Bearded dragons are fascinating reptiles, popular among pet owners. Learning about every aspect of your pet bearded dragon’s anatomy is an important part of ethical care for these reptiles.
Shedding is one of the most normal things that bearded dragons do, but it can be intimidating or confusing if you don’t understand the process. It’s important to stay informed and prepared in order to support your beardie through this natural process!
In this article, we’ll discuss when bearded dragons shed and how you can help your pet stay comfortable and healthy during this delicate process.
How Often Do Bearded Dragons Shed
Shedding is an important part of a bearded dragon’s life, so understanding how often they shed is essential for owners. The frequency of shedding mainly depends on their age; as a beardie grows, the rate at which they molt slows down. Hatchlings and juveniles usually shed more often than adults, due to their higher growth rate.
Hatchlings – 0 to 6 Months
Bearded dragon hatchlings, from 0 to 6 months old, have an incredibly fast growth rate. Due to their rapid growth, beardies in this age group must molt on almost a weekly basis for healthy development and growth.
The skin of bearded dragons is composed of a keratin-based protein that does not stretch as it doesn’t grow with the dragon’s body. This means that as the beardie grows, its skin will rip in order to accommodate the new size. Shedding is indispensable in creating a new layer of skin that fits properly over the body.
Molting is normal during your beardie’s hatchling stage and you should not be worried if you see frequent shedding taking place. In fact, it should be considered a sign that your pet’s health is on the right track!
Juveniles – 6 to 12 Months
As a juvenile, 6 months to 12 months old, your bearded dragon’s shedding frequency slows down compared to a younger beardy. This is because they will have exited their rapid growth phase by the 6-month mark and so won’t need to molt as much.
At this age, you can expect your juvenile bearded dragon to shed about once a month or so. As your cute little dragon grows older– bearing in mind that their growth slows down even further– expect their sheds to become less frequent with them shedding only every other month or so by the time they reach 12 months old.
Sub-Adults – 12 to 18 Months
Sub-adults – 12 to 18 months – is when your bearded dragon’s growth is slowing down significantly. This means that it won’t need to shed its skin as frequently as it did when it was younger. During this time, you can expect your beardie to go through a molt every few months or even longer.
Even though your bearded dragon may no longer be growing in size and weight, it will still continue to shed its skin on occasion. This is important for its health since shedding helps keep a beardie’s scales and their colors bright, vibrant, and healthy looking. So don’t worry if your beardie doesn’t shed very often because this is perfectly normal!
Adults – 18+ Months
Bearded dragons that are 18 months or older are considered adults, and this is when shedding will decrease. Adults are finished growing at this point, so shedding is no longer necessary for growth purposes but instead serves to just refresh the skin periodically.
For adults aged 18+ months, it’s very common to have complete sheds only two to three times per year. However, partial sheds every couple of months may occur as well. During partial shedding, small patches of skin may be shed from the tail or legs of your dragon.
How Often Do Baby Bearded Dragons Shed
Bearded dragons aged 0 to 6 months old need to shed their skin on a regular basis due to their rapid growth. Their skin is made of a keratin-based protein that doesn’t stretch as they grow, so the old skin needs to be replaced by a new layer every week.
This process called molting is completely normal and should be seen as a sign that your beardie’s health is doing great. Molting will happen frequently during the baby stage, but you don’t need to worry as it’s just a natural part of their development.
How Often Do Bearded Dragons Shed
The following table provides an overview of shedding expectations by age.
|What to Expect
|0 to 6 months
|Shedding nearly every week.
|6 months to 12 months
|Most rapid growth is done; shedding will occur every other week or so (up to 3 times a month).
|12 months to 18 months
|Beardie is nearly fully grown. Shedding will start to slow.
|Over 18 months
|Beardie is full grown; shedding occurs only a few times a year.
Should I Hold My Bearded Dragon While It’s Shedding?
During periods of shedding, handling a bearded dragon is not recommended, as they are typically sensitive during this time and may view it as a threat. It is best to give them a quiet, comfortable space where they can complete the process without disruption.
Is Shedding Uncomfortable for Bearded Dragons?
Bearded dragons regularly go through the process of shedding, which is a natural occurrence and can result in them feeling itchy.
Do Bearded Dragons Eat Their Shed?
Bearded dragons are known to consume their own sheds as a survival tactic. This behavior might be seen as unpleasant but is normal.
How Long Does Bearded Dragon Shedding Last?
Bearded dragons may go through a shedding process that can last from several days to several weeks, depending on their size and age.
Do Bearded Dragons Bleed When Shedding?
Bearded dragons usually do not experience bleeding during the shedding process; however, it is advised to monitor them closely and seek guidance from a veterinarian if there is any bleeding.
In conclusion, shedding is a perfectly normal part of a bearded dragon’s life and should not cause much worry. When they do go through the process, it’s important to make sure that their environment is optimally set up to help them with the process.
Still, you should monitor your bearded dragon at all times to ensure that they’re shedding properly and visit your vet if necessary.