Bearded dragons have become one of the most popular reptilian pets in America. They are fun, easy to care for, and they live a long time. They also seem to enjoy human interaction. The average bearded dragon lives 10 years, but some bearded dragons can live up to 15 years under the right care and conditions.
Bearded dragons originate from central Australia, and their natural habitat includes deserts, arid woodlands, dry areas, and places that are rocky. They were heavily harvested from their natural areas due to the pet trade, but they are stable now.
The most common species in the pet market is the Inland Bearded Dragon, Pogona vitticeps, which was previously named Amphibolurus vitticeps.
While you can’t predict how long your dragon will live, there are things that you can do to help it live a longer more healthy life.
Factors That Influence A Bearded Dragons Lifespan
There are many factors that can contribute to the lifespan of a bearded dragon. One that lives in the proper setting with great care will usually outlive one that is not living in the best conditions. Obviously, there are factors that you cannot control that will determine how long one lives, but you should be able to do some things that improve how long it lives.
Here is a list of things that can help a bearded dragon live longer:
- Environment: A bearded dragon should have a proper enclosure that it lives in. If it lives in a cage, the cage needs to be secure, and it should not have any rough edges. This could lead to trauma and cuts to the nose area. The cage also needs to be big enough to provide ample room. This will ensure a healthy reptile. If it is kept in an aquarium, an adult needs a minimum of 55 gallons, but a little bit bigger is always better.
- Substrate: This refers to what lines the bottom of the cage or aquarium. The proper substrate should be newspaper or carpet. You should not use litter, wood shavings, or potting soil. Using the wrong lining can be detrimental to the health of your dragon.
- Sex: Males generally live longer than females, so that may be something to consider when purchasing your dragon.
- Diet: One of the most important factors to consider is what you are feeding it. A healthy diet can help you avoid a nutritional disorder for your pet. Bearded dragons are omnivores which means they eat meat and vegetable matter. Young ones will feed primarily on insects, and as they grow older, they will eat a more varied diet. This should also include commercially prepared veggie matter, and things like kale. Make sure you understand what is appropriate. Some insects like fireflies can kill bearded dragons.
- Water and Humidity: Fresh water should be provided at all times in a bowl that does not tip over. During winter, it is necessary to give them proper humidity for shedding. If you have a bath bowl in their tank, make sure to clean it regularly as then tend to pee and poop in them which makes the water very dirty and unsanitary.
- Heating: These are cold blooded creatures so they need heat to survive. A proper heat source is imperative to their health and well being. This should be set to 78-88 degrees F during the day. During the night, it should be set to the high 70’s. The heat source should adequately and evenly cover the entire habitat. A secondary heat source like this one can also be added to cover 25% of the habitat.
- Light: Lighting should mimic its natural habitat. The lighting should include high UVA and UVB light bulbs. The most commonly used ones are mercury vapor and Fluorescent.
- Breeding: For females, breeding may reduce their lifespan, so if you prevent that, it can help lead to a longer lifespan.
- Cleaning: Beardies cages or aquariums should be cleaned regularly. This will help to promote a more sanitary living space which can help foster a longer life.
How Long Do Bearded Dragons Live
Here is some further information that may help determine how long they live:
- 6-8 years: If you take poor care of your bearded dragon, you should expect a shorter lifespan than average.
- 8-10 years: This is the average lifespan of a bearded dragon in captivity as a pet.
- 10-12 years: If you follow guidelines and take extra care of the health of your beardies, you may get an extra couple of years with your pet.
- 12-14 years: If you take extraordinary steps to take care of your dragon, and if it has good genetics, then you may be able to get this many years with it.
- 15+ years: This is not a common occurrence, but it can happen if you have a pet that has great genetics, and you do everything right for the health of your pet. This is not something you should expect though.
How Long Do Bearded Dragons Live In The Wild
In the wild, bearded dragons usually live 5-8years.