It’s likely that your bearded dragons will damage at least one nail at some point in its life, but the question is, can bearded dragons actually regrow their nails?
Let’s take a look and see if bearded dragons can successfully regrow their nails or if they are gone for good once they are broken?
So can bearded dragons regrow nails? Bearded dragons can actually regrow nails if they are broken. This will depend on how severe the damage is. If the nail is completely ripped out from the root then there is a chance that the nail won’t regrow. Other factors such as a good diet can help the nail regrow successfully.
Read on to find out…
- How you can help your bearded dragon’s nails regrow…
- How long does it take for a nail to regrow?
- What can cause your bearded dragon’s nails to break?
- How can you help to stop them from breaking?
- If you should be trimming your bearded dragon’s nails?
- If you can file your bearded dragon’s nails?
Can Bearded Dragons Regrow Nails (A Closer Look)
As we mentioned at the beginning of this post, it’s likely that your beardie is going to damage and break a nail at some point in their life.
This can be quite distressing as an owner as we want our beloved pets to be healthy, happy and certainly not in any sort of pain or discomfort.
It’s also important to know if the damaged nail will ever grow back or if the nail will permanently be lost or damaged.
Let’s take a look at how likely the nail is to regrow if it’s either broken or totally ripped out.
How Likely Is The nail to Regrow If it’s Only Broken?
If your bearded dragons nail is broken close to the tip then there is a strong chance that it will fully regrow.
The further down the nail that the break happens, the longer it will take to regrow, however, there is still a strong chance it will fully regrow.
There are factors that can affect the growth of the nail (these are explained later in the post) but for a healthy bearded dragon, regrowing a damaged or broken nail should be fine.
How Likely Is The Nail to Regrow If It’s Ripped Out From The Root?
If the nail has been ripped out directly from the root then the chance of it regrowing is slim.
Sometimes it can be hard to tell if the whole nail is fully ripped from the root or if it’s just snapped very low down.
If it’s a very low break then the growth (if at all) can take a very long time indeed. We will talk more about how long nails tend to regrow shortly.
If you suspect that the nail is completely ripped from the root then it might be a good idea to visit your vet, who can check the nail in person and give you their expert opinion.
The bottom line is, if the nail is completely gone then it can often be gone for good.
How Can You Help Your Bearded Dragons Nails Regrow
A great way to help your bearded dragon to have a better chance of growing their nails back is to make sure they have a high-quality diet.
The main aspect to focus on for nail growth is a calcium-rich diet.
As you know calcium is essential for a healthy bearded dragon and it’s also important for the growth of nails too.
According to VCA-Hospitals, some great greens to feed your beardie that are high in calcium include…
- collard greens
- mustard greens
- turnip greens
- bok choy
- Swiss chard
As well as providing a diet that includes calcium-rich greens, you also need to make sure you are providing your beardie with calcium supplementation.
This is backed up by many vets and experts such as Vetstream who says that calcium supplementation is vital for a healthy bearded dragon.
The supplementation will also help to increase the health of your dragon’s nails and the rate of growth.
We recommend using only high-quality brands for calcium supplementation as calcium is so vital to their overall health.
The brand we recommend is Rep-Cal, as this is the most trusted by owners and experts alike.
We have recently put together a post that shares the exact Pel-Cal calcium supplements we recommend you use and where to get them at the best price.
How Long Will It Take For Your Bearded Dragons Nails to Regrow?
It’s really difficult to give a definitive answer to how long it will take for a bearded dragon’s nails to grow back.
This is because it can depend on a number of factors, all of which can make a difference in the amount of time it takes.
The first factor is the quality of the diet your beardie receives. As we just mentioned in the earlier paragraph, a high calcium diet will influence the rate of which the nail will grow back.
If you want to learn more about how important calcium is to your beardie, then check out our recent post that details everything you need to know about calcium as a beardie owner.
The age of your dragon can also have an effect on how fast the nail grows back.
If your beardie is young or in its prime years then there’s a greater chance of the nail growing back faster.
Overall, if your bearded dragon breaks a nail, then it will most likely take a few months to fully grow back. This will obviously depend on the factors we just mentioned and how far down the nail the break is.
What Can Cause a Bearded Dragons Nail to Break
There are a number of reasons why your bearded dragon could either break a nail or get it totally ripped out from the root.
Below we have listed the most common reason why this can happen…
Long carpet – If your carpet at home is long with big loops then there’s a big chance that your beardie could get their nail caught in the loop. This can easily damage and break the nail.
Carpet substrate – Some owners use carpet as a substrate, this can have the same negative effect on your bearded dragon’s nails as the carpet in your home. Using carpet as a substrate is never recommended.
Here’s a post where we list the substrates we recommend you use for your beardie.
Getting caught on clothes – Having a cuddle with your dragon is great, however, you need to think of the clothes you are wearing when you are handling your dragon. Knitted clothes or anything that can catch their nails isn’t recommended and can end up either breaking or ripping out the nail in some cases.
Fights with other beardies – Bearded dragons can easily get their nails broken or ripped out if they get into fights with other beardies. This is why we never recommend keeping 2 of more beardies in the same tank.
Here’s a post that talks all about keeping more than one bearded dragons in the same tank and if it’s ever a good idea.
Excessive digging – There can be a number of reasons for excessive digging with bearded dragons. Some of the most common are females that are about to lay eggs or a tank that’s too hot.
We’ve written a post that shares all the reasons why bearded dragons dig so if your beardie digs a lot this is a great post to check out.
How Can You Stop Your Bearded Dragons Nails From Breaking?
There are lots of things you can do to help keep your bearded dragon’s nails healthy and stop them from breaking.
Let’s take a look at some of the practical things you can do as an owner.
Add Rocks & Branches to Your Bearded Dragons Tank
Adding rocks and branches to your beardies tank is a great way to keep their nails in good shape.
As they regularly climb the rocks and branches, their nails will naturally be worn down and trimmed.
This stops them from becoming too long and sharp and posing a problem with getting caught in carpet and rugs.
Here’s a selection of both rocks and branches we recommend you use in your dragon’s tank that won’t break the bank.
Excavator Clay As Substrate
The substrate you use can make a big difference in the condition of your beardies nails.
Not all bearded dragons dig, however, a lot do, and those that do need a substrate that allows them to dig safely and also keep their nails short and trim too.
This is especially important for gravid females who are far more likely to dig.
The substrate we recommend is Excavator Clay as it allows digging and the moulding of natural caves and hides.
Here we talk more about excavator clay and why we recommend you use it as a substrate.
A high Calcium Diet
We have already talked about the importance of a high calcium diet and how it can help to regrow nails properly.
It’s also worth mentioning that a good diet that is high in calcium is also recommended for keeping your beardies overall health in good shape, including their nails.
Providing the correct greens and veggies combined with a good calcium supplement will help to keep those nails nice and strong.
Remember that is you need more information on the role calcium plays for your beardie and how much to supplement etc, then head over to our post that talks exclusively about calcium for bearded dragons.
Do Bearded Dragons Need Their Nails Trimmed?
Ok, so I could have easily have mentioned this in the last section of the post but I thought it deserved its own heading.
The reptile experts at Pet-MD say that bearded dragons should have their nails clipped/trimmed otherwise they will end up with uncomfortable or even bent toes.
We believe the chances are that if you create a good habitat for your dragon with plenty of rocks and branches then they have a good chance of keeping their nails trimmed naturally.
If this doesn’t seem to be happening for whatever reason then you certainly need to trim your bearded dragon’s nails to keep them safe and comfortable.
If you don’t feel like you can easily trim your beardies nails then you can take them to the vets who should happily do this for you.
Can You File Your Bearded Dragons Nails?
At first, it may seem a little odd to think about using a file on your dragon’s nails but nail files are actually sometimes easier to use than nail clippers depending on how much the nail needs trimming.
If you are using the file to just smooth the nail so it’s not sharp it’s worth considering.
Using a file in this circumstance can be an alternative to using nail clippers.
This is perfectly fine and safe as long as your bearded dragon is calm and not stressed.
If they are well behaved then using a file can be a great way to stop nails from becoming sharp and overgrown.
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