Is your bearded dragon the appropriate size for their age?
How much should your lizard weigh as a hatchling, a juvenile, and an adult?
What is the best way to weigh your dragon, and what type of scale should be used?
For your dragon to stay healthy and happy, its weight must be within a normal range for its age.
If your lizard is overweight or underweight, it will become susceptible to several unpleasant health issues.
Bearded Dragon Weight Charts
The healthy weight for your bearded dragon varies depending on their age, so we will divide the stages of growth into four main groups: hatchlings, juveniles, sub-adults, and adults. Generally, an adult bearded dragon should weigh around 400 to 550 grams, a sub-adult should weigh 300 to 400 grams, a juvenile should weigh anywhere from 60 to 250 grams, and hatchlings weigh about 5 to 40 grams.
We will break down these growth stages into more precise ranges for their weight month by month soon, but these are the approximate acceptable ranges for each group.
Keep in mind males will typically be slightly larger than females at all stages, and the weight ranges will vary depending on the subspecies.
We will primarily be looking at the most commonly kept subspecies of the bearded dragon, Pogona vitticeps, or the central bearded dragon.
During their first two months of life, baby bearded dragons grow rapidly in weight and length, gaining up to 40 grams in their first two months.
After the hatchling period, their growth rate slowly begins to level off.
Juvenile bearded dragons gain around 50 grams per month until they reach the sub-adult stage.
From the sub-adult stage to their full adult size, they will gain around 100 grams.
Many factors will play a role in your dragon’s size at each growth stage, such as:
- Enclosure size
Weigh your dragon often, preferably once per week, to closely monitor their growth and ensure they are within the healthy range for their age.
If your dragon becomes overweight or underweight, you will have to adjust their environment and diet accordingly to get them to an appropriate weight and avoid health risks associated with underweight and overweight dragons.
Weight Chart for Hatchlings: 0 – 3 Months
Healthy baby beardies grow rapidly in their first two months of life, so do not be surprised at sudden weight gains.
The following table displays the appropriate weight range for your hatchling.
|Age In Months||Weight Range in Grams|
|Newborn||3 to 8 grams|
|0 – 1 Month||10 to 20 grams|
|1 – 2 Months||15 to 25 grams|
Baby beardies require lots of insect protein during this stage to help support their growth.
Each week, they will grow 1 to 2″ inches (5 cm) in length and eventually grow to around 11″ inches (28 cm) in size by the end of the hatchling period.
This growth stage is crucial to their development later, so weigh them often, preferably every couple of days, to ensure they are not overweight or underweight.
Baby dragons are quite fragile during this time and are susceptible to some health issues if they do not reach an adequate weight by the time they are three months old.
Weight Chart for Juveniles: 3 – 11 Months
As a juvenile, their growth rate will be slightly slower than it was in the hatching stage.
Still, juveniles grow very quickly, and you may need to purchase a larger tank for your dragon around six months of age to accommodate their size.
Young dragons in this growth stage will gain, on average, 50 grams or more per month.
The table below outlines the healthy weight ranges for your 3- to 11-month-old beardie.
|Age in Months||Weight in Grams|
|3 – 4 Months||50 to 100 grams|
|4 – 5 Months||80 to 120 grams|
|5 – 6 Months||110 to 180 grams|
|6 – 7 Months||180 to 260 grams|
|7 – 8 Months||250 to 300 grams|
|8 – 9 Months||280 to 350 grams|
|9 – 10 Months||330 to 400 grams|
|11 – 12 Months (1 Year)||380 to 450 grams|
These are wide ranges, but your beardie’s weight will vary depending on their gender, genetic makeup, and diet.
Females are on the lower end of the spectrum, while males are typically at the higher end of the range.
When your lizard is around six months old, you should begin to shift its diet ratio from 80% insects and 20% plant material to about 50% insects and 50% plant material.
As your beardie gains weight, they will require more vegetables and fruits and fewer insects, but they still need plenty of protein to grow as a juvenile.
Proper nutrition is key to their growth.
You will still observe relatively quick weight gain during this stage, but you will soon notice their growth rate starts to level off.
Check out our bearded dragon diet sheet for a great list of foods your pet can consume and maintain a healthy weight.
Weight Chart for Sub-Adults: 12 – 18 Months
Once your beardie becomes a sub-adult, they will be very close to their full size.
Growth is much slower during this phase, but you will still notice an increase in weight of 10 to 20 grams or so each month.
The growth chart below displays the average healthy ranges in weight by age for each month of this stage of your dragon’s life.
|Age in Months||Weight in Grams|
|12 to 13 months||400 to 420 grams|
|13 to 14 months||410 to 435 grams|
|14 to 15 months||430 to 450 grams|
|15 to 16 months||440 to 460 grams|
|16 to 17 months||450 to 470 grams|
|17 to 18 months||440 to 500+ grams|
These are approximate ranges for your sub-adult bearded dragon.
At this point in your lizard’s life, their ratio of insects to plant material in their diet should shift once again to around 70% plant material and 30% insects.
As they are nearing their full size, they do not require nearly as much insect protein to grow and instead need more plant foods to maintain a healthy weight.
Weight Chart for Adults: 18+ Months
At 18 months, your bearded dragon will have reached their full size and officially be an adult.
After this point, your dragon should not gain any more weight unless they are a gravid female.
For an adult bearded dragon, around 400 to 550 grams in weight is a healthy size range.
The table below displays weight ranges for underweight, healthy weight, and overweight dragons.
|Weight Classification||Weight in Grams|
|Underweight||Anything lower than 380 grams|
|Healthy Weight||400 to 550 grams|
|Overweight||Anything higher than 550 grams|
Their diet should be made up of 80% plant material and 20% insects as an adult.
Beardies do not require much insect protein from this point on as they have finished growing.
If your bearded dragon is within a normal weight range at this point, congratulations!
You have raised a strong and healthy lizard, and it has now reached its maximum size.
If not, don’t panic, as there are measures you should take if your dragon is underweight or overweight to get them to an appropriate weight for their age.
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How to Weigh Your Bearded Dragon
For most hatchling, juvenile, and sub-adult bearded dragons, you will be able to use a kitchen scale to weigh them.
Some kitchen scales, however, only go up to around 500 grams or so.
Ideally, you want a digital scale with a large range that measures in grams and has a large, flat surface.
You will not be putting your beardie directly on the surface of the scale, though.
Most dragons do not enjoy sitting still when you weigh them, so the standard method is to place them in a small bucket on top of the scale and subtract the container’s weight to get their weight in grams.
Handle your lizard carefully and fully support their body with your hands when transferring them from their tank to the container you placed on the scale.
For many babies and juveniles who have not been adequately socialized yet, they will be very jumpy and anxious and will often attempt to run away or struggle in your grip.
Be careful not to damage their tail while you weigh them, as beardies’ tails are very fragile.
Over time, as your lizard becomes more used to weekly weigh-ins and handling them, they will sit still as you weigh them and let you place them back in their tank afterward.
What if My Dragon is Underweight?
Underweight bearded dragons are prone to many health issues, most prominently malnutrition and stunted growth.
Malnutrition is especially dangerous for hatchlings and juveniles as they are tiny and require lots of protein to grow properly.
You should not be able to see their spine and ribs, regardless of age.
Your dragon’s skin should also never be loose or saggy.
If your dragon is under the recommended weight ranges for their age, there are a few likely culprits.
The main factor which determines your lizard’s weight is their diet.
Bearded dragons need nutritionally rich food items, and feeding them a diet lacking vitamins and nutrients will cause stunted growth.
Avoid low-nutrient foods like iceberg lettuce as they are made up primarily of water and offer no health benefits.
Another possible cause for an underweight dragon is the wrong tank size.
The minimum size tank for a healthy adult dragon is 40 gallons, and if they are stuck in a small tank, they won’t grow to their full size.
For baby beardies, a 20 to 30-gallon tank is fine, but you will need to transfer them to a larger enclosure as they age.
Certain illnesses and parasites will also cause your dragon to be underweight.
If you suspect your lizard is sick or has contracted internal parasites, contact your reptile veterinarian immediately.
They will need to collect a fecal sample to diagnose the issue.
Poor living conditions and inadequate health care will also cause your dragon to become underweight.
Always maintain optimal living conditions and adequate lighting, regardless of your dragon’s age or size.
Your beardie needs both a UVB bulb and heat lighting to digest their food and process the calcium their diet requires to stay healthy.
If your lizard is not getting enough UVB or their basking spot is too cold, they will avoid eating, and you will need to adjust their lighting settings.
Use a thermometer to track the temperature in their tank and keep it within a normal range.
Their basking spot should be around 95 to 100° degrees Fahrenheit (38° C), while the rest of the tank should be within 85 to 90° degrees Fahrenheit (32° C).
Cold lizards cannot digest their food or process calcium properly.
If you have ruled out all other possible causes, your dragon may be a picky eater.
It would be best to give them plenty of different safe fruits, vegetables, and insects in their food bowl to figure out their tastes and adjust their diet accordingly.
What if My Dragon is Overweight?
Overweight bearded dragons are also susceptible to underlying health issues such as fatty liver disease and kidney problems.
If your lizard weighs more than the appropriate range for its age, you should determine the cause immediately to prevent illness and obesity.
Usually, bearded dragons become overweight and obese due to their owners overfeeding them.
Overweight dragons store excess fat in their bellies, legs, and tails and often display lethargic and sluggish behavior.
The primary methods of reducing your dragon’s weight are adjusting their food intake and encouraging exercise.
Avoid feeding your dragon too many high-fat insects such as waxworms or super worms.
The best non-fatty feeder insects are crickets, hornworms, and Dubia roaches.
In addition to this, be sure your dragon is not eating too many sugary fruits.
Only around 5% to 10% of your lizard’s diet should be made up of fruits as they are high in sugar and have poor nutritional value compared to other types of plant matter.
Your dragon’s diet should primarily be made up of dark, leafy greens.
Encouraging your dragon to exercise will also help reduce its weight.
Rather than hand-feeding insects, place them on the opposite end of their tank, so your lizard has to work for their meals.
Another way to boost physical activity is to purchase a covered playpen and allow your dragon to run around outside for an hour or two each day.
If you provide a healthy, nutritionally complete diet and promote a regular exercise routine for your dragon, they will gradually return to an average weight over time.
As your dragon grows from a hatchling to an adult over the first year and a half of its life, it will rapidly grow in size and weight.
Weigh your dragon often, preferably weekly, and document their weight and age with a chart to monitor their growth.
Bearded dragons grow rapidly during the hatchling and juvenile stages before eventually tapering off and gradually reaching their fully-grown size.
If your lizard becomes overweight or underweight, change their diet and environment until they are within a healthy weight range.