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Why Do Bearded Dragons Puff Up? Best 5+ Reasons! (Answered)

Bearded Dragons are adorable (in my opinion) and something that is a bit scary is when they puff up

Why do bearded dragons puff up?

Figuring it out is hard because it can be many things

This whole article will be answering that question for you so please read below to find out why bearded dragons puff their beards

Also, check this article out if you’re new to bearded dragons

Why Do Bearded Dragons Puff Up

Bearded dragons puff up their beards for many different reasons and they can range from being stressed and feeling intimidated to trying to be attractive to the opposite sex

If you’ve owned your bearded dragon for a long period of time you will notice that most of the time they are cool and chill (at least the ones I have owned have been)

When you see your bearded dragon puffing up it can be startling

There’s no concern to bring them to the vet right away and get all stressed out

usually, the reasoning can be quickly found and changed

Another Reason Why a Bearded Dragon will Puff Is Stress

This is a major factor in why your bearded dragon may be puffing up

My bearded dragon used to get really stressed out when he was a baby bearded dragon. Because i was a new bearded dragon owner i was confused lol.

You could probably imagine my surprise when i first saw this. I thought my bearded dragon was crazy

Baby bearded dragons tend to get stressed a lot easier than their adult counterparts

They actually do this puffing up action to ward off anything that they feel poses a threat to them

Something you need to distinguish is, is there black in their beard? usually when they are actually stressed they show black in their beard

Because a puffy beard without the black can be a sign of happiness!

This is what messed with me when I first brought home my beardie

it took me a lot longer than I’m willing to admit to knowing the difference between the two

When I first brought him home he was stressed and then as he got to know me he wasn’t but he was still puffing his beard

it threw me for a loop because I thought he was unhappy

They will stop puffing up the more comfortable they are with you

They will also start acting much more “chill” and calm when they are used to the sound of your voice

It’s the same thing with humans too

as we grow up we get familiar with the sound of our parent’s voices and we become more comfortable and happy

why do bearded dragons puff up? (normal beardie)

When bringing a new bearded dragon home make sure you have the best habitat for them to use

IF the substrate is not right, if the temperature isn’t right, or if the lighting is off your bearded dragon can experience stress

Sometimes food is going to stress your bearded dragon out. Its a very easy thing to cause but over time they will grow to trust you

The fastest way to bond with your bearded dragon to avoid stress is to simply be around them often

Give them some space too, don’t be there 24/7 but don’t be so absent they get scared whenever you are around

When you are around them try not to speak loudly or in a manner that is threatening

They will think you’re a predator and they will take much longer to bond with you

Something i’ve noticed over the years

It can take quite a bit of time for bearded dragons to trust you, its never an exact science. Don’t lose patience when you first bring them home

Just remember Bearded dragons puff up because they want to appear bigger and more threatening

It’s not always an indication of them wanting to hurt you

Bearded dragons will show stress around other bearded dragons or reptiles as well

Bearded dragons can be hostile towards other reptiles so try to have them isolated

If you notice that a certain part of your room causes them to stress out a lot try moving them

a friend of mine had to move his beardie right out of the basement because something down there was messing with his stress levels

as soon as he moved him out he was completely fine

The same friend of mine has many different pets and he has a dedicated room where all his dogs sleep

The beardie didn’t go into that room because large animals will spook your beardie as well

They might actually bite

this can happen on more rare occasions but you should be aware that it can happen

Bearded dragon bites don’t hurt THAT bad but they can draw a little blood if they get you right

The key to getting them to trust you quickly is by spending around 20 minutes with them per day

when you pick them up just be gentle and go slow

lower yourself down to their level with your hands because if you come from above them they will think you’re a predator

do this until they fully trust you

Bearded Dragons Puff For mating

Another reason why your bearded dragon might be puffing up their beards is the fact they are trying to attract a mate.

puffing up their beards is something they do in order to look more attractive to the opposite sex.

They will try to appear bigger and more dominant so the females will submit to them and mate

It’s not just male bearded dragons that puff up their necks. Females do it too! but the males are usually the ones who do it more often

Puffing up means multiple things for bearded dragons and sometimes it’s just a flexing of the muscles 🙂

Why do bearded dragon puff up when they are eating?

In the wild bearded dragons need to make a little extra room because food is hard to come by

Bearded dragons are also used to not drinking water for long periods of time as well

Although this is really only a theory it does make sense in my opinion

IF they continue to puff up when they eat, reduce the amount of food you give him in once sitting and see if he continues to puff up

My bearded dragon used to do this all the time and he stopped once I gave him smaller meals

Another reason why your bearded dragon would puff up is that they want to appear bigger than their prey and scare off their predators

I’ve seen my bearded dragon do this with crickets in his cage

He will puff up and look a lot scarier and run around the cage catching crickets

Why does your bearded dragon puff up when bathing?

Sometimes bearded dragons will puff up during bath time

If the water during bath time is too high they wont like it

Bearded dragons will puff up to help them float in the water if it’s too deep for them

Make sure they don’t sit in water that is above their shoulders or they could drown from taking in too much water

Why do bearded dragons puff up while basking in light?

Sometimes they aren’t actually puffing up it’s more like they are lying flat

it would appear they are puffing outwards but they are flattening themselves out to absorb more light

Make sure you check out if their beards are actually black when they puff as well which is going to be a clear sign of being upset

Your Bearded Dragon is getting ready to shed

New Bearded Dragon owners are surprised by this because they haven’t seen their bearded dragon shed yet

Sometimes bearded dragons will shed in order to loosen up the skin to make the shedding process easier

Not every bearded dragon is going to do this but they will sometimes do this in a predictable routine

make sure you pay close attention to see when that happens

if they start puffing and then some skin starts coming loose and this is the only time they puff up it’s a good indication that they are doing this to help them shed better

Why do bearded dragons puff up when happy?

Your Bearded dragon will sometimes puff up out of pure excitement

My beardie used to puff up all the time and they were actually just happy it was time to eat…

This can be quite confusing because there are many reasons for a puff up and they can be negative but think about it like when a dog is excited they will run and jump around

It’s hard to contain exciting energy

children jump and run around when they’re excited and happy

Bearded dragons do the same thing

Sometimes they will be happy just to see you and be around you

Don”t be too worried if you see this happening often

Your Baby Bearded Dragon will puff up more often

Why do baby bearded dragons puff up? well they are young and have very little experience when it comes to big things around them

They are not used to their environment or you yet so all you need to do is give them some time and they will be OK

One thing you can do is make sure their tank is much like a natural habitat

The more natural it is the better off you’re going to be

Male and females bearded dragons will both puff up as babies. Sometimes news owners are trying to figure out if their beaded dragon is being aggressive because it’s a male or female


If you notice your bearded dragon puffing up their beards. its alright. There’s no reason to freak out when you see them puffing up unless you notice it happening consistency

Now if you notice a consitent puffing bearded dragon make sure you check the environment around themsomething could be triggering them. It could be a stuffed animal even. Sometimes moving them to a different room will help out