Since 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.
The 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.
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!!!!
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).
Mine was doing the same thing went to pet store and saw there set up the like to bask close to heat bulbs mine had a rock under basking and a hide on cool side there’s they could climb all the way to the top and bask so… I bought a big rock with a hide in it now she climbs to the very top of rock to bask and is finally eating good meals before I was lucky if she ate 3 so that one 20 dollar rock made a hudge difference she more active to got a heating bad for under tank waiting on a heat rock to come in to help her digest better hoping that will make more of a difference yours could be dehidrated too mine was at first I put her in warm water she drank alot I was surprised in how much she drank that day but after drinking water she perked up and ready to eat
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.
Julie Carmona says
Geezus; u didnt know to dust with “REPCAL” brand calcium powder!!! Not only that; his bones are destroyed because u prolly had NO UVB!!! They need UVB to absorb vitamin D and break down the calcium!!! ORDER the Reptisun 10.0 T5 long bulb the length u order should cover 70 percent of the tank and the Zoomed clear Basking bulb for heat. The uvb goes in the back startign at the hot side and the heat lamp goes more in the front on the hot side so when they bask they get UVB & HEAT. A beardie dies without UVB & Heat & Clacium and cannot heat when they dont have heat or uvb or move!!! Let me guess?? He passed away??? We rescue and rehome & this is sickening to hear!!
Steph Lanscombe says
My god shut up. He already said he took her to the vet and now knows what to do. You may rescue and rehome but you’re one judgemental ass Karen.
Kate C. says
Agreed!!!! How about we support & educate one another! We all love the same species here, people!!
sheila woodall says
I almost lost my bearded dragon ! He was raised on sand which is what breeder told me! Which is really bad ! I took him off of sand a year ago (he is 3 yrs old ) put him on thick felt ( l bought from Hobbie lobbie glued together (at a buck a piece) it has taken 1 year for him to get all of the sand out of his system! He was a picky eater for the last year he would only eat live and only a little I thought he was OK because he was chunky looking he was being fed the best of everything! Spring mix arugula bok choy squash peppers carrots apples Mellon blueberries calcium every day vitamins 3 times a week I sprayed him every day and soaked him 2 x week his droppings were hard (white part) (this means dehydration ) l started soaking him every day and that’s when I found out how much trouble he is really in he had a big she’d on his back I thought I was going to have hart failure! He wasn’t chunky weight wise it was build up she’d he hadn’t gotten rid of. I had to help get it off because when it’s build up like that it won’t come off on its own when he was done soaking (a week straight ) he was skin on bone!!!! We went to the vet he soaks every day! For the rest of his life! 20 min each time I massage his tummy until he goes sometimes it takes 45 min he is being syringe fed liquid calcium and baby food kale chicken blueberries squash pumpkin I have been doing this for a month now he is now hydrated now l am trying to get weight on him (he has no fat on him! (So be careful if he is not shedding you do not know what his physical condition is they don’t she’d they don’t eat right and they don’t absorb calcium or any thing else! He hasn’t ate on his own yet ! But we are also fighting brumation hopefully in another month he will be eating on his own right now he wants to sleep. They should be eating (in this order) kale collard green arugula (calcium rich greens and I make a salad dressing for their salad (Pedia lite half water half calcium, ( every day ! Vitamins 2 x day make it so that the salad is swimming in it ) do not give them anything dry ! The lizard industry needs an overhaul!! They will lie directly to your face! They don’t make as much money off of a adult bearded dragon as they do baby ones! I hope this helps you ! Good luck!
Julie Carmona says
Glad u removed the sand, NeverEver should sand be used because they ingest it & it destroys their tummy. In addition to the collard greens which are gr8; Add Dandelions, mustard greens, endives, snap peas, yellow sqaush, butternut sqaush and green beans. But NO Kale or Arugula!!! Google staple greens/veggies. We rescue and rehome. Also, u need the REPTISUN 10.0 T5 for UVB; the Reptisun should cover 70 percnt of the enclosure. , & a Zoomed Clear basking bulb for Heat & REPCAL calcium powder dusted 4 times per week on the crickets and dubias. Never feed meal worms it impacts them and destroys their tummy and NO Colored bulbs ever. At night pure dark and quiet. If in the winter temp in cage drops below 70; buy the ceramic heat emit.
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..
Hello. I nees some help. My bearded dragon i believe is severely dehydrated. I dont kno how to gwt him to drink. So i always keep fresh vegies in his tank. Mostly carots and cucumber. Sumtimes an occasional strawberry. But right now he is shedding and i think his eyes have sunken in a little bit. And he will not eat. He is acting as if he is blind or something. Im giving him daily bathes to try and speed up the shedding in hopes that maybe its because of the shedding why he cannot see but it hasmt helped much. I need help please. Any advice please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org please and thanks
I know this was sent awhile ago but for other readers you can mist him with a spray bottle mister I do this several times a day i also use the bottle to create little droplets and he will lick it from the tip of the bottle.. he also reacts well to sound and movement in general so sometimes ill have the sink running low and make a pool in my hands (like a mini waterfall almost) and he will drink that way too 🙂 The moment works with him eating as well.. he does very well with active live bugs but ignores any non living food I give to him so what I ended up figuring out works is taking a pen (or something like that if you want) and moving the food around so it looks like its wiggling and he gobbles it up ( im doing this with veggies and such) hope this advise helps someone !!!
I have noted that you are suggesting that a water dish should be provided each day , water in a bearded dragons tank can lead to respiratory tract infraction and I know if this occurring resulting in death of the beardie , I feel the information may need to be updated . Thank you .
sheila woodall says
You have to make sure that your dragon gets water every DAY! It will die without it!! I have water in all my lizard tanks it depends on what kind of enclosure you have mine are built from wood and I fight dehydration with my lizards ! I am in the process of teaching them to drink from water bottles .
I didn’t give my dragon water for about six months when I first got him (he was bit over two) and he has survived just fine. I tried at first but he wasn’t interested. I tried giving a little bath also, and he hated that, so I just assumed he got his water from the food I gave him. He doesn’t eat any vegetation of any kind except the leaves of my Wandering Jew plant. He lives around my house and has had no enviroment since a month or so after I got him, as he just banged his head on the glass and wanted to get out. In the end was just waste of space so got binned. He has had a very limited diet has gone through our winters without boilers working (U.K. so kinda mild, I guess) and gone through all the extreme swings in our tempertures and is still doing well. So I think people seriously underestermate the hardiness of these creatures and should ease up on throwing out advice on what is esssential to their day to day “must have requirements” As I would put my life on the fact that they don’t need all the fuss that people go to.
My dragon. Love soaking in water, is it bad to let him soak every day? He doesn’t want to get out of the water, why?
I have been feeding my dragon earth worms I didn’t use them all hen I went fishing o I figured why not he seems to love them is that good or bad can any body tell me
Earthworms are not the best food for beardies since it’s hard to know what they’ve been eating or crawling through before you bought them. Additionally, earthworms are not nutritionally adequate for feeding beardies, who need high amounts of calcium and protein. A much better feeder insect is the dubia roach. They are extremely nutritious as well as easy to breed, so that a few months after your original purchase, you will have hundreds that you can feed to your beardie. You can find many online resources that wil explain their care. If you want to stick to worms, go with Pheonix worms. You will most likely have to make frequent purchases, as they are difficult to breed, but they are nutritious enough to be fed as a staple insect.
Hi can i use fish water conditoner to make my bearded dragon’s water safe to drink??
No, Fish water conditioner can contain chemicals that could kill your dragon
Shawn McClure says
I know I am late to the party but hopefully this will help someone. Here are some guidelines on vegetables to be careful of from https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/bearded-dragons-feeding.
“Swiss chard, spinach and beet greens should be fed sparingly as they contain oxalates that can bind calcium and other trace minerals, preventing their absorption. Diets composed primarily of these can lead to nutrient deficiencies. Caution should also be exercised when feeding cabbage, kale and mustard greens; these vegetables contain goitrogens and excessive intake may lead to hypothyroidism.”
I’ve had my beardie for 12years, he has NEVER drank water, I have offered it to him over the years, he’s not interested. He’s alive and happy, so lol to the comments about water being a must!
(and also he keeps eating twigs and cereal: please help me with this issue!)
My bearded dragon is consipated he was fine until I changed his cage different and put sand in it so can that be the reason he’s impacted and will stay that way as long as there’s still sand in his cage.now if I was to clean out the sand and put the right thing in there for him will that help him get better
Yes you have to change the sand out. It’s not good for them. If they eat it they can become impacted and eventually die.
Thank you for that LOL