Bearded dragons generally stop growing at around 12 to 18 months old and have reached their maximum length, which is around 16 to 24 inches long and between 400 to 550 grams in weight.
However, it is important to note that this is a generalization, and some bearded dragons may continue to grow slightly past this age. Therefore, bearded dragon owners need to monitor their pet’s growth and weight to ensure they are healthy and not becoming obese.
While bearded dragons can continue to gradually put on a little more weight, especially around their tail, it is important to watch carefully for any signs of obesity. Bearded dragons can live long and healthy lives as beloved pets with proper care and attention.
The Growth of Bearded Dragons
When bearded dragons are born, they are about 3 inches long. During this phase, they are very fragile and require special care to ensure they grow up healthy. They need a lot of warmth and humidity and should be fed small insects such as crickets or mealworms. During this phase, bearded dragons will grow rapidly and shed their skin frequently.
During the juvenile phase, bearded dragons will continue to grow rapidly but slower than during the hatchling phase. They will also start to develop their characteristic beard, which they use to communicate with other bearded dragons. This is the phase where they will start to eat more vegetables and fewer insects. They will also start to become more active and playful.
During the sub-adult phase, bearded dragons will slow down their growth rate. They will become more territorial and may start to show signs of aggression toward other bearded dragons. They will also start to eat even more vegetables and fewer insects. This is the phase where they will develop their adult coloration and pattern.
Once bearded dragons reach adulthood, they will stop growing in size. They will have reached their full size and weight, ranging from 16-24 inches in length and 400 to 550 grams in weight. During this phase, they will become less active and more relaxed. They will also become more independent and less interested in interacting with their owners.
Throughout their growth stages, providing bearded dragons with appropriate housing, lighting, heating, a balanced diet, and proper care is important. In addition, bearded dragons can grow into healthy and vibrant adult reptiles with proper care.
Signs of Stunted Growth
Monitoring your bearded dragon’s growth is important to ensure they are healthy. Stunted growth can be a sign of underlying health problems or improper care. Some signs of stunted growth include:
- Small size compared to other bearded dragons of the same age
- Slow growth rate
- Thin body
- Abnormal posture or movement
If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to consult with a veterinarian who specializes in reptiles. A veterinarian knowledgeable in reptile medicine can help determine the underlying cause of stunted growth and provide appropriate treatment.
Treatment may include:
- Dietary changes.
- Medication for parasites or infections.
- Changes to the bearded dragon’s environment.
It is important to seek veterinary care as soon as possible if you suspect your bearded dragon is stunted, as untreated stunted growth can lead to long-term health issues.
Factors That Affect Bearded Dragon Growth
Like any living creature, genetics play a role in the growth of bearded dragons. Some bearded dragons may be predisposed to grow larger or smaller due to their genetic makeup. While there is not much that can be done to change genetics, it is important to be aware of this factor when considering the growth of your bearded dragon.
One of the most important factors affecting bearded dragons’ growth is their diet. A diet deficient in essential nutrients can lead to stunted growth and serious health problems.
Bearded dragons require a diet high in protein, calcium, and vitamins. Therefore, it is important to provide a variety of food sources, including insects, vegetables, and fruits, to ensure that your bearded dragon gets all the nutrients it needs.
The temperature and lighting of the bearded dragon’s habitat can also affect its growth. Bearded dragons require a basking spot between 104 to 107°F and a cooler side of the tank around 71 to 77°F. If the temperature is not maintained within this range, it can affect the bearded dragon’s metabolism and growth.
The size of the bearded dragon’s habitat can also affect its growth. Bearded dragons require a spacious habitat that allows them to move around freely. A habitat that is too small can limit their movement and affect their growth. Therefore, it is recommended that a single bearded dragon be housed in a tank that is at least 40 gallons in size.
Here is a summary of the factors that affect the growth of bearded dragons:
|Diet||A balanced diet with proper nutrition is essential for healthy growth.|
|Temperature||Bearded dragons require a specific temperature range to thrive. If the temperature is too low, it can slow down their growth rate.|
|Lighting||Proper lighting is essential for bearded dragons to produce vitamin D3, which is necessary for healthy bone growth.|
|Genetics||Genetics can play a role in the growth rate of bearded dragons. Some individuals may grow faster or slower than others.|
Bearded dragons can thrive and grow into healthy adults by providing appropriate care, diet, and environment. Note that bearded dragons always require access to fresh, clean water. They may also enjoy being misted with water or soaking in shallow water for hydration.
Regular veterinary check-ups are also important for maintaining the health of bearded dragons. Signs of illness such as lethargy, lack of appetite, and abnormal feces should be addressed promptly by a veterinarian with experience in treating reptiles.
In my experience, bearded dragons can also benefit from regular handling to reduce stress and promote socialization. It is important to handle them gently and support their bodies. Proper handling can help your bearded dragons grow well.