Perhaps you just came home and walked up to your bearded dragon’s tank to greet them, only to be met with the smell of poop. The smell of their poop may have you wondering, is bearded dragon poop supposed to smell this bad, or is something wrong?
Naturally, your bearded dragon’s poop is going to smell unpleasant. However, if you notice that your bearded dragon’s poop smells worse than usual, it may be due to various factors, such as parasites, stress, or diet.
Thankfully, there are several ways to identify if your bearded dragon’s poop smells normal or if something more is going on.
Continue reading to learn more about what you can do to help your bearded dragon if their poop smells worse than usual.
What You Bearded Dragon’s Poop Should Smell Like
Your bearded dragon’s poop is naturally going to smell.
While different people have different levels of tolerance when it comes to the smell of a bearded dragon’s poop, it is important to keep in mind that poop will always naturally smell somewhat unpleasant.
When it comes to monitoring your bearded dragon’s health, their poop can tell you a lot about how they are doing and the state of their health.
Specifically, it can provide you with the information needed to determine whether the smell of their poop is normal or if you should be concerned.
A healthy bearded dragon releases log-shaped, brown poop and soft, white urate. Additionally, a healthy bearded dragon’s poop should maintain a relatively consistent odor that does not linger for too long after being cleaned up.
The odor of your bearded dragon’s poop should disappear soon after the poop is removed. It is also important to note that the urate released when your bearded dragon poops should also not smell foul.
If your bearded dragon consistently releases healthy-looking poop that gives off a similar odor each time, it is safe to assume that they are physically okay.
However, there are instances in which you should be concerned about the smell of your bearded dragon’s poop.
Continue reading to learn more about several common reasons why your bearded dragon’s poop may smell worse than usual.
3 Reasons It May Smell Worse Than Usual
One potential reason why your bearded dragon’s poop may smell worse than usual could be attributed to the presence of parasites.
While parasites are a fairly common occurrence among bearded dragons, they can lead to serious health problems if left untreated.
Parasites, such as coccidia and pinworms may settle in the gastrointestinal tract of your bearded dragon and cause their poop to be abnormally foul-smelling.
In addition to a worsening odor, parasites may also cause your bearded dragon’s poop to become watery and black.
If you happen to notice any changes in the consistency or smell of your bearded dragon’s poop, you should have a stool sample checked by your reptile vet as soon as possible.
Another reason why your bearded dragon’s poop may have an abnormally bad smell could be due to stress. Heightened levels of stress may result in foul-smelling poop.
There are several common causes of stress, such as changing habitat and poor husbandry.
When bearded dragons are exposed to a new living environment, or the conditions of their current living environment are unsatisfactory, they will naturally become stressed.
Ensuring that your bearded dragon is comfortable, clean, and well-taken care of is essential to reducing the stress that they may otherwise experience.
Your bearded dragon’s diet may also be contributing to their unusually foul-smelling poop. Certain foods, such as crickets may cause your bearded dragon to release foul-smelling poop.
Also, certain foods may naturally upset your bearded dragon and thus produce the same results.
Although there are a variety of foods that are typically safe for all bearded dragons to eat, your bearded dragon is unique and may react differently to some foods.
In addition to being mindful of which foods do and do not sit well with your bearded dragon, it is crucial to ensure that they receive their basic dietary needs daily.
Bearded dragons require a healthy balance between eating protein (e.g., mealworms, roaches, crickets) and greens (e.g., mustard greens, collard greens, dandelion greens). Additionally, they require additional supplements, such as calcium, on occasion.
When your bearded dragon maintains a healthy diet, they are more likely to produce healthy poops and even experience lower stress levels.
How to Improve the Smell of Your Bearded Dragon’s Poop?
One potential solution for improving the smell of your bearded dragon’s poop is to remove any parasites that may be present.
If you suspect that your bearded dragon has become infected with parasites, you should bring a stool sample to your reptile veterinarian as soon as possible.
If left untreated, parasites will eventually lead to more health complications for your bearded dragon. So, it is crucial that you identify and treat parasites in your bearded dragon as early as you can.
Thankfully, there are a variety of ways to treat parasites.
If your veterinarian does detect parasites in your bearded dragon, they will prescribe either an oral or an injectable medicine to deworm your bearded dragon.
It is essential to check in with your veterinarian and follow their advice to remove parasites from your bearded dragon’s body as quickly and effectively as possible.
Another way to improve the smell of your bearded dragon’s poop is to ensure that you provide them with a healthy diet every day.
By eating a healthy diet, your bearded dragon will not only feel physically well but will also experience less stress and discomfort.
A healthy bearded dragon diet consists of an appropriate balance between protein, greens, and supplements.
For protein, which should be approximately 75% of their diet, bearded dragons typically eat crickets, roaches, and worms.
The remaining 25% of a bearded dragon’s diet should consist of nutritious greens, such as mustard, collard, and dandelion greens.
You may also feed your bearded dragon various fruits and vegetables occasionally – just be sure to research which vegetables and fruits are safe for your bearded dragon to consume.
Finally, providing your bearded dragon with additional nutritional supplements on occasions, such as vitamins and calcium, is also important because they often do not get enough from their foods.
As mentioned previously, some foods may not sit well with your bearded dragon. Even if certain foods are safe to eat, it does not mean that your bearded dragon has to eat them.
Ultimately, it is best to explore your options and determine what foods are truly the best for your bearded dragon and its digestive system. Every bearded dragon is different!
How to Get Rid of the Lingering Smell of Bearded Dragon Poop?
Frequent Spot Cleaning
One of the best ways to prevent the smell of your bearded dragon’s poop from lingering is to consistently spot clean within their tank.
It is always best to remove your bearded dragon’s poop from its tank as soon as you see it.
This not only keeps the tank smelling fresh but also helps to prevent your bearded from stepping in their poop and spreading it to other areas of their tank.
Keep in mind that the longer that your bearded dragon’s poop stays in the tank, the more foul-smelling it will become over time.
Removing any poop as soon as you see it is necessary to prevent the smell from lingering for too long.
Once the poop is removed, spot cleaning within the tank is also helpful when it comes to eliminating the smell of poop. There are a variety of safe cleaning supplies that can be used to get the job done.
When selecting a cleaner, it is important to keep in mind that you should never use anything strong or scented. Bearded dragons tend to touch and lick things around their enclosure regularly.
So, selecting a cleaner that is specifically designed with bearded dragons in mind is always the best option.
Regular Deep Cleaning
Similar to frequent spot cleaning, routinely deep cleaning your bearded dragon’s tank is another excellent way to get rid of the lingering smell of bearded dragon poop.
Deep cleaning an enclosure begins by removing all items and décor from the tank. Once removed from the enclosure, soaking all items and décor in hot water is a great way to clean them safely.
Keep in mind that items and décor also should not be exposed to any scented cleaners or soaps.
If you don’t see any poop present in your bearded dragon’s tank but still smell the scent of poop, there are likely remnants of poop on other items and décor within the tank.
Even if you don’t see visible signs of dirt or poop, it is best to deep clean everything within your bearded dragon’s tank.
By deep cleaning your bearded dragon’s living quarters frequently, you will get rid of any bad smells and keep your bearded dragon happy and healthy.