8 Common Reasons Your Bearded Dragon Puffed Up

Bearded dragons are cute, friendly, easy to train, and relatively easy to care for pet lizards. They are popular but their care demands you to learn common their common behaviors. Learning their common behaviors will help you to understand what they are trying to communicate. It also helps you to understand whether your dragon is in some danger or they are just chilling. This article will help you to understand a very common behavior of bearded dragons which is “Why Your Bearded Dragon Puffed Up”.

There are several reasons for your bearded dragons puffing up, but usually, bearded dragons puff up when they are scared or threatened by some other animal or human. Sometimes, they puff up because they’re annoyed with skin shed, poor handling, taking back a big meal, changes in air pressure, changes in enclosure temperature, or just to show off!

In short, puffing up is one of their ways to communicate that they are not liking something and they need care as well as attention. So, you need to address the issue and fix it.

Following are eight common reasons why your bearded dragon puffs up.

Have you gotten a new pet dragon? Did your bearded dragon get settled? Have you changed the tank? If yes, that is the reason your bearded dragon is puffing up to you when you are going near him. He’s simply afraid of you and his new home. He just needs a little time to adjust.

Bearded dragons are friendly pets, but like humans, every bearded dragon is different. Some may require comparatively more time and some may settle easily. In both cases, you need to be patient. In this stage, it is recommended that you use protective gloves to handle your bearded dragon or there are chances he’ll bite you.

Usually, a few weeks are enough for your bearded dragon to get settled with his new honor in his new home. Don’t do any handling when they are aggressive. Read: “4 Aggressive Bearded Dragon Behaviors to Look Out For”. Set up an ideal enclosure, talk softly, offer food and they will settle fast. Read “The Art of Dragon Domiciles: A Comprehensive Guide to Bearded Dragon Tank Setup”. In case you are a new owner and you want to know what you should feed your bearded dragon, you need to read, “The Comprehensive Bearded Dragon Feeding Guide” and, “What Do Bearded Dragons Eat? FAQ

However, if your bearded dragon appears lethargic and doesn’t want to eat while displaying this behavior, they need medical attention. In that case, you should immediately contact a vet.

One of the reasons for your bearded dragon puffing up to you is, that they are stressed.

This stress can be caused by any reason like a cricket that keeps hopping away.

If your bearded dragon is puffing, as well as not eating anything, the stress level is high. You need to figure out what is bothering your bearded dragon, and what is causing this stress. You need to look for diet, habitat, tank humidity & temperature settings, etc. Loud noises, unwanted handling, and inadequate space are also reasons for stress. Pregnant bearded dragons can also puff up from discomfort.

Your pet bearded dragon puffed up to you because he was shedding skin. Puffing is sometimes due to skin shedding. They puff out their beard to remove the old dead skin.

You need to notice the skin, if it is dull, flaky, or like it has a waxy sheen, this is a sign that it is about the time of shedding. During shedding your pet lizards can become irritable. They eat less, stop playing, and show lethargic behavior.

Remember that, Don’t Pull Any Pieces of Shedding Skin. This is painful for bearded dragons and can cause infection as well as additional stress. Let your bearded dragon shed his skin on their own in a few days. You can help them by giving them extra baths, and higher humidity.

If they take more than a week, they will reach the level of stress when they will puff you more often. In that case, you need to take your dragon to the vet.

Yes! Bearded dragons can yawn. Sometimes, dragon owners confuse the yawn with puffing. Anyway, it is normal and you need not worry.

Bearded dragons are calm lizards, they like to spend time in peace. If they face any discomfort, they will puff. Similarly, if they are suffering from constipation, they will puff at you as they are not comfortable and try to communicate it to you.

Constipation can be caused by many reasons like eating a big meal, incompatible food, dehydration, eating seeds, etc.

A well-balanced and healthy diet that is calcium-rich is recommended and very important for the dragon’s overall well-being.

Read, “The Comprehensive Bearded Dragon Feeding Guide” and, “What Do Bearded Dragons Eat? FAQ

Read, “Bearded Dragons, Calcium, and Vitamin D3: Everything You Need to Know

Read, “How Do I Give My Bearded Dragon Calcium?

When your dragon eats a healthy diet regularly, they poop regularly.

A normal bearded dragons need a bath every 4-8 days. But if your bearded dragon is suffering from constipation, you need to bathe them more often and keep them hydrated. This will help them to overcome health issues. If a balanced diet and extra baths aren’t helping, you should contact your vet.

A bearded dragon’s beard turns black for many reasons. But this is not the reason for panic. It is quite normal. If your bearded dragon is constantly threatened due to any other nearby pet, he may turn his beard black to appear bigger and scarier. In that case, your bearded dragon will also do the puffing to scare the other animal.

The other reasons for black beards include:

  • When bearded dragons are too cold, they turn their beard black, as it helps them to absorb more heat.
  • Male bearded dragons turn their beards black to attract the female bearded dragons.
  • Pregnant bearded dragon also turns their beards black and puff them out due to discomfort.

Black beards and puffing go hand-in-hand. A black beard itself often isn’t a huge deal, but what is causing a black beard is an issue that you need to identify and fix.

Bearded dragons have inner/ middle ears. Like humans, they don’t have outer ears. A tympanic membrane covers them and resembles holes near the far sides of their jaws. As these exotic creatures have inner ears, bearded dragons puffed up to uncover their ears. it’s an effort to relieve the pressure on their ear canals.

As already discussed, bearded dragons can also do puffing just to show off. When your bearded dragon is excited and perfectly happy and wants to show off that to you, he may puff up.

Bearded dragon puffs up to tell you that they are annoyed for some reason. A loud noise, mishandling, poor temperature, poor humidity level, or less food, etc can be the reason. They also puff up during shedding, pregnancy, stress, or when they are feeling any pain.

Lethargic behavior, difficulties in breathing, and lack of eating are common signs of sickness. Your dragon will do puffing during this stage.

Metabolic bone disease of MBD is a very deadly bearded dragon disease. You need to be very careful and save your bearded dragon from this disease. It is caused by calcium deficiency and can kill your dragon.

Read, “Metabolic Bone Disease 101: Keep Your Bearded Dragon Healthy

Read, “The Risk of Overfeeding Your Bearded Dragon

Read. “Bearded Dragon Prolapse – Causes, Treatment, and Prevention

If your bearded dragon holds his mouth open, they are too hot. Don’t confuse it with bearded dragon puffing. Bearded dragons don’t sweat and they do moth breathing in case of too high enclosure temperature.

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