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Ecdysis, also known as shedding in Bearded dragons and other reptilian species, is the process through which organisms renew their skin by removing the outer layer.
Shedding behavior is completely normal, so you should not be worried if you notice that your Bearded dragon’s skin is peeling off.
Ecdysis should occur naturally, but there are some cases where Bearded dragons may need help sloughing the old skin.
Besides, Bearded dragons shed their outer skin throughout their lives, so you should familiarize yourself with the process.
That way, you will be in a better position to help your bearded friend in case the little guy experiences any complications when they are shedding.
Why Do Beardies Shed Their Skin?
Like all reptiles, Bearded dragons shed their skin to give room for growth. To elaborate, a Bearded dragon’s skin is mainly made of keratin, a type of protein that forms a protective layer around the lizard’s body.
The only problem with keratin is that it does not stretch during growth, meaning the lizard cannot grow in its old skin.
As your beardie gets bigger, it will grow a new layer of skin underneath the old one. With time, the lizard will shed the old skin gradually, thus exposing a fresh layer of skin.
The shedding process may vary from one Bearded dragon to another and is also affected by a wide range of factors.
As such, don’t expect your Bearded dragon to shed the same day as your neighbors.
Factors Affecting Shedding In Bearded Dragons
Bearded dragons may shed their skin at different times of the month depending on several factors.
Hatchlings and juveniles shed more frequently compared to their adult counterparts. This is because younger Bearded dragons tend to grow rapidly while the adults grow at a slower rate.
Certain factors in the environment can impact the shedding process in beardies. Moreover, Bearded dragons require a certain level of humidity to shed successfully.
Temperature can also affect shedding in, so ensure that your Bearded dragon is kept in the right conditions.
Moreover, reptiles are more active when the temperatures are a bit high. You should consider setting the temperature in the heating spot between 88°F to 100°F.
Beardie experts recommend that the temperature inside the enclosure should be lowered to 70-75°F at night.
A good diet is essential for beardies, so you should see to it that your pet is being fed nutritious foods.
Bearded dragons that are on a poor can be affected by serious health conditions that may lead to stunted growth, thus interfering with the shedding process.
Calcium-rich foods are highly recommended since they can help prevent dysecdysis, an irregular pattern of sloughing that mostly affects beardies who are suffering from calcium deficiency.
Signs That Your Bearded Dragon Is About To Shed
Bearded dragons may exhibit certain behaviors when they are just about to shed.
If you are keen enough, you will be able to spot these behaviors in good time, thereby allowing you to apply the most effective technique when it comes to helping your beardie shed.
Below are some of the signs that will tell you if your bearded buddy is about to shed:
Bearded dragons tend to become sluggish a few days before they shed their skin.
Beardies have brightly colored skin, but this can change when they are about to renew their skin. If you notice that your Bearded dragon’s skin is turning dull, it could mean they are preparing to shed
Lack of Appetite
Most Bearded dragons may lose their appetite before they start shedding. This can also occur after they are done shedding, so you should check if your pet is eating as it should.
What You Shouldn’t Do When Your Bearded Dragon Is Shedding
During the shedding process, some beardies may fail to shed all the skin from their bodies, resulting in incomplete sheds or stuck shed.
When dealing with stuck shed, you should never peel the skin from the Bearded dragon’s body since it can damage the new skin underneath.
How to Help a Bearded Dragon Shed
You can safely help your Bearded dragon shed their old skin using the below-listed methods:
#1. Regular Misting
If you observe any of the signs mentioned earlier, you should consider misting your bearded friend regularly. You can mist your pet before or during the shedding process.
Misting not only hydrates but also softens the skin, thus giving the beardie an easy time when shedding. Ensure that you use a clean spray bottle to avoid possible health complications.
#2. Frequent Baths
Besides misting, you can also help your bearded buddy by giving them warm baths. Bathing your Bearded dragon frequently can effectively loosen skin in all parts of the body.
When giving baths, ensure that you use lukewarm water to keep your beardie comfortable. To get maximum results, the baths should last for 15 to 20 minutes.
You may have to soak some parts of the body for a longer duration, especially when dealing with tails and toes.
#3. Shedding Aid
Shedding aids are specially formulated for reptiles that go through the process of ecdysis, so you can use them without worrying about the safety of your Bearded dragon.
There are different types of shedding aids in the market, meaning you can choose the product that matches the needs of your lizard.
The Vetericyn Plus Reptile Skin Care and Zoo Med Reptile Electrolyte Soak are some of the go-to options that you can consider using on your Bearded dragon.
These formulations will help you get the job done without causing any side effects. Nonetheless, you need to ensure that the product is applied as directed.
If your Bearded dragon is having a hard time during the shedding process, you can help your pet using any of the methods highlighted above.
Always remember that your beardie can shed old skin on its own, so you only have to ensure that the lizard is getting the care that it deserves.
Providing your Bearded dragon with the right humidity and temperature conditions can help you prevent common shedding problems.