, they can live for around thirteen years!
Bearded dragons are very intelligent creatures who know when and how much to eat. However, they can stop eating for a variety of reasons.
These reasons encompass anything from stress because of overstimulating situations, other bearded dragons, or a change in food or environment, to something as simple as their Brumation Period.
If your bearded dragon has lost their appetite, it is best to wait it out until they begin eating again.
However, there will sometimes be things you can do to help, such as keeping them warm, in a big tank away from other beardies, or keeping the noise level down.
If your bearded dragon becomes unwell or loses a significant amount of weight, then it is best to get a veterinary opinion.
We hope our guide has been helpful to you and your beardie stays healthy and happy!