Top 10 Bearded Dragon Shedding Tips
Shedding is very common within the animal kingdom, particularly in reptiles such as a bearded dragon. Many species will shed for a variety of different reasons.
Don’t be alarmed if you notice substantial shedding from your bearded dragon, especially if it’s during its first few months or before reaching adulthood.
There are a number of reasons for shedding and here are some useful tips to help your beardie along during the shedding process.
Following these guidelines will hopefully ease the stress on your bearded dragon, and fill you in on best practices for dealing with this process.
Why Bearded Dragons Shed
Shedding occurs in Bearded dragons for two primary reasons. One of which is due to growth. As your beardie’s body expands, its skin can’t keep up, and it will leave behind old, dead scales.
Second, your beardie may shed to replace damaged skin. Skin that is unhealthy or has suffered some type of trauma can be replaced easily and efficiently through shedding.
After that, shedding will become progressively less common and in its mature stage of life, may only happen once or twice per year.
1. Increase Bath Time
Shedding can be a potentially uncomfortable (although natural) experience for your beardie, and one thing you can do to ease the experience for it, is to bathe it frequently.
During bath time, certain additives can help moisturize and strengthen your pet’s skin. If you are unsure about bathing your beardie, you can find some tips on giving a bearded dragon a bath right here.
It will also replace any lost electrolytes or irons which your beardie will need for a good healthy shed.
2. Increase Tank Humidity
Another process that will help your beardie along during its shedding phase is to increase tank humidity.
Using a humidity sensor (hygrometer) to monitor tank humidity levels is recommended so that you can fine-tune the exact level of humidity within the tank.
Softening up your bearded dragon’s scales through increased tank humidity will make shedding quicker and easier for your animal. You can find out how to maintain the optimum humidity right here.
3. Place Shedding Aids Inside the Tank
Shedding is a natural process and bearded dragons, along with other reptiles, have perfected shedding over millions of years.
Naturally, your lizard will use objects within its habitat to rub against and dislodge old, dead scales from its body.
Including rocks and driftwood inside the terrarium is recommended to help speed along the process and let your beardie do what comes naturally. Rubbing against these objects will help your beardie enormously.
4. Tail Rot
Sometimes when shedding recurringly fails to complete its process, the accumulation of old skin can lead to tail rot. Tail rot is a serious condition for bearded dragons and is the result of an internal infection.
You can actually take action to remedy and prevent tail rot. One solution is through soaking your beardie in a bath that has water diluted with Betadine.
This allows your beardie to fight off the suspected tail rot more efficiently.
Make sure to select the ‘no sting’ product though, as the alternative can be harmful to your beardie. The one you want can be found below.
5. Do Not Pull Off the Shed
Under no circumstances should you manually attempt to remove shed from your lizard’s body.
Shedding is a natural process and even though it might be tempting to “help” your lizard along by pulling off the excess shed, you must allow your bearded dragon to do this naturally.
6. Consider Shedding Products
Bathing is one of the natural processes that your lizard will go through that will help in the shedding process. If you are concerned that the shed is being quite persistent and not removing itself then you could consider using Zilla Shed Ease.
Shed Ease is a product that will make bath-time an opportunity for your pet to shed more easily.
Aloe Vera and other natural ingredients found in this product will gently soften and exfoliate your bearded dragon’s skin which will be a big help when it attempts to shed.
7. Increased Mood Swings –Give Them Space
Shedding is a big deal and can take its toll on your pet’s emotional state. Make sure to give it plenty of space and avoid excessive handling while it is shedding.
Most of its energy is involved in going through the shedding phase and it will be less likely to be friendly and happy when being handled.
8. Maintain a Balanced Nutritional Intake
Watch out for diminishing its regular intake of supplements.
Through the shedding process, your beardie will continue to need as much Vitamin B and Calcium as you have been providing.
There is little reason to increase the amount of nutrient supplements you are providing but ensure that it is still receiving its proper dose.
9. Remove Dead Skin from Enclosure to Maximise Hygiene
Once your pet has shed some of its skin, it is definitely okay to remove the dead skin left behind from its habitat. There is no need or reason to leave skin that has been shed in the tank.
These dead skin cells get in the way of good tank hygiene so feel free to scoop them up and toss them.
10. Monitor Appetites
If your bearded dragon has a reduced appetite during its shedding process, monitor it closely, for there could be underlying health problems.
Providing your beardie with the following should keep your pet healthy:
If there are problems that are persisting, however, consider looking for other red flags that could indicate poor general health for your pet.
Shedding is a natural part of your bearded dragon’s life. You may not be used to it right away, but you will notice it going through this process many times during its life.
Remember that bearded dragons and other lizards have perfected the art of shedding over an extremely long time.
Shedding could be considered a primal ritual. There are definitely ways to help smooth the process for your bearded dragon, and if your lizard could talk, it would thank you.
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