You may have experienced it; a bearded dragon might hold its mouth wide open at times. As you've discovered, this is normal behavior for lizards and raises the question: Why are bearded dragons sitting with their mouth open?
Bearded dragons are reptiles, and some reptiles are naturally prone to holding their mouths open. Now, many bearded dragons will hold their mouths open continuously. My bearded dragon owners questions why they always see bearded dragons with their mouth open. So we did a little research and here's what we found out.
Common Reasons Why Bearded Dragons Hold Their Mouth Open
To Regulate Body Temperature
Bearded dragons are cold-blooded creatures, meaning their body temperature is determined by the ambient temperature of their environment. They rely on the sun to warm them up and reach their temperature to the optimum level. When they reach their optimal temperature and are ready to cool down, they will often open their mouth. This way, the heat can escape through their mouth rather than into the rest of their body.
This behavior of bearded dragons is the same as humans sweating which we use to regulate our body temperature. Bearded dragons can open their mouths wide, which allows them to expose the moist lining of their mouth and throat. When they do this, they expose their salivary glands, which are filled with water that evaporates through the air. This process helps cool the dragon down
If you've ever seen a bearded dragon yawn, don't worry—it's not because they are bored! It's just another way for them to stay cool in their hot desert habitat. However, it's important to maintain their tank temperature with UVB light or reptile lamps and provide them with a basking spot.
To Show Aggression
Bearded dragons are basically calm lizards that don't bite or scratch. They've been known to make a few noises when they're feeling threatened, angry, or afraid, but overall they're pretty quiet. However, if you see your bearded dragon opening its mouth, that's not a good sign! It's not just a yawn—it's part of their aggressive stance!
When bearded dragons feel afraid or threatened, it will change their stance in fight or flight mode. This is a biological mechanism that allows animals to survive by either fighting an aggressor or fleeing in the face of danger. When bearded dragons are in this state, they will puff their chest out and raise their beard to appear larger and more threatening. They will also open their mouth wide as if to say don't mess with me.
This is a very common response among reptiles because they cannot run away from predators as quickly as mammals can. Instead, many reptiles rely on bluffing techniques like these to protect themselves from being eaten.
Bearded dragons got threatened due to numerous reasons and mostly it's because of another pet in your house. If your bearded dragon is afraid of your cat or dog you should do something to make your pet feel safe in reptile terrarium.
Bearded dragons are solitary creatures. They don't like sharing living space with other dragons, and they also don't like being around people. So if you try to house two bearded dragons in the same reptile tank, you can expect problems.
Bearded dragons can be very territorial and will defend their territory from other bearded dragons. If your bearded dragon is not alone in its reptile tank, then it may open its mouth toward other beardies in an attempt to intimidate them into moving away from their territory.
If your bearded dragon enclosure has been housed with other beardies for a long time, they may have become accustomed to having others around them. In this case, they may open their mouths when they see another bearded dragon simply because they're used to seeing them around!
If you see a such situation in your bearded dragon enclosure it's best to separate both reptiles to avoid further problems.
Suffering From Respiratory Problems
You may have noticed that your lizard has had an open mouth for a long time. This is normal behavior for them, as lizards keep their mouths open to regulate their body temperature. But if your lizard continues to have its mouth open and you notice changes in its behavior, it could be a sign that they are suffering from a respiratory infection.
The first sign to look out for is an increase in mucus production and respiratory difficulty. If your lizard is having trouble breathing, it may also become lethargic and lose its appetite. Finally, if you notice any swelling in the neck area, this could indicate that there is an infection present in your lizard's throat or lungs.
Bearded dragons are generally healthy creatures that are easy to care for, but they can still get an infection from time to time. If your bearded dragon is displaying symptoms like swelling around their mouth or eyes or if they appear to be in pain, it’s a good idea to take them to the vet so it can be properly assessed.
The vet will be able to tell you exactly what kind of infection your bearded dragon has and how severe it is—this way you can start taking action immediately!
Stretching Their Mouth
Bearded dragons have a habit of opening their mouths, and it's not because they're hungry. In fact, they usually aren't! Your bearded dragon is probably just trying to stretch their muscles—just like humans do! They stretch their mouth wide to stretch their whole face and beard and keep it open for some time.
If your bearded dragon is stretching, they are not in pain or having a seizure. You must make sure that they are not too hot or cold, but if you notice them stretching frequently it can be a sign of illness or stress.
Bearded dragons are popular in the pet trade, and are generally considered good starter pets, especially for children. However, you will often see their mouth wide open because of many reasons either because of aggressiveness or because they are suffering from respiratory illness. However, you should keep an eye on your beardie and stay in contact with your vet.