Why Do Bearded Dragons Puff Up? 6 Reasons

Bearded Dragons

Why Do Bearded Dragons Puff Up
24 May, 2024

Bearded dragons are calm and cheerful pets to have for any pet owner. For Pet owners who are reptile lovers looking for pets, bearded dragons are one of the best pets. They are extremely friendly pets who need a good and safe environment, healthy food, and cleanliness. 

Pet owners of bearded dragons often have so many questions running through their minds and are often concerned too. One of those queries is, why do bearded dragons puff up? Is this behavior of bearded dragons normal and not concerning? What should pet owners do when their bearded dragons are doing this act? 

6 Reasons Why Bearded Dragons Puff Up

1: Scared or Stressed

One of the most common reasons for bearded dragons to puff up is because they are scared of something or maybe stressed about something. And bearded dragons do this puffing because this is their defense mechanism, and they do this behavior to fight and defend themselves.

If pet owners are watching their bearded dragons puffing up inside their rooms, it signals that it is not making the bearded dragons feel safe and comfortable. 

2: Time for Shedding 

Another reason bearded dragons puff up is that the time for their skin shedding has arrived, and now they have to shed their skin. However, not every bearded dragon is known to shed their skins when they puff up. But pet owners should always check their beardies’ skin when puffing up. 

3: Attracting the Other Genders 

This behavior is noticed in male pet bearded dragons and female pet bearded dragons, puffing up to attract the other gender. However, male pet bearded dragons often do this to attract female bearded dragons. And by doing this, males hint that they are all set to mate with other bearded dragons. 

This behavior of male bearded dragons also hints to female dragons about their dominating nature. In return, females also give them signals that show they have accepted them. 

4: Territorial Nature 

The next reason for the puffing behavior of bearded dragons is that they want to show their territorial and dominating nature to other animals or bearded dragons. They want to show that they are superior and are not in the mood to share their territory with anyone. 

And for these reasons, pet owners are always advised to provide their adorable pets with different tanks. This way, everyone will be comfortable enough in their territories and won’t feel competitive against other bearded dragons. 

5: Due to Hunger 

Pet owners will notice that their bearded dragons are puffing up because they feel hungry and need food to eat. When bearded dragons puff up, they try to make more space for extra food. 

Pet owners should feed their adorable pet bearded dragons with a small amount of food like celery, and then they should notice their puffing act. 

6: Due to Playtime 

Another reason for bearded dragons to puff up is because they feel playful and want to show these signals by puffing up. They also do this act because they want the attention of their owners. 

Should I be Concerned about Puffing?

No, most of the time, bearded dragons’ puffing is not concerning as this act is very normal for them, and they do this for several reasons that are not harmful to them.

They do this because they want to play, they want to show their dominating behavior to a fellow bearded dragon, they want to have a mating partner, they are feeling hungry, and much more. 

And all of these reasons are not concerning for pet owners. However, there are also a few chances that pet bearded dragons puff up because they feel scared and stressed. For this, pet owners should make their adorable pets feel safe and place their bearded dragons in different tanks. 

What to Do if My Bearded Dragon Puffs Up?

If someone is a new pet owner of bearded dragons, they may feel concerned about any acts of their bearded dragons. There are a few things pet owners able to do when their bearded dragons are puffing up, and they can make their adorable pet dragons feel comfortable and not scared. 

At first, they will be scared of the environment and even pet owners. And they will show this through several behaviors, and one of them is puffing up. And in this case, pet owners can make them feel safe and their preferred environment. 

Pet owners can put their hands in the tanks of their bearded dragons. And then, they can wait for a while, and then they can take their hands out of the tanks. It is how you can make them feel safe.

After some time, bearded dragons will be aware of their owners and presence, making them feel comfortable in their new surroundings and with their owners. Pet owners can also put their hands under the bodies of their bearded dragons. And they should not do this act carelessly. Pet owners should go slow when trying to be their pets’ friends and not force them to know them.


Like humans and other animals stretching and yawning, bearded dragons also have some behavior like puffing up. Pet bearded dragons puff up for several reasons, none of which are harmful to them, and pet owners should not be concerned; why do bearded dragons puff up? These acts in bearded dragons are normal and nothing to worry about, making them feel safe and comfortable.

Pet owners should be aware of their bearded dragons when they puff up and what they need. Such as whether they are hungry, need sleep, are scared, or feel stressed. 


Why does baby bearded dragon puffing up?

Baby bearded dragons are known to puff up from time to time, and they do this because they are not so comfortable in that specific environment.

Why do bearded dragons puff up in the bath?

When the bath is deep for the bearded dragons, they are known to puff up. And this is not something concerning for pet owners.

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