Bearded Dragon Fat Neck {7 Reasons Why Bearded Dragons Have Beards}

When the neck of my bearded dragon swells up, I step back.

A bearded dragon fat neck could be due to obesity, illness, or most likely as a form of defense and communication.

This article explains why and much more regarding a bearded dragon throat pouch and a bearded dragon fat neck.

Bearded Dragon Fat Neck

A Bearded Dragon’s swollen/puffy neck might be due to:

  • shedding
  • fat storage
  • ‘puffing up’ or bearding as a defense mechanism
  • being threatened by you (hasn’t bonded with you yet)

Medical causes may also be a reason why your beardie has a fat neck. Check for:

  • an abscess
  • infection
  • obesity 

Knowing why your bearded dragon has a fat neck involves going through the steps I will outline and explain below.

Is My Bearded Dragon Fat?

Maybe. Bearded dragons retain additional body weight in strange areas such as:

  • Behind the arms
  • Jowls
  • Tail
  • Down the spine
  • In the neck

Obesity is a serious danger that is related with a variety of health difficulties, including:

  • Organ malfunction
  • Prolapses
  • Egg-binding
  • shortened lifespan

If you detect any of the indicators of obesity, you should take action and make some modifications to your bearded dragon’s food and activity routine.

How To Help A Bearded Dragon Lose Weight

Weight loss strategies are very much the same in all animals:

  • eat the correct amount of nutrients
  • be active

3 Ways To Help Your Bearded Dragon lose weight involves:

  1. Diet choices
  2. Increasing their activity level
  3. Brumation

1. Diet choices

  • Eat more leafy greens and juicy veggies.
  • Eat fewer sweet fruits.
  • Refrain from too many fatty superworms.
  • Fewer feeder insects.

2. Increase your beardie’s activity level.

Make your bearded dragon work for food by:

  • dangling veggie pieces around the enclosure.
  • provide high branches, hammocks, and other climbing toys in the tank.
  • allow your bearded dragon to spend time outside the tank.

3. Brumation

Brumation is the reptile equivalent of mammalian hibernation.

It involves a long slumber over winter months where your bearded dragon doesn’t eat or rarely eats while spending most of the time resting.

Bearded dragons use up their bodily fat reserves during brumation.
Let your beardie brumate without interfering with the process by waking your pet up.

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Bearded Dragon Throat Pouch

As a rookie bearded dragon pet owner, I used to refer to the bloated or swollen neck when, in fact, I was not realizing it was a throat pouch.

The neck pouch, also known as the bearded dragon’s beard, is a multifunctional organ that serves numerous functions including:

  • frightening opponents
  • storing food
  • enticing mating partners

They may also gape their mouth open, extend the scales on the neck pouch and it might also turn black. They may even bob their heads, bow, and even wave their hands as well.

7 Reasons Why Bearded Dragons Have Beards

The beard is scaly, changes color and can be puffed out in a process called bearding. Let’s find out why this is happening.

1. Frighten

Bearded dragons are extremely territorial, and if confronted with another beardie or a possible predator, they will try to scare the opponent by appearing larger than they are.

The beard expands and looks like a fat neck.

2. Attracting Companions

Bearded dragons looking for a mate frequently puff their necks, as though to communicate that they are ready and willing to mate.

The neighboring female may also bob her head if she is interested in the mating suggestion.

3. Shedding

Although natural, shedding is an unpleasant process. If the shedding is sluggish and stunted, the beardie may try to speed it up by blowing its neck.

The puffing will physically increase the region and aid in the breakdown of the old skin.

4. Anxiety or Stress

When agitated or frightened, bearded dragons frequently blow their throats. This behavior is common in baby and juvenile bearded dragons.

Beardies are susceptible to several sorts of stress, and frequent anxiety triggers include changes in the surroundings and the presence of another pet.

5. Food Storage

The neck pouch can also be used to store food for a limited period of time.

My bearded dragons consumes a large amount of food in a short period of time and keep some of it in his pouch. If they hold too much food however, there is a risk of choking.

6. Stretching

My bearded dragon enjoys the occasional body stretch. Beardies stretch by expanding their bodies and beards in order to release tension. I wish I could do the same.

7. Looking for Attention

It’s not just mating bearded dragons that like to brag. Bearded pet dragons have been seen to stretch their necks as a type of attention-seeking behavior.

Specifically, if my bearded dragon is deprived of love and attention, he will blow his neck to alert me that he is present.

This is due to the fact that bearded dragons may become connected to their owners and want some attention.

Why Does My Bearded Dragon Have a Lump in His Throat?

There could be two main reasons for the lump in the throat.

  1. Fat Storage
  2. Abscesses

1. Food Storage

Bearded dragons can store food in their mouths and look like a lump in the throat. They can be discouraged with more food on offer.

Storing too much food in this area can lead to choking and would require immediate help.

2. Abscesses

Bearded dragons may have hard tumor-like swellings anywhere on their body. An abscess is an infected swelling region within bodily tissue that contains pus.

Abscesses can arise in any reptile and are frequently overlooked until they become huge and visible.

How can I Tell if my Bearded Dragon is Overweight?

  1. The base of your bearded dragon’s tail is thick.
  2. The spine and ribs cannot be felt.
  3. A distended abdomen is seen.
  4. A prominent jowl is visible.
  5. Fat pockets will protrude behind their arms.


If you believe your bearded dragon’s neck is obese, you must first evaluate whether the neck is the underlying problem.

Your bearded dragon with a flabby neck would require a particular diet and exercise routine to shed excess weight and avoid obesity-related health problems.

Your beardie may be inflating its neck for a variety of reasons. The good news is that the majority of them are normal and generally harmless.

It might be difficult to determine what is causing your bearded dragon’s neck to bulge. If you’re having problems figuring out what’s wrong, make an appointment with the vet.


Thank you for visiting for the best information to help you enjoy the life of your pocket pet companion in a fun, safe & healthy way.


My name is Anna and I work full time in my local pet shop where we sell many animals that I write about on this site. I love all animals and love writing about them.