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 reptile 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.
Table of Contents
4 Reasons Why Your Bearded Dragon Is Hiding
This section goes over the four main reasons your pet may be hiding in detail, with suggestions on what you should do.
#1 Cooling Down
A bearded dragon reptile cage needs to be kept at specific temperatures.
These temps vary across the spots in the reptile terrarium.
If you’re a new bearded dragon owner, you may not always realize this, and by having a container that only has one temperature, they’re setting their bearded dragon up for unhappiness.
Dragons need a basking spot 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).
Check out our review of the best basking lights for bearded dragons for some great options to use in your enclosure.
- UVA output
- Spotlight heat 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, this species instincts tell it to hide from the sun (the lamp).
Check the temperature of the vivarium 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).
- Day/Night Temperatures
- Humidity & Timing Control
- Alarm When Temps Reach Unsafe Levels
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 at 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 be 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.
And if you want to learn if bearded dragons are good with children we have a post on that!
#3 Hiding From Other Bearded Dragons
If you have multiple bearded dragons in an enclosure, one or more of them may constantly seek a hiding place.
This is to escape from the other reptiles.
The best solution to this is obvious: give them separate enclosures.
It is NOT recommended to have 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 is, so it’s best not to mess with it.
If you 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 find a hiding spot.
Your dragon may have something wrong with it, either minor or major.
This hiding is its body’s way of trying to heal.
Here is our post on the best hiding places for bearded dragons to keep in your enclosure.
If you notice something different with your dragons, such as a visible injury, other 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.
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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.
Here’s our post on bearded dragon tank temperature guidelines to assist you.
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.
Ensure your bearded dragon behavior isn’t just time for its brumation period.
Bearded Dragon Brumation is a period of pseudo-hibernation where the adult 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 lizard may not need to do this, its instincts may still force it into brumation.
The most significant 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 quickly 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.