Do Bearded Dragons Play Dead? (Yep, Here Is Why)


It’s such an awful feeling to come home and find your beardie still with its eyes closed as if it is dead.

You can’t help but worry and quickly touch it to see if it will move.

This begs the question do bearded dragons play dead?

The short answer is Yes, bearded dragons play dead. They can hold their breath for a long period of time and if they close their eyes on top of that, you will think they are deceased.


Why does my bearded dragon seem dead?

There are various circumstances that may trigger your beardie play dead. One such event reported by many bearded dragon owners on internet forums is when your pet is under tremendous stress.

Regardless of what causes the stress, they can stay still, close their eyes to play dead. This is especially true when they try to evade predators for instance in the wild.

The predators may lose interest because their prey is not moving. The beardie then use the first opportunity to run for its life!


Your pet may also play dead when it’s bath time. There is no scientific evidence of this behavior just that many owners have observed this happening over and over again.

Don’t panic if you see your bearded dragon still during bath time.


Is my bearded dragon dead or hibernating?

Another life event that may be mistaken for your beardie being dead is what is called brumation.

This is hibernation in reptiles, similar to what bears do during winter time.

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During brumation, your beardie becomes lethargic and does not eat a lot. It’s important to know the signs of brumation so you don’t assume that your pet is dead.

Here are some common signs:

  • Your pet is fussy and does not want to be held
  • The beardie lose its appetite and lack energy
  • The bearded dragon has trouble waking up and burry itself in the enclosure’s sand (if any)
  • It does not eliminate as frequently as before

Learn to recognize these signs and don’t force feed your pet or play with it.

In any case if you are concerned about the health of your bearded dragon, seek advise from a professional veterinary.


In Summary

Some life events may force your bearded dragon to play dead. In most cases, give your lizard some times to come back.

Try touching them to see if they wake up and more importantly familiarize yourself with brumation signs.