How to Give a Bearded Dragon a Bath

By Contributing Writer

Like their human caregivers, bearded dragons need to bathe regularly. Regular bathing of your dragon is essential to his prolonged health. The bathing will keep him clean and hydrated and bearded dragons are often more willing to drink the water out of their bath than their water dish. These baths can be a pleasant experience for both species, if performed properly.

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Develop a bathing schedule. Bearded dragons in the wild obtain much of their moisture from the morning dew that gathers on plants. If you mist your dragon's cage every day, wash his fruits and vegetables thoroughly and let him drink from a water dropper, you need not bathe your dragon every day. If you don't mist him, however, he may require a daily bath. Dragons that are close to shedding, or in the process of doing so, may require more bath time.

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Ready the bath. Bearded dragons can be bathed in a clear container, although some may enjoy a dip in the bathroom sink just as easily. As lizards, bearded dragons regulate their body temperature according to the temperature outside, so the water should measure around 95 to 99 degrees. Keep the level of water only about an inch deep, or about his shoulder-level, so that your dragon can swim gently and freely without panicking.

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Let your dragon bathe for anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes. If the dragon is shedding, consider scrubbing him lightly with a soft, sterilized toothbrush, particularly on the feet and the base of the tail (while carefully avoiding the cloaca, his urinary and fecal orifice). Many bearded dragons take the opportunity to defecate in the water. As soon as this occurs, scoop out the offending deposit with a spare container so that it doesn't contaminate the bath.

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Keep the dragon comfortable. Some may enjoy a bath more than others. Dragons that get more stressed from a bath might appreciate a rock in one corner of the tub, where they can have a break. You may find that your dragon's belly will inflate, but he has simply swallowed some air so that he can remain buoyant. As the water cools, you may have to add hotter water to keep the temperature at a comfortable level.

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Remove the dragon from the bath and rub him down gently with a soft cloth. Afterwards, return him to his enclosure and empty and sterilize the bathing container.