Why Is My Bearded Dragon Hiding?

While Bearded Dragons are known for being friendly and easy to care for, sometimes their behavior can be difficult to understand.

It’s natural for Bearded Dragons to spend some time in their hide spot, but if they’re spending all day in there, there could be a problem. 

In this article, we’ll explore the top 8 reasons why your Bearded Dragon is hiding and what you can do to help.

8 Reasons Your Bearded Dragon Is Hiding

#1. Too Hot

Bearded Dragons are ectotherms, requiring external heat sources to regulate their internal temperature. We set up a temperature gradient within their habitat to assist in this process. 

A lot of the time if your beardie has spent time basking under the heat bulb, they’ll be trying to cool off.

Alternatively, if you have concerns, you can check the temperature and humidity levels with Zoo Meds Digital Thermometer to ensure the heat within the enclosure isn’t too much for your beardie.

Here is a graphic identifying the correct temperature gradients you’ll require depending on your pet’s age;

#2. The lighting Is Too Bright

Having UVA and UVB bulbs in your Bearded Dragon’s habitat is crucial to their overall health, however, if it’s set up incorrectly it could be hazardous to their health.

You’ll need to consider the position of your bulbs, I have a thorough guide on how to set up Bearded Dragon lighting here.

Signs the lighting is affecting your Bearded Dragon;

  • In their hide spot
  • Basking with eyes closed
  • Burying their head in the substrate

Remember to always read the manufacturer’s recommendation on replacing the lighting and positioning it in the correct manner.

#3. Post Enrichment Exhaustion

If you have recently had your beardie out of their enclosure playing, swimming, or even giving them a bath, they could be tired from the activity and could just need a rest.

It’s not uncommon for Bearded Dragons to take a nap during the day in their hide spot, however, it isn’t normal behavior for them to sleep in there all day unless they’re brumating. 

If your beardie is in its hide spot for longer than a day, I recommend seeking the advice of a veterinarian.

#4. Safe Place

In the wild, Bearded Dragons will have a safe place they’ll use to sleep in and to avoid predators. It’s more commonly used by young Bearded Dragons but is not uncommon for adults to utilize a safe spot as well.

I recommend checking the surrounding areas of your beardies habitat to ensure no objects or other pets are imitating predatorial behaviors.

If your Bearded Dragon has recently been placed in a new environment, it will use a safe spot regularly over a 7 day period until they become comfortable in its new surroundings. 

During this time, I recommend giving your beardie space and not crowding them. Only provide the necessary interactions such as food, water, and welfare checks.

#5. Shedding

When Bearded Dragons are going through the shedding process, they’re likely to rub against rough surfaces in their enclosure, which usually is the hide spots as they’re vulnerable when shedding so want to avoid predators whilst scratching off the dead skin.

Once your beardie has completed shedding, it’ll return to normal behavior and come out of the hide spot.

#6. Brumation

Brumation is the reptilian form of hibernation, not all Bearded Dragons will brumate and it is possible to prevent the brumation process by manipulating the heating and lighting.

Consult your veterinarian for instructions on how to prevent your Bearded Dragons brumation process safely and correctly.

During the brumation, your beardie will settle down in its hide spot for extended periods of time, and not be too interested in eating or drinking. They’ll spend most of their time sleeping.

You should still offer food to your beardie during brumation but don’t be surprised if you return and it hasn’t been eaten. If this is the case, clean out the old food without disturbing your pet as best as possible.

If you suspect the brumation process is starting, I recommend consulting your vet just to be sure as some illnesses can look the same. It’s better to be safe than sorry when your pets welfare is involved.

#7. Illness

If your Bearded Dragon has fallen sick it will most likely go into its hide spot, however, this isn’t the only warning sign your beardie will be unwell. 

If they’re exhibiting behaviors such as;

  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Abnormal respiratory function (bubbling sounds when breathing)
  • Abnormalities in defecation

As well as constantly in their hide spot, consult your veterinarian immediately for expert advice and treatment.

#8. Cohabitation

If you have more than one Bearded Dragon within the enclosure, they could be in the hide spot to seek refuge and safety. 

I advise against cohabitation because Bearded Dragons’ territorial traits can be hazardous to one or all beardies within the enclosure.

The weaker of the beardies will lose fights for food, the basking spot, and UV exposure causing inevitable illness in your beardie. 

The only time cohabitation is necessary is for emergency temporary arrangements or breeding purposes.

Do Bearded Dragons Need Hiding Spots?

Yes is the answer, we want to provide as much of a natural habitat as we can for our Bearded Dragons. In the wild, they’ll look for comfortable and well-covered areas to sleep in and avoid predators. 

When picking a hide for your pet, you’ll want one to completely cover your beardie, if your hide doesn’t do this, your beardie will not be comfortable when in there and will become stressed.

When To Contact The Vet

You should contact your vet if your Bearded Dragon spends all day or multiple days in their hide spot. They’ll provide you with everything you need to know from information to prescribed treatments if necessary.

If you ever have concerns about your pet, you should contact your vet to be on the safe side.

Please note: Even though we’ve extensively researched credible sources to provide you with the best information, what you’ve read should only be used as a guide. We’re not professionals with lab coats and clipboards. Always consult a professional if you have concerns about your reptile’s health.

Summary

Bearded Dragons tend to be dramatic when wanting to go in their hides, but it’s completely normal. The main cause for concern is when it’s for an extended period of time or if they’re showing abnormal signs such as;

  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Abnormal breathing function
  • Abnormalities in defecation

Please note: Even though we’ve extensively researched credible sources to provide you with the best information, what you’ve read should only be used as a guide. We’re not professionals with lab coats and clipboards. Always consult a professional if you have concerns about your reptile’s health.