How Frequently Do Bearded Dragons Shed? Everything You Need To Know

If you’ve taken a look at your bearded dragon recently, and thought they could use a little moisturizer with their dull and flaky skin, there’s no need to worry, this is completely normal.

Bearded dragons, just like any other kind of reptile, will shed their skin several times throughout their lives.

How Frequently Do Bearded Dragons Shed? Everything You Need To Know

It can be concerning as an owner, however, when you witness it happening for the very first time.

Many people won’t know what to do, or whether or not they need to aid their reptilian friends in the first place.

This is where we come in, because we’ve compiled a handy guide that includes everything you need to know about bearded dragons and their shedding cycles.

We’ve also included some helpful information about how you can assist your bearded dragon if it needs some extra help with shedding.

To find out more, simply keep reading below as we take a closer look.

At What Frequency Do Bearded Dragons Shed?

This is one of the most common questions that owners ask when they first notice their bearded dragon shedding. How often will they shed?

This is entirely dependent on how old they are. After all, the reason why they’re shedding in the first place is because they’re growing.

As you can guess, infant bearded dragons will shed far more than adults, purely because they have a lot more growing to do.

0 – 6 Months Old

If your bearded dragon falls into this age range, you can expect them to shed almost every week.

That’s right, if you’re considering getting a bearded dragon, you can expect to be cleaning the dead skin out of their habitat on a weekly basis.

If they’re shedding every single week, this is an extremely positive sign and means that they’re developing well.

It might seem like once a week is a little too often, but it’s actually completely normal.

Because their bodies are growing quickly, the skin that surrounds them can’t house them anymore, so they have to shed it in order to develop a new one that fits.

6 – 12 Months Old

If your bearded dragon falls into this age category, then you can expect the shedding to slow down significantly.

They’ll still be growing a little, as you’ll notice from the infrequent shedding, but most of their development will be out of the way, especially if they’re at the latter portion of this age group.

Some bearded dragons may shed more or less frequently than others, and this is also completely normal.

Just like human beings, they will grow at different rates and speeds, and therefore, will shed at different frequencies.

At the beginning of this age group, you can expect a 6 month bearded dragon to shed around once per month, far less than in previous months when they were shedding each week.

At the latter portion of this age group, your bearded dragon will only shed once every other month.

This means that they’re moving into adulthood, and their physical growth is done.

18 Months Old

Once your bearded dragon has reached this stage of its life (Also check out The Average Lifespan Of Bearded Dragons), it will be fully developed and won’t need to shed its skin to accommodate bone or muscle development.

Unlike previous months, you won’t even notice your bearded dragon shedding once every other month.

But what if you still notice your bearded dragon shedding now and again? Should you be worried?

The simple answer is, no, you shouldn’t be worried at all.

It is completely normal for bearded dragons to shed even when they’re full grown adults.

But why is this, if they’ve already completed their development?

It is because bearded dragons still shed their skin as a cleaning process.

Unlike human beings, bearded dragons can’t take a shower in order to freshen up.

Shedding their skin is the same as cleaning themselves, and getting rid of any dirt or debris accumulated over time.

This will happen very infrequently, and you’ll notice your bearded dragon shedding their skin around once every two months.

It probably won’t look like it did before, as they aren’t likely to shed the entirety of their skin.

Instead, you might notice little patches on their legs or bodies that are shedding.

Reasons Why Bearded Dragons Shed

As we mentioned above, there are two key reasons why bearded dragons will shed.

The first reason being simply that they’re outgrowing their old skin.

As they mature and develop, the bearded dragon’s bones and muscles will grow, and their previous skin won’t fit them anymore.

Their skin is made of something called keratinized scales, which is a texture that’s extremely difficult to stretch.

Unlike human beings, there is no elasticity in a bearded dragon’s skin, therefore, they have to simply get rid of it.

In adulthood, they’ll shed their skin simply to keep themselves fresh.

You’ll notice that after they’re done shedding, their skin will look far more colorful and clean, which means that they’ve completed the shedding process and essentially cleaned themselves.

How Long Should The Shedding Process Take?

If you’ve noticed your bearded dragon shedding, and are curious about how long this will take in total, the answer is again based on age.

Depending on how old your bearded dragon is, and where they are in the growth cycle, the shedding process will vary.

If your bearded dragon falls into the first age category above of 0 – 6 months, you can expect them to shed their skin at an incredibly rapid rate.

They will typically shed their skin in a matter of a few days, anywhere from 1 to 3 specifically.

If your bearded dragon falls into the second category of 6 to 12 months, then their skin will start to slow in shedding rapidity.

In fact, the shedding process will typically take anywhere up to two weeks.

This is a significant difference from the previous age category.

After your bearded dragon has reached the 12 month mark, and they’re a fully grown adult, their shedding will be incredibly slow.

The shedding process will take around three weeks in total.

So, if you notice that your bearded dragon has a number of peeling portions on their skin that seem to be hanging around, don’t worry, this is completely normal.

How To Help My Bearded Dragon Shed Their Skin?

Despite the shedding process being completely normal and natural for your pet, you might still need to help them now and again when it comes to shedding their skin.

This is because stubborn skin that won’t move despite the passing of time can become infected.

These infections can be incredibly serious, and are called ‘stuck sheds’.

This means that they can’t be detached from the bearded dragon’s body despite their efforts.

The places that are most susceptible to this kind of infection include the tail and claws.

Therefore, it’s best to keep an eye out on these specific portions of their bodies to make sure that they’re not experiencing stuck shed.

There are several ways that you can help your pet to shed their skin, and we’ve listed some of them below.

We should point out however, that no matter what, you don’t try to peel the skin off of their bodies yourself.

You could potentially pull off skin that isn’t ready to shed, and leave them susceptible to infection along the line.

There are much more effective and less harmful ways to help your pet, some of which you might not have thought of initially.

Keep reading below to find out more.

Manage Their Diet

Manage Their Diet

One of the most effective ways to help your pet bearded dragon when it comes to shedding is to simply manage their diet.

One of the primary reasons why bearded dragons experience the dreaded stuck shed is because they’re not getting all of the nutrients they need from their diet.

First things first, you need to make sure that your bearded dragon is getting enough water supply.

Although they are genetically predisposed to live in hot, dry climates, this doesn’t mean that they don’t need water to survive.

You need to make sure that they always have plenty of water to drink, as this will help immensely with the shedding process.

In addition, getting enough water will also mean that the skin that they grow back will be vibrant and healthy.

In terms of diet, if your bearded dragon is not getting the right amount of nutrients, they won’t have the energy or capability of effectively shedding their skin.

Therefore, if you notice that your bearded dragon is experiencing a stuck shed, it might be time to reevaluate their diet.

The key vitamins that your bearded dragon needs are Vitamin D3, and calcium.

These are incredibly important not only in preventing them from developing stuck shed, but also building healthy bones.

Make sure that your bearded dragon is getting enough calcium in their diet, and this is especially important for younger bearded dragons, as their bones will still be growing and developing.

Bearded dragons that aren’t receiving the right nutrients can develop what is called metabolic bone disease.

This condition is just as serious as it sounds, and could cause a premature death.

Therefore, maintaining a healthy diet with all the correct nutrients is incredibly important for keeping your pet healthy.

A good idea is to simply cut open a calcium tablet that includes D3, and simply pepper it over your pets food.

It’s an incredibly easy and effective way of providing them with the nutrients they need.

Adjust The Temperature

If you want your bearded dragon to effectively shed their skin, you’ll need to make sure that the temperature and humidity in their habitat is optimal.

This doesn’t occur to many people, but it can be incredibly important when it comes to making sure that the shedding process is as comfortable as possible for your reptilian friend.

Make sure that the lighting that you have set up mimics the conditions that your bearded dragon might experience in the wild.

You don’t want an artificial light that’s too dark, or too bright.

In addition to this, it’s also very important to make sure that the humidity levels are regulated in the habitat.

It can be uncomfortable for your bearded dragon if this isn’t properly maintained.

This means that if you don’t have one already, you’ll need to purchase a reliable thermometer to measure the humidity levels in the tank.

Humidity levels should always be kept somewhere between 30 to 40 percent, as these are the optimal levels for your bearded dragon.

Your pet could experience extreme discomfort, or even death if these levels drop too low for too long.

Give Them Rough Materials

If your bearded dragon’s habitat is almost empty when it comes to items in their environment, it might be the right time to reevaluate.

In order to make sure that your bearded dragon has an incredibly easy shedding process, you’ll need to make sure that there are items in there that are of a variety of different textures.

Some potential options include bark, rocks, or other rough items that can help them to shed.

Your bearded dragon can rub against these in order to get rid of any unruly skin.

Make sure however, that the items that you put in aren’t sharp, or could potentially harm your pet.

You want to make sure that they’re rough enough so that they can aid your reptilian friend, but at the same time, not too sharp that they might hurt their sensitive skin.

The reason why rocks and tree branches are such a good idea, is because they’re what a bearded dragon would naturally use in the wild.

You want to imitate their natural conditions as much as possible, so putting in some items such as the ones mentioned above can help them to feel more comfortable and confident, as well as aid them in shedding their skin.

Provide Correct Misting

As well as following all of the steps outlined above to make sure your pet is as comfortable as possible, you should also make sure to mist their tank now and again.

This will be integral in helping them to shed their skin effectively.

To do this, all you need is a spray bottle that you can squirt around their tank, as well as on them.

If your bearded dragon allows you, aim to spray them with the spray bottle a couple of times a day.

The reason why you need to do this is because moist skin will shed quicker than dry skin.

Dry skin can have an incredibly difficult time at peeling off, but with moist skin, it’s more likely to shed at a faster rate.

You’ll want to make sure not to overspray the tank however, because remember, this will cause the humidity levels to rise.

A tank that is too humid could prove harmful to your reptilian friend.

Make sure that you’re continuously monitoring the humidity levels of the tank with a reliable thermometer, so that they’re not getting too moist in there.

Bathe Them

Another tactic that you can use if your bearded dragon’s skin is particularly unruly, is to simply place them in a lukewarm bath.

This should only be done if it’s deemed absolutely necessary.

If you want to bathe them, you should make sure that the water is no higher than the height of their knees.

You don’t want to distress your reptilian friend by submerging them.

Place them down very gently, and make sure that you don’t leave them on their own.

Giving them a little bath such as this one can be helpful for getting rid of dead skin that’s particularly hard to get too, such as around the feet.

How To Tell If Your Bearded Dragon Is Shedding?

If you’d like to predict when your bearded dragon is ready to shed, there are several signs to look out for.

You will need to observe these very closely, because some of them are so subtle that you probably wouldn’t notice them if you weren’t looking.

Bearded dragons tend to exhibit much of the same behavior as they would if they weren’t shedding, but there are a few key signs that we’ll take a look at below.


This is probably one of the most obvious signs that your bearded dragon is getting ready to shed.

For first time owners, it might be worrying, as you may notice their decreased appetite and mistake it for something serious.

In fact, when you feed a bearded dragon when they’re getting ready to shed their skin, they might completely refuse the food.

This typically happens right before they’re about to shed, and right after they’ve completed the process too.

Sometimes, you may observe a particularly strange behavior exhibited by your pet.

Some bearded dragons will actually eat their old skin after the shedding process.

This might seem like incredibly peculiar behavior, but it’s actually very normal.

The reason why your bearded dragon is eating the dead skin is simply for nutritional purposes.

It’s absolutely fine and natural for them to engage in this behavior.

Skin Color

Skin Color

Another thing that you might observe when your bearded dragon is getting ready to shed, is their skin changing color.

You’ll be able to notice the first signs of shedding, as their bodies will begin to be covered in dry, scaly patches.

This will give their skin the appearance of being incredibly light, because it will be detached from their bodies.

If you take a closer look, you’ll be able to see that the skin underneath is incredibly fresh and vivid in color.


You may notice that when your bearded dragon is getting ready to shed their skin, that they become incredibly docile and sleepy.

Many owners have actually reported that their bearded dragons become incredibly lethargic during this time, and don’t have much energy to spare.

The reason why this happens is because shedding their skin is actually a strenuous process.

They have to find the energy to get rid of large patches of skin, and then detach it from their bodies.

If you’ve provided them with the correct setup in their habitat as we mentioned above, then you’ll notice them continuously rubbing their bodies against the rough surfaces.

As you can imagine, this can become incredibly taxing, and might wear your bearded dragon out over time.

During this time, it’s best to leave them to their own devices, and not engage them in play, or handle them too much. Doing so could make them feel even more tired.


You might be able to notice whether your bearded dragon is planning on shedding soon simply by observing their face.

A bearded dragon that is getting ready to shed will typically have very visible eyeballs.

In fact, these tend to look enlarged when they’re planning on shedding.

They might also look a little misted too, but don’t worry, this is completely normal and doesn’t mean that they’re unwell.

The bulging eyes are actually a tactic used by your reptilian pet in order to get rid of the dead skin surrounding that area.

Frequently Asked Questions

Now that we’ve taken a look at all of the ins and outs surrounding the bearded dragon’s shedding process, we can begin to answer some frequently asked questions that some of you had.

To find out the answers to some commonly asked questions, keep reading below.

Can I Handle My Bearded Dragon When They’re Shedding?

The answer to this question is yes, but you shouldn’t.

Although it’s possible to handle your bearded dragon when they’re undergoing the shedding process, it should be avoided at all costs.

Handling your bearded dragon whilst their shedding could be extremely stressful or uncomfortable for them, to the point where they might bite you as a result.

Although we love handling our pets, it’s important to think of them first and foremost.

By picking up your bearded dragon you could potentially accidentally peel off a portion of their shedding skin.

This could lead to a whole host of different issues, including infection.

The only time you should pick up your bearded dragon during the shedding process is if you notice an unruly portion of dry skin.

As we mentioned above, you can then move them to a lukewarm bath, and then back to their habitat.

This should be the extent of your handling them during this time.

In addition, make sure that whenever you bathe your bearded dragon, that the water is pure and has been dechlorinated to avoid irritating their sensitive skin.

Will My Bearded Dragon Eat Whilst Shedding?

As we mentioned above, it is completely normal for your bearded dragon to have a reduced appetite when they’re shedding.

They might blatantly refuse to eat, but don’t worry this is natural.

The reason why they refuse to eat their regular diet, is because they prefer to eat their own dead skin during this time.

It sounds very strange, but it’s a completely normal process for your reptilian friend. Just let them get on with things during this time.

Final Thoughts

To sum up, bearded dragons will shed several times throughout their lifetime.

The majority of the shedding happens in the first 6 months of their lives, because their bodies are growing and developing, and need to accommodate for more space.

Gradually, as your bearded dragon reaches maturity, they’ll still shed their skin from time to time, purely as a cleaning process.

Dorothy Razo