One of the most common occurrences many owners face is when their bearded dragon acts lazy or lethargic. This can be a normal behavior during certain times of the year, or can be a sign of a serious health condition for many bearded dragons.
We will go over some things to look for when a bearded dragon acts lazy or lethargic.
Differences Between Lazy and Lethargic
Typically, there’s a big difference between a bearded dragon that acts lazy and one that is lethargic.
Lazy is generally defined as a bearded dragon that simply lays around for a day or two then is peppy and roaring to go later. This could be very normal as bearded dragons have off days just like their human parents. Ever have that day where you just don’t feel like getting up to go to work or school? Well, bearded dragons have those days, too.
Lethargic can have a much more serious definition. Lethargic can mean that the bearded dragon doesn’t move much at all, stays in one location for days and days, and acts very weak and unresponsive. A bearded dragon acting lethargic could be a serious sign of a possible health issue.
If your bearded dragon is just being lazy, don’t be too concerned, but keep a close eye on their behavior for the next few days. If your bearded dragon is acting more lethargic you need to take some steps towards getting help from a qualified veterinarian.
Brumation During Winter Months
It is very common for your bearded dragon to brumate during the late fall through the winter months. Brumation generally occurs in older juveniles and adults and is basically the act of hibernation for bearded dragons. If brumation is beginning, your bearded dragon can sleep for days or even weeks at a time and its appetite may drastically slow down or even stop.
You may be able to wake your bearded dragon up every few days for food and a bath, but each beardie is different.
Brumation is completely normal and many times there’s really nothing you can do to stop it.
Dehydration is very common in captive-raised bearded dragons. It is important to regularly mist, bathe, and offer your bearded dragon fresh, dechlorinated water every day.
Even if it doesn’t seem like your bearded dragon is drinking from the bowl you should still offer fresh, dechlorinated water each day.
One trick to get your bearded dragon to drink from the water bowl is to use The Big Dripper. Place The Big Dripper on top of the screen cover of the terrarium over the water bowl. Fill The Big Dripper with fresh, dechlorinated water, treated with ReptiSafe, and set it to release a slow drip of water into the water bowl.
This dripping action will cause a rippling effect in the drinking water allowing the bearded dragon to detect the water (bearded dragons cannot detect standing water).
Bearded Dragon Acts Lazy Due to Lack of Proper Heat
A bearded dragon acts lazy or lethargic if the temperatures are not adequate enough. Low temperatures can cause a loss of appetite and activity levels can drop.
Make sure to use high quality thermometers at each end of the terrarium (one in the basking area and one in the cooler area) so you can monitor temperatures.
For more information on proper temperatures depending on the age of the bearded dragon please read our Care Sheet.
Bearded Dragon Acts Lazy Due to Lack of UVA Radiation
Bearded dragons need full-spectrum lighting for good health and this lighting includes UVA radiation.
UVA radiation helps to stimulate appetite and promotes high levels of activity. If your bearded dragon is acting a bit sluggish make sure to check your lighting.
You should provide full-spectrum lighting via a fluorescent tube, compact fluorescent, or Mercury Vapor bulb for at least 12 hours per day. The bulb should be placed within 12 inches of the bearded dragon unless you use Mercury Vapor, which can be a bit farther away.
Also, the fluorescent bulbs should be replaced once every six months as they begin losing their effectiveness as they age.
Impaction can sometimes lead to paralysis in the hind legs. If your bearded dragon has stopped moving, or seems to be trying to drag its hind legs, this could be a sign of impaction.
If you witness anything similar to what’s described get your bearded dragon to a veterinarian immediately. Impaction will most likely lead to death and although treating it has slim chances of recovery medical help should be sought to relieve any suffering.
Another possible factor why a bearded dragon acts lazy or lethargic is parasites. Parasites could be sucking the energy from your bearded dragon and causing serious health issues.
A very good sign of possible parasites is very runny, extremely smelly poop, that doesn’t posses solid white urates. Urates are the white clump you find on one end of the stool. The stool should be fairly solid (hold itself together well), be dark brown or green in color, and have a solid white urate.
Parasites commonly found in bearded dragons generally come from tainted food sources or very dirty living conditions. Of course, runny stool could also be a sign of diarrhea or poor diet.
If parasites are suspected you will need to take a stool sample to a veterinarian for analysis.
See A Veterinarian
A bearded dragon acts lazy or lethargic for many reasons, and it’s always good to have a conversation with your veterinarian about the causes of lethargic or lazy behavior.
Like we mentioned, if the behavior last for just a few days, it could just be a lazy streak, but if other factors are found and laziness persists it could be a sign of a serious health condition which needs the attention of a qualified reptile veterinarian.
Our baby beardie was attacked by the cat a couple weeks ago. She went into extreme stress where it looked like she swelled up, her tail throat and belly turned dark in color. A few hours later she looked like her body was back to normal but since then she has been seeming very lethargic. Not very active or going after her food. Sleeping a lot. Even when we pick her up she keeps her eyes closed. I’m worried about her. Any insight?
Hey when I first got my second bearded dragon Skylar, she was like that. Wouldn’t move really, refused to eat, didn’t drink, nothing. I was very worried and after talking to my vet I actually took her back to the pet store.
I was heart broken, but my vet said it might be something internally wrong with her. Severe damage can internally affect the brain and cause nerve damage, which can then lead to stunt of growth, loss of appetite, and no to even extremely low motivation. I don’t know how your baby was before the cat attack, or how long you have had her, but I would call your vet. As soon as possible because if it is truly internal, your baby could be in extreme pain. Hope this helps! Good luck.
This is extremely sad to hear, the fact that you returned your beardie to the pet store. Do you understand how unfair it is to them & how yoh may have made their life mich more difficult for that beardie in the future? The pet store isn’t going to do anything when someone else in encouraged to buy the beatdie and have the same issue, in most instances that beardies life is now in extra danger because you’ve just pawned it off to someone else who will not know about the condition its in and go through the exact same thing you did without giving it proper care.
I ran into a similar issue when my baby was nicked in the tail from something that happened at the pet store, I did not return my drahon even though I know he is in pain and in need of extra special care. It is in my opinion that you are not able to care for a beardie & hope to God that your second beardie doesn’t go through the same issues because I’d hate for it to have to go through a rehoming or be sent to a reptile rescue because you can’t properly care for it. If you have a baby & it comes out with a mental disability would you just take it back to the hospital or get it euthanized?
Hi. Came here for bearded dragon content . Just wanted to ask that you to please be kind with your words. I know you’re concerned and you mean well but ignorance isn’t bad intentions it’s simply lacking knowledge. Which is why she came here for insight because she cares & is trying to do the right thing by educating herself on these beings. Try going with light & love when you spread your thoughts , intentions, wisdom is and opinions to others. Thank you
Hi. Came here for bearded dragon content . Just wanted to ask that you please be kind with your words. I know you’re concerned and you mean well but ignorance isn’t bad intentions it’s simply lacking knowledge. Which is why she came here for insight because she cares & is trying to do the right thing by educating herself on these beings. Try going with light & love when you spread your thoughts , intentions, wisdom and opinions to others. Thank you
Hey calm down, not everyone can afford expensive healthcare for injured bearded dragons. Another owner could take the lizard and help it. You don’t know the whole story and there was obviously reasons behind their decision. If they believe it would have a better home elsewhere, instead of it just dying with them, then that is entirely up to owner.
Please keep cats and beardies seperate. I onow the pics are cute, but they could seriously hurt each other and I’ve lost count of the times someone’s lost a beardie due to the cat or dog.
Please, just don’t mix them. Not worth the risk
I just bought my son a bearded dragon from pet co I was told it eats any where from 6-10 meal worms a day I can bearly get it to eat any is this beacuse it’s not yet settled in?? It’s not very active either I’ll take it out the cage and set it outside the cage and the most it does is try to get back in but once it’s in the cage it just sets the with very little movement. Is this normal???
I had that when I first had a bearde dragon and now he will eat up to 12 morio worms which was what I was told but he usually eats 6 for me though when I first had him he didn’t eat anything apart from a poor amount of greens for a few weeks then he ate his first morio worm.
Meal worms are not recommended for young dragons, as the risk of impact is much higher as babies (which i am assuming it is since it is petco). Dubia roaches are a perfect alternative. You can order those online (from a trusted breeder). Petc carries crickets but dubias sprinkled with calcium dust a couple times a week will be the healthiest option.
It is most likely that your beardie is just depressed. Give him/her another week to settle in and if it’s still the same thing, try a vet. My first beardie acted the same way, but she wouldn’t eat either.(signs of depression)We took her to the vet and they told us she had something wrong with her. We got another male, which acted the same way. About 2 weeks later, he was super hyper and eating and pooping a lot.
J Perry Crossman says
What is the recommended treatment for a beardie who’s been mistakenly fed spinach for about a week ? He’s become extremely lethargic, as of today, and has fallen asleep in his water dish. I’ve removed all food and am spritzing him with fresh water, for hydration.
My dragon is a adult hes always been active eats very good usually playful responds always to my voice especially when his name is called . For two days now hes been completly lathargic not like him at all no strength at all will not eat, drink,respond at all I’ve been in tears for days now I am going to be completely honest I’m not sure i can afford a vet. Can anyone help with any advice or home remidies
I’m having the same exact issue and I’m really worried my beardie is my child or more or less a part of me i can not lose her I’ll be devistated!
Hi, my bearded dragon has been laying in the corner of his viv for a few days now, he does not want to eat, and hasent really moved all day. I’ve checked he is breathing ect, but I’m very concerned as he is normally on his tree, and it’s like he can barely move. He seems to get better sometimes, but then is always going back j the corner slumped on the floor! This is not normal for Jerry.
Hi how do I know if my female is pregnant I bought a boy and a girl about a week ago and the previous owner said they 3 years old but since we got em the female seems to be really lazy were the male is proper active and over the past few she has got massive could she be pregnant and how far would I know she is as the previous owner didn’t say she was peegant but she does have obvious signs on her neck wear he’s been mating with her plz help
Hi my my sons bearded dragon hasn’t moved for 5 days she is warm but I can’t see any breathing. Is she hybrrnating or dead. She hasn’t been well stopped eating for 3 months my son took her to the vet and g said she has bone desease gave her an injection but still didn’t eat and now no signs of moving her beard has gone black and she has black spots on her body can you please help
Hello there, im really struggling with my beard dragon. She jas just layed 2 eggs.. there is no male so they are infertile… i can only imagine the pain. The issue is for months I’ve had to force feed her her fruit and vegetables, she doesnt poop often and just lays around… but she eats her meal worms just fine… now after she layed eggs she just sleeps and wont eat or drink anything..i cant even get anything in her mouth. I can get water in and she swollows but thats about all… now today she has vomited and under her chin is black and the tip of her tail.. i soaked her in water. Shes looking better but wont open her eyes or move… so yeah i reallydont know what to do about all of this?????????
So my beautiful bearded dragon is going on 3 years and he is the laziest dragon I’ve ever known. He just lays in the corner on the cool side of his tank he wouldn’t ever move if I just left him alone. My temps and uvb are perfect always have been. (i keep multiple reptiles in my house, dart frogs ,geckos etc..) the dragon makes us hand fed him his bugs and his produce,. Uses the bathroom regularly ,drinks water. I let him soak in water. But he never moves unless I move him. After his little baths I put him under his basking light he will stay for an hour then off to his corner he goes to sleep. If I don’t go in his cage he would literally stay in the corner do I just have a lazy dragon or something else wrong. He has been like this since I got him.
My pigmy beaded dragon is sick she is gasping for air is really lethargic and is really weak can someone please help
My pigmy beaded dragon is sick she is gasping for air is really lethargic and is really weak can someone please help
My bearded dragon Rocky is not moving during the day in his enclosure, we have had him for a year and a month now and he was fine till about the middle of March. But ever since the middle of March, rocky hasn’t been moving in his enclosure (25- 29°C) but we take him outside( on a leash ) regularly and he runs around there but when he is in his enclosure he doesn’t move much, he just walks back to his sleeping corner. We have replaced his UVA light and slightly rearranged his enclosure in case maybe he was bored but it hasn’t changed a thing, the temperatures outside are still quite warm as summer has just finished and it ranges from 18-23°C, he has been like this for 2 weeks now. All help and suggestions are appreciated ?
I’m having the same issue with my year old beardie. In the enclosure, she goes to her box and will sleep for days not even coming out to eat or drink. When I take her out of the enclosure she runs around for a bit and will eventually find a place to hide,goes back to sleep. She only eats maybe once or twice a week, way less then she use to before. She doesn’t seem sick just lazy so idk.
Sorry I meant UVB not UVA
Hi, we just brought our baby beardie home from an exotic pet store on Saturday night.
We are worried because he has only eaten like 3 crickets since then, had one bowel movement, and hasn’t drank much. He also seems very mellow and lethargic. When we have him out, he will move around a little – but more so stays put and even dozes off to sleep anywhere he is.
He won’t eat kale but I have tiny pieces cut in his dish sprinkled with water.
We gave him a bath last evening and spritzed him with water for dehydration.
So our bearded is about four months old and she is 14 inches long. We just recently finished her terrarium with the rear three walls in desert wrap and a basking log about 8 inches away from her heat and UVA light. there is also a 75 W light on the cooler side of the terrarium above her hideaway so she still has temperatures a little bit warmer there as well. For some reason she is not a very friendly type we have spoiled her rotten since she was a baby and she has never had any type of catastrophic event. We just want to figure out why she is still skittish and don’t like to be held much or take baths at all. We typically hold her on a daily basis for at least 10 to 15 minutes. There is a random day or two throughout a couple weeks that she doesn’t come out at all due to us being really busy with work and such. She is eating fine, super worms ,crickets ,wax worms and hornworms. Please help us!!! This is personally my first bearded dragon. And my wife’s second .
Hi I’m Jay and my female breaded dragon spikette has been sitting next to her water cup for about a week now.I fill up her water but she has not been drinking it. I’ve also read a few of the comments that as a baby I shouldn’t feed her meal worms but when I bought her from petco that’s what they said to feed her mealworms. I had her for about a year now and that’s all I’ve been feeding her along with or small bugs and small lizards. This problem has just started halpening Should I be worried
my beardie is in his bed but his eyes are open and he wont eat or move i’m very worried for him is he in brumation or is he sick? i hope you can help
Im a little worried about dexter my bearded dragon he just turned a year old and he was doing fine until when i was doing my work I noticed he was in the corner under his heat lamp curled up and when i went to give him one of his worms he didnt want anything. Could this be Brumation? im a little worried.
Hey guys, I’ve never written on one of these but I’m hoping I get some answers. My baby beardie was fine until one day she just stopped eating, I looked at her belly and it was kind of brown and yellowish. I assumed a parasite, and I took her to the vet right. (This was about a month ago). I got topical cream for a believed parasite, I believe it is silver sulfadiazine. (I’m at school and had to guess. I know it’s silver something.) She kept getting worse so I took her back. They kept her for observation and did a parasite test- it came back with nothing. My vet had also said it looked like she had some depression and is now malnourished. I got sent back with Omnivore care feeding supplement and told to still use the cream. It’s been another week or so since then and she’s doing terrible. I have a vet appointment today, but I feel that he’s just going to tell me to do the same thing still. She’s not getting any better though. She doesn’t eat at all except for the 4 times a day I give her 1 miligram of feeding. She sleeps all day, barely moves, is very lethargic, and turning black. Last night I gave her a bath to try and help her feel better- when I put her in she let herself sink underwater submerged. I put her back in her cage to let her rest on her log. She started leaning back and falling off of it, I caught her just in time. She fell on her back and just layed there. She looks like shes barely breathing too. (She has a little movement so I know she’s still alive.) I’m scared he’s going to have me keep doing the same thing because I’ve been doing it for a month and if anything it seems like she’s getting worse. Any ideas of what could be maybe going on?
I’m not an expert, but the turning yellow/brown/black and lethargy might be a sign of a yellow fungus infection. If it is yellow fungus, she should see a vet again ASAP because yellow fungus will lead to death unless they are caught early and treated with oral antifungals.
I’m very sorry about your dragon and I hope you can figure out what this is so she will get better.
Sedale Bryant says
Hello, my son took my millio outside. When he started to run around my son picked him bk up to take him in the house. But millio got very anxious and scratched him in which he immediately dropped him on the concrete… He’s still eating and using tge bathroom but he’s not moving fast as he x. or as much as he was. I checked for swelling I found none and no blood in his mouth. I also noticed he has not been shedding… What do u think?
My bearded dragon I bought from some lady has been doing great for about 7 months well. He is acting very lethargic nd he just lays in one spot he has done this before but not like this the first I’d say he would try to bite us if we went to pick him up out of the tank nd I couldn’t get him for a bout a week. Well it’s been two months nd he is just laying around the bottom of his tank nd he also will not drink or eat. He also looks like he is shedding but he just did before this he has been doing this for four days now ND he moves really slow my friend says it’s brumation but it kinda seems like that but just a little off. Is there any tips I should know about my juvenile beardie??
Also he just started doing this. Been two months before he started this.