Why Is My Bearded Dragon Digging? All You Need To Know

Have you seen your bearded dragon digging and wondered why is my bearded dragon digging? Digging behavior in the bearded dragon is quite normal. They are seen digging around the enclosure. Digging in a corner etc. You may get scared when you see your cute pet digging for the first time. It is pretty standard for you to get worried about this behavior and think about its health conditions.

You may also see your bearded dragon scratching. Typically, bearded dragons dig for various reasons. Suppose the female beardie is preparing to lay eggs or getting ready for brumation; they will dig. It doesn’t end here. There are many other things related to this digging behavior.

Please keep reading to find it out all answers to your questions and solution for that behavior. It’s fascinating. If you are a bearded dragon pet owner, then you must read this article.

Why is my bearded dragon digging so much?

Digging behavior is common in bearded dragons. These dig the ground for several reasons. Maybe it’s getting ready for the brumation period. Or trying to find out a perfect basking spot.

why is my bearded dragon digging

Also, bearded dragons dig so much when they are stressed. Also, you need to provide a suitable substrate for your bearded dragon. It’s because, while digging, they may harm themselves.

Therefore it’s good to invest in the right kind of substrate. So if you see your pet digging so much, then you can say that either it’s preparing to lay eggs or getting ready for brumation and sometimes stressed a lot.

Also, if they see a bobbing head, they will hide by digging due to fear.

What Does Digging Behavior Look?

Digging is quite a normal behavior in the wild for most reptiles. If you are seeing your beardies dig for the first time, then you may feel shocked. But understand that it is pretty standard for beardies to dig.

When the beardies try to dig, they use their front and back limbs to press the substrate out and create holes in the bedding. Even if there is no substrate, they will still dig. Or if there is nothing underneath the bedding, they will still dig.

Therefore investing in a suitable substrate is recommended because you don’t want your beardies to harm themselves while digging.

Do Baby Bearded Dragons Dig?

Yes. Same as adult bearded dragons, baby bearded dragons dig. But, the only difference is they aren’t digging to lay the eggs.

Two baby Bearded Dragons on a blue background interacting together with soft light.

Okay, so when you bring your pet for the first time to your home, you may see them digging a lot; this is due to their body not getting settled to the new enclosure.

If they are unsettled, they will dig quite a lot. Make sure to maintain the temperature of the tank at a perfect level.

Is Digging Unhealthy to Your Bearded Dragon?

Digging is a natural behavior. Bearded Dragons dig often and frequently during their course of life. But, sometimes digging may indicate some symptoms. So please observe. You should check the temperature of the tank and should set it to the proper temperature.

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Also, it would be best to make sure that your bearded dragon isn’t getting intimidated often. But, please allow them to dig because they might be digging for various genuine reasons.

If you see your female beardie trying to dig, it means that it’s preparing to lay the eggs. Therefore you should allow them to dig.

What Substrate Should You Use?

There are different substrates that you can use for your bearded dragon. Some substrates are high quality, and some aren’t, which is not suitable for your beardies tank. If you want to provide an excellent enclosure to your beardie, then invest in a type of excavation clay.

You can use these substrates in its basking area too. This substrate is similar to their natural habitat. And, also your beardie can dig and create small caves in it. Do not try to use the newspaper because it will lead to frustration in them.

Common Reasons Why Bearded Dragons Dig

There are many reasons for your bearded dragons’ digging. It is identical for all bearded dragons, even if they are digging at night. Here we have covered all the possible reasons for bearded dragons digging behavior.

Preparing for brumation

Bearded dragons over 12-18 months start brumating in cold months. They even brumate for up to 3-4 months. During the brumation period, these bearded dragons sleep a lot and eat less food.

Bearded dragon in brumation period

So, if you see your pet digging around during colder months, you need to understand that it’s preparing to undergo through brumation period. It may also be trying to dig a hiding spot for brumation.

Look for food.

If your bearded dragon is underfed, it might start digging to search for food. So please provide sufficient food for them.

Try to provide maximum live bugs to them because it supplies them calcium. So, if you notice them digging, it may be a sign that your beardie is just hungry and needs food. So try to supply the food to your underfed bearded dragon.

When Bearded Dragons Lay Eggs

If your female bearded dragon is older than 8-12 months, and you see them digging, then it means that your beardies are preparing to lay eggs. Bearded dragons do need a mate to lay eggs. But, those eggs are infertile.

The eggs will be fertile only when it lays eggs by mating with the male. The breeding season starts at the end of winter. Once they are brumated, they start being very active and ready to breed.

Also, place a lay box or dig box in its enclosure. So if you see your gravid beardie digging, it indicates that your beardie is preparing to lay eggs.

The temperature in the tank is high

If the tank’s temperature is too high, then your pet might start to escape from the temperature by trying to hide. If your beardie is suffering from too much temperature, it will display severe panting and avoid the basking spot.

Temperature above 115 F will slowly kill your beardie. So, you need to set up proper basking light and temperature in the tank. Because overheat isn’t good for them, they will try to dig a lot to escape from the temperature.

Also, if its body temperature gets high, it will start digging. And also, when the temperature is too high, it will sit at the basking spot with its mouth open.

They are stressed.

If your bearded dragon is stressed, then it will try to hide by digging a spot. Bright lights, cage mates, and loud noises will stress them a lot. Generally, bearded dragons do not like to be together; they enjoy being in solitude.

Placing two or more bearded dragons will cause them to fight with each other. Therefore if you see your beardie digging a lot, it may also mean that your beardie is stressed.

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There is not enough space.

If your beardies enclosure is congested and there is no space for them to roam, enjoy, and keep their objects, it will start to dig to remove their boredom.

These creatures need a large tank. They need a tank of a minimum of 40 gallons. So please invest in a bigger tank for them. It will make them feel at home.

They find hides.

If your tank consists of no hiding spots, it will start to create a one by digging the tank. When they are stressed or going under brumation and high temperature, they will start digging to find a hiding spot.

You can even use branches and other accessories to create a hiding spot. Also, sometimes your beardie pal will dig, even if there is a hidden area. Also, it will dig at night in its sleeping area.

why is my bearded dragon digging? 

There is a lot of reasons for your bearded dragons digging. It indicates several conditions.

If your beardie is searching for a perfect basking spot, or if the temperature in the tank is high, or if it’s stressed and laying eggs, going through a brumation period, your beardies will start digging.

It will dig a lot if they need a hiding place too. So digging behavior in the bearded dragons indicates many things.

why is my male bearded dragon digging? 

Male bearded dragons will dig if the tank temperature is too high and they cannot tolerate it. Bearded dragons need a moderate level of temperature in their tank. When the hotness in the tank gets increased, it tries to dig to make itself cool.

Also, if your male bearded dragon is stressed a lot, or trying to search for food, going through a brumation period, then it will dig.

why is my female bearded dragon digging? 

If the gender is female, then, Female bearded dragons mostly dig when they lay the eggs. They search for an area to lay their eggs, and hence they will start digging and stay in that place.

Also, if your beardie tries to hide, is stressed, or undergoing a brumation period, it will dig. The most common reason for your females is its preparation towards laying eggs.

why is my bearded dragon digging in the sand? 

Many pet owners use sand as a substrate. Even though bearded dragons need more temperature than us, the temperature shouldn’t be too high.

Bearded Dragon in South Australia's Strzelecki Desert.

Your beardie might be trying to dig in the sand if the temperature is too high. It will dig to get relaxed. Holes dug below the ground level are more incredible, so these dig in the sand to relax.

why is my bearded dragon digging and not eating? 

In winter, bearded dragons undergo brumation. Brumation helps them in saving their energy, and it also increases the chance of their survival. So, if you see your bearded dragon digging a lot and not eating, then it means that your beardie is brumating.

During the brumation period, these creatures lose their appetite and stop eating food. Also, they sleep a lot. And they will dig right into the substrate. After brumation, your beardie will get back its lost appetite.

why is my bearded dragon digging in the corner? 

Bearded dragons are naturally habituated to dig. They dig in the corner for various reasons. It may be to lay eggs or for other reasons such as searching for a basking spot, going through brumation, etc.

These tiny creatures use their forelimb and hindlimb to dig the surface. So if you see bearded dragons digging in the corner, leave them alone; they may be digging because they need to dig into smoothening their tasks.

why is my bearded dragon digging at night?

If you see your bearded dragon digging at night, then it simply means that it’s trying to regulate its temperature. If the temperature level in the tank isn’t perfect for them, they will start to dig to make them comfortable.

The iguana is warming up on the branch

If your bearded dragon is going through a brumation period, then it may start digging at night too. And also, if the female gravid beardie is trying to lay its eggs, it will start digging. And also, to protect from the predators and get a comfortable place and sleep, they will dig.

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It’s because they need a hiding spot at night to escape from the predators. So they dig the surface to escape from being prey. Also, burrowing behavior is seen mainly at night when they are preparing to sleep.

why is my bearded dragon digging so much? 

It is pretty standard for your bearded pet dragon to dig so much. If it’s digging so much, then it can indicate several reasons.

If those are going through brumation, or if the female beardie is laying eggs, or if it’s stressed, underfed, then it will start digging so much. Digging behavior is expected, and there is no need for you to worry about its digging behavior.

why is my bearded dragon digging like crazy?

Okay. You may get worried about your bearded dragon after seeing it digging and scratching like a crazy psychopath. It is pretty standard for them to dig a lot and like crazy.

These will dig a lot of the temperature in the tank isn’t appropriate, going through brumation, or trying to lay eggs. And also, it will start digging if it’s unhappy and stressed. And also, to escape from predators to prevent from being prey, they will dig quite a lot.

why is my baby bearded dragon digging?

Same as adult bearded dragons, baby bearded dragons dig their surface. Baby bearded dragons may not be laying eggs.

But it will dig if it’s going through hibernation or the temperature in the tank is too high. Also, baby bearded dragons will dig until it gets settled into their new place.

Conclusion

Indeed, baby bearded dragons are cute pets. But, if you are worried about their digging behavior, stop worrying because digging is quite ordinary for beardies. They dig the surface for various reasons.

Also, you should pay attention to choosing the perfect substrate for the tank. Because if you do not invest in the proper substrate, it will get harmed by digging a lot. If you see your lizards digging, then don’t worry. Just watch out for them. And check if they are showing any inappropriate behavior. If there is any inappropriate behavior, then seek treatment.

FAQs

What does it mean when a bearded dragon keeps scratching?

If you see your bearded dragon scratching a lot, then there might be a problem with the setup inside the tank. Also, bearded dragons will scratch a lot of they are stressed. And if there are issues with lighting, humidity, and temperature in its setup, then it will keep scratching.

Why is my beardie so itchy?

It is usual for your beardie to be so itchy. Beardies will start showing itching behavior during the time of its shedding. When it’s close to the shedding, it will start being so itchy.

Why is my bearded dragon head butting the glass?

Glass butting may indicate many reasons. If he is unhappy in the enclosure, then it will start hitting the glass. And also, it will start banging the glass if it has a poo. It is to let us know that they have pooped.

How do I know if my bearded dragon is irritated?

When these are irritated and mad, they display some warning signs. Since there are no other means for them to communicate with us, they show some signs. When they are irritated, they will start puffing up, or it will start glass surfing, it will hold its mouth open, Bob the head fast, or will start to hiss and bite when it’s irritated.

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Gulshan
Hi, I am Gulshan, a pet blogger, and author. I've been working with the local pet groups for the past five years. I have been fascinated by our pets and am here to share that wonder with you.