Can Bearded Dragons Swim?

So you may wonder, can bearded dragons swim?

Yes, bearded dragons can swim. These reptiles are very good swimmers. In addition, they are able to stay underwater for up to 15 minutes.  Letting your bearded dragons swim helps them stay fit and helps clear impaction.

Most of the time they are on the ground where they bask in the sun to help regulate their body temperature. However, they can swim if they need to escape from predators or find something to eat. They have been observed swimming long distances through water sources so it’s likely that this is how they get from place to place too.

Do Bearded Dragons Like Swimming?

It will depend on each individual bearded dragon and how they were raised. If your bearded dragon was raised around water and you let them swim often, they will enjoy it.

On the other hand, bearded dragons that are only around water a few times throughout their life will not like swimming or even be close to the water.

Naturally, bearded dragons don’t like swimming. In their natural habitat, where it’s hot and dry, these reptiles spend most of their time on land.  When there is a pool of water, they may swim if there’s a prey that they are after.

Otherwise, bearded dragons will generally stay away from the water.

How Do Bearded Dragons Swim?

Bearded dragons are reptiles with four legs and a tail, so they can definitely swim. In fact, they have been known to jump in the water for a quick dip when the weather warms up.

They use their front legs to paddle and use their claws to anchor themselves in place while they do so. They also have a small amount of webbing between their toes which helps them stay afloat.

The bearded dragon’s scales are designed to let water slip off easily, which means that they don’t get weighed down by water like other reptiles would be when swimming underwater.

Benefits Of Swimming For Bearded Dragons

There are many benefits when you let your bearded dragon swim. One of them is preventing impaction. Beard dragons kept in captivity are prone to impaction.

Impaction means that the beardie can’t pass stool from the food they eat. It could be any kind of food such as fruits, vegetables, and even insects. When this food can’t get digested, it will build up in their stomach. If not treated, impaction could be fatal.

Taking your bearded dragon swim will help fight or prevent impaction. When they are swimming, their movement from side to side will help with bowel movement.

Another benefit is that the reptile will be healthy. Swimming is a great exercise and will help them keep in shape.

Can Baby Bearded Dragons Swim?

Yes, baby bearded dragons can swim. However, you will need to train them first.

Simply putting the baby beardie in the water and expecting them to swim will not often. More than likely, they will stay still and could even become stressed.

It’s best to start giving them a bath in shallow water to get them used to the water. After giving them a bath, let them play in the water for a couple of minutes.

After about a month, if your baby bearded dragons feel comfortable and confident, you can try to place them into deeper water. The water should be enough to cover their entire body. Make sure to keep an eye on them while they are swimming.

Letting your baby beardie swim is a good way to help them develop strong bones.

Can Bearded Dragons Drown?

Yes, bearded dragons can drown. If they remain in the water for longer than 15 minutes and are unable to get back onto land, they will drown.

When you let them swim in a large body of water like a pool or large container, they will eventually start to get tired. Once they do, they will start to look for a way to get out of the water. When they are unable to, they will get too tired and drown.

For that reason, it’s important to never leave your bearded dragon unattended when you let them play in the water.

In a small container, the water should never be higher than their shoulder.

Related Questions

Can bearded dragons swim in a pool?

If the pool is treated with chlorine, you should not let your bearded dragon swim in it. Chlorine is harmful to them and can affect their health, especially when they are breeding. The beardie may drink some of the water and it can also be absorbed through their vent.

How long can a bearded dragon swim?

A bearded dragon can swim for up to 20 minutes, but it depends on the width of the container.

If you have a larger container, you will be able to keep your bearded dragon swimming longer because there is more water in which they can move around. If your bearded dragon is stuck in a small aquarium or fishbowl, then you should only expect them to swim for about 5-10 minutes maximum.

After that, they won’t be able to hold their breath any longer and will eventually drown if left in there.

Can bearded dragons swim in tap water?

Bearded dragons can swim in tap water, but I highly recommend that you don’t let them do so. Tap water contains chlorine, which bearded dragons will drink some water as they are swimming. Chlorine contains chemicals that are harmful to them.


Bearded dragons don’t like to get their feet wet, and they usually prefer not to swim. However, if they are trained early in their life, they can swim.

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