How Long Can Bearded Dragons Go Without Water?

bearded dragon standing on a rock

Yes, bearded dragons drink water. Like most living beings, they need water for survival and other metabolic activities. Their water requirements are usually met through their daily diet. As they are used to desert-like conditions, they can survive without water for anywhere between 3 days to 2 weeks. However, it is not advisable to let them stay away from water for so long. 

How Much Water Does a Bearded Dragon Need? 

The bearded dragon is native to the deserts of Australia. Since it is used to the hot and dry climate of a desert, it can go for days without water. However, the hydration of a bearded dragon should not be taken for granted and, therefore, should not be neglected. 

It is best to see that your bearded dragon stays hydrated and gets its daily intake of water. 

The actual amount of water required on a daily basis depends on the size, weight, and health of your bearded dragon

For a full-grown healthy adult bearded dragon, which weighs around 300 grams, somewhere around 10 ml of water is the daily amount of water that it should consume. 

However, you need not measure it out and give them this water, as they stay hydrated through other sources too, like diet and moisture in their pet tank.

Four Ways Bearded Dragons Stay Hydrated

A bearded dragon has multiple ways through which it can stay hydrated. Following are the ways in which it gets its water – intake:

  1. Water Bowl 

Drinking water directly is a primary way they get their hydration. While some bearded dragons drink water from their water bowls or dishes, there are most who simply do not drink from their water bowls. 

It is important to understand that this behavior is common, and there are certain steps that can be taken to get them into a habit of drinking from the water bowl. Check out this video of a bearded dragon drinking water!

  1. Food 

Along with drinking water directly, some of the hydration occurs through their primary diet, like fresh leafy greens, other vegetables, certain fruits, and insects. 

Fruits and vegetables have a high water content. A diet with high water content provides your bearded dragon with the essential amounts of water it needs. 

However, hydration through diet in itself is not enough. 

  1. Bath Water

When you bathe your bearded dragon, it might end up drinking some of the bath water. This is an important way that your pet stays hydrated. 

Pro tip: It is therefore important to note not to add any harmful chemicals like chlorine or other cleaning agents to their bath water. 

  1. Water Droplets or Mist in the Pet Tank

It is not uncommon for bearded dragons to lick the water droplets formed due to misting on the inner walls of the pet tank. Mist formed on the insides of the pet tank is one of the important ways that they can stay hydrated. 

However, you should take necessary precautions so that the pet tank is not too misty or humid. This can cause other complications like bacterial and fungal infections.

How to Know Your Bearded Dragon Is Dehydrated?

Water is life. And with a lack of water, even your bearded dragon will look lifeless.

You can determine if your bearded dragon is dehydrated by watching out for the following physical symptoms:

  • Loose, wrinkle-looking skin
  • Sunken eyes
  • Constipation
  • Weariness 
  • Thick saliva
  • Stress spots on the body
  • Citrus Fruits
  • Parasites
  • Not shedding

If you spot one or more of these physical symptoms, you can also try a simple dehydration test. 

The Dehydration Test:

  • Very lightly pinch your beard dragon and observe how the skin goes back to its regular state. 
  • If the skin goes back fast, it means your bearded dragon is hydrated. 
  • However, if the skin takes a little more time to go back to its original state, then you can conclude that the bearded dragon is dehydrated. 

Check out this pet mom doing a dehydration test on her bearded dragon in this video!

Top 4 Reasons Why Your Bearded Dragon May Not Be Drinking Water

Before you proceed with any techniques to fix your bearded dragon’s dehydrated state or endlessly worry about why your pet is not drinking any water from the water bowl, it is helpful to understand some reasons why your bearded dragon is not drinking any water.

  1. Sufficient Hydration 

The most obvious reason could be that your bearded dragon is well-hydrated, and that is why it is not drinking any water. 

  1. Stress

Stress is an important factor that can be the reason why your pet is not drinking any water. 

There could be multiple reasons for stress, like moving it to a new pet tank, a change in environment, and feeling threatened by the presence of another human being or pet. 

If your pet is a newly purchased bearded dragon, then chances are it is undergoing stress to adjust to the new environment. 

  1. Illness 

Illness can make your bearded dragon dehydrated. Usually, drinking and eating habits are affected during an illness. 

If you observe any signs of illness like discoloration, swelling, or any other signs that could indicate illness in your pet, it is advisable to immediately take it to a vet for treatment.  

  1. Brumation 

Brumation or hibernation could be another reason your bearded dragon is not drinking water. Usually, during hibernation, they tend to conserve their energy and do not do many activities, including eating or drinking.

How to Make Your Bearded Dragon Drink Water

In case you think your bearded dragon is adamant about not drinking any water from their water bowl, do not worry. It is normal behavior, and there are some things you can do about it. 

Misting the Pet Tank 

In case your bearded dragon is not yet used to drinking from the water bowl, lightly misting the tank and the bowl will attract it to drink water. The sliding droplets will give your pet some moving water to drink as opposed to the still water from the water bowl. 

Note that you do not mist the tank too much as it can increase the humidity levels of the pet tank and increase the cases of infections. 

Placing a Shallow Water Dish in the Pet Tank

Providing water in a shallow dish might help them lick water easily. Make sure you change the water on a daily basis, as it can attract other bacteria and parasites and later harm your pet. 

Using Fruit Juices

Taking the help of fresh fruit juices, like apple juice can help them get started with drinking from a bowl or a dish. The sweet smell of the fruit juices can attract your bearded dragon and get it into a habit of drinking from the water bowl or dish. 

Over the days, you can change the liquid from fruit juice to plain water. Avoid using citrus fruits, as that can cause more dehydration.

Misting the Fruits and Vegetables 

Lightly spraying some water through a water spray or misting their food, like fresh leafy greens and fruits, can ensure that they get their appropriate water intake while having their food itself. 

Along with this, offering them fruits and vegetables that have a high content of water in them can also prove to be helpful. Some of the fruits and vegetables that you can offer are celery, watermelon, grapes, radishes, cucumbers, watercress, and zucchini.  

Giving Your Pet a Bath

Giving them a bath with warm water is a good way to expose them to water. They have a tendency to lap up the bath water. Avoid adding any soap or chemicals to the bath water. 

Water Through Syringe

You can try hydrating your bearded dragon by pouring some water directly into its mouth using a clean and empty syringe. This technique of putting water in their mouth can only work if your bearded dragon has a high trust in you. 

You must also be careful not to pour too much water into your pet’s mouth accidentally. It can cause it to go into stress.

This video might be helpful if you’re new to this technique.

When Should You Contact the Vet?

If the case of dehydration in your bearded dragon is severe, it is advisable to contact the veterinary doctor for further instructions immediately.  

Also, in case of mild dehydration, even after trying everything to make it drink water, your pet is still dehydrated;  it will be beneficial to consult the vet. 

FAQs

Can Bearded Dragons Absorb Water Through Their Skin?

No. Bearded dragons cannot absorb water through their skin. They can only consume water through their mouths. 

Is Too Much Water Harmful to a Bearded Dragon?

Yes. Too much water can cause bearded dragons to have runny stools. Too much water can cause them to get dehydrated. You can stop by giving them water through syringes, which is mostly the common cause of overhydration.

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