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How Long Can a Bearded Dragon Go Without Heat?

How Long Can a Bearded Dragon Go Without Heat? is a common question so we did an article for you.

Bearded Dragons are cold-blooded like other reptiles and require specific heat in order to survive and thrive.

How Long Can a Bearded Dragon Go Without Heat

How long can a bearded dragon go without heat?

Bearded dragons can’t survive for very long without the proper heat.

Bearded dragons can survive for about a full day or 24 hours without heat. The temperature needs to be around between 65 – 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

If the heat goes too low they will literally stop moving and their digestive system will completely slow down. Bearded dragons need heat in order to digest food correctly. I personally use a ceramic heater to give my bearded dragon heat but you can use a UVB bulb as well.

What is the lowest temperature a bearded dragon can survive?

Bearded dragons can’t survive long if the temp falls below 65 degrees Farhenheit for too long. there are a few things to note though.

If the power goes out you should be thinking about how you can keep your bearded dragon warm as their heater won’t work obviously.

This is what your ideal tank temperatures should look like

Bearded dragon temperature gradient

If they do get cold and then warmed up again you may notice they don’t want to eat very much. Just give them some time. They won’t want to eat at all if it drops too low to conserve energy.

Can a bearded dragon die if it gets too cold?

yes, they can. They will stop moving around to conserve energy but in doing so they will stop digesting food. When that happens they will eventually die.

It can take a little while until things get that grim. You’re looking at about 2 to 3 days. If you go on a trip or something make sure to have someone come over and check on your bearded dragon. They should be checking the food, water, and temperature as you do.


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The air temperature range you want is 75-85° F with basking spots of 90-95° F.

Why exactly do bearded dragons need heat?

I’ve mentioned this before but it’s a popular question. Cold-blooded animals need heat to regular their own body temperature. They use the external world to help them internally.

You will notice your beardie moving back and forth through their tank ( as long as you have it set up like a gradient) so that they can live. This is something they would do in the wild. They will hunt for food and then after that lie flat in the sun.

When a bearded dragon is lying flat they are trying to be as big as possible so they can absorb as much sun as possible.

Take a screenshot of the temperature gradient you need and use that as a reference.

They need to digest food

Bearded dragons use heat to help them digest food. The heat promotes the bacteria in the beardies’ gut to move digestion along. If you happen to notice they haven’t been pooping as they should they may be constipated. One of the best things to do in this situation is to give them a warm bath and rub their tummy area.

Some signs of indigestion are

  • lethargic behavior
  • slow movement
  • reduced appetite
  • regurgitating food (spitting up)
  • hanging out around the heat source
How Long Can a Bearded Dragon Go Without Heat?
How Long Can a Bearded Dragon Go Without Heat?

You will catch your bearded dragon lying in its basking spot after they eat quite often. They instinctually know when to do this and when to move to the cooler side of the tank.

In the wild bearded dragons will spend most of their time hunting and resting really and running from predators.

Your heating areas should be checked regularly. Bearded dragons know when there isn’t enough heat. They will often change their behavior. During my daily spot checks and cleaning, I will check to make sure everything is working. Every month I do a deep clean of their tank as well and you can check during that time as well.

Check out this cute video

Absorbing calcium

Bearded dragons need a healthy amount of calcium in their diet to avoid certain diseases like MBD (metabolic bone disease).

Since their digestion relies on the heat they will need that heat in order to get the vitamins and minerals they need. If your bearded dragon is not getting enough calcium it could be because of the lack of heat in its tank. The temperatures should be good during your checks.

Low-calcium bearded dragons will show like this

  • low appetite
  • MBD (metabolic bone disease)
  • Swollen joints
  • poorly formed bones
  • lethargic behavior
  • sluggishness
  • reduced movement or care

When your bearded dragon is healthy it will move around. my bearded dragon has a lot of energy so it will move around a whole lot.

One thing I do and many owners do is dust their bearded dragon’s food when they feed them. This is one surefire way to make sure your bearded dragon is getting enough food. Funny enough you can easily tell the health of your bearded dragon by its poop.

Body Temperature regulation

I know I said this earlier but I want to go a little deeper here.

Bearded dragons and cold-blooded animals can’t regular their temperature like warm-blooded animals can. Us humans can do this all on our own. yes, it can be too cold or too hot but our body will try to adapt to it through homeostasis. Bearded dragons need a certain temperature to just digest their food properly.

This is why they are going to thrive in certain areas. bearded dragons are native to Australia which is perfect for their heat needs.

You may find that your beardie can’t regulate its temperature easily you need to check your thermometer. Make sure it’s not defective. I always have a spare one lying around just in case.

During the winter your bearded dragon will have more sensitivity to this. They can enter into a state called Brumation.

When they do this they basically slow down like crazy. Some people think their beardies get sick or that something is wrong but they’ve just entered into brumation.

Things that cause brumation are when the sun starts to set earlier and earlier during the fall months and when they feel colder and colder. This is why temp control is really important with bulbs and heating pads.

Brumation is kind of like hibernation.

What to do if the power goes out – How to keep your bearded dragon warm during a power outage

If you aren’t ready for a power outage then it can be a bad time for your beardie. Bearded dragons need to be able to regulate their temperature with heat and obviously, without that heat, they can’t do it right.

GO OUTSIDE

The first thing to think about is where you are and whether is it warm enough outside. Check the temperature gradient above and see if it’s that warm even on the lowest end.

If it is you can bring them outside and that will warm them just fine. Just keep an eye on them and make sure they don’t run off.

Bringing them into the sun will also give them the perfect amount of vitamin D.

If you can’t go outside but you are near a window with the sun that can work too. Try to get them in the sun as much as possible.

Blankets

of course you can use blankets. Just make sure not to wrap it around too tight because it can suffocate them. i suggest using a thin blanket for them to use. Don’t use like 5 layers of blankets. 1 layer is enough. unless of course its the middle of winter and your house is starting to get really cold. You will begin to feel it.

Keep your bearded dragon on your body

you are warm so you can totoally keep them close to you. bearded dragons will warm up quick if you combine a blanket and keeping them on you to trap the heat.

You don’t have to hold them too tight either. some people get worried and think they need to cup them super tight. They aren’t going to die right away from being that cold. You can keep them pretty warm with just your body and a blanket.

One more thing to watch out for is its tail. If you’re too rough with im he could lose his tail. Just keep in mind to be gentle.

using a hot watter bottle.

This is an efficient method to heating your beared dragon. The best way to do it is by wrapping up the hot water bottle and then placing them near it. I have a friend that lost power with his beared dragon and it was cold outside. Middle of winter kind of cold.

He grabbed a shoe box and put the water botton in there. he didnt make it too hot though it was just warm enough to warm him up.

Is my bearded dragon too cold?

You may be wondering if your bearded dragon is too cold right now. Here are some signs

They aren’t moving much

Bearded dragons normally move around quite a bit. If you notice them not moving around too much it’s a solid sign, they are too cold. They will normally stay near the warmest place in the tank they can find. So, if your basking area was just on it might take some time for it to cool off. You might see them hanging around there.

Their Skin temp is low

If they are cool to the touch, and they feel dry they are too cold. Just try to remember what they normally feel like when you hold them.