Unlike dogs, bearded dragons rarely drink water from a bowl. This prompts the question, do bearded dragons drink water?
Most owners complain about finding the bowl full of water after leaving it in their pet’s enclosure for a whole day. And if this goes on every day, it’s only natural to get curious if dragons drink water, or if you’re wasting your time ensuring they have some.
This article focuses on satisfying your curiosity about beardies and water, specifically answering whether they drink or need water, tips on beardie rehydration, and more.
Read on to get all this information.
Do Bearded Dragons Drink Water?
Bearded dragons drink water. You might have never seen them drink water, but they do.
Pet cats or dogs usually drink from a water bowl when thirsty, but bearded dragons rarely do that. They can, but for some reason, they rarely do.
Leaving a bowl full of water in their cage is not enough to get them to drink. Most need to be prompted or given water directly using something like a syringe.
Don’t do the bare minimum when it comes to keeping your pet hydrated. You need to go the extra mile and sometimes use force.
The last thing you want is to deal with a dehydrated bearded dragon, and since you can easily avoid this, why not?
Do Bearded Dragons Need Water?
They do; water is as important to beardies as it is to humans. The intensity of their thirst might not be the same, but they need water for optimal health.
Bearded dragons can suffer from dehydration if they don’t drink water, among other things. The common consequences of dehydration are constipation and other serious digestive issues.
Apart from that, your pet will be weak and may remain inactive for long hours. Water also plays an important role in maintaining healthy skin. Pets suffering from dehydration are likely to have unhealthy and wrinkled skin.
In severe cases, dehydration may lead to serious health problems like kidney disease.
Can Bearded Dragons Survive Without Water?
Yes, bearded dragons can survive without water for a while. Since they come from desert areas, they are well adapted to dry conditions.
Those in the wild rarely drink plain water. They mostly derive water from plant-based foods or insects.
But if they are lucky, they may come across rainwater, and only then will they enjoy drinking water. In the same way, beardies in captivity can survive without water for 3 to 14 days. Maybe that’s why you’ve never seen your beardie drinking water from a bowl.
But just because they are adapted to survive with minimal water intake, don’t let your pet go for a day without drinking water.
Wild bearded dragons have stronger survival skills than pet dragons. Besides, the food they eat is different from what you feed your pet. We also can’t forget that we compromise how these reptiles function when we domesticate them.
It might not be intentional, and the change might seem insignificant, but there’s a difference between living in the wild compared to living in a domestic environment.
That’s why we’re advised to create a setup that is close enough to their natural habitat’s settings. But even so, your pet may still need to adapt.
That said, I recommend giving your bearded dragon access to clean water every day. And if they are not drinking, take some initiative and give them water directly.
How much water do bearded dragons need to survive?
This depends on several factors. For example, you don’t expect adult dragons to survive on the same amount of water as baby dragons.
Generally, an adult bearded dragon weighing roughly 300g needs approximately 10 mL of water every day to survive. This is from both watery foods and direct drinking.
Going by this rate, we would say a beardie needs a tablespoon of water every day. However, there are instances where your pet may need more or less water to survive. A good example is during brumation.
So, adjust the quantity of water according to their needs. There’s no problem with increasing this amount by a few milliliters.
However, keep in mind that too much water may result in health problems like diarrhea. You should also consider the watery foods you feed your pet, as they play a huge role in hydrating your pet.
Consult your vet for accurate instructions adapted to your pet’s requirements.
How to tell if my bearded dragon needs water
If your bearded dragon is not drinking enough, its body will show signs of dehydration. Check for these signs to know if your pet needs water:
- The skin forms dents when pinched due to decreased elasticity
- Your pet appears weak and inactive
- Your bearded dragon has sunken eyes and wrinkled skin
- Your beardie has thick saliva that forms two strands when he opens his mouth
- Periods of inappetence
- Your pet may have a doughy abdomen
The common method to check for dehydration in beardies is to pinch the skin. The idea is to gently pinch the soft skin and observe how long it takes to bounce back. If it happens slowly while taking longer than usual, chances are your pet is dehydrated.
Bearded dragons’ poop also communicates their water needs. A dehydrated beardie may have a hard, chalky urate in their poop. Urate is the white part in bearded dragons’ poop.
However, you can’t rely on their poop appearance to tell if they’re dehydrated. It might be too late, especially since it’s hard to notice a slight difference in urate appearance.
The skin will communicate better as dehydration progresses. The skin on the back might become wrinkled, and the intensity of the wrinkles will depend on the degree of dehydration.
Mucus membranes may get tacky and behavioral changes may start to show. But when you notice these behavioral changes, dehydration is at a more advanced stage. Don’t wait to get there, and avoid this by keeping your pet hydrated.
How Often Should My Bearded Dragon Drink Water?
Though they can go without water for several days, you’re advised to let your pet drink water every day.
Always ensure there’s clean water in your pet’s cage, even if you’ve never seen them drinking it. They may be drinking when you’re not looking.
Check with your vet if you’re concerned about your pet’s drinking habits. They may recommend healthy ways to rehydrate your bearded dragon.
Tips To Rehydrate Your Beardie
There are different techniques to keep your bearded dragon hydrated. These techniques ensure your pet gets enough water in their bodies, preventing dehydration.
Some of the useful tips to rehydrate your pet include:
Feeding your pet foods with high water content: Vegetables like lettuce and fruits like watermelon contain desirable water content. It is advisable to serve these foods in moderation and that may affect the way they help boost your pet’s water levels, but it’s about the small collective gains.
Misting your dragon’s food: We are doing anything to get extra water into their bodies, even if it’s just a few drops. You can mist some of their food so they can have water while eating.
Put a water bowl in your pet’s enclosure: Bearded dragons need access to clean water 24\7 even if they don’t drink all the time. Putting a water bowl in their cage may prompt them to drink. Besides, you don’t want to deny them the only time they may feel like drinking.
Remember, the bowl must be sparkling clean and the water as well. Both purified and tap water are safe for beardies. You can also teach your bearded dragon to drink water from a water bowl. Try different tactics, like putting the bowl in front of them and pouring in the water after getting their attention. You could also try saying their name or using a command like “drink” to help them learn. With patience and consistency, your bearded dragon will learn to drink from a bowl in no time!
Use a syringe to give your beardie water: This should be the most convenient method for your pet to drink plain water. You’ll just need a clean syringe filled with the right amount of water for your pet. The only challenge is getting your beardie to open its mouth so you can put water in it. But if you manage to do it, then this is an effective way of hydrating them.
Bathe your dragon: Though bearded dragons don’t absorb water through their skin, bathing helps keep them hydrated. What happens is that they have pocket-like structures that trap water, which later trickles into the mouth.
Some beardies also drink their bath water. Another way bathing helps with hydration is via a small opening they use to poop.
Keep your pet’s skin moist by spraying: You can spray water directly onto their skin as some will be stored in pocket-like structures, which they can later drink.
Alternatively, you can spray your pet’s enclosure, provided the mist won’t damage anything inside the cage. Do this in the morning to make them think it’s the mist they drink in the wild. Misting also helps with humidity, which plays a role in keeping your pet hydrated.
Bearded dragons drink water and need it to survive and for optimal health. Both babies, juveniles, and adults drink water, and it’s important that they do.
Besides drinking, beardies can get water from watery foods and insects. If they can’t drink, you can try other ways of rehydrating your pet.
Dehydration in bearded dragons may lead to unhealthy skin and serious health problems like gout or kidney disease. But as you focus on hydrating your pet, remember that too much water may also compromise their health.
Consult your vet for accurate instructions if you’re torn between balancing their water content.