Has your bearded dragon not woken up after brumation? Have you poked them and didn’t get any response back?
These are panic situations for new bearded dragon pet owners. You may be concerned about your pet and may be looking for a solution. But you don’t have to worry at all.
Your little buddy is going through a natural process called brumation. Many pet owners are often confused with brumation in bearded dragons and don’t know what to do at such times.
So, if you are looking for all the important information about brumation among bearded dragons, you’re at the right spot. This guide will discuss brumation in bearded dragons and how you can handle this situation.
What is Brumation in Bearded Dragons?
Brumation is a process somewhat similar to hibernation in reptiles. This situation occurs in winter because bearded dragons are cold-blooded and unable to adapt to the external temperature of the environment.
If you would like to learn about the brumation process in more depth, you should definitely give this article about bearded dragons a thorough read.
Brumation and hibernation get frequently used interchangeably since they both refer to the same phenomenon. While hibernation is used for warm-blooded species such as mammals, brumation is associated with cold-blooded animals such as reptiles.
A thing to note is that mammals use their body fat during hibernation, but reptiles like bearded dragons won’t eat or urinate during the brumation period. However, they sip some water to keep the body hydrated.
Whether you own a male or female bearded dragon, both will undergo the brumation process. The only difference is that the female will brumate a bit longer than male bearded dragons.
You must be more careful about the female bearded dragons if they are about to lay eggs. They have been doing this natural process for millions of years, where they sleep for longer until the warm weather starts again.
At What Age Do Bearded Dragons Brumate?
You’re mistaken if you think every bearded dragon goes through the brumation process. It depends on certain factors such as age and climate of the place where it’s located and so on. Therefore, remember that not all bearded dragons will brumate in their life cycle.
Usually, most bearded dragons don’t begin brumating until they are between ten months and one year old. In some cases, it can be as many as two years. This makes it challenging to predict when your bearded dragon will brumate because they may brumate one year but not the following, or they may brumate every year.
Note that your bearded pet dragon should never have to brumate if the habitat conditions get maintained at normal, ideal levels.
So, you see, there are several things to consider before buying a bearded dragon, and brumation is one of them.
Symptoms of Brumation in Bearded Dragons
Some signs show your bearded dragon is about to brumate. Notice these symptoms to confirm that your bearded dragon has entered the brumation period.
• Displaying Laziness, Lethargy, and Less Activity
During the bearded dragon’s brumation, you will notice that they are lethargic.
To have a quick snack or drink water while brumating, your bearded dragon will probably emerge from its hide and move extremely slowly. You’ll feel like they are being lazy in their daily activities.
• Sleeping More than Usual
During brumation, bearded dragons spend most of their time resting rather than doing any activity during the day.
It could be challenging for pet owners to determine whether their bearded dragon is still alive or showing brumation symptoms. Brumating bearded dragons get more sleep and use less energy to keep themselves alive for longer.
• Loss of Appetite or Refusing Food
Another common symptom of brumation is a reduced or absence of hunger. You may find your bearded dragons consume less food or refuse to eat.
They generally rely on fat and other nutrient reserves for energy for the brumation period. Even though they periodically wake up to drink water, even though they are typically not thirsty.
• Hiding Frequently or Burrowing
When brumation occurs, bearded dragons may isolate themselves in trees or underground in the outdoors. Similarly, pet bearded dragons also like to hide in shadowy areas or a corner of the house, where they feel the heat and keep themselves warm.
Apart from these symptoms, you may find your bearded dragon refusing to bask, sleeping early, pooping less, and having no bowel movement during the brumation period.
If you have found out about brumation time, ensure that you don’t force anything like food, water, and other activities on your bearded dragon. It’ll make things complicated and create drastic health issues. You can monitor them and keep in touch with your veterinarian.
How Long Does The Brumation Last?
It’s hard to recognize exactly how long the brumation period will continue. Unfortunately, no one can tell you even if you ask about the average time duration.
It depends on the climatic conditions and the capability of the bearded dragon.
Brumation in bearded dragons can last from several weeks to a few months. Perhaps it will sleep for a few days, come out for a few days, and then periodically sleep for a few days. Or maybe it will settle into the spot it has picked and remain there for months. There’s simply no way of knowing for sure.
Brumation Bearded Dragon Time
Brumation bearded dragon time depends on your geographical location. Let us give you examples.
If you live in countries that are situated in the Southern Hemisphere such as New Zealand, Australia, etc., then it is quite certain that your bearded dragon starts brumating in March or April months and may continue to do so till late August or September.
Whereas in countries of the Northern Hemisphere like the US, Europe, Canada, etc., bearded dragons begin brumation in September and may remain in that state up to March.
Brumation generally occurs in winters when bearded dragons don’t eat much food and receive low sunlight due to weather conditions. Your bearded dragon might decide to undergo brumation at random instead of relying on seasonal indications.
How to Get a Bearded Dragon Out of Brumation
Now you must wonder how to take your bearded dragon out of brumation.
First, you need to know that you can’t do anything to wake them up during the brumation process. Try the following things to help them out.
• Spend More Time
You need to spend more time and handle your dragon regularly. Provide them plenty of opportunities to make them active. Take them outdoors if you can so they can soak up some sunlight.
You can take them into giving up brumate by keeping them engaged and occupied.
• Extension of Daylight Hours
You can also leave the lights in the bearded dragon’s tank for a longer time. Keep in mind that reduced daylight is one of the factors that cause brumation in the wild.
As a result, if you give your bearded dragon more light, they’ll start to doubt the need for brumating. Though there are no guarantees, there is a chance that this will help you decrease the length of the brumation phase at the very least.
5 Tips To Look After During Brumation
Despite the fact that you can’t do anything for your bearded dragon while they brumate, here are a few tips you can follow to support them.
1. Vet Check
It doesn’t matter if you own a dog, cat, or bearded dragon. Be sure to keep an eye on their health regularly. In the case of a bearded dragon, you must visit a veterinarian before winter.
This visit ensures your beardie is healthy and doesn’t have loads of parasites, as parasites are a top concern before brumation.
2. Set Up Heating and Lighting Winter Cycles
As your bearded dragon will be sleeping most of the time during brumation, it’s important to note the lighting system. You can provide them with slightly less light than usual.
You can start it by cutting hours of lighting in the daily schedule. You may also gradually increase the hours of lighting as you wait for them to exit their state of brumation.
3. Create A Burrow or Private Place
It’s a natural behavior that a bearded dragon will go inside a burrow or a secure place. They aim to feel safe, secure, and comfortable during the brumation process.
You can provide them with some hay or foliage inside their tank. Getting a card box can be a good option if you can’t provide natural surroundings.
4. Monitor Health And Hydration
Since a bearded dragon doesn’t eat much in the brumation period, ensure that you keep an eye on their health. If you sense something wrong, take them to the veterinarian or contact them about the changes you notice in them.
Furthermore, you need to continue doing things like offering them water timely. You can put a full water bowl in front of your beardie.
Furthermore, you can also bathe your bearded dragon in brumation. They’ll drink the required water without forcing.
5. Keep Tracking Nutrition
There is a slight chance that your bearded dragon eats food during brumation. If they refuse, don’t force them. They know what is good for them and how much food they require.
If they brumate with a full stomach, it’ll create digestion issues, as they will be sleeping at a lower temperature. As the bearded dragon begins to slow down for the winter, keep an eye on its bowel movements.
You can try waking him up for a short soak once a day, encouraging a bowel movement.
There are many things to know about cats and other common pets like dogs. So it’s no wonder that you need to go the extra mile if you want to keep an exotic pet like bearded dragons. And one of the new concepts you need to learn about is brumation.
Brumation of bearded dragons is a natural process that occurs for days and even months. Whether you are a new beardie owner or someone with loads of experience in handling these reptiles, you should note that you can’t do anything to take them out of their state of brumation.
However, we have discussed tips that you can follow and make the period more pleasant from them. So follow as many of the tips as you can and help your beardie go through a difficult period smoothly! Best of luck!