You might be new to the whole bearded dragon thing and you may be wondering how long do bearded dragons live. it’s quite a common question.
Since many things can affect a bearded dragon’s lifestyle we will talk about how to reduce anything that could shorten a beardies lifespan and of course, we will talk about how we can extend it.
How long do bearded dragons live?
Bearded dragons typically live between 5 to 15 years long. Again you have to take into consideration the health of your bearded dragon.
In the wild bearded dragons have a lower life expectancy because of predators but bearded dragons in captivity can live up to 15 years if well taken care of.
How long do Bearded dragons live in the wild?
Predators are the only thing that really gets in the way of a bearded dragon living a long life in the wild. They can live a long time if left alone but sometimes they are attacked and they end up getting hurt so they become easier prey.
Birds, foxes, and cats are all bad for a bearded dragon out in the wild. Bearded dragons have evolved to need less water than other animals but they still need food and water.
Bearded dragons also suffer from the fact that the environment is changing. Pollution and deforestation have an impact on their life expectancy but that’s not just beardies.
These factors influence a Bearded Dragons Lifespan
3 major factors that will influence a bearded dragon’s lifespan are
These factors will determine if your bearded dragon will live 5 years or 15 years. If you don’t take good proper care of their tank they will not thrive. Some people neglect their beardies and that’s not cool. If you’re not ready to have a pet you shouldn’t have one but I’m not here to lecture.
There are many different things you can do to help your beardie be happy and live a stress-free life. just remember everything is in your control besides the genetic part. Just be aware.
Your bearded dragon’s habitat should be trying to emulate what their natural surroundings would look like in the wild without the threats of course. You may see your bearded dragon start glass surfing if they are stressed so make sure you keep a close eye on them especially if you just brought them home.
Bearded dragons are semi-arboreal. You will catch them relaxing on their basking spot a lot of the time. I personally let my bearded dragon out of his tank every day. He hangs out with me while I make these posts.
Down below i put a chart for you to screenshot. This is a general chart for you to follow.
You want the tank to be at a good temperature and humidity level to keep them healthy. Humidity helps them shed too.
One thing not mentioned in the chart is their Basking temperature. You want their basking temp to be around 90-110 degrees Fahrenheit
one thing to also mention is high humidity levels can actually make your bearded dragon sick. Bearded dragons can develop respiratory infections. if the humidity is set too high for too long you can expect this to happen eventually. Make the best choice when it comes to monitoring the humidity levels in your bearded dragon’s enclosure.
When I think of habitat is automatically think of the bottom to the top of the tank. So I start with the substrate.
I did an entire post about it but I will briefly cover it here.
You want to avoid anything loose. Rocks, gravel, woodchips, etc. Bearded dragons tend to eat their substrate by accident. It’s pretty common and can lead to something called impaction.
This is when things get stuck in their gut. My favorite substrates are
- Ceramic tile
- reptile carpet
- newspaper (nice and cheap option too)
bearded dragons like to climb things so give them lots to climb on like logs, sticks, and branches. Nice big rocks help too and you can use those rocks as a spot to lie down under a basking lamp.
One more thing about the tank is to make sure it’s clean. I do a weekly Deep clean and a daily spot clean for my bearded dragon. The spot clean is just any food that he didn’t eat and any poop that is there.
Anytime anything is humid for long enough you run the chance of bacteria and fungus growth. Keeping things clean is the best way to avoid them getting sick and preventing an expensive vet bill.
The nastiest thing in a beardies tank is the substrate. It gets everything on it. Poop, food, shed… EVERYTHING. That’s another reason why having a good easy-to-clean substrate is GREAT for you. I usually pull the substrate out and then give it a good wash. I personally use reptile carpet but you can use the others I mentioned above.
I soak it in hot water and then scrub it down. Ceramic tile can actually be put in the oven to kill bacteria but washing it down is fine.
If by chance you have a loose substrate you should clean it more often. Things can get buried easily, creating more of a headache for you later. It will also smell awful.
Check out this video on this exact topic!
A Bearded dragon’s diet is something many people will debate over. When they are young it will be something you need to change over time slowly. I have an entire post here about it.
The cool thing is Beardies can eat a lot of human food. however, you should give them a pretty simple diet of insects and veggies.
People fuss over the ratio of insects to veggies. I stick to this.
- 60 percent insects
- 20 percent vegetables
- 10 percent fruit
Sometimes I will give him a lot of fruit but it’s only for a day and then we are back to normal. I give my bearded dragon a mix of these.
Now depending on the age of your bearded dragon, you should be feeding them more protein vs fruits and veggies. As they get older you can adjust to more veggies and fruit.
Be careful with overfeeding though. They can easily get fat. One thing I make sure to do when feeding my dragon is dust them with calcium. This will help avoid metabolic bone disease.
Another tip. If you’re going to feed them mealworms and other high-fat proteins try to keep it to a minimal amount. Think of it as a treat. Like I said earlier I give my bearded dragon a day of fruit and happy foods. You can do something like that if you want to.
When you’re thinking about giving your bearded dragon any kind of food think about the source!
The reason why is you can get some insects that have parasites and other nasty things going on. You can pass that on to your bearded and then they could pass it onto you or someone else in the house. Reputable sources only!
I have an entire list right here of foods that your bearded dragon can eat.
Feel free to screenshot that or backlink it to this site. That helps us out here at the reptile district.
Here is a link list for you as well
To help you out though I will put a smaller list here.
Bearded dragons should be eating these kinds of veggies
- collard greens
- mustard greens
- Romain lettuce
- dandelion greens
- turnip greens
- red bell pepper
There’s a ton more they can eat. Just remember they can eat a lot of different foods and make sure not to feed them too much sugar. That will cause a lot of different health issues. Think of when you feed yourself. You should get lots of greens and meats in your body from good sources, right? the same thing goes for your beardie!
I feed my dragon 1 – 2 times a day. He is an adult so he doesn’t need to eat that much food. Young bearded dragons will want to eat all the damn time!.
Make sure to keep your beardie hydrated too. They don’t always drink their water so I would have a little soaking area in their tank. You can also mist them!
Vitamins, minerals, and supplements.
Bearded dragons need vitamins to stay healthy like any animal. They need
- vitamin D3
- Great multiviamin source
These are important to prevent MBD (metabolic bone disease)
How to prevent diseases in your bearded dragon
Taking your bearded dragon to the vet often is a great way to see how healthy they are but we know that’s expensive and sometimes people don’t have the cash to do that.
Preventative medicine is always best so just being cautious is key here. The best way to keep your beardie healthy is to look at their behavior.
Lack of appetite is a major sign but that could also be brumation
Lack of energy. Especially if your bearded dragon is energetic all the time like mine is. If you listen to them breathing and it sounds like cracking or crackling breathing they could be suffering from a respiratory infection.
if you have loose substrate it could be impaction too. it’s always better to not have loose substrate if you can.
If you’re unsure take them to the vet and they will tell you what’s going on pretty quick
How To Increase Your Bearded Dragon’s Lifespan
1. Keep them hydrated!
This seems like common sense but you wouldn’t believe how many people don’t do this! Bearded dragons need water as we all do. If they are dehydrated they can suffer from health issues. keep water in the tank and a soaking spot for them. Your bearded dragon also needs water to help with its shedding skin.
2. Clean their tank regularly.
This is vital. Tanks with humidity can get gross fast. Do a daily spot check in the morning or before bed (it’s up to you and your schedule). Infections and fungi can easily grow in a moist place like a tank. Get rid of old uneaten food and poop
3. Proper supplementation
bearded dragons need supplements in order to stay healthy long-term. If you want your beardie to live as long as possible you should invest in some supplements like calcium, vitamin D3, and a good multivitamin.
4. Use safe products.
Things like loose substrates are going to cause problems for you and your bearded dragon. Avoiding it altogether is absolutely crucial. I’ve seen friends use gravel and sand as a substrate and their bearded dragons had to go to the vet because of impaction. Using something like ceramic tile or reptile carpet is a great alternative.
Make sure when you’re cleaning that you really rinse out the tank because the products can be harmful to your bearded dragon. There are certain cleaning solutions that are safer for your tank. It’s just easy to really rinse and make sure things are clean.
5. A STRESS-FREE HOME!
This one is key. Bearded dragons that are stressed tend not to live as long. Bearded dragons who are mishandled, dropped, and neglected aren’t going to live as long.
One little tip is tank placement. If you notice your bearded dragon glass surfing or running around stressed out you should try to think about what’s placed around it. When I first got my beardie and brought him home we placed his tank near a stuffed animal that stressed him out.
Stressed bearded dragons will show a black beard. Loud noises like stereo systems and television sets can create stress. The best thing to do is test. Another big stress is when you first bring them home. This can’t really be avoided so making them comfortable quickly is important and spending time with them so they can get to know you is key as well
THE END – FINAL THOUGHTS
it’s easier than you think to get our bearded dragon to live a long and happy life. The first few months can suck because you’re getting used to having a pet if it’s your first one.
What is the average lifespan of a bearded dragon?
A bearded dragon can live in the wild for up to 8 to 10 years. In captivity, a beardie will live longer. typically 10 – 15 years if kept healthy