How Long Can a Bearded Dragon Go Without Eating?

how long can bearded dragons go without food

It’s a cause for concern when your bearded dragon stops eating as it could be a sign of an underlying disease.

One question bearded dragon owners always ask is “How long can a bearded dragon go without eating”?

This answer and many more topics concerning the nutrition of your bearded dragon would be discussed in this article.

Other reasons could be due to a change in the environment, change of food, or the temperature.

How Long Can a Bearded Dragon Go Without Eating?

Bearded Dragon looking up

The answer to this question depends on the age of your bearded dragon and the season.

Adult bearded dragons have a lot of fat stored up, and so they can live as long as two months without eating.

This doesn’t mean you should starve them and only feed them once every two months.

No! They need access to food regularly so they can eat and live healthily.

It’s different with babies and juveniles.

They require lots of protein to help them grow rapidly and build their body and system.

So once you notice your baby beardie stops eating, consult a vet immediately.

What Makes a Bearded Dragon to Stop Eating?

1. Changes in Their Diet

Bearded dragons don’t really like when you change their regular meals, and as a way of protesting, they could starve for weeks.

So if you are trying to introduce new types of food to them, get ready to get rejected.

You could also be lucky and be one of those bearded dragon owners that don’t go through this whenever you change their diet.

If your pet refuses to eat the food you are offering, continue offering them until your beardie gets hungry enough to eat it, they will eventually cease their protest.

Keep in mind that they can even go up to a month or more without eating.

If they continue like this after you changed their diet and you see them going weak, change back to the original diet that they liked and see if that changed anything.

If not, we suggest that you should contact a veterinarian as soon as you can.

2. Changes to Their Habitat

If you change their environment either by introducing new equipment or change the location of the terrarium, your beardie may stop eating.

They could feel in danger with the new environment and more concerned with their surroundings than eating.

If this goes on for long, try taking out what it is you introduced into their home.

Their appetite would most likely return if they feel safe.

3. Sickness

Even though this is the least likely reason for your pet beardie to stop eating, it’s possible nonetheless.

Possible symptoms during sickness include visible injury, absence of droppings, absence of any activity, foaming, discoloration of the skin, and glassy eyes.

If you suspect that your bearded dragon is ill, then take them to a reptile vet immediately.

4. Brumation

Brumation takes place during the cold seasons and your bearded dragon performs fewer activities during this time, and that includes eating less.

So if the temperature in the tank has dropped, your beardie may be getting ready for the cold season by reducing its daily activities.

5. Stress

Stress is another reason why your bearded dragon may be refusing to eat.

Stress can be induced in different ways and it could be for simple reasons such as constipation.

Also, if your pet feels that the environment isn’t safe for it, feeding may stop.

The presence of another beardie in their cage can also cause stress.

Pairing two bearded dragons into the same enclosure is not always a good idea.

An unclean environment can cause stress.

Even loud noise can cause stress.

By extracting all the possible causes of stress to your beardie, he should regain his appetite again and continue eating.

6. Temperature

Bearded dragons are dependent on external heat sources for a lot of biological functions including food metabolism.

If the heat of their tank has dropped, and the basking lamps are not on, they may stop eating.

This could be because their lack of heat has made them feel unwell, or they don’t feel hungry since they are not digesting food.

If the temperature of their basking spot is way below 221°F (105°C), adjust it appropriately with the heater and check it again with a functional thermometer.

What is Brumation Actually?

Bearded Dragon Basking

Brumation is a form of hibernation in which state reptiles slow down their activities and prepare for the colder months.

The lack of warmth from the environment reduces their functions such as food digestion, and so they have adapted to staying for months without food during this period.

During brumation, your bearded dragon would go deeper into its substrate and sleep more.

It wouldn’t eat but would drink water occasionally. And so you should provide water constantly for your pet just in case.

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Signs of Brumation

An important warning!

If your pet bearded dragon isn’t eating and you suspect this is because of brumation, don’t force-feed it.

Doing this will cause health issues for your pet.

Loss of appetite, sluggishness, not wanting to be held, and also less poop production are signs of brumation.

You will find your bearded dragon sleeping more, and not wanting to bask as much.

Force Feeding Your Bearded Dragon

Force-feeding your bearded dragon is only necessary under certain circumstances as it’s not recommended when your beardie isn’t eating.

You only need to do this if your beardie is losing much weight and is weak.

Bear in mind that force-feeding your bearded dragon can cause health issues.

Here are some tips to force-feed your bearded dragon if you must need to.

  • Get a good grip on your beardie and make sure it’s comfortable as well
  • Pull the lower jaw down gently to open its mouth
  • Then insert some food

Guide to Feeding a Bearded Dragon

You can place insects in a dish after gut loading them.

It’s easy as their movement makes your beardie interested in the meal and eat them.

For vegetables, however, it’s different.

You will need a kitchen knife, a shallow feeding bowl, and a cutting board.

  • Wash the veggies and cut them on the cutting board finely
  • Mix up the veggies and other foods you want to include in the meal so they are distributed equally and hard to separate. Proper mixing ensures that your beardie eats everything and not just their favorite. This is one way to ensure your beardie eats healthy
  • Place the meal in the shallow food dish inside your pet’s enclosure

How Often Should You Feed Your Bearded Dragon?

It depends on the age of your beardie.

Adult bearded dragons may only need to be fed once a day, but juveniles can be fed twice daily.

Baby bearded dragons can be fed more times than this daily as they require much protein to grow and build their body.

If you notice that your beardie isn’t eating as much as it used to, then you can reduce the frequency of feeding.

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Foods for Bearded Dragons

Bearded dragons are omnivores, so they can eat and digest both plants and meat.

Their meals include fruits, vegetables, and insects and they require all of these in varying proportions as they grow.

Fruits and veggies that your beardie can eat include:

  • Asparagus
  • Carrots
  • Peeled cucumbers
  • Cabbage
  • Bell peppers
  • Kale
  • Celery
  • Zucchini
  • Collard greens
  • Yellow squash
  • Spaghetti squash

Common insects you can feed your pet bearded dragon include:

  • Crickets
  • Butterworms
  • Mealworms
  • Earthworms
  • Waxworms
  • Roaches
  • King worms
  • Silkworms

Only feed your pet with insects that you purchase and avoid feeding them insects you find in your home.

This is because the insects in your home may have come in contact with harmful chemicals and would transfer these to your pet.

What to Do When Your Bearded Dragon Stops Eating

It’s always safer to call a vet when your bearded dragon stops eating.

This is because the reasons for your pet not eating may be more serious than meets the eye and it’s not a chance you would want to take.

If you recently change the location of the enclosure and you think that is the cause of the new habit, consider taking the enclosure back.

If you made any changes to the interior of the enclosure such as introducing new decors, take them out.

Try to take the enclosure back to its former state when your pet was more comfortable.

If your pet stopped eating due to an underlying medical condition, the vet would administer some treatment and perform the following to help your pet.

They include:

  • Environmental scrutiny
  • Dietary scrutiny
  • Provision of fluid and electrolytes to rehydrate your beardie
  • To help your pet gain strength, assisted feeding may be done
  • Depending on the other symptoms your pet is displaying, the vet may go on with other actions


“How long can a bearded dragon go without eating” is a question many pet parents ask when they notice a change of feeding in their pet.

It’s an obvious cause for concern when your bearded dragon suddenly stops eating, and as a pet parent, it’s a big deal.

Proper nutrition and feeding are some of the important factors that make a healthy and happy pet.

And so you need to seek immediate attention from a vet if you feel like the situation is beyond your power.