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Why Your Pet Bearded Dragon Is Gagging!

The top three most commonly kept reptiles as pets are bearded dragons, ball pythons, and leopard geckos with all three seeing a surge in their popularity right now as more and more people get into the reptile keeping community.

As you can probably guess by the spike in the popularity of keeping reptiles, there has also been a spike in the number of questions about keeping these popular reptiles with some people having problems with their bearded dragon gagging.

The most common problem that can cause your bearded dragon to start gagging is a respiratory infection be it an upper or lower respiratory infection.

Less common reasons that your bearded dragon may be gagging include dehydration and sensitivity to the substrate in their tank with this being a less serious issue.

Depending on the severity of your bearded dragons gagging, you may want to book a video call with a veterinarian to have them check your pet over via the camera on your smartphone.

These video calls tend to be much cheaper than a trip to your local veterinarian’s office while offering you the same advice but it really can help you diagnose exactly what’s wrong with your pet bearded dragon and get it on the correct medication as soon as possible.

Why Does My Bearded Dragon Keep Gagging?

Some bearded dragons will start gagging as an early warning sign for a respiratory infection with this being a serious problem in reptiles often requiring medication from a veterinarian to treat the issue.

If you have recently changed the substrate in your bearded dragon’s tank then your pet may be gagging due to having sensitivity to its new substrate but this is less common in a healthy bearded dragon.

If you do need to switch to a new substrate for your pet bearded dragon then we would highly recommend that you go with Zoomed Reptisand if possible.

It is one of the leading bearded dragon substrates on the market with a budget-friendly price tag, an excellent reputation amongst the reptile-keeping community, and a very low chance of causing allergies or sensitivity problems with your pet bearded dragon.

The rarest reason that your pet bearded dragon may end up having problems with gagging is due to hydration and humidity problems in the bearded dragon’s vivarium.

This is very rare though and you should spend the majority of your time trying to work out if your bearded dragon is gagging due to having problems with a respiratory infection or sensitivity to their substrate.

How To Stop Your Bearded Dragon Gagging!

The most common way to stop your bearded dragon from gagging is a course of antibiotics that will usually have to be issued by a veterinarian as this counters the most common reason your bearded dragon will gag and treat a respiratory infection quickly.

If your bearded dragon is gagging due to a switch to a new substrate then going back to your old substrate will usually prevent the gagging.

Double checking the humidity of your tank, regularly misting your tank, and having a water bowl in the tank can also be good practices to prevent your pet bearded dragon from gagging.

Just keep in mind that some bearded dragons are big fans of splashing in their water bowl rather than drinking it so this may defeat the purpose of you even having a water bowl in the vivarium so factor in your own bearded dragon’s personality.

Another point regarding the substrate that you use in your vivarium is that you should always use a commercially available, high-quality substrate such as Zoomed Reptisand.

Some people on social media do say that you are able to use sand that you find on local beaches but this does increase the chances of bacteria getting into your aquarium and potentially causing a respiratory infection in your pet resulting in it gagging.

Should You Be Worried If Your Pet Bearded Dragon Is Gagging?

Unfortunately, the most common reason your bearded dragon may be gagging is due to an upper or lower respiratory infection that can quickly become serious if it is left untreated.

In some cases, these infections can end up becoming so serious that the bearded dragon may end up dying or getting very sick so getting the correct medication quickly is highly recommended.

Even the less common causes of your bearded dragon gagging can end up being serious if your bearded dragon is exposed to the cause for a prolonged period of time as it can end up causing problems with breathing and eating.

This is why we recommend that you switch your substrate back to your old product if you suspect that this is the reason your bearded dragon is gagging as soon as possible.

This helps to prevent the risk of your pet bearded dragon having problems that end up being long-term, potentially serious problems that could otherwise be treated with relative ease.

As with most things, the sooner you start to treat an issue with your bearded dragon, the easier it tends to be to deal with where as the longer it is left to develop, the more difficult these problems can become.


That brings our article going over why your pet bearded dragon is gagging to an end. We hope that we have been able to help you better understand the more common causes of gagging in a bearded dragon, how to treat the issues, as well as how potentially serious they can be. Thankfully, the majority of the time, no matter the problem, you should be able to treat the issue quickly and easily but you may require medication from a veterinarian to do so depending on the cause of the gagging in your bearded dragon.