A healthy beardie will usually poop every two to seven days, depending on how often you feed it and how old it is.
Usually, they stick to a schedule, so you can notice if there’s any change to their toilet habits.
Baby dragons will often go, releasing their bowels up to three times a day.
Once they get up to four months old, they should start doing so less, only pooping on alternate days.
Then, there are the adult dragons who vary depending on their diet. Some go only once a week, while others do so daily.
Once you’ve had your dragon for a while, you may notice that they aren’t doing business as usual.
If that’s the case, you don’t need to start a panic immediately.
Sometimes, it’s because of a minor issue that may be due to a diet change or environmental difference.
With the help of this article, we’ll help you identify why your dragon isn’t pooping and what you can do to help it.
Of course, if these methods don’t work after a week, consult a vet to get treatment.
Reasons A Beardie May Not Be Pooping
There are a variety of reasons that may be preventing your beardie from doing its business.
Sometimes, it’s due to environmental factors that stress them out.
Other times, it may be because they aren’t eating well or because they are simply not that active.
This section will take a closer look at how different factors affect your dragon.
Is your beardie eating enough of the right food? Beardies should have a mixture of bugs and salads.
If they haven’t eaten enough food, their body won’t digest it as well. However, the opposite is also true.
If your beardie eats too much, it can lead to impaction, an issue we will discuss later.
A healthy and balanced diet is the best way to ensure that your dragon doesn’t struggle with any issues with constipation.
Too much salad can give it diarrhea, but the opposite will prevent it from being able to do its business.
Of course, there are other reasons why your beardie may have stopped eating. For example, one significant issue is stress.
Stress is a major factor that will cause your beardie to stop pooping, mostly because a stressed dragon won’t eat its food.
You may wonder what is causing your dragon stress, and in some cases, it’s because of a change in the environment.
Sometimes, it gets too hot for them, and other times, it’s too cold.
If it’s in a tank that is too hot, your dragon will scratch and dig in an effort to find shelter away from the heat.
Should you notice that your dragon is digging and scratching a lot, take a closer look at the temperature of your dragon’s tank.
An ideal setting should be between 104° and 107°F with the coolest setting between 71° and 77°F.
If the tank is too cold, you’ll find that your dragon will be more lethargic and may also have indigestion.
However, another factor that impacts stress is the humidity of the tank.
If the humidity isn’t balanced, your beardie may become infected by parasites or dehydrated.
If you want to maintain the humidity, you could set up a humidity meter to ensure it remains level.
Sometimes it’s not only environmental factors.
Does your beardie have enough space in its tank, or did you change its tank at any point?
If you did, your beardie may be affected by the changes around it.
If you make any changes, you must ensure that it doesn’t happen often.
You shouldn’t make any changes within two months of the previous change, or your dragon will feel that they’re in an unstable environment.
Finally, there is one other factor that can affect the stress levels of your beardie.
If you have more than one dragon, you may want to place them into different tanks.
Beardies shouldn’t be placed in the same tank unless they have been together from a young age.
But even in situations where your dragon has been with another since birth can turn into bullying.
If that’s the case, ensure that you move them into separate tanks to prevent bullying.
Beardies are desert animals, so they may ignore water if it’s not from a running source.
If you leave water in a bowl, they may not pay as much attention to it.
Generally, if you want to ensure they remain hydrated, you need to ensure that they’re eating salads and have a large enough area to soak and bathe in.
You will know if your dragon is dehydrated as it will have sunken eyes, its skin will be wrinkled, more lethargic, and it won’t have much appetite.
If you’re still uncertain about whether your beardie is dehydrated, you can perform a test to see how loose its skin is.
You just need to hold your dragon with one hand and gently pull at the skin on the back or side with your free hand.
If your dragon’s skin doesn’t go back to normal quickly, then your dragon is hydrated, while if it’s slow to return to normal, it’s dehydrated.
If you want to prevent dehydration and your dragon isn’t drinking, you should invest in a tank that provides fresh access to flowing water.
While it is more expensive, it’s a good investment if they’re not drinking from a still water bowl.
If you can’t make this change straight away, you should provide them with a soaking bath.
You can bathe them up to three times each week, which provides them with plenty of opportunity to hydrate.
Inactive Or Lethargic
There are times when beardies simply want to laze around all the time.
If it’s being particularly lazy and inactive, you could do some activities to make them more active.
You could take them out of the tank to let them run around and explore, or you could give them some new items to play with.
Dragons love playing with a ball to chase around and enjoy looking at mirrors.
You could take these items out and put them into a playpen to encourage playtime.
Of course, when you take them out to play, make sure that your dragon isn’t having any issues with talking on its back legs.
Typically, an inactive dragon won’t digest as easily as an active beardie, but you should ensure that its inactivity isn’t due to a bout of lethargy from an ongoing issue.
The Brumation Period
If you’re new to owning a beardie, you may be surprised by the brumation period.
Essentially, the brumation period is for reptiles, the same as hibernation is for mammals.
When the temperature starts to drop, your dragon will look for a warm hiding place where it may rest until the climate changes.
Brumation periods are different for each dragon, and you may find that each experience is different.
The standard signs that you should look out for may be that they’re more lethargic and will refuse to eat.
It will have fewer bowel movements, and if you’re used to playing with your dragon, it may have less of an interest in you.
Due to the fact that your dragon will have less of an appetite, it may not poop as often.
However, if your dragon is still eating a small amount during brumation, give it a bath to help make it easier for them to poop.
When a beardie is gravid, it means she’s essentially pregnant.
This can happen even if your beardie hasn’t mated with another dragon.
You’ll find that your dragon may refuse to eat later during the gravid period.
If she reaches the end of her gravidity, she will not be pooping. Instead, she will wait until the period is over.
Struggling With Impaction
When your dragon hasn’t been pooping, then the most serious issue that could be affecting it is impaction.
Impaction is life-threatening to beardies, and you need to carefully monitor your dragon when you notice it’s not pooping.
It might be lethargic and less active.
Even if you try to encourage activity, you may notice that your dragon has trouble walking and cannot move its back legs.
If you notice that it’s gained weight, it may be due to bloating.
Your dragon may still be eating, but instead of pooping, it may be eating without pooping.
If you see a bump or curve in its lower spine, it’s better to immediately take your dragon to the vet.
Impaction is caused by a mixture of an imbalanced diet, wrong temperatures, or even consuming substrate.
To prevent impaction, you should ensure your younger dragons are eating more bugs, while older beardies require more greens.
Fiber can improve digestion, but if you feed your dragon bugs that are too big for them, their intestines may become backed up.
You should also keep an eye on whether your dragon is eating substrate in the tank.
If it’s eating sand, soil, or gravel, then it means that its diet is imbalanced.
To prevent this, you can put some calcium in a bowl so that they can have this instead of the substrate.
If the temperatures are too low, then you may find that a beardie’s digestive system slows down.
To prevent this issue, keep an eye on the temperature, and ensure that you always make sure that it’s not too hot or too cold.
What To Do If Your Beardie Isn’t Pooping?
If you’re uncertain about what may be affecting your beardie, we have a few recommendations that can help you.
Beardies can have many issues that prevent them from emptying their bowels.
To help your beardie, here are a few examples of how you can help them.
You should do what you can to prevent your dragon from getting stressed. However, this shouldn’t be a short-term tactic.
Do what you can to ensure that your beardie is happy in the long run, and then you’ll find that they will eat more and, thus, poop more.
Take a closer look at its environment and see if there’s anything that can improve.
Consider moving it into a larger tank, or if it’s getting bullied, move it into a separate tank.
Check that the temperature is optimal and that you’re paying attention to the humidity of the tank.
Once you’ve done everything you can to reduce the stress, see how your beardie’s behavior will change.
Give It A Bath
A warm and pleasant bath can do wonders for any dragon going through constipation.
So long as the temperature is kept at 100°F, any dragon can enjoy a bath and perhaps even a small belly massage too.
Here are a few ways to give your dragon a bath:
- Fill a small bin with warm water of 100°F so that it’s no higher than your dragon’s knees.
- Put your beardie in the bath for roughly ten or twenty minutes, but not on its own.
- Brush your dragon with a soft-bristled toothbrush and pat it dry.
- Put it under its basking spot to warm up again.
When you give your beardie a bath, you should do so either twice or thrice a week.
However, you should clean your dragon more often than three days if it is shedding, while if your beardie is brumating, it should only be done once a week.
It should only take you half an hour to clean your beardie, and not only does it clean it, but it gives your dragon a chance to hydrate too.
It can reduce stress and encourage it to drink. However, while it can work as a short-term solution, it’s not ideal as a long-term solution.
If you do this too often, your dragon will associate bath time with going to the toilet.
Then, if you bathe your dragon frequently, it will poop too often.
Ultimately, warm baths can be a great method for a short-term solution as you search for the root of the issue.
If you’re waiting to take your dragon to a vet to check for impaction, then this is a way to reduce the effects of impaction while identifying if that’s what’s impacting your dragon.
Feed It Fruit Laxatives
Warm baths don’t work all the time, so instead, you could feed your beardie a high-fiber fruit instead.
Give your dragon a banana (preferably crushed up into a puree), apple sauce, or a tiny bit of pumpkin.
If you give it pumpkin, don’t give it more than 1 ml.
Keep an eye on your beardie for 24 hours to see if it will poop, and if it doesn’t, you can try to give it a bath or shower again.
While these aren’t designed to be laxatives, they work well because the amount of high fiber content improves your dragon’s digestive process.
If you don’t have any puree available, then you could always give your beardie some pumpkin baby food or canned pumpkin.
A tiny amount of this can do wonders for any dragon struggling with constipation.
So long as there aren’t any unhealthy additives, you can give your beardie a tiny amount of pumpkin baby food to provide something easy to eat, especially if it’s not eating much.
Feed It Olive Oil
As a last resort to try out before you bring your dragon to the vet, feed it some olive oil.
You can feed it olive oil by dipping bugs into it before feeding.
We should note that this plan will only work if your dragon is still eating its food. If the dragon ignores it, you need to try another method.
Another way to feed your beardie olive oil is by mixing it with water and feeding it to them through a syringe.
For mixing amounts, we recommend 0.1 ml of olive oil for every 100 grams that your dragon weighs.
Olive oil should allow for more lubrication and allow any digestive issues to run through the system quicker.
Of course, another easy way is to put a few drops of olive oil on your beardie’s nose.
This allows it to lick it off in its own time and ensure that it’s not been given too much.
As with the food laxatives, keep an eye on your dragon for 24 hours to see if it’s pooped naturally.
If it hasn’t, try the bath once more. If this still doesn’t work, book a trip to the vet.
When Should You Bring Your Beardie To A Vet?
You need to bring your beardie to the vet when home remedies don’t work.
Ideally, you should monitor your beardie for a week to see if there’s any progress.
If there is no sign of improvement after seven days, you should consult a vet.
However, this does depend on your vet and what they recommend.
If your dragon has this problem after never struggling with its bowel movements before, bring it to the vet after a week of monitoring it.
If your beardie is incapable of relieving its bowels, it can cause significant discomfort.
It may be unable to eat, or it may be unable to keep itself hydrated.
If the issue is impaction, your beardie can become paralyzed and even die.
However, should you be uncertain about when the problem began, take your beardie to the vet immediately.
Not everyone will have an idea of their dragon’s toilet routine, and it can be terrifying to new owners.
While a vet trip may be expensive, it’s better than losing your pet.
After all, if your pet is struggling with impaction, it is time-sensitive, and if you don’t know how much time has passed, then your dragon may be in more danger.
Of course, the vet may be more expensive, but they can perform treatment that will clear the blockage from your dragon’s system.
As you can see, many factors can cause your beardie to become constipated.
While it’s not always a cause for alarm, getting your beardie to relieve its bowels is better to make sure it doesn’t regress into impaction.
Impaction can be life-threatening to beardies and needs to be handled in a time-sensitive manner.
However, if you’re worried, you can always consult a veterinarian for advice.
While you may feel silly if it does turn out to be nothing, it’s better to feel like that instead of worrying about impaction.
After all, it’s better for your dragon to be healthy again instead.
After all, knowing these home remedies may help at first, but it’s better to consult a professional when you notice something isn’t right.
If you do notice something wrong and you’re not sure how long the symptoms have persisted, it’s better to contact the vet before doing any home remedies.