Pet parents need to know how old a pet bearded dragon is after the reptile arrives home. The technique many vets and hobbyists use to determine age is simple. Pet lovers need a tape measure and, in some cases, a scale to best determine the approximate age of a pet beardie.
How Old Is My Bearded Dragon?
Bearded dragons grow quickly and double in size each month during the first few months of life. By the time a beardie reaches about 12 inches in length, the growth rate slows down a little. The first step for reptile lovers is to grab a tape measure. This tool may help determine how old your beardie is as this length measurement provides an approximate age. It is important to remember every beardie is an individual. Some bearded dragons grow faster than others, and even siblings may vary.
Beardies in Captivity
Most captive beardies reach full size within the first year of life, although some may continue to grow slowly during the second year of life. Is your tape measure ready? Use the length measurement to determine an approximate age:
|0-2 months||3" to 9"|
|2-3 months||8" to 11"|
|3 months to 1 year||12" to 22"|
|1 year +||16" to 24"|
Hatchlings go from three to nine inches in the first two months of life.
Juvenile beardies measure between eight and 11 inches by three months and 16 to 22 inches by the end of the first year.
Adults Between 12 and 18 months
Beardies continue to grow slowly until they reach between 16 and 24 inches during this stage.
Most bearded dragons stop growing at 18 months. At this point, the ultimate length is between 16 and 24 inches on average.
Grab your scale to double-check the weight of your beardie. Bearded dragons at six months of age weigh at least 200 grams. A healthy and large bearded dragon weighs around 230-260 grams at six months of age.
Determining Age by Sexual Maturity
Novice reptile owners may be able to determine gender around the six-month mark. If this is not possible, your beardie may be less than six months of age.
Beardie Average Lifespan
Bearded dragons exhibit a high turnover rate in the wild. The adults that reach maturity live for three to five years. Beardies live much longer in captivity, so prepare to live a long life with your new reptile best friend. Expect your beardie to live between five and ten years.
There is one report of a beardie living for more than nineteen years!
Size of Cage Does Not Impact Growth
One fact beardie owners often hear about is a myth! Reptiles grow continuously despite the size of the cage. Never place your beardie in a small cage to stunt growth, and always choose a spacious enclosure for your reptile. The size of your beardie's cage does not impact his growth. As your beardie ages, the growth spurt ultimately stops.
Visit an Exotic Vet Specialist
Always set up an appointment with an exotics vet to ensure your guess is somewhat accurate. A vet or vet tech may help determine your beardie's approximate age and provide an initial treatment plan as all new pets need a check-up! Even pet reptiles benefit from an annual exam, yet the bearded dragon is not known to handle stress well, so plan on one visit a year or a trip if your beardie falls ill.
Save for the appointment as vet care is costly and budget anywhere from $200 to $300 to cover any emergency vet costs.
Beardies Growth Rate May Vary
There is a great deal of variation in individual growth rates, and some beardies grow quickly and others slowly. Some reptiles may end up being twice the size of siblings within a few months. Use this tape measure method to determine the approximate age, and your vet may help answer any questions.