Ew gross, poop! So, you have a bearded dragon and you have questions about his poop. If not, you should. Bearded dragon poop is a major indicator of overall health.
I know it sounds gross, but bearded dragons can’t tell you when they aren’t feeling well but noticing changes in their poops will tell you much about their health. They could be constipated or impacted, have too much calcium in their diet, or have parasites.
In this article, we will be going over everything about bearded dragon poop and what to do if your beloved pet is not feeling her best.
What does a healthy poop look like? What colors and consistencies should you be concerned about? What do the different colors of poop indicate, and when should you be concerned or talking to your vet?
Keep in mind, if you have any concerns about the health of your pet, the best thing to do is contact your vet. They can decide on when to bring your pet in, or if the symptoms are mild enough that home treatment would be a safe option.
Healthy Bearded Dragon Poop
Healthy bearded dragon poop should look brown with a section of white or slightly yellow. It should be semi-solid, brown, and log-shaped with the white part having a pasty consistency.
Adult bearded dragons with healthy systems should be going about once a week whereas babies and juveniles will go much more often; closer to once a day.
What is the white stuff?
Bearded dragons, like birds, do not urinate; they pass urate in their stools. That white, chalky part in dragon poop is their way of removing uric acid while also conserving water.
You should always see the white, paste consistency, non-smelly urate with the brown together. If your beardie is not passing anything white with their normal poops, you should consult your vet.
How often should my beardie poop?
Age determines how often a healthy dragon will have a bowel movement. When they are babies, to young adolescents, they will typically defecate about once a day. This is because they are eating more often, and their diet should consist mainly of protein-rich insects.
A healthy adult bearded dragon will only poop about once a week. If they are getting a very calcium rich diet, a healthy bearded dragon adult could poop as much as daily. Adjust the calcium as needed if you feel he is having too many bowel movements.
Unhealthy Bearded Dragon Poop
There are different colors that occur when your beardie is not feeling its best. There are also different consistencies, as well as several different colors of poop that can occur in an unhealthy bearded dragon. When should you visit your vet, and when can you do something at home to help out your dragon?
Keep reading to find out what the differences in your dragon’s stools could indicate, and what should be done if the poop is looking a little abnormal.
What Does Runny Poop Indicate?
Runny stools (diarrhea) can be an indicator of differing concerns. Dehydration is a big concern with a bearded dragon with runny stools because they don’t typically drink much. If you see diarrhea in your dragon, there are steps to take to alleviate them.
Parasites, bad diet, or even changes in diet can cause your dragon to have runny poop.
If the runny poops are foul-smelling, have strands of mucus or pus, show signs of blood or your dragon exhibits signs of lethargy, loss of appetite, or weight loss along with diarrhea, this could be a sign of parasites. If parasites are suspected, you should make a visit to your vet to get proper treatment. This isn’t something you should try to tackle on your own.
If your dragon doesn’t have any behavioral changes but still has runny poops, diet could be a factor. Diets exceptionally high in fiber like apples, pumpkin, and watery fruits or simply too many greens can cause loose stools. Scale back the very high fiber foods in their diet and diarrhea should clear up in a few days, if that does not do the trick, then make a call to your vet.
Diarrhea carries another complication for your bearded dragon; dehydration. Bearded dragons are not typically heavy drinkers. They get most of their liquid intake from their diet so loose and runny stools could easily cause dehydration. Keep a close eye on your dragon if they start having diarrhea.
A healthy adult bearded dragon should poop about once a week, but what if your dragon has not pooped in a few weeks? He could be constipated, have an impaction, or have something else going on.
Stress can cause constipation in beardies. Is she often showing her black beard or acting jittery, biting? These could be signs of stress.
Are there constant loud noises around the enclosure, or has something else disrupted your pet’s normal routine? Moving to a new house, or even changing the enclosure around often could cause stress in your animal. Take steps to reduce stress on your beardie and she should end up going back to normal in a short time.
Impaction means there is solid waste stuck in the bowels that prevents the waste from passing through. Mild impaction can be treated at home, but if the home treatments don’t work, and your beardie can’t poop for an extended time, you should contact your vet.
Have you noticed your dragon has been straining but nothing comes out? Are they completely disinterested in food? Is he dragging his back legs around, or hardly moving at all?
These are all signs your dragon may be impacted. You can also check for an impaction by gently rubbing the bottom of your dragon’s belly. If you can feel a solid lump in the belly of your dragon, it’s likely he has an impaction in the bowels.
Impaction can happen if they accidentally ingest too much substrate, eat something they can’t pass, or possibly eat too many large insects.
If the constipation is not serious, you could try a warm bath while gently massaging the belly toward the vent. You’re not looking to do a deep tissue massage, just gentle rubbing along the belly for a few minutes at a time while they soak in the warm water. A warm water bath will usually free up mild to moderate constipation and/or impaction.
You can also try some homemade laxatives to help move the bowels along. See if your dragon will eat some applesauce or pumpkin puree with a little bit of added water. If these do not work, you could also try a few drops of olive oil added to their food or administer it straight from a small dropper.
If none of these remedies help to move things along, then you should visit your vet. They can administer some more aggressive laxatives in the form of medication or offer alternative solutions to bring your beardie back to tip-top health.
Different Colors of Poop and What to be Concerned About
Check out this great, informative video that user LizardGuru created about this very subject!
The different colors of poop you could see from your bearded dragon.
- Green poop
- Yellow poop
- Black poop
- Red poop
- White poop
Next, we will discuss all the above colors of bearded dragon poop, what each one could indicate, and what actions should be taken for each one.
Have you ever seen green bearded dragon poop?
If you notice the occasional green-tinted bearded dragon poop, then you should not be too concerned. A lot of times when dark leafy greens are fed to your dragon on a consistent basis, the food could tint the poop green. The occasional green poop is normal, especially if your dragon is still acting normal and has a healthy appetite.
Now if the green poop is accompanied by awful smells like a garbage dump or is also runny, then this could be a serious issue. Smelly, green, runny stools could indicate liver problems or certain diseases. Contact your vet if you see these signs to find out for sure.
What does yellow bearded dragon poop indicate?
Yellow bearded dragon poop could indicate a diet consisting of too much calcium. Bearded dragons do need plenty of calcium in their diets but too much could cause their poops to turn yellow.
Adult bearded dragons should get the majority of their calcium needs from a diet of dark, leafy greens and veggies. An additional calcium supplement should be given to adults about once a week if they are getting a healthy diet. If your dragon is passing yellow poops, reduce the calcium intake a little to see if that returns everything to normal.
How is the UVB light in the dragon’s enclosure? Does the UVB light cover the entire enclosure, or is it too strong for the enclosure? Can your bearded dragon escape from the light if needed by hiding in a cave or under a hiding hole?
Too much UVB could cause extra absorption of calcium and in turn, cause yellow poops. Your enclosure should have a section of UVB light, and an area where your beardie can hide from the light when she gets enough.
Maybe it’s not Poop at all…
A solid yellow poop could also be an unfertilized egg. If you notice a rounded or oblong yellow-looking object in the enclosure, there is nothing to worry about as this is only an egg. Sometimes even when female beardies are alone, they will pass an egg here and there.
One time my female passed 13 unfertilized eggs in one night! She was getting ready to lay a real clutch. My vet said this was simply a ‘practice run’ and it was nothing to be concerned about. I moved the male into his own enclosure because I did not want to raise babies and didn’t have that surprise again.
What to do When You See Black Bearded Dragon Poop
Black bearded dragon poop could indicate that your beardie is getting too many insects in their diet and not enough greens and veggies. Younger beardies need the extra protein insects to provide so their diet should consist of mostly insects with some veggies added in. The reverse is true for adults as their diet should consist of 70% veggies, greens, and fruits in their diet with the remaining 30% as insect matter.
If your bearded dragon is getting a proper mixture of fresh vegetables and insects but the poops are still black, you might want to collect a stool sample to be tested by your vet to rule out other problems such as parasites.
Keep in mind though, normal brown dragon poops can turn black in a few hours; especially if the poop is under a heat lamp or on a heating pad. If the poop is hard and black, it could have simply changed color and dried out. Keep an eye on your dragon in case there are other indicators such as behavior or if they have a fresh poop that is black.
Black dragon poop could indicate impaction, especially if you find a hard lump in your beardie’s belly, if they refuse food, or are dragging their hind legs around. The best action you can take to remedy impaction at home is to give your bearded dragon a warm bath.
Attempt to hydrate your dragon in addition to giving it a bath. If your dragon is still eating but has black, solid poops you can hydrate using fruits like papaya, mango, applesauce, or watermelon.
On the other hand, black poop that’s watery could be an indicator of parasites. If you see black diarrhea in the enclosure, you should make an appointment with your vet to test and get any treatments needed to keep your pet healthy.
How to Treat Red Bearded Dragon Poop
Red bearded dragon poop could be something as simple and non-threatening as red dyes from store-bought bearded dragon food, or red foods like raspberries or strawberries. If your dragon is still his normal self and the red clears up in a day or two there is nothing to worry about. It was most likely just dyed from an excess of red foods.
Red poop could also indicate something as serious as blood in your bearded dragon’s stool. Blood in the poop can be caused by a serious impaction, a parasite infestation, or internal bleeding. If you see blood in your bearded dragon’s stool, you should call your vet to see if they need to be brought in, or if getting a stool sample checked is needed.
If you see blood coming from the vent or cloaca you should get veterinarian help as soon as possible. There could be something serious going on inside your beardie that needs to be checked immediately. Also get your dragon checked by a vet if you feel hard nubs underneath the belly, along with the bloody stools.
If your little dragon is otherwise normal, appears healthy aside from the red-colored poop, or if it clears up in a day or two he should be fine. Could have just been red foods that colored
Again, if there is any concern or worries, always refer to your vet. They know your animal, and when treatment is needed.
Why is My Bearded Dragon’s Poop White?
If your bearded dragon is pooping mostly to all white, that could mean she is dehydrated. Another test to check for dehydration is to gently tug at the skin, if it slowly goes back or stays out a bit and looks wrinkled, she is dehydrated.
Back to the white poop. If the poop is chalky-looking, stringy, and mostly all white, then try adding some more water into the diet. Make sure there is a shallow water dish of clean water available all the time.
They may not drink often, but occasionally they will dip their tongues in and get a tiny little drink.
You can also try rehydrating your beardie by adding more juicy foods like mango, papaya, watermelon, or offer a fat, juicy hornworm. There is a lot of beneficial liquid built up in that fat caterpillar, and your beardie will love the treat.
Other Ways to Hydrate a Bearded Dragon
A bath is a great way not only to relieve constipation or impaction but one of the best ways to add in some extra hydration. Since bearded dragons explore with their tongues, most likely they will explore the water with their tongues and get a little extra water in their bellies.
Mist your dragon in its enclosure. This will help to hydrate the skin, and it’s possible your dragon will lick off some of the moisture beads.
Add extra water to their food. If you use store-bought food that needs to be rehydrated, don’t drain the water off from the dish. There’s extra water in there your beardie will consume; alternatively, if you feed fresh veggies and fruits, mist some clean water on the veggies. Again, as they eat, they consume more water.
Who knew there was so much information from something as gross, and disinteresting as poop? It may seem nasty, but you can glean a lot of information from a bearded dragon’s bowel movements from the colors, odors, and consistency.
You shouldn’t be averse to keeping track of your bearded dragon’s pooping habits. They can’t tell you when they are feeling bad with words, but if you keep track of their poops, you can better tell if he is healthy, or if something is off and be prepared sooner.