Like most animals, baby bearded dragons need more specialized diets and care routines than adults. However, it cannot be easy to provide this care if you aren’t sure how old your dragon is. It can be challenging to determine your beardie’s age, which is true with most reptiles.
Luckily, there are a few things you can do to determine the age of your bearded dragon—or at least estimate it. In this article, we’ll show you multiple methods to determine your pet’s age so that you can take care of them better.
1. Contact the Breeder
For a more accurate age estimate, you’ll need to contact the breeder. The breeder is the only person that knows when the dragon was born, so they’ll be the only person that can provide an accurate date.
However, this cannot be easy. Not all pet stores provide information about who their breeder is, making it impossible for buyers to contact them. It can also be difficult for breeders to figure out which exact beardie you purchased. There isn’t always information to track the dragon from the breeder to the buyer.
- Related Read: 10 Best Bearded Dragon Breeders of 2021: Our Top Picks
2. Ask Who You’re Buying It From
Sometimes, the store you’re purchasing from will be able to provide you with the age information. This may not always be possible, however. Some do not keep records of the ages of the dragons. They may have the date they received them, which may help you do the math on the animal’s age now. Sometimes, the store will have the exact birth date if the animal comes with papers from the breeder.
This can be a bit hit-or-miss. Some people will have lots of information about the dragon, including health information. Others will have minimum information. Some stores will provide the contact of the breeder.
3. Measure Your Bearded Dragon
Bearded dragons all grow at about the same rate. For this reason, you can use their size to determine their age if they’re under about one year of age. Once they hit one year, they don’t grow much anymore, so this method becomes less helpful. Use a measuring tape to measure your bearded dragon, preferably while they are still concentrating on something else.
Here is a short chart to compare your bearded dragon’s length. While this chart will work for most bearded dragons, some breeds grow at different rates, so it’s not a foolproof method. Beardies that are not fed and housed properly may not grow correctly, so they will not line up correctly with this chart either.
4. Determine Sexual Maturity
If your dragon is sexually mature, they are at least 8-12 months old. Otherwise, they will be younger than this. To determine sexual maturity, you will need to check under the dragon’s tail for bulges. Before sexual maturity, there will be no bulges at all. You can also determine gender based on this information.
This method serves as somewhat of a last resort. If you can’t determine your dragon’s age through other means, you’ll need to base it on sexual maturity, as long as they still haven’t reached it. If the lumps aren’t there, you’ll need to wait until they are. Once you notice them, your bearded dragon is about 8-12 months old.
Featured image credit: Oksanna Briere, Pixabay