Ed dragon eating its own shed with a look of surprised, yet satisfied, contentment

Shocking Truth: Yes! Bearded Dragons Eat Their Shed

Bearded dragons, a popular reptilian pet, are known for their range of behaviors and habits. One such behavior is the occasional consumption of their shed skin.

This article will explore what shedding is, what bearded dragons typically eat, how they consume their shed, the benefits of eating shed, and how to monitor your bearded dragon’s shedding eating habits.

Key Takeaways

  • Shedding is a natural process for bearded dragons to replace old skin with new growth.
  • Bearded dragons consume their shed skin to absorb leftover nutrients and ensure a successful shedding cycle.
  • Eating shed skin provides additional proteins, calcium, phosphorus, vitamins A and D for bearded dragons.
  • Monitoring shed eating habits is important to ensure proper nutrition and track the amount and type of shed consumed.

What Is Shedding

Shedding is the process by which animals periodically cast off old or damaged parts of their skin. It is a natural part of the shedding cycle, in which animals move from one stage to the next as they grow and age.

For bearded dragons, shedding generally occurs over a two-week period of time during which their old skin becomes dry and brittle and is eventually replaced with new growth. The shedding process can be uncomfortable for the dragon, but it is necessary for maintaining healthy scales and allowing them to continue living their best lives.

What Do Bearded Dragons Eat

Reptiles belonging to the genus Pogona regularly ingest their discarded skin. Bearded dragons, a species of Pogona, eat a variety of food sources that provide them with essential nutrition:

  • Insects such as crickets, mealworms, and waxworms
  • Vegetables like collard greens, bell peppers, and squash
  • Fruits including apples and pears
  • Commercial diets formulated for bearded dragon health
  • Shed skin when available.

Though an occasional ingestion of old skin provides no health implications for bearded dragons in captivity, it is important to maintain proper nutrition sources from other food items to ensure overall health.

How Do Bearded Dragons Eat Their Shed

Bearded dragons are known to consume their discarded skin during the shedding process. Shedding frequency and cycle differ between juvenile and adult bearded dragons, but they typically shed about once every four weeks.

The shedding process is necessary for healthy growth, as it removes old skin cells and allows new ones to develop. Bearded dragons will lick their shed skin off of themselves or their surroundings, which helps them absorb any leftover nutrients from the old skin and ensure a successful shedding cycle.

Benefits of Eating Shed

Consumption of shed skin can provide numerous benefits to reptiles, including bearded dragons. Eating patterns are better regulated and their nutritional needs fulfilled. Shedding helps remove parasites and bacteria from the skin. Bearded dragons get additional proteins, calcium, phosphorus, vitamins A and D by eating their shed. This behavior also keeps the enclosure cleaner as they won’t be leaving any pieces of skin around. It gives them an opportunity to practice foraging skills to acquire food items like insects or small plants. And it helps reduce stress levels due to the physical act of shedding itself.

How to Monitor Your Bearded Dragon’s Shed Eating Habits

Monitoring the eating habits of a bearded dragon’s shed can be beneficial to ensure proper nutrition. By observing the nutritional value of the shed and any potential health risks, an owner can quickly identify any dietary deficiencies or problems before it becomes a problem for their pet.

Shed eating can also provide additional vitamins and minerals that may not be available in other food sources. To monitor your bearded dragon’s shedding habits, you should pay attention to how much they are consuming as well as what type of sheds they are eating.

It is important to note that not all sheds will offer the same nutritional value, so keeping track is key.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Often Do Bearded Dragons Shed?

Bearded dragons typically shed every two to four weeks, depending on their age and skin nutrition. Shedding frequency is an important indicator of the dragon’s health and can be used to gauge diet, activity levels, and overall wellbeing.

How Can I Tell if My Bearded Dragon Is Eating Its Shed?

Observing your bearded dragon’s feeding habits can help indicate whether it is eating its shed. Look for signs such as the dragon consuming recently-shed skin, or any skin that still has the original color of its scales. Additionally, increased shedding may be an indication that the dragon is consuming its own shed skin.

Are There Any Risks Associated With a Bearded Dragon Eating Its Shed?

Bearded dragons regularly consume their shed as part of the natural shedding cycle. While it may seem concerning, this behavior provides certain nutritional benefits. As long as the shedding process is not disrupted, eating one’s own shed poses no risk to the bearded dragon.

Is It Beneficial for a Bearded Dragon to Consume Its Shed?

The eating habits of bearded dragons can include consuming their own shed. This is part of the shedding process and may be beneficial for them, such as providing additional nutrients or aiding in skin regeneration. Overall, it is an important part of their natural diet.

Do Bearded Dragons Need to Eat Their Shed in Order to Stay Healthy?

Bearded dragons do not need to consume their shed in order to remain healthy; however, consuming it may help them with shedding timing and skin nutrition. Shedding is a natural process, but consuming the shed can assist in this process as well as supplementing the dragon’s diet.


Bearded dragons typically shed their skin several times a year. They have the ability to eat their shed, which has several benefits. Eating one’s own shed provides necessary vitamins and minerals needed for healthy growth. It can also help reduce stress levels by giving the dragon something to do while in captivity. Owners should monitor their pet’s shedding habits closely. It is possible for bearded dragons to become stuck in the shedding process if not monitored properly. In conclusion, bearded dragons are capable of eating their shed and benefit from doing so when properly monitored by their owners.

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