If you are rising a Bearded Dragon, it is a must-know knowledge that you will see them shedding. This particular phenomenon is a natural occasion. As the Bearded Dragon skins grow, it will start to peel the old one and replace it with the new one. At some point, this condition can happen at a very fast pace as they go through rapid growth. Thus, before you got shocked with this natural reptile habitual here are what you should know about the Bearded Dragon shedding process.
- What Is Bearded Dragon Shedding?
- Bearded Dragon Shedding Signs
- Why Is My Bearded Dragon Shedding?
- When Your Beardie Shedding?
- How Often are Your Dragons Shedding?
- Bearded Dragon Shedding Process and Time
- Helping Your Bearded Dragon During Shedding
- The Common Beardie Shedding Problems
- Dysecdysis Or Shedding Problem In Bearded Dragons
- Your Dragon Did Not Shed Anymore?
What Is Bearded Dragon Shedding?
Let’s start with the definition. The shedding itself is a natural process that every reptile will go through, including your Bearded Dragon. It may look scary or horrible at a certain point, but rest assured that this particular phenomenon is normal and state nothing wrong. This process is explained as when your dragon cast off or peeling, sloughing, or molting its old skin and processing to have a new batch of skin as a replacement.
It may sound simple, but shedding is a very complicating process when your dragon needs to replace the old skin with the new one. They have to create a new epidermis as the skin while the peeling process is happening. Just imagine them as you change your clothes. They have to use the new skin and make a new appearance. That is what the shedding does. But here, the dragon shedding will be done in patches.
Bearded Dragon Shedding Signs
The Upcoming Or Before The Shedding
As they will start to shed their old skin, you can find the cue from their behavior. Most of the time, the dragon will look
- having skittish behavior,
- have patches of skin in its body,
- having eye inflation,
- losing appetite,
- doesn’t want you to handle them.
In many cases, the owner will get panicked at this point. But please don’t be, it is a natural habit. As long your dragon is healthy, there won’t be any problems during the process.
During The Shedding Or Ecdysis Process
While the process is going on, you can see that your dragon will struggle to remove the skin. Some of the most repetitive behavior during this time is scratching their body and legs.
At some point, your dragon will constantly rub their body against rough surfaces, such as branches, rock, or bark to help them peel the old skin. If you want to help, you can place some shallow bats, slabs of sandstone, or rough decoration into their cage.
Why Is My Bearded Dragon Shedding?
If you wonder why your dragon shed its beautiful skins, then you got two answers. The first one is a part of the growing process and the second one as the way to remove damaged skin. Just as said, you can see that the young dragon mostly does Bearded Dragon shedding since they will get bigger and growing. Most of the time, during the 0 to 6-month old the shedding phenomenon can happen every week.
The progress will be different depending on age. You can imagine wearing tight skinny jeans that have been left for years and forcing it to fit. You will end with ripping it. That’s much the same with your pet dragon, which needs to change its skin as its body getting bigger. This changing skins will continue till your Beardie reaches the age of 18 months when the shedding is starting to lessen.
Worth noting that your Beardie dragon also changes its skin due to the damaged skin. At some point, fighting or over scratching its body can lead to damaged skin. But this peeling also happens when the dragons feel the need for a new and fresh protective skin. Especially, when their old skin is somewhat battered, scrapped, dirtied, or even broken due to the environment or unfitting cage’s condition.
When Your Beardie Shedding?
Unfortunately, the answer is very vague. There is no exact time to determine the time your dragon will shed its skin. One thing for sure they will always shed during their growing up process. But at the same time, it also depends on the age and how fast your dragging is growing. The older it gets, the lesser the shedding time or process occurred every time. So you can expect lesser old skin as your lizard getting old.
How Often are Your Dragons Shedding?
As said before, the older your dragon is – the less frequent the shedding will be. You can expect a very frequent shedding when your dragon is young. Based on the experienced owners, the shedding period is separated into 4 age groups.
- The first one is between the age of 0 – 6 months. In this period, your baby Bearded Dragon shedding more often because they still in a growing period and their body is getting bigger every time.
- Then, the second age group is from 6 – 12 months. The frequency is lessening and it can occur around a couple of weeks to one of every couple of months.
- After 12 months it will reduce about every few months.
- After the age of 18 months, you can finally rest assured that the shedding will come in just a couple of times in a year.
So, You can say that the baby dragon is the most frequent and faster than any other age.
Bearded Dragon Shedding Process and Time
The Shedding In Patches
The shedding process is different than the infamous snake molting process. When the snake sheds its skin, they do it for the whole body. However, your Bearded Dragons do it in style! They do it in patches or separately. Most of the time, this kind of shedding only happens when the dragon is mature. The shed will happen in random areas throughout a year. It can be the tail now, the head for the next month, or the leg at the end of the year.
Eating Its Shedding Skin
Yes, some of the Beardies like to eat their old skin (their shed). As disgusting as it might look, but this is very normal and a part of the animal’s tactic to hide its presence from predators. At the same time, the skin is nutritious for them.
So why not right? However, at some point, you should consider to remove or take away the skin before they eat them. Why? as it can be nutritious, the skin makes contained with parasites or some fecal as well.
How Long the Shedding Process is?
There is no definite answer to how long the progress is. Worth noting that, every animal is different. Whether it is a health condition, ages, size, and weigh. With that in mind, it can be said that the cycle swill varies. From the normal days to weeks-long process. At the same time, the ambient state and the shed condition also give a great effect on the duration. Make note that if it takes too much time, then it can be a sign of some issues going on.
Don’t Ever Try To Peel The Skin
Have you ever feel itchy to tug your Bearded Dragon shedding? Don’t ever think about tugging this shedding skins. If it only dangling, then it is okay. But when it is not fully ready to molt, then it still attaches to the sensitive skin underneath it. If there is some resistance, feel moist, and soft, then you better leave it alone. Let your dragon do what it can do to peel their old skin. Just make sure to stay away and don’t even fell for the temptation.
Helping Your Bearded Dragon During Shedding
Bathing Your Dragon
Did you know that your Beardie’s skin is waterproof? If your dragon is not shedding, then highly possible your bathing attempt will not make any difference. However, when they are shedding giving a bath can help to an extent. Not much, but worth trying. Most of the time, the cracked or the peeling skins will be washed away and help the process going on smoothly. But at some point, you have to make sure if your Bearded Dragon enjoys playing in the water or no.
Increase The Humidity
Don’t forget about the humidity. If you can adjust the humidity, then try to increase it in the evening and the morning. The tad bit of damp weather in the morning will help the dragon to hydrate and also make mist or fog in the cage. It can be done in a very easy way though. You can do it by spraying the enclosure with water for a few seconds in the evening or morning. Spraying it right on your dragon’s head, ridges, and scales.
Setup The Tank With Rock Or Other Substrate
You can support their process by adding some substrate or rock set up so they can scratch their body into it. This is a very easy and probably the natural solution you can provide for them. When the shedding process is in going, your dragon love humidity.
Setting up your tank in an appropriate manner will give them the possibility to dig burrows. The burrow will provide high humidity and help soften the old skin for easier shedding time.
The Common Beardie Shedding Problems
Bowel Problem Or Diarrhea
At some point diarrhea or watery poop is very common happened to a Bearded Dragon. But how if it happens Bearded Dragon Shedding? Cool your head and make sure if your Beardie does have diarrhea or not. First, check the stool! Then you should consider the diet, temperature, light, stress, or even parasites. Your dragon love sun or hot temperature. If you make the temperature too damp, then most likely it is the cause. You can also go to the vet.
Loss Appetite Or Won’t Eat
When the shedding is approaching or happening, the classic sign is losing appetite or won’t eat anything. It is normal but some of the owners might think that this behavior is dangerous for the dragons’ health. Still- this change of behavior is normal and should not be worried about. You just have to continue giving some fresh foods, drinking water, and watch closely your beloved reptile pet for the meantime.
Lethargy And Being Lazy
Being lazy, looking tired, or lethargy is one of the common problems you will find when the dragon’s skin is shedding. This can build up a concern with the fact that your dragon is lazy and not eating much. In this case, you can give some medical attention if the symptom persists. Ask the vet and do whatever you can without making your Beardie irritated with you.
Dysecdysis Or Shedding Problem In Bearded Dragons
Did you know about Dysecdysis? This is a problem that occurs when the shedding is incomplete or improper. If you found your dragon did not shed perfectly, leaving some patches here and there, then bring it to the vet. The unremoved old skin can prohibit their movement, prone to infection, pain, discomfort, even necrosis. Dysecdysis can be happened due to even bigger health problems such as tumors or parasites attack.
Your Dragon Did Not Shed Anymore?
Your dragon is old enough that Bearded Dragon shedding is not necessary or they will do in a very long time. The second answer relates to your tank setup. Your dragon needs proper hydration, heat gradient, diet, UVB lighting, and environment to shed their skin (or feel the need to). Have you set the right setup? If you do and the problem persists, then you might have to bring your dragon for a vet check.
When you find yourself witnessing this phenomenon you should not be panicked. This natural habit of reptile also happens to your beloved Bearded Dragon and should be known as its normal occurrence during its growing up period. Getting to know what to do and what you should not do can help you and your dragon getting through this process safely. At the same time, you will be prepared when your Beardie will start to shed its skin.