How to Prevent Shedding Problems

Reptiles need to shed the outer layer of their skin as the grow. Reptiles grow continuously throughout their lives, this growth obviously slows down to a extremely low rate once the reptile has reached its maximum length. This is why larger snakes are always older, you can judge the age of a wild python or crocodile by its size. Hatching snakes will often shed twice a month, adult snakes will usually shed three to four times a year. My leopard gecko sheds quite often even though it is an adult, while my adult Bearded Dragon has not shed in years. In the wild snakes and lizards would find a moist place to hide when they are going to shed, this aids in the shedding process. Shedding problems occur in captivity as the reptiles you keep, cannot move to a moist area. In tropical species shedding problems are a sign that you need to increase the humidity in the cage. Your cage must never be too moist as species like king snakes, milk snakes, rat snakes and even garter snakes will get scale rot if kept to moist. The best thing to do is: when your snake or lizard is just about to shed, spray the cage, as well as the snake or lizard with water. If the snake or lizard has still not shed properly you can bath them in lukewarm water. You can also peel the skin off, this must be done as soon as the snake or lizard has shed. Getting skin of a snake is easier than getting it of a Leopard Gecko, Bearded Dragons are very easy to deal with in this regard. If you are not accomplished at handling reptiles, I suggest you do not try to peel the skin off, it needs some skill. For reptiles that are aggressive or do not like handling such as Tokay Geckos or delicate reptiles like Day Geckos increase the humidity in the cage. You can also use a shedding aid, they come in a spray bottle follow the instructions on the bottle. If your snake or lizard has persistent shedding problems, you may have to look at altering the cage temperatures and humidity.