Do Bearded Dragons Shed Their Skin? 

Shedding, scientifically known as molting, is a cyclical phenomenon that occurs as bearded dragons outgrow their current skin layer. It is a natural process for bearded dragons, that allow them to shed their old skin to make way for new growth.

Some pet owners have noticed skin-eating behavior in their pets. This behavior raises several questions: Do Bearded Dragons Eat Their Shed? It is obvious that bearded dragons shed their skin. Different myths have created some folks think it’s because they’re trying to recycle nutrients, like when you compost food scraps to make new soil. Others say it might be something they learned from their wild ancestors.

This post is all about why your bearded dragons shed their skin, how often they do that, and why they eat the shed. Keep reading to know your pet more!

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Why Do Bearded Dragons Shed?

Well, every bearded dragon sheds their skin from time to time. 

The following factors influence shedding in bearded dragons.


Younger bearded dragons shed more frequently than adults because they’re growing rapidly. Baby bearded dragons may shed as often as once every few weeks, while adults may shed every few months.


A balanced diet rich in essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals supports healthy shedding. Bearded dragons require a diet primarily consisting of insects, leafy greens, and vegetables. Calcium and vitamin supplements may be necessary to ensure proper nutrition for shedding.


Proper hydration is crucial for healthy shedding. Bearded dragons should have access to fresh water daily, and some individuals may benefit from occasional misting or bathing to increase hydration levels. Maintaining optimal humidity levels in their habitat can also aid in the shedding process.


Bearded dragons require a warm environment to maintain their metabolism and facilitate shedding. Proper temperature gradients in their habitat, including basking spots with temperatures around 95-100°F (35-38°C) and cooler areas around 75-85°F (24-29°C), are essential for their overall health and shedding process.


Optimal humidity levels are necessary for a successful shedding process. The ideal humidity range for bearded dragons during shedding is around 30-40%. Too much humidity can lead to skin problems, while too little can cause difficulties in shedding.

Skin condition

Skin conditions such as infections or parasites can interfere with the shedding process. Regular monitoring of the bearded dragon’s skin health is important to address any issues promptly. Any signs of abnormal shedding, such as a retained shed or difficulty shedding, should be evaluated by a veterinarian.

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7 Signs That Your Bearded Dragon Is About to Shed

Following are the signs that your bearded dragon is about to shed can help you anticipate and facilitate the shedding process. 

Some of the common signs to look out for:

1. Dull or Faded Skin Color

Before shedding, your bearded dragon’s skin may appear dull or faded in color. This is especially noticeable in areas where shedding is about to occur.

2. Increased Restlessness

Bearded dragons may exhibit increased restlessness or agitation as they prepare to shed. They may pace around their enclosure or rub against objects to help loosen their old skin.

3. Reduced Appetite

It’s common for bearded dragons to have a decreased appetite leading up to shedding. This is typically temporary and normal behavior during the shedding process.

4, Rubbing or Scratching

Bearded dragons may rub or scratch against surfaces in their enclosure to help remove loose skin. You may notice them rubbing their face against rocks or branches, or scratching their body with their claws.

5. Cloudy Eyes

A few days before shedding, bearded dragons may develop a milky or cloudy appearance in their eyes. This is due to a build-up of fluid between the old and new layers of skin, which helps facilitate the shedding process.

6. Peeling or Flaking Skin

As shedding approaches, you may notice small patches of peeling or flaking skin on your bearded dragon’s body. These areas will gradually increase in size as the shedding process progresses.

7. Increased Bathing Behavior

Some bearded dragons may exhibit increased bathing behavior before shedding. They may spend more time soaking in their water dish or show a preference for bathing during this time.

How Often Do Bearded Dragons Shed?

Bearded dragons shed their skin regularly throughout their lives. Shedding frequency for different age groups of bearded dragons:

Baby Bearded Dragons (0-6 months)

Baby bearded dragons shed more frequently than adults because they are growing rapidly.

Shedding may occur as often as once every few weeks during the early stages of development.

As they grow, the frequency of shedding may gradually decrease.

Juvenile Bearded Dragons (6-12 months)

Juvenile bearded dragons continue to shed frequently as they grow and develop.

Shedding typically occurs every 4-6 weeks during this stage of life.

The frequency of shedding may vary slightly depending on individual growth rates and environmental factors.

Subadult Bearded Dragons (1-2 years)

Subadult bearded dragons are nearing maturity and may shed less frequently compared to juveniles.

Shedding may occur every 2-3 months during this stage of life.

As they approach adulthood, shedding frequency may become more consistent and predictable.

Adult Bearded Dragons (2+ years)

Adult bearded dragons shed less frequently than younger individuals because their growth has slowed down.

Shedding typically occurs every few months in healthy adult bearded dragons.

The frequency of shedding may vary based on factors such as diet, environmental conditions, and overall health.

How Long Does Bearded Dragon Shedding Take?

The duration of shedding in bearded dragons can vary depending on factors such as the individual’s age, health, and the specific area of the body shedding. Typically, the shedding process can take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks to complete. Here’s a general timeline for shedding in bearded dragons:

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What To Do When Bearded Dragons Start Shedding? 

When your bearded dragon starts shedding, there are several steps you can take to help facilitate the process and ensure your pet’s comfort:

Pre-shedding Phase

Before shedding begins, your bearded dragon may exhibit certain behaviors and physical signs indicating that the shedding process is imminent. During this pre-shedding phase, you can take several steps to prepare and facilitate the shedding process:

  1. Monitor Skin Condition: Keep a close eye on your bearded dragon’s skin for any signs of dullness or fading in color. This can indicate that shedding will occur soon.
  2. Maintain Optimal Humidity: Ensure that the humidity levels in your bearded dragon’s enclosure are appropriate for shedding. Increasing humidity slightly can help soften the old skin and make shedding easier. You can achieve this by misting the enclosure or providing a shallow water dish for soaking.
  3. Offer Regular Baths: Encourage your bearded dragon to soak in a warm bath a few times a week leading up to shedding. This helps hydrate the skin and loosen the old skin layers.
  4. Avoid Handling: Minimize handling your bearded dragon during the pre-shedding phase to reduce stress and discomfort. Allow your pet to prepare for shedding undisturbed.

Shedding Phase

Once shedding begins, your bearded dragon will actively shed its old skin. During this phase, you can take the following steps to support and assist your pet:

  1. Provide Rough Surfaces: Place rough or textured surfaces, such as rocks or branches, in the enclosure to help your bearded dragon rub against them and facilitate shedding.
  2. Monitor Shedding Progress: Keep an eye on your bearded dragon’s shedding progress to ensure that it is shedding evenly and that there are no areas of retained shed. If you notice any retained shed, you may need to intervene by gently removing it with damp cotton swabs.
  3. Offer Warm Baths: Continue to offer warm baths to your bearded dragon during the shedding phase. Bathing helps soften the old skin and can make shedding more comfortable for your pet.
  4. Maintain Proper Nutrition: Ensure that your bearded dragon continues to eat during shedding, even if its appetite is slightly reduced. Offer a balanced diet rich in nutrients to support overall health and the shedding process.

Post-shedding Phase

After shedding is complete, your bearded dragon will have shiny, fresh skin underneath. During this post-shedding phase, you can take the following steps to ensure your pet’s continued well-being:

  1. Monitor Skin Health: Check your bearded dragon’s skin for any signs of irritation or injury. Ensure that the new skin is healthy and free from any abnormalities.
  2. Resume Handling: Once shedding is complete and your bearded dragon’s new skin has hardened, you can gradually resume handling your pet. Be gentle and cautious to avoid causing any discomfort or stress.
  3. Maintain Regular Care: Continue to provide proper care and maintenance for your bearded dragon’s enclosure, including temperature regulation, hygiene, and enrichment activities.

By following these steps throughout the pre-shedding, shedding, and post-shedding phases, you can help ensure a smooth and comfortable shedding process for your bearded dragon, promoting its overall health and well-being.

Problems with Bearded Dragon Shedding 

Healthy bearded dragons shed their skin quarterly so their skin does not get wasted. The problem in shedding occurs if your pet is not healthy. This is due to several reasons behind this. Whether your pet is not healthy, there may be health issues or environmental factors. 

  1. Retained Shed: Old skin remains attached, leading to potential health issues.
  2. Incomplete Shedding: Patches of old skin persist, causing discomfort and irritation.
  3. Skin Irritation or Injury: Rubbing against rough surfaces or sharp objects can lead to skin problems.
  4. Stress or Discomfort: The shedding process can be stressful for bearded dragons, especially if it’s prolonged or difficult.
  5. Dehydration: Insufficient hydration can make shedding difficult and lead to retained shed.
  6. Skin Infections: Bacterial or fungal infections can develop if old skin remains stuck or if the skin is damaged during shedding.
  7. Eye Problems: Bearded dragons may experience difficulty shedding around their eyes, leading to eye irritation or infection.
  8. Tail Tip Necrosis: Improper shedding of the tail tip can result in necrosis, where the tissue dies due to lack of blood flow.

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Do Bearded Dragons Eat Their Shed?

Bearded dragons do sometimes eat their shed skin. This behavior is observed in both wild and captive bearded dragons and is considered normal. 

There are a few reasons why bearded dragons eat their shed:

Instinctual Behavior

In the wild, bearded dragons may consume their shed skin as a way to avoid leaving behind evidence of their presence, thus reducing the risk of predation.

Nutritional Value

Shed skin contains nutrients such as protein and minerals, so it provides some nutritional benefits to bearded dragons.


Eating shed skin can help clean their environment by removing traces of shed skin that could attract pests or pathogens.

Social Learning

Bearded dragons learn this behavior from other dragons in their environment, especially if they observe conspecifics consuming shed skin. They develop a habit of eating shed skin over time, especially if they find it satisfying or enjoyable.

Stress Reduction

Consuming shed skin may have a calming effect on bearded dragons, helping to alleviate stress or anxiety.


Eating shed skin allows bearded dragons to recycle nutrients and conserve energy, as they don’t need to expend energy finding food to replace the nutrients lost during shedding.

Overall, while the exact reasons why bearded dragons eat their shed skin may vary, it’s generally considered a harmless behavior. As long as your pet is otherwise healthy and well-nourished, there’s typically no need for concern if it consumes its shed skin.

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The Bottom Line

It’s pretty normal for bearded dragons to eat their shed skin. It might seem strange, but it’s just one of their quirky habits. If you’re wondering whether it’s okay for your bearded dragon to snack on their old skin, don’t worry too much. 

Generally, it’s safe and natural for them. But if you’re ever unsure or worried about your pet’s health, it’s best to chat with a vet who knows about reptiles. To keep your bearded dragon happy and healthy, make sure they have a good diet and a clean home, and you keep an eye on their shedding process. Just stick to these simple tips, and your scaly friend will be just fine!

Olivia Eva

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