Does Bearded Dragon Poop Smell? {Are Bearded Dragons Smelly?}

What is that nasty odor? Does bearded dragon poop smell?

I’ve kept iguanas and geckos, but this is a new stink for me. Why does a neared dragon’s poop smell so much worse?

This article will help explain the stench of bearded dragon feces.

Does Bearded Dragon Poop Smell?

Yes. These reptiles mainly eat protein rich meals from live feeder insects that generally stink as well. Protein makes poops smell worse. Other reasons include:

  • High urea content mixed with poop
  • New environment, new bacteria
  • Dirty enclosure
  • Impaction (constipation)
  • Parasites

You may need a diagnosis if the poop is smelly for over a couple of weeks. Parasites can be discovered through tests or fecal samples.

Adjustment phases cause poop of new bearded dragon pets to stink. Young juveniles poop more often and eat more protein which can also cause this foul odor.

Finally, you must clean the cage more often. Let me help you. Allow me to explain below.

Why Does Bearded Dragon Poop Stink?

Bearded dragons have some of the stinkiest poops compared to many other reptiles. This is because they love eating stinky meals.

The following live feeder foods are generally stinky creatures themselves leading to even more foul smelling feces:

  • Crickets
  • Roaches
  • Mealworms
  • Hornworms
  • Superworms

If your bearded dragon is not consuming these insects in the first 15-20 minutes, they are only contributing to the nasty odor that is developing in the enclosure.

Decomposing greens also produce smelly gases. Leaving the poop in the cage without cleaning up right away will cause the smell to worsen when you discover it or finally get around to cleaning it.

Why Do Bearded Dragons Make the House Stink?

My house started to smell bad when I brought my bearded dragon home for the first time. It was a foul odor that I found out had to do with his adjustment phase.

While he interacts with new bacteria, his body and poop gives off more foul odors than usual. In about 1-2 weeks, it didn’t smell as bad anymore.

These tips below help to keep things smelling better:

  • Organic debris and bacteria must be wiped and cleaned
  • Substrate needs to be switched out
  • Cage needs a full cleaning
  • Proper husbandry is crucial
  • Removing meals that aren’t consumed after 20 minutes
  • Increase ventilation

If bacteria and poor husbandry lead to parasites or infections, you can expect their poop to smell much worse as well.

The food is the biggest culprit. It must be offered and eaten right away and leftovers have to be removed because they stink too.

How To Clean Bearded Dragons

Your smelly bearded dragon needs cleaning. Thankfully these lizards respond well to warm baths. Set up 1 inch of warm water in a sink. You can bathe him or her twice a week. A soft bristled brush will help with gentle scrubbing.

Make sure you are attending to area such as the:

  • Underbelly
  • Legs
  • Tail

Bonus Tips:

  1. When your bearded dragon is so relaxed in this bath, he or she may defecate and drop feces right there and then. This is a blessing to save you from cleaning it up in the cage.
  2. I also like to make sure my bearded dragon drinks water first before the bath. Then, he is not tempted to drink the bath water.
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3 Ways To Help Smelly Bearded Dragons

1. Reduce Moisture

Moisture in the enclosure will cause your bearded dragon’s home to develop nasty odors. Basateria loves a damp environment and will thrive because of it.

Allow the cage to dry after misting it. Adjust humidity and replace substrate that is wet.

2. Spot Clean the Cage

The scent of the cage will improve as soon as you clean it out of excrement and other odor-producing materials. Every afternoon, give the cage a spot cleaning by removing any excrement, skin debris, urates, or leftover food.

Sand or other particle substrates can be scooped and sieved like cat litter, but you need to replace newspaper or other sheet-like substrates every day.

3. A Full Clean Up

Your lizard’s habitat has to be thoroughly cleaned once every few weeks. You must use a treatment for this that destroys germs without harming your lizard.

One common method is to combine:

  • one quart of water
  • one ounce of bleach
  • one tablespoon of dish soap.

An alternative is a cleaning solution that your veterinarian might provide.

  1. Take out and throw away the substrate.
  2. Before putting your pet back in the cage, wash it with your cleaning solution, give it a good rinse, and let it dry fully.
  3. Make sure there are no cleaning fumes present before doing this.
  4. During thorough cleanings, all cage components, including the water and food bowls, should be replaced or cleaned.

Does Bearded Dragon Pee Smell?

Yes. Urates are mixed with bearded dragon poop and it definitely begins to stink in the cage. It needs to be cleaned up as soon as you see it or it gets worse.

Not only does it smell unpleasant, but it also attracts germs, parasites, and other harmful elements that might damage the health of your bearded dragon. Pee creates a moist environment to allow bacteria to thrive.

Why Do Bearded Dragon Cages Smell?

You may have kept other reptiles before and they never smelled this bad. Your new bearded dragon pet may need time to adjust to new bacteria present in this tank.

They will interact with it and a couple weeks later, the smell won’t be as bad. Spot cleaning each day and do not leave their waste to sit around in the tank.

Clean it up immediately to maintain a properly clean setting for this bearded dragon to not live a stinky life.

Feeder Insects Causing Bearded Dragon Odor

Feeder insects stink. If they are left for dead, decomposed or allowed to roam freely for long periods of time in the cage, the entire area will be foul.

They also drop their own waste and this causes terrible odors as well. If you use crickets, the stink will only get worse. They are the smelliest of all feeder insects in my opinion.

Finally, when your bearded dragon eats these protein rich meals, they will secrete stronger odors in their eyes because of it.

An iguana for example will not drop stinky feces that smell as bad as a bearded dragon because they do not rely on meaty insects as part of their staple diet.

Bearded Dragon Substrate

Are you sure it is the poop you are smelling or the substrate? If there have been a series of droppings on the same substrate, this is going to smell all around.

Solid substrates need to be replaced every month. If the smell cannot come off, the whole thing needs replacing.

When replacing loose substrate, make sure to clean the side and top of the tank as well. The stink is present all over and a full clean up is needed.


We have explained many reasons why bearded dragon poop smells bad. The one I wish to end with is this:

Due to the stress of a new environment, bearded dragon excrement typically stinks for the first few weeks, but as they calm down and adjust their natural bacteria once again, it returns to its regular mild stench.


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.