Bearded dragons are a captivating species of lizard, often kept as pets.
Watching their unique behaviors is like watching an alien creature from another planet – they exhibit such fascinating and curious behavior that it’s hard to look away!
But how long do these mysterious creatures live?
As with any other living being, the healthier you keep your pet dragon, the longer he or she may live.
However, even under good care and proper dieting conditions, bearded dragons usually only live for 10-15 years at best. During this timespan…
- The average life expectancy of a wild bearded dragon is about five to eight years.
- A pet bearded dragon, on the other hand, can live for 8 to 12 years.
- The oldest bearded dragon on record lived to 18 years and 237 days [source]
The life expectancy of bearded dragons varies depending on various factors, including age, nutrition, activity level, genetics, and overall health.
Average Bearded Dragon Lifespan And Aging
Do you think that bearded dragons don’t live long enough? Well, in actuality they have an average lifespan of 8 to 12 years.
That’s a good amount of time for such a fascinating pet!
During the winter months, many bearded dragons will undergo brumation, a period of dormancy similar to hibernation.
Depending on the season, females may lay eggs several times throughout the year after brumation.
After that, they usually attain maturity between 2 and 3 years of age, although some may reach sexual maturity as early as 6 months.
Note: It’s worth noting that females will lay unfertilized eggs regardless of the presence of a male bearded dragon. On the other hand, fertilized eggs will hatch between 55 and 75 days, and a single clutch may contain up to 20 eggs.
The Six Life Stages Of A Bearded Dragon
Bearded dragons, or Pogona vitticeps, are fascinating creatures that have a lifespan divided into six distinct life stages.
Like a caterpillar to butterfly transformation, the bearded dragon’s journey of life is an incredible metamorphosis.
The first stage is hatching; this usually occurs within minutes and marks the beginning of their new lives.
Next comes juveniles, where they learn skills needed for adulthood such as hunting and basking on rocks in sunlight.
Puberty follows shortly after when they start growing rapidly and becoming more independent from their parents.
The fourth phase is adulthood which can last up to 3 years depending on genetics and health.
Here they reach sexual maturity and may reproduce if conditions allow it.
Afterward, middle age begins with decreasing energy levels due to aging until finally entering old age at around 8 – 10 years old before passing away peacefully in captivity or longer-living wilder counterparts reaching 15+ years of age.
This long journey takes us through many milestones over its lifetime before eventually coming full circle back to its humble beginnings.
With this knowledge, one can make informed decisions about their beloved pet’s age – something that becomes increasingly important as time goes by.
How long do bearded dragons live without food?
It is possible for bearded dragons to go for weeks or even months without food.
In order to determine how long a bearded dragon could live without food, certain factors would need to be considered, such as age, health, and weight.
An adult bearded dragons can survive without food for two months if their fat reserves are sufficient and they drink enough water.
Despite this, it is not recommended since it can cause organ failure and muscle loss.
A juvenile bearded dragon, aged between 6 and 18 months, can go up to one month without food, but it could suffer stunted growth and developmental difficulties.
On the other hand, A baby bearded dragon (less than 6 months old) should never be left hungry because they need protein to grow well and strong.
How long do bearded dragons live without water?
According to their ecology, bearded dragons can survive without water for up to two weeks, depending on their cause.
Due to Australia’s dry and hot climate, bearded dragons are used to being dehydrated quite frequently.
It is possible to go without water for a few days or even a week or two, but this should be avoided as much as possible.
Bearded dragons that are in the process of shedding or are juveniles may require more water.
To keep bearded dragons healthy, they need fresh, clean water every day.
Wild bearded dragons derive most of their water from insects and plant materials they consume.
How long do bearded dragons live with metabolic bone disease?
The lifespan of a bearded dragon with the metabolic bone disease can vary depending on several factors, including the severity of the condition, the age of the dragon at the time of diagnosis, and the effectiveness of treatment.
In some cases, bearded dragons with metabolic bone disease may only live for a few months, while others may live for several years.
In moderate to advanced cases of MBD, dragons can recover, but the process is very long and painful, and they may be permanently scarred or deformed.
It can take up to six months for bearded dragons with advanced cases of MBD to walk and move regularly.
How long do bearded dragons live without heat?
To regulate their body temperature, bearded dragons need an external source of heat.
Due to their inability to self-regulate their body temperature, they depend on the light cycles of the day to survive.
In order to maintain good health, bearded dragons should always have access to heat, and they shouldn’t live without heat for more than 24 hours at a time.
It is possible for bearded dragons to become inactive and sluggish if the ambient temperature drops below 65°F (18.333°C).
In the absence of heat for more than 24 hours, reptiles will be unable to move and eat, resulting in death.
Factors That Can Affect Your Bearded Dragons Lifespan
Bearded dragons tend to live longer when they are larger. Male dragons tend to live longer when they are compared to females, especially after they have given birth.
Inbreeding also contributes to deformities and genetic issues in bearded dragons.
A silkback bearded dragon has smooth scales due to being selectively bred. Mutations like this can cause skin problems, resulting in shorter life expectancies.
Let’s look at the other different factors that can affect a Bearded Dragons Lifespan:
Diet and nutrition – Bearded Dragons need a varied diet with essential vitamins and minerals for optimal health. Poor nutrition can lead to shorter lifespans due to organ damage and other health issues.
Environment – Keeping your dragon in an appropriate temperature range is essential for its well-being. Extreme temperatures can be damaging and put stress on the body which can shorten lifespan as well as cause serious illnesses such as metabolic bone disease.
Genetics – Some breeds have longer lifespans than others, so this could play a role in how long they live. Additionally, if any family members suffer from certain hereditary diseases then this too could affect their longevity and quality of life.
Exercise – A lack of exercise can lead to obesity and other conditions that sap away at a dragon’s energy reserves leading them to an early death. Providing ample space for physical activities allows them to stay active while promoting better overall health.
Stress levels – Similar to humans, excessive stress has been linked to shortened lifespans in many animals including bearded dragons. Minimizing environmental changes like loud noises and sudden movements will keep them relaxed and contented which helps extend their lives significantly over time.
Health Care – Regular visits with vets are important for detecting potential problems before they become life-threatening situations that drastically reduce lifespan potential. Proper preventative measures like vaccinations also help by warding off deadly viruses like salmonella which have been known to kill reptiles quickly if left untreated.
How To Tell Your Bearded Dragon’s Age
Knowing your bearded dragon’s age is important for giving them the best care possible. Here are a few ways to tell your beardie’s age:
Look at the size – A baby or juvenile dragon will measure about 8 inches in length from head to tail tip. As they age, their body grows longer until they reach adulthood, which is around 18-20 inches long.
Observe behavior – Younger dragons tend to be more active than older ones who may prefer basking in the sun all day rather than running about and exploring new things.
Check coloration – Baby dragons have bright colors that start to fade as they get older and become duller with time. They also develop stripes on their backs as they mature, while juveniles have spots instead of stripes along their bodies.
Inspect teeth – Older bearded dragons’ bottom jaw teeth wear down over time due to eating hard foods like crickets and mealworms, while younger dragons usually retain sharp edges on theirs since they’re only eating softer food sources such as insects and greens.
Also, another way is to contact the breeder who sold it to you, as they should have detailed birth records.
How To Improve Your Bearded Dragon’s Lifespan? Herpetologist’s Suggestion
With regular veterinary visits and careful monitoring of their diet, environment, and behavior, these lizards can truly thrive as part of your family for many years – provided you take the necessary steps to keep them healthy.
A veterinary exam at least once a year is recommended. In the event that you recognize signs of a restless brumation, take her to the vet regularly.
Also, you can prevent some common health issues with proper care such as:
- Mouth rot
- Gut impaction
- Body temperature issues – overheating or too cold
- Respiratory illness
- Eye infection
Regular bloodwork and yearly fecal parasite testing are important components of a comprehensive healthcare plan for a bearded dragon.
Bearded dragons can develop health problems that may not be apparent from physical examination alone.
Bloodwork can help detect underlying health issues such as metabolic bone disease, liver disease, or infections.
By monitoring blood parameters regularly, any abnormalities can be detected early, allowing for prompt intervention and treatment.
Also, Bearded dragons can be susceptible to internal parasites, which can cause gastrointestinal problems and other health issues.
Yearly fecal parasite testing can help detect any parasitic infections early and allow for prompt treatment.
All newly arrived reptiles should be quarantined for 3-6 months while being tested by your veterinarian.
- Disease prevention: Newly acquired reptiles may be carriers of infectious diseases that can spread to other animals in the collection. Quarantine and veterinary testing can help identify any diseases or parasites the new reptile may have and prevent the spread of those diseases.
- Stress reduction: Transport and acclimation to a new environment can be stressful for reptiles, and quarantining them for a period of time can allow them to adjust to their new surroundings and settle in before being introduced to other animals.
A proper terrarium lighting system, which includes appropriate temperature gradients, humidity, and ultraviolet light, should be in place
Keep thermal burns away from floors and heat mats
Also, you need to keep in mind that –
- Large terrariums are recommended for bearded dragons — at least 2-3 times the length of their nose-to-tail
- Even if UV bulbs still function with visible light, change them every 6 months
- If your dragon likes to crawl on things or burrow under things, provide it with safe items.
- Don’t cohabit! It is not a good idea to keep more than one bearded dragon at the same time unless you plan to breed them
- Maintain a constant temperature in the tank.
- Your dragon will sleep better if the terrarium is completely dark at night.
Diet plays a huge part in your dragon’s overall health, so make sure she gets a balanced diet with adequate nutrients for her age.
Don’t overfeed: obesity and other health problems can result from overfeeding. Do not feed dehydrated insects – they don’t contain any nutritional value
It’s recommended to feed them fresh vegetables like Collard greens, mustard greens, prickly pear, and turnip greens. Be sure to provide calcium and multivitamins to your bearded dragon
Avocados, mushrooms, and rhubarb are all poisonous to dragons. So you should keep them away.
It’s remarkable that with proper care, beardies can live up to 15 years in captivity. With their bright colors and quirky personalities, they make wonderful companions for any reptile enthusiast.
From healthy diets and adequate housing to regular vet visits and scheduled baths – these are just some of the many ways you can help extend your scaly friend’s life expectancy. It may take extra effort on our part but it’s worth it if only to have more moments with this amazing creature!