A young chameleon on vines hunting insects. Photo by Nandhu Kumar, from Pexels.

When your Reptile Goes Dormant

When your Reptile Goes Dormant

During brumation your lizard will eat, drink, poop, and move far less than normal. They'll find themselves just the right spot to "shut down" and go days without action. Not to worry. Their body sent a signal, and their brain is complying. Evolution created a solution for those few months in their natural environment where food and temperatures aren't meeting the lizard's needs. As companion animals kept in consistent environment with food available, the seasonal need doesn't exist. But their DNA doesn't know that.

What's going on during Brumation?

  • You'll see them zombie every once in a while, and then they'll go back into their cycle for a few days. Your reptile will look like they're sleep walking.
  • The boys come out of brumation faster and earlier than the girls. Every lizard is different, and that, too is okay.
  • Keep their water fresh, and lights and heat as normal.
  • They will take in just enough water during a good brummy nap. (We've all woken up in the middle of the night, to get a glass of water.)
  • You never know when their DNA switch will go into the on position. Make sure you have food ready. They wake up very hungry. Don't be surprised as to how much food they eat that first fully awake day.

So, if you're lizard looks like a zombie right now. Sleepy and disinterested in being a lizard. Let nature take its course in that lizard brain. Seriously though, make sure you have food ready and waiting. A post brumated lizard could eat a horse!

Kathy LaFollett is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

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