Yes, bearded dragons do eat their shed skin. This is normal behavior and should not worry pet owners. Shed skin is high in calcium, so sometimes bearded dragons eat it to take advantage of this important mineral.
Shedding is a natural process for bearded dragons as they outgrow their skin, and eating the old skin can provide them with extra nutrients such as calcium.
It is important to note that not all bearded dragons eat their shed, and it is not necessary for pet owners to feed it.
It is safe for bearded dragons to eat their shedding, but pet owners should ensure that they offer the right environment for this practice.
Under no circumstances should pet owners pull the shedding off their bearded dragon themselves
Eating Habits And Digestive System Of Bearded Dragons
The bearded dragon digestion system is designed to break down proteins from meat sources more efficiently than carbohydrates from plant sources, so their diet should be heavily weighted towards animal-based food items for optimal nutrition.
In addition to regular meals, bearded dragons will also eat pieces of their own shed skin in order to obtain additional nutrients that cannot be obtained from other foods.
Shedding occurs periodically throughout the life of a bearded dragon; however, it does not necessarily indicate poor health or improper husbandry practices when done in normal amounts.
Therefore, eating their shed skin can actually benefit a bearded dragon’s overall wellness by providing extra vitamins and minerals that would otherwise not be available through its traditional diet regimen.
To ensure an adequate supply of vital nutrients while maintaining good digestive health, it is important to provide appropriate portion sizes and varieties of food depending on age and size of the individual dragon being fed.
In general, young dragons require smaller prey such as flightless fruit flies compared to larger adults which may feed upon larger prey like locusts or cockroaches.
Reasons Why Bearded Dragons Eat Shed Skin
Bearded dragons are known to be omnivorous, meaning they feed on both plants and animals.
As such, these reptiles can often consume their own shed skin as part of a balanced diet.
One example is that of Jason, an experienced bearded dragon owner whose pet was observed consuming its shed skin in the wild.
This behavior may appear strange at first glance but it serves several important roles for the health of the reptile.
First and foremost, eating shed skin provides nutrition for the bearded dragon which aids in healthy digestion and encourages shedding when necessary.
Shedding is essential for maintaining optimal levels of hydration in the body by removing old dry layers from the scales and allowing new ones to form beneath them.
Because reptiles lack sweat glands like humans do, losing water through their skin helps regulate temperature during hot days or cold nights while preventing dehydration over time.
Consequently, incorporating shed skin into a bearded dragon’s diet will help ensure proper shedding cycles occur regularly.
In addition to providing nutritional benefits, the consumption of shed skin also acts as a source of moisture since most reptiles cannot drink directly from standing water sources due to having primitive digestive systems with short intestines that require food items high in fat content and low-fiber diets like insects instead of vegetation.
Therefore, including this additional source of moisture within their meals allows them to remain hydrated even without access to large bodies of water nearby.
Furthermore, ingesting small amounts of exoskeleton material ensures their stomach acids are strong enough to digest any other prey consumed later on down the line.
Eating shed skin plays an integral role in promoting good health among bearded dragons thanks to its ability to provide supplemental nutrition along with being a reliable source of extra moisture needed for proper digestion within the reptilian physiology.
Nutritional Benefits Of Eating Shed Skin
Bearded dragons, a popular pet reptile in the United States, often engage in eating their own shed skin due to its nutritional benefits.
Shedding is an important process for these animals as it helps them rid themselves of old and damaged outer layers of skin that have been replaced with new ones.
While shedding does not provide any nutrition directly, consuming the shed skin can be beneficial for bearded dragons nutritionally.
The scales on the dragon’s body contain beta-carotene which aids in the absorption of Vitamin A.
This vitamin is essential for eye health and supports other bodily functions such as immunity, gene expression, and reproduction.
Eating shed skin also provides calcium which promotes healthy bones and teeth while helping to regulate muscle contractions including heartbeat.
This behavior increases moisture intake which contributes to hydration within the body, especially during periods of hibernation or cooling off between seasons when food may be scarce.
As a result, beardies are able to gain additional nutrients by taking advantage of what they already possess biochemically through their shedding cycles.
Tips To Encourage Shedding
The irony is one of the best tools to describe shedding in bearded dragons.
Shedding in these reptiles can seem like an endless task, especially when trying to encourage it for their health and overall well-being.
It’s important to understand what this process entails and how to ensure it happens regularly.
When attempting to encourage shedding in a bearded dragon, there are several helpful tips that should be considered:
- Provide them with warm baths: Warm water helps soften the old skin so they can more easily shed it. This also allows them to soak any areas where they may have been struggling to get rid of their tough old skin.
- Increase humidity levels: Increasing humidity encourages shedding by softening the dead skin on their body as well as helping loosen up scales or toes stuck together from dried-out shed pieces. A humidifier placed near your dragon’s enclosure will help provide adequate moisture levels within the habitat.
- Utilize exfoliants: Exfoliation products such as Nolvasan Otic Cleanser can be used to gently brush away dry patches of skin without causing any irritation or discomfort for your reptile companion.
- Make dietary changes: Including more protein and fat into their diet has been shown to increase shedding activity due to its ability to boost natural oils which keep their skin healthy and hydrated. Adding vitamin supplements specifically designed for reptiles has also been known to aid in encouraging regular shedding cycles.
It is essential that you follow all recommended care procedures while encouraging shedding in a bearded dragon, including proper monitoring throughout the entire process and providing moist hiding spots if needed for comfort during shedding times.
Keeping track of your pet’s environment and diet will make sure that they stay healthy and comfortable while undergoing this important part of life cycle maintenance.