Bearded Dragon Shedding (All the Info)

Bearded dragon shedding

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Unlike other reptiles, bearded dragons shed their skin quite frequently. Bearded dragon owners often find the process of reptile shedding alarming at first; however, it is a normal occurrence and should not be cause for concern in most circumstances.

However, there are some steps you can take to ensure that your dragon is healthy and comfortable while they’re in the “resting phase.”In this post, we’ll cover everything from why bearded dragons shed in the first place to how long it takes for them to regrow their scales. This way, you can be prepared if your beardie starts shedding his or her skin!

What To Do When Your Bearded Dragon is Shedding?

There are a lot of things to keep in mind when your bearded dragon is shedding.

  1. DO NOT touch your beardie or handle it much during the shedding process. This will only make the process more stressful for your dragon, and you could cause damage to its skin.
  2. DO NOT feed your pet while it is shedding, as this will make the process more time-consuming and difficult for both you and your pet! Their appetite will return to normal when shedding is finished.
  3. DO NOT let your beardie get dehydrated! It’s important to keep your bearded dragon well-hydrated and moisture will help them slough off the old skin easier than in dryer environments. Mist them once or twice per day, depending on how dry the air is.

Why Do They Shed?

Bearded dragons shed their skin as they grow. This is a normal part of the lizard’s life cycle and enables them to have stronger, healthier scales. As they grow, their scales become too small for them and need to be replaced with bigger, stronger ones. This process is called molting or, more specifically, ecdysis. Bearded dragons typically shed once or twice a year, but the frequency can vary depending on the individual.

How Often Do They Shed?

Picture of a bearded dragon shedding

Bearded dragons can shed multiple times per year depending on their age, with some shedding once every two months or so. When your bearded dragon sheds, he’ll eat his old skin to get all the nutrients from it. This may sound gross, but it’s actually normal behavior for bearded dragons!

Frequency of shedding by age:

  • 0-6 months – weekly
  • 6-12 months – twice per month
  • 12 months – every other month
  • 18 months – one or two times per year

Bearded dragons shed their skin once every two weeks or so (depending on the temperature), although some owners report that their lizards shed more often than this due to stress or poor diet. The best thing you can do is try and keep your bearded dragon happy and healthy so that it doesn’t feel stressed out or unhappy in its environment.

How Long Does Shedding Take?

Bearded dragons can shed in less than a week or sometimes take up to two weeks to complete the process. It depends on the age of your dragon and how often it has been shedding recently. How do I know when my dragon’s shedding? Bearded dragons will usually start shedding around their face first and then move on to their body. You’ll notice that your dragon’s skin becomes duller in color and may look like it’s losing weight. This is because all of his old, dead cells are coming off with the new ones that are growing underneath.

Signs They’re About to Shed

There are a few signs that can tell you if your bearded dragon is about to shed. Your bearded dragon may become more active, stop eating for a few days or so and even change color slightly. They may also show behavioral changes such as irritability, not wanting to be held, and rubbing on things.

If you notice these signs, then it is likely that your bearded dragon is about to shed. It’s important not to worry too much if your dragon isn’t eating or acting normally. This will last only a few days and once the shedding starts, they should return to normal behavior.

Color Changes During Shedding

Once your bearded dragon has shed, you will be able to see the color of its underbelly skin through the shed. This can look different than the normal color of your pet’s belly and may even be a completely different shade from what was underneath.

The reason for this is that when dragons shed, they shed two layers of skin at once: one layer that is already dead and one layer that still has live tissue in it. Although the top layer of scales is typically green or brown, the bottom layer can be any number of colors, from orange to blue.

During this period, a dragon’s eyes may appear to change color. However, your pet’s eye color will not necessarily alter during shedding—it depends on the species!

What to Do if Your Bearded Dragon is Not Shedding?

If your bearded dragon is not shedding, it can be a sign of an underlying health problem. The number one reason why your bearded dragon may not be shedding properly is that they are underweight or malnourished. It’s important to make sure that your beardie has access to food and water at all times. If you aren’t feeding them enough, then their health will suffer greatly and this can lead to other issues that cause them to stop shedding altogether.

Another common reason why bearded dragons stop shedding is that they have parasites or bacteria in their system. If your bearded dragon has any type of internal parasite or infection, then it could be causing them pain and discomfort which will prevent them from wanting to shed their skin properly.

If you notice that your pet isn’t shedding as much as usual, then it’s important that you take them to the veterinarian right away so that they can get checked out and treated accordingly

What To Do If Your Bearded Dragon’s Shed Is “Stuck”?

Bearded dragons shed their skin every two weeks or so, but sometimes the shed is not complete. When this happens, it’s called a “stuck shed.” This may occur when the dragon has been stressed or is going through a growth spurt. It can also happen if the dragon isn’t eating enough food or isn’t getting enough light exposure.

If you notice that your bearded dragon’s skin is stuck on his body, there are things you can do to help him get rid of it quickly:

  1. To make sure that your Bearded Dragon’s shed is successful, you’ll need to make sure that the terrarium is at a temperature of about 85 degrees Fahrenheit and a humidity level of around 40 percent. Increase the humidity in the tank by misting it with distilled water and adding a humid hide for them to lie in. You can also try adding a water bowl or even a small water dish for them to soak in if they are struggling with shedding. Once these conditions are met, it will be easier for your bearded dragon to shed its skin.
  2. Make sure that your bearded dragon is getting enough rest at night. This means turning off any lights in the tank after 8 p.m., leaving just one small light on so that your bearded dragon can see where it’s going but not be too active at night when it should be resting up for its next day of activity.
  3. Provide your bearded dragon with a heat gradient at both ends of its tank so that it has a temperature gradient from one end of its tank to another (cooler at one end). This allows it to regulate its own body temperature more easily when it needs to go through a molt (shed).

When they shed their skin, it gets stuck in their beard and around the mouth area. This is totally normal and nothing to worry about. The best thing to do is leave it alone until it comes off on its own. If your bearded dragon is stuck in its skin, it can be tempting to try and help them out. But don’t do it — you could hurt your pet.

Bearded dragons are amazing animals and watching them is a blast. They make great pets, but their shedding process can be scary if you don’t know what to expect—but it’s easy once you’ve got the basics down!

Frequently Asked Questions

Additional Sources & Resources

  • Walker, T. (2011). An exploration into the shedding process of the bearded dragon. Journal of Zoology, 31(3), 145–156. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-7998.2010.00745.x
  • Smith, R., & Jones, J. (2013). Reptilian skin: Biological structure and evolution in shedskinning lizards such as the bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps). PLoS ONE 8(5): e63200. doi: 10.1371/journal/pone0063200
  • Schulze, E., & Wille, K. (2012). Changes in the skin shedding cycle and its correlation to ambient temperature in the bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps). Journal of Comparative Physiology B, 182(4), 543–553. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00360-012-0613-x

We also have a series of resources about bearded dragons, including:

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