Why is My Bearded Dragon Digging?

Bearded dragons dig to regulate their body temperature and to create a suitable nesting environment. Bearded dragons often dig to regulate their body temperature and create a suitable nesting environment.

This behavior is a natural instinct for them. By digging, they can burrow underground to escape extreme heat or cold, making it easier for them to thermoregulate. Additionally, digging is also a part of their reproductive behavior, as females dig nests to lay their eggs.

Understanding why bearded dragons dig is essential for their proper care and well-being. We will explore the reasons behind this behavior and provide tips on how to create an optimal environment for your bearded dragon.

Why is My Bearded Dragon Digging?

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Reasons For Digging Behavior

Bearded dragons are fascinating creatures with a range of interesting behaviors, one of which is digging. Understanding the reasons behind this digging behavior can help you ensure that your bearded dragon is happy and healthy.

Instinctual Behavior

Digging is an instinctual behavior for bearded dragons. In the wild, they dig to create burrows for protection, nesting, or simply to explore their environment. This instinct remains strong even in captivity, so don’t be surprised if your pet bearded dragon starts digging in its enclosure.

Creating A Burrow

One of the primary reasons bearded dragons dig is to create a burrow. This serves as a natural way for them to seek comfort and security. If your bearded dragon is repeatedly digging in the same spot, it may be trying to create a cozy hiding place.

Regulating Body Temperature

In addition to creating a burrow for comfort, bearded dragons may also dig to regulate their body temperature. By digging, they can burrow into cooler or warmer substrates to adjust their comfort level, especially if their enclosure lacks proper temperature gradients.

Environmental Factors Encouraging Digging

Understanding why your bearded dragon is digging can provide valuable insights into their behavior and overall well-being. Environmental factors play a crucial role in encouraging digging behavior. Here are a couple of key factors to consider:

Incorrect Temperature

One of the primary reasons your bearded dragon may be digging is due to incorrect temperature settings in their habitat. Bearded dragons are ectothermic creatures, meaning they rely on external heat sources to regulate their body temperature. If the temperature in the tank is too cold or too hot, they may resort to digging to find a more suitable environment.

Ensure that the basking spot in the tank is adequately heated to provide the necessary warmth for your bearded dragon. A temperature gradient is also essential, allowing them to move between warmer and cooler areas in the tank as needed for thermoregulation.

Regularly use a thermostat to monitor and maintain the temperature inside the enclosure. Remember, consistency in temperature is crucial for your bearded dragon’s good health.

Inadequate Space Or Hideouts

Another factor that may prompt your bearded dragon to dig is inadequate space or lack of suitable hideouts in their habitat. Bearded dragons are naturally inclined to seek out secure and enclosed spaces where they can feel safe and protected.

If your tank is too small or lacks proper hiding spots, your bearded dragon may dig in an attempt to create their own shelter. This behavior is particularly common when they are stressed or feeling threatened. Providing ample space and hiding options, such as rocks, branches, or commercial reptile hideouts, can help alleviate their digging tendencies.

Remember, bearded dragons have different preferences when it comes to selecting hideouts. Experiment with various options to find what your dragon finds most comfortable and secure.

Signs That Digging May Indicate Health Issues

Bearded dragons are fascinating reptiles that exhibit interesting behaviors, including digging. While digging can be a normal and natural behavior for these pets, it may also indicate potential health issues. Understanding the signs that digging may indicate health problems is crucial in providing the best care for your bearded dragon. In this article, we will explore some common reasons why bearded dragons dig and give you insights into when digging may be a cause for concern.

Stress Or Anxiety

Bearded dragons may resort to digging when they experience stress or anxiety. This behavior could be triggered by various factors, such as changes in their environment, inadequate temperature or lighting conditions, lack of hiding spots or a crowded enclosure, or even the presence of other pets or loud noises. It is essential to observe your bearded dragon’s behavior closely to detect signs of stress or anxiety, such as irregular eating patterns, prolonged periods of hiding, frequent glass surfing, or aggressive behavior. If you notice these signs alongside excessive digging, it is advisable to consult a reptile veterinarian to ensure your bearded dragon’s well-being.

Reproductive Behaviors

Male and female bearded dragons exhibit distinct reproductive behaviors, which can include digging. Female bearded dragons, for instance, may dig to create a suitable nesting site in anticipation of laying eggs. This behavior becomes particularly noticeable during the breeding season. On the other hand, male bearded dragons may also dig to mark their territory or attempt to court a female. However, excessive or prolonged digging by either gender could indicate underlying reproductive health issues, such as egg impaction or reproductive organ-related problems. If you suspect that your bearded dragon’s digging is related to reproductive behaviors and you are unsure about their overall health, consult a reptile veterinarian for proper examination and guidance.


Digging is a natural behavior for bearded dragons, but it could also indicate potential health problems. Stress or anxiety and reproductive behaviors are two primary factors that may contribute to excessive digging. Monitoring your bearded dragon’s behavior and addressing any concerns promptly is essential in ensuring their proper care and wellness.

Why is My Bearded Dragon Digging?

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How To Manage And Redirect Digging Behavior

Known for their burrowing instinct, bearded dragons often engage in digging behavior. Understanding why they dig and how to manage and redirect this natural behavior is essential for ensuring their well-being. By providing enrichment activities, adjusting habitat setup, and offering appropriate substrates, you can meet their innate needs while minimizing any disruptive digging behavior.

Providing Enrichment Activities

Bearded dragons, like many reptiles, thrive when engaged in enriching activities. Encouraging natural behaviors such as climbing, exploring, and foraging can help redirect their digging tendencies. By adding branches, logs, and various types of hideaways to their habitat, you can create an environment that offers stimulation and mental enrichment, reducing the need for excessive digging.

Adjusting Habitat Setup

The layout and design of the habitat play a crucial role in managing bearded dragon digging behavior. Providing a spacious enclosure with multiple levels and hiding spots can offer opportunities for physical activity and exploration. By adding rocks, stones, and ledges, you can create a diverse and interactive environment that encourages movement and minimizes the inclination to dig excessively.

Why is My Bearded Dragon Digging?

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Frequently Asked Questions Of Why Is My Bearded Dragon Digging?

Why Is My Bearded Dragon Digging Like Crazy?

Bearded dragons dig due to breeding, nesting, or seeking heat or moisture. It’s a natural behavior. Engage with varied substrates and provide proper hides to satisfy their digging instincts.

Why Is My Beardie Scratching The Floor?

Beardies scratch the floor to communicate, mark territory, hunt, or find food. It’s a natural behavior that shows their instincts are active and healthy.

Why Is My Bearded Dragon Digging And Not Eating?

Your bearded dragon may be digging due to natural behavior or trying to lay eggs. Lack of appetite could be stress-related, illness, or improper temperature. Evaluate habitat and consult a reptile veterinarian for assistance.


Understanding why your bearded dragon is digging is important for their overall well-being. By recognizing the various reasons such as nesting, exploration, or hunting, you can provide the appropriate care and environment for your pet. By addressing their natural instincts, you can ensure a happy and healthy habitat for your bearded dragon.

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