Have you recently got a bearded dragon as your new pet? You may be charmed by most of its actions, like bobbing its head and waving its arms. However, you’ll be stumped by why your bearded dragon mouth open most of the time. Bearded dragons are native to Australia, and their habitats are deserts and arid woodlands.
Don’t be surprised if your bearded dragon is basking under the sun with a wide-open mouth or waving its arm in opposite directions. It’s nothing to be alarmed about, but keep a watch and determine the cause.
Here are five behavioral patterns you may notice in your pet. When you notice any of these, don’t panic. Take the right steps to comfort your pet.
Stretching the Beard
A bearded dragon owes its name to its unique beard surrounding its neck. Bearded dragons puff their beards out and can even change their beard’s color. This beard stretching is done when your dragon feels aggressive or threatened.
The beard may turn black at times, and turning aggressive is a natural, instinctive reaction. Some dragons may be stretching their beards for the sheer love of doing so or as a form of exercise. For all you know, your pet bearded dragon may be yawning, which is pretty natural.
Your pet bearded dragon may be calm when you are around, but bristle their beard when they see strangers. Sometimes the enormous size of humans can be intimidating, making them aggressive or defensive, depending on their mood.
These calm, docile creatures may get aggressive only when they feel threatened. They keep their mouths wide open and curb their tails when hunting for live feed, which is often confused for defensive mechanisms.
If you have more than one pet bearded dragon in the same tank, there could be a clash as the male is generally more aggressive. The female may feel threatened, and the reaction is to hiss and keep its mouth open. The sight of other pets in the house can also make some bearded dragons feel threatened, with the same reaction.
Digging the Ground
For bearded dragons, digging ground is a typical behavior similar to keeping its mouth open. Your pet may be digging the ground to look for food, lay its eggs, or prepare for brumation. Sometimes, it may do this due to stress, especially when your bearded dragon is trying to hide. Make sure your pet is well-fed and has a full belly. You may even check its weight to ensure it is in the range of 380-510 grams.
Bulging the Eye Open
Like when your bearded dragon’s mouth is open, bulging eyes are another alarming sign to look for. It commonly happens when your pet starts shedding, and it’s pretty standard behavior in these creatures. When the dragon bulges its eyes, the skin around its eyes loosens. You can rectify this problem by bathing your pet or using a misting aid.
Summing it Up
Bearded dragons with gaping mouths, waving arms, or bulging eyes are common and nothing to be alarmed about. However, if your pet does it more often, it is advisable to check with your vet.