Obesity in pets is not uncommon. And I’m sure by now you have seen some pretty obese pets. Just the other day I was on Instagram, and someone posted their cat that looked like a balloon with legs. Heck, my neighbors’ dog is shooting for a world record, he has to waddle around as a result of being so overweight.
Usually, it’s only cats and dogs we think of when it comes to pet obesity. Unfortunately, bearded dragons have a high risk of becoming obese. As you probably noticed by now they lack self-control when it comes to food. And being overweight is strenuous on internal organs, just like humans, and causes premature death.
So, how fat is to fat for a bearded dragon? It’s oftentimes easier to tell if they are under weight than overweight. Although, there are a few telltale signs that your beanie is morbidly obese.
Typically, a bearded dragon’s belly should clear the floor when he walks. Also, when you pick him up, the underside abdomen area should be firm, with no loose hanging squishy globs of fat. Though I would not use this as the only indicator to tell if your bearded dragon is fat. It’s can also be a sign or a gravid (pregnant) bearded dragon. So, if you have a female, that might be why you have an overly plump bearded dragon all of a sudden.
The easiest way to tell if your bearded dragons obese is by checking the tail. Their tail should be firm, dense, and compact, with not much flexibility. Whereas an obese beardies tail will be squishy, almost like a leopard geckos tail. They have so much excess fat that it’s getting stored around the tail.
Forearm Fat Pocket
Bearded dragons will store fat under their forearms. On a healthy bearded dragon there should be no fat pockets under the forearms. Obese beardie’s will have flaps of fat when you look under their forearms. In the wild, this is where a bearded dragon will store excess fat, for when there is a shortage of food.
Your bearded dragon should not look like he has a double chin. In obese bearded dragons fat pockets will form in the back of his beard. Whereas there should be no excess fat in that area. At the same time, you don’t want the area sunken in, as that could be a sign of being underfed.
Cranial Fat Pads
Bearded dragons have fat pads on the top of their head. In a healthy beardie, they should be squishy, however not noticeable when looking at them. If they don’t feel squishy, and all you feel is bone, your bearded dragon is severely dehydrated.
If their squishy and look like pimples on the back of your bearded dragons head, it’s a sign being overweight.
If your beardie has one or two symptoms, it’s nothing to worry about. Most bearded dragons will have a little belly fat and forearm fat. And that’s perfectly fine. It’s when he shows 3 or more symptoms of being obese, is when it becomes unhealthy.