Providing Water for a Bearded Dragon

Water Is Essential for a Bearded DragonSince bearded dragons come from desert areas of the Australian outback, they are very well adapted to dry conditions. In the wild they mainly derive water from the insects and plant materials they eat.

When kept in captivity, bearded dragons need a clean, fresh water source. It is necessary to provide them fresh, clean water every day so they remain hydrated.

Some leafy green vegetables such as kale and collards can provide a little moisture as well. It is also a good idea to very lightly mist vegetable and fruit items with a little water before feeding to increase the amount of water intake.

Here are some good examples of providing water for a bearded dragon.

Providing Water In a Water Bowl

Bearded dragons of all ages should be provided a bowl containing fresh water each day. It is recommended to use a shallow water bowl to prevent your bearded dragon from falling in and possibly drowning.

Bearded Dragon Water BowlThe water bowl should be thoroughly washed and the water replaced with fresh water. I have found that doing this in the morning is the best time to replace the water from the previous day.

If using tap water as the source for your pet’s drinking water it is a good idea to use a water conditioner such as ReptiSafe. This will remove chlorine and unwanted minerals from the water.

Since bearded dragons are such free-roaming creatures you may find that you need to clean their water bowl several times in one day.

It is pretty common for it to scurry over into the water bowl, dragging along food and substrate along the way. They have also been known to defecate in the water bowl as well. You will need to clean and sanitize the water bowl after this.

Training Bearded Dragons To Drink From Water Bowls

Many captive-raised bearded dragons will not immediately drink from a water bowl. Instinctively, they are not “wired” to drink from a bowl like a cat or a dog.

You may need to “train” your bearded dragon to drink from a bowl. You can do this by adding a touch of fresh strawberry, or papaya juice in the water.

They will smell the sweet fruits and be more tempted to drink it. This has been successful on many occasions when trying to get a bearded dragon to drink water from a bowl.

Cleaning The Water Bowl

You can use a mild detergent or Wipe Out Terrarium Cleaner, like dish washing liquid to sanitize the bowl, if needed. Many water bowls purchased at pet stores are dish washer safe and can be cleaned using a dish washer.

Just make sure any dish detergents are fully rinsed and not present before offering it to your bearded dragon.

Keeping a dirty water bowl can increase the chances of an illness from built-up bacteria and fungus such as salmonella.

Misting Your Bearded Dragon

Another way that bearded dragons receive water in the wild is rainfall. The bearded dragons will lap up the raindrops that drip off their nose during a storm.

You can mimic this by lightly misting water on your bearded dragon several times per day.

After a good misting you will see the bearded dragon slowly lap at the water dripping from its nose. This is a great way to hydrate your bearded dragon, and the most recommended method by many veterinarians.

Although bearded dragons are desert-dwelling animals they still need proper hydration when kept as pets.

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  1. Michael West says

    Hey i have a question my bearded dragon will not eat rarely anything! she hasnt sheed in probably 2 or 3 mounths and her whole body turns black and ive tried holding her if tried giving her baths which actually brings out her colors and she isnt dark anymore and shes getting super skinny from not eating! what do i do ? please email me and give me some pointers i dont want her to die on me! please please please help!!!!

    • Catalin says

      Hello, hope I’m not to late to answer. My bearded dragon usually gets a dark coloration when staying in a colder environment for some period of time. A worm bath or a short exposure to the basking spot usually solves the issue. Althowgh other types of stress could also lead to a change in coloration and low activity levels (even loss of apetite), wrongly setup terarium temperatures can be a major cause. I hope by now the problem has been resolved (a couple of months not eating is the maximum they can whithstand outside of brumation).

    • Tere Todd says

      My beardie had not eaten, drank, or deafens tend for almost two months. This was about two months ago. She also lost a lot of weight, and I was terribly concerned.
      I finally found an exotic veterinarian. Turns out when they don’t eat, etc., they are loosing calcium which makes their bones soften, and they won’t move or do anything. I had to give her liquid calcium twice a day by dropper, and be sure her insects were coated with calcium powder. (Which I was doing anyway). But if yours is that bad as mine was, you really need to get her to a vet. I don’t know if you can buy calcium drops on line, I had to force my girl to take .3cc daily. I also had to give her .1cc daily of mineral oil.
      I hope yours is better by now, personally I was worried crapless and felt guilty for not taking her sooner. The cost was not that expensive either, about $85 for visit and meds.

  2. Fredrick says

    I wonder if she has a sunburn ? How close are your heating/UV lamps ? Could also be constipated (long time to be though)

    I would call a reptile expert if you haven’t already, it sounds serious..

    Good luck

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