12 Reasons Why Rankin’s Dragon Not Eating

They Are Getting Older

Rankin’s dragons might not be eating because they are getting older. As they age, they may become less active and may not have the energy to eat. Additionally, Rankin’s dragons might not enjoy the taste of their food if they are getting old or have health issues preventing them from digesting it properly.

If this is the case, their owners may need to provide them with a diet rich in vegetables and fruits to get the nutrients they need to stay healthy and alive.

They Are Stressed

When a Rankin’s dragon is stressed, it may not want to eat because they’re scared or don’t feel safe. To help your Rankin’s dragon out when they’re being difficult to feed, try these tips:

  • Create a feeding schedule and stick to it. This will help the dragon know what to expect and make them less anxious since they’ll know when their next meal is coming.
  • Make sure their environment is calm and safe. If the dragon can’t feel comfortable in its own habitat, it will be less likely to want to eat. Provide plenty of hiding places and climbing surfaces, and make sure there’s nothing in the vicinity that could scare or stress the reptile (e.g., loud noises, sudden movements).
  • Provide stimulation in the cage: this includes branches, rocks and plants to keep them busy.

Improper Lighting

One common reason Rankin’s dragons will not eat is improper lighting in their habitat. A few light fixtures in the tank will not be bright enough to illuminate everything inside, so the Rankin’s dragon can’t see what it’s eating.

You’ll need to invest in a good light fixture for your tank and ensure it provides adequate light.

They Are Brumating

There are many reasons Rankin’s dragons won’t eat, but one of the most common is that the dragon is brumating. Brumation is the process by which an animal hibernates for periods of time.

Rankin’s dragons are a species that brumates, which means they are able to go into a state of suspended animation. This helps conserve energy and stay healthy during the winter season.

The good news is that if you notice your Rankin’s dragon isn’t eating or isn’t eating much, checking for signs of brumation may be all you need to get them back on track.

Keep an eye out for pale patches on their skin and reduced movement- if your dragon is showing any of these signs, give them some extra light and warmth and wait until they wake up from their brumation to give them regular feedings again.

They Are Impacted

Impaction is when a Rankin’s dragon’s bowel becomes blocked as a result of eating something too indigestible or too large in size. An impaction can range from being barely noticeable to being so severe that the dragon cannot move at all and will die.

Because Rankin’s Dragons are delicate creatures and can easily become incapacitated from an impaction, it is important to check their food every day and remove anything that looks like it might be causing a problem.

If you believe one of your Rankin’s dragons has an impaction and is not eating or drinking, do not try to remove the blockage yourself – call your veterinarian immediately.

They Are Itching

Rankin’s dragons won’t eat properly when shedding because the scales on their skin are falling off, making the dragon itchy.

If your Rankin’s dragon is itching a lot, it may be because they are shedding their skin. Rankin’s dragons can shed their skin three times a year; during this time, they will be scratching and biting themselves.

While it is normal for them to itch during this time, if the itching is severe or continues after the shedding has stopped, it may indicate something is wrong. Please consult a veterinarian if you think your Rankin’s dragon is sick or injured.

End Of Growth Spurts

When a Rankin’s dragon is approaching adulthood, you may notice reduced appetite compared to the younger dragon. This is normal because food is no longer needed for growth. During adulthood, food is mainly needed for sustenance.


Dragon owners also note that a Rankin’s Dragon won’t eat because of parasites. Parasites can be a huge problem in any reptile or amphibian enclosure and can lead to malnutrition, problems breathing, and even death.

Parasites can also result in your dragon having an increased appetite to try and replace the parasite’s share of nutrients

Thankfully, there are ways to prevent parasite infestations from taking hold in your Rankin’s Dragon, such as ensuring the source of the insect is safe. If you think your dragon has a parasite issue, treatments are available from the vet.

Mouth Rot

Rankin’s dragons are prone to infection by a type of fungus that causes mouth rot. Symptoms include swelling and lesions around the dragon’s mouth, which can prevent eating and lead to death if not treated.

Keep your Rankin’s dragon’s environment clean and avoid feeding them wild foods that may contain bacteria or fungus.

If you notice your Rankin’s dragon exhibiting any signs of mouth rot, be sure to take it to a veterinarian immediately.

Cleaning their environment and providing antibiotics may keep your dragon from succumbing to this disease.

They Are Sick

As you might probably suspect, there are various illnesses that could cause your Rankin’s dragon to stop eating. In fact, most inexperienced owners will think about it as the first reason for a dragon’s failure to it.

Numerous sicknesses can plague these reptiles, although mouth rot and parasites are the most common culprits.

Apart from these, check out other illnesses that can cause the Rankin’s dragon not to eat, such as Metabolic Bone Disease. If you are unsure, check with your vet. In most cases, the vet will take a sample of their poop to carry out a fecal test and diagnose the problem.


A Rankin’s dragon’s main problem with eating is an injury to their teeth or bones that prevents them from properly chewing their food.

The infants are the most likely to suffer from injuries due to their delicate nature, either from fighting with other lizards in the cage, falling from branches, or being mishandled.

If you find your Rankin’s dragon exhibiting signs of swelling on the body combined with a suppressed appetite, it might be best to ask your vet for the way forward.

They Do Not Like The Food

Rankin’s dragons are voracious eaters and will munch on just about anything you provide. However, if you recently introduced a new diet and your beardie won’t eat, it’s probably because they are not feeling the diet. Many owners have faced this problem, particularly with certain foods.

If you decide to stick to the food, you can expect the dragon to go for days without eating it. You can decide to show them who the boss is, or you can cave and let the dragon have what they like.

But if you decide to wait and they seem to get really skinny, you probably have to offer the foods they can happily eat.

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