Why Do Bearded Dragons Shed?
Bearded Dragons are one of the most popular lizard pets in the world. They’re calm, low maintenance and look beautiful with those incredible spines on their back. But there is something that comes with owning a bearded dragon that most people may not expect – shedding!
What is Shedding?
Shedding is the natural process of an animal’s skin, or cuticle, being replaced or shed in order to make room for a new layer of skin. In fact, all lizards, including bearded dragons, shed.
So Why Do Bearded Dragons Shed?
Bearded dragons shed for a few reasons. The most important reason for shedding is growth. As bearded dragons grow, their skin does not grow along with them. So, to accommodate for their increasing size, the old skin must be shed for a new, larger layer of skin.
In addition to growth, shedding is important in order to remove any parasites, bacteria or fungus that may be living on the old skin. Bearded dragons also do something called “partial shedding.” During this process, the lizard will shed only a portion of its skin rather than the full body. This process is especially useful in helping to remove parasites, bacteria, and fungus that may have set up residence on their body.
What to Expect When Your Bearded Dragon Sheds
When your bearded dragon sheds, you should expect some color change and perhaps a slight dulling in the appearance of your lizard. This is normal, as different shades of color emerge during the shedding process. In addition, during a full shed, pieces of skin will start falling off, leaving patches of naked skin until the cycle is complete. You will likely see them scratch at their skin or try to bite or rub off the pieces of skin.
Tips to Help with Shedding
There are some things you can do to help your bearded dragon through the shedding process:
- Create Proper Humidity: Making sure the humidity levels in your bearded dragon’s terrarium is at the proper level is key. Proper humidity will help keep their old skin moist, so they can easily shed it off.
- Provide Proper Hydration: Bearded dragons need to stay properly hydrated in order to shed properly. Provide them with fresh water, vegetables, and a balanced diet to ensure proper hydration.
- Offer Shedding Aids: There are some products on the market that are specifically designed to help aid in shedding. Be sure to read all of the labels and research to understand if it is the right fit for your bearded dragon.
Shedding can be a stressful time for both you and your bearded dragon, but with proper care and environmental conditions you can help to make it easier. If you have any concerns, always ask your veterinarian for professional help.