Although they were only introduced as pets in the United States in the 1990s, bearded dragons are among the most popular and sought-after pet reptiles, and for good reasons. They are gentle, peaceful, easy to care for, and affordable.
Whether you are a new or experienced pet owner, you need to know how big they can grow in a year to understand what you’re getting into and what conditions you have to provide.
How fast a bearded dragon grows will depend on different factors, such as genetics, diet, etc. With all things considered, a 1-year-old bearded dragon is capable of reaching its full size.
In this article, we’ll discuss how big a 1-year-old bearded dragon can get, the size and growth rates at different stages throughout the first year, and the factors that influence a bearded dragon’s size.
So, let’s get started.
Bearded dragon growth chart
Before we jump right into it, you may want to check out this growth chart (size and weight) of bearded dragons throughout the first year.
Side note: bearded dragons are different. They are also available in different species and each has a different maximum size and growth rate, so if your pet has measurements outside this range, don’t worry. Well, unless they are overweight or underweight.
In our case, we’ll use Pogona vitticeps, which is the most popular and common species of bearded dragon in the United States.
|Age||Length in inches||Weight in grams|
|1 month and below||3 – 4||4 – 6|
|1 to 2 months||5 – 9||8 – 40|
|2 to 3 months||8 – 11||22 – 110|
|3 to 4 months||9 – 12||41 – 115|
|4 to 5 months||11 – 16||102 – 115|
|5 to 6 months||11 – 18||183 – 188|
|6 to 7 months||13 – 18||230 – 288|
|7 to 8 months||14 – 20||252 – 327|
|8 to 9 months||16 – 22||280 – 360|
|9 to 10 months||16 – 22||350 – 465|
|10 to 11 months||16 – 24||380 – 465|
|11 months to 1 year||16 – 24||380 – 500|
How big is a 1 year old bearded dragon?
Most bearded dragons reach their full size and can be classed as adults when they’re 12 months (1 year) old. You can expect most of them to be more than 90% done growing. After the first year, the growth rate becomes gradual; you may not notice it all in some cases.
A 1-year-old bearded dragon will have an average length of between 16-24 inches. But, as we mentioned earlier, don’t worry if your beardie takes a bit longer to reach the size milestone. Some bearded dragons may never get past 16 inches, while others may grow up to 26 inches, but this length is extremely rare. We can compare this to people of the same family. Some people are tall, while others are short. That’s the same for bearded dragons too.
Adult bearded dragons can weigh between 380 and 500 grams. Keeping your beardie’s weight is important for his health and well-being. But sometimes, a bearded dragon can eat too many feeders with little exercise and become overweight or obese. Being overweight can cause some health issues.
How can you tell if your 1-year-old bearded dragon is overweight?
If your beardie weighs over 500 grams, you may suspect he’s overweight. Being overweight doesn’t necessarily mean being obese. These terms are often used interchangeably, but they don’t mean the same. A bearded dragon who weighs more than 600 grams could be classified as overweight. On the other hand, if a beardie reaches over 850-900 grams at 1 year old, he’s likely to be obese.
Being overweight means that a bearded dragon carries more weight than his age, size, and gender. Of course, the excess weight didn’t happen by magic. Several factors can play this role, including improper diet (high protein diet), overfeeding, stress, and lack of exercise.
How can you tell if your beardie is overweight?
Watch out for signs such as
- Large round belly that’s touching the ground
- Less movement
- Thick tail base
- Hip bones or backbone not easily visible
- Fat pockets behind forelegs
Overweight bearded dragons are prone to health issues, which can reduce their lifespan. There are four serious reasons why bearded dragons should not be overweight.
- Prone to prolapse
- Risk of fatty liver
- Dystocia or egg-binding. This happens when a female bearded dragon is unable to lay eggs.
- Organ dysfunction.
How can you help a bearded dragon lose weight?
Here are a few steps you can take to help bearded dragons lose excess weight:
- Give a proper diet: switch from feeder insects to vegetables.
- Gradually reduce the frequency of feeding.
- Encourage brumation by slightly lowering their temperatures.
- Encourage exercise by taking them out to the garden for a walk.
How can you tell if your 1-year-old bearded dragon is underweight?
A bearded dragon could be underweight if he’s under the recommended weight range for a 12-month-old beardie. With underweight or skinny bearded dragons, you’re most likely to notice loose or hanging skin on the body. Also, the head starts to look way bigger than the body.
You may also see the ribs, spine, pelvis, and leg bones.
Here are the most common causes of bearded dragons’ being underweight and how you can change that.
- Incorrect diet – always provide a balanced diet of protein, calcium, vitamins, minerals, carbs, and fat. In this case, you can offer feeders that are high in fat, such as waxworms and butterworms.
- Wrong tank size: bearded dragons can get stuck in small tanks. You should ensure that the minimum tank size of an adult bearded dragon is 75 gallons. But the bigger, the better.
- Inadequate lighting and temperature- Ensure that he’s getting adequate lighting and heat specific to their age.
- Certain diseases or illnesses, such as respiratory infections – visit a vet to rule out any illnesses.
- Not getting enough food due to competition from cage mates – if you have multiple bearded dragons, house them in separate tanks.
Factors that influence a bearded dragon’s size
Many factors can affect how big bearded dragons get. The key factors include species, gender, diet, genetics, health, and housing.
There are eight species of bearded dragons in total, and they all grow to different lengths. We have discussed one of the species known as Pogona Vitticeps (or Central bearded dragon). The other species are as follows:
- Pogona Barbata, also known as the Coastal or Eastern bearded dragon. Like the Central bearded dragon, it can grow up to 24 inches long.
- Pogona Minor Mitchelli, commonly known as the North-West bearded dragon. It can grow up to 18 inches long.
- Pogona Nullarbor, commonly referred to as the Nullarbor bearded dragon. This species can grow up to 14 inches long.
- Pogona minor, also known as the Dwarf bearded dragon. It can grow to around 14 – 18 inches long.
- Pogona minima, also known as the Western bearded dragon. It can grow to a maximum of 12 inches in length.
- Pogona Henrylawsoni, also referred to as Lawsons or Black-soil bearded dragons. This one can grow up to 12 inches long.
- Pogona Microlepidota, also known as Kimberly or Drysdale River bearded dragon. It can grow up to 4 – 6 inches in length.
Bearded dragons are sexually dimorphic. This means there are some clear differences in characteristics, such as size, between males and females of the same species.
Male bearded dragons are typically longer, so their length can be between 21 – 24 inches in length, while females can somewhat grow up to be 16 – 19 inches long.
The diet you offer your beardies can not only affect their size but also their overall health and well-being.
Bearded dragons need a balanced diet of insects, vegetables, and fruits. They have special requirements at various stages of their lives.
Generally, baby bearded dragons need more protein than adults, so the majority of their food should be insects. This reduces as they get older.
The size of a bearded dragon can be determined by how big or small the parents are because most of the time, genes are passed down to kids.
If the parents of a bearded dragon are large, then the offspring will most likely be large as well. The same applies to small-sized bearded dragons.
Bearded dragons are susceptible to several health conditions such as salmonellosis, dystocia, and abscesses. These conditions can affect the growth rate of a beardie in different ways.
If you suspect your pet has a medical condition or is too small, we recommend you take him to the vet immediately.
A bearded dragon’s enclosure is very important since he will spend most of his time there. As the owner, you should aim to provide plenty of room for your pet to move around, bask, and hide.
Comfort is key.
Stunted growth can occur in a small tank. The ideal tank size for bearded dragons is as follows;
- Baby bearded dragons: 20 – 40 gallons
- Juvenile bearded dragons: 55 – 75 gallons
- Adult bearded dragons: 75 – 120 gallons.
In addition, there should be correct lighting in the enclosure for them to live a healthy and longer life. Incorrect lighting can disrupt digestion and the absorption of calcium in the body, which can compromise metabolic functions and, eventually, affect their overall growth.
How big bearded dragons can get mainly depends on factors such as species, genetics, diet, health, gender, housing, etc.
While they range in size, a 1-year-old bearded dragon can grow up to 16 – 24 inches in length and weigh an average of 380 – 500 grams. If your pet is too small in size or underweight, you can review their diet, tank size, and lighting and take them to the vet for a health check-up.
Conversely, if the pet weighs way above average, you can make a few changes to help him lose weight, including switching up their diet, reducing the feeding frequency, increasing physical activity, and encouraging brumation.
We hope this article will guide and help you monitor the size of your bearded dragon better.