Bearded Dragon Breathing Heavy : (9 Clear Reasons)

Do you feel that bearded dragon breathing heavy? Many owners ask this question, and you need to know the cause behind the bearded dragon breathing heavy. When there is something not good with them, then you will see the behavior change.

Is your bearded dragon breathing heavy? There are many reasons behind your bearded dragon breathing heavy like temperature regulation, stress, eating, and discomfort in tanks, etc. They may do this uncanny breathing because of infection in the respiratory system. You should immediately consult with your vet in case of infection.

In this article, we will discuss the causes behind the bearded dragon’s heavy breathing, why my bearded dragon huffing, bearded dragon’s respiratory rate, and many other things related to these. Let’s dive into the details of a bearded dragon breathing heavy.

Bearded dragon breathing heavy
Bearded dragon breathing heavy


Why Is My Bearded Dragon Breathing Heavy

In many cases, bearded dragons breathe heavily, and it can be because of many reasons, like when they get stressed or have any internal health issues, then they can react in this way. Following are the reasons that are worth considering if you want to know the reasons behind bearded dragon breathing heavy.



Bearded dragon breathing heavy after eating, if you see such behavior from beardie, you don’t need to worry about this. They have a dissimilar digestive system as compared to humans. Heat is very important for food digestion in lizards. In humans, bacteria and acid play an important role in digestion, but heat and temperature takes an important role in bearded dragon’s health.

Bearded dragon breathing heavy after drinking water is a normal thing after exercising. If beardie is not digesting their food properly, you should give them heat from external sources. Basking is an essential phenomenon for food digestion. Sometimes they may stop eating and digest the previous food then eat after digestion of previous food. They may exhale or inhale while eating.

Choking hazards can cause the bearded dragon breathing heavily. When you give something big to them directly in the mouth, it may result in a choking hazard. You should know the size that is perfect for them to eat. Normally the size of food should be less than the space between eyes.



Bearded dragon breathing heavy and puffing throat can be caused due to stress. When there are strange changes in the environment, then it leads to abnormal breathing. In case of stress, reptiles show this type of strange behavior. It makes them aggressive then they gasp heavily. Stress can be due to many external or internal issues.



When you change the pet from one place to another, and the pet is not familiar with a new place before then, there are chances of behavioral changes. That is why you should be extra conscious while changing their tanks or enclosures.  They get scared and scared from new surroundings and then breathe heavily.


Strange Movement Outside Enclosure

Heavy breathing is not only because of health or internal issues. It may be because of the strange movement in the enclosure of the beardie. When there is some uncanny movement outside the tank of beardie, then they feel a threat by being prey.

They can get scared from things like a child playing outside when they hear the voice of traffic, or if there is the noise of television near the tank, etc. unexpected change in light may result in sudden heavy gasping, resulting in abnormal breathing rate.

It is the best technique to put some plants in a tank of beardie. These plants are very effective because when a beardie gets scared, they can hide under them and feel safe and secure.


Seeing Other Animal

It is natural to see the sudden change in breathing when you keep more than one pet near bearded dragons.  If they are in the same place, then bearded dragons don’t feel good and breathe heavily.

They may show a reactive attitude when there are unwanted guests at home. It is because of the stress. You need to remove stress from your bearded dragon because they will not properly digest the food when they get stressed, and another health issue can be there.


Discomfort In Tanks

Any discomfort in-tank leads to the stress in beardies, which can change the normal functioning of life. When you put some strange thing in a tank, then they may react to this new thing. Many other reasons are also there that can cause discomfort in tanks, like when there is an unstable temperature in the tank, then it can also change the breathing pattern of the lizard.

Heat is required for the proper maintenance of body function, you should give them heat by bathing, and some artificial heaters are also very effective in this regard. If there is excess heat in the tank, then beardies open their mouths to inhale air. It means that you have to lower the temperature of the tank to save them from health issues.

Light is very effective in the sleep cycle of beardies. If there is light in the sleeping time of bearded dragons, then they will change their behavior because of not adequate sleeping. A humidifier is also very important to maintain the humidity level of the tank.


Bearded Dragon Breathing Heavy While Shedding

Some beardie is there that is breathing heavily while shedding and at the same time they are pooping, drinking and eating. Then you need not worry about this thing. This thing is usual in beardies. One of the most important things is to check the nose of a beardie.

There may be some hairs that cause a hindrance in breathing. It is best to give a bath to your pet after shedding. This can be helpful for you and save your pet from getting the disease.

Some newbies are there that feel worried when they see that bearded dragon breathing heavily after shedding. But don’t worry about this. It is normal behavior and can be seen in many beards. When they are sleeping, then the respiratory and metabolic rate of beardies slows down.

When there is a slow metabolic rate, then it may result in heavy breathing or slow breathing. It can signify that they are in the end-stage, but this case is only in aged bearded dragons.


After Having Bath

It is normal in bearded dragons and other pets. When you catch them, then you see the significant change in the breathing rate of beardies. Bearded dragon breathe heavily in a bath; when you want to bathe them, there is also an abnormal change in breathing. They may breathe heavily when near the water tub because they don’t like to take a bath.

You can see this behavior while bathing them, but if you see symptoms like blackening, hissing, and other signs, this may be a sign of some internal health issues. These symptoms mean that heavy breathing is not because of bathing.

You need to consult with your vet immediately if you see any health-related symptoms. It can be fatal for a beardie if left unchecked.  Forcefully giving a bath is not okay for them. It is because there may be the entrance of water in the nostrils of beardies while bathing, and then it can cause respiratory infection in them. 

Bearded dragon breathe heavy after bath; due to diaphragm lack, they are not able to throw the water up, resulting in infection. This condition can be due to drinking an excessive amount of water by bearded dragons. If this happens, you should give them sleep in a reclining position to withdraw water from their lungs.


Respiratory Infection

If a bearded dragon breathing heavy, then it can be due to respiratory illness. But not in all cases the heavy breathing is due to respiratory issues. If heavy breathing and other symptoms like choking, appetite loss, coughing, etc., are there, then vet consultation is very important. The vet will diagnose the cause of the infection and then prescribe the treatment accordingly.


How Do I Know If a Bearded Dragon Has Respiratory Infection?

How do I know if my bearded dragon has respiratory problems? Heavy breathing is a common sign that is due to a respiratory infection. You should immediately consult with your vet in case of infection because it can be fatal and life-threatening. Many causes of respiratory infections are there like

  • Very high and low temperature
  • The too high humidity level in tan
  • The enclosure has improper ventilation
  • A poor diet that has lack minerals, vitamins, and nutrients
  • It can be due to getting an infection from other reptiles that have a respiratory infection.

Bearded dragon respiratory infections are important to know. How to tell if a bearded dragon is breathing abnormally?

Many bearded dragons have a respiratory infection that is associated with other health symptoms like

  • Appetite loss
  • Mucus in mouth and nose area
  • Puffing up throat
  • Choking
  • Gasping
  • Coughing noises

Above are the signs that tell us beardies are suffering from some respiratory issues, and you need to solve the problems to save them from serious complications. Bearded dragon breathing heavy and puffing their throats can be alarming.

One of the best things is vet consultation. Self-treatment is not good for them. The vet will tell the treatment by knowing how severe the infection is.

In severe cases, you have to give the medicine to beardie orally by using the injection. In this method, you need to inject a syringe filled with medicine and is directly administered in the mouth of beardie. Exact frequency and dosage are very important for safe treatment. You should hold them strongly when you are going to give them medicine. It would be best if you fed them after that you can give them medicine.

Bearded dragon breathing heavy
Bearded dragon breathing heavy


Bearded Dragon Breathing Heavy When To Consult With Vet

One of the most difficult things is to decide which time is the best time to take your pet to the vet in case of illness or infection. Some owners are confused while deciding this but should follow these steps before taking him to the vet.

Baby bearded dragon breathing fast, you should check the humidity and temperature of the tank, and both should be in the moderate range.  If everything is fine, you need to change the environment of your beard and wait to see if there is any change in breathing pattern. It would help if you gave time to see whether there is any change. You should give them food in small sizes and the size should be less than the space between their eyes.

The above things are very helpful to solve the issue of bearded dragon breathing heavy. If all things are corrected, you need to consult with your vet as early as possible for proper diagnosis and treatment of your beardie.


What Is Normal Breathing For A Bearded Dragon?

Normal bearded dragon breathing is 10 times per minute. If the bearded dragon is breathing six to ten times in one minute, it is okay for them. Bearded dragon’s chest goes in and out at a normal slow pace rate when they breathe.

Why is my bearded dragon taking deep breaths? Keep in mind that is not when they are running or exercising. They cannot breathe deeply. When they are sleeping, their breathing rate reduces to three to four times per minute.


Why Does My Bearded Dragon Breathing Heavy And Opening Mouth

Many reasons are there for bearded dragons breathing heavy with open mouths. If there is no proper temperature and humidity level in the tank, they may react in this way. A respiratory infection can be the reason.


Why Is My Bearded Dragon Huffing?

To show aggression, they may puff up their beards towards someone. This condition can be seen in them when they are feeling threatened, or they get scared. It would be best if you made them calm in this condition. Bearded dragon gasping can be due to the infection.

Bearded dragon breathing heavy
Bearded dragon breathing heavy – Bearded dragon breathing heavy after running


Final Verdict On Bearded Dragon Breathing Heavy

Heavy breathing in bearded dragons can be due to stress, relocation, strange movements outside the tank, seeing some unfamiliar thing, discomfort in tanks, and respiratory infection.

You need to solve the issue to normalize the breathing pattern of bearded dragons.

As a pet lover, make sure to learn about pet more and give your pet bearded dragon a good and comfortable life!

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The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional veterinary advice, food recommendation, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or for pet food related questions.

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