Bearded Dragon Relocation Stress: Here’s How to Fix It


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Bearded dragons are prone to many possible health issues. One of which is relocation stress. This happens when you move to another place with your beardie or when you buy a new beardie.

The changes in location can significantly affect the beardies’ health. If you are a beginner, this is a little scary. It happened to me before.

So, how will you deal with it when your bearded dragon suffers from relocation stress? In this post, I will share with you some tips you can implement to your beardies.

Bearded dragon relocation stress quick treatments:

  • Provide consistent care
  • Cover the tank
  • Minimize handling
  • Monitor the reptile’s health

I bought several bearded dragons before and I can tell that not all of them shown signs of relocation stress. But some of them certainly did. It was a scary experience at first, but as I learn over the years, things start to get easier.

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What to Do When Bearded Dragons Suffer from Relocation Stress?

Bearded Dragon Relocation Stress

Although I have provided quick tips above, I will elaborate the things you can do to help your reptile back to normal again.

But first just let me talk about why most beardies can get stressed when relocated. Well, the reason I believe is that the transfer from one place to another is pretty overwhelming to them. This makes them stressed out.

But again, not all beardies share the same experience. In some bearded dragons, relocation has no significant negative impact on their health.

The other thing to remember is that the relocation stress can last for days, weeks, or even months. Every bearded dragon is different though. Some suffer longer than others.

During this process, beardies need consistent care. This will be challenging on your part as an owner. But your hard work will be rewarded. Bearded dragons with proper care go back to normal faster than those with poor care.

Trust me, this is not easy on your part. It was a struggle for me especially because I am a busy person. All it needs is dedication and patience. I hope that his post will help you fix the problem successfully.

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Now let’s talk about the tips a little bit deeper.

1. Provide consistent care

As mentioned, a stressed bearded dragon needs more care from his owner. It means that you always check on your beardies every now and then. Give food, water, and check the lighting. Does he/she get the appropriate temperature? All these things are important to help your reptile recover from stress faster.

2. Cover the tank

The immediate surroundings can boost the already disturbing beardies’ stress. The pets and people passing by can worsen their emotional turmoil. Remember that beardies are solitary animals. This is the reason why they don’t really need or want companions.

Covering the tank with a cloth will help dragons to get accustomed to the new place. This helped well with my beardies before and maybe could help your reptile too.

3. Minimize handling

If your bearded dragon feels threatened or afraid of you or reacting defensively when touched, I recommend that you minimize handling. Wait until he/she calms down before you touch your reptile again.

In my experience, there is a certain period wherein a dragon seemed to be startled after relocating. The time is different for every beardie though. As an owner, there is nothing you can do about it but wait until he/she is completely settled.

4. Monitor the reptile’s health

Minimizing handling does not mean that you just do nothing. Remember that stress is something that could seriously affect your beardies in negative ways. Make sure that he/she is still active and does not show other signs of health issues.

Also, observe his/her behavior closely and see if he/she is acting oddly. Behavioral changes could be the sign of other more serious health issues. If you notice odd behaviors, I suggest that you take your beardies to a vet. And do it quickly. Remember, you don’t know what exactly is going on.

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How Many Days Does Relocation Stress Exist in New Beardies?

If you are buying a new bearded dragon, there is a high chance that he/she will experience relocation stress. I have one beardie before which suffered from relocation stress for about a month or so before he becomes used to his new environment.

But it is important to remember that every beardie is different. Some would get back to normal after a few days. The key here is patience. Just care for him. Give him food. You can hand feed him if you want. This is also helpful in gaining trust in your new bearded dragon.

If you hand feed a new beardie, I suggest that you come in from a horizontal angle. Do not come from the above because this could threaten the stressed reptile.

As I’ve said, be patient. If you do it right, your new beardie will be fine sooner. The number of days a bearded dragon may suffer from relocation stress is totally depending on the reptile. As mentioned, every dragon is different.

Relocation Stress and Not Eating

Stress affects the beardies’ health in many ways. One of the most common results is the loss of appetite. Most bearded dragons don’t eat while suffering from relocation stress.

In my experience, it is normal for beardies under stress to not eat for several days. As long as they are active they are fine. Just make sure that you provide your beardies’ needs such as foods and appropriate lighting and habitat conditions.

However, if your bearded dragon is not eating for weeks, it might be a different story. Bring him/her to a vet immediately.

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Possible Relocation Stress Behaviors in Bearded Dragons

Bearded dragons show many odd behaviors when they are stressed. The possible relocation stress behaviors I saw in my beardies are:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Less active physically
  • Darkening or darker coloration
  • Not basking or seemed to difficulty relaxing
  • Clawing the sides of the tank

Relocation Stress and Not Pooping

Sometimes a beardie that is undergoing relocation stress might poop regularly. My beardie before did not poop for two weeks. But there were no further health issues that occurred.

If this is the case in your beardie, you can help him/her poop by feeding plain canned pumpkin. Just add a few drops of vegetable oil. This will help him/her defecate. A warm soak will also help.

However, it is also important to check the sign of impaction though. Impaction is a different story and a more dangerous one. To check, just hold your beardie and feel his/her belly. Look for hard area. If you found some, I recommend that you bring him/her to the vet.

Related Article: Bearded Dragon Sunken Eyes: Causes and Treatments

Final Thoughts on Bearded Dragon Relocation Stress

Bearded dragons are prone to relocation stress. And when beardies are stressed, they will show several behavioral issues. Not only that, but stress could also potentially cause health issues in beardies as well.

Fortunately, there are ways you can apply to help your beardies regain good health. The tips shared in this post are good examples. With a little bit of patience, you will be able to deal with it and help your beardies back in shape.

I hope this helps. Thank you very much for your time spent reading this post.

Related Questions

How do you calm a stressed bearded dragon?

There are many ways you can use to calm a bearded dragon. One of which is stroking his head gently while you’re holding him. He will likely close his eyes and calm down. But make sure that his mouth won’t reach your hand.

What happens when a bearded dragon gets stressed?

When bearded dragons get stressed, they show some stress marks which involve dark markings on their belly or chins. But it will fade and go back to normal color once beardies feel good again.

Do bearded dragons get stressed easily?

It depends. Every bearded dragon is different. There are some that could get stressed easily.

Robinson

I am a teacher, researcher, blogger, gardener, and animal lover.

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