Originally bearded dragons were from the arid Australian desert. You can imagine how hot the temperature must be in that region. Listening to this, many might assume beardies are used to dry places. Even though they can survive on little liquid consumption, they get dehydrated.
Looking at their eyes, you can easily tell when your beardie is dehydrated. If your bearded dragon’s eyes are sunken and have loose or wrinkled skin, it means your dragon is dehydrated.
How Do Dehydrated Bearded Dragons Eyes Look?
As mentioned earlier, many assume that beardies live in arid regions; hence they require less water. Well, in reality, beardies are thirsty species that need adequate liquid to be healthy and survive.
These reptiles need moisture in their enclosure.
When your pet is dehydrated, its eyes look sunken.
Top 3 Reasons for Dehydration in Bearded Dragons
Let us look at the potential reasons why your beardie has sunken eyes.
- Low Humidity
These reptiles need a humid enclosure. If the enclosure has less than 30% humidity, your dragon can get dehydrated and even experience respiratory issues.
When there is low humidity in the enclosure, your pet can experience a lack of moisture, making their eyes sunken.
What you can do:
The ideal humidity levels of the enclosure must be between 40 to 60%. You can even raise it to 65 to 75% at night by misting it to keep your pet hydrated.
In the enclosure, you can place damp sphagnum moss or burrowing areas as humid retreats.
If possible, you can even install a quality hygrometer in the enclosure. The hygrometer will help you measure the moisture levels, and you can quickly know if your pet is staying hydrated.
Also, let your pet soak in warm water for 10 to 20 minutes daily.
Doing these will keep your dragon hydrated and get the moisture it needs.
- High Temperatures
As you all know, beardies need different spots in their enclosure, like hot, cool, and warm areas.
If these spots are not there, your pet will get dehydrated and have sunken eyes.
A bearded dragon needs the choice to transition between these areas; otherwise, due to high temperatures, your pet can lose moisture and drool.
What you can do:
Each area in the enclosure needs a different temperature. The warm area should be around 85˚F, the cooler area around 75˚F, and the basking area around 100˚F.
If these areas are available for your pet, you can prevent your dragon from having sunken eyes.
- Less Liquid
These animals need adequate water to stay hydrated. Their enclosure must have a bowl of water at all times.
Now, sometimes beardies may not recognize that there is liquid in their bowl. You must always watch whether your pet drinks from the bowl. You can always help them understand there is water by drawing their attention to the bowl.
What you can do:
Besides water, beardies can also get moisture from their food (vegetables and fruits). Provide your beardie with watermelons, watercress, cos lettuce, and romaine in their diet. The goal is to provide food that has high water content.
Also, when placing a liquid bowl in the enclosure, ensure that you provide a shallow water bowl. This way, your pet will drink water without craning their necks. Remember that these reptiles like it and prefer it when liquid is accessible.
How Should You Treat Your Dehydrated Bearded Dragon?
If you notice that your beardie has sunken eyes, you can do the following steps immediately to prevent more dehydration.
- Bath your pet.
- Spray the walls and floor of the enclosure with a misting bottle. You can even mist your pet’s salad and feeder insects for more hydration.
- You can drop a few insects into your beardies liquid dish during feeding.
- Offer more food with liquid content. Remember not to offer your beardie too many, which can cause diarrhea.
- Feed your beardie water directly using a dropper or medicine syringe.
- It is always worth calling your vet, as they will help you understand the situation better.
Ways to Prevent Your Beardie from Having Sunken Eyes in the Long Run?
You must keep your pet hydrated at all times. If your dragon is dehydrated, it can cause severe health issues.
To prevent sunken eyes, you must follow a few steps.
- Clean Water
Start by providing your beardie with a clean water bowl daily.
Beardies have the habit of using the liquid bowl as a place to excrete. If you notice an unclean liquid bowl, change it immediately and disinfect it.
Also, remember to place the liquid bowl in an area easily accessible for your pet. Remember never to put the bowl in the basking spot or under the basking lamp. This can cause excess humidity. You can place the liquid bowl on the other end of the enclosure.
- Regular Baths
Give your beardie regular baths. Beardies love it; it is an excellent opportunity to hydrate them. Sometimes, bearded dragons drink the water during bathing time.
Ensure that you provide clean and fresh water.
- Proper Care
Sunken eyes are due to dehydration. Dehydration can be due to poor diet, lighting, housing, and insufficient calcium.
Provide your beardie with a healthy diet at all times. Their diet must be well-balanced like humans.
Also, provide your beardie with an enclosure with proper lighting and temperature. You must provide your dragon with cool, warm, and hot areas in the enclosure.
When beardies enter the brumation period, staying hydrated is essential. If your beardie does not get enough water before brumation, it can cause health issues since it will be in a dormant state without an adequate amount of liquid in its body.
Also, remember to provide enough water to your bearded dragon after brumation. Your beardie might be dehydrated after waking up.
Mist the enclosure regularly. When you mist the enclosure, you are simulating rain that occasionally falls in the desert. When you mist, your pet can get thirsty, experiencing a rain-like feeling.
This will make your pet drink some water and stay hydrated. You can do this by placing your beardie near the liquid bowl and using a spray bottle to mist the enclosure. This will make your pet realize the presence of liquid and will consume more water.
Also, remember not to spray a lot of water.
Beardies do get dehydrated. Looking into your beardies eyes is a good way to tell if it’s dehydrated. If they are sunken, you must take preventive measures immediately not to escalate their dehydration.
Always provide your beardie with enough water and a proper enclosure with adequate temperature and humidity.