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Why Is My Bearded Dragon Hiding? 10 Common Causes And How To Remedy

As a pet bearded dragon owner or caregiver, have you ever noticed it hiding? There are a lot of possible reasons behind this behavior. It could be hiding to lower its body temperature, feel more secure, avoid contact with other beardies in the same enclosure, or show symptoms of illness. 

It is important to prepare a hiding place for your beardie and observe its usual pattern to determine if it is of concern. 

From the ten common causes, this article will guide you in pinpointing the grounds of hiding in your bearded dragons and how to deal with them.

Why Is My Bearded Dragon Hiding?

Sometimes, pet owners feel alarmed and worried whenever they do not catch sight of their bearded dragons during the day. While this may be normal for bearded dragons, immoderate and frequent hiding can indicate trouble or concern.

Where does your beardie go to when hiding? The place could help you determine why it is concealing itself from view. They could be feeling uncomfortable, ill, threatened, scared, or hot from the high temperature in the environment.

10 Causes And How To Deal When Bearded Dragon Hiding

Of the many possibilities there are, here are the ten common causes of hiding in bearded dragons and how you can cope with or manage it.

Your Bearded Dragon Is New To The Surrounding

When introduced to new or unfamiliar environments, bearded dragons are known to feel anxious and uneasy. If you have recently brought home a new baby bearded dragon, you must know that it is common for them to hide frequently until they get well-adjusted and acclimated to their new surroundings.

You can also expect this behavior even if your beardie is an adult and you are changing or modifying their enclosure.

The most important thing is to offer your beardie an enclosure that closely resembles their old natural surroundings. This will make them feel more at home. They would also settle in much faster.

Other Related Signs And Symptoms

The usual hiding places, in this case, are caverns, tunnels, vegetation, and other accessories present in the tank or enclosure.

A new or change in environment could affect a bearded dragon and cause it to hide often.
A new or change in environment could affect a bearded dragon and cause it to hide often.

Signs and symptoms:

  • Feeling scared and stressed
  • you may notice dark spots on its belly and chin
  • Refuse food and water
  • Lethargy and showing no interest
  • Aggressive behavior

What Should Owners Do?

You must create hiding areas, or hides, in the enclosure so it can easily cover itself whenever it feels like it. This will also allow it to adjust. Give it at least seven to ten days without handling. If the beardie is a juvenile, you may expect to frequently hide in tense, threatening situations. 

You may also conceal the sides of the tank with cloths if you perceive that the environment stresses the beardie. You may slowly remove them after a week.

Your Bearded Dragon Is Sleeping Or Taking Time To Wake Up In The Morning

It is typical for bearded dragons to take a long time to emerge from their hide in the morning. Many over the age of a year will take their time to get up and get ready for the day. 

Other Related Signs And Symptoms

The usual hiding place, in this case, is in their sleeping area/spot.

Signs and symptoms: Your beardie takes 30-60 minutes to wake up and start any activity.

What Should Owners Do?

Bearded dragons enjoy routines, so you may set one up for them to jump-start the morning. Set the timer for 30-60 minutes before you turn on the lights and enjoy morning activities with your bearded dragon. This will give you some time to warm up and get ready for the day ahead.

Lights Get Too Bright

The lighting may be too bright if you notice your bearded dragon squinting, or from the light itself. You may observe this more if you take your pet out of the enclosure and it opens its eyes normally. 

If the light is indeed too bright, it will hide from it. They need an adequately bright light for eating and staying physically active. However, the light may cause stress. 

Other Related Signs And Symptoms

The usual hiding place, in this case, is in the spots where the light is minimal such as in caves and cooler areas of the enclosure.

Why Is My Bearded Dragon Hiding?
If the enclosure is too lighted, it’s going to strain (stress) your beardie’s eyes and cause it to hide

Signs and symptoms:

  • Squinting 
  • Stress
  • you may observe dark spots, aggressive behavior, lethargy, showing no interest, and lack of appetite

What Should Owners Do?

It is advisable to use a bright white light during the day. Ensure that you are choosing the right light. Some soft white and colorful bulbs may give off too much brightness or may be too distracting or stressful. You must also avoid anything that would give reflections in the tank or enclosure. 

You should also avoid using colored bulbs at night to avoid deranging their sleep cycle. This is because they are sensitive to such lights and color. Otherwise, the bearded dragon may feel worn out from having no sleep. 

Temperatures In The Tank Get Too High

Your bearded dragon may be hiding more frequently than normal because the temperature in the enclosure is too high. If so, your pet will attempt to escape from the heat by moving to a cooler spot in the tank and hiding.

Beardies require the capacity to cool down when necessary, even though they need high temperatures for critical bodily functions such as food digestion.

Other Related Signs And Symptoms

The usual hiding place, in this case, is in the cooler spots in the enclosure.

Signs and symptoms: Hides in the cool spot for longer periods of the day

What Should Owners Do?

Remember to set up an enclosure or tank with a gradient that starts with a warm basking area on one side and gradually transitions to a chilly region on the other.

You may invest in digital thermometers with probes to put in the enclosures for more accurate readings. You may place them in specific areas, in the hot and cold areas,  in the tank so you can easily monitor them. 

You may also use handheld thermometers so you can momentarily inspect the situation in any spot. Stand two inches away for more accuracy. 

Your Bearded Dragon Is Stressed/Got Scared

There could be possible reasons for stress and fright in bearded dragons. These include the temperature being too high in the enclosure, the light could be too high, the presence of other bearded dragon/s in the tank, larger pets, loud noises, and illness.

Loud music, television, and even traffic and outdoor sounds if they are located near a window, can all be problematic. It is crucial to note that strange sounds may be unpleasant for your bearded dragon. Naturally, they will hide when they feel worried and stressed. 

Other Related Signs And Symptoms

The usual hiding places in this case are under a log or rock, in a cave, or a corner. 

Your beardie could be hiding because of stress
Your beardie could be hiding because of stress

Signs and symptoms:

  • Lethargy
  • Showing no interest
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Little to no appetite

What Should Owners Do?

Ensure that the other pets, particularly the larger ones, do not come near or in contact with the enclosure. This is especially if the bearded dragon is relatively new. Wait for a few weeks before you introduce your pet to the others. Give it time to adjust and familiarize. 

You must also lower the volume of music and television to reduce stress and fright. you may also keep your pet far from the window or where the sounds are louder coming from outside.

Your Bearded Dragon Is Sick

When your bearded dragon is unwell, you may notice that it is acting slow and lethargic, does not want to eat food and drink water, and hides frequently. You have to physically examine it for any unusual or abnormal signs and monitor your bearded dragon to figure out what is wrong.

It is possible that your bearded dragon has MBD if it is sluggish, has any bone abnormalities,  and is physically inactive. MBD is caused by a deficiency in calcium and vitamin D3 in the diet, as well as a lack of UVB exposure. 

You may also observe some parasites in their feces or notice that it is extremely foul-smelling. Moreover, it could have a runny or liquidy consistency or contain blood. If you perceive that your bearded dragon is looking thinner, it may have lost some weight from parasite infection. 

Other Related Signs And Symptoms

  • Breathing issues
  • Weight loss
  • Discharge (eyes, ears, nose, or mouth)
  • Diarrhea 
  • Changes in the skin
  • Lethargy 
  • Bone deformities
  • Not in the mood to talk
  • Little to no appetite 

What Should Owners Do?

The symptoms tell a lot about your pet’s illness. You may take your dragon to the veterinarian if you suspect something off-putting about the behavior and appearance of your pet.

Your Bearded Dragon Starts To Brumate

Brumation is a pseudo-hibernation phase in which an adult bearded dragon hides, rests, and does not feed for lengthy periods. This is done in colder weather or when there is a short supply of food and drink. Even if your bearded dragon does not need to brumate, its instincts may push it to do so.

Other Related Signs And Symptoms

The usual hiding place, in this case, is in the cooler spots in the enclosure.

Signs and symptoms:

  • Drinking water occasionally 
  • Longer duration of or more frequent sleeping;
  • Earlier bedtime
  • Eating less
  • Defecating less
  • Lethargy 
  • Burying themselves

What Should Owners Do?

When the temperature and daylight cycle change, many bearded dragons begin to brumate. Notwithstanding that most owners maintain stable temperatures and light cycles, you should lower the amount of daylight by one to two hours during the winter.

Bearded dragons are extremely sensitive to changes. They can easily detect even the tiniest variations. They will start brumating as a result.

Brumation can continue anywhere from a few weeks to a few months and can begin as early as mid-late fall. Your bearded dragon will not be completely sleepy during brumation but will be largely laying down, remaining in hiding, and dozing off.

Your Bearded Dragon Want To Relax And Hides Going Through Changes

Bearded dragons might become apprehensive or less friendly at times. This is typical at various phases of life, just as it is in individuals. Bearded dragons changing for puberty at roughly 8-14 months of age, for example, will be irritable at times and hide more.

Bearded dragons, like humans, can exhibit mood swings and wish to rest and hide at times. There is nothing to worry about unless your pet has been hiding for a long period (few days).

Other Related Signs And Symptoms

The usual hiding places in this case are caves, under a log/rock, or in the corners. 

Signs and symptoms: Sleepy 

What Should Owners Do?

Your bearded dragon may feel drowsy at times. However, this may not be due to brumation and could be rooted in mood swings and changes. It is recommended to leave your pet to rest. 

Your Bearded Dragon Is Hiding From Other Beardies

If you keep two or more bearded dragons in one tank or enclosure, hiding is highly probable to occur. Generally, housing bearded dragons together are not recommended, even the females. They can get aggressive and competitive because of food and basking spots. They will likely aim to dominate in the enclosure. As a result, the other bearded dragon/s may feel intimidated and stressed. 

The dominating bearded dragon will stress out the other/s which allows symptoms for stress to manifest.

Other Related Signs And Symptoms

The usual hiding places in this case are caves, under a log/rock, or in the corners. 

Signs and symptoms:

  • Eating less 
  • Weak; no energy 
  • Tries to escape
  • Grows slower than normal

What Should Owners Do?

Bearded dragons need their own space. Allot and construct different enclosures for bearded dragons. Housing them together is never a good idea as stress can be too much to handle and may eventually lead to death in your pets. Some bearded dragons still do not get along despite having a spacious enclosure.

Your Bearded Dragon Is Unhappy For Other Things

If your bearded dragon is upset about anything, it will most likely retreat to a corner or its hide. Curling up in a corner might suggest that something is amiss with your tank, causing your dragon to hide.

Other Related Signs And Symptoms

The usual hiding places in this case are corners or their hides.

Some other reasons make them unhappy:

  • Tank is dirty – ​​you could be leaving the excrements sitting in their tanks or not washing or replacing their substrates or beddings enough
  • Small tank – a juvenile bearded dragon needs only a few months in a small tank; an adult one needs a bigger tank to live happily and healthily
  • You changed anything in the bearded dragon’s tank and the bearded dragon does not like them – they are deceptive and sensitive to changes in their tanks
avoid keeping 2 or more beardies together in a tank
If you are keeping more than one beardie in one tank, constant fighting could make one wants to avoid the other by hiding.

What Should Owners Do?

Ensure that their enclosures are clean and adequate for their size and activities. Do not change anything drastically in their enclosures as this will lead to stress. They can easily identify small changes in their tanks. 

A 55-70 gallon tank is required for an adult bearded dragon to live and be happy. A bearded dragon’s aquarium’s minimum size must be 40-gallon.

FAQs

How do you know when a bearded dragon is mad?

There are ways to tell if it is mad. It may be biting when you try to handle them, hissing, bearding (fluffing their beard), head bobbing, and gaping (opening their mouth wide). You must discern these behaviors properly to ensure that they are cared for. 

Why is my beardie acting weird?

It could be a number of reasons which includes:

= Insufficient diet
= Improper housing or inadequate housing conditions
= Parasites
= Too low or too high temperature in the aquarium 

Do beardies like music?

Yes, for them, anything peaceful, relaxing, and soft is pleasing. 

Conclusion

It has been established that the majority of bearded dragons will seek refuge at some time, especially if they are new to the environment. A hide box in your bearded dragon’s tank is recommended so that they may engage in natural behaviors as they would in the wild. It does not matter how old your reptile is; as soon as they enter their new surroundings, they should have a hide box.

While hiding is normal and natural for bearded dragons, doing it excessively could be something of concern. Why your bearded dragon is hiding is often about the temperature in the tank, the threat from bearded dragons in the same enclosure, or mood. 

However, if it is not anything from the aforementioned, you must immediately consult a veterinarian to instantly find out what could be wrong. 

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