When you own a bearded dragon, you will usually notice they have a routine of how often they poop.
If you notice your bearded dragon in a different routine and they are pooping way too much or nowhere near enough it can be worrying.
In this post, we will take a close look at how often you can expect your bearded dragon to poop, what can cause them to poop more often or not enough and how you help your beardie to poop if necessary.
So how often do bearded dragons poop? How often a bearded dragon will poop will depend on a number of factors including diet, UVB setup and providing the correct basking temperature. With all things considered, a healthy bearded dragon can be expected to poop anywhere from 1 time per day to 1 time per week.
Read On to Discover…
How Often Do Bearded Dragons Poop? (More Info)
As we mentioned previously, it can be quite worrying as an owner if you notice your bearded dragon is pooping either far more often or not nearly enough as they usually do.
There can be a number of factors that can change how often your beardie poops (we will cover these in full later in the post)
Even 2 healthy bearded dragons in a habitat with a good UVB & basking setup and with a balanced diet can have vastly different pooping schedules and habits.
It is considered normal for a healthy and well looked after bearded dragon to poop anything from 1 time per day up to 1 time per week.
We understand that this statement is very broad, but if your beardie is pooping somewhere in this range, then it is considered normal.
You should really be looking out for 2 things; the first is that your beardie isn’t pooping in extremes of the range we have provided, for example, 3-4 times per day or more or 1 time every couple of weeks.
An exception to this rule is a baby bearded dragon, who poop much more frequently. We have detailed how often you can expect your baby beardie to poop in the section below.
The second thing to look out for is if your beardie suddenly starts to poop way more often or less than usual.
This isn’t always a sign for concern but it is something you need to look into as it could be a sign that something is wrong with their diet, housing or even illness in some way (again more on this later)
How Often Do Baby Bearded Dragons Poop?
Baby bearded dragons poop a lot and generally much more than older beardies.
This may sound surprising at first but you really can expect baby bearded dragons to poop way more than adults.
So how often do baby bearded dragons poop? Baby bearded dragons can be expected to poop anywhere from 1-3 times per day. They often poop much more than adult bearded dragons due to the fact they eat more to fuel the growth they are experiencing. Factors such as quality of diet and lighting can affect how often a baby bearded dragon poops.
A baby bearded dragon will fall into the range of between 1-3 months old.
Bearded dragons at this age should ideally eat anywhere from 3-5 times per day.
This will obviously have an effect on how often they poop when compared to adults that on average only eat 1 time per day.
To illustrate this point, here is a guide that shares how often bearded dragons eat depending on their age:
Bearded Dragon Recommended Feeding Guide
|3-5/Times Per Day||2-3/Times Per Day||1-2/Times Per Day||1/Time Per Day|
How Often Does a Juvenile Bearded Dragon Poop?
Juvenile bearded dragons are generally associated as beardies at the age of between 4-18 months of age.
A bearded dragon in this age range will still have quite an appetite but slowly they will eat less as they reach the 18-month mark (this can be seen from the table in the above section)
Again the amount of food that juvenile bearded dragons eat to support their growth will have an effect on how much they poop.
So how juvenile bearded dragons poop? Juvenile bearded dragons can be expected to poop between 1 time every 2 days down to 1 time every 7 days as they gradually reach adulthood. The number of times they poop will directly be affected by their diet, appetite and habitat conditions.
It’s important to remember that juvenile bearded dragons will gradually poop less as they reach full adulthood as a general rule of thumb.
This is because they are eating less food as they get older as less growth is taking place and therefore they will poop less.
It’s also always important to note that we can only give averages and every beardie is different with different genetics and circumstances that will ultimately give a slightly different result.
You can use the estimates given as a general rule of thumb to go by and as your beardie gets older you will see the patterns your beardie displays and get to know their personal toilet habits.
How Long Can a Bearded Dragon Go Without Pooping?
There isn’t a magic number of days that bearded dragons go without pooping before they become ill or in pain.
There are lots of factors that could possibly be at play which could affect how long your bearded dragon can go without pooping while remaining healthy.
Even though there isn’t a definitive number of days your bearded dragon can go without pooping, many experts recommend the following:
So how long can bearded dragons go without pooping? A healthy bearded dragon should poop at least 1 time per week. If your beardie hasn’t pooped in over a week then it could be a sign that something isn’t right. Serious issues such as impaction could be preventing your bearded dragon from pooping and it would be wise to speak to your vet.
How Often Do Bearded Dragons Poop During Brumation?
As you are probably well aware, brumation is the reptile equivalent of hibernation and even captive bearded dragons go into brumation most winters.
Beardies will usually empty their bowels as one of their preparations for brumation as they know it isn’t healthy to sleep for long periods with undigested or even digested food in there.
So, how often do bearded dragons poop during brumation? Brumation can last anywhere from 3 weeks to 4 months and bearded dragons can go this whole time without pooping. Having said this, they will often wake up and may fancy small amounts to eat. If this is the case, your bearded dragon will need to poop a few days afterwards.
As brumation can last anywhere from 3 weeks to 4 months, it’s quite possible for your bearded dragon to not poop throughout this entire period if they haven’t eaten.
It’s also worth noting that beardies can often wake up during brumation and sometimes want a bite to eat.
You should never force this, but if they want to eat something you should allow it.
Once they have eaten you will need to encourage a bowel movement in the coming days.
The easiest way to do this is to wake them up for a bath and give them a 20-minute soak. You will need to repeat this process each day until your beardie poops and empties their bowels.
Once this has happened, you can let your bearded dragon sleep with no disturbances, apart from a 20-minute bath once per week.
How Long After Eating Do Bearded Dragons Poop?
When your bearded dragon eats, it can be handy to know how long after they will poop?
This can make tanks such as feeding schedules and tank cleaning much easier if you can automate a routine for your beardie.
So how long after eating do bearded dragons poop? Unfortunately, there is no specific length of time that bearded dragons poop after eating. Many factors can affect this such as genetics, diet and basking temperatures. Bearded dragons will usually not poop after each meal and will generally poop less as they get older.
As we have mentioned earlier in the post, baby bearded dragons will poop several times per day but they will gradually empty their bowels less as they get older.
Factors such as the setup of the basking area and temperature will also play a huge part in how well your beardie can digest food, not to mention how fast.
What Can Cause My Bearded Dragon to Poop A Lot?
If you have noticed your bearded dragon pooping more than normal or they poop more than what is generally said to be a healthy amount for their age then there could be a number of reasons for this.
The reasons that can cause your bearded dragon to poop a lot are:
- An unbalanced or change in diet
- Gravid or pregnant female
Let’s now take a closer look at these 4 reasons in more detail…
1. Unbalanced Diet
If your bearded dragon’s diet is unbalanced then it can certainly cause them to poop more than usual.
As a general rule of thumb, baby beardies require around 70% of their diet to come from insect proteins and 30% to come from greens and veggies.
In contrast, adult beardies require 30% of their diet from insect and 70% from greens and veggies.
This is primarily to give your beardie the balance in nutrients they need depending on their age, however, not following these guidelines could cause your bearded dragons digestive system some issues and ultimately cause them to poop more often.
Problems can also occur when you feed your bearded dragon excessive amounts of fruits as they are generally high in water and sugar and not great for digestion.
In addition to this, It’s good to add new worms or insects to keep mealtimes interesting but again, adding high numbers of fatty worms regularly can cause problems with your beardies digestive system.
It’s fine to add a little fruit or new insects/worms but always be mindful of any changes you make, and if your dragon starts to poop more than usual, then at least you have a reference point as to the possible reason for this change.
If you are interested in finding out what baby bearded dragons can eat, then head over to our guide that shares all you need to know…
Stress is another factor that can cause your beardie to poop more frequently.
If bearded dragons become stressed, they can display a number of other tell-tale signs including:
- Frequent hiding
- Loss of appetite
- Stress marks
You can find out all you need to know about bearded dragon stress marks and what they look like in our full guide on stress marks here…
There are also lots of reasons why your bearded dragon could become stressed and it’s not always obvious straight away as some of the reasons could be subtle.
Here’s a list of situations that commonly cause bearded dragons to become stressed:
- New to the home
- Moved to another room in the home
- Changed tank decor or surroundings
- Loud noises (TV or music)
- Pets (dogs & cats)
- Other bearded dragons
Sometimes situations that your beardie was previously ok with can all of a sudden cause them to feel stressed.
For example, if you have a dog and the dog comes into the room barking loudly then it could make your bearded dragon feel stressed as they can possibly precede the dog as a predator.
It’s important to look at small changes and triggers that could possible causing your beardie unnecessary stress and ultimately causing them to poop more often.
You can also find out the 13 little known reasons why bearded dragons hide right here…
Parasites can cause bearded dragons to poop more often and even cause diarrhoea.
They are common in the intestinal tract of bearded dragons with pinworms seen regularly.
Signs such as weight loss can be an indicator that parasites are present but sometimes there are no sure ways to tell, except for a faecal examination from your vet.
If your beardie is pooping way more often than usual or even having bouts of diarrhoea and you suspect parasites could be a possibility then we recommend you make an appointment to see your local vet.
4. Gravid Or Pregnant Female
Female bearded dragons will often poop more when they are getting ready to lay a clutch.
This is usually because they also eat more around this time too.
It’s a little known fact that female beardies can actually lay eggs without being pregnant (however, these eggs won’t be fertile)
None the less, your female can lay eggs and will usually eat and poop more around the time they are getting ready to lay, so it’s just something to be mindful of if you have exhausted all other possibilities.
What Can Cause My Bearded Dragon to Not Poop Enough?
Just like bearded dragons can poop too much, they can also not poop enough.
There can be many reasons why your bearded dragon might not be pooping as much as normal as many of these reasons will require your attention.
- Here are the common reasons why your bearded dragon might not be pooping enough:
- Being fed an incorrect diet
- Incorrect basking temperatures
Let’s not take a closer look at these reasons and how they can affect your bearded dragon…
Impaction is basically the reptile equivalent of constipation. It can be extremely painful for bearded dragons and even life-threatening in certain circumstances.
When a bearded dragon is suffering from impaction it will struggle to have any kind of bowel movement.
Bearded dragons can become impacted when:
- They ingest insects that are too big (especially with hard shells)
- The basking temperatures are too low
- Loose particle-based substrates are used
You should always be mindful of offering your beardie insects that are too large. As a general rule of thumb, anything that is bigger than the space between their eyes.
Offering insects that are too large can be difficult to digest and cause a blockage.
We will talk more about this shortly, but the basking temperature is vital for food digestion and if it’s not at the correct temperature this too can be a route cause of impaction and blockages.
Last but certainly not least is the substrate choice. We never recommend using loose particle-based substrates.
The main reason for this is because substrates such as sand are easily ingested by bearded dragons (especially babies and juveniles) and they are a major cause of impaction.
The substrate we recommend is ‘Sand Mat’. We recommend this substrate for many reasons but one of the main benefits is that it can’t be ingested or cause impaction.
You can check out Sand Mat below…
Last update on 2021-07-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
If you suspect your bearded dragon is suffering from impaction we recommend you make an appointment with your vet straight away.
Other signs of impaction to look out for are:
- Struggling to walk
- Regurgitating food
- Dragging both back legs
- Leg trembles
2. Incorrect Diet
Just like an incorrect diet can cause your bearded dragon to poop excessively, it can also cause them to not poop enough.
This can happen when you:
- Don’t feed the correct food
- Don’t feed enough food
Feeding a diet that’s not optimal, for example, one that’s full of harder-shelled insects can be hard for your beardie to pass and therefore cause them to poop less than normal.
Mealworms and superworms are particularly notorious for being difficult to digest and shouldn’t be fed to baby beardies due to this. They should also only be fed sparingly to adult beardies as they can still cause issues if overfed.
The same can also be true if you aren’t feeding good quality greens on a daily basis to provide your beardie with the vitamins and essential nutrients to keep them regular.
As always you should monitor any changes you make to your bearded dragon’s diet as this way it will be easier to track any problems you encounter.
Your beardie will also poop less if they are being fed less food than what they need for their age.
Did you know that bearded dragons actually eat their own poop?
You can find out exactly why beardies eat their own poop and if it’s dangerous in our full guide!
As we mentioned earlier in this post, baby and juvenile bearded dragons actually have bigger appetites than adults due to the growth they experience so it’s important that you feed them accordingly or they won’t poop as expected.
3. Incorrect Basking Temperatures
A common reason why your bearded dragon might not be pooping as much as usual is due to a change in the basking temperature that you aren’t aware of.
The basking temperature plays a major role in how well beardies digest their food, and this means if the temperature isn’t optimal then your beardie will simply struggle to poop.
Here’s a guide that shares our recommendations to the optimal tank temperatures…
Bearded Dragon Tank Temperature Guide
|Bearded Dragon Temperature Guide|
|Basking Area 95°-100°F|
|Cool Spot 75°-80°F|
Having a thermostat to keep the basking temperature within the guidelines above is vital, however, readings should be checked daily to ensure everything is still set up correctly.
To do this we also recommend that you use a handheld digital thermostat.
This will allow you to independently check the temperatures in various areas of the tank including the basking area and see if your thermostat is giving off the correct temperature.
We recommend the ZooMed Repti-Temp digital thermometer as it ticks all the boxes and does a great job at monitoring the temps in your beardies tank.
You can check out the Repti-Temp from ZooMed below…
- 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 2021-07-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
An often-overlooked reason why beardies struggle to poop is that they are dehydrated.
Hydration from both water and moisture is important to aid digestion and pass faecal matter.
Without the proper levels of hydration, your beardie could easily begin to poop less than normal.
Usually, dehydration is pretty easy to spot as there will be other tell-tale signs.
Other signs of hydration include:
- Sunken eyes
- Saliva strands when the mouth is open
- Wrinkled skin
You can also pinch the skin on their back and if your beardie is dehydrated the skin will go back into position slowly as opposed to quickly if hydrated.
Brumation will also have an effect on how much your bearded dragon poops.
As we have mentioned earlier in this post, brumation is a natural process that most beardies go through during the winter months and they often won’t eat for many weeks once the process begins.
You may notice the amount they eat decreasing as they prepare for brumation and this will, in turn, decrease the amount that they poop.
There are many signs that a beardie will often display before they begin brumation that will help you clarify if indeed they are preparing for brumation or not.
You can see them all as well as exactly how to care for your bearded dragon in our ultimate brumation guide here…
Can I Help My Bearded Dragon to Poop?
If your bearded dragon is impacted or struggling to poop then there are several ways as an owner that you can help them.
- Emergency diet
- Vet appointment
Let’s now take a look at each of these methods and exactly how to go about them…
If your beardie is impacted or just struggling to poop then giving them a bath is a great way to get their bowels moving.
Beardies will often poop in the bath and providing you do it in the right way it can be one of the best things you can do.
You should provide a warm bath and let them soak for between 20-30 minutes.
Usually, during this time your bearded dragon will poop, however, if not, don’t worry too much as the process is still worth doing.
Another great way to promote a bowel movement in your bearded dragon is to give them a massage.
The massage must be gentle and directed towards the stomach and cloaca.
Massages can often shift blockages and when used in and around bath time and work to good effect.
3. Emergency Diet
Sometimes it’s worth adding your beardie to a short term emergency diet.
These kinds of diets are good to work the bowels and basically work as mild laxatives.
A tablespoon of olive oil or a small amount of either applesauce or banana is often enough to do the trick.
You really don’t need to go overboard here as a small amount of olive oil combined with a massage and a bath should be enough to give them a bowel movement.
4. Vet Appointment
If none of the above works then you really need to get your dragon an appointment as the vets.
You can’t afford to wait around for too long as impaction can be serious and even fatal for bearded dragons.
If you suspect that your beardie is impacted then we would recommend that you seek the advice of your local vet as soon as possible.
One of the most common questions among new owners and reptile...
Any new or potential owners will naturally want to know if bearded...
Any potential bearded dragon owner will want to know if bearded...