Why Do Bearded Dragons Dig? | Unraveling The Behavior

Bearded dragons have unique ways of showing their moods, or stressful phases. When they are happy, or when they are sad, their behavior is the best way to understand their thought process. If you are wondering why do bearded dragons dig? That is also related to their moods or feelings. When you get a new pet, it is essential to understand how they feel about particular things so that you can ensure a better environment for them. We would never want to see our pet in distress, so every gesture they make has to be understood so that you can care for them well.

Why Do Bearded Dragons Dig

Why Do Bearded Dragons Dig – All Facts

When you see your bearded dragon digging the gravel or sand around them, this behavior is normal because these reptilians like to dig. They dig the soil in the wilderness as well. However, is your pet dragon getting hurt while digging? Is it still continuing to dig? When you see an impatient or angry pattern of digging, this behavior might mean something more.

Digging angrily or aggressively to hurt themselves shows impatience and restlessness. However, the real reason for digging can be more than one such as eating something that didn’t suit them, or getting anxious due to some environmental changes. There are numerous reasons so let’s take a look at them briefly. Also, read Why Do Bearded Dragons Turn Black.

6 Main Reasons For Bearded Dragon Digging

Bearded dragons might dig the sand and substrate due to various reasons. Here are a few of them!

Main Reasons For Digging

Ready To Lay Eggs

If you have a female bearded dragon digging up the floor, and you are wondering why this new behavior has begun, it may be time for them to lay eggs. If you see your bearded dragon digging up the whole tank and not stopping even though they are well-fed and looked after, it can be the urge to find a secret spot where it can lay its eggs and keep them warm. Also, find out How Often Bearded Dragons Lay Eggs.

Temperature Controls

If it is too hot and the tank temperature goes above 100⁰F, then the bearded dragon might want to dig up a place and find some cool spot! However, since the place has no cool soil, however, these reptilians will keep busy until they find a cool place.


The bearded dragon will dig when they feel hungry and this means that you will need to make a mixed plate of insects vegetables and fruits for them! Keep in mind that if you feed a nutritionally balanced diet to your dragons, they will become satiated and will stop digging. However, if they do not get a full meal, they may show their distress by digging.


If the bearded dragon is angry with its environment, or there is any other factor that makes it upset, you will be seeing some digging! The angry bearded dragon shows its discomfort and mood change by picking up an activity that shows how it wants to get the aggression out!


Bearded dragons look for a hiding place when they are depressed. The best way to ensure that your dragon pet does not dig up the whole tank due to depression would be to attend to it and make it feel loved. Moreover, if the depression is due to a lack of nutrition, you can check their daily meals again and maybe make some changes to allow them to be happy with their daily routine!


We mentioned earlier how stress can be one of the leading reasons for numerous behavioral changes in bearded dragons. If you see your dragon pet digging angrily or too quickly without caring if it is hurting, there can be underlying stress. The reasons for stress can be countless! The dragon may be feeling alone, it may be feeling dominated, and hungry, or it may be simply shedding skin! Whatever the reason, make sure that you address it to see if the dragon is happy or not.

Bearded Dragon Dig Box

A dig box is not a bad idea. If you feel that your bearded dragon is enjoying digging, then you can place a special box, or put more sand in one corner of the tank for it to enjoy digging. Moreover, since these creatures dig to keep themselves cool, this spot might work in favor of the owners who are still getting the hang of the right temperature control!

A dig box will also work as a lay box for your female bearded dragon and if they lay their eggs in a safe place, you will see them thrive and remain happy for the rest of the day. Moreover, when you feel that the bearded dragon is digging aggressively, you will become cautious in all they do so that you can correct the environment and figure out the reason for such behavior.


Bearded dragons dig as a habit, but if you see them digging even when it is hurtful and uncomfortable, then it is time to see what is making them angry or upset. There can be numerous reasons why dragons dig the floor of their tanks. While some of them are good, some need attention. Check out the various reasons discussed here so you know how to ensure better living conditions.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know that my bearded dragon is digging happily or in a bad mood?

Bearded dragons move slowly and their movement shows if they are stressed or happy. If your pet dragon is digging at leisure, you will be able to tell that it is a habitual activity. However, when it is upset or angry, their movement will be hurried or forceful.

Can I pat my bearded dragon when it is digging under stress?

Pet owners do not need any excuse to show their pets that they care. However, when you want to pat the dragon, be sure to gently rub its back and then lift it up to hold it close. This might calm down the dragon. You will still have to find out the reason for its stress but a pat can never hurt!

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