We are typically asked questions on Shedding, so I have made a decision to write a little something on the subject. “Shedding is to cast off hair, feathers, skin, or other covering or parts by natural process.” in this situation we are especially talking about skin. Bearded Dragons shed off their top layer of skin exposing their “new” skin underneath.
This process typically happens due to growing. Pogona vitticeps Bearded Dragons shed countless times in their first year and slow down their sheds after the 1st year; often because they’re not growing as quick. There is not any “right” period of time, as it relies on the individual rate of growth and spurts that he / she may go thru.
Keep them hydrated
When bearded dragons are close to losing; their skin color appears muted and lifeless. It’s important to keep them hydrated during this time as it helps them to lose faster so the losing skin not upsetting them as much. You can aid this by stepping up your misting rituals and/or baths. There are some products out on the market that help in this process also. I personally do not feel it is totally obligatory. Baths and mistings typically do the job quite nicely.
They may not eat food
During your beardie’s shed period he/she may not eat as much and occasionally refusing food altogether. Don’t panic, it is normal behavior. That having been said you do not need your dragon to go without food for a lengthy period of time so misting and baths are a good and required thing – to speed it along. You’ll witness some standard behaviors as well during shedding – like rubbing their face against rocks, branches, and even other dragons!
They also scratch at their neck and face with their hind legs ( like a dog ) now and then. Rubbing their bodies along the base of the enclosure, eye-bulging ( for new beardie folks this is going to be the 1st time you see eye prominent – don’t freak lol ) and lots of other entertaining things! – all of these things are done in efforts and wants to loosen and rub off the old skin.
Don’t try to ‘help’ him!
Unlike snakes who shed off their skin in one neat piece, Bearded Dragon sheddings come off in patches. Unlike Geckos, Bearded Dragons don’t eat their sheddings. Sometimes you can see one eat a tiny piece, and that is generally done by mistake. If you see him eat a piece – don’t sweat it is not going to damage him. I know enticement is great during shed times, but please PLEASE don’t attempt to peel his skin off to “help” him.
You can probably damage the new skin beneath that isn’t be utterly prepared to be exposed not to mention damaging keratinous scales that won’t be absolutely formed yet. In my best Martha Stuart’s voice, “It’s NOT a good thing!” I know it’s hard particularly when you see how concerned & annoyed they’re – attempting to breach the skin and remove it, and how unpleasant they’re with skin sticking out all over the place looking like something from a horror flick!
Please repeat after me “I guarantee not to skin & pick!” When you see him getting exasperated mist him down and / or give him a pleasant bath also you can try rubbing him gradually with a soft toothbrush while he’s in the bath ( see Bath Time Page ). Shortly you’ll see whatever surprise he has lurking under the old skin…