Bearded dragons are popular pet lizards that exhibit a variety of interesting activities like as head bobbing, waving, and performing pushups. However, contrary to popular opinion, not all of these activities imply that a bearded dragon is content. Glass surfing is an example of a charming activity that is also a sign that something is amiss and needs to be addressed.
What Is Glass Surfing in Bearded Dragons?
Glass surfing describes a lizard's frenzied attempt to climb up the edge of its habitat. Glass surfing, also known as glass dancing, is when a lizard rubs its belly against the glass of its tank while paddling its small legs as if it were body surfing on the glass. The bearded dragon will also be standing on its rear legs, as if it is attempting to get out of the tank but failing to do so.
Why Do Bearded Dragons Glass Surf?
Reptile forums are frequently populated by pet owners who speculate on why bearded dragons glass surf. While these ideas are diverse, they all have one thing in common: they are all caused by stress. Glass surfing is regarded to be a stress response, and a bearded dragon might be stressed for a variety of reasons:
- An enclosure or tank that's too small for it can stress a bearded dragon out.
- Another bearded dragon, even if they're not housed together, may be interpreted as competition for a bearded dragon and cause stress.
- New decorations or rearrangement of the vivarium can cause stress.
- Feeling threatened by its own reflection in the glass can cause stress.
- Feeling bored or hungry can be stressful to a bearded dragon.
- Suboptimal substrate, lighting, or temperature can be stressful to a bearded dragon.
Any one or a combination of these conditions may cause your bearded dragon to become stressed out, which, in turn, may prompt it to glass surf.
Bearded dragons aren't the only ones who like glass surfing. When stressed, many and even fish glass surf for many of the same reasons.
Stress in Bearded Dragons
Aside from glass surfing, if your bearded dragon's color darkens or turns black, it's probably stressed. This is most obviously noticable on the beard.
If a bearded dragon has a black beard, a recent change affecting it, even if it was perceived to be a favorable development, might be the source of worry. Changing the position of the enclosure, relocating the dragon to a new or bigger tank, or introducing a new bearded dragon into its line of sight, for example, may all put a bearded dragon under stress. The source of stress may be anything as seemingly little as the person who normally looks after the bearded dragon going on vacation for a week.
Health Concerns and Glass Surfing
There's no medical reason to be concerned about glass surfing, apart from the fact that the bearded dragon is probably anxious. Veterinary treatment should be sought if the dragon isn't eating or shedding well, becomes sluggish, or there are reasons to fear it is unwell.
How to Stop Glass Surfing
Because bearded dragons glass surf when they're agitated, stopping the habit might be difficult if the source of the tension is unknown. Unnecessary alterations in a bearded dragon's surroundings should be avoided as much as possible. The following are some particular strategies to help stop glass surfing:
- If a new item in the enclosure recently triggered the glass surfing behavior, the items should be put back to the way they were before the glass surfing started. This may mean removing a new decoration from the tank or making sure a bearded dragon can't see a new reptile that was introduced into the home..
- If a tank is smaller than 55 gallons and it houses a full-grown bearded dragon, the tank may be too small. A larger tank should be considered because the small enclosure could be the reason behind the glass surfing.
- If tanks are switched, the environment should be made so that it's as familiar as possible. Items should be placed in the same general location as they were in the original tank. Items may be more spread out but with as few changes as possible it may still convey a sense of home and familiarity to a bearded dragon.
- A bearded dragon may just need more attention or stimulation if it's glass surfing. Plenty of daily enrichment should be provided to a bearded dragon. If it likes to be handled, this could mean more time outside the tank is needed.
- A bearded dragon needs to have appropriate lighting, humidity, and ambient temperatures to keep it happy and healthy. Inappropriate day and night cycles, incorrect temperatures, and environments that are too humid or dry can all contribute to stress in a bearded dragon.