How Long Can A Bearded Dragon Go Without Heat?

bearded dragon under a heat lamp

Did the heating lamp in your bearded dragon’s enclosure go out, and are you worried whether your bearded dragon can survive the enclosure temperature? Or perhaps you have just bought a bearded dragon and are wondering how long it can sustain without heat?

How Long Can A Bearded Dragon Go Without Heat?

A bearded dragon can go without heat for up to 24 hours. The only condition is that the temperature in the pet enclosure should not drop beyond 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees Celsius). 

Reasons Why Bearded Dragons Need Heat 

Bearded Dragons are semi-arboreal creatures. Their natural habitats are sub-tropical and arid regions, and therefore they thrive best in a similar environment. 

Since bearded dragons belong to the reptilia class in the animal kingdom taxonomy, they, like most reptiles, are cold-blooded. This means that they regulate their body temperatures based on the temperature of their environment.

Bearded dragons are heavily dependent on heat from the surroundings for smooth functioning of their bodily functions like digestion and other physical activities. 

Temperatures For Pet Enclosure 

Bearded dragons have different temperature needs for good health. Following are the types of temperatures you need to maintain in the pet enclosure for your bearded dragon:

  1. Primary Enclosure Temperature

The primary enclosure temperature implies the overall temperature of the vivarium. You can maintain the temperature in the pet enclosure by using a basking lamp or a heat lamp. You must also use a thermometer to monitor the temperature.   

The temperature of the pet enclosure should be around 90 degrees Fahrenheit or 32 degrees Celsius. 

  1. Hiding Spot Temperature

Your bearded dragon is going to use the hiding spot in the enclosure from time to time. Usually, bearded dragons use hiding spots when they feel threatened or stressed.  

It is crucial that you ensure that the temperature of this hiding spot is comfortable enough for your pet bearded dragon.  

The hiding spot’s temperature should be within a range of 70 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit or 21 to 29 degrees Celsius.  

While designing the enclosure, you must use an area where the temperature is within the given range. Typically, you must design the hiding spot away from the basking area.

  1. Basking Temperature

One of the many needs of your bearded dragon is to bask in UV rays. For this, the vivarium contains a basking area. This is directly the area under the UV lamp or the heating lamp. 

The temperature in the basking area should be within the range of 100 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 to 43 degrees Celsius for younger bearded dragons. 

For adult bearded dragons, the temperature should be approximately around 105 degrees Fahrenheit or 40 degrees Celsius.  

Check out this bearded dragon basking and enjoying in this video.

  1. Night Time Temperature

Lastly, your bearded dragon needs a different setting during the nighttime. You need to turn off the light to imitate the natural nighttime setting. However, your bearded dragon still needs heat. There are many other ways to keep your bearded dragon warm at night, some include a ceramic heat emitter, utilizing a dimmer switch, installing a low-wattage incandescent bulb, using a timer, and an added heat mat.

To solve the problem of providing heat without using a light source lamp, you should use a low-heat ceramic heat emitter. 

The temperature at night time needs to be within a range of 65 – 70 degrees Fahrenheit or 18 to 21 degrees Celsius. 

Complications in Bearded Dragons in Absence of Heat

In case there is no heat for more than 24 hours, bearded dragons can develop various health issues. Following are some of the health-related complications that your bearded dragon may develop in case there is no heat:

Sluggishness and Lethargy

Since bearded dragons are cold-blooded, the first thing they will do with a drop in temperature is reduce their activities. This may seem like your bearded dragon has become lethargic and sluggish. 

Problems Related to Metabolic Activities

Your bearded dragon may also face trouble with performing certain metabolic activities. For instance, if your bearded dragon is not in a warm enough environment, it may face difficulties in digesting its meals. This, in turn, can lead to health problems like malnutrition and constipation.

Poor Absorption of Nutrients Through Diet

Your bearded dragon also uses heat to absorb vital nutrients from its diet. 

In case your bearded dragon is in a cooler environment, it will not be able to absorb essential nutrients like Calcium through its diet. 

A deficiency of nutrients can cause a lot of health problems like metabolic bone disease and respiratory infections. 

Early Brumation

In the absence of heat, bearded dragons also tend to go into brumation. Going into brumation multiple times can cause severe health problems, as bearded dragons do not eat much during this period. 

Untimely brumation can lead to nutrient deficiency in your bearded dragon, which in turn can affect your pet’s health severely. 

Emergency Tips For Keeping Your Bearded Dragon Warm

In case there is a power outage for a longer time period or the heating lamp is out, you may take certain steps to keep the pet enclosure heated and warm for your bearded dragon. 

  • You can start by wrapping a large towel or blanket around the pet enclosure to keep the heat levels up in the vivarium. 
  • It is best to warm the towel or blanket with a  hot water bottle before you cover the enclosure. 
  • Along with this, you should also monitor the pet enclosures’ temperature using a thermometer to maintain the temperature within the optimal range. 
  • Furthermore, if the power outage lasts for a longer duration, it is best to limit your bearded dragon’s diet. Since bearded dragons cannot digest well in the absence of proper heat, limiting your bearded dragon’s food intake can prevent gut problems like indigestion, gut impaction, and constipation. 
  • It is highly advisable to keep certain backup power sources like a generator or power pack in case of a power outage. 

Travel Tips

If you are traveling with your pet bearded dragon, you may have to carry certain equipment like heating lamps and thermometers. 

While it is not possible to keep the heating lamp plugged in all the time, you can plug it in whenever you reach your vacation destination. 

It is also recommended that you use special carriers made out of polystyrene for carrying your bearded dragon. The polystyrene carrier will insulate your bearded dragon from external changes in temperature.  

To keep your bearded dragon generally warm, ensure that you cover the enclosure to keep it heated. You can also use heat packs that are not toxic to keep the enclosure warm. Alternatively, you can also use a heat mat to keep your bearded dragon warm. 

Lastly, you must always carry a portable source of power to maintain heat consistently. Portable power sources will come in handy as you may find it hard to plug in the heating lamp on the go. 


Bearded dragons are able to sustain going without heat for up to 24 hours. After this, things can turn for the worse for your bearded dragon. As long as you ensure that your bearded dragon stays warm even during emergencies or while traveling, you do not need to worry about your bearded dragon’s health. 


Can My Bearded Dragon Die in the Absence of Heat?

Yes, your bearded dragon may die if it has prolonged exposure to cold. This is primarily because prolonged exposure to a cooler environment will impact your bearded dragon’s metabolic activities, thereby affecting its immune system and overall health. 

Your bearded dragon will also become lethargic and avoid eating food or drinking any water. This can lead to dehydration and other severe symptoms, which can prove to be fatal for your bearded dragon. 

Should I Leave the Heat Lamp on Overnight?

You should not leave the heat lamp or basking lamp on overnight. Heat lamps can generate excessive heat, which is detrimental for your bearded dragons. Bearded dragons have different temperature needs at night time. The special temperature replicates the habitat and natural cycle of bearded dragons in the wild. 

How Do Bearded Dragons Survive Cold Climates?

Bearded dragons survive cold climates by going into brumation. This is their natural technique to survive colder climates. You may also observe your bearded dragon digging into its substrate to keep itself warm. 

Should I Use a Regular Light Bulb to Keep My Bearded Dragon Warm?

No, you should not use a regular light bulb to heat up the pet enclosure for your bearded dragon. You should always use special basking lights meant to keep your bearded dragon warm.

What is the Lowest Temperature That a Bearded Dragon Can Endure?

The lowest temperature that your bearded dragon may endure is within a range of 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit or 18 – 21 degrees Celsius. However, you must not test this deliberately, as it can induce stress in your bearded dragon. You must ensure that your bearded dragon’s enclosure maintains an optimal temperature at all times for its well-being.

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