Pygmy Bearded Dragon- is now a good time to brumate?

geckogloves

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I’ve got an 8-month old PDB that has been growing like crazy, smashing his crickets and veggies and shedding every fortnight.

Recently, he’s been slowing down, sleeping on the cool end of his tank or in his big cave hide. I gave him a coconut husk, dirt and bark mix as his bedding (which has worked wonders in enrichment) and he’s been digging himself deep in there.

His temperatures are spot on (I check daily with a heat gun) and I even decided to buy a new UVB bulb because I thought that it may be broken and need replacement. I basically thought that he wasn’t getting enough UVB to stay healthy.

From what I’ve read, it seems like the usual time for a PBD to go into brumation and he shows every sign of doing so. I know it’s not advised to brumate a dragon under a year old but I’ve tried everything.

I offer him food daily, move him to his highest basking spot, take him outside to get real UVB and have continued to check his temps.

Is this just an unavoidable natural response? Should I continue to intervene and get him to eat every couple of days or let him brumate? Is it safe to do so?

My other reptile (a gecko) had never had such a strong instinct to go into brumation and I have read that PBDs tend to brumate a lot in captivity, so this wouldn’t be a problem if it wasn’t for his age.

Any help would be appreciated, I want to ensure my PDB is as healthy as possible.
 

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