Bearded dragon glass surfing
There might be times where Bearded dragon owners see their pets trying to climb the glass of their enclosure. This, so-called, ‘glass surfing’ or escaping behaviour, might be seen from time-to-time, but when it becomes a habit it might be an indication that something is wrong.
Although there might be various other (less serious) reasons, Bearded dragon glass-surfing behaviour is considered to be caused by stress. Although many factors can contribute, the main areas to evaluate when when a Bearded dragon is showing this behaviour is the lighting, enclosure size, the temperature and quantities of food.
During the day, Bearded dragons are considered to be active sun baskers. Glass surfing is often observed when the lights go out, but when a Bearded dragon is showing this behaviour during other hours of the day, there might be insufficient lighting – especially ultraviolet (UV) lighting.
Bearded dragons should be supplied with specialised reptile UV light tubes and/or spotlights. The UV range should include the UVA and UVB spectrum of light and should be replaced more or less every six months (or as indicated by the manufacturer’s recommendation). The UV lighting should preferable cover the entire enclosure and should be mounted within 30 cm / 12″ from the main basking area. Read more about UV lighting requirements for Bearded dragons…
Insufficient enclosure size
Insufficient space might also be a reason why a Bearded dragon might want to try to escape. The size of the enclosure should be large enough for Bearded dragon(s) to move freely, and to be able to function normally on a physiological level.
A floor space of at least (900 x 350)cm / (35 x 14)” for a single Bearded dragon, and at least (1 300 x 420)cm / (50 x 17)” for an adult pair is recommended. The floor space should increase with at least 25 – 50% for every Bearded dragon added after that. Read more about Bearded dragon housing requirements…
Bearded dragons are desert animals. As with low lighting, lower than recommended day temperatures will cause stress. The same will happen when temperatures are too high.
The background temperature should range between 24 and 34 ºC / 75 and 93 ºF. The basking area should be around 40 °C / 104 °F with a natural temperature gradient towards the recommended background temperature on the other side of the enclosure. Read more about Bearded dragon temperature requirements…
Bearded dragons are active hunters. When hungry, they will often go out and look for food. Baby Bearded dragons often show glass surfing behaviour when there are too many mouths to feed and/or feeding does not take place multiple times per day.
Bearded dragons needs to be feed every day, or at least every other day. The size of the meal is determined individually and enough live food should be supplied until the Bearded dragon is full and refuse more food. Read more about feeding Bearded dragons…
Although there might be other reasons for Bearded dragons to show glass surfing, these were the factors that are very often incorrect when this behaviour is frequently observed.