Bearded dragons shed their skin many times throughout their life. Shedding is a natural process and nothing to be scared of, although there are various details that you should know about as a beardie owner.
Shedding is a natural process that occurs in both young and old bearded dragons; it helps them grow and maintain healthy skin. As your pet ages, its skin becomes tight, and they need to shed it to make space for its growing body. Shedding allows them to replace damaged and worn-out skin. If your bearded dragon is hurt due to an injury or skin infection, it will shed its skin to replace the damaged one with a new layer.
Another Reason why bearded dragons shed is to regulate their body temperature. Shedding will allow them to remove the old and dull skin that is hindering in regulating their body temperature. As your pet sheds, its ability to absorb heat gets better, and not only this, they are able to get rid of any skin parasites that are causing any skin irritation.
Why Do Bearded Dragons Shed?
Bearded dragons have keratin-scaled skin, which makes it rough in texture. This type of skin is not stretchy, and as your pet ages, the skin does not grow with it. So, to make more room for a bigger body, the bearded dragon will shed its old skin and produce a fresh layer. Shedding is a natural process that is very crucial for your pet to keep on growing.
During the shedding process, the bearded dragon will shed its old and dull skin and produce a fresh layer underneath it. Usually, when your pet starts its shedding process it will flake off in various areas. These chunks will come off gradually in larger pieces, which your pet might even eat. It is normal behavior; for a bearded dragon to tear and eat skin during the shedding process. As a beardie owner, you would be happy to know this is all a natural and painless process.
The Complete Bearded Dragon Shedding Process
The bearded dragon shedding process varies with their age and the surrounding environment. At each stage of life, your pet will shed its skin at a different rate. The shedding duration will also be different depending on how young or old the bearded dragon is.
Younger bearded dragons will shed much more frequently compared to older ones. Younger beardies shed once or twice a month till they reach the age of 12 months. Once they have completely matured, you can expect your pet to shed every few months.
Signs That Your Bearded Dragon Is Beginning to Shed
The first visible sign is that your beardies skin will get extremely tight and puffed up. You will also be able to see a change in skin color. Many pet owners start to worry that their bearded dragon has started to look dull and pale. Although, it is nothing to be concerned about as your pet is just starting to shed its skin.
Bearded dragons’ skin starts to appear dull and eventually turns white when they are beginning to shed their skin. Your pet might also go into hiding and is in an irritable mood throughout the shedding process. Bearded dragons also get less active and spend their time shedding throughout this process.
Your pet might also face a loss in appetite and rub their skin against surfaces to gain relaxation. Bearded dragons also do not shed all of their skin at once, so you might also see flaky patches around their body. If you see any of these signs, you should realize your beardie has begun its shedding process.
Another sign that you may notice when your bearded dragon is shedding is excessive sleepiness or drowsiness.
How Often Does A Bearded Dragon Shed?
Young beardies who have just hatched shed their skins more frequently than the older ones. This process occurs almost once or twice a month till they attain maturity. Hatchlings grow more rapidly, up to 1 to 3 inches per month. As the bearded dragon’s skin is non-stretchy, it sheds to make space for the rapidly growing body.
|Hatchlings (0-6 Months)||1 – 2 Weeks||Young bearded dragons have a rapid growth rate.|
|Juveniles (6-18 Months)||6 – 8 Weeks||Juvenile bearded dragons have a much more steady growth rate as compared to hatchlings.|
|Adults (18+ Months)||1 – 2 times a Year||Adult bearded dragons have fully grown and usually shed due to injuries or general wear and tear.|
How Long Does It Take For A Bearded Dragon To Completely Shed?
If your beardie has reached maturity, it will generally take a much longer time to shed. However, the hatchlings and juveniles take much lesser time to completely shed.
Hatchlings complete their shedding process in just 1 to 3 days, while juvenile bearded dragons take a week or two. If you have a bearded dragon who has just turned into an adult, it can take up to three weeks to completely shed. After three weeks, if they still have flack skin attached to their body they are going through a stuck shed.
Please remember that the shedding process is natural and painless; you just need to be patient with your beardie and give it the right space and environment when they are going through this.
Ways To Help A Bearded Dragon Shed?
Shedding is a natural and painless process that does not require any additional help. Although, there are a few things that you can do to make your pet’s life easier.
One of the ways to help your beardie throughout the shedding process is to mist them more frequently. A good bearded dragon owner mists their pet several times a day; you should try increasing this frequency when they are going through shedding.
Misting will help provide extra moisture to your pet, and their skin will peel more easily. Misting will also help them stay hydrated and uplift their irritated mood.
Bearded dragons generally enjoy being petted but they are in an irritated mood when they are going through shedding. You should try not to lift them through these tough times, no matter how cute they look. Give them their space and let them shed in peace. If you pick up an agitated bearded dragon, it might even bite you, so try to keep your distance and give them the extra comfort they need.
Baths also provide a similar result to that of misting; it gives your pet extra moisture and helps them throughout the shedding process. The skin also tends to get softer when you dip your bearded dragon into water. Just draw a shallow bath for your beardie and let them splash around. Bathing might also give them the relaxation they wanted during the shedding process.
Using A Shedding Helper
If you have an adult bearded dragon that is experiencing a stuck shed, you can use a shedding helper to ease them through the entire experience. The market is filled with such products, but I personally prefer the Zilla Reptile Health Supplies Shed-Ease Bath.
Never Force Shed
This is one of the most important rules that any bearded dragon owner should follow. You should never force shed your pet, no matter how irritated they look. Shedding is a natural process, and all you can do is care for your pet until it is complete.
If you think ripping that loose dead skin off might help your pet, you might be completely wrong. Force shedding can lead to bleeding in your pet and might cause serious injuries. So no matter how frustrated they look, let them scratch their flaky skin and complete the shedding process successfully.
Why Is My Bearded Dragon Not Shedding?
Difficulty in shedding also known as dysecdysis is a frequent problem faced by many pet owners. There are many reasons for bearded dragons to not shed. The first reason might be that your pet is not getting enough moisture from the environment.
You should mist your beardie to provide it with the right moisture to shed properly. Shedding requires a lot of moisture, and if your bearded dragon is not drinking enough water, it can lead to flaky skin that might come off easily.
You should provide them with enough water and can also keep a humidifier to provide them with the right environment. Keeping a humidifier will help provide enough moisture to the enclosure and help your pet shed easily.
Another reason bearded dragons do not shed is that they might not be getting the right diet. If your bearded dragon is not receiving the right nutrients, it can lead to slow or no shedding.
Stress can also be another factor that can lead to bearded dragons not being shed. Try not to physically handle your pet, and provide them with the right environment. You can also treat them with extra treats to ease them through these tough times. Also, try and provide a stress-free environment for your beardie and handle it gently and infrequently.
A bearded dragon with parasite infestation might also experience slow or delayed shedding. If you suspect your pet might be having a health issue, consider seeing a vet immediately. A vet will be able to detect the exact issue and solve the underlying problem which is leading to a slow or incomplete shed.
How To Help A Bearded Dragon Through A Stuck Shed?
Sometimes during the shedding process, bearded dragons might go through a stuck shed. Stuck sheds can be very uncomfortable and painful for your bearded pet. Even during a stuck shed, you should never try and pick on the stuck shed hanging from the bearded dragon’s body. As picking on it might lead to more harm than actual good.
To help your bearded dragon try and place them in a warm and humid environment. Doing so will soften their old skin and make it easier for them to shed. You can also mist your pet’s enclosure with water and dip them in shallow baths for 10-15 minutes. Just make sure that the water is not too hot, and you are good to go.
Another way to help your pet through a stuck shed is by making sure that they get the right diet and hydration required to complete their shedding process. If your bearded dragon appears to be in pain or having any health-related issues due to a stuck shed, you should consider seeing a vet as soon as possible.
Your vet will be able to provide the bearded dragon with additional care and treatment required to get rid of any loose skin. They might do this by giving them extra moisture or removing it manually without causing your beardie any kind of harm.
You can also use a shedding aid and oils to get rid of the stuck shed attached to your bearded dragon. Shedding aids and oils will help moisturize the stuck shed and solve the problem effectively. The most common areas for a stuck shed to occur; are the fingers and the tip of the tail.
How long does it take for a bearded dragon to shed?
Generally, a full body shed takes around two to three weeks, although this process occurs at a rapid rate when bearded dragons are of a younger age (under 18 months). Young bearded dragons take about a week to complete their shedding process.
Do bearded dragons get mad when they shed?
Yes, bearded dragons get agitated when they are going through the shedding process. Your pet might be under a lot of stress and wants to shed in peace. Avoid carrying them around and provide them with a stress-free environment till the whole process is complete.
Now that we have learned all about why bearded dragons shed, it is no more a hassle, is it? As a responsible owner, you should know how often they shed, the mood they are in, and how you should help them. And, honestly, there is nothing more precious than a happy pet.
Just make sure you keep them hydrated, provide them with the right environment, and do not hassle them throughout shedding. And I bet it will all be fine, after all, it’s all part of a natural process.