There’s nothing to worry about if you’ve observed your bearded dragon’s skin is dry and drab. Like the majority of reptiles, beardies lose their skin throughout the course of their existence.
However, even if this is a typical process for your reptile buddy, you may still be curious in how frequently bearded dragons shed and whether there is anything you can do to assist.
All bearded dragons go through the intriguing and entirely natural process of shedding, which is known scientifically as ecdysis. However, a lot of new owners are unsure of what to anticipate when a bearded dragon sheds. It turns out that might be a major issue!
Although the majority of bearded dragons are more than capable of shedding on their own, some could require assistance. When that occurs, it is your responsibility as the owner to assist and make the procedure more bearable and simple for your pet reptile.
You will discover all there is to know about bearded dragon shedding in this post, including how frequently it occurs, how long it lasts, and all the possible issues you should be aware of.
Why Do Bearded Dragons Shed?
The skin of a bearded dragon is tough and mostly composed of keratinized scales. As a bearded dragon ages, its skin won’t expand since the keratin protein is not elastic.
This implies that a dragon’s skin doesn’t grow larger as it grows larger. They have to shed it in order to develop further.
Humans continually lose their skin cells. Reptiles complete the full procedure all at once.
Normally, they lose their outer coat.
This displays an inner, glossy layer of skin that has already developed.
Instead of shedding in one continuous piece, bearded dragons generally flake in several places (e.g. like a snake would shed).
Your beardie will tear off the skin with their mouth in huge chunks since that is how it usually comes off. They often chew the skin, which is a peculiar trait of their species.
Several sizable chunks of skin may be found in their environment during this process.
Your dragon won’t find this procedure to be unpleasant, and he will complete the task on his own.
How Often Do Bearded Dragons Shed?
Their age truly determines the response to this question. Younger bearded dragons molt far more frequently than adult ones, as you can see.
The cause of this is expansion. These reptiles develop rather slowly when they are young. They are literally outgrowing their skin as a result of this! Bearded dragons have skin that is built quite differently than humans, whose skin essentially expands as we grow larger.
Based on common age ranges, you may make an educated guess about how frequently a bearded dragon sheds. Obviously, some people will shed more than others, but these averages are very typical.
24 to 0 Weeks. At this age, bearded dragons will shed pretty often. They are growing the fastest at this time, and their skin can’t keep up with it!
A complete shedding cycle will occur around once per week. Young bearded dragons shed in a manner that differs slightly from that of adult dragons. It doesn’t occur all over their body at once and appears in sporadic places all over it.
48 to 24 weeks. Your bearded dragon will start to shed less frequently at this age. They won’t shed as much because their growth pace is starting to moderate a bit.
At the beginning of this age range, you may anticipate shedding to happen twice a month, increasing to once every other month at the end.
a year. The pace of shedding will now start to considerably slow down. Only a few times a year on average will your bearded dragon shed.
Approximately 1.5 years (And Beyond). Once they reach the age of one and a half years, your bearded dragon won’t be shedding much at all. They will shed now since they are completely matured and more as a “skin refresher” than anything else.
Once they reach this age, you may anticipate your bearded dragon to shed just a couple of times a year.
How Long Does It Take A Bearded Dragon To Shed?
Again, the length of time it takes for a bearded dragon to shed depends greatly on its age, which also plays a significant part in molting. Generally speaking, a bearded dragon’s shedding process will take longer the older it is. On the other hand, bearded dragon hatchlings and young finish their sheds far more quickly.
It’s important to note that a bearded dragon must finish the previous shed entirely before beginning the next one. Your beardie won’t have to go through two sheds simultaneously and end up losing both old and good skin if you do it this way.
What are the do’s and don’ts when my bearded dragon is shedding?
DO NOT pull or yank at a piece of shed, no matter how hanging it may appear to be. There is delicate skin below, and doing so might hurt or harm your bearded dragon.
Your bearded dragon can be in danger if Shed gets stuck. Complete shedding can hinder their blood supply, resulting in minor infections that can grow into more serious issues and, in severe circumstances, even death if addressed.
Help your bearded dragon shed its skin by misting it often or soaking it in a warm bath. When the skin has relaxed, gently rub the affected region, being careful not to pull or tug.
A solid setup that can assist them in removing or loosening any shedding is a must. Rocks, slate, branches, and logs can all be useful in this situation. Verify that your UVB, heat, and light gradients are all configured and functioning properly.
If you think your pet is having trouble shedding, you can purchase shedding aids, but for the most part, misting and washing are enough to encourage shedding.
Will Their Behavior Change?
There shouldn’t be any significant behavioral changes, but there may be some subtle ones you should watch out for. These may occasionally indicate that your bearded dragon is about to shed (particularly if they are old enough when it happens more regularly).
They might become a little less active, and they might even start consuming less food. Even if they are used to handling, your beardie can grow increasingly resistant to it. This is due to the fact that they are truly uncomfortable when handled or picked up.
How does the behavior of your bearded dragon change during shedding?
There shouldn’t be any major behavioral changes, but there are a few little ones to be mindful of. When they occur, especially if your beardie is at an age when it happens more frequently, they may occasionally be signs that your beardie is going to shed.
They might become a little less active, and they might even start eating less. Your beardie can become less receptive to handling even if they are used to it. This is due to the discomfort they feel when handled or grasped.
If your bearded dragon starts to shed and makes it clear that they don’t want to be picked up, give them some space. You will just increase their concern (and it may even bite).
Signs of Bearded Dragon Shedding
There are a few minor behavioral changes to watch out for, even though the majority of shedding bearded dragons behave as they normally would. Although these actions are quite natural, they frequently indicate that a bearded dragon is about to shed its skin.
With older dragons who don’t shed as frequently, knowing when bearded dragons shed and how to spot the indications may be extremely useful. Pay attention to:
Pale or Lightened Skin Tone. The entire look of bearded dragons alters just before they lose their skin. You’ll observe areas of gray, floppy, and dry skin starting to separate if your beardie is going to molt. The new skin beneath the old skin is shiny and vibrantly pigmented, whereas the latter is constantly dry, grey, and fragile.
decrease in appetite Bearded dragons frequently experience appetite loss as they begin to shed. Additionally, it’s quite natural for your beardie to stop eating just prior to a shed and soon after the entire process is through.
Even though it may sound horrifying, some beardies may eat their shed in order to reclaim some of the nutrients they lost throughout this process. You may give the old skin to your pet reptile to consume as long as it is entirely clean and isn’t tainted with feces.
To avoid your pet eating the old skin, just remove it and dispose of it if this is too much for you to manage. Additionally, to avoid health issues, remove the skin from the tank if it is filthy or polluted.
eye squinting Another warning sign that your beardie is about to start shedding is eye bulging. This behavior may seem shocking or even terrifying at first, but it is very natural. Don’t be scared by it. Your reptile’s eyes can also seem cloudier or duller than usual.
Eye-bulging, however it may appear unusual, really aids in stretching and loosening the skin surrounding your bearded dragon’s eyes and skull. As a result, the process of shedding is facilitated and the likelihood of an incomplete shed is decreased.
Lethargy. Molting demands a lot of energy, regardless of whether your bearded dragon is losing skin in sections or completely. Thus, before beginning to shed and throughout the process, bearded dragons frequently behave and look sluggish.
Most beardies get a little restless when the shedding starts and brush their bodies against different objects in their tank or use their legs to scrape off the dead skin. No matter how busy and energized a beardie is ordinarily, all of this may be quite demanding and difficult.
The majority of bearded dragons will become considerably less active in the days leading up to and following a shed, so keep an eye on their activity levels.
My Bearded Dragon is not shedding properly
Stuck or retained shed and the lack of essential nourishment would be the key difficulties with shedding,
Of course, shedding can cause problems. Although in all honesty, if everything is supplied as part of your husbandry (different surfaces, lighting, water, nutrition, etc.), then problems shouldn’t arise.
Once more, they have been doing this on their own without any problems for millions of years. But it’s still possible.
Over the years I’ve kept, I’ve seen a few things. And to be quite honest, these problems have only arisen with beardies who have been rescued and brought to me. or ailment, etc. Once more, directly related to care issues.
However, blocked or retained shed and a lack of essential nourishment would be the primary problems with shedding.
How to Help Your Bearded Dragon Shed Their Skin
As was previously said, never pick at or attempt to remove your bearded dragon’s skin. You run the risk of hurting and irritating the young skin below.
Although there are many shredding products on the market, they have to be at the very bottom of your list. Bathing frequently will keep beardies happy and comfortable because water is the most hydrating agent for skin.
Maintaining proper temperature gradients in the vivarium is crucial at all times, but pay special attention during shedding since habitat issues might result in insufficient shedding.
It is best to have a set-up that is full of various textures so that your bearded dragon may scratch and massage their skin as much as they like. For bearded bath time, a flat, shallow dish is ideal. However, be sure to regularly replace the water and maintain it poop-free.
After two weeks, if your bearded dragon’s skin is still connected, try massaging it with a soft toothbrush while taking a bath or dabbing it with wet kitchen paper. Always be really gentle.
What to do if the dragon is not eating when shedding?
Keepers of bearded dragons are quite familiar with this issue. In reality, the shedding/pre-shedding blues affect many different kinds of reptiles. As a result, they can stop eating, hide, or become less active. Usually, this only last for a few days. Alternately, a few days of eating. Once more, don’t worry.
It’s generally the cause if you see shedding happening or about to happen. Of course, give your beardie a close inspection. Make sure none of the aforementioned issues are present, and if no shedding is happening, make an appointment with a veterinarian.
In any case, if your pet refuses to eat, it’s crucial to monitor their weight. For a “healthy” adult who has a supply of nutrient reserves spread out throughout the body, it’s not as much of a concern.
And you almost never see any weight loss. even after going without food for a while. If you’re losing weight, speak with your veterinarian since there might be further issues (parasites, etc.).
A newborn or younger beardie may find it more difficult to go without nourishment. In any event, due of their nature and feeding philosophy, shedding seldom happens to them during their first year of life. If it does, it will only last one or two days.
It is your responsibility to comprehend what is happening and what to do when your bearded dragon begins to shed skin (even if the answer is usually nothing).
Being a responsible owner involves understanding how often they shed, the behavior they’ll display, and how you can assist. And to be honest, it adds to the enjoyment!
It’s quite enjoyable to assist these lizards in adjusting to life inside a tank. Another stage of the process is shedding.
Please get in touch if you have any other queries regarding the bearded dragon shedding procedure or how you can assist. We’d be pleased to offer our opinion and assist you in determining the situation!