If you are new to caring bearded dragons, there might be a million questions that have come across your mind. A few days ago, for instance, one of my readers asked me whether do bearded dragons fart.
It sounds a funny question but it is a legit one. Virtually all animals do fart.
So, can bearded dragons fart too?
Well, yes. Bearded dragons do fart at some point. Most of the time it happens during or after pooping. And there is nothing to worry about. Farting is pretty normal for lizards.
Bearded dragons tend to fart less frequently compared to other animals. Like other mammals, farting is a biological process wherein the body releases the gas. This gas is produced by the bacteria in the intestine the reason why a fart is quite smelly.
Fart is also the byproduct of digestion. As the food digested in the stomach or intestine, it produces intestinal gas. This gas should be released from the body either in a burp or fart form. In other words, farting is a normal biological process that a body must undergo.
But do bearded dragons’ body undergo the same process too?
In this post, I will share some causes and factors that could prevent this normal process to occur.
Can Bearded Dragons Fart?
Yes, bearded dragons do fart. However, healthy beardies fart less than those with an unhealthy gastrointestinal tract.
This means that, if your bearded dragons fart frequently some bacteria may be residing in the intestine.
But whatever the case, bearded dragons fart to release the gas from the intestine. There are two main reasons as to why beardies fart:
1. To excrete the trapped air when swallowing the food.
Like virtually all animals, eating food may accompany air during the entire process. That air is composed of nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and oxygen. These gasses will, later on, make up the exogenous air that needed to be released.
2. To excrete the trapped air during the digestive process.
Although chewing and swallowing are the starting steps of digestion, the final digestion happens in the intestine. This whole intestinal process will produce endogenous gas that is mainly composed of oxygen, methane, and other gasses. These gasses are the reasons why fart is smelly.
The reason why many people ask this is that bearded dragons don’t fart too often especially the healthy ones.
But this biological occurrence is normal and happens to almost all animals. If you are looking for hard evidence, you can find videos online that show that farting in lizard pets is true.
Finally, lizards fart less frequently than humans. Because beardies are smaller, they tend to have less amount of gas, therefore, they fart less than bigger animals.
What Factors Cause Farting in Bearded Dragons?
Farting is a natural biological occurrence. As mentioned, almost all animals fart at some point. Some fart more than others. Healthy animals for instance fart less. But what actually are the factors that cause this process?
Well, it has something to do with the food or diet of the animal and the bacteria in the gut. These two factors mainly the reason why animals including bearded dragons fart.
In terms of diet, animals can be grouped into three main categories:
Many animals are carnivores including some lizards. They mainly eat live animals and insects such as spiders, ants, termites. Cicadas, small mammals, and sometimes small lizards too.
These foods don’t produce much gas in the gut when consumed. Therefore, animals in this category do not fart as often as the other animals in other category.
Omnivores animals or lizards eat both plants and animals. They eat live prey and a variety of fruits and vegetables. Bearded dragons belong to this category.
The important thing to remember here is that fruits and vegetables are fiber and starch-rich foods. These foods often produce gas when ingested. Therefore, the more fruits and vegetables are consumed the more gas is produced in the gut which in turn results in a gas release or farting.
There are animals that rely heavily on vegetables or greens as their main food sources. The number one example of this is a marine iguana. They eat algae available in the sea.
Because animals of this kind eat more fiber and starch, they tend to fart more than those in those previous two categories.
However, this does not mean that the carnivores don’t fart at all. Remember that carnivores eat animals that eat fibers and starch too. Somehow, they get the fart causing materials from the animals they eat.
Bearded dragons are omnivores. They eat a balanced diet between fruits, vegetables, and live insects. So they fart more than their carnivore relatives do.
The consumption of live insects though is more frequent among baby and juvenile bearded dragons. They tend to eat more live feeders than fruits and vegetables. This is because they need more protein for their speedy growth.
The adult or older bearded dragons, on the other hand, eat fewer insects and more nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables.
This might be the reason why farting most likely happens in adult bearded dragons. This is true with my bearded dragon too. I did not hear Sam farting until he reached adulthood when he eats more greens than insects.
But still, because bearded dragons are omnivores, they don’t fart that much compared to other animals or humans. In most cases, farting happens before and during pooping.
What Are the Factors that Prevent Farting?
If there are factors that promote farting, surely, there are also factors that prevent it from happening.
Although bearded consume a considerable amount of fiber-rich foods (especially the adult beardies), there are times when they don’t fart at all. If you are a pet owner, this should concern you.
As mentioned, farting is a normal biological occurrence. If it is withheld for some reason, it is not good. In fact, it is painful for bearded dragons and for animals that normally release gas.
Unfortunately, for bearded dragons, the main reason that prevents them from farting is constipation. When this happens, your beardy will not fart and can experience abdominal pain as a result of bloating due to the gas build up in the intestine. Again, this is painful.
And one of the causes of constipation is impaction. This happens when the hard ingested food blocked the intestinal tract. This is a serious condition that needs to be addressed as soon as possible. If not treated immediately, this could cause the death of your bearded dragon.
There are many factors that could cause impaction. Some of them are listed below.
Dehydration or the lack of water is one of the leading causes of impaction and constipation. As pet owners, you must see to it that your beardies get enough water.
In the wild, lizards usually drink from greens’ dew in the morning. If you are caring for them at home, you can give them water in the shallow bowl. Don’t forget to change the water every day to keep it clean.
Bearded dragons don’t drink much water from a stagnant source. They love moving water instead. A fountain is a good water source for them. Or if you want, you can provide water dispenser for bearded dragons (click here to view this product on Amazon).
Misting will also help them stay hydrated. With a water spray, mist them so that they can lick the water droplets from their body.
There is a misconception going on that bearded dragons’ bodies can absorb water. It is not actually true. Beardies can only drink water through their vents.
2. Imbalanced Diet
Because bearded dragons are omnivores, they eat insects and greens. However, their diet is dependent on their age.
For instance, baby or juvenile bearded dragons eat more insects than fruits and vegetables. This is because they need more protein to support their speedy growth.
But as they grow, the dietary content may also change. From insects, they will eat more and more fruits and vegetables that are high in nutrients.
If you are a bearded dragon owner, you should pay attention to this change in their diet.
Baby or juvenile bearded dragons should consume about 70-80% insects and only 20-30% greens.
When they reach adulthood, you can then reverse the diet and give them 70-80% greens and only 20-30% insects.
You just need to remember that omnivores need both greens and insects in their diet. But the amount should vary in accordance with their age.
Don’t give your bearded dragon a consistent insectivorous diet or vegetarian diet and vice versa. It should always be a balanced combination.
You must ensure that your bearded dragons get enough protein and nutrients for their good health.
Parasites could also contribute to digestive issues. There are many types of parasites that could harm your bearded dragons’ health. The most common parasites are tapeworm and roundworm. These can block the intestinal tract and cause impaction.
This can be detected in the beardies’ poop. If you notice this issue, consult a vet immediately to fix the issue as early as possible.
4. Loose or Poor Quality Substrate
If you are using sand, gravel, or pellets, you need to be careful. These materials not are good as substrate. They can be accidentally swallowed by bearded dragons and could also cause digestive issues including impaction.
Because it is solid, there will be no loose pieces and therefore safe for beardies. I found no issues using Astroturf for years.
Final Thoughts on Can Bearded Dragons Fart
Can bearded dragons fart? Absolutely. Farting is a natural biological occurrence that happens to most animals.
There are many factors why beardies fart. The most common factors are the diet and the air deposited in the digestive system during food digestion.
Fiber and starch-rich foods generate more gas that will in turn result in a fart. Farting is also the result of the accumulated air during eating. Those trapped gas will excrete through the anus as a fart.
Because farting is a natural and healthy process, the absence of it may be indicative of health issues.
For instance, bearded dragons won’t fart when they are suffering from impaction or constipation. Neither condition is healthy. Bearded dragons with constipation or impaction may suffer abdominal pain.
These issues should be addressed as early as possible. Your bearded dragon could die when left untreated.
Prevention is the best practice. Give your beardies enough water so that they can avoid constipation or compaction.
Don’t use loose or poor substrate such as sand and gravel. These materials can be accidentally ingested which in turn causes impaction.
I hope this helps. To learn more about bearded dragons, feel free to visit my guide here.