Should you give a bearded dragon a bath? Yes, giving a bearded dragon a bath is an important part of hygiene and keeping him clean. There are some other potential benefits, such as assisting with hydration and helping your beardie shed, but there is debate on how effective a bath is for these purposes. Either way, you can easily give your bearded dragon a bath by making sure the water temperature is at the ideal temperature and depth.
Prepare the bathwater
Fill the bathing container with a small amount of water. You can use a bathtub, sink, or separate tub, but make sure the beardie is contained and cannot escape. While bearded dragons can swim, this isn't the aim of the bath, and if your beardie can't reach the bottom, this increases the stress of the bathing process. Adult beardies need 1 to 2 inches of water, while babies need just 1/2 to 1 inch of water.
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The water should reach no higher than your beardie's knees. Consider adding a towel or rock for your beardie to stand on if the water is a bit too deep. Make sure the bearded dragon bath water temp is between 85 and 92 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the bath. You may need to add more warm water during the bath if the water is cooling too quickly. You can check this with a thermometer dipped in the water or a digital temperature gun.
Giving a bearded dragon a bath
Place your bearded dragon in the water and allow him to soak. You can use a cup to pour water over his back or tail but take care to avoid his ears and eyes. Never use any type of soap on your bearded dragon. Most beardies will be clean after just five to 10 minutes, and you should not exceed 15 to 20 minutes in the bath.
Bearded dragons may find bathing stressful. Watch for signs of stress, such as heavy breathing and frantically trying to escape the tub. If your beardie is stressed by the process, get him clean and end the bath as soon as you can.
Drying the bearded dragon
Remove your clean beardie from the tub and dry him thoroughly with a towel. Wrap him in the soft cloth and pat him dry. Never rub your beardie or use a hair dryer to dry him. Returning a wet bearded dragon to her tank can cause the substrate at the bottom of the enclosure to stick to the lizard. Once she is dry, place her back in her tank underneath the heat lamp so that she can bask if desired.
Bathing requirements and benefits
The main benefit of bathing your bearded dragon is to keep him clean. Sometimes, your lizard may walk through his own waste, and cleaning him up right away is important for his hygiene and for helping to keep his environment clean.
Can you give a bearded dragon a bath every day? You can, but it is rarely necessary, and baths can be stressful for your beardie, so you should only bathe him when necessary. Most people recommend weekly baths.
Can you give a bearded dragon a bath when he's shedding? You can, but in most cases, it isn't needed. Bearded dragons naturally shed their skin, and in the wild, they don't have access to water during the process. If your beardie is having trouble shedding, your vet may recommend soaking to loosen the skin.
Baths and beardie hydration
Many people claim that baths are necessary for beardies to stay hydrated. Some believe that they won't drink from their own dish but will gladly drink their bathwater. For some bearded dragons, this may be true, but ideally, it is better for your bearded dragon to drink from the clean water dish in her tank.
This is because bathwater is not usually the cleanest option for your bearded dragon. When you place her in the tub to soak, it is not uncommon for her to defecate due to the effects of the warm water, and this dirties the water. This reaction is why your vet may recommend a bath if your beardie has a fecal impaction.
Potential health concerns
In some cases, you may see your beardie soaking in his water dish. This is not a sign that he wants a bath but rather indicates there is a problem with his environment or a health concern you need to look into. For example, your beardie may be trying to cool himself down if the vivarium is too hot, or he may be trying to find relief from mites.
Make adjustments and seek veterinary treatment but don't allow your beardie to soak continuously. Too much soaking can cause further problems, such as bacterial and fungal scale infections.