Getting a new pet always instills a forever feeling of togetherness in us. We assume our new pet will be with us through all our life phases, it will grow with us and witness all our life happenings, but we all know that the possibilities of this miracle are lower than our optimistic expectations. And when it comes to a pet as exotic and unique as bearded dragons, we are more than eager to know how long do bearded dragons live! Do we know the answer?
Knowing the life expectancy is a must before buying a new pet. Parents especially make sure they buy a pet that lives longer if they have young children. Who likes the stab in the heart while bidding goodbye to a pet way too early? So let’s just stop there and talk about how long do bearded dragons live and what causes them to live different life spans.
The Average LifeSpan Of Bearded Dragons
What do you think? How long do bearded dragons live? Do they live as long as turtles, birds, and many other animals which live longer than humans, or do they die earlier like hamsters and chameleons?
Beardies are unique reptiles and very territorial in nature. When they are in the wild, where the conditions are not always favorable, they live up to 3-8 years on average. Although the average lifespan can be as long as 8 years, most of the beardies die within 5 to 6 years. Due to lack of food, temperature changes, environmental changes, and countless predators in the wild, the life of a harmless beardie carries risk.
However, the case is quite different with pets in closed captivities. If you buy a beardie and keep it in an enclosure, where you feed it timely, take care of its balanced diet, monitor hygiene, set the temperatures, and pamper it with love and care, then your beardie will live up to 8-15 years! Yes, that’s how long a bearded dragon can actually live!
Dragons in enclosures have no threats from other predators and no threat from larger or foreign dragons. So yes, with care and proper management, your beardie can grow into a full adult and be with you for 15 years.
Life Stages Of A Bearded Dragon
During its rather large span of life, a bearded dragon goes through 6 stages of life. All these phases are easy to identify and help a caretaker to set the diet and the environment of an enclosure.
1. Embryonic Stage
The first stage of a dragon’s life is obviously its life in the egg. Therefore its health and immune system depend upon the strength of the mother. The stress levels and poor health of the mother can greatly affect the health of the newly born.
The next stage is the hatchling stage. When the dragon comes out of its egg, it’s called a hatchling and is about 3 inches long. A beardie grows in the range of 1-3 inches long in a month and is called a hatchling before it’s 7-8 inches long. This can take about 2 months or more. These small dragons need a lot of care when it comes to diet.
Next is the juvenile stage, which is also referred to as the sub-adult stage. A juvenile dragon is 7-8 inches long or a bit longer. A bearded dragon of up to 1 year of age is called a juvenile. It is the growing stage and so the beardies require more protein in their diet for proper development. Therefore, a dragon’s diet in the juvenile phase should be composed of 75% insects and only 25% fruits and greens.
4. Young Adult
The juveniles grow to become young adults. This phase is not a rapid growth phase as the previous one but it indicates sexual maturity and obvious differences in the beardie’s behavior. Young adults don’t increase their size at a noticeable rate and so their bones and muscles are not in rapid physiological development, therefore their diet should compose of 50% insects and 50% greens and fruits.
5. Mature Adult
When the dragon is 4-7 years old, it is in the mature adult phase of life. It is not a young beardie anymore and its size is evident in its age. The growth is slightly slower than that of young adults. In addition, the body’s physiological processes require less protein as the bones are not in the growth phase. Hence, the protein-rich diet is avoided and more vegetables and fruits are added. The diet of a mature adult should be 25% insects and 75% vegetables and fruits.
A dragon is called old when it has reached the 7 years mark. After 7 years, the bearded dragon is a senior and has obvious changes in behavior. The movements are less and the feeding times have been reduced. A dragon that has been taken good care of in the younger stages will be in good health by now, and feeding it once-seven times a week is enough for healthy living for your pet. A healthy senior dragon can live up to 15 healthy years, otherwise, its life may decline to 8-10 years.
Bearded dragons have an average life span of 10-15 years in enclosures where the dragon owner is always at his beck and call and takes care of all its dietary needs. Whereas the dragons in the wild have an average lifespan of 8-10 years as they have a constant threat from larger predators and other territorial dragons, not to mention the lack of food resources in the open.
Adding more to the topic, there are 6 stages of life for a bearded dragon. Including, embryonic, hatchling, juvenile, young adult, mature adult, and the old age that is senior.
Do male bearded dragons live longer than female bearded dragons?
Yes, male beardies live longer than female ones. This is due to the fact that female dragons give birth and lay eggs and so deteriorate their health for it. Their health conditions are not as strong as the males.
Do bigger bearded dragons live longer?
Yes, larger or bigger bearded dragons have a longer lifespan than smaller Beardies. The bigger the size, the longer they live. The reason why they outlive the smaller dragons is that they adapt more easily to the environment and have stronger immune systems.
Do adult bearded dragons need a larger enclosure to live longer?
Yes, the environment plays a major role in the life span of dragons. You must get a larger enclosure when your dragon grows larger into a mature adult and is not a juvenile anymore. You should have a 100-125 gallons enclosure for an adult bearded dragon. This is an essential factor that affects the lifespan of the dragon.
Emma is a pet enthusiast, and her way with words makes her an expressive writer. Her interests lie in healthcare and planning nutrition for various pets. She has two girls, and she’s passing her passion to them through occasional volunteer projects in the small neighborhood zoo. Emma joined our team as an enthusiast and has added more years to her experience by researching more about various creatures!