Bearded dragon fat pads

The beardie is one of the largest reptiles you can keep indoors, it looks majestic and pretty hard to nourish. There are so many fat bearded dragons that it is becoming the norm. Overweight reptiles are open to serious health issues. When it comes to bearded dragon fat, there is no safe zone in the fat range. Dragons add weight pretty fast in the wild. The bearded dragon fat pads are handy when they do not get food for some days.  bearded dragon that is overweight will have a large round belly, and it will be visible from the top. The tail will be very thick, especially at the base. The head around the jawline will be visibly large and distended. You won’t be able to easily see its hip bones or backbone.

Fat pads on a bearded dragon

Fat pads are small pockets of fat behind a bearded dragon’s eye sockets. Fat pads are essential fat stores on your dragon’s body, and on a healthy lizard, the pads should be slightly plump, rounded, and full yet not bulbous or sunken into the skull.

Fat pads look like

The fat pads on the head lay on top of the head behind each eye. A healthy weight dragon will have normal fat pads that are slightly raised, whereas a malnourished dragon will have fat pads that sink down some. When a bearded dragon is fat, the fat pads can be easily felt. Here are 5 places to find bearded dragon fat are:

  1. Tail – Your bearded dragon has a thick tail base,
  2. Spine – The spine and ribs cannot be felt,
  3. Abdomen – Distended abdomen is quite noticeable,
  4. Jowl – Distended jowl is quite noticeable
  5. Behind the arms – Fat pockets behind their arms will bulge,

Healthy Fat Pads Look Like

Healthy fat pads should be very slightly plump and squishy, and never sunken into the lizard’s triangle-shaped skull. A malnourished dragon will have what appear to be tiny craters behind the eyes in the place of these essential fat pads, while an obese beardie will have bulbous fat pads which protrude slightly from behind the eyes. Never press into or poke the fat pads, as they are very sensitive, and putting pressure on them will also put pressure on your lizard’s eyes.

Function of the fat pads

The fat pads of bearded dragons store excess fats. During bromating, some reptiles such as bearded dragons enter a shut-down state where they don’t eat or move for several weeks. During this period, they draw upon the extra fats stored in their fat pads for survival.

5 sign of fat breaded dragon

There are five little details determining if your Breaded dragon might be overweight.

Abdominal Fat

Bearded Dragons Fat Tail

Axillary Fat Pocket

Bearded Dragons Fat Jowls

Cranial Fat Pads

1. Abdominal Fat

As mentioned above, you can easily see the difference between healthy beardies and obese bearded dragons.

2. Bearded Dragons Fat Tail

You can look at your BD tail, if the base of its tail is thick, beefy, and squish, this means there is a thin layer of excess obesity surrounding the entire surface of the tail, which should just be the compact structure used for balance.

3. Axillary Fat Pocket

It is an obese pad behind your BD forearms. Normally, a beardie actually doesn’t have any obese pads back there, it is essentially just a storage site for surplus fat in the wild if the beardie was going through a period of time with an abundance of food.

4. Bearded Dragons Fat Jowls

You usually notice that as a beardie fat chin, it is a loose hanging skin underneath the chin, right below the section, which is often known as a bearded that creates the beardie name we use today.

Besides, you may notice the similarity between beardie fat jowl and human fat chin.

5. Cranial Fat Pads

They are two little squish pads right behind the beardie eyes.

You do not need to tough it to identify the difference, you can see it on your beardie head from the side.

Beardie fat pads have the same size as BD eyeball, it is soft and elastic.

How much should a bearded dragon weigh?

Hatchling bearded dragon weight – 2-3 grams

1-month-old bearded dragon weight – 5-20 grams

2-month-old bearded dragon, weight – 12-20 grams

3-month-old bearded dragon weight – 20-70 grams

4-month-old bearded dragon weight – 50-90 grams

5-month-old bearded dragon – 90-150 grams

6-month-old bearded dragon weight – 100-200 grams

7-month-old bearded dragon weight – 120-250 grams

8-month-old bearded dragon weight – 150-300 grams

9-month-old bearded dragon, weight – 200-350 grams

10-18-month-old bearded dragon weight (maturity) – minimum 250-300 grams, average 300-450+ grams, a big dragon – 700-850 grams. Above 900 grams = overweight, under 250 grams = underweight.

24-month-old bearded dragon weight – 250-800 grams (preferably minimum 300-400 grams)

Please note that these numbers are only general, and your bearded dragon’s weight will depend on many factors. These will be sex (males tend to grow faster), how much your dragon eats, husbandry, genetics, and more. Some will grow at faster rates, some at slower rates

How do I get my Bearded Dragon to Lose Weight?

Generally, an adult bearded dragon can eat around 15-20 crickets per feeding, which should last around 15 minutes. If your bearded dragon needs to lose weight, don’t feed it more than 30 crickets per week, so 15 per feeding. Feed bugs in the morning so that your bearded dragon can burn more calories throughout the day. An overweight dragon can suffer from a variety of health problems beyond the obviously reduced lifespan. Some of the more notable issues to consider are the chances of weakened limbs, organ issues, especially within the liver, and dystonia in gravid females.

  • A dragon’s body is designed to carry a healthy bearded dragon’s weight; excess poundage means the dragon has to work harder to move. That extra effort risks weakening the dragon’s bones and joints.
  • Organ problems can occur when the dragon releases its excess fat into the body, abreacting with other organs.
  • Dystocia is a condition where the normal path taken by eggs on their way out of the mother’s body is distorted or even obstructed, resulting in a difficult process.
  • While it is mild, it can be distressing to hear the frequent gasping sounds of an overweight dragon that has become lazy from inactivity.


There is no way to keep your beardie always healthy and lovely, but we can minimize the risk by checking your pet’s weight and expression regularly. And If you are worried the bearded dragon is too skinny or fat, we advise you to seek vet’s services or try some remedies listed above


Q1: What are bearded dragon fat pads?

Fat pads are little pockets of fat in a bearded dragon’s belly.

Q2: Why do bearded dragons have fat pads?

Fat pads store extra energy for when they need it.

Q3: Are fat pads normal in bearded dragons?

Yes, but they shouldn’t be too big.

Q4: Can fat pads get too big?

Yes, if they get too big, it can be a problem.

Q5: What happens if fat pads get too big?

It can make them unhealthy, like being overweight in humans.

Q6: How can I prevent fat pads from getting too big?

Feed them the right amount of food and give them exercise.

Q7: Should I be worried if my bearded dragon has big fat pads?

Yes, it’s best to ask a vet for advice if you’re worried.

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