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How Long Can A Bearded Dragon Go Without Eating?

Are you a bearded dragon owner noticing some odd behavior in your beardy?

Do you worry your pet will starve if it doesn’t eat enough often?

As a good owner, it’s essential you know all about your pet, so you know when something’s wrong, which is why you notice when your pet is eating less. 

And you may start to wonder:

How long can a bearded dragon go without eating?

Bearded dragons can survive for different lengths of time without food depending on age, size, and reason for going without food. In many cases, fully grown and healthy bearded dragons can survive for up to 2 months.

Don’t stop reading here!

Read on for more details, which drastically impact how long a beardy can go without food.

6 Reasons A Bearded Dragon May Go Without Food

Besides age (juveniles can only go a few days to a week), the most significant variable in food survival comes from the reason why it’s going without food.

This section talks about the different reasons to go without food and how this may impact survival.

#1 Wrong Temperatures

One thing which may impact eating for beardies is an incorrect temperature.

Believe it or not, bearded dragons need higher heat from a basking lamp to help them digest. 

This is due to their evolution in the Australian desert.

They’ve come to rely on the extreme heat for many of their bodily processes.

If the temp is too low, they may stop eating because they don’t feel well, or they’re not digesting.

Check the temperature of the basking spot and make sure it is around 105° degrees Fahrenheit (41 °C).

Adjust your heater as needed.

If this is the case, an adult bearded dragon could survive a couple of weeks without food.

But fixing the temp should resolve the issue within a couple of days. 

#2 Home Changes

Bearded dragons are sensitive creatures, especially when it comes to home space.

In the wild, the oddly cute reptiles are territorial creatures protecting their area with occasional violence (which is why you never keep two beardies in one tank).

If you had to change their tank at all, even to add new furniture, they might stop eating.

This is because they don’t feel safe in their space as they don’t know it yet.

This should resolve itself in a few days.

For this reason, throwing them off, they can go without food for a couple of weeks.

But if it doesn’t resolve before then, you may want to get your pet checked out.

#3 Increased Stress

For whatever reason, your beardy may be experiencing more stress in its life.

This can cause it to refuse to eat.

Sometimes, this is as simple as being constipated.

Other times, it feels threatened by its environment.

Take stock of your beardy’s location and make sure it feels safe.

Then it may start eating again.

In cases of high stress, it should only go a week at most without food.

Being stressed causes it to use more energy quickly.

#4 New Diet/Foods

I thought my toddler was a picky eater until I got a bearded dragon.

These critters can get stuck in a rut when it comes to their food selection.

If they’ve had a lot of high-fat insects or sugary fruits, they may not want to eat anything else.

This is extra true if the food is brand new to them.

It’s not unusual for them to refuse to eat this new food for a week on end.

Don’t cave in!

Just keep offering them the food until they get hungry enough to eat. 

how long can a bearded dragon go without eating

#5 Brumation

It may be the time of year for brumation.

Brumation is a type of hibernation where bearded dragons escape the colder seasons by resting and not moving for weeks and months on end.

If the temp had dropped in the tank or it’s been a year since the last brumation, your bearded dragon may be hibernating.

In this state, they can gradually go for up to 2 months with no food and little water.

We have a guide to bearded dragon brumation that goes into more details if you’re interested in learning more about it.

#6 Sickness

In rare cases, this lack of eating is explained by sickness.

This is usually accompanied by one of these other symptoms:

  • Visible injury
  • Foaming
  • Glassy eyes
  • Lack of movement
  • Lack of droppings
  • Discoloration

If you see any of these with the lack of appetite, take your pet to the vet immediately.

How Often Do You Need To Feed A Bearded Dragon?

How often you feed a bearded dragon does depend on their size and age.

However, there are general rules to follow for keeping a beardy healthy.


Diet is broken into proteins and greens.

Proteins consist of live insects and mealworms, while greens are vegetables, vegetation, and fruits.

Young bearded dragons need a diet of more protein than greens.

As they grow and gain mass, they need the extra protein and fats they receive when eating live food.

Then, as the bearded dragon matures, they switch to a diet of more greens than proteins.

This sets them up for a healthy lifestyle and longer life span from the plants’ more vitamins and minerals.

Frequency changes with age as well.

Younger beardies eat more often than adults do.

Take a look at this table for a quick reference:

Age Diet Ratio Amount Frequency
70% Insect
30% Veg
30-80 insects
total per day
3-5 feeding times per day
70% Insects
30% Veg
30-80 insects
total per day
Two feeding times per day
70% Insects
30% Veg
30-80 insects
total per day
One feeding time per day
One year + 30% Insects70% Veg 50 insects total per weekOne day salad, One day insect, One day nothing and repeat

For more details about bearded dragons, check out our bearded dragon breakdown.


We hope you enjoyed learning about how long a bearded dragon can go without eating.

This is alarming when you first see your pet refusing to eat, but in most cases, it fixes itself without any outside help.

Check out the reasons for not eating above, and, when in doubt, take your reptile to the vet.

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