Bearded Dragon Throwing Up? Reasons Why & How to Care

Throwing up is often a sign of an underlying health issue in almost all animal species. Bearded dragons are no exception, and it’s essential to act quickly if you notice your bearded dragon vomiting. Although vomiting may not always indicate poor health, it is still vital to take this behavior seriously.

Note: Although this article aims to help you understand the reasons behind your bearded dragon’s regurgitation and offer advice on how to help, it should not replace the advice of a reputable herp vet.

Let’s dive into the four most common reasons why your bearded dragon may be regurgitation and what you can do to help in each specific case.

Why is My Bearded Dragon Throwing Up?

If your bearded dragon is throwing up, it may require some investigation to figure out what’s causing it. Check out the following potential reasons and see if any of them could be the culprit for your bearded dragon’s vomiting.

1. They Ate Something They Shouldn’t Have

Could your bearded dragon have eaten too many mealworms with tough shells that are tough to digest? Or even worse, did they eat a toxic plant while outside?

Whatever you suspect your bearded dragon may have eaten, there are different approaches you can take to help them recover.

If you think your bearded dragon ingested a feeder with a hard exoskeleton, the best course of action is to keep an eye on them and their appetite. If they seem normal besides vomiting skeleton or insects, there’s no need to worry too much.

However, if you believe there may be more blockage or impaction, read the section on impaction.

In case you suspect your bearded dragon has consumed a poisonous plant, it’s best to take them to the vet if possible. Otherwise, give them a dose of activated charcoal and plenty of water to help absorb and safely pass the toxins.

If you don’t have activated charcoal at hand, you can try feeding your bearded dragon a little bit of fresh cilantro. Although it’s not as effective as activated charcoal, it’s better than doing nothing at all!

2. Salmonella

Salmonella, a type of bacteria, is responsible for salmonellosis, a gastrointestinal illness that can be transmitted from animals to humans. Therefore, it is crucial to always wash your hands after handling your bearded dragon.

Most bearded dragons that have Salmonella in their system are not affected by it, as small amounts of the bacteria do not pose a significant risk to their health.

However, if their immune system is weak, or the bacterial count becomes too high, there can be complications like vomiting, diarrhea, and, in serious cases, infections such as Septicemia.

Based on my experience, it is uncommon for a bearded dragon to vomit due to Salmonella infection. However, it is still a possibility.

3. Overfeeding

Just like us, when we overeat our favorite foods and end up with stomachaches or vomiting, our little reptilian friends, bearded dragons, can also fall ill from overfeeding. It’s not uncommon for this to happen when they are given a lot of crickets or phoenix worms.

So, if you’ve been feeding your bearded dragon with too many insects lately, this might be the reason behind their throwing up.

It’s important to understand how many crickets are appropriate to feed based on their age, not only to keep them healthy but also to avoid any instances of throwing up.

4. Dehydration


Similar to humans, bearded dragons can also experience vomiting due to dehydration. If you don’t give your pet proper hydration, like providing them with a water dish or misting them, it’s highly possible that they might be dehydrated.

To rehydrate your bearded dragon, I suggest giving them a bath for 10-15 minutes, 2-3 times a week up to their shoulders. The water should be around 80 degrees Fahrenheit, and you should always supervise them to prevent drowning or them taking in too much water.

Bathing not only provides them with a chance to drink water but also allows them to relieve themselves. You may find that your bearded dragon has a habit of going to the bathroom in the bath, as many of them love doing this!

But what if your bearded dragon doesn’t like taking baths? No worries, you can simply remove them from their tank and mist them instead. All you need is a regular spray bottle with a mist setting. Gently mist your pet, and you’ll notice water collecting on their snout for them to lick off.

5. High Coccidia Count or Other Parasites

Did you know that Coccidia, a tiny parasite, can live in a bearded dragon’s intestinal tract? While these creatures usually keep their parasite levels under control, those with high Coccidia counts might experience health problems. To make things worse, other parasites can create the perfect environment for Coccidia to thrive and multiply, causing your bearded dragon to become sick.

Parasites like Coccidia can rob your pet of vital nutrients, causing stunted growth, anemia, and other health issues.

If you suspect that your bearded dragon is experiencing parasite-related problems, watch out for symptoms like:

  • Lack of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Irritability
  • Weight loss
  • Diarrhea.

If you notice any of these signs, it’s vital to take your pet to the vet immediately.

Don’t underestimate the severity of parasites. If ignored, these pests can have disastrous consequences for your bearded dragon.

Before visiting the vet, make sure to keep fecal matter and vomit refrigerated and bagged up separately. This will enable the vet to examine the excretion and pinpoint the type of parasite present and the appropriate medication to administer.

6. Digestion Issues

As bearded dragon owners, we understand the significance of UVB in helping our pets absorb calcium effectively. However, temperature also plays a crucial role in the digestion process of your bearded dragon.

Insufficient heat in the enclosure can lead to food stagnation in the dragon’s stomach, which often results in vomiting. This is why you need to maintain the right temperatures in the dragon’s habitat.

If you’re unsure whether improper temperatures are causing digestion problems for your bearded dragon, ask yourself these essential questions:

“Have I left the basking bulb off for too long after my dragon’s meal?”

“Is the temperature on the hot side of my bearded dragon’s tank within the recommended range of 95-100°F for an adult or 105-110°F for a juvenile?”

Answering these questions will help you understand if adjustments are necessary. Make sure to invest in a high quality thermometer to gauge the enclosure temperature correctly.

7. Impaction


Eating large size insects, eating loose substrate, living in a tank with wrong temperatures and eating tough to digest can all contribute to a digestive issue known as impaction.

When impaction occurs, your bearded dragon’s digestive tract is obstructed, preventing them from passing a bowel movement. It’s a common condition, but it can cause discomfort and pain for your pet.

To determine if your bearded dragon has impaction, keep a close eye on their bathroom habits. Beardies with impaction will likely stop pooping and lose appetite.

Don’t fret if your bearded dragon is suffering from impaction – there are things you can do at home to help them clear their impaction.

8. Enclosure Hygiene

Maintaining good hygiene in your bearded dragon’s enclosure is crucial to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria, fungi, and parasites. These can cause serious health issues and even lead to regurgitation in your pet.

We recommend spot cleaning the enclosure on a daily basis and perform a thorough cleaning once a month. During deep cleaning, remove everything from the enclosure and sanitize it properly.

A simple yet effective solution for sanitizing the enclosure is to use a mixture of 9:1 solution of water to red vinegar.

9. Overhydration

Usually, beardies don’t really drink that much water and get hydrated from baths or the moisture from the food they eat. You should have water in the cage at all time. But sometimes, they drink too much and end up throwing up afterward.

If they do drink too much water then you might see a transparent slimy vomit of mucus water regurgitated from the dragon’s stomach.

This is a pretty common issue if your bearded dragon rocks or tilts too much after drinking water.

Baths and dripping water on your bearded dragon’s nose will quench its thirst. It should be fine if you help your bearded dragon lie flat and warm up after vomiting water.

10. Wrong Humidity Levels

Bearded dragons live in sandy deserts and rocky hills, so they need hot and dry conditions. Your bearded dragon will have breathing problems if the temperature in the tank becomes too high.

High humidity can also promote the growth of fungus, mold, and bacteria, as well as weaken your bearded dragon’s immune system. Make sure you have a hygrometer, such as this one, to take humidity readings inside the tank.

Attach it to the vivarium’s back wall. The ideal humidity level for a bearded dragon is between 30 and 40%. Anything over 50% is considered excessive.

If you’re having trouble reducing humidity levels, consider placing plants that decrease humidity levels indoors (in your house or tank), such as Boston Fern. To ensure sufficient ventilation, just use screen lids made of wire mesh.

Furthermore, instead of leaving the water dish in the tank during the day, you should start placing it only for a few hours a day. High temperatures in the basking area (95-110 F) can aid in drying out the habitat. If nothing else works to alleviate humidity, you should purchase a dehumidifier for your home.

Bearded Dragon Throwing Up Blood

First off, if you didn’t see them throw up and you see one big red chunk on your floor, then there’s a big possibility that the red chunk is poop instead of vomit. Bearded dragon owners sometimes confuse red or dark-colored stool with bloody vomit.

Knowing the difference between vomit and poop in terms of physical appearance is important. Unless you saw the bearded dragon vomit, the waste in the tank may very well be poop.

Bearded dragon vomit is usually scattered everywhere since they jerk their heads around a lot when throwing up. Poop, on the other hand, will come out in a tidy pile.

If you overfeed your bearded dragon, their livers can get fatty and enlarged which causes them to throw up quite often.

If your dragon is vomiting blood and seems exhausted and without appetite, take them to the vet as soon as possible.

Your bearded dragon could also be vomiting because they have cancer, so make sure to get an x-ray done by a vet just in case.

Bearded Dragon Throwing Up Mucus

Your bearded dragon might be throwing up mucus because you’re not changing their drinking water daily. If you are changing it then make sure the bowl is clean. If the bowl is clean and you change their water daily then your water source might be the culprit.

Is your county’s drinking water contaminated with fluoride and other chemicals? If this is the case, you might be unintentionally giving your bearded dragon toxic water!

To be on the safe side, move on to bottled or filtered water and replace their water with fresh water on a regular basis.

They could also have Upper respiratory infection. An Upper Respiratory Infection, or URI for short, is a bacterial infection in the lungs caused by excessive moisture.

Mucus usually flows from the noses and mouths of bearded dragons suffering from URI.

URIs are NOT to be taken lightly, and if left untreated, they can be fatal. As a result, you’ll want to take the necessary steps to get them safe as soon as possible before things escalate.

Bearded Dragon Throwing Up and Not Eating

Is your bearded dragon vomiting and refusing to eat? There are several possible reasons for this, including impaction or recovering from illness.

After being sick, a bearded dragon’s appetite may be suppressed for a few days. Think about it – after throwing up, the last thing you want to do is eat a big meal. However, if your bearded dragon is impacted, this could be the cause of the vomiting and lack of appetite.

If impaction is not the issue, check the temperature in their cage to ensure it’s conducive to digestion and appetite. If the temperature is good, and impaction is not the cause, it’s time to visit a vet. They may need medication to recover.

To help the vet make an accurate diagnosis, store samples of the vomit and waste in separate bags in the fridge until the appointment. It might be unpleasant, but it’s necessary for testing and treatment.

Why is My Bearded Dragon Throwing Up Water?

Assuming that your bearded dragon’s water have not consumed any contaminated water, you don’t have to be concerned if they regurgitate water.

Bearded dragons often don’t swallow water entirely and instead, keep it in their beard. So, when they open their mouth, any water they had stored in their beard comes out.

Additionally, if your bearded dragon has recently consumed water and is not lying flat, they may regurgitate it. If they are tilting, climbing, or in an upright position, it is not uncommon to observe them throwing up water.

Overall, it is rare to see a bearded dragon continuously regurgitate water, unless they have been drinking contaminated water.

Why is My Bearded Dragon Dry Heaving?

If you notice your bearded dragon dry heaving, there could be a few different reasons for it.

One possibility is that they may have accidentally swallowed some water while taking a bath and are trying to clear it from their lungs. While this isn’t common, it’s important to make sure you never fill the tub too high and always supervise your dragon during bath time to prevent this from happening.

Another potential cause of dry heaving is a respiratory infection. If you see any discharge from their nose or mouth, this could be a sign that your dragon has a URI (upper respiratory infection). Check out our section and link above for more information on how to identify and treat a URI.

If you suspect your bearded dragon may have a respiratory infection, it’s best to make an appointment with a vet who specializes in exotic animals as soon as possible. In the meantime, there are things you can do to help boost their immune system and fight the infection.

How to Help a Bearded Dragon That is Throwing Up

If your bearded dragon has vomited more than once or is vomiting blood, mucus, or refusing to eat, it’s important to take them to the vet as soon as possible. To help the vet diagnose the issue, collect a sample of the vomit and store it in a Tupperware container in the fridge until your appointment.

Once you receive the test results, your vet can help you come up with a treatment plan and get your bearded dragon on the right medication.

If you can’t take your bearded dragon to the vet immediately, there are some things you can do in the meantime to help them feel better and, with any luck, stop vomiting.

1. Bath Them After They Get Sick

If your bearded dragon is throwing up, it’s vital to take action immediately. Throwing up can lead to dehydration.

A warm bath can help restore fluids after throwing up.

Prepare a bath for your bearded dragon with warm water up to its shoulder level. Watch your pet carefully for 15 to 20 minutes.

Overfilling the tub can result in drowning, and aspirated water can cause respiratory infections. So, be cautious while giving your pet a bath, and always monitor them closely.

2. Feed Them Baby Food

If your bearded dragon is struggling to digest their food and throwing it up, it could mean that they’re not receiving the necessary nutrients. To address this issue, I suggest trying to feed them butternut squash or sweet potato using a spoon or syringe if necessary.

Feeding your bearded dragon baby food is a good option because it is gentle on their stomach and offers a refreshing change if they are experiencing issues with insects or have digestive problems.

You can also try canned pumpkin, warm baby food applesauce, or organic applesauce with no added sugar.

All of these foods have laxative properties, which can help with bowel movements if your beardie is impacted. You can also add a drop or two of vegetable oil to their food to help ease digestion.

3. Check Cage Temperatures and Humidity Levels

As we mentioned earlier, it is important to keep the temperature of your bearded dragon’s cage just right, as cold temperatures will cause them to have difficulty digesting their food. Failure to digest food can lead to your bearded dragon regurgitating.

It is also crucial to keep an eye on the humidity levels in the enclosure. Too much humidity can result in Upper Respiratory Infections and a buildup of mucus in the dragon’s system.

We recommend using a reliable hygrometer to double-check the humidity levels in your dragon’s home.

4. Keep Their Cage as Clean as Possible

Parasites is one of the major causes of sickness in bearded dragons. Make sure to keep the your bearded dragon’s tank clean at all times.

Whenever you see fecal matter, clean it up immediately, and give the tank a thorough cleaning at least once a month.

For sanitization, using a 9:1 solution of red vinegar and water to spot clean is recommended. Interestingly, red vinegar is 100 times more effective at killing bacteria than bleach.

For a deeper cleaning, use a veterinary-grade cleaner such as F10SC. Let it soak for ten minutes, then rinse thoroughly.

If fecal matter is left in the tank or the cage is dirty, it could cause your bearded dragon to become reinfected with parasites. Keeping the tank clean is essential to ensure medication works effectively.

In severe cases, you may want to consider removing hard-to-clean items from their cage, such as plants and hides, and using paper towels and a single food dish.

But this should only be done when your bearded dragon has a high parasite count and is struggling to recover.


As you can see, there are a ton of explanations why your bearded dragon might be throwing up. Although some are more extreme, such as a high Coccidia count, impaction, and cancer, others are relatively simple to correct, such as simply changing diet and keeping your beardie hydrated.

As is always the case, the trick to knowing your bearded dragon’s wellbeing is to put on your thinking cap and investigate. When it comes to narrowing down the cause of the puking, don’t be afraid to experiment a bit.

Filled under: Lizards

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