Bearded Dragon Stress Marks [Causes and Treatment]

Bearded Dragons (Beardies) are the most popular reptile pet. They are fascinating reptiles with unique personalities. One of the strangest things about these reptiles is their stress markings. What are stress marks? 

They are black lines on the abdomen, beard, and limbs, often ovals. People have long been curious whether or not bearded dragons display signs of stress. Bearded dragon stress markings are black lines or rings on the belly, beard, and limbs. They are caused by stress, worry, or fear.

In this article, we will go through the bearded dragon stress markings, their causes, and how to soothe a bearded dragon that is stressed.

What Are Bearded Dragon Stress Marks?

Bearded dragons are adorable tiny lizards belonging to the Pogona reptiles family. They’ve been adopted as pets for decades.

According to experts, stress lines and deeper pigments form on a bearded dragon’s body when it is frightened or afraid. This is their normal manner of reacting to other members of their species and communicating with those of other species.

The presence of significant stress marks on the belly of a bearded dragon is notable. In addition to appearing on the region around the neck, they also appear on the bearded spikes and the limbs.

What Bearded Dragon Stress Marks Look Like?

Bearded dragons are normally tan to orange, but some are white, black, red, or yellow. Bearded dragons have bright and dark patterns that help break up their wild shape.

Stress marks on a bearded dragon’s body will show out against its color. They are big dark splotches or stripes that might look practically black and can emerge and disappear at random intervals.

As their owner, you may find it unpleasant to observe these marks. However, there are measures you may take to alleviate their tension! In order to determine the degree of stress your bearded dragon is feeling, you must first discover additional stress indicators and potential stressors.

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Other Signs of Stress in Bearded Dragons

Your bearded dragon may exhibit both physical and mental, as well as behavioral, signs of stress. These may be divided into two main categories:

Physical Signs of Stress

In addition to stress markings, stress may appear physically in bearded dragons in various ways. Bearded dragons are susceptible to both constipation and diarrhea. This is a major problem since they won’t absorb nutrition properly and will get dehydrated.

Behavioral Signs of Stress

Changes in bearded dragons’ behavior patterns are a good indicator of the presence of stress. Keep an eye out for repeated changes in your bearded dragon’s behavior that are out of the ordinary.

Stress might also manifest itself in the form of inactivity. If your bearded dragon has stopped moving about and is instead keeping concealed in one of its hides, it may be experiencing a great deal of stress and should be checked on. This behavior is a significant challenge for the situation because they cannot regulate their body temperature if they remain in one spot.

Common Causes of Stress in Bearded Dragons

In most instances, identifying the source of stress is more difficult than identifying the stress signs. This is because bearded dragons are exposed to a wide variety of stressful situations is not uncommon. It might be their cage, handling, boredom, or something else. The following is a list of some of the most significant causes of stress in bearded dragons:

bearded dragon stress marks
  • Incorrect tank temperature
  • Incorrect tank size (not enough space)
  • Tank lacks hiding spots
  • Moving anxiety (most common in very young bearded dragons)
  • Being housed with another bearded dragon
  • Excessive handling
  • The lack of consistent physical contact
  • Lack of outdoor time/boredom
  • Loud sounds
  • Seeing their reflection
  • Live prey remaining in the tank if uneaten
  • A dirty enclosure
  • Other pets or loud youngsters approaching the tank
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Do Bearded Dragons Get Stressed When Shedding?

Bearded dragons are calm and cool yet may become upset when shedding.  It can even be painful for them to lose their skin, so it is easy to understand why they are not in the greatest of moods during this process. They get agitated and nervous as a result of it.

Being familiar with the procedure doesn’t indicate they’ll be happy. They just require some time to themselves. Once they’re done, they won’t want to be held or disturbed.

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Signs Your Beardie Is Stressed?

The body language of the bearded dragon during times of stress might provide valuable information to the owner. The darkening of the epidermis in the neck area, particularly in the beard area, is the first symptom of the condition.

Bearded dragons also have stress marks, which look like belly patches or black beards.  In addition to the bearded dragon stress markings, there are also other apparent bearded dragon stress signals, which are detailed further down 

  1. The body colors: Body colors fluctuate with age, as well as during the mating or shedding season, or owing to changes in temperature; nonetheless, the stress indicators will show rapidly upon any event. The owner must know what’s causing the beardie’s behavior.
  2. Running in the terrarium: The bearded dragon laps up and down its enclosure or tank length. Or, they will try to climb the glass wall of the tank while standing on their hind legs against it and using their front paws to grab onto the surface. This activity is known as “glass surfing.”
  3. Bearded dragon reflection: The dragon becomes agitated when it sees its reflection in the glass and believes it is its opponent. This causes the bearded dragon to experience stress.
  4. Food & drink:   Even though they may go without food for weeks at a time, the abrupt loss of appetite is cause for concern and should prompt additional research. As a direct consequence of this, bearded dragons that are under stress will lose weight.
  5. Less activity: It is not very active or curious, and suddenly it has become sluggish.
  6. Less basking: The bearded dragon pet spends less time in the basking area and more time in its hiding location. It seems to prefer the latter.
  7. Full list of signs of stress here
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How to Prevent Stress in Bearded Dragon

  1. Prevent Boredom with Decor

You may prevent boredom, which is a big contributor to stress, by using your imagination while designing the environment for your bearded dragon. You may give it something to look at, but more importantly, something to play with by thoughtfully decorating the tank with things such as vines and a hammock.

  1. Hide

While living in the wild, bearded dragons will feel the urge to seek refuge from other animals that might harm them. 

Your bearded dragon will have a much better sense of security if it has a private location where it can go to have some peace away from curious eyes.

It is highly recommended that you provide a hide or shelter for your bearded dragon. Hides and shelters come in various styles but may be fairly unique and provide a decorative aspect.

  1. Feeding Correctly Supplements

Calcium is of the utmost significance for bearded dragons because it guarantees healthy bone and skeletal strength. Calcium powder must be sprinkled on all the feeder insects you provide to your pet to give them that extra burst of nutrition.