If your bearded dragon is pooping multiple times per day (or hasn’t pooped in weeks), you might be concerned.
First, we need to find out whether your bearded dragon is pooping normally or not:
Adult bearded dragons will poop anywhere between once a day and once a week. Juvenile bearded dragons (under 8-12 months old) will poop 1 – 3 times per day. Stressed bearded dragons may stop pooping for several weeks, but not pooping for more than a week could also be a sign of impaction.
There are, however, several health issues that can change how often they poop and what it looks like. I’ll cover these in detail further in the article.
Juvenile & Adult Bearded Dragon Bowel Movements
In bearded dragons, the juveniles will poop far more frequently than the adults. Before we get into the reasons for that, however, let’s discuss average frequencies for both:
1-3x Per Day
1-7x Per Week
One factor is the amount of food that they eat. For instance, a baby bearded dragon of three months or younger will eat much more than an adult because they need to grow.
Another reason that baby bearded dragons eat more is that they require more protein. They usually consume a large number of bugs and a few vegetables for additional nutrition. The increased amount of protein alone is enough to make them go to the bathroom more. In most situations, juvenile bearded dragons poop about 1 to 3 times a day.
Sometimes a young bearded dragon might go to the bathroom even more than that. Genetics can play a role in this increased frequency, although other factors can impact it too.
As they grow older, you’ll notice that they don’t need to poop or eat as much as they did when they were young. In fact, older lizards eat almost half the amount of protein than they used to!
Adult bearded dragons usually go to poop about once a day, but sometimes go much less. It isn’t rare to see one of them only use the bathroom once every five to seven days in their old age. Again, several different circumstances can change an adult bearded dragon’s bowel movement frequency.
If you notice anything that seems a bit wrong, such as a color change or bowel blockage, refer to the section later on in this article.
While old bearded dragons don’t go poop very often, there are some potential dangers to be aware of if they don’t poop at all. Any frequency over once every seven days might be something to keep an eye on.
Constipation Bearded Dragons (and Excessive Pooping)
Unfortunately, bearded dragons are susceptible to constipation, diarrhea, and an array of other bowel problems just like humans are.
What makes it even worse is the fact that they have no way of telling you. However, you can watch their bowel movements to notice all sorts of health problems before they become much more serious.
Bearded dragons can become very stressed, which can lead to constipation or diarrhea.
If you’ve just moved, it’s not uncommon for your bearded dragon to become constipated for a few weeks afterwards, potentially refusing to eat as well.
This can be normal and will usually resolve itself eventually.
Other sources of stress for a bearded dragon include not enough access to food, too much water or moisture around the tank, and a constantly changing environment. It might be fun to move things around in their home for a new look. However, bearded dragons usually want the same habitat without too many changes throughout the year.
If your bearded dragon is having problems trying to go poop, you can take a few steps to speed up the process. If they take longer than a week to pass a bowel movement, you should consult professional advice.
Here are a few suggestions to help your bearded dragon poop faster:
- Give them water. They can usually drink enough by themselves, but we all forget to hydrate every now and then. The life of a bearded dragon can be busy, and a dry diet can soak up too much water. Helping them drink a little bit more throughout the day can hydrate their poop and make it move quicker.
- Make sure that their tank is set up properly. Stress and an inadequate habitat can cause constipation in a bearded dragon.
- Change their diet by feeding them more greens and less calcium. These dietary changes should speed up bowel movements.
You might also notice that your bearded dragon doesn’t pee. This lack of urine is because they release a substance called urate, which is uric acid in a semi-dry form.
They’ll often release urate at the same time that they poop, although this can differ from pet to pet. If you don’t notice pee anywhere around the tank, don’t worry! It’s not a health problem at all.
Bearded Dragon Impaction
Impaction is a problem in bearded dragons that clogs their bowel movements. It can cause internal tears and lead to bleeding and constipation.
Causes & Prevention
One of the biggest potential causes of impaction in bearded dragons is their substrate. They can be clumsy eaters, and that can lead to them eating the sand (or other substrate) inside of their enclosure.
Since they can’t digest sand, it will build up in their stomach until it causes a major problem.
This can be prevented by choosing something that either:
- Can be digested
- Can’t be eaten in the first place.
(Slate tiles are a good choice here.)
You can watch out for this problem and find a solution by looking for the common signs. One of these signs is a random bulge on their side or stomach. Another is a paralyzed or slow-moving rear leg.
If you find that your bearded dragon is impacted internally, you need to have it taken care of immediately. Impaction can be a serious and deadly health issue. Most impaction cases require a visit to the vet.
Does a Bearded Dragon’s Poop Color Matter?
As I mentioned earlier in the article, a bearded dragon’s poop is a strong indication of healthiness or lack thereof.
When there’s an impaction, constipation, or an unusual color found in your bearded dragon’s bowel movements, you might need to change something up. Fortunately, most of these issues aren’t too serious.
Normal, typically a combination of urate and poop.
Normal, typically due to the amount of vegetables in your bearded dragon’s diet.
|Could be no concern if it only happens once. May be a sign of impaction or another serious issue if it happens regularly.|
|Black||This is a sign of bleeding further up the digestive tract and could be a sign of a serious issue – like impaction. Check with your vet.|
This may be a sign that there is too much calcium in your bearded dragon’s diet. Try reducing the amount of calcium you’re feeding.
Brown poop with white spots or lines is usually not too much of an issue. You’d most likely be able to see if it were a tapeworm or some other parasite. Instead, white and brown poop typically is a combination of urate and poop.
Bearded dragons are also known for having green poops, especially when they’re old. They eat so many leafy greens like spinach that tend to change the color a bit. Unless there’s an unusual consistency or runniness about it, you don’t have to worry. You should almost expect to see green poops now and then based on their diet.
Red poop or black poop can be a sign of impaction. You shouldn’t jump to conclusions immediately, though, since it could merely be a large bowel movement. They can have slight internal bleeding if they’re passing a big poop, but continuous red or black poop is a problem. If you notice either color coming out of your bearded dragon, you should plan a vet trip.
Yellow poop is also common if you feed your bearded dragon any food that’s high in calcium. It can also turn their urate much more yellow than they’re used to. In any sense, reduce the amount of calcium in their diet to stop the discoloration. Excess calcium can damage their internal organs and cause even more bowel problems.
You’ll undoubtedly experience a few hiccups along the way, but bearded dragons can have regular bowel movements weekly. With these suggestions, you shouldn’t have too many problems!