Why Do Bearded Dragons Have Nose Plugs? {When & How To Remove Them}

I remember when my juvenile bearded dragon was having problems breathing. Why do bearded dragons have nose plugs?

Do nose plugs help bearded dragons or hinder them? Should I remove them? How can I help my bearded dragon breathe better?

Let’s discuss this further in this article. I’m here to share my experience and help you with necessary information on bearded dragon nose plugs.

Why Do Bearded Dragons Have Nose Plugs?

What looks like a piece of unshed skin that plugs the nostrils of a bearded dragon can be referred to as nose plugs. This is fairly common usually requires little or no assistance.

If your bearded dragon is having trouble breathing you can help moisten the area with a bath or misting. Removing the nose plug with tweezers is a risky procedure that is not recommended to everyone.

Only do so with gentle care if they can’t breathe well. The value of their long tubular nostrils help to prevent the unwanted entry of:

  • food
  • dirt
  • insects
  • debris

They can open and close their nostrils to conserve water as well.

Bearded Dragon Nose Plugs

The nose plugs on the nostrils of bearded dragons help keep unwanted debris out. They cannot prevent diseases or bacteria from entering their porous bodies.

The best use of these nose plugs and long nostrils that can be opened and closed allow for keeping insects and dirt out.

The plugs are small and can be removed in captivity. They are not necessary if you are keeping a clean cage. They can also fall off in warm bath, dry off or gently pull out.

Should I Remove Bearded Dragon Nose Plugs?

No. It is not necessary to remove bearded dragon nose plugs. You can find many videos online of owners deciding to gently pull out these nose plugs for their beardies to breathe better.

Although the videos are satisfying to watch, they may not be needed for a bearded dragon unless they are really having breathing problems.

These naturally forming nose plugs help to keep debris out. Your bearded dragon pet can also lick the nostrils and nose plugs throughout the day to open up breathing pathways and help with digestion.

YouTube video

How To Remove Bearded Dragon Nose Plugs

If you are adamant about removing these nose plugs on your bearded dragon, then we have some steps you can follow below:

  1. Gently use tweezers, pliers or scissors to cut or pull out the nose plugs.
  2. If they are stuck or difficult to remove, stop altogether.
  3. Misting or a warm bath can aid in softening the nose plugs.
  4. Clean off any debris around the nostrils holes.

When You Should Remove Nose Plugs

Even though your bearded dragon doesn’t make any noise when blowing through their nose, cleaning out the nose holes can get laborious if there is a lot of debris obstructing the nostril openings.

You may gently move a Q-tip up into their nasal holes when you see that the nose plugs are filthy by rubbing it inside of their noses.

You should take your beardie to your neighborhood vet right away for an evaluation and treatment if it has a high blockage or is no longer able to breathe through its nose.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What Does a Healthy Bearded Dragon Nose Look Like?

  • Bearded dragons with clean, dry noses are in good health.
  • When lizards blow bubbles or have fluid dripping from their noses, they frequently have upper respiratory illnesses, which are basically the reptile version of colds.

2. Why is a Bearded Dragon Nose Shed Stuck?

This is common. Try not to pull off the stuck shed to free it. While you may help your bearded dragon shed the injured skin, avoid removing the intact skin.

In doing so, you risk harming the skin’s deeper layers. Your beardie might do better in a warm bath.

3. Can Bearded Dragons Close their Nostrils?

When frightened or when they need to save water, bearded dragons have the ability to seal their noses. They may avoid offensive odors and reduce water loss thanks to this defensive system.

The bearded dragon cannot taste or smell anything while its nostrils are closed. The nasal muscles contract, which is seen when the nostrils close and open, causing the nostrils to close.

4. Can Bearded Dragon Breathe With Nose Plugs?

Yes, beardies can typically breathe even when they have nasal plugs. The nostril plugs often dry out and fall out eventually in the wild. Since the atmosphere in your home is regulated, the bearded dragon might not experience this anytime soon.

5. Why Is My Baby Bearded Dragon Is Struggling To Breathe?

When my bearded dragon was a young juvenile, he had a hard time breathing with these nose plugs. The smaller airways of younger beardies make it hard for them to get enough oxygen.

Wider airways are noticeable on adult bearded dragons. If your bearded dragon is making wheezing sounds or their mouths are always open, they are having trouble breathing and need a visit to the vet.


Nose plugs are solely used by bearded dragons to prevent insects and food from entering their noses. There is no medical need to remove them.

You do not need to bother about cleaning your beardie’s nasal openings if they are actively licking them. With certain exceptions, bearded dragons  can usually breathe when with nasal plugs in their noses.

Because smaller beardies and have smaller airways, some juvenile beardies may have trouble breathing through the nose plugs.


Thank you for visiting PocketPetCentral.com 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.