Today we’re answering the question, “How long can a bearded dragon go without water?” and also discussing the best way to give your bearded dragon water. Should your bearded dragon have a water bowl in their tank? The answer may surprised you.
Bearded dragons are great pets but their nutritional needs are specific, and many new owners get a beardie without knowing the full scope of their care. Especially if you’re like me, and unknowingly purchased a bearded dragon at a pet store, listened to a sales associate’s advice and then realized afterwards it was all wrong. So let’s dive in and talk about what I have learned about hydrating your bearded dragon, and how much water they should actually have, and more importantly, how they should consume that water.
How Long Can Bearded Dragon Go Without Water?
Bearded dragons may survive for up to two weeks without drinking water, depending on the reason they’re not drinking. Like any living being, the consumption of water is vital to the maintenance of your bearded dragon’s health and well-being. A healthy bearded dragon will be well hydrated, but that doesn’t necessarily mean from a water bowl.
How you give your bearded dragon water matters.
We’re going to talk about that more below, but it’s very important for beardie owners to know the proper way to give their bearded dragon water.
The Best Way to Give Your Bearded Dragon Water
When we first got our bearded dragon, Bill, I was very stressed about his water situation. I had noticed a water bowl in his tank at the pet store, so I didn’t question it as being the water source he needed. However, he would never drink from it. I was terrified that he was going to start having health issues and die if he went for long periods without water, so I started trying everything. I tried misting him with a spray bottle, which he hated (more on that below). I tried showing him the water in his bowl over and over, but that didn’t work. I tried enticing him with a dropper, basically hand feeding him water droplets. It took a lot of effort but that started to work, however it was hit or miss, most of the time he was just not interested. He was otherwise healthy, happy and didn’t have any loss of appetite or anything like that, so I was like, what gives.
You should not have a water bowl in your bearded dragon’s tank!
After much stress and YouTubing, I finally learned the best way to have my beardie consume water on a daily basis, and it is not a water dish. Turns out, pet stores stores are required to put water dishes in the bearded dragon tanks because of some uproar about them not having access to clean water if shoppers can’t see an actual bowl of water. However, it’s crazy because having a bowl of water enclosed in a tank with heat lamps and UVB lights actually really messes with the humidity levels and is really bad for bearded dragons.
Bearded dragons should have water just like they do in nature, on their food.
In their natural habitat, bearded dragons would only drink water in small amounts, in the form of dew or rain drops of plant leaves or bugs. This is the best way for them to consume water. Also, the fruit and vegetables they would eat in the wild have a high water content, so a lot of their water comes from their very own balanced diet. So if you can’t make your bearded dragon drink water out of a bowl, it’s because they aren’t supposed to! There is no need for a bowl of stagnant water sitting in their enclosure messing with the humidity, it’s just not necessary and bad for your dragon.
The exact method we use for giving our bearded dragon water
The easiest way and healthiest way to give your bearded dragon water is on their food. This is super simple. All you need to do, is when you put their salad together daily, just spray it with water. We just place all of the greens in the container, use a spray bottle with fresh water and mist the water well, and then top it with any other vegetables, bugs, etc. You don’t need a lot of water, because they will be getting this daily and they should be getting foods with a high water content as mentioned above. That’s it, simple as that, that is how you handle your beardie’s water intake.
Should You Mist Your Bearded Dragon?
No, you should not mist your bearded dragon. Many bearded dragon owners are told in the beginning to mist their beardie so they can soak in the water if they won’t drink it. However, misting your dragon and/or the inside of their tank can cause serious problems for their respiratory system and mess with the humidity of their tank. The best thing is for them to consume the water through fruits, vegetables, live food and the method we mentioned above, which most closely mimics how wild bearded dragons would consume water in nature.
Signs of Dehydration in a Bearded Dragon
Dry skin can be an early sign of dehydration in your dragon. This can happen quickly or over time as well as overall health problems like constipation or diarrhea. Pay attention to the health of your bearded dragon’s skin, this is a great way to look for signs of illness.
Additionally, sunken eyes are another sign that your pet might be suffering from dehydration: these are caused by a lack of oxygen reaching their brain through blood vessels which cause cells in the brain area called retinas (which contain photoreceptors) to stop functioning properly due to lack of essential nutrients such as glucose.
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