A bearded dragon shows different practices. One of its ways of behaving was digging. It is a natural behavior observed among bearded dragons. Digging is when the bearded dragon will start to create a hole in its tank. Almost all of the bearded dragon loves to dig caves, and they use this natural activity for hiding. Digging is a very good exercise for a bearded dragon. It is good for their claws for them to get too long.
One of the reasons why bearded dragons dig is that they probably want to make a small basking area for them to feel more comfortable. This behavior sounds strange to others, but this is usually the main reason experts think, which makes bearded dragons wanting to dig for more. When your dragon is old enough, it will just dig for its brumation,making it easier for them to adjust to its temperature, most especially when they are sleeping.
It is important to recognize what your beardie is exhibiting and why it is showing this kind of behavior for you to understand your pet. Because sometimes, this behavior shows signs of stress or illness.
The following are the possible signs what can be the cause of an obsessive digging habit of your bearded dragons and how can you deal with it:
Fear could be a good reason why these beardies are digging. Almost all of the bearded dragons who were moved into their new shelter exhibit this kind of behavior for a number of days. It’s like separation anxiety for humans, but soon it should get better, though. It just had to get used to its new environment, and it has to get used to you as its owner as well.
On the other hand, this may be that you keep two or more bearded dragons in one tank, and your pet just afraid of this other dragon. Another reason must be you keep two same-gender beardies in one tank. It is not possible to tell what’s the gender of beardies at its young age; this is why a lot of reptile keepers end up with two males or two females instead of a pair of one male and a female.
You should observe your bearded dragons. If it digs all the time, getting extinguish by other beardies?
When your bearded dragon feels stressed, this can cause them to hide and escape. There’s a lot of reasons why these beardies feel stress, for example, the bright light in its tank, cage mates, loud noises, the temperature, and many more.
Keep in mind that you should prevent housing two bearded dragons together because this kind of pet is introvert, and they are also very competitive creatures. Having two or more beardies in one tank might cause fights, stress, and tension as well as physical injuries.
Looking for Food
Another reason might be this bearded dragon dig to look for its food. There are some cases that you may underfeed the beardies that cause them to dig the soil and search for food. It did not often happen when your bearded dragon tried to eat other bugs, and it likes it even more.
Not Enough Space
Sometimes your dragon might feel that there is no adequate space for them to roam around and do some physical activities. Thus, the dragon feels bored, and it starts to dig.
No Hiding Place in its Tank
Hiding spot is very important in bearded dragons; it might start digging obsessively to make a hiding place for itself. Make sure that you provide at least one covered spot in its tank. Don’t use any colored bulbs at night, such as the color red or blue, as it will disturb your dragon’s sleep and will make it hide. You can also introduce it in a small blanket with a soft fabric for the dragon to lay during the night, covered in its top with another fabric, or even a cloth to provide a feeling of security.
The temperature must be sometimes the reason to very hefty digging behavior of bearded dragon; maybe the temperature was just too high. Therefore, when your bearded dragon just cannot stop digging for a couple of days continuously, the reason must be temperature.
You should certainly inspect the temperature of your pet’s tank if you feel worried. Sometimes your bearded dragon wants to dig into a cave for them to feel cool down a little bit. Making a terrarium for beardies can be very hard, especially if you’re a beginner. You need to choose the right light for your beardies. It is also important on how to get the right temperature as well as how to choose the right UV lightning.
A Quick Guide for Temperature Needs of Bearded Dragons
1. Get the Right UVB
You must first need to know what UV lighting that suits your bearded dragon for them to stay healthy. UV lighting is important to beardies; it will have a massive impact on their behavior also on their mental well-being. Providing the right UV light obstruct metabolic bone disease.
It also supports the synthesis of Vitamin D3, without UV lightning, its bones will become soft and sometimes cause deformation of the bones. Choose the good-looking white light for the dragon to get enough light. Bearded dragons need UVB rays to process D3 and calcium. UVB prevents metabolic bone diseases and other health problems.
UVB Light Sample Image Source
2. Get the Right Amount of Temperature
You have to know what temperature is good for your bearded dragon. Usually, the right temperature in your tank should be about 78 – 88°F during the day and 70°F during at night. Aside from that, you also need some very hot spots. Bearded dragons used to lie under the sun in stone, particularly during the morning, since beardies need to get the right amount of their body temperature.
That hot spot should have at least 95°F – 105°F; its kinda hot, but yes, they sometimes need this hot spot. No need for you to buy a very expensive reptile heat lamps for this. A normal heat lamp aside from the DIY market is good, just go with the 100w, depends on the size of the tank. You can also adjust the temperature by just hanging the heat lamp a little higher above the tank.
3. Provide Light in a Bearded Dragon’s Tank
It is super important for a beardy to get enough light. Their original habitat was in Australia, so try to create a light and temperature that close enough from their natural habitat in Australia. The light restores the appetite of bearded dragons, and it is very important for their mental well-being. They prefer the white light since these beardies do not so well in some other color or types of light.
4. Why Reptile Heat Lamps Can’t Be Used
When you look for a heating lamp for reptiles in the Amazon, you are going to receive a lot of results; there’s a lot of reason why not to use just any kind of reptile heat lamps. Do not spend a lot of money with an expensive heat lamp; just a normal 100w light bulb will do.
5. Avoid Using Coil Lamps
Coil lamps are known that can cause eye problems. Using coil lamps for your tank is not recommended. Particularly that the bearded dragons need light for about 12 hours, so when you used some coil lamps, there might be an eye problem that occurs with your bearded dragon. Like mention earlier, just used a simple light or a UV bulb. Just turn the lights off every night and make sure that the temperature during the night is not below 65°F because this can be somehow a reason that causes health problems with beardies.
You Have a Female
Video Source: Youtube
When your dragon is female, and it feels that it needs to mate or not, this female bearded dragon will lay an egg from time to time. During that time, this female bearded dragon can show an excessive digging behavior for her to find where’s the perfect spot to lay eggs. That’s why it’s important to provide the perfect habitat for your female bearded dragons to lay their eggs without stress and hassle.
Just make sure that this period, it has enough energy as well as enough mineral. Sometimes, it could also mean that it’s a possible sign for an upcoming brumation. The brumation is a hibernation-like for some cold-blooded animals like bearded dragons for them to easily adopt during winter.
Just Allow Them to Dig
You should allow your pet to dig, but just make sure that these digging habits will not let your beardies might eat sand. Just make sure that you give your dragon enough calcium for them to prevent from eating sand. Choose the right substrate for your dragon; a normal substrate will do. For example, white sand or some walnut shells are highly recommended most by a lot of reptile keepers. There is also a Cavern Kit that can buy and can easily be used to form a cave.
Digging behavior can be a very good sign for a bearded dragon. This means that these beardies might try to get comfortable with their new home. These beardies are natural diggers, even if this bearded dragon is male or female, they both love to dig. As you have read earlier, digging is completely normal behavior in bearded dragons, just observe when it’s digging habits become obsessive this might be the reason for a not healthy or stress dragon. When you feel, doubt better if you consult a vet. This must be better to do than worrying all the time.