15 Bearded Dragon Stress Marks Signs

Bearded dragons are a common type of pet reptile. They can be easy to care for, but they do require some specialized handling.

One thing that bearded dragon owners should be aware of is the possibility of bearded dragons stress marks. 

This article will discuss what causes stress marks on the bearded dragon and how to treat them. 

What are Bearded Dragon Stress Marks?

Bearded dragon stress marks are dark markings on the underside of a bearded dragon’s belly and can also be seen on their sides.

They are often described as black or brown stripes, dots, or patches. These marks indicate that the bearded dragon feels stressed, anxious, or threatened.

Bearded Dragon Stress marks may appear in response to various stimuli, such as changes in environment, handling, or illness. They can also be seen in response to social interactions with other bearded dragons or other pets in the household.

Bearded Dragon Signs of Stress

Here are 15 signs that your bearded dragon may be experiencing stress:

Loss of Appetite

Bearded dragons are usually voracious eaters, so a sudden loss of appetite can signify stress or illness. They may also refuse to eat certain types of food or only eat a small amount.

Weight Loss

Weight loss can occur if a bearded dragon is not eating enough or digesting food properly. It can also be a sign of an underlying health problem.

Behavior Change

If a bearded dragon becomes lethargic, hides more than usual, or displays aggression, it may be a sign of stress or illness.

Change in Appearance

A bearded dragon that is stressed or ill may display a dulling of its color or have difficulty shedding its skin.

Swollen Limbs

Swelling in the limbs can be a sign of injury, infection, or gout, a metabolic disorder.

Respiratory Distress

Bearded dragons can develop respiratory infections, which can cause breathing difficulties, wheezing, or a runny nose.

Mouth Open and Tongue Out

Bearded dragons occasionally open their mouth and stick their tongue out to regulate their body temperature. However, if they are doing this frequently, it may be a sign of respiratory distress or overheating.


Drooling can be a sign of an oral infection or mouth injury.

Increased Urination

Bearded dragons will frequently urinate to regulate their body temperature. However, if they are urinating excessively or their urine is discolored, it may be a sign of urinary tract infection or kidney disease.


A bearded dragon that is constipated may have difficulty passing stool or may have a lack of appetite.

Straining to Defecate

Straining to defecate in bearded dragons means that they are having difficulty passing stool or feces. A number of factors, including dehydration, poor diet, or an obstruction in the digestive tract, can cause it.

Inability to Shed Properly

If a bearded dragon cannot shed their skin properly, it can indicate an underlying health issue.

Dulling of the Eyes

Bearded, stressed, or ill dragons may have dull, sunken eyes.

Twitching or Spasms

Muscle cramps or spasms can be a sign of a metabolic disorder or neurological issue.


Bearded dragons can have seizures if they have an underlying health problem, such as a brain injury or infection

If you notice these signs in your bearded dragon, it’s important to take action. Stress marks can lead to more serious health problems if left untreated.

Possible Causes of Bearded Dragon Stress

Bearded Dragon stress marks are a common indication that a bearded dragon is experiencing stress.

There are many possible causes of stress in bearded dragons. Some of the most common include:

Poor Diet

Bearded dragons need a well-balanced diet to stay healthy. If they’re not getting the proper nutrients, it can lead to stress.

Incorrect Lighting

Bearded dragons need exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light to stay healthy. If they’re not getting enough UV light, it can lead to stress.

Incorrect Temperature

Bearded dragons need to be kept at the proper temperature to stay healthy. If the temperature is too high or too low, it can lead to stress.

Lack of Humidity

Bearded dragons need a certain amount of humidity to stay healthy. If the environment is too dry, it can lead to stress.

Lack of Space

Bearded dragons need a certain amount of space to move around. If they’re kept in too small of an enclosure, it can lead to stress.

Lack of Hiding Places

Bearded dragons need places to hide. It can lead to stress if they don’t have any hiding places.

Lack of Enrichment

Bearded dragons need enrichment to stay active and healthy. If they’re not given any enrichment, it can lead to stress.

Fear or Aggression from Another Animal

If a bearded dragon is constantly being chased or bullied by another animal, it can lead to stress.

Fear or Aggression from Humans

If a bearded dragon is constantly being handled or harassed by humans, it can lead to stress.


If a bearded dragon is sick, it can lead to stress.

Lack of Social Interaction

Bearded dragons are social creatures. If they’re not given enough interaction with their owners or other bearded dragons, it can lead to stress.

Tips for Preventing Bearded Dragon Stress Marks

Here are some tips for preventing bearded dragon stress marks:

  • Provide a well-rounded diet that includes live food, vegetables, and supplements.
  • Make sure your dragon has access to the correct lighting, including UVB light.
  • Create a temperature gradient in the enclosure so your dragon can thermoregulate.
  • Maintain proper humidity levels in the enclosure.
  • Provide plenty of space for your dragon to move around and explore.
  • Include hiding places in the enclosure.
  • Enrich the environment with toys, climbing structures, and other forms of stimulation.
  • Socialize your dragon regularly, so they become used to human interaction.
  • Avoid handling your dragon too much or too roughly.

By following these tips, you can help reduce the stress your dragon experiences and prevent bearded dragon stress marks.

How to Calm a Stressed Bearded Dragon?

Bearded dragon stress marks indicate that the bearded dragon feels stressed. You can do several things to help calm a stressed bearded dragon.

Create the Best Bearded Dragon Enclosure

Ensure that your bearded dragon’s enclosure provides the ultimate comfortable and stress-free environment.

It includes providing a properly sized tank, maintaining appropriate temperature gradients with warm and cool zones, offering a perfect basking spot, and incorporating ample hiding places for added security.

Provide a Hiding Place

Bearded dragons feel more secure when they have a place to hide. Try adding one if your dragon’s enclosure doesn’t have a hiding place. It could be as simple as a cardboard box with a hole cut out for your dragon to enter.

Reduce Noise and Activity

Too much noise and activity can be stressful for bearded dragons. So instead, try to create a calm environment for your dragon.

Handle your Dragon Gently

Bearded dragons can be easily stressed by handling that is too rough. Try to do so gently when picking up your dragon, and avoid holding them for too long.

Give your Dragon Time to Adjust

If your dragon is new to captivity, it may need some time to adjust. Avoid handling them too much during this period and give them a chance to get used to their new environment.

Can Stress kill a Bearded Dragon?

While stress is not fatal, it can lead to health problems that can kill a bearded dragon.

For example, if a bearded dragon is constantly stressed, it can suppress its immune system and make them more susceptible to illness.

If you are able to determine bearded dragon stress marks it can be helpful in identifying when they are experiencing stress.

If a sick bearded dragon is not given the proper care, it can die.

Therefore, reducing stress in your bearded dragon is important to help keep them healthy and prevent potentially fatal health problems.

Related Articles:

Do Bearded Dragons Like To Be Pets?

Why Bearded Dragon Turned Black And Died?

5 Reasons Why Do Bearded Dragons Bite? 


Mian Hasnat

As an animal lover since childhood, Mian Hasnat has always had a deep interest in the intricacies of animal life. His passion for animals has only grown over time, and he finds great joy in researching and writing about various aspects of the animal kingdom.

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