Bearded dragons, scientifically known as Pogona vitticeps, are fascinating reptiles that have gained popularity as pets due to their friendly nature and unique appearance. These reptiles are native to the arid regions of Australia and are known for their ability to adapt to various environments. Understanding the behavior of bearded dragons is crucial for providing them with the care they need.

Bearded dragons are diurnal creatures, meaning they are most active during the day and sleep during the night. Their behavior is influenced by both their natural instincts and their interactions with their environment. These reptiles are social animals that thrive

on interaction and mental stimulation. They have distinct body language and behaviors that can provide insights into their emotions and overall well-being.

Why do bearded dragons close their eyes?

One interesting behavior that has sparked curiosity among bearded dragon enthusiasts is their tendency to close their eyes. When a bearded dragon closes its eyes, it can indicate a range of emotions and states of being. One common reason for a bearded dragon to close its eyes is when it feels content and relaxed.

Bearded dragons are ectothermic, meaning they rely on external heat sources to regulate their body temperature. Basking in the sun or under a heat lamp is essential for these reptiles to maintain their ideal body temperature. When a bearded dragon finds a warm spot and feels comfortable, it may choose to close its eyes as a sign of relaxation and security.

However, it’s important to note that closing their eyes doesn’t always indicate happiness. Bearded dragons also close their eyes when they are stressed or feeling threatened. In these situations, closing their eyes is a defense mechanism to protect them from potential danger. It allows them to block out stimuli and focus on self-preservation.

Signs of a happy bearded dragon

While closing their eyes can be a sign of contentment, there are other behaviors and body language cues that can indicate a happy bearded dragon. Understanding these signs can help owners gauge the well-being of their pet reptiles and make adjustments to their care if needed.

One clear sign of a happy bearded dragon is an alert and active demeanor. When these reptiles are content, they will actively explore their environment, showing curiosity and interest in their surroundings. They will have bright, clear eyes and a healthy appetite. A happy bearded dragon will readily eat its meals, displaying enthusiasm and energy during feeding time.

Another indicator of a happy bearded dragon is a relaxed body posture. When these reptiles feel at ease, they will have a straight back with their legs positioned comfortably underneath them. Their body will appear plump and well-nourished, indicating good overall health. A happy bearded dragon will also have smooth skin without any signs of shedding or dryness.

Additionally, a happy bearded dragon will display social behavior. These reptiles are known for their friendly and curious nature. They enjoy interacting with their owners and may seek out attention and physical contact. A happy bearded dragon will willingly approach its owner, allowing gentle handling and showing no signs of aggression or fear.

Other behaviors that indicate a happy bearded dragon

In addition to closing their eyes and displaying an alert and active demeanor, there are other behaviors that can indicate a happy bearded dragon. These behaviors can vary from individual to individual, but they often reflect a sense of comfort and satisfaction.

One such behavior is known as “arm waving.” Bearded dragons may lift one of their front legs and wave it in a slow, deliberate manner. This behavior is often seen when a bearded dragon is trying to communicate with other bearded dragons or establish dominance. However, it can also occur when a bearded dragon feels content and secure in its environment.

Another behavior that can indicate a happy bearded dragon is “head bobbing.” This behavior involves the rhythmic bobbing of the head up and down. Bearded dragons may engage in head bobbing when they are excited or trying to communicate with their owners. It can be a form of greeting or a way to establish territory.

Bearded dragons may also engage in “glass surfing” or “glass dancing” when they are happy. This behavior involves repeatedly running or rubbing against the glass walls of their enclosure. While this behavior may seem strange, it can indicate that a bearded dragon is enjoying its environment and is seeking mental stimulation.

Understanding these various behaviors can help owners gauge the happiness and well-being of their bearded dragons. It’s important to note that every bearded dragon is unique, and their behaviors may vary. Observing and getting to know your individual bearded dragon’s habits and preferences is key to providing them with optimal care.

Providing a comfortable environment for your bearded dragon

Creating a comfortable and enriching environment is essential for the overall well-being of your bearded dragon. These reptiles require specific conditions to thrive, and meeting their environmental needs is crucial for their happiness and health.

One of the most important aspects of a bearded dragon’s enclosure is proper temperature regulation. Bearded dragons require a temperature gradient within their enclosure, allowing them to thermoregulate and move between warm and cool areas. Providing a basking spot with a temperature of around 95-105°F (35-40°C) is essential for their digestion and overall well-being.

In addition to temperature, bearded dragons require appropriate lighting to support their physical and mental health. UVB lighting is crucial for bearded dragons as it helps them metabolize calcium and prevent health issues such as metabolic bone disease. It’s important to provide UVB lighting that is specifically designed for reptiles and replace it regularly according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Another important aspect of a bearded dragon’s enclosure is substrate selection. Bearded dragons are prone to impaction, which occurs when they ingest loose substrate that can cause blockages in their digestive system. Avoid using loose substrates such as sand or gravel and opt for safer alternatives such as reptile carpet or paper towels.

Furthermore, providing appropriate hiding spots and climbing structures can enhance your bearded dragon’s sense of security and mental stimulation. Bearded dragons enjoy exploring and climbing, so providing branches, rocks, and other accessories within their enclosure can promote their natural behaviors.

Get to Understand Why Your Bearded Dragon is Closing One Eye

Proper handling and interaction with your bearded dragon

Interacting with your bearded dragon is not only enjoyable for both you and your pet but also crucial for building trust and maintaining a healthy bond. However, it’s important to handle your bearded dragon properly to ensure their safety and well-being.

When handling your bearded dragon, it’s vital to approach them calmly and confidently. Sudden movements or loud noises can startle them and lead to stress or defensive behaviors. Gently scoop them up from underneath, supporting their body and allowing them to feel secure.

Bearded dragons have delicate skin that can be easily injured. Avoid pulling or tugging on their limbs, tail, or skin. Instead, allow them to move at their own pace and avoid handling them excessively, especially during shedding or periods of stress.

Regular handling sessions can help your bearded dragon become accustomed to human interaction and build trust. However, it’s important to respect their boundaries and signs of discomfort. If your bearded dragon displays signs of stress or aggression, such as puffing up its beard, opening its mouth, or hissing, it’s best to give them space and allow them to calm down.

Common misconceptions about bearded dragon behavior

It’s not uncommon for misconceptions to arise when it comes to understanding bearded dragon behavior. These misconceptions can lead to misunderstandings and potentially harmful practices. Let’s debunk some common misconceptions about bearded dragon behavior.

One common misconception is that a bearded dragon that closes its eyes is always happy. While closing their eyes can indicate contentment, it’s important to consider the context and other behaviors exhibited by the bearded dragon. Closing their eyes can also be a sign of stress or feeling threatened.

Another misconception is that bearded dragons are solitary creatures that do not require social interaction. In reality, bearded dragons are social animals that benefit from mental stimulation and socialization. Providing opportunities for interaction, such as supervised playtime outside of their enclosure or introducing them to other bearded dragons, can enhance their well-being.

Additionally, there is a misconception that bearded dragons require a diet solely consisting of insects. While insects are an important part of their diet, bearded dragons also require a variety of vegetables and fruits for optimal nutrition. A well-balanced diet that includes both insects and plant matter is essential for their overall health.

Tips for keeping your bearded dragon happy and healthy

Now that we have explored the behavior and needs of bearded dragons, let’s summarize some tips for keeping these captivating reptiles happy and healthy:

  1. Provide a comfortable enclosure with proper temperature gradients and lighting.
  2. Use safe substrates that do not pose a risk of impaction.
  3. Offer hiding spots and climbing structures to promote mental stimulation.
  4. Feed a well-balanced diet that includes both insects and a variety of vegetables and fruits.
  5. Handle your bearded dragon with care and respect their boundaries.
  6. Provide opportunities for social interaction and mental stimulation.
  7. Regularly observe and monitor your bearded dragon for any signs of stress or health issues.
  8. Consult with a reptile veterinarian for regular check-ups and guidance on proper care.

By following these tips and understanding the behavior of bearded dragons, you can provide them with the care they need to thrive in captivity.


Bearded dragons are captivating reptiles that exhibit unique behaviors, including the tendency to close their eyes. While closing their eyes can indicate contentment and relaxation, it’s important to consider the context and other behaviors displayed by the bearded dragon. Understanding the different contexts behind their eye-closing behavior can help us better care for these fascinating reptiles and ensure their overall well-being.

Creating a comfortable and enriching environment, providing proper handling and interaction, and debunking common misconceptions are all essential steps in keeping your bearded dragon happy and healthy. By observing their behavior, meeting their environmental needs, and providing optimal care, you can foster a strong bond with your bearded dragon and ensure their well-being for years to come.

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