Is your dragon stubborn when drinking water? Are you wondering how long can bearded dragons go without water? Don’t worry, you’ll get all the answers here.
You can’t be at peace if your dragon is not taking water, especially when you don’t know about its limit, right? It is a little discomforting to the new owners when a beardie seems not to be getting water.
This article has everything you need to know about water and bearded lizards, including why they won’t drink water, different ways in which the beardies get water, and more.
Why Do Bearded Dragons Need Water?
We can stay for several weeks without eating, but it is entirely impossible to stay even for a week without water. Water is essential to keep us healthy and enhance the proper functioning of the organs.
Dehydration can be fatal and will generally affect overall health. In the worst cases, severe dehydration can even lead to death. So, we need to take sufficient water to remain hydrated. Similarly, all reptiles, including bearded dragons, need to be always hydrated.
So, bearded dragons need water to facilitate better functioning of the organs and to keep the dragon looking healthy. There is a need to maintain proper hydration in the beardies. Also, you need to know that inadequate hydration is the primary culprit to improper shedding.
The unique thing about bearded dragons compared to the majority of the animals is that they can survive on less water, and they can get water from different sources. We are going to cover that further in the article.
Give water to your dragon more often, don’t wait until it is dehydrated. Water is vital to every animal and plant existing on earth. We all need it to survive.
How Long Can Beardies Go Without Water?
Did you know that bearded dragons are desert lizards? So, having come from the desert where water is scarce, these lizards can go for a few days or even a week or two without water.
All animals can survive for a pretty long time without food than they can stay without water. The truth is, feeding seems simple to people keeping bearded dragons, but when it comes to watering, most of them have doubts.
The main challenge comes when a bearded dragon refuses to drink water even after several attempts. You must be worried, just like any other person who cares for their pet. It isn’t a good thing to deprive the water of your dragon just because it is stubborn.
There are various reasons why a bearded dragon can refuse to drink water, but that’s not our primary focus here, we will discuss it later. You can provide water in a bowl and leave it in the enclosure if the beardie doesn’t drink water. They might drink it later.
The best idea when the beardies don’t take water is for you to continue with the regular diet. Wild bearded dragons can live longer without water; they drink at certain times of the year. They primarily derive water from the foods they eat, including insects and plant materials.
Why Is My Bearded Dragon Not Drinking Water?
If your bearded dragon is not taking water, it could be due to a variety of reasons. When in such a situation, many people rush to their reptile vet, but it’s not always the right thing. You first need to check if there is anything you have done wrong.
Consider checking if the following reasons could be the reason why your beardie isn’t drinking water.
The majority of the bearded dragons brumate to avoid cold temperatures during winter and conserve energy. During this period, don’t be shocked if your pet is refusing to drink water. They usually don’t drink or eat much like they will do during the typical days.
Always ensure there is water with a bowl in the tank because the beardies occasionally move to drink water. Also, keep an eye on your dragon and look for any signs of dehydration. Don’t allow them to reach that point.
Perhaps, your bearded dragon is not drinking water because you are giving excess water. One thing you need to remember every time is that the beardies don’t drink a lot of water as we might think. They are accustomed to staying in the desert where water is little.
If there is a bowl of water in the cage, probably, your pet drank the water when you were not there, and it got satisfied. Also, the beardie may be getting all the water the body needs presently from the food.
Don’t worry at all if your bearded dragon is looking healthy, and it is generally eating despite refusing to drink water.
Another reason why a beardie may not be taking water is because of stress. A stressed bearded dragon doesn’t eat or drink, and this is always something to make you worry.
Many things can stress a beardie, for instance, the presence of predators, drastic changes in light, temperature, sound, presence of household pets, other bearded dragons, etc. If possible, keeping a bearded dragon alone in the tank is the best decision; after all, they are solitary lizards.
Make sure that all the conditions in the habitat are correct, and the beardie may start to eat and drink soon. A bearded dragon can become dehydrated more quickly due to stress than during brumation.
To avoid dehydration, ensure the beardie starts drinking and eating within the next few days.
If your dragon is not drinking water and you suspect that it is sick, you need to take a trip to your reptile veterinarian. A beardie can be dehydrated due to illness.
Other signs to check on if the beardie isn’t drinking due to illness is; lack of movement, anorexia, visible injuries, and anything you feel is abnormal.
Have you been into an occasion where you clean a bowl of water, provide fresh water in the enclosure, and the beardie drinks it less than a minute later? Of course, the water was there the entire time, but the beardie chose to drink the freshwater.
This is an indication that the water that was available previously is not clean. Bearded dragons like other reptiles don’t want to drink stagnant water, which is contaminated.
How Do Bearded Dragons Get Water?
The fascinating thing about bearded dragons is that they will not take water the way other pets will do or even humans. It’s funny the way some beardies can’t take water from the bowl because they don’t realize it is meant for drinking.
You might get upset if your lizard behaves like that, but in reality, it is something not natural to them. For instance, in the wild, bearded dragons are used to drinking water that is flowing, so having accustomed to that, they might reject still water in captivity.
Bearded dragons can get water in different ways, as we are going to see below. It is essential to master the knowledge of how these lizards get water to prevent making poor care decisions by just assuming.
Let’s take a look at the various ways in which bearded lizards get water.
Drinking from Water Bowl
Drinking is the first method that comes to our mind when watering the dragons, which is good. It dramatically helps to keep the beardies hydrated. The beardies drink water directly from the bowl through licking.
You should provide clean drinking water every day in the enclosure, even if the beardie does not seem to drink it. Also, use a shallow water dish and make sure to clean it daily.
Like I mentioned above, though drinking seems a more comfortable and most obvious way to us, not all beardies appreciate it. If that is the case with your pet, don’t worry, there are other ways you can use.
Another means to hydrate your beardie is through their food, such as fresh vegetables and fruits, live insects, and maybe greens.
Fresh veggies and fruits contain a pretty high degree of water than live insects and greens. But in general, well balanced and fresh food contains a certain amount of water that forms the most significant part of the beardie’s daily water requirement.
Bearded dragons absorb the water directly from the food during the digestion process. Live insect feeders like phoenix worms have some high degree of water, and they significantly help in hydration. Many reptile veterinarians recommend feeding the beardies with these worms when they are dehydrated or sick.
Water from food alone is not enough for the beardies, and that is why you need to use other ways for hydration. More importantly, make sure there is a bowl full of clean water in the cage every day.
Bathing your beardie is a common way to keep it hydrated. However, not all bearded dragons will enjoy bathing; some are quite disturbed about it.
You may be wondering how the beardies get water by bathing, but it happens; they drink the bathing water and also absorb it through the skin.
To keep your dragons safe, don’t use chemicals while bathing it. You should wash your bearded dragon at least once per week. Also, bathing alone cannot provide all the water that the beardie needs.
On some occasions, you will realize that the beardie is sitting in the bowel water in the enclosure; it is essential for hydration as well.
You can choose to mist the beardie itself, the food, or the tank. Whichever way, they are all useful in hydrating bearded dragons.
When misting the dragon, there is water that will run down to the face, and the beardies lap these water drops.
You can mist your pet daily, but when it is outside the tank. It is one way to make the skin supple and appear healthy, and this helps in shedding. You still need to provide water through other means because misting cannot meet the water required by the body.
How Much Water Does a Bearded Lizard Need Daily?
Now, you are aware that you need to provide your bearded dragon with water every day, but how much water do they need daily? This is a good question, and you will get the answer right now.
The amount of water a bearded lizard needs in a day depends on the age of the beardie. But generally speaking, a dragon needs 1% water of its body weight. For instance, if your lizard is weighing 300 grams, the body requires 3ml of water daily.
Note that I’m giving you this percentage as a guide only, the best way is to seek advice from your reptile veterinarian.
I’m hoping you enjoyed reading the article and your question on how long can a bearded dragon go without water is well answered. The beardies can go for a few days to a week or two at most without water.
To keep a bearded lizard hydrated is ultimately your responsibility. In the case of dehydration, inform the reptile vet immediately to prevent the condition from worsening.