Brumation is a semi-hibernation state, entered during the winter months. Dragons know food is scarce during the cold months in nature. They naturally sleep to slow their systems down and use what nutrients they have stored internally through the spring and summer to get through the winter. Some dragons will go to sleep in November and not awake at all until February. But most will awake at some point during this time. Some will not sleep at all during the winter, especially young dragons. Adults will normally sleep from a few days to a couple weeks at a time, waking to sun themselves and eat before going back to sleep. You’ll have to be careful during this time to ensure your dragon is not sleeping with feces left in its intestines, as bacteria can grow as your dragon sleeps. As their systems are slowed, they are not as able to fight off the bacteria’s growth. Once you see your dragon is beginning to sleep more, give them a lukewarm bath to help them release any feces left. Do not feed your dragon while they are bromating. I do offer water every 2 weeks while they are sleeping. If you read the Heating and Lighting section of the care sheets, it explains how to adjust the heating and lighting during the brumation period.
Don’t force your dragon to brumate. Ones under a year old will slow down a bit, but probably still eat everyday, however keep their lights on a normal schedule. They’ll just lay around more, not being as active. Just keep your light and heat on the proper schedule and let the dragon decide what’s best for it. If you are bromating adults, use the guidelines.
I always have my dragons tested every three months with a fecal test to be sure they have not gotten parasites or bacteria. I plan one in the beginning of November to be sure none of my brumating dragons are sleeping while the harmful things eat at their system; when they are not able to mount an adequate defense. No matter how careful you are, your dragon will get parasites or bacteria, so be careful during the winter to ensure they are not infested and can sleep in perfect health.
It is always an anxious time for me during brumation, I’m worried about them and if all is well. The first year I woke them everyday, just for a moment so they would look at me. That way I would know they were okay. This is not a good thing to do and I learned that it was a natural state and to just leave them alone. But if you become worried, just email and we’ll share concerns and get ourselves through it until spring time.