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Overweight Bearded Dragon: Causes And How To Help

By Kerry
Updated on

What do you do with a fat bearded dragon? This question has been asked thousands of times over the years. Read on if you want to know what to do with a fat bearded lizard.

Bearded dragon on log

The bearded dragon is a reptile native to Australia. They are very friendly animals, and they love to eat insects. They also enjoy being around humans, and they are great pets.

If you have a large bearded dragon, it may be time for him to get some exercise. The best way to exercise your bearded dragon is by letting him run free in his enclosure. He will need something to climb up as well.

How To Determine If A Bearded Dragon Is Overweight

You may struggle to determine whether your pet dragon weighs too much. It’s important that you weigh them regularly so that you can keep an eye on their weight.

It’s usually possible to tell when a bearded dragon has put on weight merely by looking at it. If it looks bigger than most other reptiles, it might be overweight.

Moreover, if you are unable to feel the spine, this could be a serious indication of obesity.

Why Is Having An Overweight Bearded Dragon Bad?

You must keep your adult dragon at a healthy weight. If he is overweight, there is a risk that he could suffer from health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, and even cancer.

If your dragon is a little chubby, it is normally not a cause for too much concern. However, if it is substantially overweight, you may need to make some changes.

What Causes Bearded Dragons To Be Fat?

What causes bearded dragons to be fat?

If you notice that your bearded dragon is getting fatter than he should, there could be several reasons why this is happening. Some of these include:

  1. Your bearded dragon eats too much food.
  2. He does not get enough exercise.
  3. His diet is not balanced properly.
  4. There is an underlying health problem, such as parasites or illness.
  5. Stress from living conditions.
  6. He is eating too many foods that are high in calories.

What You Should Do

If you think that your bearded dragon is becoming overweight, you should try to find out if any of the above-mentioned causes are at play.

It can be difficult to tell which one is causing the problem, but once you figure it out, you can start working on fixing it.

Dietary Changes

If the problem is solved by a poor diet, you can alter it quite easily. Simply feed your bearded dragon less of whatever it is that it is eating.

The majority of a bearded dragon’s diet should be based on vegetables, namely leafy greens. Though you can also give them insects, such as super worms, and rodents, these should only be about 25% of the diet.

You can also give them fruits. As long as you make sure that they are fresh fruits, they will be fine. Be sure not to provide fruits too often, as they are high in natural sugars that will not be great for the dragon.

You should also change the feeder insect that you provide. Some of these insects will be more nutritional than others. Be sure to give them a range of vegetables, primarily green vegetables.

Remember to provide a water bowl so that your dragon has a water source.


You should also make sure that your bearded dragon gets plenty of exercise. If it doesn’t, the dragon won’t burn off all those extra calories. Exercise can be great for guaranteeing a healthy lizard.

For more information on how you can give your pet sufficient exercise, please continue reading.


If the problem is caused by stress, you can reduce the amount of stress he experiences by keeping him away from other reptiles.

These creatures can be quite aggressive, leading to dominant dragons intimidating less powerful ones. This is a particular problem with baby bearded reptiles, who can be easily intimidated.

You can also help your bearded dragon deal with stress by providing him with a safe environment. Make sure that his cage is clean and that he has lots of room to move around.

Avoid placing him near noisy objects, like vacuum cleaners or air conditioners.

Underlying Health Problems

If your bearded dragon is suffering from an underlying health problem, then you should take action right away. Most illnesses can be treated, but if left untreated, they can lead to further problems.

Don’t be afraid to take your reptile to a vet. They can treat most diseases and infections and even perform routine checkups.

Parasites are another common cause of weight gain. Again, your vet will be able to provide the correct treatment for this condition.

How To Exercise Your Bearded Dragon

Bearded dragon outside

You should let your bearded dragon run free in his enclosure so that he gets plenty of exercise. However, if you live in a small space, you may not be able to allow him to run around freely.

In this case, you can use a climbing structure instead. These tools can be found in pet stores. they enable your dragon to have a place to climb and crawl.

You can buy a variety of different structures online. These can range from simple plastic tubes to elaborate wooden ones. You can even make them yourself using items found around the house.

This is often more cost-effective.

When you purchase a structure, you should make sure that it fits snugly into your bearded dragon’s cage. Make sure that it is sturdy and safe. Also, make sure that it provides adequate support for your bearded dragon.

Once you have purchased a structure, you should place it inside your bearded dragon’s enclosure. The easiest way to do this is to cut off the top half of the tube and put it in the bottom half of the enclosure.

If your dragon is not receiving sufficient exercise, you should also consider increasing the size of its enclosure.

Larger enclosures tend to encourage more movement, which means that your bearded dragon will get more exercise. However, don’t increase the size of the enclosure too much.

After all, upgrades can be expensive. Plus, a bigger cage is no guarantee that your dragon will exercise more.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Bearded Dragons Good Pets?

Yes! Bearded dragons are great pets if you keep them properly fed and cared for. They’re very easy to care for and can even enjoy being handled. They’re intelligent animals. Plus, they’re quite unique.

Not many people have them, though these reptiles are increasing in popularity.

Can I Feed My Bearded Dragon Raw Meat?

No. While some owners prefer to feed their bearded dragon raw meat, others find that this practice isn’t healthy for them. It can contain harmful bacteria and parasites, which could harm your bearded dragon.

If you don’t want to take this risk, we recommend only feeding them cooked meat. Even then, meat should be reserved as an occasional treat for your dragon.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, caring for a bearded dragon requires patience. Although they’re relatively easy to care for, there are certain things that you need to remember when doing so.

For example, you’ll need to ensure that your bearded dragon receives proper nutrition. Doing so will guarantee that your pet is healthy.

Additionally, you’ll need to provide your bearded dragon with enough room to move around. These actions will stop your dragon from being overweight.

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About the author


Kerry White is an avid dog lover and writer, knowing all there is to know about our furry friends. Kerry has been writing for PetDT for three years now, wanting to use her knowledge for good and share everything she can with new dog owners.Kerry has two dogs herself - a German shepherd called Banjo and a chocolate labrador called Buttons. Kerry knows more than anyone how adjusting to new life with a puppy can turn your life upside down, and she wants to ease some of the burdens through her articles.