Have you ever noticed your bearded dragon scratching at the glass? This peculiar behavior, known as glass surfing or glass dancing, is quite common among bearded dragon owners. While it may seem puzzling at first, there are several reasons why your beloved pet engages in this behavior. In this article, we will explore the various causes behind your bearded dragon’s glass scratching antics.
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What is Glass Surfing?
Glass surfing, also referred to as scratching at glass, occurs when a bearded dragon stands on its hind legs and starts paddling its arms against the glass. It may also involve running around the tank, as if desperately trying to escape. This behavior is often a result of stress, hence the term “glass dancing.” Interestingly, bearded dragons may exhibit similar behavior by scratching at walls.
Why is My Bearded Dragon Scratching at Glass?
Let’s delve into the possible reasons for your bearded dragon’s glass scratching behavior:
Reason 1: Your Bearded Dragon Wants to Find a Mate
During the breeding season, bearded dragons may exhibit scratching behavior in their pursuit of a potential mate. If everything seems fine within your dragon’s habitat and its beard is black, there’s a good chance it’s trying to escape the tank in search of a companion.
Reason 2: Your Bearded Dragon Wants Some Out-of-Tank Time
Once your bearded dragon has become familiar with you, it will likely enjoy spending time beyond the confines of its tank. This includes sitting on you, climbing, exploring the room, and simply basking in the outside world. If your dragon desires attention, scratching at the glass may be its way of signaling that it wants to be let out. Consider placing a soft cushion by a window or on a windowsill so your dragon can enjoy the view. Interactive playtime is also crucial for preventing boredom and stress.
Reason 3: Your Bearded Dragon is Stressed
Stress can manifest in various ways, and scratching at the glass may be a sign that something is amiss in your dragon’s tank setup. Issues such as improper temperature, lighting, or humidity levels can cause distress for your pet. Ensure that the temperature remains within the recommended range, using a reliable digital thermometer. Any significant changes to the setup should be minimized to help your bearded dragon adjust. Additionally, keep an eye out for stress indicators such as a black beard or stress marks on the belly.
Reason 4: It Can See Another Animal and is Scared
If your bearded dragon catches sight of another lizard, bearded dragon, cat, or dog, it may become stressed. Even if the other bearded dragon is not in the same tank, your dragon can sense or see it if it’s nearby. Minimize stress by ensuring that your bearded dragon is unable to see other lizards within its enclosure.
Reason 5: Your Bearded Dragon Can See Its Own Reflection
Mirrors can cause confusion for bearded dragons, as they may mistake their reflection for another bearded dragon. This can trigger stress or curiosity, resulting in head-bobbing or arm-waving behavior. If your dragon is fixated on its reflection, consider covering the sides of the tank to minimize the reflective surfaces within its habitat.
Reason 6: Your Bearded Dragon Doesn’t Understand that Glass is a Barrier
Some bearded dragons don’t quite grasp the concept that glass serves as a barrier. When hungry or lacking hiding space, they may attempt to move through the glass and explore further. Providing ample hiding spots and maintaining a suitable temperature gradient can help alleviate this issue.
Reason 7: Your Gravid Bearded Dragon is Preparing to Lay Eggs
Gravid (pregnant) bearded dragons can exhibit restlessness and an inclination to dig or climb the glass before laying their eggs. It’s worth noting that a female bearded dragon can become gravid even without being with a male. Ensure that you’ve prepared a suitable lay box for her to avoid complications.
Reason 8: Your Bearded Dragon’s Tank is Too Small
Inadequate living space can easily stress out a bearded dragon. Make sure your dragon’s terrarium is of an appropriate size, offering sufficient room for movement and enrichment. Optimal tank sizes depend on the age and stage of your bearded dragon, so be sure to refer to reliable sources for guidance.
Reason 9: Your Baby Bearded Dragon Has Excess Energy
Babies and juvenile bearded dragons tend to be quite energetic. Scratching at glass may simply be a release of pent-up energy. Create a stimulating environment for your baby dragon, allowing it to explore and engage in activities to maintain its overall well-being.
Deciphering the exact reasons behind your bearded dragon’s glass surfing can be challenging. Before making any changes to the environment, ensure that this behavior is truly causing distress. If your dragon’s recent behavior changes have prompted the glass scratching, consider reverting to its previous setup. However, if your dragon remains lethargic, exhibits abnormal eating or digestion patterns, or shows signs of discomfort, it’s essential to consult a veterinarian. Remember, a healthy and content bearded dragon will reward you with years of companionship and joy.
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