How long do Bearded Dragons Live?

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When it comes to getting or having a bearded dragon can be so exciting, especially if this is your first time. A new pet is so special to everyone and more so a dragon since it is unique. These animals are very beautiful and fascinating to view, and they can bring so much joy when you have them as a pet in your home. 

When you get the experience of having a bearded dragon, it will be so exciting, and you will not want to part ways with this animal.  This brings the question of how long you should expect to have this one-of-a-kind relationship with this part.  Will they live to bring joy to your life for a few years, or will they be there for decades?  Fairly enough, the bearded dragon will live far longer than most lizards, but this article will give more details on how you should expect it to live.

The average lifespan of the Bearded Dragon

The average lifespan of a bearded dragon in the wild is five to eight years.  The main reason why they have a shorter lifespan in the wild is the natural predators.  The hawks and vultures are among the animals that prey on the bearded dragons, and the wolves and big cats hunt them too.  Whenever these predators attack them, they end up getting killed, and if they manage to escape, they get severe injuries that lead to their deaths layer.

The domesticated dragon is a bit safer, and this means that it is likely to have a long lifespan. Food is delivered every day to the house it is living in, and there are no dangers of getting attacked by the predators compared to the wild dragon that struggles to get food while trying to hide from the predators that are out to hunt them. For the bearded dragons to thrive, they also need space, heating, and proper lighting and nutrition.

The bearded dragon that is domesticated can live for up to 14 years, but it is so rare even for them.  This can, however, be achieved by making sure that the living conditions are optimal.

Why do some Bearded Dragons Live longer than others?

As indicated above, there are some bearded dragons that live for up to 15 years while others live for eight years which is almost half the age. There are some factors that contribute to this big difference, and that is what we seek to explain.  It is not one factor but different things that will need to be improved to ensure that your dragon lives long.

  1. Nutrition

The dragons just like the human need to have proper diet and nutrition to make sure that it is healthy and will consequently live for long. When the dragons lack proper diet and a well-balanced diet full of all the essential nutrients, it is likely to have a short life due to health challenges and will have low immunity to fight any health danger that it experiences. Those fed properly and have a balanced diet end up living for long since their bodies are so immune and can withstand and fight any health issue for long.

 As the dragon ages, they need to change their nutrients ratio were; for example, the young bearded dragons start by feeding mainly on the insects like 75 percent and plant matter 25 to supplement, but as they age, they will need to reverse.  If this is not followed, it means the dragon will have health challenges and is likely to shorten its lifespan.

  • Environment Conditions

Whenever you want to keep the bearded dragons as pets, you need to do research on the ideal environment for them. For instance, these animals come from Australia, and this means you need to know how the climate and environment in Australia are, and then you will need to maintain that even in your environment.  This means that in your closure, you will need to maintain certain temperatures and provide a certain amount of light and humidity for them to thrive.  When you have met all these conditions, definitely your dragon will have a long life, and if you do not, the lifespan will reduce drastically.

When you keep the dragon, you will need to have two sections of water; the hot water that will be between 96 to 100 degrees F and the cold one that will need to be 75 to 85 degrees F. The humidity also needs to be maintained below 40 percent, and this means that you need to be careful with your water placement, and you will need to stick a hydrometer in the walls of the tank the dragon lives.

  • Enclosure size

If you want any animal to live for long, it will definitely need to live in a comfortable place.  For those keeping the bearded dragon, this animal will need good accommodation in order to live comfortably to be able to live for an optimal lifespan. Failure to provide a comfortable place to live the life of these animals will be short.

The young dragons will require at least an enclosure that s 20 gallons, and this means the adult ones will need a much larger place.  The place should be at least 20 inches long for the adult dragon to live comfortably. This will take up a lot of space in your compound, and this means to have a healthy dragon that can live for long will need a lot of sacrifices.

  • Size

For the dragons, the size matters, and the bigger the dragon, the longer it is likely to live. When the dragon is bigger, it becomes more resilient, and it is able to adapt to the environment changes easily and with minimum effects. In general, the large dragons can be able to cope with many eighth challenges compared to the small ones, and this means they live long.

  • Sex

For the bearded dragons, gender also matters, and the males tend to live longer than the females. This is mainly due to the size differences. As we have discussed earlier, the bigger dragons live more, and in this case, the males are bigger than the females.  However, there are other reasons why females do not live for long as males. This is, for instance, where the females go through a lot during the breeding and as they produce the offspring, and this affects their bodies and health in general. Females have a shorter lifespan compared to males due to such reasons.

  • History of being used for breeding

As discussed earlier, females have a shorter lifespan compared to males due to breeding. The females that have been used severally for breeding and laying eggs become weak fast as compared to those that are not active inbreeding. This means that whenever you are acquiring the female bearded dragon, you should be aware of the effects this process will have on the lifespan of the dragon.

  • Genetics

It does not matter the species of the bearded dragon you have; the genes will always matter.  There are dragon species that are hard, and the animals live for longer than others. There are some of the methods you can use to get a dragon that has the strong genes that will be able to lie for long such as getting your dragon from the right breeder who has a good history. 

Some stores sell the dragons with no assurance, and there is no background information to establish the origin of these dragons. Sometimes you will find that these bearded dragons have been raised in second-hand farms that priorities are making money over raising healthy dragons.

 The reputable breeders have a name to protect, and this means they prioritize the quality and health of the dragons, too, since this means a lot to them.  They prefer working on quality and small skills that they will give the best and have the optimal results.  When you buy s dragon from such a breeder, you are assured of a healthy dragon that will live for long.

  • Healthcare

The bearded dragons do not need to be vaccinated. However, this does not mean they do not need any medical attention. Just like any other pet, regular medical checkups are very important to dragons. It is important to always ensure they are checked for any disease, and whenever it is detected, they are treated early. This will see your dragon live long.

Why don’t the bearded Dragons live long in the wild?

As we already established, the bearded dragons that live in the wild live for a short period as compared to those in captivity or domesticated.  We are going to discuss the factors that make the life of the wild short.

  1. Diet

The dragons that are living in the wild do not consume the level of nutritional food the ones in captivity receive, and this means they will have some deficiency. The bearded dragons in the wild will need to hunt for themselves, and this already is a challenge because they will not be able to get the constant supply of a balanced diet. Those in captivity get a balanced one since it is the owner who chooses, but when they hunt for themselves, they do not choose but will rather feed on what is available.

Those that are in captivity are fed with high-quality insects and greens that contain the additional calcium supplements all year round. In the wild, it is difficult to obtain a high-quality diet throughout the year, and this means the ones in the wild will be weaker compared to the domesticated ones.

The second explanation as to why the dragons living in the world do not have a long lifespan is the fact that they are always under the threat of predators.  Some of the predators to these bearded dragons include foxes, cats, black-headed pythons, dingoes, goannas, and birds.

  • Predators

With the threat from all these predators, it is understandable why the lives of most dragons are cut short in the wild since even the healthy ones can be attacked by these predators. The dragons in captivity are protected, and they do not have any threat of being attacked by the predators, and this explains why they live longer than the others.

  • Lighting and basking

Every bearded dragon owner knows the importance of having proper lighting for the animals. The animals need to have access to a proper basking area where they can be able to rest since this is very vital to the health of these animals. This is also very important to those living in the wild, and it becomes very difficult for them to have consistent proper lighting and basking. This is because the weather keeps changing, and it cannot be regulated.

The dragons in captivity have enough time to bask and relax as compared to those in the wild that will need to spend most of their time hunting and running from the predators. This ends up affecting the dragons in the wild negatively since they will not be as healthy as those that bask properly.

  • Injuries and illness

One of the main reasons why bearded dragons live for a short time while in the wild is the fact that they do not get any medication in case they need it.  Think of a scenario where it is injured as it hunts or trying to escape from the predator. This animal will have nowhere to run and get any medication. This means that it will be at risk of dying due to starvation since it cannot be able to hunt or will be attacked by the predator because it cannot run.

In the wild, a small illness that could be managed by a veterinary can easily get out of hand. This is because in captivity, this bearded dragon could be taken to the vet immediately and the problem treated in an early stage before it turns to be a big problem. Those in the wild do not have an option of controlling even the slightest problems, and this means they end up becoming life-threatening and eventually cost them their lives.

The oldest bearded dragon recorded ever

When we are discussing the oldest dragons that have ever existed, it is difficult to tell which is accurate and which one is inaccurate.  But will all that said, there is information found in the databases of the “Guinness World Records,” and the information indicates that the oldest bearded dragon to ever be recorded lived for 18 years and 237 days.  This dragon was nicknamed Sebastian and was from the United Kingdom owned by one Lee Anne Burgess.

This information is important, and it shows how a bearded dragon can live for a long if it is taken care of.

How to tell how old the bearded dragon is

There is no accurate or specific way of telling the age of a bearded dragon without the official papers that records it.  There are some ways that can help you to approximate the age of your dragons though they are not accurate. The first way of knowing the age of the dragon measures them because different sizes indicate different stages of life, and at a certain stage, you can approximate the age.

Another method of determining the age of your bearded dragons is to check when they become sexually mature. This is because most of them become sexually mature at the age of 8 to 12 months, and this means you will have known the average age of the dragon. However, this method is less accurate compared to measuring since the range is too big.

The life stages of the Bearded Dragon

The process of the growth of the beaded dragon goes through six stages, and these are common to every other dragon.

Embryonic Stage

This is the first stage of development since it takes place in the egg. The nutrition levels and the mental status of the mother will have a direct impact on the quality of the offspring that will come out of that egg.


Most hatchlings of the dragons start out at 3 inches long, and they remain the same until they are two months when they develop to about 7 to 8 inches long.  During this stage, the dragons grow with an average of one to three inches every month.


The juveniles are young dragons that are seven to8 inches long.  These dragons will be growing about one inch every month and will remain in this stage until they are about one year old.  During this juvenile stage, the diet consists of 75 percent insects and 25 percent plant matter. This is because they need a lot of nutrients for growth and the insect have different nutrients that are important for their growth.

Young adults

At this age, the dragons are no longer young, and they are now considered young adults.  They are no longer growing as quickly as before, and they are now starting to be sexually mature. This means the social behaviors change, and the diet also changes to 50 percent insects and 50 percent plant matter.

Mature adults

At this age of 4 to 7 years, a dragon is starting to age is viewed as a mature dragon.  They are fully grown, and the diet should be the opposite of the juveniles. The animals should be eating 75 percent of animal matter and 25 percent of insects.


For the bearded dragons, old age begins at seven years. At this age, the dragons will reduce the movements, and the feeding will be less. The age at which these effects wills art happening to your pet will be determined by how good your dragon has been taken care of when it was young and as it was growing.  If your dragon has been taken care of well, the effects will take long before they can be noticed, and this means it may have a longer life.  They will remain in this phase up to when they are 15 years old, but for those that are not taken care of well, they will be at this stage up to the 8th or 10th year.

Do all the captive bearded dragons live long lives?

Every responsible and caring owner always wants the best for their pet, and this means they will do nay5thing to ensure their bearded dragons live for the longest.  However, the question is, even if you give them the best and ensure all the conditions are optimal, could there be the possibility of them not living longer than expected? The answer is yes. Even if you provide everything, there is still a possibility of your dragon living a short life due to unforeseen circumstances.

For instance, if your dragon has poor genetics, then this can result in them living a short life even if you provide the best care when they are growing up. Sometimes they can get seriously sick, and this will weaken their body, and even if they get treated eventually, this will end up reducing their life expectancy. Some of these things are beyond your control as the owner, and you should instead focus on providing the best for your dragon and hope that nothing happens to them.

How to increase the lifespan of your Bearded Dragons

  1. Use safe products

Your top priority as an owner of the bearded dragons should be to ensure that they are protected against any unwanted situation that re caused by the unsafe products. One of the problems is a loose substrate such as the sand and small gravel, which end up causing impaction.  To avoid this situation, make sure that the thermometer and the hydrometers you are using are of high quality so that they can accurately keep monitoring these parameters.

  •  Give supplements

Whenever the bearded dragons are in captivity, they require some help to enable them to balance their nutrition and diet.  It is important to regularly give them multivitamins along with calcium and vitamins supplements which are vital in helping them complete all their nutritional needs.  These supplements are important, especially to females during pregnancy.

  • Regularly clean their tanks.

It is vital to ensure that their homes are always kept clean, and this reduces the risks of getting any infections and also it makes them comfortable. Make sure any unwanted substances such as dropping and uneaten food are removed from the area regularly. The entire tank should at least be cleaned monthly.

  • Hydration

Besides providing your dragons with clean and fresh drinking water, it is also important for them to have a war birth for 20 minutes as this will also help them remain well hydrated.  This also helps loosen their skin during the shedding.

  • Keep your bearded dragons stress-free.

If you want to keep your dragon for long, it is important to keep them stress-free.  You can provide the best nutrition and diet, but the animal is still stressed, and this will affect the lifespan. Some of the things that bring in stress include the noise in the areas they are living in, glass terrarium, which may cause reflection, and the dragon confuses it for another dragon causing them to always be agitated.

Are bearded dragons happy in captivity?

This depends on the living conditions you provide to the dragon; if there is enough space to be able to rest and move around, then the dragon will be happy. But if you notice some changes in the behavior, such as loss of appetite and some aggressive habits, then it is important to check if your dragon is ill or stressed.


The domesticated bearded dragons live between for long as compared to the wild species because of some of the factors discussed above.  It is important for every owner to ensure they do the best when taking care of the dragons so as to ensure they have a long healthy life.  It is also important o keep monitoring them closely for any signs of illness and treating them on time to avoid severe illness, which will reduce the lifespan. If you do follow all the advice and avoid these common problems, then you can be assured that your bearded dragon will live long and have a healthy life.

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