We understand that the process of bearded dragon brumation may make novice owners of bearded dragons baffled.
We also think they may feel confused, considering that brumation has similarities to the concept of the hibernation of mammals.
In this online discussion, we detailed the concept of the brumation of bearded dragons.
We also elaborated on how reptile enthusiasts can facilitate a wholesome and easy time, making their pets healthy and comfortable throughout the natural brumation process.
Understanding the Concept of Brumation Vs. Hibernation
Brumation is the reptile equivalent of the hibernation of mammals.
As cold-blooded reptiles, bearded dragons undergo this natural process.
Brumation happens for these animals during the winter months, both in captivity and the wild. Bearded dragons sleep for long periods and spend a lot of time awake.
Additionally, they will tremendously diminish movement to conserve energy.
Bearded dragons need to stay hydrated during brumation, making them seek dew or other liquid sources when in the wild.
We want to clarify that bearded dragon brumation is similar to the hibernation of mammals as the latter also fall asleep during the winter months, but deeply unlike bearded dragons.
Mammals neither eat, drink nor wake up.
They will completely depend on their fat stores to supply themselves with nutrients until food is readily available again and the weather has picked up.
Explaining Winter as the Time for Brumation
Bearded dragons brumate during the winter when daylight hours get shorter, and the sun’s rays become weaker.
In the wild, this period is when it is difficult for these reptiles to digest their food as they require the right warm temperature from the sun.
Furthermore, the winter months are when food is extremely hard to find in the wild as most insects have perished with any vegetation.
Over these lean months, bearded dragons possess survival instincts that tell them to brumate.
They will usually burrow and stay in a hole until they feel it is time to hydrate or there is no longer a need to brumate.
Bearded dragons brumate in the wild until springtime when food becomes abundant again, and they get longer daytime hours and exposure to warm sunlight
The brumation period for bearded dragons can last for about three weeks up to four months long.
These animals can brumate for a shorter period while in captivity, which is the owner’s home, as temperatures in this location are generally warmer than in the wild.
Bearded dragons can undergo brumation at any age.
The typical is at least 10 to 12 months old when these animals’ growth has slowed down, and they become adults.
As their metabolism decelerates, they will also start to store fat and fill it out in stature.
Bearded dragons can utilize their body fat as drip-feed during brumation when they do not consume food for several weeks or months.
5 Common Signs Bearded Dragons Are Preparing for Brumation
Bearded dragons usually display behaviors that indicate they are about to go into brumation.
We included these details in this article because we believe owners will understand what they can expect and get ready.
These are the five tell-tale indicators bearded dragon owners should look out for:
- Decreased appetite
Before the bearded dragon brumation period, a bearded dragon usually eats less or may even refuse food. This common sign that the reptile is preparing to go into brumation is noticeable.
- Diminished bowel movements
Since bearded dragons eat less when they are about to brumate, they consequently excrete less body waste.
- Sluggish movement
Bearded dragons usually move slowly before brumation. This behavior is often associated with more time hiding, less basking, and diminished appetite, and, therefore, decreased and slow movement.
- Frequent sleeping and earlier bedtimes
Bearded dragons preparing to brumate typically sleep more frequently throughout the day and often for short periods.
Plus, they desire to sleep earlier during the evening. This sleeping schedule could be 30 minutes or even one hour earlier than usual.
- Frequent hiding
Bearded dragon brumation involves the reptiles performing their actions in the wild similarly when they are in captivity.
Hence, they usually spend more time in caves, hides, or other decors in their tank when they are about to brumate.
Moreover, bearded dragons will typically bury themselves in captivity, similar to when they are in the wild.
This behavior during the days leading to the brumation period enables them to regulate and aid their body temperature and feel comfortable and safe as they sleep in cold environments.
Besides learning these five significant brumation signs bearded dragons exhibit and owners and enthusiasts should monitor, we believe it is also important that pet owners know what to do before, during, and after this natural event.
Tips on How to Care for Bearded Dragons during the Entire Brumation Period
New bearded dragon owners should understand that the brumation process involves providing their pets an experience that they encounter in the wild. Understanding the following steps owners need to perform before, during, and after brumation can keep their pets healthy and comfortable:
- Have the bearded dragon checked by a veterinarian.
This step ensures that the reptile pet is free from any illness, infection, or parasites that can cause complications during the brumation period. It also makes sure the bearded dragon is in sound health condition.
- Bathe the bearded dragon.
This step will make the reptile feel refreshed. Owners can also ensure they do not disturb their pets while brumating.
DURING BEARDED DRAGON BRUMATION
- Provide the bearded dragon with a high-quality substrate and hide.
Substrates let bearded dragons dig their little cave or hole where they can rest and bury themselves and regulate their body temperature. Plus, giving these pets a hide enables them to have a place to retreat while brumating.
We recommend a hide that is sizable enough for the reptiles, enabling them to regulate their body temperature and fit their entire body under to feel cozy and safe.
- Supply the reptile with fresh water.
Bearded dragons need fresh water during the entire brumation period. Having daily fresh water intake will ensure they are wholesome.
- Gradually decrease the temperature and light in the tank.
It is healthy for bearded dragons to have ultraviolet B or UVB light, and heat slowly decreased. In this way, owners can ensure their pets have already completely digested the food they consumed.
Moreover, this step replicates what the bearded dragons experience in the wild. Cutting the light and temperature gradually is how it is like in these reptiles’ habitats in the wild when the sun’s rays get weaker and daylight hours get shorter throughout the winter.
- Bathe the brumating bearded dragon.
Bathing through a 20 to 30-minute soak is immensely helpful for bearded dragons during brumation, especially if they are not drinking. Hence, we recommend owners bathe their pets every seven to ten days to boost their hydration.
Furthermore, they should dry their bearded dragons thoroughly. In this way, health problems like fungal infections caused by wet areas will not trouble the reptiles.
- Give the bearded dragon fresh water.
Supplying these pets with water similarly when they are brumating is important. This step helps them get re-hydrated.
- Gradually turn on the lighting and heat in the tank again.
Bearded dragon brumation involves replicating what these reptiles experience in the wild. After this period, bearded dragons will wake and gradually demand food.
Hence, owners need to slowly get the tank’s temperature back to normal and the UVB light back on.
- Refresh the bearded dragon with a bath.
Bathing bearded dragons regularly during brumation is equally important as after this natural process. These animals will then feel refreshed.
Drying them properly is also significant to prevent fungal problems.
We suggest placing the bearded dragon under the basking lamp so they can enjoy a proper drying spell.
- Gradually feed bearded dragons with fresh vegetables.
After brumation, it may take several days for bearded dragons to regain their full appetite.
Providing them with fresh vegetables will help them when they feel hungry.
Bearded dragon brumation is a natural process that these reptiles inevitably undergo.
Their activities during this peaceful time are usually less, and we remind owners that they are the ones with more things to do for their pets.
We highly recommend our readers follow the steps discussed in this article.
Learning about bearded dragon brumation can help owners keep their pets healthy and trouble-free.
After all, these pet owners can mimic their bearded dragon’s habitat in the wild the best they can, giving their pets the optimal brumation experiences possible.
Summary, FAQ’s and stuff you might not know
Bearded dragon brumation is a strange thing when you first hear it but its quite similar to hibernation.
During bearded dragon brumation times they will eat and drink less. They will be far less active and they will not want to be held much
You can actually shut the lights and heat off during this period. I had a friend that did this and it worked out just fine
They don’t require a whole lot of care during this period of time so you can relax yourself