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.