Are you a new bearded dragon owner?
Have you noticed your bearded dragon hiding all the time?
Are you worried this behavior is a cause for concern?
We can help you look at the common reasons for hiding and when it may be a concern.
This article will help you find peace of mind when you’re wondering, “Why is my bearded dragon hiding?”
A bearded dragon may be hiding to cool down, feel more secure, to escape other bearded dragons in the enclosure, or they’re feeling sick.
Determining which reason is causing your dragon to hide is the difference between a happy pet and a trip to the vet.
Read on for more details.
4 Reasons Why Your Bearded Dragon Is Hiding
In this section, we go over the four main reasons your pet may be hiding in detail with suggestions on what you should do.
#1 Cooling Down
Bearded dragon enclosures need to be kept at specific temperatures.
These temps vary across the spots in the enclosure.
New owners don’t always realize this, and by having a container with only has one temperature, they’re setting their bearded dragon up for unhappiness.
Dragons need a basking area to absorb UV light for health. This area is generally hotter.
An adult dragon needs the basking space to be around 90° – 93° degrees Fahrenheit (32° – 34° C).
This is accomplished with a basking light like this Zoo Med spot lamp on Amazon.
- UVA output
- Spotlight lamp for focus on defined areas
- Use 10-12 hours a day
There also needs to be a cool-down area with a temperature range of 80° – 90° degrees Fahrenheit (27° – 32° C).
If this is not met, your pet may be getting overheated.
To cool down, the dragon’s instincts tell it to hide from the sun (in this case the lamp).
Check the temperature of the enclosure to make sure the cool down area is getting cold enough.
If it’s not, turn the lamp down (if possible) or move it more to one side of the tank, so the other side cools down.
Warning! Don’t forget to turn the lamp off at night.
Dragons need their night cycles and the temps to drop to around 70° – 75° degrees Fahrenheit (21° – 24° C).
In the wild, when a bearded dragon feels threatened by a larger predator, it hides.
Even though the bearded dragon looks fierce, it still isn’t the top of the food chain.
If there are things around your pet’s enclosure, making it feel threatened, it can force the hiding instincts to kick in.
This could from another pet bugging the enclosure, children tapping on it constantly, or loud sounds and movement constantly nearby.
Move the enclosure to a different place where the environment won’t bug the dragon so much.
After a time, your dragon may feel more secure and come out to bask more often.
#3 Hiding From Other Bearded Dragons
If you have multiple bearded dragons in an enclosure, one or more of them may constantly be hiding.
This is to escape from the other reptiles.
The best solution to this is obvious: give them separate enclosures.
It is NOT recommended having more than one bearded dragon in an enclosure.
They need their own space.
Some bearded dragons never get along no matter how large the tank, so it’s best not to mess with it.
If you do have multiple bearded dragons in a tank, smaller ones are “dominated” by the larger ones. This results in hiding.
In some cases, these smaller ones will not get food or may be injured.
Warning! Never put two males in the same tank.
#4 Feeling Sick
When we humans get sick, it’s our instinct to lay down and rest in our beds.
It’s the same with bearded dragons, except their resting place is wherever they can hide.
Your dragon may have something wrong with it either minor or major.
This hiding is its body’s way of trying to heal.
If you notice something different with your dragons such as a visible injury, different droppings (or lack thereof), or unusual behavior, it may be time to take your bearded dragon to the vet.
Note: When in doubt, a trip to the vet is the safest bet.
But this can get expensive.
When To Take Your Bearded Dragon To The Vet
This section offers some general steps to follow if your bearded dragon is hiding and you need to know if a trip to the vet is in order.
Disclosure: These are general suggestions.
If you’re worried, take your pet to the vet.
First, check the temperature of the basking and cool-down sections of your tank (look at the section above for temperature guidelines).
Adjust if needed.
If the temp is OK, make sure the tank is in a place where it’s not getting bumped around or beside constant loud noise.
If that’s not a problem, make sure you aren’t keeping any other bearded dragons in the enclosure along with the one hiding.
One more thing to check is if it’s not the time for your dragon’s brumation.
Brumation is a period of pseudo-hibernation where the bearded dragon spends long periods hiding, resting, and not eating.
This is typically done in colder temperatures or when food or drink is scarce.
While your dragon may not need to do this, its instincts may still force it into brumation.
The biggest way to tell if your dragon is brumating is if it’s still drinking water occasionally.
If all of these needs have been met or checked and your dragon is still hiding for extremely long periods, it may be time to consider a trip to the vet.
Note: If you’re anxious, take your pet to the vet.
There’s no safer way to check on your animal’s health than having an expert inspect your bearded dragon.
We hope you enjoyed learning why your bearded dragon is hiding.
It’s often something easily fixed like temperature, safety, and keeping your bearded dragon alone.
But if it’s not one of these, it may be time to take it to the vet.
Spend Less Time Figuring Out What To Do And More Time Enjoying Your Pet
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