Ed dragon curled up in the corner of a terrarium, surrounded by five colorful stones of different sizes

Top 5 Reasons Why Bearded Dragons Scratch In The Corner

Scratching is a common behavior among bearded dragons. Yet, when they do it in the corner of their enclosure, it can be concerning. To ease any worries and understand why this happens, here are the top five reasons why bearded dragons may scratch in the corner of their enclosures:

  1. Dietary imbalances: Bearded dragons require a balanced diet to maintain their health. If their diet lacks certain nutrients, they may develop itching or skin irritations, leading to scratching.
  2. Poor cage enrichment: Bearded dragons need a stimulating environment to keep them mentally and physically active. Inadequate cage enrichment, such as lack of hiding spots or climbing structures, can result in boredom and frustration, leading to excessive scratching.
  3. Unfamiliar surroundings: When bearded dragons are introduced to a new enclosure or a different location, they may feel stressed or anxious. Scratching in the corner could be their way of trying to escape or find comfort in a familiar spot.
  4. Health issues: Certain health conditions, such as mites, fungal infections, or parasites, can cause itchiness and discomfort in bearded dragons. Scratching in the corner may indicate an underlying health issue that needs to be addressed.
  5. Stressful environments: Bearded dragons are sensitive to their surroundings. Loud noises, excessive handling, or exposure to other pets can cause stress and anxiety, leading to scratching behavior.

Understanding these reasons can help you identify the cause of your bearded dragon’s scratching and take appropriate measures to address the issue.

Key Takeaways

  • Lack of balanced diet and dietary imbalances can cause itching and skin irritations, leading to scratching behavior.
  • Inadequate cage enrichment, including lack of hiding spots and climbing structures, can contribute to scratching.
  • Introduction to new enclosure or location, as well as stressful environments, can cause stress and anxiety, leading to scratching in the corner.
  • Health issues such as mites, fungal infections, and parasites can cause itchiness and discomfort, resulting in scratching behavior.

Dietary Imbalances

Dietary imbalances may be a contributing factor to bearded dragons scratching in the corner. An uneven diet, or one lacking the right vitamins, can cause discomfort and lead to excessive scratching. A Vitamin deficiency may also play a part in this behavior by causing skin irritations.

In order for these lizards to remain healthy, they require a balanced diet with all necessary nutrients. Without enough of these nutrients, they may scratch themselves as an attempt to alleviate their discomfort. Providing adequate nutrition is key to preventing this issue from occurring in the first place.

Poor Cage Enrichment

Inadequate cage enrichment may lead to a bearded dragon scratching in the corner. To address this issue, and provide boredom relief, consider the following:

  • Cage size:
  • For one or two dragons, an enclosure of 40-60 gallons is recommended.
  • For larger groups, additional space per animal should be provided.
  • Enrichment objects:
  • Place items like rocks and logs for climbing and hiding.
  • Provide toys that stimulate natural instinctive behaviors.

Unfamiliar Surroundings

The introduction of unfamiliar surroundings can significantly affect the behavior and wellbeing of bearded dragons. Exploring new territory can cause anxiety, which can manifest as a beardie scratching in the corner. This is a form of hiding behavior, as they may feel more comfortable when surrounded by familiar items.

Scratching also releases stress hormones, which further reinforces this behavior. To create an environment that is both comforting and stimulating for your pet, be sure to provide visual barriers and plenty of hiding spots that are easily accessible.

Health Issues

Health issues can arise in bearded dragons due to a variety of factors. These instinctive behaviors may be intensified by:

  • Environmental causes:
  • Unfamiliar surroundings
  • Poor nutrition
  • Medical conditions:
  • Parasites
  • Respiratory infections

Bearded dragons may also territorially mark their enclosure when they are feeling unwell.

Stressful Environments

Stressful environments can cause an array of issues in reptiles, including bearded dragons. One such issue is scratching at the corner of the enclosure, which can indicate that they are seeking attention or that their enclosure is too cramped.

Bearded dragons require adequate space to move around and explore comfortably. If they don’t have enough space, they may become stressed and start scratching in the corner as a way to cope with their negative emotions.

To ensure your bearded dragon’s wellbeing, provide it with ample room to roam freely and create an environment free from stress-inducing factors.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Type of Food Do Bearded Dragons Eat?

Bearded dragons have varied feeding habits, requiring a balanced diet to meet their nutritional needs. They are omnivores, eating both plant and animal matter, such as insects, fruits and vegetables. A variety of food sources should be offered in order to provide essential nutrients for optimal health.

How Often Should I Clean My Bearded Dragon’s Cage?

The size and complexity of the cage should determine the frequency of cleaning. Generally, for a small enclosure, weekly spot-cleaning is sufficient; however, larger cages should be cleaned thoroughly every two weeks. Additionally, bathing habits should also be considered when determining how often to clean.

How Much Space Does a Bearded Dragon Need?

Bearded dragons require an enclosure that is at least 40 gallons in size with a temperature range of 75-85°F, humidity levels between 25-40%, and the correct substrate choice. Housing requirements must be met to ensure their health, freedom, and comfort.

What Signs Indicate That My Bearded Dragon Is Unhealthy?

Signs of an unhealthy bearded dragon can include changes in behavior, appetite, and skin color. It is important to recognize symptoms and visit a vet if needed for proper treatment. Regular vet visits ensure the beardie’s health and well-being.

How Can I Tell if My Bearded Dragon Is Stressed?

Signs of stress in a bearded dragon include excessive grooming and unusual behavior. It is important to monitor any changes in activity levels or habits that could indicate distress. Understanding the causes of stress can help owners prevent it from happening.


Bearded dragons may scratch in the corner for a variety of reasons. These reasons include dietary imbalances, poor cage enrichment, unfamiliar surroundings, health issues, or stressful environments. It is important to identify the cause of the scratching behavior and address it appropriately.

Improving the enclosure environment can help reduce stress levels and discourage scratching behavior. This can be done by providing an appropriate diet and cage enrichment. Regular veterinary check-ups are also essential to ensure that any underlying health issues are identified and treated quickly.

By understanding why a bearded dragon might scratch in the corner, owners can provide an appropriate environment that will help them stay happy and healthy.

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