As an owner, it’s essential to provide your bearded dragon with a hide for a number of reasons, but if you notice your bearded dragon hiding more than usual then it can sometimes be a cause for concern.
In this post, we will cover the 13 reasons why your bearded dragon could be hiding more than normal, when this is ok as well as covering when you will need to take action.
So why is your bearded dragon hiding all the time? Here are the 13 reasons why your bearded dragon is hiding all the time:
- Incorrect tank temperatures
- Incorrect UVB Light Setup
- Hide from other bearded dragons
- Hide from other pets in the home
- Loud noises
- New to the home
- New changes to the home
- Lack of stimulation
Read On to Discover…
Is It Normal For Bearded Dragons to Hide All Day?
When you are setting up your bearded dragons tank, one of the most important elements of the setup behind the UVB and basking bulb is actually a good hiding spot.
Bearded dragons need at least one place to hide in their tank for a number of reasons including escaping stressful situations and cooling down.
As an owner, you will probably notice your beardie chilling out in their hide throughout various parts of the day. This is perfectly normal behaviour for beardies.
If you notice your bearded dragon spending more time than usual or even all day in their hide then this can set off alarm bells and cause you to think that there’s a problem.
So is it normal for bearded dragons to hide all day? Bearded dragons won’t usually hide all day and this could be a sign that something isn’t right. They can hide more than usual when shedding and brumating and this is perfectly normal so a process of elimination is usually required to find the reason for the increased hiding.
The 13 Reasons Your Bearded Dragon Is Hiding: (A Closer Look)
When your bearded dragon is hiding more than usual, it can be worrying and often hard to pinpoint the cause of this behaviour.
We will take a close look at each of the 13 reasons why your beardie could be hiding more and reason behind each of them.
First, here’s a table that lists each of the reasons and as well as an overview of if immediate action is needed or not.
Check out the table below…
Bearded Dragons Species & Size
|Pogona Vitticeps (Central Bearded Dragon)||20 – 24 Inches|
|Pogona Barbata (Coastal Bearded Dragon)||20 – 24 Inches|
|Pogona Minor Mitchelli (Mitchells Bearded Dragon)||14 – 18 Inches|
|Pogona Minor (Western Bearded Dragon)||14 – 18 Inches|
|Pogona Nullabor (Nullarbor Bearded Dragon)||11 – 14 Inches|
|Pogona Minor Minima (Dwarf Bearded Dragon)||9 – 12 Inches|
|Pogona Henrylawsoni (Rankins, or Lawson Bearded Dragon)||9 – 12 Inches|
|Pogona Microlepidota (Drysdale River Bearded Dragon)||4 – 6 Inches|
Note: The table above just gives a brief overview of each of the reasons why your bearded dragon could be hiding more. We will cover each of the 13 reasons in more detail and including when and when not to take action in the sub-sections below.
Let’s now take a closer look at the 3 reasons why your bearded dragon could be hiding more…
1. Incorrect Tank Temperatures
If your bearded dragon is hiding more than usual, it could be that the temperatures in the tank are too hot.
Even though beardies crave high temperatures for important functions such as digestion, they also need the ability to cool down when they need to too.
You should always set up the tank with a gradient that provides a warm basking area on one side of the tank that gradually converts to a cool spot on the other side.
If the temperature of the basking area is too hot then this can also mean that the excess heat travels over to the cool spot and it also becomes too hot.
Your bearded dragon is then living in what is essentially an oven and this is when problems can begin.
The only way your beardie has to escape the excess heat is to take refuge in their hide for long periods of the day.
Here’s a table with a guide to the recommended tank temperatures for bearded dragons for both the basking and cool spot…
Bearded Dragon Tank Temperature Guide
|Bearded Dragon Temperature Guide|
|Basking Area 95°-100°F|
|Cool Spot 75°-80°F|
To successfully be able to keep a check on the temperatures in the tank we recommend using a handheld contactless thermometer as well as your thermostat.
This will enable you to check the temperature of various parts of the tank whenever you like and see if they are correct or if they need adjusting.
If you don’t have a digital contactless thermometer then we recommend the ZooMed Repti-Temp digital thermometer
- Great for Monitoring Basking Areas, Thermal Gradients, Incubation, and Hibernation Temperatures.
- Temperature measurement Range -28° to 230°F (-33° to 110°C)
Last update on 2021-05-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
2. Incorrect UVB Light Setup
Something that can often be overlooked is if the UVB lighting is incorrectly set up.
If the UVB lighting in the tank is too bright it can hurt your beardies eyes and this, in turn, can cause them to hide away from the light.
A good indicator of this is if you notice your bearded dragon squinting their eyes or closing them constantly but then the behaviour stops when you tank them out of the tank and away from the UVB bulb.
If you do notice this happening then it’s probably due to either using a coiled UVB bulb as all the light is in one area or the light you are using is too low and close to your dragon.
You should aim for the UVB bulb to be around 6-8 inches above your bearded dragon but no lower as this could cause increased hiding.
To allow you to place the bulb even further away from your dragon, we recommend getting the Zoo Med Repti-Sun 10.0 T5 bulb as the UVB rays are strong enough that you can place it between 12-18 inches away from your bearded dragon and it’s basically the best bulb on the market in our opinion.
You can check out the ZooMed Repti-Sun Over at Amazon below…
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3. Hiding From Other Bearded Dragons
Bearded dragons are generally solitary animals and don’t appreciate the company of other bearded dragons too much.
If you have 2 or more bearded dragons housed together it can easily spark some territorial issues.
As one of the beardies becomes more dominant the other will become submissive and display behaviours such arm-waving, slow head bobbing and constant hiding.
For this reason, we never recommend housing bearded dragons in the same tank.
You can find out more about why bearded dragons shouldn’t be housed together in our recent article that covers all you need to know…
These problems can still be present even if the bearded dragons are in separate tanks but they in the same rooms (if they can see each other)
Sometimes housing beardies in the same room but in separate tanks is fine but other times the problems can persist so you will need to keep an eye out and if your bearded dragon is still hiding constantly you might need to house them in separate rooms altogether.
4. Hiding From Other Pets In The Home
Another often overlooked reason why your bearded dragon could be hiding frequently is due to other pets in your home.
Large pets such as dogs and cats can often be portrayed as predators by bearded dragons and this can cause them to feel stressed whenever they are around.
If this is the case, you may notice your beardie hiding whenever your pet is in the room or even when your beardie can hear your pet.
It’s also worth noting that sometimes bearded dragons can be comfortable around household pets such as dogs but a single incident such as a loud bark or jumping around the tank can change all of this moving forward.
For this reason, it’s a good idea to consider that your pet could possibly be the reason why your bearded dragon is hiding more and keep them apart for a few days to see if this makes a difference.
If after doing this, you think that your pet could be the source of the problem then it might be worth keeping them apart, at least for a while.
This could mean moving your beardie to a new room in the house or at least keeping your pet is housed in.
If you have a dog then you might be wondering if it’s possible for your bearded dragon to play with your dog? Or if you should avoid this at all costs?
Check out this post that covers all you need to know about beardies and dogs playing together…
The shedding process for a bearded dragon can be tough and this isn’t helped by the fact that they shed in patches over a number of days.
This is totally different from reptiles such as snakes that usually shed in one piece, making the process much simpler and stress-free.
When bearded dragons shed they usually become grumpy, itchy and sore.
This can result in them just wanting to be left alone and you will often see your beardie hiding for long periods because of this.
This is perfectly normal behaviour, although there are certain things you can do as an owner to help them through the shedding process and possibly stop these behaviours.
In fact, we have created a full guide that covers exactly why bearded dragons hide when they shed and how you can help.
6. Loud Noises
Without even knowing it, you could be scaring your bearded dragon with loud noises in your home and this could be causing them to constantly hide.
Noises such as loud music, loud TV and even traffic and exterior sounds if they are housed near a window could all cause problems.
It’s important to remember that unfamiliar sounds can be stressful to beardies and when they are unsure about something their default behaviour is to hide.
Again, we have created a full guide that covers all you need to know about how bearded dragon react to loud noises, including all the different noises that could trigger them to feel stressed and hide.
If you are still struggling to find a reason behind why your beardie is hiding all the time then it could be down to an injury.
A bearded dragon that has an injured leg or tail, for example, will often resort to hiding and resting for long periods.
Seeing your beardie walk can sometimes reveal subtle clues to injuries that were previously unnoticed so it’s certainly worthwhile watching them closely for a while to see if you notice anything.
If you suspect an injury, then you really must take your bearded dragon to see a vet and get the issue sorted as soon as possible.
Sickness is also another common reason for a bearded dragon wanting to hide a lot of the time.
Beardies can get sick for a number of reasons and they will usually display other tell-tale signs as well as hiding.
Other signs of a bearded dragon being sick are:
- Breathing issues
- Weight loss
- Lack of appetite
- Discharge (eyes, ears, nose or mouth)
- Skin changes
If you notice any of these signs along with constant hiding then your dragon could certainly be sick and we would recommend you take them to see a vet straight away.
One of the most common behaviours for a brumating bearded dragon is frequent hiding. This can be a tell-tale sign that your beardie is about to go into brumation.
You should also look out for other signs to confirm this such as:
- Sleeping more
- Earlier bedtime
- Eating less
- Pooping less
- Burying themselves
If you suspect your bearded dragon could be about to brumate then we suggest you check out our easy to follow brumation guide that covers everything you need to know in under 5 minutes…
10. New to The Home
It’s safe to say that bearded dragons can easily become stressed and uncomfortable when in new surroundings.
If you have a new baby bearded dragon that you have just brought home then it’s natural for them to hide often until they become used to their new surroundings.
Even if your beardie is an adult and you are re-homing them, you can still expect this behaviour.
The main thing is to provide your beardie with a tank that mimics their natural environment as much as possible as this will help them to feel comfortable and settle much quicker.
This will include hides, caves, tunnels and plants among other tank accessories.
If you are unsure of what to add to your bearded dragon tank then head over to this post where we list our favourite tank decor and accessories…
11. New Changes Around The Home
Changing your bearded dragon’s surroundings can cause them to hide for extended periods until they get used to the new changes.
Beardies love their environment to be familiar to them and any changes are often met with caution.
These changes can include:
- Changing a sofa
- Changing wallpaper
- Moving their tank to another side of the room
- Adding new ornaments near your bearded dragon’s tank
Usually, your beardie will settle after a few days after they have acclimated to the new changes and realise they pose no threat or danger.
If you have owned your bearded dragon for a while then you may be aware that impaction is basically a form of constipation that bearded dragons can suffer from.
If they are suffering from impaction, it’s common for them to be lethargic and even hide from most of the day as moving and going about their usual business can be quite painful.
Impaction occurs when food or an object enters the digestive system but is too large to be broken down and therefore causes a blockage.
There are plenty of reasons why beardies can become impacted including:
- Feeding bugs that are too large
- Using loose particle-based substrates (sand)
If you suspect that your bearded dragon is suffering from impaction then we recommend taking them to your local vet.
13. Lack Of Stimulation
It’s true that bearded dragons can become bored and even depressed if they don’t have enough mental stimulation.
In the wild, beardies are constantly having to hunt for food and escape from potential predators in order to survive.
While it’s good that captive beardies are constantly fed and kept away from danger, it also means that most of their natural stimulation is no longer present.
If your bearded dragon lacks enrichment they may simply choose to hide all day out of boredom.
As an owner, it’s vital that you do all you can to provide your dragon with as much enrichment as possible.
This can include providing them with a tank that mimics their natural habitat as much as possible and creating fun and exciting games for stimulation.
If you want to know some great toys and activities you can play with your bearded dragons then head over to this guide that shares our 17 best toys & activities for a happy bearded dragon…
What Should I Do If My Bearded Dragon Continues to Hide a Lot?
As an owner, it can be worrying If your bearded dragon continues to hide over the coming days.
If this happens, try and eliminate as many possibilities as you can from the list provided above. Then make a list of the possibilities you are left with.
You will then need to decide if the possibilities that are left are a cause for concern or not.
If so, we recommend making an appointment to see your vet at the earliest opportunity.
What Kind Of Hide Should I Provide For My Bearded Dragon?
When adding a hide to your beardies tank, you should always consider 2 things.
The first is that the hide is large enough for your bearded dragon to fit fully inside. This will allow them to feel safe when they are unsure of situations and allow them a place to chill.
If the hide is too small it can defeat the purpose of having the hide in the first place and your beardie can feel stressed and exposed.
The second thing is to consider a hide that mimics your bearded dragon’s natural habitat in the wild as much as possible.
This will automatically allow them to feel comfortable with something they can relate to.
A hide that we love and recommend is the Exo Terra Reptile Cave. This hide ticks all the boxes we just talked about and it also comes in 3 different sizes depending on the size of your tank.
You can check out the hide below…
- Provides secure hiding place
- Natural look integrates in any type of terrarium
Last update on 2021-05-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
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