Reptile Maniac

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do bearded dragons smell

Reptiles like bearded dragons and leopard geckos should have no smell. Most reptiles give off very little waste, don’t have to shed their skin often and have no smelly secretions. But many bearded dragons develop some form of odor over the course of their life. So, it’s no wonder many pet owners ask – why do bearded dragons smell?

Naturally, bearded dragons don’t have any offensive smell, but may develop odors based on several factors. The most common reason why bearded dragons could develop a bad smell is from its habitat. Other reasons why bearded dragons smell include its food, infections, urine, feces, and substrate.

Whenever your bearded dragon gets a premium dose of personal and environmental hygiene, it shouldn’t smell. That’s why this article takes a look at why bearded dragons smell.

And this post doesn’t stop there!

We’re also going to go over the best ways to eliminate foul odors from your bearded dragon in detail. Keep reading to learn how to keep your beardie in tip-top shape!

Jump to..

Why Bearded Dragons Smell


Remnants of food in your bearded dragon’s tank can make the tank and your reptiles develop a bad smell. Besides food remnants, aroma from meals reptiles consume could stick in the tank’s interior. Since beardie tanks could become humid, the aroma could develop into a bad odor.

The aroma of food and remnants could stick on your bearded dragon’s skin, giving it an offensive smell. It is important to remove food remnants immediately after your beardie has had enough.

Aroma of food should receive attention too to prevent any foul odor you can’t trace from developing.


The smell on your bearded dragon could be from a cheap substrate. In other cases, dirty substrates could make your beardy develop an offensive odor.

At your pet shop, there’s bound to be lots of bearded dragon accessories. Most people opt for substrates such as reptile carpet, paper towel, or tile. Loose substrates such as Eco Earth or Play Sand are not only bad for your beardie (as they can lead to impaction) but they can absorb odors and leave your beardie smelling less than pleasant. 

Regardless of the substrate you use, be sure to keep it clean by using a safe & natural reptile odor eliminator


Fecal matter from bearded dragons may not give off a bad smell at first. But if you allow these droppings to sit in your reptile’s tank for long periods, a bad odor usually follows. You need to remove feces from your bearded dragon’s tank as quickly as possible. Leaving the feces could transfer its stench onto your dragon’s skin.

Dirty Tank

A filthy tank welcomes bad odors. There’s no question about that.

If you fail to clean your bearded dragon’s tank for long, it’s very likely it will develop bad odors. Dirty tanks act as a receptacle of all manner of odors and could give your dragon a rather nasty smell.


Your bearded dragon may fall prey to fungal infections, especially when it leaves in a filthy area. It is not ideal to keep your bearded dragons with other animals or in areas with no humidity controls.

Some infections are easy to spot and may reveal flaking on your reptile’s skin. In other cases, your reptile may cease to as it used to, move much slower, gape more, and become reclusive.


Bearded dragons do not pee, but release urates – a salt of uric acid. You’ll notice a white substance on top of your dragon’s poop. That white substance contains all it needs to give out as a pee in dry form. Urates don’t emit any odor at first just like feces, but may develop bad smells later.

What Can You Do to Eliminate Bearded Dragon Smell

There’s so much to do to rid your dragon of that filthy smell. Take these short suggestions to make sure your dragon doesn’t have any bad odor:


How do I stop my bearded dragon from smelling?

How to stop that bearded dragon smell

What does a bearded dragon smell like?

Unhealthy living conditions could give bearded dragons a wide range of offensive odors.

Bacteria, food remnants, and other factors could make a bearded dragon stink when it’s not supposed to. When the poor hygiene gets to an extreme, bearded dragons could stink like the sewer or rotten food.

Is a bearded dragon poop supposed to stink?

Bearded dragons on a healthy diet will have a brown or black colored stool. The stool should be hard and shaped like rice seeds, and differs in size based on the dragon’s age. Bearded dragon poop usually has a white substance called the urate on it. Bearded dragon poop is not supposed to stink. If you believe your beardy pal excretes stinking poop, consider visiting a vet.

Can bearded dragons fart?

Bearded dragons fart and most times, these guys break wind with an offensive smell. Healthy bearded dragons will fart less than unhealthy ones. But if your bearded dragon doesn’t fart at all, then it could have a gastrointestinal issue.

Final Thoughts: Do Bearded Dragons Smell? How to Get Rid of It

It is important to clean your bearded dragon’s tank frequently to prevent any bad smells from building up. And if your bearded dragon has a nasty smell already, use the bullet tips below to get them proper hygiene.

Maintaining proper personal and environmental hygiene for your bearded dragon is a must. You don’t want your beardy smelling, falling ill, or dying on you anytime soon.