Planning on bringing a bearded dragon into your home? You’ll certainly need to know how big a bearded dragon gets with time.
While they are naturally found in Australia, around arid or semi-arid areas, scrublands, and deserts, you can always get one from a pet store. Despite being small and cuddly reptiles, beardies can be a big responsibility to handle. They require more care than a regular pet like a dog or cat.
Learning how big your beardie can potentially get will help you decide whether you are up for the task. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. We’ll go over all the details that you should know as a new pet owner.
Keep reading ahead to learn more about how big your beardie can get.
How Big Do Bearded Dragons Get?
A bearded dragon can grow to a length of 24 inches. Most healthy beardies are 15–24 long, but bearded dragons who suffer from growth-stunting health problems are shorter than this.
For your convenience, we’ll break down the growth stage into 3 phases.
Growth Stage 1(Baby Bearded Dragon Size)
Bearded dragons typically increase their size rapidly. Of course, this is dependent on their living conditions as well as other factors such as nutrition, exercise, and interaction with you.
A baby bearded dragon needs proper nutrition to ensure healthy growth. On average, a newly born beardie is only three inches long. The weight will be around four to five grams.
The initial period is around 3 months. In this term, we can call the bearded dragon a baby. This is the stage where you need to pay special attention to how you handle your pet.
You need to hold your baby dragon with a gentle force while ensuring that you don’t twist its spine. This can lead to injuries and possibly even death.
Growth Stage 2(Juvenile Bearded Dragon Size)
The second stage starts in the fourth month and ends when the bearded dragon turns one year old. Keep the nutrition high because the bearded dragon is still growing.
A juvenile bearded dragon will grow to around 7 to 12 inches. This growth is rapid, but it’s alright because a bearded dragon does not live as long as other pets. Its weight, on the other hand, will increase every month.
Your bearded dragon will naturally gain weight, but to ensure healthy growth, feed your pet a lot of insects (protein).
However, if you see the growth slowing, don’t get alarmed. The growth rate has to decrease as they become adults.
As the size increases after the sixth month, you will notice that the growth is falling sharply. Go easy on the insects when you notice the growth slowing down. Add some plants and fruits to the diet to balance things out.
Growth Stage 3(Adult Bearded Dragon Size)
If you’ve managed to keep your bearded dragon for around 12 months, congratulations! Your beardie has just turned into an adult. An adult beardie will be around 15–18 inches in size.
An adult bearded dragon, depending on its gender, will be sexually mature. Why is this important?
When a beardie reaches sexual maturity, its growth shuts down. Even if there is growth, it is close to none. Your pet will become bulkier and heavier as it ages.
Adult bearded dragons can increase their weight rapidly. They can weigh up to 500 grams. With the exception of the brumation stage, during which a bearded dragon naturally loses weight, an adult beardie will appear bulky and heavy when acting normally.
How Fast Do Bearded Dragons Grow?
Reptiles grow pretty fast. A bearded dragon will grow at a rapid pace, and it will add inches upon inches every month. If you give your pet a proper, balanced diet, it will respond to the diet by growing at full speed.
It is difficult to set one rule that will affect all the pet beardies out there since their age, breed, gender, and other factors also come into play.
Bearded Dragon Growth Chart
|Baby||1-3 months||3 inches||Insects & Plants|
|Juvenile||4-12 months||7-12 inches||Insects|
|Adult||12 months||15-18 inches||Plants & Insects|
What Factors Influence Your Bearded Dragon’s Growth
As a pet owner, you should consider the following factors that influence your beardie’s growth.
You can partition your bearded dragon’s growth into 3 stages: baby, juvenile, and adulthood.
During the first stage, you should notice rapid growth. This is good. The bearded dragon will take some time to become acquainted with its new surroundings. But once it does, you can begin to train and feed it. Baby bearded dragons respond positively when they see their owner around them.
In the second stage, your beardie will grow the most. This is where your pet will reach its peak. Don’t go light on the diet; feed it different types of insects, fruits, and veggies. This will enhance its growth and keep its body in optimal shape.
The third stage is where growth usually stops. This is when you know your beardie is now an adult.
How do you keep your beardie healthy and happy? Through its stomach, of course!
Reptiles love eating bugs and insects. Bearded dragons are no different. Since insects are dense with protein and other nutrients, they are the perfect solution to your beardie’s needs.
A baby bearded dragon will need insects and some plants. You can decide on a ratio beforehand. Make sure you stick to it afterward. A juvenile beardie will require a lot of insects and some portion of plant matter to balance the diet. An adult bearded dragon will need more plants and fewer insects.
It is necessary to consult your vet before going ahead with the diet. This is because beardies have different breeds, upbringing, bodies, and growth.
When it comes to insects, the possibilities are limitless. From worms to crickets to moths, beetles, fireflies, roaches, and even flies, you can just about feed them anything that moves. Bearded dragons love catching live prey.
You can supplement this with common fruits and vegetables to support its immune and digestive systems.
Spending time playing and exercising with your pet beardie is essential. These curious, gentle reptiles like to roam around in the open. If you ignore your pet’s need for exercise, it will become lazy, affecting its growth and health.
Start by developing a routine. Get your beardie out and about for some time at the start. With time, you can increase the duration of its playtime. As your pet becomes comfortable around you, it will naturally come out on its own.
You can also buy toys like balls or some objects for them. They love interacting with new things. You can always leave an insect in its enclosure for your pet beardie to chase around.
Good exercise will result in fat burn and hunger. And the more your beardie eats, the more it will grow.
A male bearded dragon will always be bigger and longer than its female counterpart. Female beardies have narrower heads, whereas males have thicker skulls.
So if you have a female beardie at your place, don’t go running to the vet if its size hasn’t grown exponentially in the past few days or weeks.
In the wild, bearded dragons are exposed to the sun throughout the day. This forces them to regulate their body temperature; naturally, they are better at it. But in a controlled environment, you will need to make some adjustments to facilitate its growth and keep your pet’s health stable.
For proper lighting, you need to have a heat lamp. We don’t recommend buying a heat rock because it can burn your pet beardie. Heating is necessary because it will allow your beardie to absorb its heat.
Your home will probably have a cooler environment, but reptiles need warm places to grow. The bearded dragon will absorb its heat and regulate its body temperature.
You can also purchase a thermometer to check the temperature from time to time. This may cost you a bit, but it is necessary since heating and lighting are essential for your pet’s growth.
The enclosure should be spacious, at the very least. A cramped-up enclosure will only stress your pet reptile.
Because in the wild, they have all the space they need. As your pet’s size increases, you will need to change the enclosure or buy a new one to facilitate it.
If your pet’s size is still increasing and the enclosure is not spacious enough, your beardie will have to twist and turn to accommodate itself inside.
This can even lead to injuries, so it’s better to buy a bigger enclosure or a terrarium before your pet gets into trouble.
How Long Does It Take For a Bearded Dragon To Grow To Full Size?
If your pet grows under normal conditions, it will take around 12 months to reach its full size. At 12 months, a bearded dragon becomes an adult, and, around this time, its growth stops almost completely.
While female beardies may reach this stage sooner, a male bearded dragon might grow an inch or two even after it has become an adult.
A pet bearded dragon generally reaches sexual maturity when it becomes an adult. This is where growth comes to a dead end.
If your pet is growing despite being an adult, it is better to visit a vet.
Taking care of a reptile is not easy. Exotic animals are difficult to work with because they require a lot of patience and gentleness.
Unlike a parrot, a dog, or a cat, bearded dragons’ needs are different and unique. Moreover, most people don’t know much about them.
Still, more and more people are looking to pet bearded dragons now.
Knowing about its growth period, requirements, and troubleshooting when you run into problems is a fail-safe way to become an excellent pet owner of a beardie.