As cute as your bearded dragon is, he can produce some pretty smelly poop! These creatures might look all cute but don’t be fooled – they are known to produce some of the smelliest waste amongst all reptiles.
The good thing is, though, that you can learn a lot about your bearded dragon’s health by paying attention to his poop.
If you want to know more, read this complete guide to bearded dragon poop. In it, we discuss what healthy bearded dragon poop looks like, how often they should be pooping, and what to watch out for in your bearded dragon’s bowel movements.
How Often Should a Bearded Dragon Poop?
A typical healthy bearded dragon will poop around once or twice a week. However, if your beardie is pooping every day, it doesn’t mean that there is a problem.
Bearded dragon feces is also different depending on the age too and ones that ingest lots of minerals and nutrients will usually poop more often.
Baby dragons tend to poop more often than juvenile bearded dragons or adult bearded dragons due to their protein-rich diets needed for their growth.
When bearded dragons are older, they poop less frequently due to their increased consumption of vegetables.
If your adult bearded dragon normally defecates twice a week and then suddenly starts going much more often, it could be an indication of illness.
Baby Bearded Dragon Poop Frequency
A baby bearded dragon who is younger than three months of age will poop anywhere between one and three times each day.
If you’ve previously had an adult bearded dragon, don’t be alarmed by the frequency of a baby bearded dragon’s poop – it is simply due to their protein-rich diet and their rapidly developing body.
Juvenile Bearded Dragon Pooping Frequency
Young bearded dragons (those between the ages of four and eighteen months) tend to poop once every two days.
As they approach adulthood, they will begin to poop as infrequently as once a week in some cases.
Adult Bearded Dragon Poop Frequency
The frequency of a bearded dragon’s poop is down to the individual as well as their diet. When a bearded dragon is older than 18 months and is healthy, he will poop between one and seven times a week.
For beardies who consume a lot of crickets and vegetables, you’ll usually see a bowel movement between one and three times each week. However, when a bearded dragon consumes calcium rich foods like silkworms, he could be pooping daily.
Ultimately, all beardies are different. As long as your beardie has a normal appetite and energy levels, you probably don’t need to worry.
Do Bearded Dragons Pee?
Since we’re talking about excrement, you might be wondering if bearded dragons pee.
The answer is no, they don’t. They do, however, pass a substance called urate. This is essentially a dry, chalky substance that is made of uric acid. You will often see it alongside poop.
Adult beardies will excrete urate anywhere between one and four times per week, while baby bearded dragons will do so more often – as much as three times per day.
What Should Healthy Bearded Dragon Poop Look Like?
Healthy bearded dragon feces is a mix of two wastes: poop as we know it (the solid, digested food waste), and a urine-like substance that is white or yellow and softer.
Since bearded dragons don’t urinate, they secrete two types of waste at the same time (a bit like peeing and pooping at the same time).
As a result, all bowel movements will typically contain fecal matter and urate. This is usually brown and white.
Bearded Dragon Poop Colors
Now you know what healthy bearded dragon poop looks like, you might be wondering what different colored poop indicates.
With bearded dragon’s poop, you can really tell when something is a miss by its color as well as its consistency.
When the poop changes color, it can indicate there is something wrong. You might see yellow, red, green, white, and even black poop.
Don’t be alarmed by the off stool color change, it won’t always indicate anything serious.
Sometimes, your bearded dragon stool may vary according to the food your animal ingested.
If you believe certain foods cause color changes you can remove them from their diet and check if they’re returning to their normal poop color.
Yellow Bearded Dragon Poop
Yellow poop is caused by excessive calcium in a bearded dragon’s diet. Too much calcium can result in kidney failure, intestinal damage as well as liver damage.
When bearded dragon feces has yellow spots, they should reduce their calcium intake accordingly. Firstly, ensure the enclosure is equipped with a UVB light that covers the whole enclosure.
UVB light assists in boosting calcium and improves calcium absorption in bearded dragons as it raises vitamin D levels, which are essential for the absorption of calcium.
If your beardie takes calcium supplements and you notice yellow poop, speak to your vet.
Green Bearded Dragon Poop
Bearded dragon green poop is normally caused by the consumption of green foods. If your beardie has eaten lots of leafy greens then you might see green poop.
This is caused by the chlorophyll in green plant foods. Additionally, lizard food in pellet form often contains green dye, which can make their poop green.
Other things that might change a bearded dragon’s poop color to green include if they’re eating sand from their enclosure or if they’re taking certain medicines.
As long as he is behaving normally and had a decent appetite, green poop is usually nothing to be alarmed over.
On rare occasions, a bearded dragon can have green, runny poop, or green poop with a particularly foul odor.
This could be a sign of a bacterial infection like salmonella or another parasitic infection. If you’re worried about this, take a poop sample and get in touch with your vet.
Bearded Dragon White Poop
When a bearded dragon has white poop, it usually signals dehydration. If this is the case, you need to work out the cause of the dehydration and act quickly.
You can check for other signs of dehydration too. These included weight loss or a change in body size. If your bearded dragon is dehydrated, he probably won’t be having bowel movements as often and he could end up constipated.
If the poop is completely white then it might not even be poop at all, but a urate. As long as this is soft, you don’t need to worry.
If it is chalk-like and hard, it’s likely dehydration. When this happens, a warm bath can help. Put your beardie in the warm bath up to shoulder height and supervise for around twenty minutes.
Bearded Dragon Orange Poop
It is not common to see orange in a beardie’s poop. If your bearded dragon’s stool looks orange, it might have consumed too many dietary supplements.
Another thing that you might mistake for orange poop is eggs. Female bearded dragons still lay eggs even when there are no males to mate with.
These eggs will be orange-colored and unfertilized. Often, these are misshapen and can look like orange poop if you’ve never seen them before.
So, if you have a female bearded dragon, check whether or not the substance could be eggs before you start worrying! If they are eggs, think about providing a lay box so that your beardie is less stressed.
Bearded Dragon Black Poop
When bearded dragon feces isn’t fresh, it often becomes darker. Beardies can also pass black poop if their diet is lacking in vegetables and they are mostly eating insects.
Another reason for black poop (especially if it is accompanied by a foul smell or another atypical characteristic like runny or watery poop) is a parasitic infection. This would need treatment by a vet.
To check for (or eliminate) this, you should take a fresh sample from your bearded dragon’s feces, keep it refrigerated, and take it to your vet to be tested. A parasitic or bacterial infection might not show if the sample is not fresh.
Bearded Dragon Red Poop
Red poop can also be down to the diet bearded dragons consume. If they eat lots of red-colored foods like raspberries, beets, and carrots, their poop could turn red in color. However, a red streak in their poop can indicate a bloody stool.
Bloody poop is a sign of a potentially serious issue like internal bleeding or parasites.
Parasites like coccidia can cause the walls of the intestine to collapse, which causes the formation of blood clots.
The bloody poop might also be seen alongside other gastrointestinal symptoms like lethargy.
Additionally, if you give you beardie insects that are too big, they can cause impaction. The insects should be no bigger than the space between your bearded dragon’s eyes.
Also, if they have sharp legs like roaches or locusts, you might see blood due to their legs making small tears in the intestines.
It’s always advisable to see a vet in these instances.
Is My Bearded Dragon Pooping Blood?
Normal poop shouldn’t ever contain blood and when it does, it can be alarming. You should always seek medical advice whenever you see blood in your dragon’s poop.
The cause could be as simple as a minor bowel obstruction or it could be something like hookworms or another parasite.
If your beardie is suffering impaction, this is potentially fatal when not treated, and in extreme cases may need surgery
Unhealthy Bearded Dragon Feces
Bearded dragon owners should be aware of what their pet’s toileting habits are and what their normal, healthy poop looks like.
If changes to their color, consistency, and frequency are noticed, and there have been no changes to the dragon’s diet, then this could be a cause of concern.
Foul-smelling poop is also an indication that something is not right – though a foul odor on its own is not usually a big concern.
If you notice changes in texture and frequency in your bearded dragon poops keep a close eye on him.
Runny poop or diarrhea is something to be wary of since he could quickly become dehydrated if the problem is not fixed. You might also see him being lethargic or losing weight and appetite.
Bearded Dragon Runny Poop
Runny poop and diarrhea in bearded dragons need to be investigated – especially if this is an ongoing problem. Normal bearded dragon poop is firm and lots of things could be causing the issue.
For example, if you have changed your bearded dragon’s diet abruptly, you might notice runny poop for a few days. This should start to become firmer in a couple of days.
A sudden increase in the amount of fiber present is often a cause of this, so if they’d suddenly eaten more greens like spinach or lettuce, this might be why.
It could also be caused by overhydration. This occurs when your pet has taken in lots of liquids but no solids.
Finally, stress and exercise are also known causal factors in bearded dragon diarrhea.
Bearded Dragon Parasite Poop
Runny bearded dragon poop caused by parasites looks the same as any other watery poop, so you’d need to eliminate this cause.
If a bearded dragon has consumed infected insects, it could be that he has a parasitic infection.
It is important not to feed your pet insects that you find in the wild or even in your own garden. This is because they often contain parasites. Always buy your live insects from a pet store.
Can You See Parasites in Beardie Poop?
Most common parasites aren’t visible in their feces because they only reproduce by leaving their microscopic eggs behind in the poop.
The parasites themselves remain inside the host’s body and they reproduce as their eggs are spread as their host defecates.
You won’t be able to see these eggs with the naked eye. To know if these are present, a lab technician will look at a sample under a microscope.
By doing this, they can identify which parasitic infection is present (if any) by looking at the size and shape of any eggs found. The test is called an FEC or Fecal Egg Count test.
Some larger parasites like tapeworms or roundworms might be seen as small strands in the feces. Both tapeworms and roundworms can look like rice or be spaghetti-like shapes in the poop.
How Do I Know if My Bearded Dragon Has Coccidia?
Coccidia can be a fearful prospect but it is actually quite common. When a beardie’s immune system is good, a bearded dragon might have coccidia with no symptoms of the disease at all.
Essentially, the immune system is doing its job and keeping the parasite under control.
However, when the concentration of the parasite exceeds what the beardie’s immune system can handle, the disease can become life-threatening.
This is more common in captivity and essentially means the beardie’s immune system can’t repair the damage that the coccidia is causing quickly enough.
Many experts believe that stress is a factor in coccidia transforming from a relatively mild infection into a disease.
It is worth being aware of this disease as coccidiosis can cause death in bearded dragons, in particular, if they are young.
What Does It Mean if They Won’t Poop?
If you notice a sudden decrease in the frequency of your bearded dragon’s bowel movements it could indicate stress or another problem like dehydration.
However, if your bearded dragon is emerging into adulthood, this might be why the frequency has slowed. The age baby bearded dragons slow down their frequency varies and it’s mostly gradual.
As a bearded dragon owner, you should try to keep track and observe your bearded dragon’s bowel movements so that you know when a sudden change has occurred.
Just like when your beardie has a runny stool, you should worry if a lack of pooping is also accompanied by appetite loss and lethargy. In this case, consult a vet.
While waiting to see a vet, you can encourage your bearded dragon to poop by giving him a warm bath and trying to feed him some leafy greens.
Stress Could Be a Reason
It’s quite common for bearded dragons not to poop for a few weeks when they’re first brought home. Even when you upgrade their existing enclosure to provide something better or more spacious, they can feel stressed.
It’s important that all bearded dragon owners assess their beardie’s stress levels often and keep a close eye on them to make sure nothing is overly stressing them.
A simple indicator of stress is a dragon’s poop schedule. As mentioned above, a reptile might not poop in a new environment but any form of stress can also stop them pooping. This stress could be other pets, a light on when it’s nighttime, or loud noises.
If you believe your beardie’s lack of poop is due to stress then you need to work on reducing the presence of stressors.
Firstly, provide one cage per bearded dragon and make sure there are no mirrored surfaces so they don’t mistake their own reflection for a tank mate.
Next, check humidity levels, the temperature and light in the tank.
Signs of Dehydration in A Bearded Dragon
It is important to know the signs of dehydration because even mild dehydration can cause health problems.
As well as constipation, your bearded dragon risks developing kidney disease, shedding issues, or gout.
When the dehydration is significant or prolonged (i.e. during a poorly-managed brumation) it can cause serious problems that may result in death.
Signs of dehydration include double strands of sticky saliva in their mouths, wrinkly skin, skin that ‘tents’ when pinched, and sunken eyes.
You can help your bearded dragon by encouraging drinking or providing a bath. If they still won’t drink, you could try misting them with a water spray so that they are encouraged to lick their skin.
You could also mist surfaces that they then might lick because water droplets that move are more attractive to a beardie than still water.
Finally, you can provide foods with a high water content like watercress, zucchini, and lettuce.
How Do You Know if Your Bearded Dragon Is Impacted?
There are two things to look out for when it comes to impaction. The physical signs are easy to recognize but the behavioral signs are more subtle and harder to spot.
If you’re familiar with your bearded dragon’s routine and usual toileting habits, you’ll usually notice if something changes.
The first sign of impaction is that your beardie would stop having bowel movements. Impaction means they cannot poop.
If you start to suspect that your dragon is impacted, watch how he walks. If he has an awkward or stiff gait, seems immobile, has one or both rear legs shaky or dragging, there could be a big problem.
If the impaction is higher up the digestive tract or if a lower impaction is large, the dragon might have problems with its front legs.
Other physical signs include noticing a lump on their back between vertebrae, or them having a tender or bulging belly. Your pet would also look unhealthy and might lose weight.
Bowel Movements During Brumation
Unfortunately, all of the rules on bearded dragon bowel movements disappear when it comes to brumation. This inactive time has a big effect on your pet’s typical routine.
When a beardie enters brumation, he might stop pooping altogether for as long as three months. But because he likely won’t be eating much, you don’t need to worry.
As soon as he starts eating a regular diet again, he will restart his usual pooping schedule, though this might take a week or two after the end of brumation.
As we’ve discussed, there are several kinds of poop to look out for in your pet lizard. Typically, healthy dragon poop is brown and white. There may be some liquid but fresh poop should be firm.
The bearded dragon poop white part should not be chalky as this would indicate he is consuming too much calcium.
White poop on its own is not really poop at all but urate – similar to urine. If this is hard, it could also mean your beardie is dehydrated. For your beardie’s poop to be healthy, he needs good nutrition with not too much calcium or fiber, and no stress.
When it comes to abnormal bearded dragon poop, there are many different kinds and many different reasons why it occurs.
If you notice your bearded dragon poop looks different, you need to keep a close eye on him and try to figure out what’s wrong.
If there is any blood, you should seek advice from a veterinarian quickly. Also, if there are other signs of illness such as the bearded dragon’s body has changed, this is also a sign that you should see a vet.
Bearded Dragon Poop: FAQs
How Often Should a Bearded Dragon Empty His Bowels?
Juvenile adults usually poop once a day. Adult bearded dragons, generally considered older than 18 months old, defecate anywhere between once a day or once a week. How much adult bearded animals can poop depends on many factors. This includes the amount of food, the number of different foods (the ratio of live food to vegetables, for example), and their own digestive function.
Can Bearded Dragons Poop Too Much?
If there are no underlying causes and the animal is healthy, there isn’t anything to worry about if you think your beardie is pooping too much. All beardies are different.
If you know your pet is female, a change in frequency (i.e., pooping more) could be because she is getting ready to lay eggs. Having eggs ready to lay leaves less room for poop and so females will poop more frequently in the run-up to laying a clutch of eggs.
However, if there is a sudden change in frequency, i.e., your bearded dragon goes from pooping once a week to once a day, then you might want to look into the cause. As long as the feces look normal, it’s usually nothing to worry about. Healthy bearded dragons’ poop can be frequent or infrequent.
How Do You Know if A Bearded Dragon Is Dehydrated?
A dehydrated bearded dragon would have no poop or infrequent hard poop. Other signs of dehydration include wrinkly skin, sunken eyes, and dark or hard urates.
Is a Bearded Dragon Poop Supposed to Stink?
Yes, bearded dragon poop smells, which is why it’s always recommended that you pick up poop and spot clean each time. However, if you notice the bearded dragon poop smell different or particularly foul, this could be a sign that something is wrong too.
Should Bearded Dragons Poop Be Solid?
Many new bearded dragon owners wonder what bearded dragon poop looks like in a normal, healthy pet. Typically, a bearded dragon’s poop will form a paste-type substance and will be accompanied by white urates. Sometimes you can get liquid too but it’s fine as long as the poop itself is well-formed.
How Do You Clean Bearded Dragon Poop?
It is always recommended, where possible, to spot clean the enclosure once per day. Simply pick up the poop with a paper towel or tissue then use a vinegar mixture to clean the area. This should be a mix of 50% white vinegar with 50% water. You can actually train your beardie to poop in a specific place like a litter box in their cage. This makes cleaning it much easier – though it does take patience.