Is it time for your bearded dragon to shed?
Is your dragon turning a grey color, and its scales have become dull?
During this shedding period, you might wonder:
How can you help your bearded dragon shed?
During the shedding process, help your beardy by giving it nice warm baths and providing habitat with a range of textures to allow them to rub against for natural removal of the skin. It is important never to attempt to pick off peeling skin still attached as it can damage the new layer underneath.
If you’re interested in this topic, continue reading for in-depth information regarding the shedding process in bearding dragons and what you need to do as a good pet owner.
Helping Your Bearded Dragon Shed
Your bearded dragon will shed throughout its life, and knowing the best ways to help is essential to keep your pet at the peak of health.
The best way to help your bearded dragon shed its skin is to give it regular warm baths during the molting period.
These baths help to soften the skin, and then gently rub the area to help release the outer layer.
During bath time, be sure to watch the water level, as bearded dragons can breathe water into their lungs through their vents.
This can lead to sickness and respiratory infections in your pet.
Another great option is to offer a variety of textures in their environment.
This promotes rubbing or scratching during this period.
Some owners might add rocks or branches to the enclosure to give the animal something to rub off this old layer of skin naturally.
Why Does A Bearded Dragon Shed?
While your skin cells flake off daily, the process for reptiles, like your bearded dragon, is pretty different.
They shed their outer scales at one time in various pieces.
Shedding is a natural process where skin cells die and need to be replaced.
A common reason for shedding is growth meaning a baby beardy will shed much more often than an adult member of the species.
Shedding is not only spurred by the growth of the animal.
Your bearded dragon might also shed if it is suffering from an infestation of mites or other parasites or if their skin has become damaged.
Shedding in adults is sparked by a change in diet, temperature or humidity, stress, or breeding.
How Often Should A Bearded Dragon Shed?
Every animal is different, and the frequency with which yours sheds will not fit in a regular schedule.
There are some guidelines regarding the frequency, but no hard and fast rules.
The average number of times your bearded dragon will shed is heavily dependent on the age of the creature.
As mentioned above, baby beardies are likely to shed more often than adults due to their exponential growth in a short amount of time.
If your beardy is between 0 and 6 months old, expect it to slough off a layer of skin almost weekly.
As the animal gets older, the molting will occur less frequently.
Shedding shifts from every few weeks at 6 months to every few months when they get to the 12 month mark.
Your beardy is considered full-grown at about 18 months, and shedding slows down at this point.
As an adult, your pet will only slough off its outer layer of skin a few times a year.
There are some exceptions to these timelines.
Bearded dragons might go through a shedding period if their skin becomes damaged, they are stressed or changes in environment or diet.
These are just a few of the reasons a beardy might have extra molting periods.
Again, there is no strict schedule for your pet to shed their outer layer, and every animal is going to be different.
How Can I Tell If My Bearded Dragon Is About To Shed?
Again, there is no set molting schedule for your bearded dragon, but there are some signs to help you tell if your pet is about to shed.
Perhaps the most straightforward warning sign to spot is a change in skin color from rich and vibrant to dull with a grey/white tone.
There are other signs, including lethargy and a loss of appetite, but be watchful, because these could also be signs your beardy isn’t feeling its best.
Before shedding, your pet might also become skittish and not want to be held.
You might also notice the eyes of your bearded dragon begin to bulge.
This is a standard sign of shedding as the animal is just trying to loosen up the skin in the area to make it easier to discard.
The area around the eyes is frequently the first area of the body to shed.
How Long Does Shedding Take?
The process of shedding off this outer layer can take anywhere from 2 to 3 weeks for an adult.
Adults might also shed in certain areas and not others.
If this happens, shedding times could be as short as a week.
For baby beardies, this period is much shorter as they are growing so quickly.
What Not To Do During Shedding
The most important thing to remember during a shedding period is, you should never attempt to peel or pick off the skin still attached.
You might think there is no harm as it is coming off anyway, but it can only hurt your animal.
Picking off the layer damages the layer of brand new skin forming underneath and can cause pain and discomfort to your pet.
The damaging of the skin can leave lasting scars on your pet.
Your bearded dragon will shed throughout its lifespan, and knowing what to do will only help your beardy stay healthy and happy.
Regular warm baths are an excellent way to be helpful when your dragon is shedding its skin, but keeping a textured environment for scratching is also beneficial.
We hope after reading this, you have a better understanding of how to help your pet as it regularly sloughs off its skin.
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