If you are a new Bearded Dragon owner or you are thinking about owning a Bearded Dragon some time in the future then you are going to want to know if they are active reptiles and if so, how active?
In this post, you will find all the answers you need regarding how active Bearded Dragons are so owners can care for these amazing reptiles in the best way possible and potential owners can decide if Bearded Dragons are the right pets for them.
So are Bearded Dragons Active? Bearded Dragons will usually spend time being both active and inactive throughout the day. Their active time will often be spent roaming around their tank, digging and even climbing if they have a branch to do so, however, they also spend a large portion of their time basking under the heat lamp with little to no activity during this period.
Read on to find out if juvenile Bearded Dragons are more active than adults, when they are most active, If they are active at night, If it’s important for them to be active and more.
Are Bearded Dragons Active? (A Closer Look)
If you are a new Bearded Dragon owner or you are looking to bring a Bearded Dragon home for the first time then it’s important to know how active your new pet is going to be.
Bearded Dragons are exothermic which means they rely on an external heat source to regulate their body temperature. Regulated body temperature is essential for daily functions such as food digestion.
This means that they will often spend many hours per day basking under a heat lamp in order to increase their body temperature to the required level so they can stay healthy.
When a Bearded Dragon is basking they will usually be inactive and almost completely motionless until their optimal temperature is reached.
This can take anything from a few minutes to a few hours and Bearded Dragons will usually bask on and off throughout the whole day.
Having said this, Bearded Dragons can also be very active and playful. They are naturally curious reptiles and love to wander around their tank and can often be seen digging and climbing on a branch if provided.
They also love to spend time out of the tank with their owners playing with toys and joining in with simple activities.
If you’re wondering what toys and activities a Bearded Dragon would enjoy then I’ve written a post here that shares 17 great toys and activities for Bearded Dragons.
Here are 5 Simple toys & activities to keep a Bearded Dragon active
- Have a walk in the back garden
- Have a cuddle
- Chase a laser pen
- Chase a feeder ball
- Look in a mirror
These are all simple activities that you can do with your Bearded Dragon to keep them active. You can find out more about all of these in the post mentioned above.
The bottom line is that it’s important to allow your Dragon time to bask and regulate body temperature and once they’ve done so they will usually be quite active and happy to play.
Are Juvenile Bearded Dragons More Active Than Adults?
Baby and juvenile Bearded Dragons will usually be more active than adults, although there are a few situations that can turn this fact on its head.
Baby and juvenile Bearded Dragons will usually be more active than adults due to the fact that everything is new to them and they are highly curious about the textures and temperatures of every object in their surroundings.
They will often lick everything in their environment to gain a better understanding and feel more at home. If you are wondering exactly how they use their tongues to do this then here’s a great post that explains how and why Bearded Dragons lick just about everything.
Sometimes if your Dragon is new to your home then they can be very inactive and spend much of the time hiding.
This is perfectly natural as it usually takes them several days or even weeks to feel comfortable in their new environment.
Adult Bearded Dragons are often less active due to the fact that most of that child-like giddiness has left them by adulthood.
As they get older their energy levels will also decrease and they will be more inclined to conserve energy and become less active as a consequence.
Keeping things interesting for example letting your Bearded Dragon hunt their own food and regularly introducing some of the toys and activities mentioned earlier will help to keep an adult mentally stimulated and active even into their later years.
The importance of a good healthy and balanced diet shouldn’t be overlooked too as good quality nutrients will keep your Dragon healthy and active as they go deeper into adulthood.
Ultimately, Bearded Dragons will generally be more active when they are younger but there are lots you can do as an owner to keep your Dragons active as an adult.
When Are Bearded Dragons Most Active?
All Bearded Dragons are different and have their own personalities. This makes them generally active at different times throughout the day depending on how they feel and their individual routine.
As a general rule of thumb, Bearded Dragons will be less active first thing on a morning because they need to bask after sleeping through the night.
They will usually also be drawn towards the basking lamp after mealtimes so they can use the heat from the lamp to help them digest and use the nutrients from their food and therefore will be less active for a while.
Apart from these two obvious times, Bearded Dragons can be active at any part of the day. You may notice that your Dragon has a routine of being active at the same time each day or you could find that they are totally random in their activity.
Are Bearded Dragons Active at Night?
Bearded Dragons aren’t nocturnal so they aren’t active through the night. They are actually diurnal which means they are primarily active throughout the day.
Bearded Dragons will also benefit from you switching the lights off in their tank at the same time each day. This will provide a regular day/night cycle close to what they would experience in the wild.
This will also make it easy for them to prepare and settle down to sleep at the same time each night.
If you notice that your Dragon is restless or digging at night then there could be a few reasons for this. Here’s a post I’ve recently written that lists all the reasons why your Bearded Dragon might be digging at night.
Is It Important For Bearded Dragons to Be Active?
In order to have a happy and healthy Bearded Dragon, it’s important for them to be active.
Let’s look at two of the main reasons why you should encourage your Dragon to be active.
In the wild, Bearded Dragons would be active at various times throughout the day. They would be constantly looking for food and hiding from predators.
In captivity, Bearded Dragons can often be stuck in their tank for most of the day and while they love to roam around a large tank with lots of decor that resembles their natural habitat you often find them in tanks that are too small with little to no decor. I understand that picking the right kind of decor is difficult, so here’s a guide that lists the perfect decor for your Dragons tank.
If you aren’t sure what size tank is best for your Bearded Dragon then here’s a guide that details what size tank they need when they are babies, juveniles and adults.
Even with the right sized tank and lots of natural-looking decor, Bearded Dragons need exercise outside of the tank.
While they don’t need much, Having 20 minutes to an hour each day outside of the tank to have a cuddle or play is important for cardiovascular health.
It’s also important to keep your Dragon active to increase mental stimulation.
They can easily get bored when they are stuck in their tank day after day. Remember that in the wind they would be constantly looking for food or hiding from predators and this gives them something to focus on at all times.
In captivity, Bearded Dragons don’t have to hunt food or hide from predators and while this is a good thing, for the most part, it can actually leave them with little stimulation in their life.
Again, we go back to providing toys and activities to keep them mentally stimulated.
As I mentioned earlier in this post, there are actually lots of simple activities you can do with your Dragon for 20 minutes or so each day.
Here’s the list of toys and activities I’ve created for you and your Bearded Dragon to enjoy.
The Reasons Your Bearded Dragon Might Not Be Active
There are many reasons why your Bearded Dragon might not be very active. Some of the reasons are natural and are perfectly fine such as your Dragon being naturally lazy or enjoying basking for long periods.
With this being said, there are some situations where your Dragon may not be active due to something being not quite right.
Let’s take a look at those situations and see how it will affect your Bearded Dragon.
If your Bearded Dragon isn’t getting the correct nutrients in their diet then they could affect how active they are.
Having a balance of insect proteins, fresh daily veg/fruit and a good calcium supplement is essential and if your Dragons diet is lacking in any of these then there’s a high chance they will be less active.
Calcium is vital to a Bearded Dragons health. If you’re not sure why Bearded Dragons need calcium or how to add it to their diet then this easy to follow guide here will help you.
It’s also important that you give your Dragon the foods in the correct proportions. Baby and juvenile Dragons should roughly eat 60% insect proteins and 40% vegetation and adults should eat roughly 80% insect proteins and 20% vegetation.
Lighting is another important factor in deciding how active your Bearded Dragon is.
The basking lamp is required so your Dragon can raise their body temperature to the optimal level and aid with bodily functions such as digestion.
Without the correct light/heat from the basking lamp then your Bearded Dragon would act very slow and sluggish.
The UVB light is equally important as this ultimately allows your Dragon to absorb the calcium they digest. Without UVB rays, the calcium would be useless and your Dragon would have a high risk of developing metabolic bone disease which will make them highly inactive.
Overall, a good diet and lighting set up like the one I recommend here in this post are essential for a healthy and active Bearded Dragon.
Having the right sized tank can have a huge impact on how active your Bearded Dragon will be on a day to day basis.
If the tank is too small then they won’t be able to explore and move around freely.
Small tanks can also cause your Dragon to become bored and depressed due to the lack of mental stimulation.
Having an idea of what size tanks you need at the various stages of your Dragons life will not only help them to stay happy and healthy but it will also save you lots of money on tanks that you really didn’t need.
I’ve written a guide here with charts to help you understand exactly what size tank you need for your Bearded dragon.
It’s never nice to think about but there is always a chance that at some point your Dragon could get sick and this can cause them to be noticeably less active.
There are many different reasons and situations where a Bearded Dragon can become ill, however, parasites are one of the most common reasons for a Bearded Dragon to get sick.
Feeding your Dragon insects from the garden is something that you should avoid as these insects have a high chance of carrying parasites.
If you suspect your Dragon is ill for any reason then I recommend that you take them to your vet for a check-up.
It’s always better to be safe than sorry and sometimes it’s hard to pinpoint a reason why they become less active all of a sudden so having an expert take a look is reassuring.
Are Bearded Dragons less active when shedding? Bearded Dragons can be less active during the shedding process. This is because shedding can be a painful experience for some Bearded Dragons and being less active helps to keep the pain and discomfort to a minimum.
Here’s a great guide that shares all you need to know about shedding as an owner.
Are Bearded Dragons less active during winter? Bearded Dragons are often less active during the winter months as many of them begin brumation. This is similar to hibernation where Bearded Dragons will essentially sleep on and off for a few weeks up to 4 months.
This post will help you to understand brumation is simple terms so you can look after and care for your Bearded Dragon with ease.
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