Lethargic Bearded Dragon : (5 Quick Major Reasons)

You might wonder why is my bearded dragon so lazy constantly? This is known as lethargy reflected in constant fatigue, drowsiness, or dullness. Although a bearded dragon with lethargy is an indication of a health problem. There is no reason to panic because this article discusses the signs and symptoms to help you identify it early on.

Do you have a lethargic bearded dragon? Plenty of issues can explain why you might think you have a lazy bearded dragon or a lethargic bearded dragon. The first issue is an insufficient diet. The second issue is inadequate housing. The third issue is internal parasites. The fourth and foremost issue is low habitat temperatures. More often than not, low habitat temperatures cause loss of appetite.

However, you are reading this article and wondering how you are supposed to know what is normal? When should you be worried? In this article you will learn the issues that create a lethargic bearded dragon and how you can deal with those issues. Let’s start learning.

Lethargic bearded dragon
Lethargic Bearded Dragon – why is my bearded dragon lethargic – lazy bearded dragon


Differences Between Lazy and Lethargic Bearded Dragon

This section is to help owners distinguish if they have a bearded dragon lethargic, or if they have a lazy bearded dragon.

Frequently asked questions that fall under these categories are:

“Why is my beardie so lazy”,

“My bearded dragon does not move the whole day, is it a lazy bearded dragon?”,

“Why is my bearded dragon lethargic daily?”.

To answer this, first of all, there is a big difference between a bearded dragon that acts lazy and one that is lethargic.

A lazy bearded dragon is defined as a bearded dragon that simply lays around for a day or two then gets a sudden boost of energy. Similar to their human parents, bearded dragons have off days too. While a lethargic bearded dragon is defined as barely able to move, unresponsive, and acts very weak.

For a baby bearded dragon lethargic not eating, and stays in the exact location for days on end. A lethargic bearded dragon is a serious sign of underlying health problems.

If your bearded dragon is just being lazy, don’t be too concerned but keep an eye on it for the next following days. If your bearded dragon is acting more lethargic you need to take contact the vet.


How Do You Know If Your Bearded Dragon Is Lethargic?

If your bearded dragon is lethargic, it may have a parasite or illness. A healthy bearded dragon should be active and alert, but if you beardie’s antennae are extremely limp in the morning, they’re probably stressed out from being in their enclosure all night long.

Lethargy can also be associated with internal parasites or metabolic bone disease. If your bearded dragon has been shedding a lot with the shed lasting for longer than usual, this is a sign that he may need to be treated for internal parasites.

Lethargy coupled with anorexia indicates possible liver problems and rash around its mouth could mean mouth rot or stomatitis (fungal infection).

Lethargy coupled with rough or bumpy scales indicates scutes rubbing – you may need to trim your dragon’s nails.

If the above symptoms are not present, but your bearded dragon is still lethargic, there may be other causes of its sluggish behaviour such as: dehydration , low temperature, improper lighting (UVB deficiency), Vitamin D3 deficiency, or your bearded dragon could be a picky eater.


Why Is My Bearded Dragon Lethargic?

The first issue that results in a lethargic bearded dragon is insufficient food that could be either excessive feeding or the wrong diet.

The problem is that the majority of bearded dragon owners feed the wrong food. 

This includes more meat than greens. A bearded dragon’s balanced diet should consist of 50% plant-based material and 50% animal-based material.

80-90% of the plant-based material diet of bearded dragons should be vegetables and flowers, and the remaining 10-20% should be fruits.

For instance, a huge portion of your pet’s diet should consist of greens like turnip greens that are very nutritious.

Lethargic behavior due to a bad diet is intertwined with bad husbandry. But what is bad husbandry you might ask? 

Husbandry focuses on how animals interact with their physical and social environment. 

Bad husbandry includes everything in the surroundings of bearded dragons. 

For example, Is your lighting okay? Is the tank big enough for your bearded dragons? Do they eat enough? Do they eat a little? Do your bearded dragons get enough vitamins?

 Do your bearded dragons get enough exercise and stay active?

These are extremely guiding questions to the answer for:” Why is my bearded dragon lethargic?”


Inadequate Housing

The second issue why you might have a lethargic bearded dragon is improper housing.

An important thing to have in mind when thinking about lighting of your bearded dragon’s tank is UVB lights.

The right UVB light should closely replicate the natural sunlight, especially within the UV spectrum. Why does that matter you might ask?

Well, because UVB light provides the main source of Vitamin D3 for your beardie. Vitamin D3 is crucial for your reptile’s health which allows them to absorb essential minerals such as calcium.

If there is a low calcium intake in their diet, it can lead to many serious health conditions for your pet such as ‘metabolic bone disease’.

This is why getting the right UVB light is essential to avoid having a lethargic bearded dragon.


Internal Parasites

The third issue why you might have a lethargic bearded dragon is internal parasites.

Unfortunately, your beardie might get infected by parasites through consuming insects. Always make sure you order the insects from a trustworthy seller.

Parasites drain energy and make a bearded dragon very lethargic which creates a very lazy bearded dragon. If your beardie acquires an internal parasite make sure you take it to the vet, there is no way around it.

Don’t forget to bring a stool sample along with you to the vet. (Not yours, your bearded dragon’s).


Low Habitat Temperatures

The fourth issue that results in a lethargic bearded dragon is habitat temperature.

A bearded dragon’s optimal temperature to live in is between 95°F to 110°F, with a cooler region of around 80°F to 90°F.  Often low habitat temperatures equal loss of appetite.

Low habitat temperatures answer commonly asked questions like:” Why is my bearded dragon lethargic not eating?” or “Why bearded dragon not walking lethargic?”.

Also, a baby bearded dragon exposed to low temperatures will develop into a lethargic bearded dragon baby.

When seasons begin to change, your bearded dragon might brumate. As a result, the bearded dragon’s appetite and activity will decrease.

That is quite normal and you have nothing to worry about. During this period, continue to offer food and water. While maintaining the right temperature and lighting.


Lethargic Bearded Dragon Symptoms

The three most commonly asked questions:” My bearded dragon lethargic and sunken eyes, what is wrong?”,  “Why is my bearded dragon lethargic and sunken eyes?”,

or “My lethargic bearded dragon not eating what should I do?”. Have an answer of: “These are symptoms of a lethargic bearded dragon”.

If your bearded dragon seems lethargic the visible symptoms are sunken eyes, no appetite, and weight loss. However, a lethargic bearded dragon might get confused with a dehydrated one.

Bearded dragons are used to being dehydrated based on living in the wild. They usually get their water source from plants, crickets, locusts, etc.

To check whether it is a dehydrated or a lethargic bearded dragon, pull on your bearded dragon’s skin. If it takes a while for the skin to get back into a normal position, your bearded dragon might be dehydrated.

Owners usually confuse this as well, that if a bearded dragon eyes closed lethargic reaction is the cause. To put the owners’ confusion to rest, the most common reason for bearded dragons not opening their eyes is dehydration.

So, there you go. If you find out your beardie is just dehydrated you don’t have to worry and think to yourself: “my bearded dragon is lethargic”.

Lethargic bearded dragon
Lethargic Bearded Dragon – why is my bearded dragon lethargic – lazy bearded dragon


Why is my Bearded Dragon Lethargic When Shedding?

Many caring bearded dragons ask this question: “My bearded dragon shedding lethargic, is that normal?”.

The answer is that it is quite normal for a bearded dragon to show signs of lethargy when shedding. However, it does not mean you have a lethargic bearded dragon now.

Shedding requires a significant amount of energy. Removing their old skin requires them to rub against surfaces to peel off old skin.

And it is normal for your bearded dragon to be less active in the next few days before and after its old skin sheds.

Quite often owners get confused and assume: “If bearded dragon eats grows sheds lethargic”. This assumption is false shedding is not related or a symptom of a lethargic bearded dragon.


Lethargic Bearded Dragon Food

A poor diet can result in calcium and other mineral deficiency (even without visible weight loss). This in turn will lead to a lethargic bearded dragon.

To combat and prevent lethargy, feed your pet a well-balanced diet full of calcium and minerals. Mainly greens like broccoli, spinach, and asparagus.

Next, a question asked by concerned owners: “what if my bearded dragon lethargic but eating still?”.

The answer is you still have to provide them with a well-balanced diet.

Contact your vet if you have questions about providing your beardie with mineral supplements to help them with lethargy.


Why Is My Bearded Dragon Lethargic After Egg Laying?

When a female bearded dragon is preparing to lay her eggs, she may spend more time sleeping or laying under the heat lamp. This makes the female bearded dragon bloated and lethargic.

The belly will be bloated because it is filled with eggs. will also appear larger than usual since it is filled with eggs. 


My Bearded Dragon Is Lethargic After Laying Eggs, What Should I Do?

I’m assuming they didn’t eat before laying, so make sure they eat a good amount of food after laying. Make sure the feed is warm, and pick out any uneaten crickets or other insects from her cage so she can easily find food. If you notice that she looks badly off 24 hours later, take her to a vet. I know it’s not cheap, but there are some things that you really can’t diagnose without seeing the dragon.

As for what’s making your beardie lethargic… well, let me tell you a few reasons and then another question will follow:

  1. Did she eat before laying?
  2. Did she lay in a warm enough place?
  3. Is there any drafts in the room you keep your beardies cage? If you live somewhere that gets freezing temperatures, this is really important to prevent. Not every bearded dragon can handle cold climates all year round. Make sure your beardie can handle the temperature drop if you live somewhere that gets cold.
  4. What did you have her on for heat before she laid eggs? Was it too low/high? Did you move her and then turn off the heat source when you she was in a different area of your house?
  5. Is she still acclimated to her new home (apartment, house, etc)? Even if you took her from another place and moved her into the same cage a few months ago, if she hasn’t laid eggs since then, it could be that she’s trying to get used to something in the cage. Maybe the temperature isn’t right, or you moved her to a place that doesn’t have the same frequency of temps. It’s possible she just decided it was time to lay and is trying out various spots in your house.
  6. Did any other bearded dragons at your home lay? If so, did they have no problems? Did you move them to a new cage when they were laying and they laid eggs without any troubles? If you bearded dragons all seem okay, then it’s possible your dragon just doesn’t like her new location.


This happened to me once while I had several beardies in my room… I had 3 or 4 under one heat source. When it was time to lay eggs, I moved them into another room and the bearded dragons in that other room wouldn’t lay eggs until we replaced the heat lamp with a ceramic heater that gave off more but smaller UVB rays (it’s what their basking light is).

It’s also possible that she was used to something else and it threw her off. If you had her on one heat source for a few months straight then moved her to another, with the only difference being that the other area has less light and slightly cooler temps, it could be enough of a change to explain why she didn’t lay eggs.

Check out the above questions (and maybe more I could have added) and see if you can diagnose your own beardie. If you can’t, take her to a vet!


Black Bearded Dragon Beard And Lethargic

A bearded dragon black beard is hard to miss. Your bearded dragon neck and chin will turn pitch black.

A black bearded dragon lethargic mouth open, and looks very alert to its surroundings.

Below are the most common reasons why a bearded dragon has a black beard:

  1. Breeding season: your male bearded dragon’s beard turns black because of the breeding season. Moreover, the black beard is a sign of dominance and shows that they’re ready to breed.
  2. Feeling threatened, scared, or aggressive: bearded dragons puff out and blacken their beard when they feel threatened or scared. Otherwise, they are aggressive and want to be left alone.
  3. Sickness: A black beard can indicate that your beardie might be sick also. 


If your bearded dragon is sick and has a black beard there will be additional signs indicating illness such as:

  • No appetite
  • Irregular feces
  • Lethargy (usually googled or known as bearded dragon lethargic and black beard, or bearded dragon black beard lethargic)

While sometimes your bearded dragon might have a black beard, with no symptoms of illness, then your beardie is most likely healthy. 


Concluding Remarks – Lethargic Bearded Dragon

If you notice any of the symptoms mentioned in the article about lethargy on your bearded dragon. Please don’t hesitate to contact the vet and read peer reviewed research, as they have the best approach to handle the situation.

Lethargic bearded dragon
Lethargic Bearded Dragon – why is my bearded dragon lethargic – lazy bearded dragon

In this article, the difference between a lazy and lethargic bearded dragon was explored to help you evaluate your concerns about your beardie.

As discussed earlier, a well-balanced diet plays a huge role in preventing lethargy and recovering from it. Now that you have learned more about your pet, go give it a happy and healthy life.

Post Disclaimer


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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