Do bearded dragons get bored? This may sound nothing more than trivia, but it is actually an important question. For many years of having beardies, I am pretty much familiar with their personalities and behaviors.
So, do bearded dragons get bored?
Yes, bearded dragons can get bored. The reason for this I believe is the fewer physical activities they have in captivity. In the wild, they enjoy hunting and running away from predators. These things are missing in their artificial habitat.
We, humans, can become bored when we are not physically active. This is true in beardies too. In the wild, I believe that boredom is less likely to happen due to the many activities they engage in.
In captivity, it will be a very different story for them. In this post, I will share with you some of the reasons that commonly cause boredom to bearded dragons.
Common Causes of Boredom in Captive Bearded Dragons
Bearded dragons are accustomed to roaming in the wild. They had a wide range of fields to explore and hunt. But in captivity, their world is too small that restrains them from moving freely.
Aside from the limited area to enjoy, there are other contributing factors to boredom that most bearded dragon owners are not aware of. I listed below some of the things you need to remember to minimize your beardies’ boredom.
1. Appropriate Tank Size
One of the causes of boredom in bearded dragons is the small tank size. It is very important to consider the size of the dragon and its habitat. Baby and juvenile beardies do not need more space. But as they get bigger and hit adulthood, you need to get a bigger tank.
Small tank restrains beardies’ movement which means there will be not enough space for them to stroll. This alone can cause feelings of being stuck in a small place. Beardies in this environment will more likely be more prone to boredom.
That said, always consider the size of your reptile. Their habitat should match their size. This can be challenging and difficult if you are a beginner. But don’t worry, I have constructed a table below that indicates the tank requirement of beardies with regard to their age and size.
Bearded Dragons’ Tank Size According to Age and Length
|Beardies’ Age||Length||Recommended Tank Size|
|2 months||5”-9”||20-40 gallons|
|3 months||8”-11”||20-40 gallons|
|4 months||9”-12”||40-75 gallons|
|5 months||11”-16”||40-75 gallons|
|6 months||11”-18”||50-75 gallons|
|8 months||13”-20”||50-75 gallons|
|12+ months||16”-24”||75-120 gallons|
As you can see, as the age and length of bearded dragons progress, the size of their tank also gets bigger. Thus bigger beardies need a bigger tank. The main reason for this is to provide them enough space to roam and explore.
2. Wrong Tank Accessories
Choosing and putting the right tank accessories is also very important. Inside the tank should somehow resonate with the ambiance in the wild. A setup like this will help beardies remain happy and lively and less likely to become bored.
This is another challenge for beardie owners, especially for beginners. I was in that same situation. I had no idea what to put in the tank to keep my beardies interested in their little environment.
If you just give your beardie a plain tank with a drinking and eating bowl and a basking rock, it is too boring for bearded dragons. There is a high chance that the reptile will lose interest in his/her habitat.
The best thing you can do is to add more stuff inside such as hides, plants, and rocks. These materials are common in the wild. Your bearded dragon will love this setup. As mentioned, beardies’ artificial habitat should somehow provide a natural ambiance.
Activities You Can Do to Prevent Your Bearded Dragon from Getting Bored
The most common cause of boredom is the lack of physical activities. The reason why bearded dragons in captivity will get bored is that they have limited physical activities.
The best remedy is of course to allow your bearded dragon to engage in several activities. One good example of this is playing. Playing with your beardie will not only help your pet remain happy but also a good bonding between you and your pet.
But aside from playing, there are plenty of other physical activities you can give to your beardie. Below are the examples of activities you can implement to your reptile.
1. Taped Ball
The taped ball is one great example activity to stimulate your beardie. Tape a whiffle ball with insects inside and let the reptile get the insects. This will fun for you and for your beardie. Certainly, this is a great way to keep your beardie from getting bored.
But I have an important reminder. When you do this, make sure that it is just a short activity. This is because if he/she does not get the insect inside, beardie can get frustrated and potentially get stressed.
After the activity, give your beardie insects as rewards. This will help him ease the discomfort.
Giving your beardie a good swim in the bathtub is also a great way to eliminate his boredom. This will allow your reptile to experience air outside the tank which in turn relaxes him/her. All my beardies have swimming at least once a week.
But if you do this, make sure that you always keep an eye on your reptile while swimming. This is to make sure that everything goes in the right way.
3. Laser Pen
A laser pen is another great idea. It is fun and will certainly diminish boredom in your beardie by chasing the laser thinking it is food. But remember though that this activity can be frustrating and stressful to your beardie if he engaged in it for a long period of time. So I suggest that you only do it in a short period of time.
The best time to do this is before mealtime. After the game, make sure to feed your reptile his favorite food.
Walking with your beardie does not only provide good exercise but also fresh air. Aside from a great bonding activity, it will also healthy for you. Walking is actually the simplest and one of the most effective physical exercises to avoid boredom and to gain good health.
Make sure though that you use a harness (click here to view my recommended harness for bearded dragon on Amazon) to keep your beardie safe from getting strayed. If he gets lost, he might be in danger of eating unsafe insects. Or worse, you might not be able to locate him.
The hammock is a great addition to the beardies’ tank. My bearded dragons love being on the hammock (click here to view my recommended hammock for beardies on Amazon). They spend more time on it if you allow him/her. The hammock will definitely reduce the chance of boredom in your bearded dragon.
6. Insect Hunting
In the wild, insect hunting is undoubtedly one of the activities bearded dragons enjoy the most. It excites them and keeps them stimulated. The wild also provides them with a great source of live insects they can enjoy hunting anytime.
In captivity, however, this is not the case. Their place becomes small and prohibits them to do the things they used to in the wild.
However, as an owner, there are many things you can do to allow your beardie to enjoy the things they enjoyed in the wild. One of the best ways to do it is to allow your beardie to hunt insects in his/her tank.
What you can do is let some live insects loose in the tank and let your beardie chase for them. Trust me, this will stimulate your beardie. My bearded dragons enjoy hunting loose insects in their tanks.
However, you need to be careful when doing this. Make sure that no insects left uncaught. This is because loose insects can bite beardies which may in turn cause problems in bearded dragons.
Do Bearded Dragons Need Company to Prevent Them from Getting Bored?
Now that you know beardies can get bored, you might be thinking whether housing two bearded dragons can help prevent boredom. Well, the answer is no. Bearded dragons are solitary animals. This means that they don’t need a companion to make them happy and active.
In addition, housing two bearded dragons together will only result in trouble. Beardies will most likely fight each which most results in injuries and physical damages.
Bearded dragons housed in one tank will compete for food and basking space. The bad thing about this is that the smaller and weaker ones will usually get bullied. They also get the least amount of resources they need for their healthy growth.
I have written a full article about why you should not house two bearded dragons. Read the full article here.
Final Thoughts on Do Bearded Dragons Get Bored
Bearded dragons are accustomed to physical activities in the wild. They hunt and roam around. But in captivity, they have limited space that prohibits them from doing what they used to do in their natural habitat.
This is the main reason why they get bored sometimes. Fortunately, as an owner, there are plenty of activities you can implement in your beardies. All you need to do is to figure out what works well in your pet.
I hope this helps. Thank you for reading
Do bearded dragons like to be cuddled?
Most bearded dragons like to be cuddled. But there are others that don’t like to be touched. Instead, they love to be left alone. Every bearded dragon is different. So it is very important to take their individual personality into consideration.
Do bearded dragons demand a lot of attention?
No, bearded dragons don’t need a lot of attention as long as they have all their needs. What they need instead are appropriate tank size, temperature, food, and water. As long as their needs are satisfied, they will be okay without a lot of attention from their owners.