Why Do Bearded Dragons Turn Grey? & What to Do

Bearded dragons are fascinating reptiles known for their unique appearance and docile nature.

Beardies are becoming popular pets due to their hardy nature and low maintenance requirements.

However, many bearded dragon owners have noticed their pets turning grey and wonder why this happens and whether this is a cause for concern.

Bearded dragons can turn grey for various reasons, including natural color variations, shedding, stress, illness or injury, and aging. In most cases, a grey coloration is not a cause for concern, but if accompanied by other symptoms, it may be a sign of a more serious issue.

This article will explore why bearded dragons turn grey, from natural color variations to shedding, stress, illness, and aging. By understanding these causes, you can better care for your bearded dragon and ensure it stays healthy and happy.

Why Bearded dragons turn grey

grey beardie to explain why do bearded dragons turn grey

Your beardie changing its colorful look into a greyish may be a grim look, but it does not always mean trouble.

If your bearded dragon has turned grey, it is not necessarily a cause for concern.

As explained earlier, there are several reasons why bearded dragons turn grey, including natural color variations, shedding, stress, thermal regulation, dehydration, illness or injury, and aging.

Let’s quickly discuss each of the reasons bearded dragons turn grey;

Natural color variations

Like many animals, bearded dragons can come in various colors, including greyish or dull scales. You can learn about why Bearded dragons change color here.


During the shedding process, the old skin may appear grey or dull in color before it is shed.


Bearded dragons can turn grey due to stress, which fear, new surroundings, and annoyance can cause. Stressful situations can cause a bearded dragon to darken their skin and appear grey.

Stressed bearded dragons can also change their color to red, but they can also do it for other reasons, so check out my article on why bearded dragons change color to red here.

Thermal regulation

Bearded dragons regulate their body temperature by basking in the sun or under a heat lamp. They may darken their skin to release heat and appear grey if they are too hot.

Beardies may also change their color to yellow for the same reasons.


If a bearded dragon is dehydrated, it may appear grey or dull in color.

Illness or injury

Bearded dragons may turn grey due to various illnesses or injuries, including metabolic bone disease, parasites, and skin infections.

Bearded dragons require a source of fresh, clean water at all times, but they do not typically drink a lot of water.

They obtain most of their hydration from the foods they eat, which should be high in moisture content.

However, providing a shallow water dish for them to soak in is still important, which can help with hydration and promote healthy shedding.


As bearded dragons age, they may naturally lose their bright colors and turn grey.

There is no set age at which bearded dragons will turn grey or experience changes in color due to age, as this can vary based on factors such as their genetics and environmental conditions.

While in most cases, a grey coloration in a bearded dragon is not a cause for concern, it can indicate a more serious issue if accompanied by other symptoms.

For example, if a bearded dragon is dehydrated or suffering from an illness or injury, it may require veterinary care to recover.

Similarly, if a bearded dragon is stressed due to improper housing or handling, it is important to address these issues to prevent further health problems.

What to do if your bearded dragon turns grey?

First off; stay calm and do not panic.

If your bearded dragon turns grey, it can be an indication of a problem. While there are several reasons why bearded dragons may change color, such as shedding or natural color variations, a sudden or significant change in color can also be a sign of stress, illness, injury, or dehydration.

If your bearded dragon is exhibiting other symptoms, such as lethargy or loss of appetite, or if their grey coloration is accompanied by a lack of energy or respiratory distress, it is important to seek veterinary attention.

Can you prevent your beardie from turning grey?

While it is possible to take steps to help prevent your bearded dragon from turning grey, there is no guarantee that you can 100% prevent this from happening. It’s not exactly a perfect science.

However, providing your bearded dragon with a healthy and appropriate environment, a balanced diet, and regular access to fresh water can help support their overall health and reduce the likelihood of health problems that may lead to color changes.

Regularly monitoring your bearded dragon’s behavior and appearance, and seeking veterinary attention as needed (and seeking regular vet checkups), can also help catch any potential health issues early and prevent them from becoming more serious.

How to prevent your bearded dragon from turning grey?

While bearded dragons may change color for a variety of reasons, there are several steps you can take to help prevent them from turning grey or experiencing other changes in coloration:

  1. Provide a suitable habitat: Bearded dragons need an enclosure large enough to allow for adequate exercise and exploration, with proper lighting, heating, and humidity.
  2. Offer a balanced diet: Feeding your bearded dragon a varied diet that includes live insects, fresh greens, and occasional fruits or vegetables can help ensure that they receive the necessary nutrients to support their health.
  3. Maintain good hygiene: Regular cleaning of the enclosure and any feeding dishes or water bowls can help prevent the growth of harmful bacteria and prevent potential health issues.
  4. Provide fresh water: Keeping a clean source of fresh water available to your bearded dragon at all times can help prevent dehydration and support overall health.
  5. Handle with care: Be gentle and avoid over-handling your bearded dragon, as stress can cause color changes and other health problems.


While your beardie turning grey may be alarming, it does not always mean something bad and is often just a normal color change for them. However, it’s better to be safe than sorry, which is why you should not skip regular vet checkups and keep an eye on them to watch out for any other symptoms.

Taking steps to provide your bearded dragon with a healthy environment and diet, and monitoring its behavior and appearance for any potential health issues, can help reduce the likelihood of color changes and promote overall health.

While color changes can occur for various reasons, providing your bearded dragon with proper care and attention can help minimize the risk of health problems that may lead to color changes.

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