How Long Do Bearded Dragons Live?

Are you considering getting a bearded dragon as a pet? It’s important to know how long they can live so you can provide the best care possible. Bearded dragons are fascinating creatures with unique personalities, but their lifespan varies depending on several factors such as genetics, diet, and environment. In this article, we will delve into everything you need to know about the average lifespan of bearded dragons and how to ensure your pet lives a healthy, happy life.

Be prepared to learn about the different health issues that can affect your bearded dragon’s lifespan and what steps you can take to increase their longevity. We’ll explore the role of diet in helping your pet thrive and discuss environmental factors that can impact their overall well-being. By understanding these crucial aspects of caring for your bearded dragon, you’ll be able to create a nurturing environment that promotes good health and extends their lifespan. Let’s get started!

How Long Do Bearded Dragons Live?

Average Lifespan of Bearded Dragons

Bearded dragons are incredible creatures, and it’s amazing to think that they can live for an average of 8-12 years! However, there are variations in their lifespan depending on several factors such as diet, environment, genetics, and overall health. With proper care and maintenance, some bearded dragons have been known to live up to 20 years!

When compared with other reptiles, the bearded dragon’s lifespan is relatively long. For instance, the average lifespan of a green iguana is around 15 years while that of a leopard gecko is about 10-20 years. Nonetheless, there are certain species of turtles that can outlive a bearded dragon by several decades.

Overall, it is crucial to understand that a bearded dragon’s lifespan can vary significantly depending on how well you take care of them. By providing them with a healthy diet, ample space for exercise and basking under UV light or natural sunlight (if possible), regular veterinary checkups and proper hygiene practices will ensure your pet has the best chance at living a long and fulfilling life.

Genetics and Lifespan

You may be interested to know that genetics play a role in the lifespan of bearded dragons. Inbreeding can lead to health issues, such as weakened immune systems and shortened lifespans. Conversely, selective breeding for desirable traits can also impact longevity, as some breeders prioritize physical appearance over overall health.

Inbreeding and health issues

Although it may be tempting to breed bearded dragons, inbreeding can lead to serious health issues and shortened lifespan. Inbreeding consequences can include reduced genetic diversity, which makes the animals more susceptible to diseases and deformities. Bearded dragons that are inbred have a higher likelihood of developing metabolic bone disease, which is caused by a lack of calcium in their diet. This condition leads to weak bones that break easily, making it difficult for the animal to move around.

Preventing inbreeding is essential for maintaining healthy populations of bearded dragons. One way to prevent inbreeding is by ensuring that each breeding pair has a diverse genetic background. Breeders should avoid mating siblings or parents with offspring as this increases the chances of passing on harmful genes. Another strategy is outcrossing, which involves breeding unrelated individuals from different populations. By doing so, breeders can introduce new genetic material into the population and reduce the risk of inherited health problems. Taking these steps will help ensure that your bearded dragon lives a long and healthy life free from any preventable health issues caused by inbreeding.

Selective breeding

If you’re looking to breed your own unique and personalized bearded dragon, selective breeding is a technique that allows you to choose specific traits in the offspring. With this method, you can manipulate the genetics of your dragons to produce certain colors, patterns, sizes and behaviors that suit your preferences. However, it’s important to keep in mind that selective breeding can have negative effects if done improperly.

Breeding techniques such as selective breeding involve choosing desirable traits among bearded dragons while excluding undesirable ones through genetic manipulation. This process involves selecting the best specimens from each generation and mating them together. Through time and careful selection, breeders can create new strains or morphs with unique characteristics. However, too much emphasis on certain traits may lead to health problems for the offspring such as weakened immune systems or shortened lifespan. Therefore, responsible breeders should prioritize the health and welfare of their animals above all else when utilizing these methods.

The Role of Diet in Lifespan

Proper nutrition, including a balanced diet of vegetables and insects, can significantly impact the lifespan of bearded dragons. Providing your pet with fresh water regularly is crucial to maintaining hydration levels. Bearded dragons need to drink water as they cannot synthesize it on their own. In addition to providing clean drinking water, you should ensure that your pet’s food has a high moisture content.

Insects are an essential part of a bearded dragon’s diet as they contain valuable nutrients such as protein and calcium. However, feeding too many insects can lead to obesity and other health problems. It is also important to vary the type of insects fed to your pet, as each insect contains different nutrients. Vegetables should also make up a significant portion of your pet’s diet as they provide fiber and vitamins.

Supplements play an important role in ensuring that your bearded dragon receives all the necessary vitamins and minerals. Calcium supplements are particularly important for bone health, while vitamin A supplements help maintain good vision and overall immune function. However, it is crucial not to over-supplement as this can lead to toxicity and other health problems in your pet. By providing a balanced diet that incorporates both vegetables and insects along with appropriate supplementation, you can help ensure that your bearded dragon lives a long and healthy life.

Read About: How Do Bearded Dragons Get Calcium In The Wild?

Environmental Factors

To ensure the health and longevity of your bearded dragon, it is crucial to maintain ideal temperature and humidity levels in their environment. Proper lighting is also essential as it helps regulate their circadian rhythm and aids in the synthesis of vitamin D3. In addition, maintaining cleanliness within their enclosure is important to prevent bacterial growth and disease.

Ideal temperature and humidity levels

Maintaining the right temperature and humidity levels is crucial to ensure that your bearded dragon lives a long and healthy life; did you know that the ideal temperature range for them is between 85-95°F during the day? Bearded dragons are ectothermic, meaning they rely on external sources to regulate their body temperature. In their natural habitat, they bask in the sun to warm up and seek shade or cooler areas when they get too hot. Therefore, it’s essential to recreate these conditions in captivity by providing a heat source, such as a heat lamp or ceramic heater, along with a cool area where they can retreat.

In addition to temperature regulation, maintaining adequate humidity is also critical for your bearded dragon’s health. The recommended humidity level should be around 30-40%, but it may vary depending on the species of bearded dragon and its specific needs. You can increase humidity by misting their enclosure with water or placing a shallow water dish inside. However, too much moisture can lead to respiratory problems and other health issues for your pet. By designing an appropriate habitat that mimics their natural environment and monitoring temperature and humidity levels regularly, you can help ensure your bearded dragon lives a long and healthy life.

Proper lighting

Make sure you understand the importance of lighting for your bearded dragon’s health and well-being. Lighting requirements are crucial for the proper growth and development of these reptiles. As a responsible pet owner, it is important to provide your bearded dragon with adequate UVB sources.

UVB sources are necessary to help your bearded dragon produce vitamin D3 which is essential for absorbing calcium from their food. Without enough exposure to UVB light, your bearded dragon may develop metabolic bone disease which can lead to weakened bones and other health issues. It is recommended that you provide at least 10-12 hours of UVB light per day in addition to a basking spot where the temperature reaches around 95-105°F (35-40°C). By providing appropriate lighting, you can ensure that your bearded dragon has a healthy and happy life.


Keeping your bearded dragon’s habitat clean is crucial for their overall health and well-being. Here are some cleaning habits and sanitation practices that you should follow to ensure a healthy environment for your pet:

  • Daily spot cleaning: Remove any feces or uneaten food from the enclosure daily to prevent the buildup of bacteria and odors.
  • Weekly deep cleaning: Once a week, remove all decorations, substrate, and accessories from the enclosure and wash them with hot water and a reptile-safe disinfectant. Clean the walls, bottom, and top of the enclosure as well before replacing everything.

Remember to use gloves while handling any soiled items to avoid contracting any illnesses. Also, make sure that you rinse off all cleaning agents thoroughly before returning anything back into the enclosure. By following these simple cleanliness guidelines, you can keep your bearded dragon happy and healthy for many years to come.

In addition to regular cleaning habits, it is important to practice good sanitation practices when handling your bearded dragon’s food and water dishes. Always use separate utensils for feeding your pet than those used for human consumption. Wash all dishes thoroughly after each use using hot water and soap or a reptile-safe disinfectant. This will help prevent cross-contamination between different types of bacteria that could cause illness in both you and your pet. By implementing these basic sanitation practices into your routine care regimen, you can provide a safe environment for both yourself and your beloved bearded dragon companion.

Common Health Issues

You’ll want to be aware of some common health issues that can affect your bearded dragon. One such issue is metabolic bone disease, which occurs when the reptile’s calcium and vitamin D levels are imbalanced. Another potential problem is respiratory infections, which can be caused by poor environmental conditions or an underlying illness. Lastly, parasites can also cause trouble for your pet, so it’s important to keep them clean and healthy to avoid infestations.

Metabolic bone disease

Unfortunately, if left untreated, metabolic bone disease can significantly shorten a bearded dragon’s lifespan. This condition is caused by a lack of calcium and vitamin D3 in their diet, which leads to weakened bones and joints. As the disease progresses, dragons may become unable to move or eat properly, suffer from seizures or organ failure, and ultimately die prematurely.

Prevention methods for metabolic bone disease include providing your bearded dragon with a balanced diet that includes plenty of calcium-rich foods like leafy greens, crickets dusted with calcium powder, and supplements. Additionally, it’s important to provide adequate UVB lighting to help your dragon absorb vitamin D3 from their food. If you suspect your dragon has metabolic bone disease, prompt veterinary care is essential. Treatment options may include dietary changes, supplements or injections of calcium and vitamin D3, as well as pain management medications. Early detection and treatment are key to preventing serious complications that can reduce the quality of life for your pet.

Respiratory infections

Respiratory infections can be a serious threat to the health and well-being of your beloved bearded dragon. These infections are usually caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi that attack the respiratory system of your pet. Symptoms of respiratory infections include wheezing, coughing, lethargy, and loss of appetite.

Prevention measures are essential in avoiding respiratory infections in bearded dragons. Maintaining a clean and hygienic environment for your pet is important as it helps eliminate harmful microorganisms that may cause these infections. Additionally, proper nutrition is crucial in keeping your pet healthy and strong enough to fight off any potential illnesses. If you suspect that your bearded dragon has a respiratory infection, prompt treatment options such as antibiotics or antifungal medications should be administered under the guidance of a veterinarian to avoid further complications.


Parasites can wreak havoc on the health of your beloved bearded dragon, causing a range of symptoms and potentially leading to serious complications if left untreated. The most common parasites that affect bearded dragons are mites, ticks, tapeworms, roundworms, and pinworms. These parasites are often contracted through contaminated food or water sources or from other infected reptiles.

Preventative measures for parasitic infections include providing clean and sanitary living conditions for your bearded dragon and regularly disinfecting their enclosure. Additionally, it is important to avoid feeding your pet wild-caught insects or reptiles as they may carry parasites. If you suspect that your bearded dragon has a parasitic infection, it is important to seek treatment options from a veterinarian experienced with treating reptiles. Treatment options may include medication or dietary changes to help rid the body of the parasite and prevent further infections. By taking preventative measures and seeking prompt treatment when necessary, you can help ensure the long-term health and well-being of your beloved bearded dragon.

Tips for Increasing Lifespan

To increase the lifespan of your bearded dragon, it is important to schedule regular veterinary check-ups. This will ensure that any health issues are caught early and can be treated promptly. Proper care and maintenance are also crucial, including providing a balanced diet, maintaining proper temperatures and lighting conditions, and keeping their habitat clean. Additionally, providing a stimulating environment with plenty of space to roam and climb can help keep your bearded dragon healthy and happy for many years to come.

Tips for Increasing Lifespan

Regular veterinary check-ups

Don’t forget to take your bearded dragon for regular check-ups with a vet! They can help ensure your scaly friend lives a long and healthy life. Regular veterinary check-ups are crucial in maintaining the health and wellness of your bearded dragon. These visits will not only detect any potential health problems, but also prevent them from happening in the first place.

Here are some reasons why regular veterinary check-ups are important for your bearded dragon:

  • Early detection: Your veterinarian can identify any potential issues early on, allowing for prompt treatment and better chances of recovery.
  • Preventative care: A veterinarian can provide preventative care measures to keep your bearded dragon healthy, such as vaccinations, parasite prevention, and proper nutrition.
  • Choosing a reputable veterinarian: It’s important to find a veterinarian who has experience working with reptiles and is knowledgeable about their specific needs.
  • Monitoring growth and development: Regular check-ups allow for monitoring of growth and development, ensuring that your bearded dragon is reaching milestones appropriately.

By taking these steps towards preventative care, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you’re doing everything possible to ensure the long-term health and happiness of your beloved bearded dragon.

Proper care and maintenance

Make sure you’re taking care of your scaly friend properly by keeping their enclosure clean and providing adequate hydration, heating and lighting. Bearded dragons require a specific type of housing to ensure their health and well-being. Their enclosure should be at least 40 gallons in size, with a basking spot that reaches 105-110°F during the day and drops to around 75-80°F at night.

In addition to proper housing requirements, grooming techniques are also essential for maintaining your bearded dragon’s health. Regularly check their nails and trim them as needed to prevent overgrowth, which can lead to discomfort or even infection. You should also provide a shallow dish of water for them to soak in, which will help keep their skin hydrated and healthy. Following these guidelines will help ensure your bearded dragon lives a long and healthy life.

Providing a stimulating environment

If you want your scaly friend to thrive, spicing up their living space with various types of stimulation is key. Enrichment activities can help improve the behavioral health of your bearded dragon by providing them with opportunities to explore and engage in natural behaviors. Here are some ideas for providing a stimulating environment:

  • Add different textures such as rocks, logs, and branches to create climbing areas.
  • Create hiding spots using plants or decorative objects to provide a sense of security.
  • Place toys and puzzles in the enclosure to encourage mental stimulation.

Enrichment activities don’t just provide entertainment for your bearded dragon; they also promote physical activity and improve overall well-being. By incorporating these ideas into their living space, you’ll be helping your pet develop healthy habits while keeping them happy and engaged. Remember that every bearded dragon is unique, so it’s important to observe their behavior and preferences when choosing enrichment activities.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I take my bearded dragon to the vet for check-ups?

To ensure your pet’s health, take your bearded dragon to the vet annually or when you notice any unusual behavior. The cost of care may vary, but it’s worth it for their long lifespan potential.

Can bearded dragons live alone or do they need to be housed with other dragons?

Did you know that bearded dragons can live up to 15 years in captivity? While they may seem social, housing them together can lead to aggression and stress. Solitary housing can cause depression, but can also prevent the spread of disease.

Do bearded dragons need any special care during hibernation?

During hibernation, bearded dragons need proper temperature control and hydration to prevent dehydration and organ failure. It’s important to differentiate between hibernation and brumation and provide appropriate care for each. Ensure proper hibernation for healthy bearded dragons.

What kind of toys or enrichment activities are best for bearded dragons?

To keep your bearded dragon happy and stimulated, try DIY toy ideas like toilet paper rolls or cardboard boxes. Unique food options can include collard greens or dandelion greens. Always supervise playtime to ensure safety.

Are there any specific plants or foods that I should avoid feeding my bearded dragon?

As the saying goes, “you are what you eat.” When it comes to feeding your bearded dragon, safe feeding practices must be followed. Avoid toxic foods like avocado and rhubarb, and opt for a diet rich in leafy greens and insects.

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