Shedding can be an uncomfortable process for bearded dragons and they can sometimes display behaviours that often leave you as an owner confused, to say the least.
But do bearded dragons hide when they shed? Or is this behaviour a sign of another problem that needs addressing?
In this post, we will see if it’s normal for a bearded dragon to hide when they shed, if so, what could cause them to hide, how you can help your bearded dragon shed faster & smoother and much more!
First, let’s take a look at if bearded dragons do actually hide when they shed…
So do bearded dragons hide when they shed? It’s common for bearded dragons to hide when they shed their skin. The shedding process can cause a certain level of discomfort and stress. Hiding along with other behaviours such as eating less and being lethargic are common. This behaviour will generally last a few days and will settle down as the process finishes.
Read On to Find Out…
Do Bearded Dragons Hide When They Shed? (More Info)
Shedding is a process that reptiles are accustomed to by nature but not all reptiles shed in the same way.
Snakes, for example, shed their skin in one long piece which can make the process both short and smooth.
Reptiles like bearded dragons, on the other hand, shed in patches and this increases the duration of the time it takes to shed their skin along with potentially making the process uncomfortable and stressful.
Behaviours such as hiding are common when a beardie is shedding because of this and is not something you should necessarily worry about for the most part.
This is commonly known as ‘shedding blues’ and is usually accompanied by other ‘tell-tale’ behaviours.
(Later in the post, we will talk about simple things you can do to help your beardie shed both faster and smoother to make the process less stressful for them.)
Now let’s take a look at other behaviours your bearded dragon might display when they are shedding…
What Other Behaviours Do Bearded Dragons Display When Shedding?
As previously mentioned, shedding can be a stressful and uncomfortable period for your bearded dragon.
During this time, they can display a number of behaviours that show they are finding the process tough.
Below is a list of common behaviours that bearded dragons display when shedding…
- Decreased Appetite
- Scratching/Rubbing Their Body
If you notice your beardie displaying one or more of these behaviours then it could be a sign that they are either beginning to shed or are uncomfortable during shedding.
You can learn everything you need to know about shedding as a bearded dragons owner by heading over to our easy to follow shedding guide here…
Some of these behaviours can obviously be signs of other problems too and we will take a look at when shedding may not be the cause along with how long hiding usually lasts now…
How Long Should Hiding Last For When Shedding?
How long your bearded dragon will spend hiding when shedding will usually depend on how long the shedding process takes.
The length of time it takes your beardie to shed their skin will also depend on a variety of factors.
Baby and juvenile bearded dragons will usually shed their skin a lot faster than adults and can sometimes fully shed in around 3 days.
As your beardie reaches full adulthood, the shedding process can take around 2 weeks and even up to 3 weeks in certain circumstances.
If the process is taking 3 weeks or over then there could be a problem with stubborn shed or even problems with other factors such as diet and lighting.
The behaviour of hiding will generally last a few days, however, the longer it takes your bearded dragon to shed, the longer the hiding behaviour may continue.
If your bearded dragon is still hiding and even displaying any other of the behaviours we have talked about earlier in the post after the shedding process is completed then it could be a sign that something else is causing the behaviour.
This behaviour could be triggered for a number of reasons including…
- Incorrect Tank Set-Up
If your beardie is still hiding or displaying other unusual behaviours after shedding is completed then check all the other possibilities and consider contacting your vet if you are unsure.
Do All Bearded Dragons Hide When They Shed?
Not all bearded dragons hide when they shed their skin. You may even notice your beardie hiding during one shed and not hiding the next time they shed.
A lot of different factors can determine how easy it is for a beardie to shed their skin including…
- Tank Setup
You might even notice that age can play a part in how easy or difficult it is for your bearded dragon to shed and therefore how often they display behaviours such as shedding.
For example, baby beardies often have much shorter shedding periods and they can usually shed their skin much more easily than a senior bearded dragon that could be shedding over a 2 week period.
Even if your bearded dragon is having a difficult time shedding they might not choose to hide and they might display other behaviours instead.
This will totally depend on the individual personality of your bearded dragon and how they choose to express their any discomfort or stress they are feeling.
Do Baby Bearded Dragons Hide When They Shed?
Even though the shedding process is generally much shorter and easier for baby bearded dragons, they can still find the process difficult and therefore decide to hide or display other behaviours.
Even though hiding is normal for beardies when shedding, it may be a good idea to look at things you can do in order to improve your bearded dragon’s experience when shedding.
Let’s now take a look at things you can do as an owner to help the shedding process become a short and smooth one…
How Can I Help My Bearded Dragon When Shedding?
As we have talked about many times in this post, the shedding process can be a difficult one for some bearded dragons.
With this being said, most shedding problems and difficulties can be helped significantly with adjustments and improvements to things like diet and environment
Here is a list of simple things you can do as an owner to help your bearded dragon have a much better shedding experience...
1. Misting Your Bearded Dragon
Misting is a great way to help your bearded dragon through the shedding process.
When you mist your beardie it helps to keep their skin moist and this, in turn, allows them to shed stubborn areas much easier.
Sticking to a daily misting routine is a good idea and one that we recommend you have even when they aren’t shedding.
2. Bathing Your Bearded Dragon
Giving your beardie a bath is another great way to help them through the shedding process.
Again, similar to misting, bathing your beardie helps to keep their skin moist and can also be relaxing and soothing to their skin if it’s itchy or sore.
We have actually created a new guide that shares all you need to know about how bearded dragons get itchy skin when shedding and what you need to do about it…
Bathing your beardie every 2-3 days is fine if you have a good misting routine in-between.
Remember that you really need to be careful when handling and drying your dragon after the bath whilst they are shedding as they can be both itchy and sore so handling can be painful in certain areas.
3. Shedding Aid
Shedding aids can be used to help your bearded dragon with any stubborn shed they may have.
They generally come as a spray that is similar to misting but it contains a solution that helps remove stubborn shed.
We would only recommend using a shedding aid if your dragon is really struggling with the process and misting, bathing and other solutions aren’t working.
4. Correct Tank Setup
The set up in the tank can have a big impact on how easily your bearded dragon can shed.
Factors like the humidity in the tank are often overlooked and this can help to keep a bearded dragon’s skin in good condition, hydrated and shed more easily.
Having the correct substrate along with plenty of branches and rocks are also essential to allow your beardie a surface to rub up against and remove stubborn areas of shed.
You can see the kind of rocks and branches we recommend by heading over to our recommended tank accessories page right here…
5. Good Quality UVB Lighting
Having high-quality UVB lighting is essential to your bearded dragon’s health and you will almost certainly find them having multiple issues including shedding issues if this isn’t set up correctly.
The UVB light will need to be changed every 6 months and you will also need to purchase a good quality light as this is so important.
You can see how to set up your beardie tank including UVB in our setup guide here…
Or you can see the UVB lighting as well as all the other tank equipment we recommend in this guide here…
6. High Quality Diet
The diet of your bearded dragon can have a huge impact on the quality of their skin and therefore how easy it is to shed.
Providing your beardie with good quality insect protein and greens that are both fresh and high in calcium is essential for their health and also their skin.
Fresh and moist greens that are high in calcium help to build healthy skin and this is something that should always be looking to provide.
7. Basking Lamp
The basking lamp also plays a major role in the quality of a bearded dragon’s skin.
If your beardie has a good quality diet but a poor basking lamp or basking area then they won’t be able to properly digest the nutrients they are consuming.
This means that they can be left with difficulties shedding along with other issues too.
The bottom line is that all the factors have to be inline for your bearded dragon to be healthy and have the best chance of shedding both easily and smoothly.
If you are unsure what the best basking bulbs are for your bearded dragon then we recommend you head over to our new guide right here where we have handpicked our 3 favourite basking bulbs…
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