How Long Do Bearded Dragons Live And Why?

logo by Editorial Staff | Updated on September 30th, 2023

When it comes to reptile pets, Bearded Dragons are one of the most beloved and intriguing choices. Whether you’re a long-time lizard enthusiast or new to the world of reptile care, understanding the lifespan of these fascinating creatures can give you the knowledge you need for years of happy coexistence. Dive into this comprehensive guide that not only tells you how long Bearded Dragons live but also explores the factors that affect their longevity. From their life cycles to the differences between captivity and the wild, this article is your one-stop source for all things related to the lifespan of Bearded Dragons.

Understanding Animal Classification

Animals belong to the kingdom Animalia and are categorized into various groups like reptiles, amphibians, and mammals. Among these, reptiles like Bearded Dragons have always piqued our curiosity due to their unique characteristics. While some animals thrive in the wild, others become beloved pets. Interestingly, life in captivity generally extends an animal’s lifespan due to the absence of natural hazards.

Close up of Bearded Dragon, standing on wood, looking at camera

Introduction to Bearded Dragons

Bearded Dragons, scientifically known as Pogona, are a popular choice for pet reptiles. Weighing between ten to eighteen ounces, these omnivores usually grow to be 18 to 22 inches long. They have an intricate dietary regimen that includes live invertebrates, such as insects, and a mix of vegetables. To stay healthy, they require particular food supplements, balanced humidity levels around 30-40%, and specific temperature ranges, making them an animal that thrives under diligent care.

Life Phases of a Bearded Dragon

Embryonic Development

The journey of a Bearded Dragon begins within the egg, during the embryonic phase. The mother’s nutritional status and stress levels can significantly influence the future quality of life of the hatchlings.


A hatchling starts its life at around 3 inches and grows to be approximately 7-8 inches within the first two months. The growth rate during this stage is around 1-3 inches per month.


In the juvenile stage, these sub-adult reptiles continue to grow at about 1 inch per month until they reach one year of age. Their diet at this stage is predominantly insect-based, making up about 75% of their intake.


After the first year, the Bearded Dragon reaches its adolescent phase. Growth slows down, and social behaviors become more evident. The diet at this stage should be evenly split between plant materials and insects.


From ages 4 to 7, Bearded Dragons are considered adults and should consume more plant-based foods, making up around 75% of their diet.


The senior phase begins at age seven. Activity and feeding decrease, but the lifespan can extend up to 15 years with excellent care.

Lifespan in the Wild vs. Captivity

In the Wild

In their natural habitat, Bearded Dragons often live up to five to eight years. Their shorter lifespan is primarily due to predation from birds like hawks and vultures, as well as larger mammals. Environmental factors like food scarcity and droughts also contribute to a reduced lifespan.

In Captivity

Conversely, a well-cared-for Bearded Dragon can live between 8 and 12 years in captivity. Their protected environment eliminates the threats they face in the wild, such as predators and harsh living conditions. Essential elements like proper lighting, temperature, humidity, and a balanced diet contribute to their longer lifespan.

Factors Affecting Longevity

Research and observations show that Bearded Dragons have a variable lifespan influenced by diet, environment, and overall care. Access to adequate nutrition, vitamins, and environmental conditions can extend their lifespan up to 15 years in captivity. However, those not adequately cared for might live just 8 to 10 years.

Estimating Your Bearded Dragon’s Age

Estimating the age of a Bearded Dragon can be a bit tricky. Size and sexual maturity are two factors that can help you make an educated guess. For instance, a dragon that is 12-24 inches long is generally over a year old, while those between 8 and 12 months reach sexual maturity.

Extending Your Bearded Dragon’s Life: Best Practices

Use Safe Substrates

Using safe, impaction-free substrates like tile or newspaper can prevent your bearded dragon from swallowing small particles that could lead to blockages.

Nutrition and Supplements

Providing multivitamins, calcium, and vitamin D3 supplements is essential to maintain a balanced diet.

Clean Environment

A clean tank reduces the risk of infections and diseases. Consistent spot cleaning and monthly deep cleaning are advisable.

Proper Hydration

In addition to clean drinking water, occasional warm baths can help with hydration and aid in the shedding process.

Stress-Free Living

Ensuring a stress-free environment by reducing noise and using non-reflective glass for their enclosures can contribute to longevity.


The lifespan of Bearded Dragons is fascinating and complex, influenced by numerous variables including environment, diet, and level of care. To give your Bearded Dragon the chance for a longer, happier life, focus on providing a balanced diet, a proper environment, and attentive care. With the right knowledge and commitment, you can be the proud pet parent of a healthy, long-lived Bearded Dragon.


Editorial Staff

Our writers, editors, content managers, and SEO specialist. We all take part in crafting amazing articles. We spend hours ensuring that each article is based on facts, researched, and thorough. You'll never want to click the back button to look for more answers other than here!