Unlike cats and dogs, it can often times be a little tricky to estimate how large a baby bearded dragon will grow to be simply because first time owners likely don’t have the experience around full-grown dragons that they do around cats and dogs.
Also, because it’s more common sense to understand that a Chihuahua will remain small, while a German Shepherd will grow to be quite large… it’s simply easier to imagine the size your puppy will one day be, as opposed to your bearded dragon.
In addition to this, there are several factors that can really affect an adult bearded dragon’s size.
So, if you’re wondering “How big will my bearded dragon get?”, please consider the following…
The size of your bearded dragon will depend on a range of factors, including the gender of the dragon, the quality of their environment and diet, whether they’re allowed to brumate within the first two years, as well as the dragon’s specific breed and genetics. With this being said, you can expect a healthy adult bearded dragon to grow to be anywhere from 18 to 20 inches long, unless they are a rarer and more petite breed.
To learn more about how you can positively affect the size of your bearded dragon just keep reading OR use the Quick Navigation tool below to be taken directly to a specific topic.
How Big Should My Bearded Dragon Be and How Much Should They Weigh?
How big your bearded dragon should be, as well as how much they should weigh, really depends on the specific breed of said dragon as well as their age.
If you have a Pogona Vitticeps, the most popular kind of bearded dragon, then you can expect them to grow at around the following rate…
3-4 inches by the end of month 1
5-9 inches by the end of month 2
8-11 inches by the end of month 3
9-12 inches by the end of month 4
11-18 inches by the end of month 6
13-20 inches by the end of month 8
16-22 inches by their first birthday
Now, of course your dragon can be longer than this as they continue growing past the first year, but chances are it won’t be by much (a few inches max most likely, if even that!).
What you should notice more so, is your dragon filling out and bulking up some.
How Long Does It Take for a Bearded Dragon to Grow to Full Size?
Although some dragons can continue growing a little bit into their second year of age, many dragons seem to dramatically slow down around 11 to 12 months, typically having reached lengths of anywhere from 15 to 18 inches!
Now, this isn’t to say that your dragon doesn’t have more growing ahead of them into their second year, but chances are, it is very little, as in an inch or two.
Also, the speed at which your dragon will continue to grow will be so gradual you may not even notice it.
This is in direct contrast to the growing boom witnessed within the first 6 months, with bearded dragons growing as quickly as an additional inch per week!
It should also be noted that around the year mark, give or take a few months, is when your dragon should start putting on some weight and bulking up.
How Big Will My Bearded Dragon Be at 1 Year Old?
At one year old, your dragon should be anywhere from 15 to 18 inches long, on average. It is at this age that your dragon will also begin to significantly slow down in their growing process.
Please note the chart below to get an idea of where the average bearded dragon falls in terms of weight and length month by month.
Why Isn’t My Bearded Dragon Growing or Gaining Weight?
If your bearded dragon is below average size and weight (see the chart above for reference), chances are there’s either something wrong with their diet, their habitat isn’t set up correctly, or you’ve let them go through brumation.
Read below to discover how each of these issues can lead to a small and underdeveloped bearded dragon!
They’re Not Getting Adequate UVB Exposure
If your dragon’s habitat doesn’t have a proper UVB bulb (which you can read more about here), then this can definitely lead to slower or stifled growth.
Bearded dragons who don’t get adequate levels of UVB are not able to appropriately absorb calcium from their diet and as such, can develop weak and brittle bones, leading to lethargy and stunted growth.
Also, without the right UVB setup, your bearded dragon can also have a suppressed appetite, leading to stunted growth.
You’re Not Feeding Them a Proper Diet
Unlike more mature bearded dragons, babies need virtually as much protein as they will eat to grow up both big and strong.
If your baby bearded dragon is under 3 months, you should be feeding them crickets 5 times a day for 5-10 minute intervals, allowing them to eat as much as they like.
You Allowed Them to Brumate At a Young Age
Brumation, which is essentially the reptile version of hibernation, is when a bearded dragon hunkers down and sleeps for long periods of time as they anticipate winter.
When a dragon goes through brumation, they tend to lose quite a bit of weight as they spend a good deal of time sleeping and therefore, not needing food.
Brumation can significantly stunt the growth of a younger dragon and as such, should be avoided if possible.
You can do this by ensuring the temperatures in the dragon’s cage stay where they should be year-round (both during night and day) and by also making sure the lighting cycle is normal as well (10 – 12 hours of light a day, every day!).