When your bearded dragon isn’t eating, it can be a very unsettling experience. You can tell something is wrong, but since your pet can’t explain the issue to you, it can be really stressful for both of you. If you’re wondering what to do in a situation like this, you’ve come to the right place. We put together all the info you need if you’re wondering, “Why won’t my baby bearded dragon eat?”
Consuming food on a consistent basis is necessary for the physical and mental well-being of young bearded dragons. The ability or inability of a baby bearded dragon to eat food is a significant measure of its health or status.
In this post, we are going to talk about the possible reasons why a baby bearded dragon may stop eating. There’s probably a simple solution to this problem. However, if none of our suggestions work, be sure to rule out more serious issues with a trip to the vet.
Why won’t my Baby Bearded Dragon Eat?
“Why won’t my baby bearded dragon eat?” is a frequently asked question. The truth is, bearded dragons are sensitive animals, especially baby dragons. These seven possible reasons your baby beardie won’t eat are not an exhaustive list. If you don’t find a solution here, you may just need the help of a vet who has extensive knowledge about bearded dragons. It may be potential health issues and it may just be that some beardies can be picky eaters. No worries, you’ll figure it out!
This potential answer to “why won’t my baby bearded dragon eat?” is definitely the most stressful for beardie owners. If your baby bearded dragon is exhibiting any symptoms of illness, then it is possible that this is the reason why it has stopped eating. Is your baby bearded dragon spending a lot of time just lounging around and not being very active? Does it have any kinks in its back or tail, or does it have any bones that are soft? It is possible that it is suffering from MBD in addition to deficiencies in other vitamins and minerals, most notably calcium.
Is your baby beardie having normal bowel movements, experiencing diarrhea, or having blood in their stools? It’s possible that your bearded dragon has parasites, constipation, an impacted bowel movement, or other health problems.
Is your baby bearded dragon making a gagging sound, inflating up as it breathes, squeezing its chest when it exhales, and maybe even blowing bubbles? It’s possible that your bearded dragon has developed a respiratory infection. A common cause of infection is likely the combination of excessive humidity and cold temperatures. Is your baby bearded dragon stumbling and losing its balance as it tilts its head? It is possible that it has had some kind of head trauma or has an ear infection.
Baby and adult beardies need the right environment and it needs to be cleaned regularly to prevent illness. The most common reasons for illness in beardies are stress, incorrect tank temperature and humidity, and living in dirty conditions.
Stress is probably the number one answer to “Why won’t my baby bearded dragon eat?”
If your bearded dragon is under a lot of pressure, it may stop eating altogether or at least significantly less. It will depend on the amount of stress it is feeling as well as the length of time that stress has been present. Many internal and external causes, some of which will be discussed in the following sections, might be the root cause of stress.
Your bearded dragon’s immunity will be lowered if the stress lasts for an extended period of time, which can lead to deficiencies and infections. Bearded dragons may exhibit a number of indicators of stress. Some of which include a black body & beard, stress scars on the belly or limbs, concealment, lethargy, and even hostility.
A bearded dragon that is lacking in water will not have a good appetite. Water plays a critical role in digestion as well as the movement of fecal masses throughout the digestive system. A dehydrated bearded dragon would have slack skin, sunken eyes, or even slimy saliva.
If the temps in the tank are too high, then your bearded dragon runs the risk of becoming dehydrated. Please keep in mind that bearded dragons obtain the vast majority of the water they require from the food they eat.
Therefore, it is of the utmost importance to gut-load its feeder insects (give live insects freshwater crystals or fruits/vegetables for water), in addition to providing fresh fruits and vegetables. Bearded dragons don’t really drink still water. Instead, they like to sip running water or water that has been sprayed on their noses.
You may assist hydrate the bearded dragon by spraying some water on its nose and letting it lick it. This will help it stay hydrated. You can also offer fruit juice that has been diluted to your dragon as an alternative to water if it isn’t interested in drinking water. You are permitted to serve watered-down versions of apple, grape, and any other permitted fruit juices.
Poor eating habits
This could be a simple answer to “Why won’t my baby bearded dragon eat?”
Bearded dragons can be quite particular eaters. If you’re trying to introduce a new food to your bearded dragon’s diet, it might not be a fan. It’s good to feed a variety, but if your beardie doesn’t like it, they won’t eat it.
Adult dragons that were not given any salad while they were newborns and through their first year of life are most likely to turn their noses up at salad once they reach adulthood. Make sure that you give your newborn bearded dragon some salad on a daily basis, even if it’s just a small amount. You can even keep some in there so that the dragon can get used to eating greens and fruits in their natural environment.
Up until the age of four months, infants should consume the majority of their calories (60-80%) from feeder insects.
Keep in mind that the bearded dragon likely has its own set of feeding preferences and favorite foods as well as items that it really detests. Experiment with a variety of insects and vegetables to find out what your dragon enjoys eating the most. In addition to this, make sure to provide varied food and a balanced diet for your dragon because providing it with the same items will bore it.
The majority of the time, bearded dragons will exhibit unfavorable reactions to significant changes in the tank. They may even dislike changes in the area surrounding the tank. Have just made a recent change to the tank or added a large number of new accessories? This will take some time for your dragon to become acclimated to everything again. This is especially true if you have added a lot of new accessories.
Your bearded dragon could even respond to changes that take place outside of its enclosure. Certain bearded dragons have a strong aversion to particular hues, articles of apparel, and even facial hair! Therefore, this may potentially result in unfavorable responses.
Getting used to new surroundings can take anything from a couple of days to a week or even a couple of weeks. During this time, it’s possible that your dragon will have a loss of appetite, won’t eat as much, and will hide away more than usual.
Please be patient during this time, and if you want to let your bearded dragon rest, you could even cover the edges of the aquarium with a cloth. This is especially important to keep in mind if your dragon is behaving in an aggressive manner. After one to two weeks, you should initiate the process of gradually removing the covering sheets on each side one at a time.
It hurts your bearded dragon to eat
It’s possible that the act of eating is too painful for your bearded dragon, therefore, he’s choosing not to. This could be the case if the bearded dragon is experiencing stomatitis in either an early or severe stage.
Stomatitis, also known as mouth rot, is an irritation of the mouth that can cause symptoms like swelling of the mouth, a lot of saliva, oral secretions, and even pus. Because of this infection, you will need to raise the temperature of the tank, reevaluate the vitamins, and provide antibiotics.
If you feel that your bearded dragon has stomatitis, please take it to the veterinarian as soon as possible. It will need its mouth rinsed with a betadine solution that has been diluted 1:10 in water. Stomatitis is often a result of too much stress which lower’s the immune system of even a healthy beardie.
Bearded dragons are known to get cranky in the days leading up to and throughout their shedding process. This may also cause them to eat less, or at the very least, less than they would ordinarily consume. This should take place a few days after the shedding process has been completed.
A Juvenile bearded dragon will shed its skin more frequently than adults. A baby beardy sheds every 1-2 weeks.
Bearded dragons that are in the process of shedding can have pale skin, will be scratching against various objects, will refuse to eat, and will be generally more lethargic. During the shedding process, some bearded dragons develop a more belligerent personality or become more easily agitated. This might alarm you, but your beloved bearded dragon will be back to its normal laid back personality after shedding.
How to Make Your Beardie Eat
We’ve covered the possible answers to “Why won’t my baby bearded dragon eat?” Now let’s talk about solutions.
Appetite Stimulating Foods
When you have problems encouraging your bearded dragon to eat on its own, try feeding him canned pumpkin. Canned pumpkin has a high water content and will work wonders for a dragon’s body if it’s constipated.
You can either try to spoon-feed it to them or see if any of your dragons will take it directly from their regular meal bowl. You could try baby foods made from vegetables in addition to baby foods made from canned pumpkins. Again, you have the option of adding in some vegetables or vitamins.
Try Colored Food
Bearded dragons appear to be drawn to particular colors. Red, greenish, or yellow are more appealing to them than other hues. They are naturally drawn to these hues because many of the foods they enjoy eating have them in their composition.
Your dragons will be interested in things such as pumpkins, butternut squash, red peppers, berries, raspberries, and a variety of other fruit and vegetables.
Only under the supervision of an experienced reptile veterinarian should you attempt to force-feed an animal with a syringe. It’s not always required, but there are times when you might have to put up with the stress anyhow. Your bearded dragon’s condition will determine the sort of feeding solution that your veterinarian recommends.
It can be stressful when you can find the answer to “Why won’t my baby bearded dragon eat?” But before you decide to force-feed the pet reptile, it is highly recommended that you consult with a reptile vet. This is especially recommended if you have never force-fed a reptile in the past. Your veterinarian will be able to instruct you on how to carry out the procedure at home while ensuring your safety.
How frequently do baby bearded dragons eat their food?
Maybe the answer to “why won’t my baby bearded dragon eat?” is that you’re expecting it to eat too much. Bearded dragon hatchlings must consume food more frequently than adult bearded dragons, typically two to three times a day. Older babies, juveniles, and sub-adults need to eat twice a day between the ages of 4 and 12 months, while adults who are older than 12 months only need to eat once a day.
How long can baby bearded dragons survive without eating?
If you’re asking yourself “why won’t my baby bearded dragon eat?”, you are probably also wondering how long it can survive without eating. Bearded dragons have the ability to fast for up to two to four months while they are in brumation. A young bearded dragon could survive without eating for two to four weeks if it had to. Adults who are in good health can survive without meals for two to three months. Adults who are otherwise healthy shouldn’t have any weight loss while they are in brumation.
Bearded dragons are known for their toughness and their unwillingness to give up quickly. Therefore, it could take anywhere from a few weeks to a month or even more for your bearded dragon to start eating particular items. When you try to start giving them leafy greens, but they resist, this is something that frequently occurs. Simply try something different.
To Wrap it Up
Despite all of the information that is available online, there are instances when it can be challenging to pinpoint the precise reason to the common question, “why won’t my baby bearded dragon eat?” It is important to have a reliable vet for a pet bearded dragon for a number of reasons, one of which is so that you have somebody to call for assistance whenever you are at a loss for an answer. Keep in mind, however, that a lack of appetite is fairly frequent in bearded dragons, so there is a good chance that there is nothing really wrong with your pet.