Water is an essential part of survival for all animals including bearded dragons. But if you’re a new beardie owner, you might struggle in keeping your reptile hydrated.
Bearded dragons may refuse to drink from their water bowl. That will be a concern since it will eventually get dehydrated and affect your beardie’s health and wellbeing.
When bearded dragons ate in the wild, they get water from the plants and insects they eat. They adapted to survive even in dry conditions.
But in captivity, they can only depend on their owners to provide them the hydration they need. But it’s not easy to do that especially if your beardie is refusing to drink the water you provided.
How to Hydrate a Bearded Dragon?
Bearded dragons can be hydrated the same way as they did from the wild. They need to drink a few amounts of water and also get moisture from the food they eat.
As pets, bearded dragons can be hydrated in different ways. You don’t have to worry about them since they are all easy to do.
1. Get a Shallow Water Bowl
The water bowl is one of the easiest ways to keep your bearded dragon hydrated. Just make sure to find a shallow water bowl for your pet. It will avoid the beardie from accidentally drowning.
They are not good swimmers and it’s dangerous for them. Their bodies are not designed to get splashed by water especially in the eyes and mouth.
Avoid the water bowl deep enough above the beardies shoulder. A shallow water bowl will allow them to climb up if needed.
Always fill it with fresh and clean water. Bearded dragons can only drink small amounts of water from the dish. There’s no need to add too much water.
2. Provide Foods with High Water Content
The best way to keep your bearded dragon hydrated is to feed it with foods that have high water content. The water from food will help the beardies to stay hydrated. Whatever age your beardie may be in, it can get water from the insects and plant matter they usually eat.
Baby bearded dragons’ diet consists of more protein for their growth and development. Adult beardies, need to get more vitamins and calcium.
Leafy greens are the best way to keep your beardie hydrated while getting the nutrition it needs. It occurs when they eat fruits and veggies.
If your reptile seems to be dehydrated, the vet might suggest giving it some fruits and veggies. It will help the bearded dragon to be hydrated again.
Many fruits and vegetables are good sources of water and other nutrients for bearded dragons. They also need protein on their diets such as insects or worms. It’s a good source of water for them too.
Bearded dragons like eating hornworms. These are rich in calcium as well as water. When your vet saw your beardie seems to be dehydrated, hornworms will be recommended.
It’s best for babies and juveniles since they need to get more protein on their daily diet. The hornworm is also juicy for beardies and helps them hydrate.
3. Bathing the Beardie
Bathing your bearded dragon is another way to help it hydrate. Although they can’t absorb water from their skin contrary to popular local beliefs. More research must be done to learn more about these reptiles and their hydration.
What they can do is to use their pocket-like structures from their scales to trap water. When the reptile bends its head then lifts its body, the water will trickle down to its mouth.
That’s one way they can drink some water. Although their skin can absorb water, it still helps them to stay hydrated. Aside from drinking directly from their mouths, beardies can also do this through their vent.
It’s a small opening where they also release their body wastes. Most beardie owners also observed that they drank their water baths as well.
4. Spraying or Misting
You can also spray or mist your bearded dragon to help it stay hydrated. Misting will help your reptile to shed properly and also feels more comfortable.
Bearded dragons caught in the wild are not used to seeing stagnant water in a bowl. It’s best to train your bearded dragon to drink from the water bowl. It will allow them to avoid dehydration.
Beardies may not be comfortable drinking from their bowl right away. In this case, spraying or misting will be good for them, and spraying the beardie is the best way to hydrate your pet.
Spraying can also improve the humidity inside the enclosure. It can also boost its appetite and drink water at the same time.
Use distilled water for spraying your lizard. It doesn’t contain minerals and it will not stain the glass enclosure.
Depending on the type of substrate, temperature, humidity, and ventilation is how often you should spray your bearded dragon. You should mists your lizard every morning to also simulate the morning dew from the desert.
Make sure that the ventilation and temperature are adequate to let it clear out after an hour. Choose between hand spraying or an automatic misting system for the enclosure.
It will allow you to set the time when you want it to spray around the beardies habitat. How much water to spray your beardie can also be set up to help your lizard hydrate.
5. Use a Syringe
If the bearded dragon refuses to drink water from the bowl, it’s best to use a syringe as well. Fill it with water and give it to your reptile.
This should work well if your beardie is not scared of you. If it is, try to develop trust between you and your pet first. Once your bearded dragon is more comfortable, it will be happy to drink from the syringe.
6. Install Waterfall and Bubblers
Aside from adding beauty to your beardies enclosure, waterfall and bubbles can also be a source of humidity, especially in summer.
Beardies can’t see still water and this is a good way for your reptile to see the water and also drink it. That will help to keep your pet hydrated this way.
Add some artificial or even live plants with broad leaves. Dew should form on them and it will make it easier for your beardie to drink from them.
Also, you should add air stone into the bearded bowl. This should be connected to the small air pump and create water movement. It will encourage your bearded dragon to drink more water.
Can I Pour Water On My Bearded Dragon?
Yes, you can pour water on your bearded dragon using a paper cup. It will let you easily pour water up and down on the reptile’s back and tail. Be careful not to pour water around its eyes and nose. Give the beardie regular baths and let it play in the water for at least half an hour. It will entice drink while bathing and help the beardie stay hydrated.
You should also introduce your pet to more greens, veggies, and fruits. Train your beardie to drink from a water bowl as well. Although it can’t see still water, the best thing to do is to create some movements on the water.
You can also use a syringe and fill it with water. Give your pet a few drops directly to its mouth to stay hydrated.
Why Do Bearded Dragons Need Water?
Like any other animals, bearded dragons also need water to survive. Some reptiles can live without food for several days. But without water, beardies can end up dehydrated. This will negatively affect its health and other functions.
The bearded dragon’s diet, size, and the humidity in the surroundings can contribute to dehydration.
In the wild, bearded dragons can stay hydrated from the food they eat as well as from rainwater. They can also drink from the morning dew in the desert.
Pet beardies can be hydrated in multiple ways. Aside from their food, you can provide water in a bowl and use other ways to help your dragon to avoid dehydration.
How Often Should You Hydrate a Bearded Dragon?
An adult bearded dragon needs around 10 ml of water daily. That means that you should provide enough water to your beardie. It should match the 10 ml capacity which includes water from foods as well.
Bearded dragons should have enough water every day so you have to ensure to provide that.
To promote hydration, it’s best to soak your bearded dragon in a warm pool of water. These reptiles have a vent on the underside near their tails. That’s the same area where they urinate and defecate.
Aside from that, their vents can also take water if needed. Although they can’t absorb water through their skin but from their vents instead.
It’s recommended to bathe your beardie once a week at the minimum. Make it a part of their routine so they can get to soak in the water every once in a while. Doing this regularly will maintain the hydration levels of bearded dragons.
They can drink water either from their mouth or vent while bathing. It also lets their skin keep moisturized and helps them with shedding and look good.
Regular soaks and baths will also keep your bearded dragon clean. It will be free from bacteria which can harm their health. If you think that your beardie seems to not be drinking water, that means it can already be dehydrated.
Give more frequent baths for your pet so it can get enough fresh water every day. Doing so will provide your beardie with more chances to drink some water while bathing.
If you notice that your beardie looks well hydrated but didn’t see it drinking water, don’t worry. That means that it’s absorbing water from its vent instead.
Some bearded dragons don’t like drinking water from their mouths. Baths and soaking can also encourage defecation. It will help to relieve itself and it’s good for the digestive system.
Some bearded dragons but not all go through a brumation period. It’s a kind of hibernation that usually occurs when the temperature decreases. Although your beardie is not in the wild, it can still go through the semi-hibernation period. This normally lasts for a few months.
During this period, it’s crucial to keep your bearded dragon hydrated. That way, when the brumation period is over, your beardie’s weight will still be the same.
When they are in the wild, beardies will drink water from a pool of water from the ground while on brumation. They might also dig down to the ground just to find some water.
It’s a little different when the bearded dragon is in captivity. That means it will be your responsibility as the owner to provide it with enough water throughout the process of brumation.
Bathing your beardie at least once a week is a good idea. It will help hydrate your reptile as well as moisturize the skin. Misting is another popular way to keep your bearded dragon hydrated and healthy.
All bearded dragons go through shedding. It should no longer be a surprise to their owners. When the bearded dragon’s younger they usually shed more since they grow at a rapid rate.
Adult beardies only shed twice a year. It’s important to keep your lizard hydrated especially when it’s shedding. This will make the process easier for your beardie. When the skin is moisturized, the shedding will be simpler.
How to Help Bearded Dragons to Stay Hydrated During Shedding Period?
- Offer your bearded dragon vegetables. Leaving fresh leady greens and veggies inside the enclosure will keep them hydrated.
- Provide bath every couple of days to moisten the beardies skin.
- Misting more will help to keep the skin moist and help with the shedding process.
- Use a water dripper to allow you to drip water directly to the bearded dragon’s mouth.
How Can I Tell If My Bearded Dragon is Dehydrated?
When bearded dragons get dehydrated, they usually have sunken eyes. Although it may not show all the time. Sunken eyes in bearded dragons can also be a sign of parasites or other illnesses. If the beardies skin is more wrinkly than usual, that means that your pet is dehydrated.
If you’re still not sure if your bearded dragon is dehydrated, you should pull on its skin. It should go back almost immediately. If not, that means that your beardie is dehydrated.
You may also notice that your bearded dragon is not eating well. It will lose its appetite and can end up sick.
Impaction can also be a sign of dehydration in bearded dragons. It will be hard for them to defecate and will feel constipated.
Providing your beardie with more water may not be as easy as it sounds. Try different ways to help the beardie drink more water until it feels better.
Why Do Bearded Dragons Get Dehydrated?
If the bearded dragon is not drinking enough water, it will be dehydrated after some time. Although it’s not easy to force the beardie. You must still keep on offering drinking water to your reptile. But sometimes, there are reasons why bearded dragons don’t like to drink.
1. Too Much Greens and Watery Foods
It’s a good idea to add greens and other watery foods to keep your beardie hydrated. But if you provided too much of these foods, the bearded dragon can end up dehydrated.
Too much water can cause diarrhea for beardies. Make sure to only offer the right amount or it can turn out bad.
2. Bearded Dragons Can Only See Moving Water
Offering water in a bowl can lead to dehydration. Beardies can only see moving water. That means that the water in the bowl may appear invisible to them. Before offering the bearded dragon the water bowl, make sure to train it first. You can teach the beardie to get water from the bowl even without seeing it. That way, it can stay hydrated once it knows where to drink some water.
How Do I Know If My Bearded Dragon is Dehydrated?
Here are the common signs that your bearded dragon is dehydrated:
- Saliva tackiness (double strands forming when the mouth opens)
- Decreased skin elasticity
- Lack of appetite
- Doughy abdomen
If you want to check if your bearded dragon is dehydrated, you can gently pinch its skin from the back. Once you let go of the skin, it should roll back almost immediately.
It means that the beardie is hydrated. But if it takes a long time to roll back or the skin tents, that means it’s dehydrated.
However, sometimes it can also be a symptom of a disease. Impaction doesn’t always mean that the bearded dragon is dehydrated. This can be caused by using the wrong substrate.
Maybe the beardies snacking on them without you knowing. If it doesn’t want to eat, it can be a sign of a disease. Consult a vet to get better advice.
If your beardie is showing the symptoms above but it remains active and still eating, it may only be slightly dehydrated. Try the different ways to hydrate your bearded dragon instead.
The reptile should be fine after a bath or a spray. Don’t allow the bearded dragon to stay dehydrated to avoid health complications.
How to Tell If Your Bearded Dragon Is Overhydrated?
Dehydration is the usual problem with bearded dragons. But is it also possible that it drinks too much water? It’s not a common issue but when it happens, the beardie will be having diarrhea.
The common sign of too much water is if the stool seems to be runny. The undigested food can also be visible from the beardies stool.
It may happen because of many reasons. If the beardie gets too many baths then normal to consume too much food with high water content. Vegetables such as cucumber, celery, and cabbage contain water. If your reptile consumes too much water, it will lead to diarrhea and dehydration.
If you think that your beardie is overhydrated, reduce the baths and misting. Even if your pet seems to enjoy those activities, it can be bad for its health.
Leave a water bowl inside the enclosure instead for a few hours daily. When the beardies stool returns to normal, that means your pet is already fine.
1. Do bearded dragons drink water through their skin?
No, they don’t drink water through their skin. Bearded dragons drink through their vent. Although they can also trap water in their scales. They will bend their head and raise their bodies to drink water that drips from their skin.
2. How to get the bearded dragon to drink water?
If your bearded dragon is not drinking from the water bowl, you can try other ways to hydrate your pet. Try hand spraying, bathing, using a syringe, or having a waterfall or bubbler.
Feed your beardie foods that are high in water contents well. Those ways will surely keep your bearded dragon hydrated even if it didn’t drink from the water bowl.
3. How long can bearded dragons go without water?
Bearded dragons can go without water for a few days as long as there’s food. They get water from the food they eat so the beardie will be fine. Don’t allow your bearded dragon to continue without drinking water.
Keep on offering clean water from the bowl or use other techniques to keep your pet hydrated. Dehydration can cause serious health issues and can even lead to death.
4. Can bearded dragons drink tap water?
Yes, bearded dragons can drink tap water. Although hard water is safe for reptiles, soft water has sodium which should be restricted for medical reasons.
Instead of providing tap eater directly to your beardie, use a water conditioner to treat it first. It’s an inexpensive way to make it safer.
5. How much water should bearded dragons drink?
Generally, reptiles need to drink 10 to 30 ml of water per kilogram of their weight daily. The water they can get from food is included in their water requirement.
Adult beardies usually weigh around 300 grams. Based on their competition, the beardie should consume around 10 ml including the water from their feeds.