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Silkback Bearded Dragons: The Ultimate Guide
Silkback bearded dragon care is something that is oftentimes overlooked. However, caring for a silkback bearded dragon is crucial to the health and wellbeing of your silkie.
Unlike standard bearded dragons, silkback bearded dragons have smooth skin. Consequently, silkback bearded dragons have a much more difficult time shedding as compared to normal bearded dragons.
Plus, not only do silkback bearded dragons have a difficult time shedding – they actually shed more often than regular bearded dragons.
As unfortunate as this may be, luckily, we are able to assist our silkback bearded dragons to ensure they have a much easier time shedding.
So, your next question probably is – how do I care for my silkback bearded dragons?
Great question! We’ve decided to create a full silkback bearded dragon care guide to help those that have (or are thinking of getting) a silkback bearded dragon!
Table of Contents
Silkback Bearded Dragon Issues
In terms of overall health, lighting, and diet, the silkback bearded dragon is no different than your average beardie.
However, there is one thing that separates a regular bearded dragon from a silkback bearded dragon – and that is their scales (or lack thereof).
Because silkback bearded dragons have no scales, they struggle with shedding and can suffer from dehydration.
Hydration is a crucial part of the shedding process. Therefore, silkback bearded dragons require additional hydration in order to shed properly.
An improper shed can result in dead skin hanging off your bearded dragon and pulling and tearing its new skin. This can be extremely painful for your beardie.
Also, it can be a nuisance because the hanging skin on its face can get in the way of its vision. Your beardie may even scratch or bruise itself while trying to remove its dead skin.
You can actually tell if a silkback bearded dragon has been properly cared for based on the quality of its skin. If the skin is smooth and silky looking, it’s a sign that your beardie is properly hydrated.
However, if your silkback bearded dragon is wrinkly and dried out looking, you probably need to improve your efforts in taking care of its skin.
How to Care for a Silkback Bearded Dragon
Fortunately, there are several things you can do to help keep your silkback bearded dragon hydrated and healthy. Below is a list of some of the ways in which you can do so.
Pure Aloe Vera
Pure Aloe Vera is an excellent product you can use to keep your silkback bearded dragons skin healthy.
You can either buy it online or your local organic grocery store. However, be sure to get pure and organic Aloe Vera with nothing else added.
We’ve also heard that organic vegetable glycerin is another option as well. You can also find it at your local organic grocery store.
We recommend testing both and seeing which works best for your silkback bearded dragon.
In terms of application, you can either directly apply it to your bearded dragons skin or you can put it in a spray bottle mixed with water.
However, we usually use both of these methods in combination. And don’t worry – we’ll touch more on these topics in the next few sections.
A lesser known way of caring for a silkie bearded dragon is by investing in a Seagrass hammock for their enclosure.
Seagrass hammocks are a rough texture. Hence, when a silkie lays on the hammock, it will assist it during its sheds. The rough texture essentially mimics the natural elements they come into contact with in the wild.
If you’re interested in buying a seagrass hammock, you should definitely check out our guide on the best hammocks for bearded dragons!
Lotions and Other Moisturizers
Keep in mind, there are various other products you can use as well. However, it’s important to be very cautious as they can contain chemicals and other dangerous substances that can actually dry-out or even burn your bearded dragons skin!
If you do venture into testing other products, make sure they are pure and organic!
Note: You should always check with a veterinarian before giving your bearded dragon any type of new product!
Spraying Your Silkback Bearded Dragon
The next way to care for your silkback bearded dragon is to lightly mist it with a spray bottle.
You can either use water or you can create a mixture of aloe vera and water. Put a little bit of pure aloe vera in your spray bottle and shake it for a few seconds.
Give your bearded dragon a single spray and rub it in with your finger. This will help to soothe the skin and allow the aloe vera to penetrate the skin.
If you implement this method, limit spraying your silkie bearded dragon to once a day. This should be more than enough to keep its skin hydrated!
Another important thing to keep in mind is your bearded dragons diet! Silkback bearded dragons, like all bearded dragons, require calcium and other nutrients in order to stay healthy.
Unsurprisingly, these vitamins and nutrients play a vital role in the shedding process. Therefore, be sure you’re giving your bearded dragon a well-rounded diet consistent of different bugs, worms, veggies, and the occasional fruits!
Whenever your silkie bearded dragon does begin to shed, giving them a bath can make a major difference in the shedding process.
When giving your bearded dragon a bath, we highly recommend using a little bit of Zilla Shed Ease and mixing it in with the bath water. This is a product specifically designed to help reptiles shed – and it can do wonders for your bearded dragon! It contains aloe vera and several other emollients that promote shedding. You can pick some up at your local PetSmart or pet store!
So, let’s go over the most effective way to give your silkback bearded dragon a bath.
How to Bathe Your Silkback Bearded Dragon
Note: If any loose skin is still hanging from your reptile, it’s important that you DO NOT attempt to remove it. This can cause permanent scarring on your beardie.
How Often Do Silkback Bearded Dragons Shed?
As we mentioned previously, silkback bearded dragons tend to shed a bit more often than your average beardie.
When silkback bearded dragons are babies, you can expect them to shed once every weeks or so.
As they get older, they will shed a bit less often. When they are around 12 months old, you can expect them to shed around once every month. After 18 months, they will start shedding once every month to two months.
Leatherback vs Silkback Bearded Dragon
Leatherback bearded dragons are similar to silkback bearded dragons in the way they look. They share the same smooth looking skin that silkback bearded dragons possess.
However, unlike silkback bearded dragons, leatherback bearded dragons still have scales. Although, leatherback bearded dragons have much smaller scales as compared to a normal bearded dragon.
Furthermore, leatherback bearded dragons don’t suffer from the same health issues that sometimes plague silkback bearded dragons.
As a result, leatherback bearded dragons are much more popular in the reptile community. They have that ‘smooth’ appearance that is so sought after, but they do not come with the extra maintenance of owning a silkback bearded dragon – nor the potential health and shedding issues.
Below are some images comparing a standard bearded dragon, a leatherback bearded dragon, and a silkback bearded dragon.
Image of Leatherback Bearded Dragon
Image of Silkback Bearded Dragon
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Below are some frequently asked questions when it comes to silkback bearded dragons, taking care of them, and how they came into existence.
How Often Should You Give Your Silkie Bearded Dragon a Bath?
This is dependent on how often your bearded dragon sheds. Whenever your silkie bearded dragon is young, it’s going to shed regularly. Subsequently, you’re going to be giving it lots of baths.
As your silkie gets a bit older, it will shed less often. Therefore, you will need to give it less baths.
However, just because your silkie requires less baths does not mean you should neglect its skin. Continue to regularly spray its skin and moisturize it with water and aloe vera.
How Are Silkback Bearded Dragons Born?
Silkback bearded dragons are born when you breed a leatherback bearded dragon to a standard bearded dragon. Leatherback bearded dragons are a type of bearded dragon that has smaller scales than a normal beardie. They’re basically in-between a silkie and a normal beardie.
When you breed a leatherback to a normal bearded dragon, you have a 25% chance of producing silkie bearded dragon babies.
Of course, you can also breed two silkback bearded dragons to have a guaranteed chance of producing silkie babies.
What is the Average Lifespan of a Silkback Bearded Dragon?
Although silkback bearded dragons can run into health issues because of their shedding and dehydration issues, they are capable of living just as long as normal bearded dragons when taken care of properly. The average lifespan of a silkie is generally around 10 years.
However, unfortunately, a lot of people that buy silkback bearded dragons are unaware of the extra maintenance they require. Consequently, their silkback bearded dragons run into health issues later on.
This happens because a lot of shady bearded dragon dealers will sell silkies without telling the buyer of the extra maintenance they require. They leave this detail out because they don’t want to turn the buyer off from making their purchase.
Should You Lotion Your Silkback Bearded Dragon?
Well, it depends. Overall, we don’t recommend applying anything outside of aloe vera, Zilla Shed Ease, and organic vegetable glycerin. Using these products will be more than enough to keep your bearded dragons skin moisturized.
Nevertheless, some people prefer to use certain baby lotions after bathing their silkies. However, you should always consult with a veterinarian before using any lotions because they oftentimes contain certain chemicals that can burn your bearded dragons skin!
Final Words on Silkie Bearded Dragons
Although silkie bearded dragons require a bit more attention than your average beardie, they make wonderful companions!
They also have beautiful, smooth skin which is becoming increasingly popular in the bearded dragon world. Many people prefer the look of the silkback over a normal bearded dragon!
Anyways, we hope this silkback bearded dragon care guide was of assistance! Hopefully you feel a little more confident in taking care of your scaly friend!