How Long Can Bearded Dragons Go without Food?

Bearded dragons are moderately sized species of lizards that are named after their beard-like color around their neck area.

These animals are very much famous as pets because of many reasons such as they can be fed anything, and they can also go hungry for a good period. They can be managed easily.

An amazing fact related to bearded dragons is if your pet is adult enough he can skip meals for an average of four weeks although this depends on several reasons and factors which will be covered in this article

What Do Bearded Dragons Eat?

Having a bearded dragon as a pet always raises a question in your mind about how and what to feed your pet. It’s a matter of concern that most people don’t have proper guidance on their diet and how to keep them healthy.

If you have a one as your pet then there are certain things you must keep in mind before feeding them. It belongs to a class of omnivorous families which simply means that they can have both plant and animal-based products.

Although a wild bearded dragon will prefer a live animal as his meal in the absence he can also rely upon plant-based products.

Animal-Based Food:

  • Their favorite diet consists of small insects and sometimes other smaller species of lizards as well.
  • Unlike other animals, they are not picky eaters, and hence with a strong jawline, they can even have insects with hard outer shells.
  • Mouse rats, worms, bugs, and many other creepy crawlies can be a portion of food for your bearded dragon.

Plant-Based Food:

  • Bearded dragons can go on a plant-based diet including the leaves and the flowers of the wild plants.
  • They also require lots of vegetables and fruits to keep their body healthy.
  • Fruits may include grapes, strawberries, apples, bananas, and much more.
  • As vegetables, you can offer your pet some cabbage, sweet potatoes, parsley, and even broccoli.

How Long Can a Bearded Dragon Go without Eating?

Since the environment plays a very major role in the development and sustainability of a particular organism the same goes with bearded dragons.

Their reflexes and eating habits change depending upon whether they are kept in captivity or in the wild.

If Bearded Dragons Live in Wild:

As mentioned in the article a bearded dragon can go without food for over 4 weeks.

  •  The reason for this is the jeans and ancestors of bearded dragons which belong to the subtropical regions and desert areas. As we know these areas have a hard environment and hence the availability of food is not easy.
  •  It’s the natural tendency and their body design which makes them go without food for certain weeks.
  • Their bodies are designed with fat reservoirs and hence provide the energy to leave even without food for a certain period. 
  • During the hibernation period, they can even go without food for 2 to 3 months.

If Bearded Dragons Are Kept in Captivity:

The eating and living habits of dragons living in captivity changed since now their environment has changed.

Having a bearded dragon as a pet needs proper nourishment and at the same time food on a regular time, that’s how you can keep your pet healthy.

  • Depending upon the age, you can vary the quantity and variety of food.
  • If age is no more than 3 months and is considered to be a baby and it needs at least three to five-time food a day.
  • The appetite increases when your baby becomes a juvenile bearded dragon aging between three to eight months.
  • For the month the size of the meal can be reduced to two to three times a day and then later when your bearded dragon becomes an adult one meal a day can also keep him healthy.

How Long Can Baby Bearded Dragons Go without Food?

Baby bearded dragons are the ones who are under 3 months. Being young bearded dragons at this age should be provided with an adequate amount of food and be never left hungry.

How Long Do Juvenile Bearded Dragons Go without Food?

Dragons aged between 3 to 8 months should also not be left hungry however they can skip meals for a couple of days but this should not be interrupted by the fact that bearded dragons can go without food for weeks.

How Long Can an Adult Bearded Dragon Go without Food?

It’s a clear picture that bearded dragons can go without food for a duration of 30 to 90 days without causing a hamper to their health. However, as a pet, you should never leave your bearded dragon to go hungry for more than a week.

Why Are Your Bearded Dragon Skipping Meals?

If you had a bearded dragon as your pet man at some point in their life you might have noticed that they stop eating suddenly.

But as a bearded dragon pet owner, you are not the one responsible. Your bearded dragon’s refusal to eat can be due to many factors such as:

  • As mentioned, they tend to hibernate and hence during a certain span of year generally in winter there is loss of appetite and you might find them somewhere in the dark which confirms their hibernation period.
  • However, being your pet it will need some water and food at regular intervals.
  • The second reason can be having another bearded dragon in the same captivity. Generally, they avoid sharing their territory with their friends, and hence to show their reluctance, they stop eating and avoid having more than one bearded dragon in the same captivity.
  • The bearded dragon comes under the family of cold-blooded animals and hence they have to be kept at a temperature of around 24 to 29 degrees Celsius making a change in the temperature can make your pet skip meals.
  • It needs a hotter basking area. It may cease eating if there is no place to go to soak up the heat.
  • Keeping your pet in a new environment can make them go without food for days is quite common. As they need time to get comfortable with the new environment.
  • However, a common reason can be your dragon is not well and you should consult a vet.
  • However, some medical issues which your pet goes through very commonly include pinworm metabolic bone diseases, adenovirus, or infections in their body.
  • To make your new pet comfortable at your place give them some time to adjust and also try not to overcrowd the area of the bearded dragon with unwanted materials since it creates stress for your pet.

What to Do if Your Bearded Dragon Is Not Eating?

So far in the discussion, it is clear that bearded dragons do not necessarily eat food every day, and hence it’s very normal for a bearded dragon to skip a meal. Before moving further make sure it’s not the hibernation period of your bearded dragon.

  •  As a new pet owner, you may sometimes feel bad since your pet isn’t eating but that’s not the case with bearded dragons. They need time to adjust themselves to the new environment. 
  • To welcome your pet you should provide him with daily food and water, however eating or skipping the meals depends on the mood of your pet.
  • Still in the case if the problem presses for a longer duration certain steps can be followed like,
  • Consult a veterinary doctor so that the proper checkup and diagnosis of the illness can be done.
  • If you’re using the same food try to replace it with some other food that your bearded dragon may find tempting.
  • Another thing that you can try but in a limited way is you can forcefully make your bearded dragon eat. Make sure this option should not be performed for a longer duration or if still your dragon refuses you should immediately stop.

Is It Unhealthy for A Bearded Dragon to Skip Meals?

The answer can be either a yes or a no. Since bearded dragons are living creatures hence they equally need food as others. However, this is not the case when they are in their bromation period. 

  • During the process of hibernation the body of a bearded dragon releases a very minimum amount of energy and in contrast their body stores a large amount of fat before going into hibernation hence your pet doesn’t need a lot of food during the brumation period, however, you should regularly provide them with some food and water even if they do not tend to eat.
  • Apart from this on regular days the number of days your bearded dragon goes without food is increasing the depreciation of nutrition and vitamins in the body.

 Hence alternative methods to feed your dragon is very much important and should not be taken lightly.

FAQs Related to How Long Can Bearded Dragons Go without Food

How Long Do Bearded Dragons Live?

As a pet owner, it’s in your hand to decide the age of your bearded dragon. If a bearded dragon is well taken care of it can have a life expectancy of about 15 to 16 years however if the dragon is not taken better care of it does not survive for more than five to seven years.

What Proportion of Food Should Be Given to Bear Dragons?

Being omnivorous animals, bearded dragons need an equal amount of plant and animal-based products as their food and hence as a pet owner, you should always provide a balanced diet to your bearded dragon in a ratio of 50/50 of both plant-based nutrition and animal-based nutrition.

Should Bearded Dragons Feed Every Day?

If your bearded dragon is a baby that is aged under an year old they must eat a minimum of three to five times a day to have a healthy growth of their body. However, the adults may or may not need food every day.

What Fruits Can Bearded Dragons Eat?

It’s not a healthy practice if you are providing food regularly to your bearded dragon but on an occasional basis you can have a great list of food including blackberries, cranberries, guava, melon, both green and red grapes, apricot, peach I’m even raisins can also be given as a food but it should be seedless.

Which Plant-Based Foods Should Not Be Given to A Bearded Dragon?

Avocados are extremely dangerous for a bearded dragon and hence should not be considered a healthy diet for your pet. From the list of vegetables spinach, onion, lettuce, eggplant, and rhubarb should also be avoided.

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Bread?

Since bread has no nutritional value that suits your bearded dragon, instead it can cause damage to the digestion of your dragon, however, a little amount can be given.


A bearded dragon can go without food for several days depending upon their age and the amount of food that should be given to them varies accordingly.

Skipping meals for a bearded dragon is quite normal but still should not be misinterpreted as everything’s fine. If your pet is going without food for a longer duration than very often then you should immediately consult a veterinary doctor and follow his prescriptions.

Until it is really serious try not to force feed your pet or it may cause serious digestion issues to him. Before taking any actions it should be checked if it’s the cremation period of your pet. If it is so then don’t force your pet to eat but also don’t forget to provide him with fresh food and water regularly.


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