Are you doing your research before you decide to get a bearded dragon as a pet? “How long do bearded dragons live?” is probably one question that will pop up at some point.
Well, that’s what most pet owners want to know because they want a pet that can stay with them for a long time.
This article will discuss everything you need to know about bearded dragons’ life expectancy and healthy living tips.
How Long Do Bearded Dragons Live?
A bearded dragon can live for 8-10 years. In the wild, they are usually hunted by other predators and have no vet to attend to them when they’re sick. But in captivity, they are safe from most predators and the owner can take them to a veterinary clinic, so their life expectancy can be improved.
How Old Is the Oldest Bearded Dragon?
The oldest bearded dragon ever recorded, Sebastien, was a staggering 18 years old. Keep in mind that the probability of a bearded dragon living this long is high only if the beardie is raised with proper care and guidance from the beginning.
5 Ways to Help Your Bearded Dragon Live Longer
If you’re planning to buy a bearded dragon or you’ve already got a beardie living in your house, you might want to extend your dragon’s life as much as possible.
You can ensure your pet lives a healthy, long life with proper care and attention to the following details.
Ensure a Proper Diet
For your convenience, we will divide the beardie’s life into 3 stages: baby, juvenile, and adult.
When your bearded dragon is a baby, it is necessary to feed it insects and some plant material. A ratio of 2:1 works exceptionally well for baby bearded dragons. This will provide the necessary nutrients to boost its growth while keeping your pet away from diseases.
After 5-6 months, your bearded dragon will add about a couple of hundred grams and grow bigger. You should start feeding it more insects and fewer plants/vegetables.
Once a year has passed, your beardie will turn into an adult. You can ease up on the insects now and introduce more plants, vegetables, and fruits to balance your beardie’s diet.
A proper, balanced diet is essential for your bearded dragon’s health and development. While protein is necessary for muscle growth, plants, vegetables, and fruits will assist the organs and boost the immune system.
You can supplement this with calcium powder to help prevent bone disease. Just coat the insects with it and feed them to your beardie.
Ensure Proper Lighting/Heating
A common reason why bearded dragons die in captivity is metabolic bone diseases. You can prevent your beardie from getting this disease by providing proper heating and lighting in the enclosure.
During the day, when your beardie is basking, try to keep the temperature between 31-38 degrees Celsius, while during the night, the temperature can fall to 21-24 degrees Celsius. Your bearded dragon needs to regulate its body temperature, which is impossible without an external heat source.
In the absence of the sun, a proper heating lamp or a light source with sufficient lighting is essential to keep your bearded dragon happy and healthy.
Not only will it extend your pet’s life by safeguarding your beardie against a lot of health complications.
Most of the time, these animals are kept in unsafe and unhealthy conditions at shelters and pet shops, so it might take some time for your pet’s health to bounce back.
Ensure Regular Veterinary Checkups
Most pet owners run to the vet only when they see something going wrong. This is usually when it is too late. The professionals can only do so much, so they give your pet heavy medications and sometimes even painful surgeries.
To avoid this hassle, ensure that you take your bearded dragon for regular veterinary exams, at least once every six months. Will this cost a lot?
In the short term, you might think this is an unnecessary expense, but in reality, this will save you a lot of money in the long term.
Your pet will avoid major diseases that might run your bank account dry. Moreover, the process would hurt your bearded dragon more than you would want.
Regular checkups may pick up a disease or an issue early, which can be corrected or fixed with simple adjustments, supplements, and sometimes little tweaks to how you handle your beardie.
Plus, if you have adopted a pet beardie or bought one from a pet shop, it is advisable to take it to the vet as soon as you can to check for diseases.
Follow Proper Feeding Schedules
Like any other pet, beardies need a proper feeding schedule to stay in shape. A proper feeding schedule trains their digestive system.
So, once the feeding schedule is set and properly followed, you will see that your beardie gets excited and curious about food. This is because its stomach and digestive system are prepared to take in food.
If you don’t know how to go about it, consult a professional vet and ask them to create a feeding schedule for you.
This is how our bodies work. Developing a proper schedule will help you manage time and your beardie too. An active digestive system will keep some of your pet’s tummy problems at bay.
While young bearded dragons eat more often, adults do just fine with eating once per day. This is because their bodies have matured, and they do not need extra food to grow.
Avoid Using Floor Lamps
Reptiles such as bearded dragons need UVB lights. You should place the heating source at least 12 inches away from your beardie. This is to avoid burns and potential harm to its health.
You will need to use a lighting source with high-ultraviolet light bulbs to create an artificial environment that mimics the wild. Moreover, red lights are not recommended.
They can disturb the beardie’s sleep and may result in eating disorders. Even though beardies are gentle and strong creatures, they can sometimes be sensitive and fragile. It is essential to monitor the temperature of the environment in which your bearded dragon lives, so buy a thermometer.
Do Bearded Dragons In The Wild Live Longer?
In the wilderness, a bearded dragon might not live as long as it would in captivity. A wild beardie might live 5-8 years maximum. But as we discussed above, an average bearded dragon can live for more than 10 years as a pet.
Of course, you can extend your pet’s life by providing it with the right care and going for regular checkups every six months or so.
The wild is ruthless. Common predators like goannas and birds enjoy having beardies for lunch or dinner—and this is perhaps the biggest reason why they don’t get to live long in the wild.
Moreover, you may follow a proper feeding schedule at home and provide your bearded dragon with regular food. This will keep your beardie happy and healthy. In the wild, a bearded dragon may not find food for several days. Catching prey, especially insects, becomes more difficult in a drought.
This is a real test of endurance for the beardie. Along with this, humans have been destroying animals’ natural habitats, including those of bearded dragons, for decades. Loss of habitat leads to relocation, which often results in death. If the beardie gets sick, there’s no vet out there in the jungle or the desert to treat it.
A bearded dragon in the wild is typically stronger than a beardie in captivity but might not live as long. However, you can make your beardies stronger and help them live longer by making them do regular exercise and letting them hunt insects on their own sometimes.
The latter will enable your bearded dragon to look out for itself instead of relying on you completely. However, you should beware of other animals in your vicinity that can harm your beardie.
Take care of the basics and you can let your bearded dragon live a long, healthy life under your care.