Bearded Dragons have lots of interesting and innovative ways to hydrate themselves and recently this has lead to a lot of talk that they can actually drink through their skin.
But can Bearded Dragons really drink through their skin or is this just a myth? As a Bearded Dragon enthusiast, I’ve decided to do the research and finally get to the bottom of this with some concrete answers.
So do Bearded Dragons drink through their skin? Bearded Dragons can’t actually drink through their skin. If they are in a bath they can drink through their vent if they are dehydrated. Bearded Dragons also have lots of other ingenious and practical ways to drink and keep hydrated.
Read on to find out how Bearded Dragons actually drink when you mist them, how they drink through their vent, the others they can drink and how much water Bearded Dragons need each day to stay hydrated.
Do Bearded Dragons Drink Through Their Skin (A Closer Look)
There’s a lot of confusion online and in forums where people are wondering if Bearded Dragons drink through their skin.
This isn’t actually true, however, water is still good for a Bearded Dragons skin to keep it in good condition.
Water also helps the skin of a Bearded Dragon during the shedding process and can often help them to shed both faster and easier with less pain.
To know more about shedding take a look at more complete shedding guide here.
There seems to be confusion about ‘drinking through the skin’ because Bearded Dragons can actually drink through their vent (I’ll talk more in-depth about the vent later in this post).
When a Bearded Dragon appears to be increasing its level of hydration when submerged in water it can give the illusion that it’s the skin that’s absorbing water but it’s usually the vent that is taking in the water and restoring the hydration levels of the Dragon.
How Do Bearded Dragons Drink When You Mist Them?
Another common misconception is that Bearded Dragons drink or absorb water through their skin when you mist them.
Again, this isn’t true but they do have two ways to hydrate themselves through misting.
Let’s take a look at both the methods.
Lapping Up The Water
The first method a Bearded Dragons can use to drink water when being misted is to lap up any water droplets that run down its face with its tongue.
As you spray the water onto the top of their head they will naturally put their head down and this will allow the droplets to run down towards your Dragons mouth where they will stick their tongue out and drink the water.
This is a well-known technique and sites like animals mom also states this as a healthy and convenient way to hydrate your Bearded Dragon.
Save The Water In Their Ridges
Bearded Dragons have the ability to save water in the small raised ridges or bumps on its back.
Then when it gets dehydrated the Dragon can tilt its body forward and let the water drops that are stored in the ridges flow down their face and lap them up.
When you mist your Dragon they can save the water in these ridges or bumps although this doesn’t happen very often in captivity as is more often seen in the wild.
How Do Bearded Dragons Drink Through Their Vent?
Bearded Dragons are amazing reptiles with fascinating behaviours and unique ways of surviving in efficient ways.
One of those efficient ways of surviving includes the ability to drink through their vent.
The vent is the opening where they both urinate and defecate and it can also take in water if needed. This is actually quite a common ability in reptiles and one that helps them to hydrate while submerged in water.
If your Dragon doesn’t like drinking out of a water bowl or you are worried that they are de-hydrated then allowing them to soak for around 20 minutes in a bath can be a good way for them to increase their hydration levels.
What Other Ways Can Bearded Dragons Drink Water?
Bearded Dragons have multiple ways of drinking water and keeping those hydration levels topped up.
We have talked about drinking through the vent, drinking water from misting and drinking water droplets that they can save in the ridges on their back.
Here are 3 more option that will allow your Bearded Dragon to either drink or aid hydration.
The most obvious way for a Bearded Dragon to drink water is out of a water bowl.
You should always provide your Dragon with a bowl of fresh water each day so that they have the option to drink if they get thirsty.
Not all Bearded Dragon will drink from water bowls. Some Bearded Dragon will actually struggle to see still water.
This is because in the wild, Bearded Dragon drink dro streams where the water is running.
If you find this to be a problem you can get a water dripper or water fountain. This is a specially designed bowl that drips water down into the bowl and the ripples will allow your Dragon to see the water much easier.
There is also a clever way you can train your Bearded Dragon to drink from a bowl. I’ve written a post that shares 5 ways you can train your Bearded Dragon and drinking from a bowl is one of them. You should check it out if you are struggling to get them to drink water.
Moisture From Food
There’s actually a lot of moisture in the food that your Bearded Dragon eats and this can often be enough for them to at least most of the daily water intake they need.
Insects such as worms have a lot of natural moisture and your Dragon is excellent at using this to aid hydration.
Food such as veggies, fruit and other plantation hold water and moisture that your Dragon can use to their advantage, although, it’s worth mentioning that the longer fruit and veg is left in the tank the more it will dry out.
This is because the heat inside the tank will evaporate at least some of the water that is held inside the fruit/veg.
How fresh the food is, to begin with, will also play a big part in how much water they are able to absorb.
All in all, a good healthy, fresh food diet will aid in hydration for your Bearded Dragon.
A cheeky little way to get your Dragon to intake some more water is to mist their food.
If they like a certain fruit or veg you can mist it and then leave a bowl full in the tank.
Just remember that the longer the bowl is in the tank the more chance the water has of evaporating in the heat so if your Dragon doesn’t at least eat some of the food pretty soon then it’s probably not going to be that effective.
Another technique that is along the same lines as misting food is to take some phoenix worms in a bowl and submerge them in water.
Once the start to wriggle, empty the water out of the bowl and feed them to your Dragon.
This method is called ‘plumping’ and the phoenix worms will absorb some of the water and is a pretty crafty way for your Bearded Dragon to increase its water intake.
You may only need to do this if your Dragon is de-hydrated or you feel they aren’t getting as much water as they should be.
How Much Water Do Bearded Dragons Need to Drink Each Day?
Knowing how much water your Bearded Dragon needs to drink each day can be tricky.
It’s also hard to keep a track of how much they are drinking.
The main thing is that you create a good routine of providing fresh water in a bow daily coupled with misting a couple of times per week and you should be fine.
Here is, however, a daily intake guide that shows you how much water Bearded Dragons need to intake each day.
The amount of water needed will vary depending on their size and the overall suggested intake levels are much less than you would expect.
Here’s a chart that will help you understand how much your Bearded Dragon needs to drink on a daily basis.
Bearded Dragon | Recommended Water Intake (24 Hour Period)
|Reptile Weight (Grams)||Water Per 24 Hour Period (ml)||Water In 24 Hour Period (oz)|
Do baths hydrate Bearded Dragons? Bearded Dragons can hydrate themselves in a bath if they need to. This is possible because they can either drink the water directly or intake water through their vent.
How often should you mist your Bearded Dragon? Generally misting your Bearded Dragon around 2 times per week should be ample for their needs. You can increase the number of times you mist them if you feel they are not taking in enough water, de-hydrated or shedding as this will help the process.
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