Why Is My Bearded Dragon Glass Surfing? The Signs You Mustn’t Ignore!

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Bearded dragons are pretty straightforward and easygoing pets to keep. They have staple characters and behaviors that generally tell you your dragon is healthy and happy. If you start to notice a sudden behavior change, it could easily predict that something is wrong with your pet. One of these strange behaviors is glass surfing. Beardies surf the glass for several reasons, and we’d be addressing these reasons soon.

Bearded dragons surf the glass when they feel uncomfortable. They will lean on the walls of their tank and move side to side continuously over time. While this may not necessarily have a drastic effect, it is a tell-tale sign that your pet is uncomfortable and needs immediate attention.

Glass surfing is a common language beardies use to communicate their discomfort. To understand the root cause of the problem with your pet, this article will put you through glass surfing, what it entails, and how to alleviate it. Let’s go!

Why Is My Beardie Leaning On Its Glass Enclosure? 7 Vivid Reasons

Since glass surfing signifies that your pet is uncomfortable, here’s a breakdown of the reasons why your pet displays this behavior:

1. Your Pet Is Bored

It may be surprising to know that beardies can get bored, but they do get bored with their environment and routines. If your pet is laying in its enclosure and rubbing against the glass, it is a great sign that it has become bored. Perhaps your bearded dragon’s enclosure is void of any stimulation or items that it can engage itself with, this can easily cause boredom and later on, cause your beardie to be uncomfortable.

2. The Temperature Is Incorrect

Temperature is a major aspect of a bearded dragon’s enclosure, and keeping it correct at all times is important for their health. The correct temperature keeps your pet safe from respiratory diseases which can be life-threatening, especially for baby and senior beardies. However, glass surfing is usually associated with a tank that is too hot for the dragon, making it irritated and causing it to surf the glass. In contrast, when the tank is too cold, you’d find your pet hiding away in dark corners or behaving slower than usual.

3. Your Beardie Feels Claustrophobic

Bearded dragons enjoy the luxury of space, and it can be quite stressful for them if they feel enclosed or restricted. This would mean that your beardie is attempting to escape by glass surfing. When a beardie is stressed, its immune system is as negatively affected. So, there is importance in ensuring your pet is comfortable at all times.

4. Your Pet Is In Pain

Beardies act out of character when they feel pain in an attempt to sway the feeling. You may notice your pet pacing about, waving, breathing with its mouth open, hiding away, and of course, glass surfing.

If you notice these gestures, immediately analyze your pet for any cues of injury, impaction, or egg-binding. Also, look for indications of limping or weird postures. If you don’t notice any of these signs, perhaps the pain could be internal. For either conclusion, refer to your veterinary doctor immediately for a much more in-depth and professional analysis.

5. Your Pet Is Afraid

Most of the time, bearded dragons will hide away and display signs of lethargy when they feel threatened. Still, they may also feel desperate to remove themselves from the enclosure especially if they’re used to walking freely now and then. Your pet may feel threatened by loud systematic noises or images that will trigger it to escape.

6. Your Pet Likes You

If you grow a good bond with your beardie, it will be able to recognize you as its caregiver. Beardies are smart enough to realize your scent, voice, and facial appearance if you train them properly. If you are used to spending hours bonding with your dragon, snuggling and holding it, it may grow affectionate towards you and hug the glass when it sees you. If you have gotten to this stage as a beardie owner, you can give yourself a huge pat on the back!

However, you must ensure that all the other reasons for your beardie to surf the glass are countered so that you don’t wrongly predict what could be a life-threatening situation for your pet.

7. Your Pet Feels Caged

At a point, your beardie would fancy stepping out of its enclosure and seeing the wider world. In this case, bonding with your pet entails removing your pet a few times to handle and pet it. During this break time, your bearded dragon may take its time to explore its environment. The act of glass surfing may just be your beardie eager to explore its environment.

how to stop bearded dragons from glass surfing

5 Ways To Stop Your Beardie From Glass Surfing

Glass surfing is a common behavior that bearded dragons portray. Although it doesn’t mean your pet is in drastic danger, it could signify the start of a problem that could get progressively worse. It’s best to address the situation with immediate effect. Here’s what to do:

Get A Bigger Tank

A way-too-small tank is highly uncomfortable for your bearded dragon. I do not recommend the usual starter tank size recommended by pet stores, which is usually 25 gallons. A 50-gallon tank is a great way to start. Even at that, you would be setting aside funds to move your pet to a larger tank once they reach adulthood.

If you’re housing an adult bearded dragon in a small enclosure, say 40 gallons, you must consider moving it into an 80-gallon tank and above. Your 20-inch adult bearded dragon is certainly not comfortable in its tank!

Add Stimulating Objects Into The Tank

A bored beardie is an unhappy dragon. If you realize that your pet’s tank is rather boring, perhaps you have been using rather boring and gray objects for a basking spot and a shade, consider using rocks, wood, or rather artificial but natural-looking basking props to make things exciting. For beardie toys, a puzzle ball is a great way to keep them entertained; put a few worms in it and let it play by itself with the ball.

Fix The Temperature In The Tank

If the temperature in the tank is too hot, your pet will be highly uncomfortable and unable to bask properly. Ensure that there is a stick-on thermometer (view on Amazon) to keep track of the temperature inside the enclosure at all times. For the basking spot, you need a hand thermometer (view on Amazon) to take precise measurements so that your beardie doesn’t burn itself from the heat or suffer digestive imbalances from the lack thereof.

If the tank is too hot, you can regulate it by reducing the intensity of the heat lamp. Note that the heat lamp is entirely different from the UVB lamp, and if you use a dual lamp – both heat and UVB – you must also use a fluorescent UVB lamp (view on Amazon) to illuminate the entire tank, or else your pet will fall sick with a metabolic bone disease.

Remove Items That May Look Threatening

In the wild, beardies are prey to several predator animals and so are on high alert to stay safe. If your environment entails loud sounds, predator-looking posters, and excessive vibrations, consider moving your pet to a corner with fewer of these stressors.

Bond With Your Pet Better

Your pet needs physical stimulation to stay active and happy, and one of the ways to do this is by creating a bond. Once a day, make an interactive session with your pet where you gently and carefully hold it. Bearded dragons also enjoy petting as long as you pet them with care.

What Is The Optimal Temperature For Bearded Dragons?

The optimal temperature for bearded dragons is 104° to 107° Fahrenheit in hot areas and 71° to 73° Fahrenheit in shaded areas in the tank. It’s important to keep a close eye on the temperature since your dragon’s well-being depends on it.

Is It Safe To Let My Bearded Dragon Roam About?

It’s safe for your beardie to be let out of the tank once in a while. As long as you’re there to supervise, your pet can pitter-patter around your home and have its little adventure. Ensure that there are no plastics that it could ingest or animals that could either scare it or injure it during this process.

How Long Should My Beardie Stay Out Of Its Enclosure For?

Your bearded dragon can stay out of its enclosure no more than 1 – 3 hours at a time. During this period, look out for signs of stress like blackening of the beard, waving, stomping, or bobbing. If you notice these signs, immediately return your pet to its enclosure so it can rest.

Photo of author


EL Mehdi (Medi), the founder and voice behind Desired Reptiles, renowned for his dedication to bearded dragons. As a passionate reptile enthusiast, Medi has developed a solid background in caring for these lovely creatures. He gained extensive knowledge about their diet, behavior, and how to create environments that mimic their natural habitat