As a Bearded Dragons owner, it’s important to know that your Dragon likes to be nice and warm so they can perform many vital functions such as food digestion but can your Bearded Dragon get too hot?
This is something every owner needs to know so I’ve taken the time to do the research as well as using my experience to give you the best possible answer to this question.
So can Bearded Dragons get too hot? Yes, Bearded Dragons can get too hot. It’s important to keep both the basking area and the cool side of the tank to the optimal temperatures for their age. You should use a thermometer and thermostat to aid you with this. They will also usually display telling behaviours when they get too hot.
Read on to find the signs you Bearded Dragon will show when they are getting too hot, what to do if they get too hot and how to stop this happening.
Why Do Bearded Dragons Get too Hot?
Bearded Dragons usually get too hot for 3 main reasons, luckily all 3 of these reasons are under your control and very easy to prevent or fix.
Let’s take a look at all the reasons so you can rest assured your Dragon is able to regulate their temperature without the risk of overheating.
Basking Spot Getting Too Hot
One of the most common ways that a Bearded Dragon can get too hot is when the temperature in the basking area is too high.
The correct temperature for the basking area will depend on the age of your Dragon.
Take a look at the chart below that gives you the correct temperatures needed in the tank.
Please Note: This chart should be used as a guide, always consult your vet first.
Bearded Dragon Tank Temperature Guide
|Bearded Dragon Temperature Guide|
|Basking Area 95°-100°F|
|Cool Spot 75°-80°F|
If you want an in-depth look at the tank temperatures for Bearded Dragons then check out this post I’ve written that goes into detail and explains everything you need to know.
If the temperature exceeds the required levels then it can be easy for your Bearded Dragon to become too hot. They might spend less time in the basking area and more time hiding in shaded areas and over in the cool spot.
It’s important that you monitor the temperature of the basking area on a regular basis to ensure it maintains at the optimal levels. We will look at ways that you can easily do this a little later on in this post.
When the temperatures rise in the basking area this can become a health risk for your Dragon because it can easily heat up the cool spot on the opposite side of the tank, let’s take a look at that now.
The Cool Spot Getting too Hot
When the basking area gets too hot and the heat spreads over to the cool spot of the tank it’s difficult for your Dragon to regulate their body temperature.
This can turn the tank into what is effectively a mini oven. As mentioned above this is dangerous for your Bearded Dragons health and something you need to avoid.
In normal circumstances, when your Dragon reaches its optimal temperature and then starts to get a little too hot it will go over to the cool spot to make sure their body temperature doesn’t rise anymore, however, this isn’t possible if the temperature in the cool spot has drastically increased and no longer offers this opportunity.
Again, later in this post, we will look at easy ways that you can monitor and ensure that the temperature stays consistent and to the required levels at all times.
Another way the cool spot can become too hot is the incorrect placement of the basking lamp. This will happen when the temperature in the basking area in at the correct level but the basking lamp may be positioned a little too far into the middle of the tank.
This, in turn, will cause the cool spot to become too hot and not allow your Bearded Dragon a place to cool down and regulate its body temperature as needed.
The image below shows the basking area and cool spot should look.
Change In Outside Temperature
A change in the outside temperature might not be something that a lot of people actually consider as a factor that will affect the temperature in your Dragons tank but in the summer months depending on where you live as the temperature in your home increases so will the temperature in the tank.
This, in turn, this can easily lead to your Bearded Dragon to becoming overheated even if you previously had everything set up correctly. This can be backed up by beardeddragon101 who also states that this is a factor in the summer months.
The most effective and efficient way to make sure you have the correct temperatures at all times is to use both a thermometer and a thermostat which is what we will talk about next.
How to Stop Your Bearded Dragon From Getting too Hot
There really is only one way that you can easily and accurately keep the temperatures in your Bearded Dragons tank to a consistent level in both the basking area and cool spot as well as safeguarding against fluctuations in temperature and that’s by using a thermometer and thermostat.
thermometers and thermostats really are essential and you shouldn’t even think about owning a Bearded Dragon without them.
Using a Thermometer
As mentioned above, using a thermometer is vital for setting up and performing regular checks to the temperature inside the tank.
You can check the temperature in the basking area, if its too low then you’ll need to raise the basking area closer to the lamp or if the temperature is too high then you will obviously need to either lower the basking area away from the lamp or raise the lamp higher until you get the perfect temperature.
You can also use it to accurately check the temperatures in the cool spot and when you have the optimal levels in both sides of the tank then you are good to go.
I would never recommend using the fixed dial style thermometers, these don’t offer accurate readings and you can’t pinpoint a specific part of the tank to test.
You’ll need to get yourself a contactless digital thermometer so you can pick a specific part of the tank to test and get instant and accurate readings. Here I share my recommended thermometer with you and the best place to get it.
- 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 2020-11-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Using a Thermostat
Thermostats are another vital piece of equipment that’s needed for regulating the temperature inside the tank.
There are two ways you can use a thermostat to regulate the tank temperature. The first is to have a thermostat that switches the basking lamp off when the basking area gets to the required temperature and then switches it back on again when the temperature drops.
This method will work but it’s not very effective as the temperature will constantly be raising and dropping throughout the day and the lamp will also be constantly be switching on and off. Often you can get to the point where the lamp will be switching on and off every couple of seconds and it can get annoying for both you and your Dragon.
The second method and the one I strongly recommend is to use a dimming thermostat. This kind of thermostat dims to basking lamp and decreases the heat once the temperature gets too hot and then brightens the lamp again when the temperature becomes too cool.
This will keep the temperatures far more consistent and allow your Dragon to bask in a more natural and effective manner. When comes to the basking lamp you can use something from your local hardware store but I strongly recommend you use a good quality and reliable thermostat. Here I share the thermostat I recommend you use and the best place to get it from.
- Dimming & Pulse Proportional function controls terrarium temperatures very accurately
- From 10°C up to 60°C (50°F – 140°F)
Last update on 2020-11-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Signs That Your Bearded Dragon Is too Hot
There are many tell-tail signs in your Bearded Dragons behaviour that could be pointing to the fact that they are too hot. The trouble is that these behaviours could also mean lots of other things too.
I would recommend that if you see your Dragon displaying one of the behaviours that I’m about the talk about then, first of all, don’t panic, and then your second action should be checking the tank temperatures.
If the temperatures are fine then you can either take no action or look at other reasons for the behaviour and if the tank temperature is too hot then you can take the action needed to adjust it.
Let’s take a look at some common behaviours that your Bearded Dragon can display when it starts to get too hot.
I wanted to mention ‘gaping’ first because this is probably the most common behaviour that a Bearded Dragon will display when it gets too hot, however, it’s very rarely something to worry about.
‘Gaping’ is where your Dragon will bask with its mouth open constantly. This helps them to release some heat when they have reached their optimal temperature but it doesn’t necessarily mean that the tank temperature is incorrect or too hot.
Its good practice to do a manual check with your digital thermometer just as a precautionary measure but this is more often than not simply to let a little excess heat out of the body.
I’ve written an article that shares all the reasons that a Bearded Dragon can keep its mouth open for long periods, you can check it out here.
Bearded Dragons can actually start digging when they get too hot. The reason for this is that digging a hole can help them find cooler areas in the tank.
There are lots of reasons why Bearded Dragons dig so the best thing to do is always check the temperature with your digital thermometer just to be sure the temperatures are still correct in all areas of the tank then you can look at other reasons for this behaviour if everything is good.
I’ve written a post about digging to where I share all the possible reasons why a Bearded Dragon could be digging, you can take a look at it here
Bearded Dragons will often glass surf when they are under some form of stress so if you see this behaviour you will want to monitor it and try and find the source of the problem.
They are known to glass surf when they get too hot, I honestly think this is through desperation but it’s hard to find some concrete evidence about why they produce this behaviour when the temperatures in the tank are incorrect.
Again, there are so many reasons why they produce this behaviour so the main thing is not to panic and check the temperatures on both sides of the tank.
I’ve also written a post about glass surfing and all the possible reasons why this could be happening. You can check out the post here
Constantly Using The Hide For Shelter
Sometimes when a Bearded Dragon gets too hot they can try and find cool spots in the tank to escape the heat.
Places like tunnels and hides usually offer a slight decrease in temperature compared to the open space in the tank.
Bearded Dragons will often spend time in their tunnels and hides because this is natural behaviour for them so it can be hard to pinpoint an exact reason.
As an owner, you will generally know the personality and habits for your Dragon and if you notice them spending more time in a particular hide or areas or the tank that’s sheltered then it might be worth investigating the matter further but generally, there will be no cause for concern.
Staying Close to The Water Dish
Not all Bearded Dragons will drink out of water dish but the ones that do will often stay close to it when they are dehydrated. This could be a sign that the temperatures in the tank are incorrect and your Dragon is getting too hot.
Again, you will know the personality and habits of your Dragon better then anyone so if you think that they are spending an unusual amount of time next to the water dish I would recommend giving the temperatures a check just on the safe side.
What to Do If Your Bearded Dragon Gets too Hot?
Hopefully, the information you’ve gathered in this post will stop your Dragon from ever getting to the point where they are too hot but if that situation does ever arise then it’s handy to know what to do.
Let’s take a look at some fast and simple solutions to this problem so you can keep them happy and healthy at all times.
Take Your Bearded Dragon Out of The Tank
If the temperature in the tank is too high and your Dragon doesn’t have a place to cool down then the first and probably most obvious thing you need to do is take them out of the tank.
It’s no good leaving them in a stressful situation where they feel uncomfortable until you can get the temperatures back to the correct levels.
If you take them out of the tank and let them cool down while you sort out any problems with the tank then this is usually the best option.
Mist Your Bearded Dragon
If your Dragon has been too hot for a long time or you feel that they’re started to become dehydrated then it’s a good idea to take steps to rehydrate them a little.
The faster way to do this is to mist them with a spray bottle. If you offer them water then not all Dragons will drink but spraying should cool the body and they can lay up the droplets with their tongue as they drop down their face.
Check The Thermostat
Checking the thermostat is working correctly and even set to the right temperature is also something you need to do.
Although if you purchase a good quality thermostat like the one I share in this article here, there’s still a chance that something could go wrong or the settings get knocked.
The bottom line is that you should check all the equipment you have to make sure everything is in good working order.
Raise The Basking Lamp
A simple and quick fix to cool the temperature in the tank is to raise the level of the basking lamp.
This will instantly decrease the temperature in the tank. If the tank temperatures are extreme then you will obviously need to turn off the lamp manually until you can sort the problem and get the temperatures back to normal.
How long can a bearded dragon live without heat? A Bearded Dragon can live up to 24 hours without heat before it suffers health problems but It’s not advisable and you should always ensure your Bearded Dragon have constant access to a high-quality heat source.
Do Bearded Dragons Need Heat at Night? Bearded Dragons only need heat at night if the temperature in the tank drops below 70°F. If the temperature in the tank drops below this level then you should install a ceramic heat emitter to provide heat without light throughout the night.
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