What is brumation?
Brumation is a sort of hibernation for reptiles. While in hibernation mammals bodies will shut down, brumation for reptiles just slows them down.
There is no time of year or length of time that a dragon can brumate. It can happen during the summer months and can last a couple of days, weeks or months.
What are the symptoms?
- They could be less active, lazy and lethargic
- They could go to sleep earlier then 'normal', wake up later and sleep during the day
- They can eat less or stop eating all together
- They will have less bowel movements or none at all
- They can stay in their hide, stay in a darker corner or under something
What to do before brumation?
- The most important thing to do is make sure your bearded dragon doesn't have any underlying issues. A vet appointment is recommended with a fecal exam.
- Make sure the humidity and temperatures in the enclosure are correct.
- Make sure your dragon defecates prior to going into full brumation. Bearded Dragon's that have feces remaining in them for the duration of brumation run the risk of infection. Give a warm bath and gently massage their belly.
What to do during brumation?
- Check the humidity and temperatures of your enclosure ensuring they remain correct.
- Offer fresh food and water, in smaller quantities, every day.
- Do not force your dragon to eat.
- Occasionally waking your dragon to make them drink and bathe them (Optional)
What to do after brumation?
- Your dragon may be cranky and restless for a few days.
- More than likely you will see much black bearding and head bobbing for a couple of weeks.
- They could be extremely hungry or not so much.
- Their hormones, especially in males, will be alive and well and think of little else but mating. While the female will be more restless.
If you would like to read a more in depth and interesting article please go here:
A note to the linked article, Cameo Hall agrees with everything stated but does not agree that Bearded Dragons get hydration from their vents