Bearded dragons, scientifically known as Pogona vitticeps, are fascinating reptiles native to Australia. They have become increasingly popular as pets due to their docile nature and unique appearance. These small to medium-sized lizards are known for their spiky skin, which resembles a beard and gives them their name. While they make great companions, there are certain behaviors of bearded dragons that can leave owners puzzled. One such behavior is the question of whether or not they eat their own poop.

Understanding the behavior of bearded dragons

To comprehend why bearded dragons engage in certain behaviors, it is essential to understand their natural instincts and environmental adaptations. In the wild, bearded dragons have limited access to food, and their diet mainly consists of insects, vegetation, and occasionally small vertebrates. They have evolved to be opportunistic eaters, which means they will consume whatever is available to them. This adaptive behavior has likely contributed to the misconception that bearded dragons eat their own poop.

Do bearded dragons eat their poop?

Contrary to popular belief, bearded dragons do not typically eat their own poop. This misconception may stem from the fact that they occasionally display coprophagy, the consumption of feces. However, it is important to differentiate between occasional coprophagy and a regular behavior. Bearded dragons may engage in coprophagy in specific circumstances, but it is not a common or desired behavior.

The myth of bearded dragons eating their own poop

The myth of bearded dragons eating their own poop has likely arisen from a misunderstanding of their behavior. Occasionally, bearded dragons may accidentally consume their own feces while hunting or exploring their environment. This can occur if they come into contact with their feces while searching for food or if the feces are present in their enclosure. However, this accidental ingestion is not a deliberate act and should not be confused with regular poop consumption.

The myth may have also gained traction due to the fact that some reptiles, such as certain species of snakes and turtles, do engage in coprophagy as a natural behavior. However, it is important to remember that each species has its own unique behaviors and dietary requirements.

Reasons for bearded dragons engaging in coprophagy

While bearded dragons do not typically eat their own poop, there are certain circumstances that may lead to coprophagy. One possible reason for this behavior is a nutritional deficiency. If a bearded dragon’s diet lacks essential nutrients, they may attempt to compensate by consuming their own feces in order to extract any remaining nutrients.

Another reason for coprophagy may be related to stress or environmental factors. Bearded dragons are sensitive creatures, and changes in their surroundings or inadequate husbandry can lead to stress. In some cases, this stress may trigger abnormal behaviors, such as coprophagy.

The potential health risks of bearded dragons eating their poop

While occasional coprophagy may not pose significant health risks to bearded dragons, chronic or excessive consumption of feces can have detrimental effects on their overall well-being. Eating feces can expose bearded dragons to harmful bacteria and parasites that may reside in their waste. This can lead to digestive issues, infections, and other health complications.

Additionally, regular poop consumption can disrupt the balance of nutrients in a bearded dragon’s diet. They may not be receiving the necessary vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients, which can negatively impact their growth and overall health.

Read About: Why Does Your Bearded Dragon Poop In His Food Dish

How to prevent bearded dragons from eating their poop

As responsible pet owners, it is crucial to take measures to prevent bearded dragons from engaging in coprophagy. The following steps can help minimize the likelihood of this behavior:

  1. Maintain a clean enclosure: Regularly clean and sanitize your bearded dragon’s enclosure to remove any feces. This will reduce the chances of accidental ingestion.

  2. Provide a balanced diet: Ensure that your bearded dragon’s diet is rich in nutrients and meets their specific dietary requirements. A well-balanced diet can help prevent nutritional deficiencies that may trigger coprophagy.

  3. Monitor stress levels: Bearded dragons thrive in a stress-free environment. Monitor their behavior and provide a comfortable habitat with appropriate temperature, lighting, and hiding spots. Minimizing stress can reduce the likelihood of coprophagy.

Common misconceptions about bearded dragons and poop consumption

Apart from the myth of bearded dragons eating their own poop, there are other misconceptions surrounding this topic. Some individuals believe that bearded dragons use their feces as a form of defense or territory marking. However, this is not supported by scientific evidence. Bearded dragons have other means of communication, such as body language and scent marking, to establish dominance or communicate with other individuals.

Proper diet and nutrition for bearded dragons

To ensure the well-being of your bearded dragon, it is crucial to provide them with a proper diet and nutrition. Their diet should consist of a variety of insects, such as crickets, mealworms, and dubia roaches, as well as fresh vegetables and fruits. It is important to research and understand the specific dietary requirements of bearded dragons to meet their nutritional needs.

Other unusual behaviors of bearded dragons

While the question of whether bearded dragons eat their own poop has been thoroughly addressed, it is worth exploring other unusual behaviors that these reptiles may exhibit. Bearded dragons are known for their unique behaviors, such as head bobbing, arm waving, and even glass surfing. These behaviors can have various meanings and may indicate communication, territoriality, or stress. Understanding these behaviors can help owners better care for their bearded dragons and provide appropriate responses.


In conclusion, bearded dragons do not typically eat their own poop. While occasional coprophagy may occur, it is not a regular behavior for these reptiles. The myth surrounding bearded dragons eating their own poop likely stems from a misunderstanding of their natural instincts and occasional accidental ingestion. It is important for pet owners to provide a balanced diet, maintain a clean environment, and monitor for stress to prevent coprophagy. By understanding the truth about bearded dragons and poop consumption, owners can ensure the well-being of their beloved reptile companions.

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