why do bearded dragons have nose plugs





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Noticing your bearded dragon’s nose seems blocked? This common issue worries many pet owners. Bearded dragons often have what are known as “nose plugs” which are actually dead skin clogging their nostrils after shedding.

Our article dives into why this happens and offers practical tips for dealing with it, ensuring your scaly friend stays happy and healthy. Keep reading to learn more!

Understanding Bearded Dragon Nose Plugs

A bearded dragon in its natural habitat, with various wildlife, captured in high-quality resolution.

Bearded dragon nose plugs form when dead skin or debris gets stuck in their nostrils. This happens as old, dry skin from around the nostrils doesn’t come off during shedding. These plugs act like little barriers, keeping food, dirt, and insects from getting into their noses.

Bearded dragons use their tongues to lick away any loose debris throughout the day. This habit helps maintain clean nostrils.

Nose plugs are common and a natural part of bearded dragon care. They show that your pet is regularly shedding skin as it grows. However, pulling out these plugs can harm your bearded dragon because you might accidentally remove cartilage along with the plug.

It’s best to let them deal with it themselves or help gently if necessary.

Reasons Why Bearded Dragons Have Nose Plugs

A bearded dragon basking on a desert rock in a wildlife photography setting.

Bearded dragons have nose plugs due to low humidity, which can cause the skin around their nostrils to dry and block them. Dehydration in bearded dragons can lead to the formation of nasal obstructions.

Low Humidity

Low humidity leads to dry conditions in a bearded dragon’s tank. This creates problems for their skin and mucus membranes. When the air is too dry, nose plugs often form. It’s not just about comfort; it affects their health deeply.

To keep these scaly friends happy, maintaining the right moisture levels in their environment is key.

Dry air doesn’t only bother their noses but can also cause skin irritation and respiratory issues. Think of how uncomfortable you feel in overly dry places—bearded dragons feel that much worse because they can’t moisturize themselves like we do.

Keeping an eye on tank environment conditions safeguards against dehydration and promotes overall skin health, which is crucial for reptile care.


Dehydration happens when bearded dragons don’t get enough water. They can lose moisture through their skin and breathing. Without enough water, they might end up with nose plugs. This is because drying out makes the mucus in their nostrils harden.

Bearded dragons need to drink more than some people think. Not having water they like to drink can make dehydration worse.

This lack of hydration can lead to serious health problems, such as skin lesions and infections. It shows how important it is for these desert reptiles to have access to plenty of water.

Ensuring your bearded dragon stays hydrated helps prevent nasal blockage and other complications related to insufficient fluid intake.

Next, let’s talk about why bearded dragons cannot clean these nose plugs by themselves.

Inability to Self-Clean

Bearded dragons’ inability to self-clean can lead to nostril congestion, impacting their respiratory system. When dead skin or debris clogs the nostrils, they struggle to clear their nasal passages.

This issue often arises from inadequate humidity and lack of rubbing objects in their environment, hindering their natural self-cleaning process.

Excessive shedding and impacted nostrils can result from the bearded dragon’s inability to clear its nasal passages. This can further lead to a blocked respiratory system if not addressed promptly.

The Necessity of Removing Nose Plugs

Bearded dragons need their nose plugs removed to prevent breathing difficulties and irritation caused by the buildup of debris. If these plugs are not cleared, they may struggle to breathe properly and may experience discomfort.

This is why it is essential for caretakers to assist in removing nose plugs when necessary.

How to Remove Bearded Dragon Nose Plugs

To remove bearded dragon nose plugs, provide a warm bath to help soften the debris. Gently use cotton swabs or tweezers to carefully dislodge and remove the blockage.

Giving a Warm Bath

To remove nose plugs from your bearded dragon, giving it a warm bath is an effective method. Prepare lukewarm water within the temperature range of 85-90°F to help soften and loosen the nose plug.

Gently place your bearded dragon in the water, ensuring that only its lower body is submerged, allowing it to soak for about 15-20 minutes. This soaking technique can aid in softening nasal blockages and providing comfort for your pet lizard.

Additionally, you can add a couple of drops of plain saline solution to the warm water bath which may also help in loosening the nose plugs. Be sure not to use any scented soaps or oils as they could irritate your bearded dragon’s sensitive skin.

Using Appropriate Tools

After giving your bearded dragon a warm bath, you can use precision gripping tools or reptile tweezers to gently remove any stubborn nose plugs. Look for tools that allow for delicate handling and ensure the area remains clean.

Always handle the process with care and avoid causing any discomfort to your pet.

Be sure to find appropriate reptile grooming tools designed specifically for this purpose, such as precision gripping tools or reptile tweezers. These tools will help you safely and effectively remove any shed from your bearded dragon’s nose, ensuring their comfort and well-being.


In conclusion, bearded dragons have nose plugs to prevent foreign particles from entering their nostrils and respiratory systems. This natural mechanism helps protect them from potential harm caused by debris or food entering their noses.

It’s important to monitor their nose plugs regularly to ensure they don’t cause any breathing difficulties or discomfort for the reptile. By understanding the reasons behind this unique feature, owners can better care for their bearded dragons’ health and well-being.

Regular check-ups on your dragon’s nasal health will ensure a happy and healthy pet.


1. Why do bearded dragons have nose plugs?

Bearded dragons have nose plugs to prevent debris and foreign objects from entering their nasal passages, helping them breathe and maintain respiratory health.

2. Can bearded dragons live without their nose plugs?

Yes, bearded dragons can survive without their nose plugs, but it is essential for their overall well-being and health.

3. Do all bearded dragons have nose plugs?

Yes, all bearded dragons have natural adaptations in the form of small scales or “nose plugs” that serve as protective coverings for their nostrils.

4. Are there any problems associated with a loss or damage to a bearded dragon’s nose plug?

Loss or damage to a bearded dragon’s nose plug can lead to respiratory issues and make them more susceptible to infections.

5. How can I ensure my pet’s nasal health regarding its unique adaptation of the nose plug?

To ensure your pet’s nasal health, provide proper habitat hygiene and monitor for any signs of respiratory distress or discomfort related to its unique adaptation of the nose plug.

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