Top 6 Safe & Effective Ways To Help a Shedding Bearded Dragon

Shedding is simply a part of life for bearded dragons and is something that you shouldn’t involve or concern yourself with… usually.

In fact, it is advisable that if your dragon is shedding, no matter how uncomfortable they look, do NOT under any circumstance pull their shed off for them.

Related: The Ultimate Bearded Dragon Care Guide

While you might think you’re doing them a favor, you’re actually only damaging their new skin underneath.

So, if you can’t exactly pull the shed off… what exactly CAN you do?

Well, just keep reading to discover how to help a bearded dragon shed, the safe way(s)!

bearded dragon shedding

If you want to help your bearded dragon with their shed, your best bet is going to be giving them nice warm baths regularly, to help encourage the outer layer of skin to come off quicker.

You’ll want to fill the tub no higher than their shoulders and be in the bathroom to observe and make sure everything is okay.

Use lukewarm water and allow them to soak for 15ish minutes 2-3 times a week, or 3-4 times a week if the shed is retained/difficult.

If the shed is proving to especially be stubborn, try using a soft bristle toothbrush and GENTLY brushing your dragon while they’re in their bath.

How To Help A Bearded Dragon That Is Shedding

What if My Bearded Dragon’s Shed Isn’t Coming Off?

Bearded Dragon Shed Not Coming Off

If the shed seems to be retained, don’t panic! There are a few measures you can take, many of which have already been discussed.

Try the following measures…

  1. Up bathing them to 3-4 times per week and use a gentle bristled toothbrush to gently brush them.
  2. Massage aloe vera or 100% cocoa butter on the rough shed (but keep them away from basking light so they don’t heat up the oils and burn themselves).
  3. If you fear that the old skin is leading to tail rot or an infection, dilute betadine in a bath and soak them. You can apply Manuka honey on the troublesome spots after they get out and dry off as well.
  5. Consider purchasing Zoo Med Repti Shedding Aid.
  6. If all else fails, seek out a herp vet.
Zoo Med Repti Shedding Aid, 64 ml

What if My Bearded Dragon’s Tail Isn’t Shedding?

If your bearded dragons tail isn’t shedding as quickly as the rest of her body, it isn’t necessarily a cause for concern right out the gate.

The shedding process can take some time and certain areas of the body, like the tail, can indeed shed quite a bit slower than the rest of the body.

Now, with this being said, you are going to want to look for a few warning signs that could signal you might need to get involved…

Warning Sign #1: Their Tail Looks Like Its Shriveling Up or Losing Circulation

Bearded Dragon Tail Losing Circulation

Obviously, a no brainer here, right?

If the tail seems to be shriveling up or your notice what appear to be rings around the tail, then this is likely due to the dragon beginning to lose circulation.

Your best bet at saving the tail is going to be applying aloe vera to it to help promote the shedding OR some owners have applied 100% cocoa butter and had miraculous results as well.

Whatever you do, do not apply anything and then let them immediately go under their heat lamp as this can cause the cocoa butter or aloe vera to burn their skin.

Warning Sign #2: Color on the Tail is Changing Abruptly 

Bearded Dragon Tail Changing Color

If your dragon’s tail seems to have changed color quickly it could be a sign that they are losing circulation.

At this point, you will want to help the shedding process similar to above by introducing aloe vera or 100% cocoa butter.

Simply apply it to the tail at least once a day for several days and keep your dragon away from the heat lamp while the solution is there to avoid it burning them.

What if My Bearded Dragon is Lethargic While Shedding?

Lethargic Bearded Dragon

It’s to be expected that there may be some behavioral differences during a shed, I mean, it isn’t exactly a fun time for your bearded dragon.

If your dragon’s appetite seems to decrease or they seem lazier or grumpier this is pretty normal behavior.

However, if your dragon becomes so lethargic that they seem to barely be moving around their vivarium or refuse to eat for more than a few days, get them a reputable reptile vet ASAP as there could be something more serious going on.

Many first time owners tend to freak out over their bearded dragons shedding, but in reality, this is just a part of nature and although a little unpleasant, doesn’t pose a risk to your dragon.

Just make sure to monitor the process and help them along with regular baths if need be. As long as you’re keeping a watchful eye, you can surely spot signs of trouble before it’s too late.

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2 thoughts on “Top 6 Safe & Effective Ways To Help a Shedding Bearded Dragon”

  1. Thank you for so generously sharing your knowledge of beardies. i’m concerned about my little Henry Lawson (Pogona henrylawsoni). He hasn’t been himself for about ten weeks. On 25 Sep i collected him from boarding at his specialist’s surgery after i’d been away. His nurse said she’d been concerned he was quieter than on other stays, but he’d been using his bowels & eating well. Home again, he was very subdued, hardly moving & staying right away from the light & heat lamp, but feasting & toileting well. i did notice though, that his back foot had shed. This had me thinking he may just be feeling ‘uncomfortable’ during a partial shed but, after 2 weeks i was still concerned enough about him to go back to his doc, when of course, he showed no signs of shedding & looked bright enough! He had blood work done which didn’t reveal anything alarming, he had his poop checked & that looked ok. Given his demeanour while boarding and at home, Spike-Henry’s doctor decided he might do well after a 20 day course of liquid antibiotics, which he hasn’t yet finished. He has been going through a partial shed since the end of Sep 2020. The only thing i can wonder about, is whether his mood might be due to his body not fully shedding before brumation this Feb. He is slowly shedding a patch on his head that includes his ‘brows’, eyelids & ‘eye lashes’. The under tip of his tail has been flaking off & possibly irritating him more, is that his ‘lips’ are shedding, and one nostrel & an ear shedded yesterday.

    Anyway. It’s now Nov & he still takes himself off to bed after food – he has had a VERY good appetite, & still empties his bowels quite impressively – in keeping with how much he has eaten – passing fully digested food in stools. He’s alert & reacts to me observing him, but mostly goes into his hide or the cool end of his tank again quite early afternoon. That puzzles me because his digital thermometer gives optimum temperatures for the three levels of his habitat. i sit him in warm water for 15 minutes every day, so he shouldn’t be dehydrated & i have replaced his Reptisun 10 lamp.
    i’ve had my little chappy for 8 (eight) years. This is the first occurrence of this behaviour. Could it be that he might be dying of old age or is this sort of lethargy common with partial shedding? i don’t expect him to live to be sixteen years old as did my Eastern Dragon who was housed outside, but i don’t want to lose him before his proper time. i guess i should try to stay calm until we finish his meds, but it would be helpful to me (either way) to hear about what you’ve seen happen around partial sheds
    Thank you.


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