How Long Can a Bearded Dragon Go Without Heat | Why Do They Need It

How long can a bearded dragon go without heat? Bearded dragons are cold-blooded creatures that require special heating to maintain their body temperature. These reptiles have a low tolerance for temperature changes and can suffer from shock if not properly heated. So, how long can bearded dragons survive without being heated?

How long can bearded dragons survive without being heated?

When the temperature is at least 65°F, bearded dragons can survive for up to 24 hours without heat. If the lizard is left without an external heat source for too long, it will become lethargic and its digestion will dramatically slow down.

To control their body temperature, bearded dragons require a heating mechanism in their enclosure. A ceramic heat emitter or a UVB bulb is the finest way to provide heat.

I’ve outlined some options for keeping your bearded dragon warm even if there is a power outage below. Even when the temperature decreases in the winter or there is a power outage, you can keep your reptile pet comfortable and active with these strategies.

Will a bearded dragon succumb to the cold?

External heat sources are required for bearded dragons to stay active and execute their biological functions. Without heat for more than 24 hours, the reptiles’ vital biological functions will be interrupted, and the bearded dragon will succumb to the cold and incapacity to move and feed.

Depending on the situation and location, as well as overall meteorological conditions, this process can take anywhere from 24 hours to a few days. If the lizard is in a dry environment with little to no vegetation, it may take up to 24 hours for the animal to succumb to the cold.

If your lizard lives at a higher height, where there is more protection from wind gusts and precipitation, this period could be extended by two days. Bottom line: If you’re expecting severe weather, don’t let your pet bearded dragon alone at home for too long.

What is the coldest temperature that a bearded dragon can withstand?

Bearded dragons may survive at temperatures as low as 65°F for a brief time. Due to the intense cold, the lizard will begin to display signs of inactivity and tiredness when the temperature dips below 65°F. The lizard will perish if it is not provided with heat.

Make sure they have food and drink if there is a power outage that prevents their heat pad from working, or if you plan to turn off their heat source overnight or during the day while you’re gone.

Bear in mind that once their body temperature drops too low, bearded dragons may refuse to eat due to indigestion and, even worse, compaction. You should wait until their body temperature has returned to normal after being exposed to warmer temperatures before allowing them to eat regularly again.

Bearded dragons require an adequate amount of UVB light as well as heat sources in their habitat, such as heating rocks and/or lights, in order to survive in captivity. To avoid the possibility of acute cold, the best way to care for a baby bearded dragon is to keep the tank at the proper temperature.

The optimal ambient air temperature is 75-85°F, with 90-95°F basking patches.

What makes bearded dragons require heat?

Any cold-blooded animal requires a lot of warmth. Bearded dragons, like all reptiles, rely on external heat sources to keep their bodies warm. This is why in the beardie’s enclosure, you should give both a basking and a cooling place.

The temperature in a bearded dragon’s tank should be between 85 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit, while the ambient air should be between 82 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit. A thermometer is required to keep track of these temperatures in order to keep your pet healthy.

But, aside from assisting reptiles in regulating their body temperature, what is the significance of heat?

  • Digestion

A bearded dragon requires heat to digest its food. The warmth of the heat source encourages the growth of beneficial bacteria in your pet’s intestines, which aid digestion. After eating, give them some time in their basking location to avoid indigestion and constipation.

After eating, most beardies will sit on a heating pad or rock to warm up their tummy. If they don’t get enough heat, your pet may develop a variety of digestive issues, including constipation and bloat.

Indigestion symptoms in bearded dragons include:

  • appetite loss or reduction
  • Inactivity, lethargy, or sluggishness
  • food regurgitation
  • circling behavior in the vicinity of the heat source

It’s critical to keep an eye on the temperature around your bearded dragon at all times, especially during the winter months, to ensure normal digestion and regular bowel movements.

Body temperature regulation

To assist regulate their body temperature, bearded dragons require warm regions in their enclosure. Your pet may grow too cold and unwell if they do not have access to a basking spot.

The management of the bearded dragon’s body temperature allows them to enjoy an active outdoor lifestyle with relatively modest feeding requirements, which is why providing heat for these reptiles is so crucial.

If your beardie has trouble maintaining its own internal body temperature, it’s possible that the heat pad is broken. Check the heat lamp and the ceramic pads for night heating to make sure they’re powered up and producing heat as planned.

The winter months are the most vulnerable, and your beardie will most certainly brumate. Even so, if your bearded dragon isn’t given adequate heat at night or throughout the winter, its internal temperature will drop, resulting in lethargy and, in extreme cases, death.

Because heat rocks are inexpensive, they are one of the most frequent sources of warmth for reptiles. To avoid difficulties with regulation caused by insufficient heating, you should:

Provide a suitable sunbathing area.

Check that the heating appliances are functioning properly.

During power disruptions, provide a backup power source.

Absorption of calcium

The heat helps bearded dragons absorb calcium from their diet. Bearded dragons require heat in their enclosure to aid with meal digestion and calcium absorption.

Your bearded dragon may have issues absorbing calcium from its meal if it is not properly heated.

If you notice that your beardie isn’t absorbing enough calcium from its food, it’s most likely due to a lack of heat in its environment, which indicates they’re not getting enough calcium from its food. If this continues, you may have a sickly pet in addition to the increased risk of health problems associated with cold temperatures, such as poor digestion and constipation.

The following are signs of insufficient calcium in bearded dragons:

  • lack of appetite
  • Bone metabolic disease
  • Inactivity, sluggishness, or lethargy
  • due to a lack of heat, swollen joints and bones that may distort

It’s critical to ensure that your bearded dragon gets adequate calcium from their food in order to be healthy. If they’re not getting enough calcium from their diet, it’s possible that their heat sources aren’t working properly.

This indicates that your pet requires more than simply a thermostat setting to regulate his or her body temperature. Assure that he has enough heat to sit on his basking site and bask as needed, while also ensuring that his food intake from prey items gives an adequate dose of dietary calcium.

Bearded Dragons’ Power Outage and Heating

If you’re not prepared, power outages can be lethal for bearded dragons. Make sure you have a backup heating source before an outage and remember where your power outlets are so you don’t have to fumble around in the dark looking for one in the event of a power outage.

When the electricity goes out, here are some more options for keeping your bearded dragon warm:

Allow the lizard to bask in the sun.

If you don’t have a backup power source and there is a power outage, taking the lizard outside to bask in the sun is an excellent way to keep them warm. Keep an eye on the bearded dragon and stay nearby in case they need assistance getting back inside or if you want to get out of the sun when it gets too hot.

Bearded dragons get their warmth by basking in the sun in the wild. Take your bearded dragon outside to bask in the sunlight when you have a chance, as this will supply them with warmth if they are chilled from being inside too much or simply need some vitamin D.

You can also set the lizard near a heat source, such as an open window with sunlight streaming in, or if it’s not sunny outside, close to a heat source, such as a space heater.

Have alternate power sources.

Have a solar backup and battery backup for your bearded dragon if possible.

When the sun is shining, you can set solar panels in direct sunlight or utilize solar-powered lamps that connect to outlets to offer heat when there is no electricity.

Battery-powered heating pads are a more cost-effective alternative to solar-powered heating pads.

It is critical that your bearded dragon has constant access to heat, especially when it is cold outside or during the winter months.

Invest in blankets.

Blankets are another technique to keep your bearded dragon warm without using energy.

Blankets can be placed over the tank or on top of your lizard to give warmth and stimulate them when it’s time to eat.

Avoid using too many blankets because this may trap the heat and suffocate your bearded dragon, putting their health at risk. You only need enough blankets to cover any vents from under tanks or anywhere else where air needs to be able to flow (whether it’s natural light flowing in through windows or heating sources like space heaters).

Extra blankets should only be utilized in the event of a power outage with no alternative backup supply available; otherwise, you risk trapping all of the animal’s body heat, which could lead to death.

Closely hold the bearded dragon to your body.

If you don’t have any other options for keeping your bearded dragon warm, the best alternative is to keep them near to you.

This will keep them warm and offer them a sense of security whether they’re cold from being inside all day or if there’s an emergency power outage with no backup power source.

Keep in mind that this should only be done as a last resort because it’s impossible to predict how long their body temperature will stay warm, and any rapid movements could result in damage or death, so make gentle but persistent contact.

You should avoid holding the lizard too tightly because this may restrict blood flow, making the animal more susceptible to illness; nevertheless, gently hugging or caressing their belly area can provide warmth and make them feel protected.

Keep a firm grip on the lizard while cuddling for warmth, as its tail might break off if it’s not held gently or when they’re jumping around from fear.

Invest in a hot water bottle.

If none of the aforementioned ways seem safe for any reason, consider wrapping a hot water bottle in cloth on one side just so they don’t overheat when lying against it.

You must be careful not to overheat the bearded dragon with the hot water bottle, as this can easily happen. Before placing the hot water bottle close to the bearded dragon, check the temperature using a thermometer to see if it has to be adjusted.

Finally, never use a light bulb or anything else that is too exposed for your lizard because this might be deadly. You must ensure that kids do not approach or touch anything that releases heat, such as lights, as these are not safe options.

Symptoms that your bearded dragon is chilled

Extreme heat is dangerous for bearded dragons and can cause a variety of health problems. Whether you pay attention to your bearded dragon’s behavior, you’ll notice if it’s experiencing excessive cold.

Here are some warning indications if your bearded dragon is too cold:


It’s too cold if your bearded dragon is immobile. This can happen if the reptile does not move and/or remains stationary. These are two of the most common symptoms of a sick or stressed-out animal: any abrupt change in their behavior could indicate that something is wrong.


It’s too cold for your bearded dragon to respond. Bearded dragons are often energetic creatures who move around a lot and strive to avoid anything they don’t like or find unpleasant. If the reptile becomes unresponsive, he or she most likely requires additional heat right away.

Skin temperature is low.

It’s too cold if your bearded dragon’s skin temperature is low. If you touch the reptile and it feels cool or dry to the touch, they are most likely not getting enough heat.


Obviously, this is the worst-case scenario, but it is possible. You should definitely do something to bring your bearded dragon up to temperature for at least a few hours.

To get your bearded dragon up to temperature, try using whatever heat source you can find. If you have a heat mat that you use for other reptiles, you can use it for a couple of hours on your bearded dragon.

If you don’t have any other reptiles and no other heat source, you can fill water bottles with warm water and place your bearded dragon on top of it.

Some folks even use grain pillows to keep their bearded dragon warm under these circumstances.

All you have to do now is make sure your bearded dragon does not get burned. Make sure the cushion and the water bottles are not too heated.

Warm baths can also help, although I don’t suggest them. The bearded dragon must then be rubbed dry, or else its body temperature would decrease even further.

Warm up your bearded dragon in whatever way you can. Everything that is warm is beneficial.

Just don’t put your bearded dragon in the microwave or the oven, I repeat, don’t. That may appear amusing at this point, but I am serious. Some people simply do not consider the repercussions and believe it to be a good idea.


That is highly dependent on how long your bearded dragon has been cold. There is no need to see a reptile veterinarian if your bearded dragon was without heat for a few hours, say 5 hours.

You must keep an eye on your bearded dragon if it has been without heat for longer than 24 hours.

Is it moving as it should? Was it able to pass gas? Is it the food and drink? Any unusual behavior could indicate that your bearded dragon is ill and that there is a problem.

You should give your bearded dragon time to wake up properly after such a long period without heat before becoming concerned.


I’m sure you already know, but I’ll say it anyway. In your bearded dragon tank, you should always utilize a timer. Manually turning on and off the lights is not recommended.

Things happen, and you may find yourself unable to turn the lights on or off at the appropriate times, leaving your bearded dragon without heat. Things like that can happen once in a while, but they shouldn’t happen too frequently because it can disrupt your bearded dragon’s biorhythm.


Bearded dragons do not require any heat during brumation. They would be disturbed by the heat while sleeping.


Your bearded dragon can definitely survive without heat for a few hours, but you should make sure it can get its body temperature back up within the next 24 hours, otherwise, it could develop health problems and even die.

I hope this answers your question about how long bearded dragons can survive without heat. If you have any more questions, please post them in the comments area below.