Why is Your Bearded Dragon Changing Color to Red?

Bearded dragons can change color frequently and rapidly, sometimes several times in a single day.

This is normal behavior and is often a response to changes in their environment, such as changes in temperature, lighting, or mood.

Some bearded dragons also change color in response to being handled or while basking in the sun. However, a change to red is often a worrying sign for beardie owners.

So why is your bearded dragon changing color to red?

Bearded dragons change color to red when they are excited, stimulated, injured, in pain, or suffering from an infection. Pay attention to your beardie when they change color to red and look for other symptoms, and if you notice any, take them to the vet.

There are so many reasons why Bearded dragons change color, and while each color has a meaning, it’s not as clear-cut as we would like them to be.

In this article, I’m only going to focus on the change to red, but you can check out my complete guide to what each color your bearded dragon changes into means her. Now, let’s see this red color change thing, what it means, and when to worry or even if you should be concerned at all.

Why Do Bearded Dragons Change Color to Red?

red bearded dragon to show why is my bearded dragon changing color to red

Bearded dragons change color to red for a variety of reasons, including:

  1. Temperature change: When a bearded dragon is too cold, it may turn red as a way to warm up and increase its body temperature.
  2. Injury or Infection: If your bearded dragon is in physical pain due to injury or bacterial infection, it may display a red hue. Since they don’t communicate verbally, it’s important to look for other signs of pain.
  3. Excitement or Aggression: Red coloring can signify that a bearded dragon is excited, threatened, or aggressive.
  4. Illness: In some cases, red coloration in a bearded dragon can indicate an underlying health issue, such as metabolic bone disease or an infection.
  5. Stress: Red coloring can also indicate stress in a bearded dragon, and it is important to identify and address the stress source to ensure your pet’s health and well-being.

How to know your bearded dragon is in pain?

Since reptiles do not communicate with sounds or facial expressions like cats and dogs do, it is very difficult to know when they are in pain.

Instead, you need to watch out for other reptiles’ signs of pain. Here are the signs to watch out for:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Hiding more frequently
  • Changes in behavior (e.g. becoming less active or aggressive)
  • Inability to move properly or limp
  • Panting or excessive salivation
  • Swelling or abnormal lumps on the body
  • Changes in breathing rate or pattern

If you notice one or more of these signs in combination with the color change to red, there is a very good chance that your reptile is injured and in pain.

How to know if your Bearded dragon has an infection?

Several signs may indicate that your bearded dragon has an infection, including:

  1. Changes in behavior: A sudden decrease in activity or appetite can indicate that your bearded dragon is not feeling well.
  2. Physical appearance: Signs of swelling, redness, or discharge from the eyes, nose, or mouth can indicate an infection.
  3. Respiratory symptoms: Wheezing, coughing, or open-mouth breathing can indicate respiratory issues, including infections.
  4. Skin issues: Bumpy, discolored, or scaly skin can indicate a skin infection.
  5. Lethargy: If your bearded dragon is sluggish, inactive, and unresponsive, it may have an underlying infection.

If you suspect your beardie has an infection, you should take them to the vet as soon as possible. The quicker the problem can be diagnosed, the less suffering they need to go, and the higher their chances of a complete recovery will be, so do not hesitate to ring up your vet.

How are infections treated in Bearded dragons?

Bearded dragon infections can be treated with antibiotics or antifungal medications as prescribed by the vet.

Treatment also involves supportive care, such as ensuring proper diet and hydration and maintaining a clean and warm environment.

In severe cases, hospitalization and fluid therapy may be necessary.

Do Not Treat Their infections on your own!

It is absolutely not recommended to use human antibiotics for treating bearded dragon infections. Antibiotics for humans are not formulated for reptiles and may not be effective or safe for them.

Additionally, reptiles have different metabolisms than humans and may react differently to the same medication.

It is best to consult with your vet, who is experienced in treating reptiles, to determine the appropriate treatment for a bearded dragon infection.


In conclusion, bearded dragons change color to red for various reasons, including stress, excitement, aggression, and pain.

Understanding the different triggers for color change can help owners provide the best care for their pets and recognize when their bearded dragons feel different emotions.

Whether it’s a vibrant red, orange, or yellow, the color change of bearded dragons can be a fascinating display of their adaptability and survival instincts.

With proper care and attention, owners can enjoy their bearded pet dragons’ unique beauty and personality for many years.

I hope you found it helpful! If you did, please share it or pin it!

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