So, you’ve got yourself a bearded dragon, huh? These guys are quite the characters – part dinosaur, part dog, and a whole lot of personality!
But just like any other pet, there are certain things that can really grind their gears.
So, what do bearded dragons hate? And what might make a bearded dragon mad? In this guide, we’ll cover 21 things that bearded dragons aren’t exactly fond of.
And while we’re diving into what makes these critters tick, remember that understanding their likes and dislikes goes hand in hand with understanding their senses.
For example, have you ever wondered about a bearded dragon’s hearing? Check out our other post on whether bearded dragons have good hearing; it’s a real ear-opener!
Fun Fact #1: Did you know bearded dragons get their name from their ability to puff out their throat when threatened, making it look like they have a beard?
Dislike #1. Low Temperatures
Brrr… bearded dragons hate the cold! These fiery little fellas hail from the warm and toasty deserts of Australia. So, naturally, they’re not big fans of anything that reminds them of a winter wonderland.
Low temperatures can actually slow down their metabolism, making them sluggish and unresponsive. In the worst-case scenario, it can even lead to a state of brumation, which is kind of like hibernation.
If you notice your bearded buddy acting a bit chilly, the first thing to check is their enclosure temperature. Aim for a basking spot of around 95-110°F and a cooler end of the tank at about 80-90°F. Remember, keep it toasty, folks!
Fun Fact #2: Bearded dragons can't produce their own body heat. That's why they're always on the lookout for a good basking spot to soak up warmth.
Dislike #2. Overcrowding
Believe it or not, bearded dragons are quite solitary creatures. They value their personal space, just like we humans need our me-time with a good book or our favorite TV show.
So, they can get downright grumpy when their space gets invaded or overcrowded. Yep, you heard it right, bearded dragons hate overcrowding.
In the wild, they have entire territories, so cooping up with others can stress them out. This can lead to aggression, competition for food and basking spots, and in some cases, even physical harm.
That’s why keeping only one bearded dragon per enclosure is usually recommended. If you’re thinking about adding another beardie to your family, make sure they each have their own space.
And don’t forget to provide enough space for your dragon to roam around freely.
Dislike #3. Abrupt Handling
Just like you might startle if someone sneaks up behind you, bearded dragons hate abrupt handling. These guys value their personal space, and when we get a little too handsy without warning, it can seriously stress them out.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Bearded dragons can be super social with their human pals, but they prefer a little heads-up before the cuddle session begins.
Approach them slowly, let them see you coming, and gently scoop them up from the side, never from above. Remember, in the wild; threats usually come from above in the form of predatory birds, so let’s not trigger those primal fears.
Dislike #4. The Wrong Diet
What’s on the menu today? Bearded dragons, like us, have their dietary preferences. They’re not just going to chow down on anything. Certain foods can upset their tummies, and others are downright dangerous.
Now, bearded dragons are omnivores, which means they munch on both plants and meat (in their case, tasty insects). But some foods like avocados, rhubarb, and fireflies are a big no-no for these guys.
And let’s not forget feeding them larger insects like super worms or mealworms can be hard to digest and even cause impaction, a serious health risk.
Do you know what else bearded dragons hate? Inconsistent feeding schedules. These creatures are creatures of habit, and they appreciate knowing when their next meal is coming.
Sticking to a regular feeding schedule offers a mix of veggies, fruits, and insects. Remember, variety is the spice of life, even for our beardie buddies!
Dislike #5. Inadequate Hygiene
Just because bearded dragons hail from the deserts doesn’t mean they enjoy living in a dirty environment. In fact, inadequate hygiene is one thing that bearded dragons seriously dislike.
Yep, you’ve got it – these guys appreciate a clean and tidy living space.
It might not seem obvious at first, but beardies can be quite the neat freaks. Dirty tanks can lead to the growth of harmful bacteria and parasites, which can cause a range of health issues.
Plus, nobody likes stepping in their own poop, right? Regular cleaning of their tank and accessories is an absolute must to keep your beardie healthy and happy.
Remember to spot-clean the enclosure daily for any poop or leftover food and perform a deep clean every few weeks. And hey, while you’re at it, make sure their water dish is cleaned and filled with fresh water regularly.
Dislike #6. Bright Lights at Night
Imagine trying to snooze with a spotlight shining in your face. Not so restful, huh? Well, that’s exactly how bearded dragons feel about bright lights at night.
While these sun-loving creatures need plenty of light during the day, they’re all about catching those Z’s in peace and quiet when the sun goes down.
Bearded dragons follow a diurnal schedule, meaning they’re active during the day and sleep at night. Just like us, they need their beauty sleep to stay healthy and happy.
So, when their night-time is interrupted by bright lights, they can become stressed and even suffer from sleep deprivation.
If you want to observe your bearded dragon at night, consider using a low-intensity, infrared, or nocturnal bulb that doesn’t produce light in the visible spectrum.
This way, you can watch your beardie’s night-time antics without disturbing their sleep.
Dislike #7. Unsuitable Substrates
Picture this: you’re walking barefoot on a gravel road. Not very comfy, right? Well, that’s how bearded dragons feel about unsuitable substrates.
These guys are particular about what they walk on, and certain materials can stress them out, hurt their feet, or even pose health risks.
Substrates like sand, gravel, or small wood chips can be a big no-no for our bearded buddies. Not only can these substrates cause discomfort, but they can also lead to impaction if ingested.
Trust me, you don’t want to deal with that—it’s a serious condition where your beardie’s digestive tract gets blocked, and it can lead to serious health problems.
Instead, opt for beardie-friendly substrates like reptile carpet, newspaper, or even ceramic tiles. These offer a stable surface to walk on and reduce the risk of impaction.
Dislike #8. Too Much Noise
We’ve all had those moments where we wish the world could quiet down a bit, right? Well, guess what? Bearded dragons feel the same way.
Too much noise is one thing that bearded dragons seriously dislike. These creatures are used to the quiet of the desert so that a noisy environment can stress them out.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Bearded dragons can tolerate a certain level of noise. After all, they’ve got to put up with us humans and our noisy ways. But constant, loud noises can be a source of stress for them.
So, if you’ve got a loud TV right next to their tank, or if the dog’s barking is echoing through the house, your beardie might not be too thrilled.
And did you know that bearded dragons don’t have external ears like we do? Instead, they have tiny openings on the sides of their heads that lead to their eardrums. This means they perceive sound differently than we do.
Dislike #9. Stagnant Water
Ever take a sip from a water bottle that’s been sitting out in the sun all day? Not exactly refreshing, huh? Well, bearded dragons feel the same about stagnant water. These guys prefer their water just like their food – fresh!
Now, bearded dragons hail from the arid regions of Australia, where standing water isn’t exactly commonplace. This might be why stagnant water isn’t their cup of tea.
Plus, stagnant water can harbor bacteria, which can lead to health issues.
Be sure to clean your beardie’s water dish daily and provide fresh water. Remember, hydration is just as important as nutrition for these guys, and freshwater is key.
Dislike #10. Poor Quality Food
Let’s face it, nobody likes a soggy salad or a stale sandwich, and the same goes for bearded dragons. These guys have quite the palate and are not fans of poor-quality food.
Just like us, they appreciate fresh, tasty, and nutritious meals.
Fresh veggies, fruits, and insects should be the staple of your bearded dragon’s diet. Offering them wilted lettuce or old fruits can be a turn-off for these little gourmets.
Plus, stale or poor-quality food can lack the essential nutrients they need and can even lead to health issues.
And just like us, bearded dragons enjoy a little variety in their diet. So, mix it up with different types of fruits, veggies, and insects. Remember, the more varied the diet, the more balanced the nutrition. Your beardie will thank you for it.
Dislike #11. Small Enclosures
Ever felt cooped up in a small room for too long? Well, bearded dragons know that feeling all too well. These active, curious creatures need space to roam, and a small enclosure is one of the things that bearded dragons hate.
While they may start out small, bearded dragons can grow up to 24 inches long. They need room to move, explore, and be dragons.
A small enclosure can limit their activity, leading to boredom and even health issues like obesity.
The recommended minimum size for a bearded dragon’s tank is 120 gallons for an adult. This gives them ample space to bask, hunt, and explore.
Plus, a larger tank allows for a proper temperature gradient, which is vital for your beardie’s health.
Dislike #12. Lack of Privacy
Ever had one of those days where you need a little alone time? Well, bearded dragons can relate. While they’re pretty chill creatures most of the time, they appreciate their privacy occasionally.
A lack of hiding spots in their enclosure can stress them out, making them feel exposed and unsafe.
Providing your bearded dragon with a few hiding spots in its enclosure can go a long way in making them feel secure. Think caves, log tunnels, or even hammocks.
These give them a place to retreat when they’re feeling stressed or need a break from the world.
Dislike #13. High Humidity
Imagine being stuck in a stuffy, humid room when you’re really craving that cool, dry air. Doesn’t sound too pleasant. Well, that’s how bearded dragons feel about high humidity.
These guys are native to the arid regions of Australia, and they prefer their surroundings dry, just like their natural habitat.
Keeping the humidity levels in your bearded dragon’s enclosure too high can lead to respiratory issues and skin problems. Not fun for your beardie, trust me.
Aim to keep the humidity level in their tank around 30-40%. You can monitor this with a reliable hygrometer.
To reduce humidity, you can use a low-humidity substrate, provide proper ventilation, and control the amount of water in the tank.
Remember, folks, while a little misting can be good for your beardie’s hydration, we don’t want to turn their tank into a rainforest!
Dislike #14. Cold Temperatures
Ever walked outside on a chilly day without a jacket? Shivers, right? Well, that’s how bearded dragons feel about cold temperatures.
These guys are cold-blooded, which means they rely on their environment to regulate their body temperature. So, when it’s cold, they’re cold.
Bearded dragons need a basking area in their enclosure that reaches between 95-105°F for adults and up to 110°F for juveniles. The cooler end of their tank should sit around 80-85°F.
If the temperature drops below these ranges, your beardie can become sluggish, lose their appetite, and even go into a state called brumation, which is kind of like hibernation.
An under-tank heater or basking lamp can help maintain the proper temperatures in your beardie’s tank. Just make sure to monitor the temperatures with a reliable thermometer to avoid overheating.
Dislike #15. Being Woken Up
Ever been rudely awakened from a deep, peaceful sleep? Pretty irritating. Well, bearded dragons aren’t any different. Being woken up is one thing that really grinds their gears. They need their beauty sleep just like the rest of us!
Bearded dragons follow a diurnal schedule, meaning they’re active during the day and sleep at night. It’s important to respect their sleep schedule and avoid waking them up unnecessarily.
Constant disruptions can cause stress and even affect their health.
So, when the lights go off in their tank, that’s your cue to let your beardie catch some z’s. And remember, no sneaking in for midnight cuddles!
Dislike #16. Too Much Handling
You know when you’re in a crowded elevator and can feel someone’s elbow digging into your side? Personal space invasion, right? Well, bearded dragons know that feeling too.
Too much handling is something they can really get annoyed with.
While many bearded dragons can become quite tame and may even enjoy being handled, they also need their own time and space. Overhandling can stress them out and make them feel threatened.
Remember, bearded dragons aren’t cuddly pets like dogs or cats. They’re reptiles, and their comfort zones differ slightly from ours. Always handle your bearded dragon gently, giving them support under its belly and legs.
And most importantly, respect their signals. If they’re wriggling, trying to get away, or showing their beard, it’s time to give them a break.
Dislike #17. Reflective Surfaces
Do you know how you’d feel if you saw your own reflection and thought it was another person? Kinda freaky, right? Well, that’s how bearded dragons feel about reflective surfaces. They’re not fans.
Bearded dragons don’t recognize their own reflection. When they see it, they think it’s another dragon. This can lead to stress, territorial behavior, and even self-inflicted injuries as they try to interact with or fight off their “intruder.”
Avoid using reflective materials in your bearded dragon’s enclosure, such as mirrors or shiny metal. If the walls of your tank are reflective, consider covering them with a non-reflective background.
Dislike #18. Lack of Hiding Spots
Ever had one of those days where you want to curl up in a cozy spot away from the world? We’ve all been there. Well, bearded dragons have those days too. That’s why they’re not too keen on a lack of hiding spots.
Bearded dragons, like most animals, need a safe and secure place where they can hide and relax. A hiding spot provides a sense of security and can help reduce stress.
Plus, it gives them a cool place to retreat to when they want to escape the heat of their basking spot.
Make sure your bearded dragon’s enclosure includes at least one good hiding spot. It should be large enough for your beardie to fit comfortably inside but snug enough to make them feel secure.
Dislike #19. Lack of UVB Light
Ever tried to survive a long winter without seeing the sun? It can feel pretty gloomy, right? Well, that’s how bearded dragons feel about a lack of UVB light. They need their sunshine!
UVB light is crucial for bearded dragons. It helps them synthesize vitamin D3, which in turn helps them absorb and utilize calcium. Without enough UVB light, bearded dragons can develop serious health issues like Metabolic Bone Disease.
That’s why having a UVB light in your bearded dragon’s enclosure is essential. Make sure it covers at least two-thirds of the tank’s length and is positioned so your beardie can bask within 6-8 inches of it.
And remember, UVB lights need to be replaced every 6-12 months, even if they’re still shining. The UVB output decreases over time.
Dislike #20. Inadequate Ventilation
Ever been stuck in a stuffy room with no fresh air? It’s not a great feeling, right? Well, that’s how bearded dragons feel about enclosures with inadequate ventilation. They need their fresh air!
Good ventilation is crucial for bearded dragons. It helps regulate the temperature and humidity in their enclosure, and more importantly, it provides them with fresh air.
Without adequate ventilation, their tank can become too humid, leading to respiratory problems and fostering the growth of harmful bacteria and fungi.
If you’re using a glass terrarium, make sure it has a mesh top for air circulation. If you’re using a vivarium or a wooden enclosure, ensure there are ventilation holes on the sides or the back.
Dislike #21. Lack of Mental Stimulation
Ever felt bored out of your mind with absolutely nothing to do? It’s a total drag. Well, that’s how bearded dragons feel about a lack of mental stimulation. They need their fun!
Just like us humans, bearded dragons can get bored if their environment doesn’t provide enough stimulation. They’re curious critters who enjoy exploring, hunting, and even playing with toys.
Without mental stimulation, they can become lethargic, stressed, and even depressed.
Add some safe toys to their enclosure to keep your bearded dragon entertained—things they can climb on, crawl under, or push around. You can also hand-feed them insects or take them out of their enclosure for supervised exploration time.