Bearded Dragon Shedding (What To Know)

Shedding is scientifically known as ecdysis, this is a natural process your Bearded Dragon will go through.

I’m here to help you understand why, when, and, how your beardie will shed their skin, and most importantly, what you can do to help them through this process.

Why Do Bearded Dragons Shed?

Bearded Dragons have inelastic skin, which means their skin won’t stretch as they grow. As a result, they’ll shed their skin regularly to make room for their growing bodies. When it’s time to shed, the new layer of skin cells emerging is usually brighter and more vibrant in color.

Even though adult Bearded Dragons have stopped growing, they’ll still shed their skin. Because the skin, being organic matter, eventually deteriorates and needs to be replaced with a fresh layer. This helps maintain the overall health and appearance of the dragon.

How Often Is The Shedding Process?

As your beardie ages, the shedding schedule will change. Here is a table showing the correlation between their age and the shedding cycle.

Age Of Bearded DragonShedding Schedule
0-6 monthsEvery week
6-12 monthsEvery two weeks
12 monthsEvery two months
18 monthsOnce or twice a year

How Long Does Shedding Take?

The shedding process isn’t long, especially in younger beardies. For dragons aged 0-12 months, it typically takes only a couple of days to complete the process. 

For beardies older than 12 months, it can sometimes take up to two weeks. This is because they shed patches instead of the entirety of their skin in one go.

Age of Bearded DragonShedding Length
0-12 monthsTwo days
12+ monthsUp to two weeks

Shedding Signs

There are 7 signs your beardie will display before they’re going to shed. Some of these signs are similar to illness and stress signs, so it’s important to know your Bearded Dragons’ mannerisms to determine what is causing abnormal behavior.

Here are the signs your Bearded Dragon will display;

  • Scratching against objects
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargic
  • Doesn’t want to be held
  • Pale scales
  • Bulging eyes
  • Flaky skin

What To Do During The Shedding Process?

Limited Handling

During the shedding process, your beardie is exerting lots of energy and would rather not be held for long periods of time. 

They’ll want space to go through this process without being played with. Ignoring this could result in your beardie scratching or biting you in an attempt to warn you off.

Bathe

Although most Bearded Dragons want to be left alone during this process if your beardie is struggling to shed, sometimes a soothing bath could help the skin loosen and make it easier for them. 

The water temperature should be between 85°F-100°F and should only rise midway up their legs.

Misting

You can limit handling by misting your Bearded Dragon, misting is where you spray small amounts of water on the areas which are shedding.

You should mist your beardie daily, it’ll increase the humidity in the tank which will aid in the shedding process.

Rough Surfaces

The shedding skin can make your beardie itchy. They’ll want to scratch against surfaces like logs, rocks, and other rough surfaces to help the skin come off. Having decorations like these will benefit your beardie.

Never Pull The Shedding Skin

Never attempt to remove shedding skin from your Bearded Dragon. If it’s still attached, it’s supposed to be. Let your dragon determine how they want it to come off.

Skin will remain attached because the sensitive skin isn’t ready to be exposed. Pulling off dangling skin will only result in injury and pain for your beardie. 

Checking The Environment

Ensure the temperature, humidity, and lighting are all correct.

  • Temperatures should have a gradient ranging between 75°F – 100°F.
  • Humidity levels should remain between 30%-40%.
  • They should receive 12-14 hours of UVB exposure a day.

Diet

Keeping the diet correct is paramount, sometimes a Bearded Dragon will lose their appetite during shedding because it’ll be eating the shed skin.

If your beardie still has an appetite, you should use vitamin D3 and calcium supplements to keep them healthy.

Shedding Aids And Oil

One last method to use is shedding aids and oils, I recommend only using this after trying bathing and misting. 

These are specific sprays you can buy to help moisturize the skin to assist the shedding skin falling off.

Why Is My Bearded Dragon Not Shedding?

Difficulty in shedding is scientifically known as dysecdysis and affects 25% of Bearded Dragons raised in captivity. 

Shedding usually occurs without any issues and your beardie can go through this process naturally but here are 5 reasons why your Bearded Dragon may not be shedding.

  • Constricted blood flow
  • Poor diet
  • Dehydrated
  • Improper UVB lighting
  • Improper temperature gradients

For more information on how to care for your beardie, look at my Bearded Dragon Care Guide

What Does Stuck Shed Look Like On A Bearded Dragon?

Photo Credit: Pinterest

When it comes to identifying stuck sheds the best thing to do is be patient.

If your beardie is taking longer than usual to shed then this will be the best indication to take action and start helping your beloved pet through this process.

Summary

You should now understand the Bearded Dragon shedding process. 

Remember;

  • Babies shed every week
  • Juveniles shed every two weeks
  • Adults shed once or twice a year
  • With the right habitat they’ll be able to shed naturally
  • Do not pull off any loose skin

The best way for a Bearded Dragon to shed is naturally, if you need to help them you can by providing rough surfaces, misting, shedding oils and baths.