The rate at which every animal poops is relative. It depends on a variety of factors such as bad or good food choices, hydration, or simply nature. For bearded dragons, observing their poop is the best way to determine if they’re healthy and safe. This is because they are mostly asymptomatic to underlying illnesses or changes and as such, their poop is a potential tell-tale sign of the presence or absence of a health problem.
Once you discover an unfamiliar pooping sequence, the next thing to figure out is the reason for your discovery.
Healthy bearded dragons poop as much as their age requires them to. Adult bearded dragons can poop anything from 2 to 7 times weekly, and younger bearded dragons poop anything from twice daily, to 7 or 12 times a week.
In most cases, the frequency of a beardie’s poop isn’t the problem, but how the poop looks. If you’re a beginner, it can be a little tricky to point out; you might discover different forms of dragon poop suggesting several conclusions. However, it’s not a problem that a detailed article can’t help you through. Let’s get right into it!
How Frequently Do Healthy Beardies Poop?
To fully answer this question, we’d have to review their ages and how much food they consume. As we all know, bigger portions equal more poop.
Baby bearded dragons eat as much as 3 times a day with a diet of 70% protein and 30% greens. Naturally, they’d need to poop and pass urate 7 to 12 times a week.
Juvenile beardies are not far from the babies. They may consume less food by will, but they still eat a hefty amount and poop as often as babies do. So, you’d get 7 to 12 times a week too.
Pre-adults eat less than babies and juvenile bearded dragons– at least twice a day of 60% protein and 40% greens. This would bring the poop frequency down 7 to 10 times a week.
Now, adults eat just once a day, and may sometimes decline food at intervals of one day. They also eat a lot of greens, as their food ratio is 70% greens to 30% protein. In a healthy week, adult bearded dragons can poop 2 to 7 times.
Note: Just like humans, bearded dragons poop at different intervals depending on the individual beardie. In the same way they can prefer certain greens over others, they can choose to poop more frequently than another beardie– and that’s okay. However, there’s a duration that may become sinister especially if it’s abnormal and causes your dragon discomfort. I’ll explain that in a jiffy.
5 Factors That Disrupt A Bearded Dragon’s Pooping Routine
The reason why your bearded dragon hasn’t pooped could be mild or serious. Usually, when it’s serious, it’s accompanied by other symptoms such as weakness, droopiness, and sad-looking skin. Here are 5 good reasons why your beardie hasn’t pooped in a minute:
Brumation is the hibernation period for bearded dragons and is usually accompanied by several symptoms from the drastic reduction of their metabolic pace. During this period, they eat less, sleep more, and poop way less than they’ve ever before.
2. A Difference In Temperature
If there’s any change in the temperature of your bearded dragon’s enclosure, it can and will affect its digestion. UVB rays provide a certain amount of Vitamin D that your beardie requires to metabolize food, and a lack thereof can cause them to be constipated.
Usually, heat lamps deteriorate after 6 months of use. Perhaps you should inspect and recall how long the lamp has been in use to note any possible reasons for your dragon to be constipated.
3. Environmental Stress
If you have just purchased your bearded dragon or changed its environment, it could stress the beardie and obstruct their regular poop routine. Although, bear in mind that not every dragon reacts to stress in the same way. Some pets may refuse to eat or run around, and others may just be uncomfortable pooping until they’re accustomed to their surroundings.
4. The Bearded Dragon’s Age
The older beardies get, the less they poop. It’s a normal situation for all bearded dragons since the rate at which they consume food will also decline. If you have noticed a significant decrease in excretion relative to your bearded dragon’s growth, worry not. It’s completely normal for adult dragons to poop less.
5. The Diet
A healthy bearded dragon diet consists of veggies, protein, and very little water, making quite a delicate balance. If any of these items are in excess or demand, it will affect the consistency of your dragon’s excretion. Too little water or veggies will lead to constipation, and too little protein in comparison to veggies and water will lead to diarrhea.
How Long Can Bearded Dragons Go Without Pooping?
The longest a bearded dragon can go without pooping is 6 months under rare conditions which are usually centered around brumation. Although on a normal basis (without brumation in the picture), when your beardie starts to poop more frequently than usual or is 3 days past the normal poop time, something is surely wrong.
Considering the age of your dragon, you will be accustomed to poop patterns with a consistent diet, so your beardie could be constipated due to a bad diet or dehydration.
While going to the vet is the overall best measure to take, there are certain first-aid techniques to help your beardie take out the trash.
2 Ways To Get Your Constipated Bearded Dragon To Poop
If your pet is constipated, you’ll find it to be unusually bloated around the stomach area, almost as if the belly hangs much lower to the floor. When this happens, here are the 2 safest methods to induce bowel movement for your beardie:
Soaking Your Beardie In Water
In this method, all you need is a container of clean shallow water and a rock. You can even use the bathtub for extra space. Gently put your bearded dragon in the water and prop them on the rock so that the entire lower half is properly submerged. This process will stimulate bowel movement and cause the dragon to poop.
For an extra push, you can gently and carefully massage the belly motioning toward the direction of their tails- almost like you’re trying to nudge the feces out.
Feeding Them Watery Vegetables
Constipation simply means your bearded dragon could be dehydrated and one sure way of loosening their bowels is by providing high-water-content veggies into their diet to stimulate excretion. Examples of watery vegetables are lettuce, cucumber, and zucchini.
What Does A Normal/Safe Bearded Dragon Poop Look Like?
A normal-looking beardie poop should be of solid consistency. If it comes out in one string, that’s a win. It should look dark green or brown, with a white tip which is the urate. A healthy urate also will be firm; not hard, but firm. Sometimes, there’d be a clear puddle coating the poop and that’s similarly fine.
Also, the poo will resemble the vegetables your dragon is being fed; if their diet consists of squash, it would look a little more orange than usual. If their diet has purple cabbage, it would look violet or purple. The problem arises when the color change of the poop does not match the diet, then you should certainly get the feces sampled or visit the vet.
While no poop smells of chocolates or flowers, a healthy bearded dragon poo shouldn’t smell like death or decay.
What Does An Abnormal/Unsafe Bearded Dragon Poop Look Like?
An abnormal beardie poop will have a watery, chalky, rock-hard, or sandy consistency. It may have undigested food in it, which would signify that their diet is a little too harsh to digest. This is usually noticed when you feed baby or juvenile dragons mealworms or super worms that are known for having tougher skins than they can digest.
You’ll also notice the color to be weird; reddish-brown or black poo is not a healthy sign especially when the urate is tainted. A healthy urate should be all-white and clear. An abnormal beardie poop will also have blood stains or mucus in it, which is a big, terrible red flag! If you notice this, immediately rush your pet to the vet.
The smell is unmistakable! As I mentioned earlier, beardie poop shouldn’t smell like roses, but when the smell fills the room and lingers like a bomb, then there’s certainly something awry with your pet.
Wrapping It Up
Bearded dragons poop quite frequently under normal circumstances. In cases where there’s a drastic change from the normal sequences, there’s every possibility your dragon is preparing for brumation or is ill.
With this article, you should be able to detect certain changes and predict the roots if you discover your dragon’s pooping pattern is different. If you are still uncertain or wary of carrying out the above-listed procedures on your own, you should visit a veterinary doctor to properly treat your pet and get them back on track.