Going on a vacation should be fun and you shouldn´t have to worry about anything that is going on at home. Easier said than done if you keep bearded dragons. What should you do with them while you are on vacation? How to feed a bearded dragon while on vacation? The answers might suprise you.
A healthy bearded dragon can go without food for 2 weeks and more. Put some eatable plants like bolivian jew and edible wild herbs like cress, savory and rosemary in the terrarium before you leave. Those plants and herbs won´t get moldy and your bearded dragon will have food for several days.
You see that it is easier than you thought, but there might be a couple of questions you still have about this topic. For example, what should you do if your bearded dragon refuses to eat greens? How long can you go on vacation? Should you turn the lights off? Continue to read to learn more.
How To Feed A Bearded Dragon While On Vacation?
Most people that go on vacation worry about their bearded dragon. They do not know how long their bearded dragon can go without food and water and most of the times there are no people who would be willing to drive to your house each and every day to check on your bearded dragon.
Moving the entire tank to a friend or a family member isn´t an option either.
The good news is that bearded dragons are very hardy. Probably way more hardy than you think and they can be alone and without food for weeks without any problems.
I still recommend to ask someone to check on your bearded dragon once a week. I mean, we are not only talking about your bearded dragon. If the lights are switched on and off with a time switch each and every day without anyone in the house, I would be worried about my house, too.
So finding someone who would be willing to do that once a week should be way easier then finding someone who would be willing to do that every day.
If you are on vacation for only a couple of days, there is no need to ask someone to check on your bearded dragon and feed it.
Feed Some Wild Herbs!
Most bearded dragons in captivity are overfed and too fat. That is because the majority of bearded dragon owners think that it would be cruel to not feed a bearded dragon live food every day. However, adult bearded dragons should not get food every day and they should eat more greens than live food.
So putting some wild herbs in the terrarium before you leave is not cruel at all. In fact, this is a very natural thing for bearded dragons. They are used to not finding food in the wild each and every day and herbs are part of their natural diet plan.
The good thing about herbs is that they don´t get moldy. Herbs only dry out, so there is no danger for your bearded dragon. Most bearded dragons even love to eat dry herbs, so even if the herbs get dry, your bearded dragon will still have food.
In the beginning of this article I recommended herbs like savory, rosemary and cress, but there are so many herbs that you can feed your bearded dragon unhesitatingly. If you need to know which herbs you can feed your bearded dragon, simply click here for my bearded dragon food list.
Get Some Bolivian Jew!
Bolivian jew (Callisia Repens) is one of my favorite plants for a bearded dragon tank. It has a nice color and it can survive in a bearded dragon tank for a very long time.
What is also great about bolivian jew is that bearded dragons can eat it and they actually love to eat it. I mean, okay after your bearded dragon took a big bite it doesn´t look that beautiful anymore, but who cares? Your bearded dragon is happy.
So if you go on vacation for two weeks, simply buy two bolivian jew plants and put them into the terrarium before you leave. Your bearded dragon will have enough food for days. You can get bolivian jew here!
And if you want to know what other plants you can put in a bearded dragon terrarium, read my article on plants for a bearded dragon tank here!
What To Do If Your Bearded Dragon Refuses To Eat Greens?
As I said, many bearded dragons in captivity get way too much food each and every day and they also eat the wrong food.
For example, if a bearded dragon gets too much food that is high in fat, it can become addicted to it and refuse any other food than food that might be healthier. Food that is high in fat is like fast food for bearded dragons, it tastes great, it is unhealthy, but highly addictive.
Bearded dragons are omnivores, which means that they eat absolutely everything they can catch. So if your bearded dragon refuses to eat greens, you might be feeding your bearded dragon incorrectly.
Feeding only live food is not healthy and you should change that immediately.
Since I know, that many bearded dragon owners have this problem, I have written an ebook on this to help owners to get their bearded dragon to eat greens quickly. So if you want to learn how to make your bearded dragon eat greens within the next 7 days, my ebook will show you exactly how that is done. Click here to get it!
What About The Feces?
Bearded dragons defecate at least once a week, but most bearded dragons in captivity defecate every day. Bearded dragons that defecate every day get a lot of food and probably mostly live food.
A bearded dragon that eats mostly greens and only eats live food two times a week does not defecate that often. A bearded dragon that eats only greens for a couple of days probably only defecates once a week.
My grandma always said, what goes in has to come out eventually. However, if your bearded dragon doesn´t get a lot of food, there is not much that can come out of it.
Still, if you leave for more than 7 days, you should find someone who is willing to clean the tank at least once a week.
What About Water?
Bearded dragons come from the dry woodlands of Australia and it can happen that it doesn´t rain there for months. Bearded dragons are absolutely fine with that. In fact, they are used to being dehydrated. I have written an article on that, read it here.
So even though some bearded dragons like to drink a lot, they do not really need a lot of water. In fact, they mostly get the water they need from their food. So if you put some herbs and plants in the terrarium for your bearded dragon to eat, it will be fine for two weeks.
Should You Turn The Lights Off?
Lighting is a very complicated topic and some people think that they should leave the lights in the tank on 24/7. That´s not true, of course. You should definitely use a time switch to switch the lights on in the morning and off in the evening.
Some people switch the lights completely off when they go on vacation. By doing that, they force their bearded dragon to go into brumation. If you don´t know what that is, bearded dragons brumate once a year. Basically, they sleep for a very long time to rest and to survive the colder days in the wild.
In the wild of Australia they do that around October or November and most bearded dragons in captivity also brumate during that time.
So should you do that? Can you just switch the lights off and leave? Well, in the wild of Australia, bearded dragons do not only brumate in November. They actually also brumate during rainy periods. Rainy periods can lower the ambient temperature rapidly which forces bearded dragons to find a good hide and brumate until the rain has dropped and the temperature rises again.
In the wild, this doesn´t bother bearded dragons too much, so you can do that in a terrarium as well.
However, I still recommend to leave the lights on and feed herbs and plants instead. I like to let my bearded dragons decide when they want to brumate and not force them to.
If you still want to try it, I recommend to read my bearded dragon brumation guide first.
Will My Bearded Dragon Miss Me?
Bearded dragons do get used to their owners and trust them more than other humans. However, a bearded dragon will not miss you if you go on vacation.
Sorry to say that, but who knows what goes on in their heads anyways?
Bearded dragons can go without food for a long time and it is okay if you go on vacation and your bearded dragon doesn´t get any food for a week. They can deal with that without and problems.
They can even survive without food for two weeks, but I highly recommend to give them some herbs so that they at least have some food for the first days.
Further, you should have someone who checks on your bearded dragon once a week.
So now you know how to feed a bearded dragon while on vacation. Enjoy your vacation!
Any questions? Leave them in the comment section below!