The Hunger Games: How Long Can Your Bearded Dragon Survive Without Food?

If you're a proud owner of a bearded dragon, you might have found yourself wondering just how long your scaly friend can go without food. After all, they're not exactly the most expressive creatures when it comes to communicating their hunger. In this comprehensive guide, we'll delve into the fascinating world of bearded dragon dietary needs, survival instincts, and just how long they can play their own version of the Hunger Games.

The Basics of Bearded Dragon Diet

First things first, let's get a clear understanding of what a bearded dragon's diet should ideally look like. These reptiles are omnivores, meaning they enjoy a balanced diet of both plant-based and animal-based foods. Insects, vegetables, and fruits are all on the menu for a healthy bearded dragon.

However, the specific proportions and types of food can vary depending on the age and health of your bearded dragon. For instance, younger dragons require a higher proportion of insects for protein and growth, while adults need more plant-based foods to prevent obesity.

Feeding Frequency

How often should you feed your bearded dragon? Well, that depends on their age. Juvenile bearded dragons need to eat more frequently - about two to three times a day. On the other hand, adult bearded dragons can be fed once a day or even every other day.

Remember, overfeeding can lead to health problems such as obesity and fatty liver disease. So, while it might be tempting to keep that food bowl full, moderation is key.

Water Intake

While we're on the topic of feeding, let's not forget about hydration. Bearded dragons aren't big drinkers, but they still need water. Some get their hydration from the food they eat, while others may drink from a water dish or enjoy a nice soak.

Dehydration can be a serious issue for bearded dragons, so make sure your pet has access to fresh water at all times, even if they don't seem to drink much.

Survival Without Food: The Bearded Dragon Edition

Now, let's get to the meat of the matter (pun intended). Just how long can a bearded dragon survive without food? The answer is surprisingly long - up to two months in some cases. However, this is not an ideal situation and can lead to serious health problems.

Bearded dragons are able to survive for extended periods without food due to their ability to enter a state of brumation. This is similar to hibernation in mammals, where the dragon's metabolic rate slows down significantly. During this time, they may not eat or drink for weeks or even months.

Brumation: The Bearded Dragon's Survival Mechanism

Brumation is a natural process for bearded dragons in the wild, usually triggered by colder temperatures and shorter daylight hours. During brumation, bearded dragons will sleep more, eat less, and generally be less active.

However, in captivity, brumation can be a bit of a wild card. Some bearded dragons will brumate regularly, while others may never brumate at all. It's important to monitor your dragon's behavior and consult with a vet if you notice any drastic changes.

The Risks of Starvation

While bearded dragons can survive without food for a while, it's not a situation you want to put them in. Prolonged periods without food can lead to weight loss, muscle wasting, and other health problems. In severe cases, it can even be fatal.

So, while your bearded dragon might be able to play the Hunger Games for a while, it's not a game you want them to participate in. Always ensure they have access to a balanced diet and fresh water.


How long can a bearded dragon go without water?

While bearded dragons can survive without food for quite some time, they can't go as long without water. Typically, a bearded dragon can go for about a week without water, but this can vary depending on the temperature and humidity of their environment.

What should I do if my bearded dragon isn't eating?

If your bearded dragon isn't eating, it could be a sign of illness or stress. Try offering different types of food and ensure their habitat is at the correct temperature and humidity. If they still refuse to eat, it's best to consult with a vet.


So, there you have it. Your bearded dragon is a survivor, capable of going without food for quite some time. However, this doesn't mean they should. Providing a balanced diet and fresh water is essential for their health and wellbeing.

Remember, when it comes to the Hunger Games, your bearded dragon is not a tribute. They're a beloved pet, and their dietary needs should always be a top priority.

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