Bearded dragons are one of the most popular reptile pets in North America. Not only are they low-maintenance and full of personality, but they also provide a unique visual experience with their vibrant colors and interesting physical features.
One of the key characteristics of bearded dragons is their ability to shed their skin periodically throughout the year. For those new to caring for these creatures, understanding how often bearded dragons shed can ensure that your pet stays healthy and happy. In this article, we’ll discuss how often bearded dragons shed and what signs you should look for when it’s time for them to do so.
How Often Do Bearded Dragons Shed?
Bearded dragons typically shed their skin once every 2-3 months. However, this time frame can vary depending on the age and health of your pet. Younger bearded dragons tend to shed more frequently than older ones, while unhealthy or stressed beardies may take longer between sheds.
Signs that Your Bearded Dragon is Ready to Shed
Before a bearded dragon sheds its skin, it will often display certain signs. These include:
- A dull appearance in their scales.
- Their eyes becoming cloudy and swollen.
- Darkening of their skin color.
- Increased irritability and aggression towards humans or other animals.
Understanding Bearded Dragon Shedding Cycles
Bearded Dragons, like many other reptiles, go through a process called shedding. This is where the old skin will slough off to reveal new, healthier skin underneath. The shedding cycle begins at hatching and continues throughout their lives.
Why Do Bearded Dragons Shed?
Shedding is an important part of maintaining a healthy reptile. As they grow and age, their skin will become too tight as it cannot stretch enough to accommodate their new size. In order for them to reach their full potential, they need to shed this old skin so that new skin can take its place.
When Do Bearded Dragons Shed?
The frequency of the shedding cycles can vary depending on the individual bearded dragon and its lifestyle. Generally speaking, younger dragons tend to shed more often than older dragons due to rapid growth spurts. Additionally, if your dragon is exposed to higher humidity levels or changes in temperature then you may observe more frequent sheds.
- Hatchlings: (0-6 months): Hatchling bearded dragons generally shed every 2-4 weeks as they are growing rapidly during this stage.
- Juveniles: (6 months – 1 year): Juvenile bearded dragons usually shed every 4-8 weeks depending on how quickly they are growing.
- Adult bearded dragons: (1+ years): Adult beardies typically shed every 6-12 weeks unless something has occurred that triggers them into shedding sooner (such as a change in temperature or diet). Additionally, females tend to experience more frequent sheds when gravid (carrying eggs) or after laying eggs.
Signs of Impending Shedding
- Flaky/dull looking scales with discoloration
Your dragon’s scales may start looking duller or flakier than usual in anticipation of shedding; this is usually accompanied by some color changes such as lighter colors becoming darker and vice versa.
- Decreased appetite & activity level
Your dragon may start eating less and appear less active right before a shed since all energy needs to be directed towards completing the process successfully. It’s important not let your pet become dehydrated during this time!
- Snapping behavior while handling
Beardies have been known to act out right before a major shed; snapping at handlers or objects around them could indicate that it’s about time for them to lose their old layer of skin!
Tips for Properly Helping Your Bearded Dragon Shed Skin
Bearded dragons are a unique species of reptile and require specialized care when it comes to shedding their skin. Follow these tips to ensure your bearded dragon is properly taken care of:
Provide the Right Environment
Creating the right environment for your bearded dragon will help promote healthy shedding. Keep their terrarium warm and humid, with temperatures between 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit and humidity levels between 40-60%. You can also use a shallow water dish or misting system to increase humidity.
Soak in Warm Water
Regular soaking sessions in warm, shallow water can help soften up any stuck shed. Soaking should last about 10 minutes at a time, no more than twice per week.
- Exfoliate gently, using either a soft cloth or baby toothbrush. Only exfoliate areas that have dead skin still attached; try not to disturb live skin.
- Avoid sensitive areas, such as around the eyes, ears, nose, and tail tip.
- Use mild soap only if necessary. If you must use soap, opt for something mild like an unscented baby shampoo or liquid soap.
Keep Nails Trimmed
It’s important to keep your bearded dragon’s nails trimmed so they don’t get caught on anything while they’re shedding. Trimming their nails once every two weeks should be enough.
In conclusion, it is important to understand that shedding is a natural process for bearded dragons and can vary depending on age and health. It is essential to provide proper nutrition, humidity levels, and temperatures in order to ensure your bearded dragon’s shedding cycle proceeds as smoothly as possible.
Additionally, providing the necessary resources for your pet allows them to remain healthy throughout their life. With the right care and attention, you can expect your bearded dragon shed regularly every few months or so.
Alexander is the owner of AnimalQnA. He is a pet lover. He has created this blog to share some of his knowledge on different kinds of pets.