As diet and hydration is so important to bearded dragons, so many owners understandably have lots of questions regarding drinking and water.
For this reason, we have put together a Q&A post that covers all the questions you might have regarding your bearded dragon and drinking and all the things you really need to know as an owner.
In this post, you will learn what your bearded dragon can and can’t drink, how often they should drink as well as the answer to many other questions that are difficult to find the answer to.
Ok, Let’s now answer the 16 common questions regarding bearded dragons and drinking…
Can Bearded Dragons Drink Tap Water?
Bearded Dragons can drink tap water as long as the water is approved for human consumption. Tap water is fine but some keepers prefer to use filtered water or use a reptile water conditioner to remove chlorine and ammonia from the water.
Bearded Dragons are no more sensitive to water quality than we are, so a good general rule for water for your beardie is if it’s safe for you, it’s safe for them.
Tap water in towns needs to be approved as safe for humans by your local and federal governments and water supplies are regularly tested to ensure potentially harmful trace elements are at a low enough concentration at which they will cause no harm.
But many people still don’t like to drink their tap water unfiltered so in this case, it’s recommended to also provide filtered or bottled water for your beardie.
Many reptile keepers like to use specially formulated water conditioners that are designed to remove trace minerals and metals from the water with just a few drops.
There is no harm in using these conditioners so if you are concerned you can ease your mind this way.
Water conditioners also have the added benefit of extra electrolytes that will help you beardie keep hydrated.
Can Bearded Dragons Drink Bottled Water?
Bearded Dragons can drink bottled water. Water that is commercially bottled and sold needs to adhere to safety guidelines making them fit for human consumption. If they are safe for you, it is safe for a Bearded Dragon.
It should be noted that bottled water is held to no higher standard in safety than general tap water. Many people chose to drink bottled water due to the taste of their treated tap water, not because their tap water is unsafe.
Bottled water will work fine for your Bearded Dragon but there’s little point in choosing to use it over tap water.
But it is worth keeping a few bottles for situations when you lose water or your water quality becomes compromised so that you will not risk your Bearded Dragon having no access to water.
Can Bearded Dragons Drink Bath Water?
Bearded Dragons can drink bathwater safely as long as the bath is just pure water and no soaps or detergents are present. Many owners find that their Bearded Dragons like to drink in the bath more than their water bowl.
It is not uncommon for Bearded Dragons to only drink their bath water and ignore their water bowl. Often the movement of the water surface during bathing encourages the Bearded Dragon to drink as they are more aware of moving water than still water.
Drinking bathwater is perfectly fine as long as the water is just pure and you do not add any soaps or detergents.
These things are not safe for your beardie to ingest but they shouldn’t be used anyway as they can dry out the scales of a reptile and cause shedding issues.
Often when your beardie baths he will contaminate the water with its fecal or dirt from his tank. In this case, make sure you’re watching it as he bathes to ensure it doesn’t consume dirty water.
Bearded Dragons can absorb some water from their vent so bathwater must be pure regardless of whether or not they drink from it.
Can Bearded Dragons Drink Juice?
Bearded Dragons can drink juice but only in very small amounts and only infrequently. Juice is high in sugar and should not be a normal part of their diet but may be helpful to encourage drinking.
Juice is appealing to Bearded Dragons. The sweet scent and taste are attractive to them as it resembles the fruit portion of their natural diet. But juices are high in sugar as they are a fruit that has been processed to remove most of the nutrition and just leaves the sugar and water content, with very few nutrients.
Juice should not be a part of their usual diet but can be used for training purposes. If your Bearded Dragon is not drinking from their bowl then diluting some fruit juice in the water source can create a lovely smell to attract your beardie and entice them to drink from the bowl and over time train them to use the bowl for drinking.
Juice mixed with water can also be useful for a dehydrated dragon as it is more appealing than plain water and will help up your beardies voluntary water intake.
If you do use juice for one of these purposes make sure you do not use any contain citrus fruit. Citrus fruit should not be ingested by Bearded Dragons as the acidity level irritates the digestive system and can cause intestinal issues.
Can Bearded Dragons Drink Milk?
Bearded Dragons should never drink milk. Reptiles are not able to digest any dairy products so consuming milk can cause gastrointestinal upset resulting in diarrhea. Consumption of dairy products can also cause permanent damage to the digestive tract or kidney functions.
Reptiles evolved to produce eggs as self-contained life systems for developing embryos. When these young hatch they are precocial – which means they are small, developed versions of adults that do not require being tended to by their parents.
Unlike mammals, they do not continue to feed off their parents by drinking milk.
This was an evolutionary advantage as it reduces the time young are spend vulnerable, when they hatch they are ready to go and possess all instincts to care for themselves.
Thus, Bearded Dragons have never evolved to process diary products and their specific amino acids such as casein or rennet. Their body cannot physically process these.
Bearded Dragons should never drink milk nor consume any other dairy products. Consumption can cause diarrhea as the digestive system rejects the diary and excess diarrhea can cause dehydration.
Prolonged consumption of dairy products can cause irreversible damage to the intestinal tract and cause kidney failure as the kidneys try and fail to process the diary.
Recommended Reading: What to Feed a Baby Bearded Dragon (Full Guide)
Can Bearded Dragons Drink Soda?
Bearded Dragons should never drink soda. Soda is high in sugar and syrups that can cause high blood sugar, obesity, and diabetes. The carbonation can also cause gastrointestinal troubles. Soda is not a natural source of energy for reptiles and should be avoided.
A Bearded Dragon’s diet in captivity should always closely resemble their wild diet to provide them with the vital vitamins and nutrients they need to survive and thrive. Soda is not part of this natural diet (it isn’t even natural or healthy for us!)
Sodas are so high in sugar they could quickly cause high blood sugar, obesity, diabetes, and heart disease in a Bearded Dragon if consumed regularly, eventually leading to death.
Even sugar-free versions contain all sorts of chemicals and syrups that can have adverse effects on your beardies health.
In addition, sodas contain carbonation (what makes the bubbles) that can cause a build-up of gas and lead to digestion issues. Due to this, even plain carbonated water would not be suitable.
What Temperature Of Water Should Bearded Dragons Drink?
The ideal temperature for Bearded Dragons drinking water is between 75 and 86°F, which is slightly above room temperature (68°F). A few degrees of variation is perfectly fine as long as the water is not too cold as it can cool a Bearded Dragons whole body and too hot can cause internal burns.
Your Bearded Dragons drinking water should comfortably sit around or just above room temperature to be the best temperature to consume.
This temperature is perfect as it is neutral enough to not interfere with a beardies natural thermoregulation processes.
If water that is too cold is ingested it can be a source of cooling for a Bearded Dragons internal processes and cool them down enough that it disrupts metabolism and digestion
Water that is too hot can cause burns in the mouth and down the throat, stopping a beardie from eating or drinking for some time.
The temperature of water in a water bowl will change when left inside a tank. When placing your water bowl keep it on the cool side of the enclosure and not under the heat lamp as the heat source can cause the water to overheat and then evaporate.
Do Bearded Dragons Drink A Lot Of Water?
Bearded Dragons don’t drink a lot of water. They are a species that is native to a desert environment. Bearded Dragons are well adapted to drink only small amounts of water. In captivity, they should always be provided with fresh water or offered water daily so they can drink when required.
Bearded Dragons evolved to be well-adapted to the natural environment of the Australian deserts. These desert regions have low amounts of annual rainfall and very few constant water sources.
A majority of a Bearded Dragons water requirements are fulfilled from their diet. With a well-balanced diet of insects and vegetables, beardies can get most of their water needs.
In addition, wild beardies will lick off droplets from nearby vegetation caused by morning precipitation.
Water consumption by drinking is only a small amount and ultimately Bearded Dragons don’t need to drink a lot of water. They should be drinking 10-30ml per kilo of body weight per day.
Recommended Reading: How Often To Change My Bearded Dragons Water? (Answered)
Can Bearded Dragons Drink Too Much Water?
Bearded Dragons can drink too much water. Excess water consumption can cause diarrhea which results in the lack of absorption of nutrients. Bearded Dragons will mostly self-regulate but can be opportunistic, resulting in excessive drinking.
Reptiles do not individually excrete their fecal matter and their urine/urate. The waste is packaged and emptied from the body together so when a Bearded Dragon drinks too much water it will cause the entire digestion and bladder system to move through the body too fast and be expelled before it has been properly digested.
In other words, diarrhea. Diarrhea can cause malnutrition as food passes through the digestive system too quickly for the body to get all the nutrients from it. It will also pass through before the water content can be removed and cause dehydration.
Sounds strange but in this sense excess water can lead to dehydration in the long term.
Prolonged high water consumption can also disrupt kidney function by overloading kidney processes responsible for filtering excess water.
How Often Should Bearded Dragons Drink Water?
Bearded dragons should drink water at least twice a week in addition to eating a variety of greens with high water content. Bearded Dragons should be offered fresh water daily. You may not see your Bearded Dragon drink water every day.
Wild Bearded Dragons are quite prone to becoming somewhat dehydrated in their natural environment as temperatures are hot and moisture levels are low.
They will be opportunistic when searching for water, often taking water when it is available as the next drink is not guaranteed.
In a captive setting, you should provide your Bearded Dragon with the opportunity to drink daily. This may be with a bowl of fresh water in the enclosure or by misting your beardie or its furniture for a more natural way to drink, emulating the drink or precipitation.
Your Bearded Dragon may not take water every time it is offered but you must continue to do so so that your beardie can have the opportunity to choose when to drink.
While Bearded Dragons get a significant amount of their water from their diet, you should still see them drink additional water at least twice a week whether this is from a bowl, bath, or misting.
Head over to our new guide that shares exactly how often your bearded dragon should be drinking…
Why Is My Bearded Dagon Drinking Lots Of Water?
Your Bearded Dragon may be drinking lots of water for a range of reasons including overheating, incorrect diet, or problems with kidney functions. These things may increase your Bearded Dragon’s water intake as a result of physical cues to the brain to drink more.
When your beardie is too hot it will naturally seek water to help cool itself down from the inside out. Cool water can help a reptile to thermoregulate in hot environments. If you think your Bearded Dragon is drinking too much it is worth checking the range of temperatures within its habitat.
Beardie gets a lot of their water requirements from their diet, particularly the vegetation side of the diet. If your Bearded Dragon is drinking excess then it may be trying to compensate for the lack of moisture in its diet. Take a look at the foods you are feeding out in your daily greens and analyze their water content levels.
The kidney’s job is to clear toxins from the blood and process waste and water to dispose of as urine. When kidneys are not functioning correctly they may not process the water efficiently and dispose of too much.
Poor functioning kidneys will also need an excess of water to try to fuel these functions. If your beardie is drinking a lot but its urates are still dry then this water must be going somewhere. Contact your vet for a kidney function test to see if this may be the issue.
How Much Do Baby Bearded Dragons Drink?
Baby Bearded Dragons requirements start at 0.1ml for a 10g hatchling and increase 0.1ml for every extra 10g as they grow to be an adult.
Baby Bearded Dragons do not have differing water requirements based on age and development. The amount of water required is related to the weight of the reptile as this will indicate water needed for vital bodily functions.
To monitor if your juvenile beardie is getting sufficient water then you should be regularly weighing it so you know how much water it needs.
Baby Bearded Dragons should be eating a lower proportion of vegetables to insects (20/80) compared to an adult beardie (80/20), so will not be getting the same moisture from vegetables as an adult would be.
For this reason, babies should drink more often than adults to make up for this. Ideally, you should see them drink daily.
Do Bearded Dragons Know How To Drink Water?
Bearded Dragons know how to drink water, but not from stagnant sources. They do not naturally drink from pools of water so cannot recognize still water as a place to drink. This may cause them to not drink from water bowls.
Bearded Dragons do instinctively know to drink water. They have physical and sensory cues that signal to their brains to drink to hydrate themselves – pretty much all animals operate this way.
Bearded Dragons drink water orally by lapping it up with their tongues and processing it through their digestive system.
It’s a misconception that Bearded Dragons can also absorb water through their skin. But they can absorb some water through their vent. This is an adaption to support their hydration during brumation as they can absorb water from the dirt when burrowed in the ground.
This is not their main way to collect water, they rely on a diet with high water content and traditional drinking.
The trick is that beardies do not naturally drink from still water sources and may not even be able to perceive still water, making drinking from a water bowl in a tank a challenge.
How Do Bearded Dragons Drink Water In The Wild?
Bearded Dragons will drink water in the wild from licking precipitation off plants and surfaces such as rocks. They will also drink on the rare occasion it rains, using their unique head shape to channel water to their mouth.
There is not a lot of water available in the desert regions that Bearded Dragons naturally come from so beardies have adapted their methods of water collection to maximize the water they can find and consume.
A lot of their water will come from the vegetation they eat but they will also lick off collecting droplets of moisture on nearby plants or rocky surfaces. They can recognize the water by sensing the movement of the droplets.
When it does rain in these environments, Bearded Dragons have evolved to make the most of it. Sensing rain they will lower their head and flatten it out, increasing surface area to efficiently collect and channel water dropping on their heads down into their mouths. Over time their head shape has been adapted for exactly this purpose.
Check out this step-by-step guide that covers all the ways bearded dragons can drink water…
Do Bearded Dragons Drink From A Bowl?
Bearded Dragons do not naturally drink from still water sources and only collect moving water in their environments. It is questioned whether they can even see still water at all. Drinking from a bowl does not come naturally but can be taught.
Wild Bearded Dragons will rarely come in contact with a puddle or pond of water due to their natural desert habitat. Their vision does not seem to be capable of detecting still water and recognizing it as a source for drinking.
This makes it a common occurrence for captive Bearded Dragons to not know how to drink from a water bowl. It is not necessary to provide a bowl of water, you can provide daily water by spraying and weekly by bathing.
A water bowl is convenient and you can use these techniques to teach your beardie to drink from a bowl:
- Drippers/fountains – this is the simplest way and involves zero effort. There are many drippers or fountains on the market for reptiles that will keep the water source in the movement to make it visible to your beardie.
- Spraying – use your sprayer to direct the stream into the water bowl. Your beardie will recognize the movement of water and come to drink if thirsty. This technique used over time may result in your Bearded Dragon mentally learning the position of the water bowl and becoming conditioned to drink from it when needed.
- Scent attraction – using a small amount of fruit juice (no citrus) or puree in the water can create a scent attraction to encourage your Bearded Dragon to the water bowl and to consume some water.
- Insect feeds – feeding insects often invoke a hunting behavior where your Bearded Dragon will recognize the movement of the bugs and chase them. You can place live insects in the water bowl to get your beardie to engage with the bowl.
Do Bearded Dragons Need To Drink Water?
Bearded Dragons need to drink water. They get a decent amount of moisture from their diet but need to drink water to supplement this. Water fuels all bodily functions. They can survive without water for up to 2 weeks but will start to suffer after 3 days without drinking.
Water is the key to life. Reptiles like Bearded Dragons are no expectations. Water is vital for pretty much every single cell in the body to work correctly and perform its varying functions. It is needed for digestive acids, waste excrement, brain function, and muscle movement.
Bearded Dragons do get water from their diet as well as absorbing some through their vent, but this alone does not suffice, they also need to drink and orally consume water to make sure they have enough for vital functions.
As a desert species they are adapted to go without water for some time, surviving up to a week with no water but consequences will begin to set in as early as 3 days with no water and will only increase as time goes on.
Recommended Reading: How To Mist a Bearded Dragon (Step By Step)
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