The Ultimate Guide To Bearded Dragon Shedding
Do bearded dragons shed?
Bearded dragons shed old skin while they grow. Shed is caused by growth, diet, and humidity. Shedding can be uncomfortable for bearded dragons, but there are ways you can make it easier for them.
Frequency of shedding
Baby bearded dragons shed more frequently than adult bearded dragons because they are growing at a much faster rate. Babies shed once every few weeks. It will slow down once they mature.
Babies also shed their whole body all at once. They shed rapidly from 0-6 months of age.
Adult bearded dragons that are fully grown will shed once every two to three months. Adult bearded dragons will also shed in small patches instead of their whole body at once.
If it seems that your adult beardie is only shedding in patches every few months, that is completely normal.
Behaviors Around Shedding
Bearded dragons will lose the desire to eat as much before and during the shedding period. The reason for this is that they are actually uncomfortable. Shedding is itchy and irritating for them.
Lethargy is another common behavior around shedding. Socialization should be limited during shedding as well because of the discomfort they will experience.
It is typical for them to want to stay left alone and in their den. Shedding can be very exhausting too for beardies. Expect to see them sleeping often before, during, and after their shed.
Normal Physical Appearance
Right before a bearded dragon sheds, they will look a little dull in color or just not as vibrant. Parts may even look grey. This is just how loose scales look.
The skin will also be very tight. The dull parts will be in patches as well. Just give it a few days and their skin will finally shed. If it has been longer than three or four days, then you can go to the vet to make sure your bearded dragon is in fact sick.
Their eyes might bulge some too. They are just trying to stretch the skin around their eyes to get that skin off. Normally eyes looking like they are popping out of the socket is a bad thing, but during the shed time, it is actually helpful for them to get that skin off around their eyes.
Not Shedding Properly
Trouble with shedding can cause several issues.
Poor shedding could potentially lead to tail rot or necrotic tissue. This could be fatal to bearded dragons if left untreated.
The causes for poor shedding could range from diet to tank conditions. Your beaded dragon is not shedding properly because they lack sufficient UVB lighting, heat, and enough nutrients in their food. Not implementing calcium powder into their diet can lead to poor shed.
How To Help During Shedding
Shedding is a long and difficult process for any bearded dragon. Here are some helpful tips that you can use to make shedding a little easier.
- Let it come off on its own. It will actually hurt your beardie if you try pulling any shed off. The skin underneath is going to be extremely sensitive and not ready to be completely detached from the old skin. The only shed that is acceptable to pull off are the little nose plugs they get from their shed. Often times the shed creates these little plugs in their nose of dead skin. If your beardie can’t scratch this off, you can just brush it off gently with your finger.
- Soak your beardie in the bath for a little bit and that can help stubborn shed come off.
- Lightly mist their rocks, sticks, or hammock with water. When the rub against the objects in their terrarium, it water will help remove the stubborn shed.
- Making the tank have more humidity also helps out your bearded dragon. Normally, you don’t want the humidity to be more than 40%. When they are shedding, try and have the humidity set to 45%-50%. The humidity can only be up temporarily for shedding.
Shedding is a natural process that all bearded dragons go through. There are ways we can help during this difficult time because it truly is exhausting for them. Give them baths, don’t peel the shed off, and don’t panic when they look a little sick. It is normal for your beardie to look a little on the rough side before being vibrant and beautiful again!