If you have a baby bearded dragon that is showing signs of aggression, such as hissing, biting, or puffing up its beard, you might be wondering what to do. Is this normal behavior for a young reptile, or is there something wrong with your pet? In this blog post, we will explore some possible causes and solutions for aggression in baby bearded dragons, and how to make your pet more comfortable and friendly.
Possible Causes of Aggression
There are many factors that can contribute to aggression in baby bearded dragons. Some of the most common ones are:
- Stress: Baby bearded dragons are very sensitive to their environment and can get stressed by many things, such as loud noises, sudden movements, unfamiliar people or animals, improper lighting or temperature, overcrowding, or lack of hiding places. Stress can make them feel threatened and defensive, and trigger aggressive responses.
- Hunger: Baby bearded dragons have a high metabolism and need to eat frequently to grow and stay healthy. If they are not fed enough or have a poor diet, they can become hungry and irritable, and may lash out at anything that moves near them.
- Territoriality: Baby bearded dragons are naturally territorial and may not like sharing their space with other bearded dragons or pets. They may see them as competitors or intruders and try to chase them away or fight them. This can also happen if they see their own reflection in the glass of their enclosure.
- Hormones: Baby bearded dragons go through hormonal changes as they mature and reach sexual maturity. This can affect their mood and behavior, and make them more aggressive or dominant. This is especially common in males during the breeding season.
Possible Solutions for Aggression
If your baby bearded dragon is showing signs of aggression, don’t panic. There are some things you can do to help them calm down and become more friendly. Here are some tips:
- Reduce stress: Try to identify and eliminate any sources of stress for your baby bearded dragon. Make sure their enclosure is large enough, clean, well-ventilated, and has proper lighting and temperature. Provide them with hiding places, branches, rocks, and plants to make them feel secure and comfortable. Avoid handling them too much or too roughly, especially when they are shedding or sleeping. Keep them away from loud noises, bright lights, or other pets that might scare them.
- Feed them well: Make sure your baby bearded dragon has a balanced diet that meets their nutritional needs. Feed them a variety of insects (such as crickets, roaches, mealworms, etc.) dusted with calcium and vitamin supplements every day. Offer them fresh greens (such as kale, collard greens, dandelion greens, etc.) and fruits (such as apples, bananas, grapes, etc.) every other day. Provide them with fresh water in a shallow dish at all times.
- Separate them: If you have more than one baby bearded dragon in the same enclosure, you may need to separate them if they are fighting or showing signs of dominance. This will prevent injuries and stress for both parties. You can either get another enclosure for one of them or divide the existing one with a solid barrier that prevents visual contact.
- Cover the glass: If your baby bearded dragon is attacking its own reflection in the glass of its enclosure, you can cover the glass with a non-reflective material (such as paper, cardboard, fabric, etc.) to prevent this behavior. This will also reduce stress and make them feel more secure.
- Socialize them: One of the best ways to reduce aggression in baby bearded dragons is to socialize them with humans from an early age. This will help them get used to your presence and touch, and make them more trusting and friendly. You can start by placing your hand inside their enclosure for a few minutes every day and letting them smell you. Then you can gently pick them up and hold them close to your body for a few minutes every day. Be careful not to squeeze them or drop them. Reward them with treats or praise when they behave well.
Aggression in baby bearded dragons is not uncommon and can have many causes. However, it can also be prevented or reduced by following some simple steps. By providing your pet with a stress-free environment, a proper diet, enough space, and regular socialization, you can help them become more calm and friendly.
If you have any questions or concerns about your baby bearded dragon’s behavior or health, please consult a qualified veterinarian who specializes in reptiles.