Bearded dragons can make various noises with different meanings depending on the situation. The noises can mean the lizard is scared, anxious, ready to attack, or something else. Below, I’ve explained the different types of noises bearded dragons make and what they mean.
Do bearded dragons vocalize?
Bearded dragons do not vocalize but produce subtle hissing noises. The hissing is usually produced when the lizard is threatened or scared of something in its enclosure. The dragons, unlike other lizards, don’t have typical vocalizations. They communicate among themselves with body language and color displays.
However, even though they have a way of communicating with each other, they don’t share a social bond and therefore only form gatherings where there’s food or in places where they bask.
Although it is well known that beardies don’t vocalize except for hissing, you might find rare instances where some other types of noises are produced. These noises may include chirping, huffing, clicking, burping, and even croaking. Below, I’ve discussed these rare vocalizations and whether or not they’re normal, and what they may mean when you hear them.
Common Bearded Dragon Noises and What they Mean
For you to hear your beardie make some noise, you have to spend quite a bit of time with them.
They will make noises when they are happy, but also after you have been feeding them or to show their dominance over another beardie. When your bearded dragon is feeling a little stressed out and needs some calm time, listen for soft hissing sounds that come close together while it’s trying to find a spot in the cage where it is safe.
Here are the most common noises bearded dragons make:
1. Hissing noise
Hissing is the most common noise that bearded dragons make to mean something is wrong. The reptile will hiss if there’s something scary or unusual invading its space.
In short, hissing sounds mean irritation. Suppose your reptile is producing this sound and appears anxious. In that case, you want to check the enclosure to ensure there isn’t an irritant, another lizard encroaching on its territory, or other pets in the house aren’t trying to scare the beardie.
Remember that hissing in bearded dragons is a major sign of aggression. When your beardie feels dominant in the presence of other bearded dragons, it will hiss to show aggression.
The noise can also be a warning when there’s an intruder in the cage. If you hold them and get too close to their face or body, you may hear this sound before they bite.
Note: Hissing accompanied by the beardie puffing up and turning black is a sign of danger. The reptile is telling you to leave them alone. If not, they’ll probably attack in defense of themselves.
It may take some time for your bearded dragon to get used to allowing people near its food dish or terrarium, but once it feels safe enough with you, the aggression should decrease because it won’t need that type of protection from potential threats anymore.
In general, if the hissing doesn’t stop after about five minutes, move away as slowly and quietly as possible until he stops making noises. Then try petting him again.
2. Chirping noise
Compared to hissing, chirping is not a common noise that bearded dragons produce. However, you might hear it once in a while, probably when the beardie is just yawning.
Since these reptiles cannot vocalize, the chirping noise your bearded dragon produced may be a chirp of happiness.
If your pet yawns and chirps, then it is possible that the real noise they’re producing is something else or that they were yawning. Other lizards such as leopard geckos make chirping noises when excited or feeling disturbed.
Bearded dragon enthusiasts believe that in case you hear a chirp, then this type of noise, the sound will be soft and almost similar to hisses. It may often be part of their natural repertoire for communicating emotions to others nearby.
You may never hear the chirping noises being made by your bearded dragon, but that should not worry you. Your pet is perfectly fine. Even some dragons do not hiss that easily, regardless of their excitement.
Note: chirping or chattering noises are rare and not usually heard in captive areas.
3. Burping noise
Burping is a fairly common noise bearded dragons make. This is not necessarily a vocalization but a natural reflex from the gut of the reptile pet.
Whenever bearded dragons burp, this usually means they are full. If you hear these noises after your pets have eaten recently and are not very active, be patient because it might take a while for the lizard to digest its meal.
If your dragon sounds like he’s burping regularly, it may be that his stomach has an excess amount of gas they are trying to expel. This excess gas could also mean there isn’t enough air getting into their lungs while eating, resulting in later complex breathing problems and burping issues.
You might want to check if the burping noises are too much and show the reptile is experiencing some discomfort.
Suppose burping doesn’t stop soon enough and the reptile seems to struggle to breathe. In that case, you should seek immediate reptile veterinary care to ensure the beardie does not have something lodged in its throat, making breathing difficult.
READ ALSO: Bearded Dragon Laying Flat: Causes and Fixes
4. Clicking noise
Clicking sounds are not vocalizations in bearded dragons. Instead, they can mean either of two different things:
- The bearded dragon has an upper respiratory infection (URI)
- The jaws are snapping hard when eating, or teeth crashing against each other
If clicking noises are coming from your beardie, then they may have an upper respiratory infection (URI). The clicking noise may be accompanied by other symptoms, such as sneezing, coughing, wheezing, labored breathing.
Upper respiratory infections are fairly common in bearded dragons and are usually caused by the reptile being in a dirty or wet environment. If your bearded dragon has URI, you should take them to a veterinarian for advice and treatment.
The clicking noise bearded dragons make is also a sound they produce by clicking and snapping their jaws. The clicking occurs when a bearded dragon opens its mouth with the lower jaw clamped down on an object, such as food.
5. Huffing noise
Huffing is a fairly common noise bearded dragons make. This means they are trying to intimidate another dragon, animal nearby, or even a human being when unfamiliar with them.
Huffing sounds are almost like coughing. However, the sound is a little bit distinct as it may seem as if the reptile is angry and is keeping a lot of air in its body and shoving all of it out in one go.
If your beardie hisses and huffs at you repeatedly with the intention of intimidation, it may be attempting to assert dominance over you. The reptile might also want to scare away kids or other pets hovering around its enclosure.
This type of behavior can become an issue if this becomes too frequent because there will come a time when intimidation might turn into aggression for them to get their point across.
Bearded dragons prefer to live alone; introducing another reptile into its tank can cause aggression and sounds like hissing, puffing, and huffing.
6. Croaking noises
Croaking noises are not common or normal vocalizations in bearded dragons. They are similar to clicking when the bearded dragon is breathing. If you hear your bearded dragon making some croaking noises, it could be a sign of respiratory illness.
The croaking noise results from the bearded dragon’s lungs as they contract and push air out. They are also croaky when their throat swells because it has some infection in there that causes inflammation or irritation. When this happens, your beardie may have trouble breathing which will cause them to make these croaking noises with every breath they take, which can become more frequent until things get better again.
To diagnose if the croaking noise comes from an upper respiratory infection (URI), you need to look at what other symptoms accompany it, such as scratching the nose and mouth or sneezing, coughing, wheezing, or labored breathing. You might want to check how often the sound occurs to determine if it is a serious health concern that needs a checkup.
I would advise that you take your bearded dragon to a reptile veterinarian if croaking noises are frequent and continue to worsen.
7. Squeaking noises
Squeaking is not a normal sound a bearded dragon would make. It may come out when the beardie moves across a tile floor, meaning the pads are scratching against the surface.
Other lizards such as house geckos can produce squeaking sounds, but this is not true in bearded dragons. If your bearded dragon makes such noises from its mouth, you might want to check it for infection.
Respiratory infections in bearded dragons can cause breathing problems, causing them to struggle to breathe and make unusual noises, including squeaks. It could mean they need help, including taking them to a reptile veterinarian specialising in beardies.
8. Wheezing noises
An infection can cause the wheezing sound results from breathing problems and, or it may be allergies. Bearded dragons struggle to catch their breath when they have respiratory infections, so you will hear these noises more frequently as your beardie’s condition worsens.
It’s also possible that your beardie has developed allergies to something outside its tank like some pollen from plants on the ground or even from inside the house if there was any recent cleaning done without proper protection for pets and surfaces where lizards live.
If you think your pet might have asthma, take them to a reptile veterinarian for a proper checkup and treatment. If you suspect your pet has asthma, take them to a reptile veterinarian for a thorough examination and treatment. Some of these infections are difficult to treat, so you should not try to treat your pet yourself.
9. Purring sounds
Bearded dragons do not have vocal cords. Therefore, you should not expect them to produce purring noises. Like cats, bearded dragons like being pet, but don’t produce purring noises to show affection or indicate that they enjoy being held.
However, a purring-like sound could indicate a problem in the respiratory system making the beardie noise when breathing. If you hear purring-like sounds coming from your beardie’s mouth, it could be an infection or a nose problem.
A visit to the reptile vet near you would be the most appropriate thing to ensure the beardie remains healthy.
10. Gagging/chocking noises
Gagging sounds are worth worrying about because they mean the lizard is choking and in distress.
Bearded dragons gagging sounds are usually caused when they eat something and it gets stuck in their throat. It’s a good idea to inspect the reptile and become familiar with this kind of sound as a pet owner. Also, learn how to prevent choking and gagging, which includes feeding your beardie appropriately sized prey items.
Also, be aware that an infection or even allergies could cause bearded dragon gags. If these symptoms last more than a day, take your beardie to a reptile vet for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Are bearded dragons bothered by noise?
Bearded dragons can hear. Therefore, they can recognize noise in their environment, which is why other beardies can hear the hissing warning sounds made by the dominant lizards.
But are the beardies sensitive to noise? Do loud noises bother the lizards? According to some sources, the noise itself is not what bothers them. The thing that beardies are sensitive about is the meaning of it.
For example, if a dominant bearded dragon hisses at you and goes into defense mode when your hands are near the enclosure or tank, this could mean different things like stress from being handled too much in recent days. If it only reacts with sound and no other signs of distress, handling may not bother them as much.
Noises can also agitate beardies taken out for feeding time outside their natural environment—especially ones raised by humans. These noises will trigger an automatic response to fight or flee.
– uncommon: hissing, chirping, barking, moaning, singing/chanting noise that.