Bearded dragons are from a dry, desert-like habitat. In the wild, their habitat receives less than a half-inch of rainfall a year. The climate is very hot and dry with temperatures reaching 100 degrees during the day and up to 50 degrees at night. For that reason, you may wonder how much water does a bearded dragon need?
For a bearded dragon, it will vary from one reptile to another. Some may need more water than others, especially those that are kept in hot climates. Some of the factors that determine how much water they need will depend on their environment, how healthy they are, and the foods they eat. Whether they drink just a little water or a lot, it’s essential that you provide them with clean and fresh water at all times.
How Bearded Dragons Get Water
Bearded dragons are from the desert environment, where it’s usually hot and dry.
The hot and dry environment has forced the reptile to evolve and adapt.
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First of all, bearded dragons don’t require a lot of water to survive. They can go for days without needing water. Beardie is capable of conserving water in their body until water is available again.
Second, the bearded dragon gets their water from other methods than drinking.
Below are some of the different ways in which the reptile get their water.
Drinking is the primary way that bearded dragon gets their water.
To drink water, they will use their tongues to lap up water as they flick their tongues at the water.
For a bearded dragon, this is the most effective way for them to get water into their body, but it’s also the most vulnerable way as well.
In the wild, when they are drinking water, they have to put their head down. This will cause a lot of blind spots for them, which makes them vulnerable to nearby predators.
To prevent becoming prey, the beardie will quickly drink water and lift their head back up. They will keep doing this until they are hydrated.
In captivity, you may notice this behavior, which is normal. Also, if they feel threatened or stressed, they may not drink water at all.
You should always provide them with a small dish filled with fresh water at all times. Every 4 hours or so, replace it with fresh water. They may not drink as often as other pets like cats and dogs, but bearded dragons don’t need a lot of water.
Another way that bearded dragons get water is by eating food.
All foods will have some water in them. Fruits are especially high in water content, which bearded dragons enjoy eating.
As they eat the food, their body will extract as much water from it as possible.
In the wild, when there is a drought, food is usually the only good source of water.
For that reason, bearded dragons have evolved to eat both plants and meat. This gives them the best possible chance of survival, especially during an extended drought.
How Much Water Does Your Bearded Dragon Need?
How much water the bearded dragon needs will depend on a number of factors. This includes the environment, their health, and what food they eat.
In an environment that has low to moderate humidity, the beardie will not need much water. These reptiles have adapted to live off just a small amount of water each day.
If they are healthy, they will not require much water as well.
When it comes to their food, a bearded dragon that gets plenty of fruits to eat each day will not need a lot of water. They will get most of their water from the fruits they eat. If you leave a bowl of water out, they may not drink from it much.
Whether they drink a lot or not, it’s always a good idea to put out a bowl of water for them each day. Also, be sure to change their water frequently throughout the day. This will ensure they get fresh water to drink each time.
Overall, a bearded dragon living in an environment with the correct humidity, has no health issues, and has the proper diet of fruits and vegetables to eat will drink water at least twice per week.
How Can You Tell If A Bearded Dragon Is Dehydrated?
If your bearded dragon has the proper diet and is kept in an environment with the correct humidity, you won’t have to worry about them becoming dehydrated.
However, there are times they may become dehydrated. When they do, it’s important to take care of the issue quickly as dehydration is severe.
When you’re beardie is dehydrated, look for the following signs:
- Lack of appetite
- Staying at one place for a long time
- Sunken eyes
- Wrinkled skin
An easy way to determine if your bearded dragon is dehydrated or not is to do a simple test on them.
Pinch the skin gently so that the skin bunches up.
If the skin moves back slowly, the reptile is dehydrated.
On the other hand, if the skin moves back quickly, your beardie is well-hydrated.
How To Get A Bearded Dragon To Drink
If your bearded dragon is dehydrated, it will not want to drink water. If that happens or you notice they are not drinking enough water, you can try some simple methods.
Below are some of them:
For most reptiles, misting is the most effective way to get them to drink water. For bearded dragons, misting works well for them.
In their natural habitat, when it’s raining, they know it’s time to drink water. This is their natural instinct and they will do the same in captivity.
With a spray bottle, mist around their water bowl. A bearded dragon cannot see still water. By misting, it creates small ripples on the water and causes them to go near it.
Also, spray water around them to make it feel as it is raining. Be sure to not mist too much and too often as you don’t want to cause the humidity to rise too high.
Most bearded dragons, especially those kept in captivity like the taste of sweetness. If your beardie enjoys sweets, you can add some juice to their water. This will entice them to drink the water.
The juice will give off the smell that your beardie enjoys and will get them interested.
Be sure to add only a little bit of juice at a time. You can use apple juice or watermelon juice, but any other juice will work fine too, as long as it’s sweet.
When your bearded dragon starts to drink, add a few more drops of juice until there is no more water in their bowl.
Use It Like A Bath
Another method to get your bearded dragon to drink water is to give them a bath. When they are in the water, they will instinctively start to drink some of the water.
When placing in the water, make sure the water is no higher than their shoulder. Leave them in the water for about 10 minutes and monitor them closely to see if they drank any water.
Bearded dragons need to stay hydrated and well-nourished, but they do not need a lot of water. It is only necessary to provide water for your bearded dragon once or twice a week. I recommend using an open dish that has a little bit of depth, as this will allow the water to stay cleaner longer and keep bacteria from forming. This way the fresh drinking water won’t become contaminated with droppings or food that falls into the dish.