Bearded dragons can survive for a few days or even weeks without drinking water. Animals can go on for a long time without food but surviving without water is different. All animals need to stay hydrated to stay alive.
Feeding bearded dragons is a simple task for pet owners. But when it comes to keeping them hydrated, it’s a hard task to maintain.
Even if you provide clean drinking water to your beardie, it can be challenging to make them drink. Bearded dragons can be stubborn when it comes to drinking their water.
Why Do Bearded Dragons Need to be Hydrated?
Bearded dragons have adapted to survive in desert conditions. But it doesn’t mean that they don’t need to be hydrated anymore. They still drink water a few times a year. The water from their food will be enough for them to stay hydrated. In captivity, your beardie should be provided with clean water every day.
Some unexpected circumstances may stop your lizard from staying hydrated. Even if you make sure to provide your pet with clean drinking water, the bearded dragon may refuse to drink it. Although bearded dragons can survive from 3 days to 2 weeks without drinking water.
However, it’s not going to have a good impact on their health. Bearded dragons can end up having serious health issues if this continues.
If your lizard seems to avoid drinking water for a couple of days, it’s best to bring it to the vet immediately. That’s the best way to know what’s the problem your beardie may have.
Why Do Bearded Dragons Refuse to Drink?
There are different reasons bearded dragons refuse to drink water. It’s important to determine these reasons to make them easier to resolve. If you notice that your beardie didn’t drink the water you provided, they might do that later. Don’t pressure your pet on drinking if they don’t feel thirsty yet.
Unlike other animals, beardies can take water from their regular diet. If you feed them healthy and watery foods, they don’t need to drink water from their water bowl.
In the wild, bearded dragons can survive without water for a long time. They derive water from their food such as insects and plant materials.
Why Do Bearded Dragons Need Water?
Bearded dragons can go for several weeks without eating. But they can’t survive long without drinking water. Water is an essential part of survival. Just like humans, bearded dragons need water to promote better organ functions. It’s important to stay hydrated to make sure that they are healthy.
If bearded dragons become dehydrated, it can be fatal and affect their well-being. Without water to stay hydrated, your pet can even die.
That’s why it’s critical to provide your beardie with fresh water and make sure it will drink. Even if their water bowl seems untouched, change it with clean and fresh water daily.
These lizards need to stay hydrated. It will facilitate the better function of their organs. That will maintain the bearded dragon’s health.
As its owner, you need to ensure that your pet is properly hydrated. But avoid providing too much water to your dragon. It can result in improper shedding or diarrhea.
Bearded dragons are unique creatures since they can survive even on less water. Compared to other animals, these lizards can get water from other sources.
It doesn’t have to be in a water bowl. They can get water from the foods they eat. But it doesn’t mean that you should not provide water anymore.
Why Is Bearded Dragon Not Drinking Water?
If your bearded dragon refuses to drink water, it may be because of different reasons. You don’t have to bring your pet to the vet right away. Make sure to check and find out what is the reason why your beardie isn’t drinking water. If you have done something wrong, you can have it corrected immediately.
Bearded dragon brumate during the winter to avoid the low temperature. They need to conserve their energy during these times. It’s a form of hibernation for reptiles.
They may refuse to drink water during this period. It’s their natural habit since they don’t need to eat or drink as much when they are brumating.
If you’re giving too much water, your beardie will refuse it for sure. It feels satisfied already so there’s no need to provide excess water. Remember, bearded dragons’ natural habitat is the desert. They don’t need to drink a lot of water like other pets you have.
When you leave a bowl of water in its cage, the bearded dragon may already drink water while you’re not looking. That means that it’s already satisfied.
They can also get water from their food so don’t worry. As long as your dragon looks healthy, there’s nothing to worry about when it’s not drinking water.
One of the reasons why bearded dragons don’t take water is due to stress. If your pet is stressed, it will refuse to eat and drink.
That means you have to worry about your pet. You have to find out the reason why the bearded dragon is stressed. That way, you will know how to solve their concerns.
Bearded dragons may be stressed because of the presence of predators. Drastic changes in light, temperature, and sound can also be the reason why it’s stressed.
If you have other pets or another bearded dragon, it can stress your pet. They are solitary animals and prefer to be alone. When the conditions in their habitat are right, your beardie will drink soon.
When your bearded dragon is not drinking water, it may be due to illness. If you think that it’s sick, visit the vet immediately. Your beardie may be dehydrated because of its condition.
Another sign of sickness is if your pet is not moving much as normal. It may also be suffering from anorexia, visible injuries, or anything that seems to be abnormal.
5. Stagnant Water
Make sure to always clean the water bowl and provide your pet with fresh water daily. If your bearded dragon seems to only drink for a short time, the water will remain there. Even if there is still a lot of water in their bowl, change it with fresh water the next day.
If the water is there the entire time, your beardie will refuse to drink on it. Bearded dragons know if the water is no longer good for drinking.
They will never drink in stagnant water since it can be contaminated already. Regular water changes on their drinking bowl are recommended to avoid dehydration.
How Much Water Bearded Dragons Need Everyday?
Now that it’s clear that your beardie needs to have fresh water daily, it’s time to learn how much water they need.
Bearded dragons don’t need too much water like other animals. But it does mean that you should not provide water for your pet every day.
The bearded dragon’s age is how you will know the amount of water it needs. Generally, beardies need to have 1% water based on their body weight. For example, if your dragon is around 300 grams, it will require 3 ml of water every day. Ask for a vet’s advice to make sure how much water your pet needs.
How to Determine If a Bearded Dragon is Dehydrated?
It’s crucial to know if your bearded dragon is dehydrated. When it happens, the only solution is to make it hydrated. It can also be a symptom of illness when your pet becomes dehydrated. Different symptoms will help you to confirm your suspicions.
Make sure to pay close attention to the food and water your pet is taking in. But don’t force your dragon to eat in case it’s refusing to do so. Give it some water to drink slowly to avoid further health problems. It’s best to consult a reptile vet when you notice these symptoms.
1. Wrinkled Skin
You will immediately notice that your bearded dragon’s skin looks more wrinkle than normal. This is a sign that it’s already dehydrated. Although young bearded dragons typically have wrinkled skin, it can still be a sign that it’s dehydrated and needed to drink.
If you can’t tell if your pet’s skin is wrinkly or not, pinch the skin very lightly and release it. Normally, the skin should return to its original position right away. If not, it means that your pet is dehydrated. You need to hydrate the bearded dragon as soon as possible.
2. Sunken Eyes
When the bearded dragon has sunken eyes, that means it’s dehydrated. But sometimes, it can also be an indication of other health conditions.
It’s best to consult the vet to ensure that your beardie will be treated if needed. If it’s just dehydrated, you can ask for advice on how to keep your pet hydrated.
3. Darkness in Urates
The white stuff that comes out with your bearded dragon’s defecation is called the urates. If you notice the color is different such as orangey or yellowish, that means it’s dehydrated.
If you notice these symptoms, take your beardie to the vet. Don’t force your bearded dragon to eat right away. Just give it some water and let it drink slowly.
How to Make Bearded Dragons Drink Water?
1. Use a Water Bowl
It’s the easiest and most convenient way to provide water to your pet. The material on the bowl doesn’t matter as long as it’s clean. Although it’s best to get a water bowl with a smooth material and chemical resistance. That will make cleaning and disinfecting easier for you as well.
Another thing to consider when buying a bowl for your dragon is the size. The water bowl must be large enough for the beardie to immerse its body.
But you also need to consider the amount of humidity. Remember, the bowl will be placed inside the enclosure so make sure the habitat is well ventilated.
You also have to consider the depth of the water bowl before getting it. If the water bowl is a little over shoulder depth, that’s fine.
Bearded water can’t see stagnant water or it may refuse to drink. They also defecate in the water normally so make sure to clean your pet and the water bowl regularly.
2. Spray the Beardie
Misting the bearded dragons is one way to help them to stay hydrated. It will also help them with their shedding. Wild bearded dragons are not used to drinking in a water bowl.
They are not used to seeing stagnant water in the wild. Pet dragons will not have a problem with drinking from the water bowl.
Spraying the bearded dragon who is uncomfortable drinking from the bowl is the best alternative. It will keep your pet hydrated even if it refuses to drink.
You can hand spray your beardie to help it stay hydrated. It’s also fine to spray the enclosure. This improves humidity as well as improves their feeding and drinking habits.
It’s best to use distilled water when spraying your bearded dragon. Distilled water is free from minerals and will avoid staining the glass on the enclosure.
How often you should spray the enclosure depends on the type of substrate, humidity, ventilation, and temperature. Spray your pet every morning to simulate the morning dew from the desert.
Make sure that the temperature and ventilation are enough to allow the mist to clear. You can use hand spraying or use an automatic misting system for the enclosure.
You can set the time of the automated misting system when you want to spray the bearded dragon’s habitat. The amount of spray can be programmed to keep your pet hydrated.
3. Bathing Bearded Dragons
Bathing is another way to keep your bearded dragon hydrated. Although there are many arguments if bearded dragons can absorb water through their skin. Many pieces of research have been conducted on reptiles and lizards. It concluded that the skin of bearded dragons does not absorb water.
Beardies have pocket-like structures in their scales that can trap water. They can bend their heads and lift their bodies.
It will allow the water to go down their mouths so they can drink it. That means that bathing or swimming can help them stay hydrated even if their skin doesn’t absorb water.
These lizards can stay hydrated through bathing. They also have a small opening that can absorb water in the same area where they excrete waste.
Some dragon owners also observed that their pet is drinking water as they bathe. Bathing will keep them hydrated even if they don’t drink in the bowl.
4. Hydrate By Feeding
Feeding foods with high water content can help bearded dragons to stay hydrated. They can get water from the food they eat.
Misting the food before feeding it to your pet is also a good idea. Fruits and veggies contain water as well as insects. It provides water to your beardie which will keep them hydrated.
Food with High Water Content for Bearded Dragons:
- Watercress fresh – 95.11
- Zucchini skin – 94.79
- Lettuce Romaine or Cos fresh – 94.61
- Endive – 93.79
- Capsicum, bell peppers – 93.3
- Mustard greens, frozen/unprepared -93.2
- Turnip greens, frozen – 92.93
- Cabbage – 92.18
- Strawberry – 92.1
- Rocket fresh – 91.8
- Watermelon, peeled – 91.6
5. Use a Syringe
If your bearded dragon is not drinking water, you can use a syringe. Fill it with water and give it to your beardie. It will work well if your pet is not scared of you.
Let the trust develop between you and your pet first before trying this method. Once your pet seems to be more comfortable, you can use a syringe to keep your pet hydrated.
6. Waterfall and Bubblers
These can make the bearded dragon’s habitat beautiful. But it’s also a good source of humidity, especially during summer. Bearded dragons can’t see still water. A waterfall or bubbler can help them to see the water. That will also entice your pet to drink.
Add some artificial or live plants with broad leaves in the enclosure. When the dew forms on the leaves, the bearded Dragon can have easy access to drinking water.
You can also add air stone to the water bowl with a small air pump. It will create water movement and help your bearded dragon find water to drink.
Precaution: Waterfall can mess up the humidity levels on the bearded dragon’s enclosure. Be careful when using them and monitor humidity levels if you choose to use them to help your pet stay hydrated.
How long can a bearded dragon go without eating?
Most adult bearded dragons can go on without food for as long as 2 months. As long as the beardie is healthy, it can survive for a long time without food. The age and size of the bearded dragon also contribute to how long it can survive without eating.
Can bearded dragons absorb water through their skin?
No, bearded dragons can’t absorb water through their skin. They can do that through their vent. Water can also get trapped in their skin because of their scales. Bearded dragons can bend their body to drink from their skin through their mouths.
Beardies can absorb water through their vents or their mouths. When sprayed or soaked in water, bearded dragons can absorb water through these means. But they can’t absorb water through their skin contrary to popular belief.
How often bearded dragons should be watered?
For adult bearded dragons, they need about 10 ml of water every day. Make sure you water your bearded dragon enough times to fill in the 10ml capacity. You have to include the water from the food you feed your pet.
Should I mist bearded dragon?
Yes, misting a bearded dragon is an effective way of keeping it hydrated. It’s also helpful for the shedding process to go smoothly. When you mist your dragon’s skin while shedding, it can increase the moisture in its environment and skin. That will make it easier for them to get rid of their old skin.
Can a bearded dragon have too much water?
Yes, bearded dragons can end up having too much water. If your pet is used to being dehydrated, providing it with too much water is bad for them. Feeding it with too many watery foods can also cause diarrhea.