Bearded dragon dehydration adversely affects these domesticated reptiles. It is among the common wellness issues that bearded dragon owners should know about and understand how to resolve.
Bearded dragons hail from Australia’s deserts, savannahs, and open woodlands. They generally do not require considerable amounts of drinking water.
Furthermore, bearded dragons bask on rocks and tree stumps during the sunny hours of the morning and afternoon. In their life in the wild, they actually neither drink a lot of water nor drink often.
Additionally, in bearded dragons’ natural habitat in the wild, it does not rain frequently. Nevertheless, we want to emphasize the fact that these reptiles still require drinking water to live healthy existences.
They instinctively drink as much rainwater as they can. Bearded dragons also need humidity for egg deposition and shedding.
In this comprehensive article, we enlightened bearded dragon keepers, especially the novice ones, about bearded dragon dehydration as a common reptile health condition.
We provided our readers with a concrete definition. Additionally, we explained the common indicators of bearded dragon dehydration, the typical causes of this health concern, and the ways on how to resolve it.
Table of Contents
Understanding Bearded Dragon Dehydration
Bearded dragon dehydration is a common wellness issue of bearded dragons in which these lizards’ drinking water intake is insufficient to replace the water their bodies use in physiological processes.
Moreover, this health problem can stem from excessive loss of water in biological activity. Besides insufficient fresh drinking water consumption, we want to inform bearded dragon owners that their domesticated lizards can also become dehydrated due to inadequate drinking water absorption.
Dehydrated bearded dragons usually suffer silently. They do not immediately exhibit many symptoms and may appear normal and well, hiding in their hide hole for bearded dragon or doing other normal activities in their tank.
We understand that these lizard pets’ keepers desire their domesticated home companions to live healthy and happy lives, and they would do everything to achieve this aim.
We also recognized that bearded dragon owners tend to worry when they witness their domesticated reptiles struggling with dehydration.
Therefore, with this reality, it is best if they know and have a clue about what exactly is going on in their bearded dragons’ bodies.
We highly recommend that bearded dragon owners learn about the common indicators of bearded dragon dehydration. We also want to emphasize that this health issue can have drastic consequences for the reptile pet if the keepers are unaware or not educated about it.
Being well-informed of the symptoms, causes, and remedies for bearded dragon dehydration enables owners to detect this wellness concern early.
Moreover, we want to emphasize that understanding the signs of bearded dragon dehydration aids in rehydrating the tamed lizard immediately before any more severe health problem arises.
4 Common Causes That Lead to Bearded Dragons Becoming Dehydrated
Bearded dragon dehydration can happen at any time. We want to inform bearded dragon owners that the following instances can result in the lizard pets losing sufficient water in their bodies, resulting in them becoming weak, sluggish, and not in proper condition:
1. The owner neglects his reptile pet, forgetting to supply it with fresh and clean drinking water.
Bearded dragon keepers can be busy with their family and career lives. Hence, bearded dragon dehydration happens as they are unable to provide enough fresh and clean drinking water to their lizard pets.
It can also be possible that it has been a while since the bearded dragon drank some fresh and clean water. These common scenarios negatively affect these reptile pets and make them dehydrated.
2. The bearded dragon is suffering from diarrhea.
Bearded dragon dehydration can be dangerous. It can happen due to diarrhea. The latter occurs when owners give their bearded dragons too much drinking water or food containing water, such as green leafy vegetables.
With these occurrences, the bearded dragon can suffer from loose stools or diarrhea. Then, it can get inconvenienced by hazardous dehydration.
3. The lizard pet struggles with the demands of reproductive activity.
Egg-laying is a reproductive activity among bearded dragons. This demanding physiological process can result in excessive water loss in the lizard pet’s body.
Therefore, a bearded dragon can get dehydrated. Its body needs adequate water to recover.
4. The bearded dragon only sees still water in the water bowl.
This common scenario is another reason for bearded dragons getting dehydrated. In their life in the wild, these reptiles usually drink dewdrops from plants in the morning.
These water droplets are moving water, and bearded dragons are accustomed to taking in these fluids. These lizard pets do not drink still water in food or water bowls their owner provided, which can cause them to become dehydrated.
These four situations are the common causes of bearded dragon dehydration. We also want to point out to our readers that these scenarios are what they should avoid in performing proper bearded dragon care and maintenance.
After all, although dehydration is usually a mild health concern, it can also worsen. With this fact, the domesticated reptiles can suffer from other serious wellness problems such as kidney disease, dysecdysis, or the abnormal or difficult shedding of the bearded dragon’s skin, gout, and constipation, if the dehydration does not get addressed right away.
8 Signs That Inform Owners That Their Bearded Dragon Is Dehydrated
Bearded dragons exhibit the following symptoms when they are dehydrated. These indicators usually involve several parts of the reptile pet’s body demonstrating the dehydration signs.
1. STICKY AND THICK SALIVA
Bearded dragon dehydration features this indicator, which is also observable in other animals. The thick and sticky saliva of the domesticated lizard is a response to its body’s lack of water or essential fluids.
Dehydrated bearded dragons’ saliva features this mouth fluid getting sticky and stretched between the upper and lower mandibles, jaw, or jawbones with a double-strand appearance.
Owners should know that this symptom of bearded dragon dehydration should be taken seriously as exhibiting the loss of water in their lizard pets’ bodies.
We want to highlight the fact that this measure can prevent other severe health problems that may come and negatively impact the tamed reptile.
2. SUNKEN EYES
We want to emphasize the fact that bearded dragon dehydration often consists of sunken eyes exhibited by the domesticated lizards.
Owners can notice this eye problem of their bearded dragons while the latter sit atop their hangout decor or hideout decor big rock.
Sunken eyes are mostly universal across all other animals, which feature the skin around the eyes being the nearest to the underlying bone of the eye socket becoming more prominent.
This symptom of dehydration is due to the lack of essential fluids in the bearded dragon’s body, resulting in sunken or dark eyes.
3. SKIN HANGS LOOSELY ON THE REPTILE PET’S BODY OR BECOMES VERY WRINKLY
The bearded dragon’s skin quality can tell if it is dehydrated. Performing the loose skin test can help in determining if the bearded dragon is dehydrated and therefore needs to drink some fresh water.
We want to instruct the bearded dragon owners on how to conduct this dehydration check. First, they should hold their domesticated home companion firmly in one hand.
Next, they can use two fingers to gently pinch or pull their reptile pet’s skin on its back or side. After releasing the tamed reptile’s skin, the lizard pet keepers can observe how fast the skin returns to normal.
If the bearded dragon’s skin gets back to normal quickly, it means that bearded dragon dehydration is not a problem. Otherwise, if it takes longer for the skin to get back into place when pulled or pinched, then this situation indicates that the bearded dragon needs to drink some water.
We want to stress the fact that bearded dragon dehydration happens, indeed, if the domesticated lizard’s skin slowly returns to normal following the pulling or pinching action.
This part of the dehydrated bearded dragon’s body will also start to hang loosely as increased dehydration sets in and causes a loss of elasticity.
Another symptom of bearded dragon dehydration in the lizard pet’s skin is this part of the body showing many folds or lines. Very wrinkly bearded dragon skin tells keepers that their reptile pets need to get hydrated immediately.
4. UNUSUAL INACTIVITY
In the wild, bearded dragons are prey species. Hence, they rarely demonstrate any signs of weakness or illness to prevent themselves from getting targeted by predators.
However, if owners notice that their bearded dragon suddenly becomes inactive or lethargic, they should not rule out the wellness issue of bearded dragon dehydration negatively affecting their lizard pet.
We want to stress that inactivity or lethargy are general symptoms of many ailments, and they can signify the loss of essential fluids in the body.
Thus, we highly recommend that bearded dragon keepers consult their veterinarians immediately if they see their reptile pets becoming noticeably immobile or sluggish.
5. LACK OF APPETITE
It is certainly concerning for bearded dragon owners to see their domesticated lizards not eager to eat anymore. These reptile pet owners can tell that their tamed home companion is ill or dehydrated.
A bearded dragon’s decreased appetite should not be taken lightly. Therefore, owners really need to take their bearded dragon to the veterinarian instead of healing their pets by themselves.
Proper food digestion requires fluids to effectively process the foods bearded dragons consume. However, bearded dragon dehydration prevents this essential physiological process, and this health issue can lead to constipation.
This wellness problem involves the very slow movement of fecal matter through the digestive tract out of a bearded dragon’s body. It usually consists of dry poop or feces, which can have some blood and strained and uncomfortable defecating process.
We want to inform our readers that bearded dragon dehydration is a problem that can involve the reptile pet getting constipated. The typical cause of constipation is the increased consumption of live insects with hard exoskeletons and high chitin.
Examples of these organic foods are live locusts and mealworms that demand drinking water more to be effectively digested and excreted from the bearded dragon’s body.
We highly recommend reptile pet keepers observe their lizard pets every time they struggle with a hard defecation process.
They should also consult the veterinarian immediately, especially if they are concerned with terrible bearded dragon dehydration possibly leading to constipation with a very dry fecal matter with some blood.
7. ABSENCE OF URINE
Bearded dragon dehydration may result in these reptile pets eliminating no urine from their bodies at all. As we all know, urine is usually a small amount of excrement in a healthy bearded dragon.
This liquid is mostly excess water considered as body waste. Dehydrated bearded dragons usually cannot urinate due to the lack of drinking water intake, and this scenario should certainly concern their owners.
8. SHEDDING FLAKY SKIN
The shedding of the skin is among the normal physiological processes in a bearded dragon’s body. Nevertheless, if these domesticated lizards are dehydrated, shedding issues can occur, which involve flaky skin.
Additionally, bearded dragon dehydration can lead to shedding that takes longer than usual. Owners can also notice their tamed reptiles retaining their shed.
This condition is known as dysecdysis, which is an abnormal shedding pattern. The retained shed may be around the bearded dragon’s eyes, tail, or toes.
Dysecdysis can result in serious wellness problems if left untreated because the shed may build up and constrict the areas of the bearded dragon’s physique and may also result in a toe amputation.
We want to advise lizard pet keepers to understand these eight common symptoms of bearded dragon dehydration very well.
Moreover, we advise them to learn how to respond correctly to prevent their dehydrated domesticated lizards from further struggling with other diseases that may arise.
12 Ways to Keep Bearded Dragons Properly Hydrated
We understand that bearded dragon owners may feel panicked or anxious after witnessing the common signs of dehydration in bearded dragons.
However, we want to point out to them that by learning the following techniques, they will be able to prevent bearded dragon dehydration.
They can also ensure that their lizard pets get the necessary amounts of clean and fresh drinking water they need to stay healthy and in a pleasant mood most of the time:
1. PROVIDING A WATER BOWL
One of the best methods to reduce the risk of bearded dragon dehydration is by putting a water bowl inside the tamed lizard’s terrarium.
This container is where the reptile pet keeper can pour the fresh drinking water essential to be present at all times in the tank for the bearded dragon’s optimal wellness.
We recommend placing the water bowl on the vivarium’s cool portion and away from a direct heat source.
We also highly suggest cleaning this important tank accessory daily, just as owners would use a reptile cleaner to disinfect the vivarium. In this manner, owners can prevent harmful bacterial growth.
2. WATER BOWL TRAINING
Although a water bowl with fresh drinking water is already within the terrarium, bearded dragons can still not approach this container to drink. The solution for this issue is conditioning or training the reptile pet to drink fresh water using the water bowl.
This process can be long or short and involves the owner sloshing the fresh drinking water with his fingers. This conditioning action creates ripples that entice the bearded dragon, encouraging it to drink from the water bowl.
We also recommend dripping water on the tamed reptile’s nose from the water bowl when it approaches this container and repeating this action many times a day. Hence, the bearded dragon will be trained to locate the fresh drinking water in its enclosure.
3. PROVIDING THE BEARDED DRAGON WITH A VARIED AND NUTRITIOUS DIET
Bearded dragon dehydration can be prevented if the domesticated reptile consumes a nutritious mix of green leafy vegetables and proteins, including live crickets, mealworms, Dubia roaches, and so forth.
Thus, the bearded dragons will get more water through the healthy foods they consume. We want to inform owners that an adult bearded dragon’s diet should be composed of 80-percent green leafy vegetables to get most of the essential fluids they need.
Besides the green leafy vegetables that reduce the risk of dehydration, some examples of foods with high fluid content are cucumbers, strawberries, zucchinis, and seedless watermelons.
Furthermore, we suggest bearded dragon keepers mist the green portions of their domesticated lizard’s diet. Hence, the bearded dragon gets to inadvertently consume the fresh and clean drinking water along with the health-giving foods, keeping it properly hydrated throughout the day.
4. USING ELECTROLYTE SOLUTION OR SWEETENED FRUIT JUICE
We highly recommend using the electrolyte solution without added sugar and has a natural origin. The natural electrolyte powder, available in local veterinary clinics, pet stores, and pharmacies, is advisable to address severe bearded dragon dehydration.
Owners can incorporate this powder into the fresh drinking water, helping the domesticated lizard ingest the essential fluids. We also highly suggest the other option of adding small amounts of sweetened orange, apple, or other fruit juice to the water bowl.
The sweet smell of the fruit juice mixed with the clean and fresh drinking water can certainly attract the bearded dragon, making the drinking water more appetizing and enjoyable for it.
5. PLACING THE LIZARD PET’S ALL-TIME FAVORITE FOOD IN THE FEEDER
Bearded dragons usually have favorite foods. Examples are mealworms, live crickets, and Dubia roaches.
If they are dehydrated, their keepers can help them by putting their favorite foods in the feeder or water bowl to get a gulp of drinking water while eating.
6. OFFERING ONE DRINKING WATER SOURCE ONLY PER DAY
We advise bearded dragon owners to provide their lizard pets with a single water source only in a day. For instance, we recommend that they do not offer green leafy vegetables and mist the bearded dragon tank on the same day.
After all, we are actually preventing bearded dragons from ingesting too much water that can lead to loose stools or diarrhea.
7. REGULAR BATHING
Giving the bearded dragon baths regularly is certainly beneficial. We advise performing this hydration technique at least two to three times per week for up to 30 minutes.
Regularly bathing bearded dragons takes off the pressure from the domesticated lizard’s digestive system and stimulates defecation. It also aids in the shedding process of these reptile pets, decreasing the chance of dysecdysis and shed constriction.
When bathing, bearded dragons get the perfect opportunity to get a big gulp of fresh water and become well-hydrated. Many of them also prefer to pass their feces in the bath, enabling bearded dragon owners to engage in easy cleanups.
8. REGULAR MISTING OF THE BEARDED DRAGON TERRARIUM
Misting a bearded dragon’s vivarium from time to time ensures that this domesticated lizard drinks sufficient water. Busy bearded dragon owners can mist the tank even not daily, but at least every other day.
They can simulate bearded dragons’ life in the wild by misting the vivarium in the morning when these reptiles usually drink dewdrops in their natural habitat. Misting also mimics early morning dew, which is a significant water source for wild bearded dragons.
The terrarium’s plants can make it easier for the bearded dragon to get some water droplets. We also want to advise bearded dragon keepers to mist the tank’s surfaces where the water droplets roll down.
For novice bearded dragon owners, they can perform regular terrarium misting using a small spray bottle for spritzing the bearded dragon and the drinking water in the water dish.
This rain-like action will aid the bearded dragon in realizing that there is water around it, thereby activating its drinking instincts.
Additionally, misting is a recommended idea for hydrating the bearded dragons as it involves moving water these reptile pets find more appetizing, visually stimulating, and natural.
Performing this hydration technique over the domesticated reptile’s head as droplets move down its nose may stimulate it to lick and clean up the water.
We want to advise bearded dragon owners to monitor the humidity level in the bearded dragon’s tank. They should keep it between 30 and 40 percent during the day and around 55 percent during evenings.
We also recommend removing the bearded dragon if misting inside the enclosure will raise the humidity level too much.
9. INSTALLING A DRIPPER ABOVE THE BEARDED DRAGON’S FOOD BOWL
Bearded dragons normally drink moving water only. Nonetheless, using a dripper can solve the problem of bearded dragon dehydration, especially if the domesticated lizard is not inclined to drink from a water bowl.
A dripper facilitates fresh and clean drinking water to drip inside the water bowl at a very slow pace. This action then enables the bearded dragon to see that there is moving water inside the water bowl, making it want to drink and get hydrated.
For first-time bearded dragon owners, we want to make it clear that setting up a dripping system involves installing this water feature above the water bowl. A dripper ensures that the reptile pet will never have stagnant water and only moving water, encouraging it to drink more.
Moreover, installing the dripping system mimics the natural drinking habits of bearded dragons the best. It would be a recommended hydration technique if bearded dragon owners helping their dehydrated lizard pets were unsuccessful with the other remedies.
10. USING A PIPETTE AS A CONVEYOR OF SMALL AMOUNTS OF DRINKING WATER
A pipette or dropper is a laboratory tool. Since it is important to inject oral fluids such as the drinking water directly into the bearded dragon’s mouth, this slender tube can help bearded dragons get hydrated properly.
We want to inform bearded dragon owners that they can just hold the pipette with the drinking water close to their bearded dragon´s mouth. Then, the lizard pet will see the water droplets.
Since bearded dragons are lured by and drink moving water only, it will drink immediately with the help of the pipette or a syringe, especially if it is really thirsty.
The suggested moment to perform this technique to resolve bearded dragon dehydration is when these lizard pets are sitting with their mouths open, particularly while basking at high temperatures.
We suggest bearded dragon owners request a veterinarian’s assistance if they are inexperienced in administering oral fluids in a bearded dragon’s mouth. In this way, they can safely hydrate their reptile pets and prevent the latter from feeling stressed out.
11. INJECTING FRESH DRINKING WATER ON LIVE INSECTS
Bearded dragon dehydration can be avoided when owners directly administer clean and fresh drinking water into the abdomen of the live insects using a syringe and a needle.
These wet live insects such as Dubia roaches fed to the bearded dragons will increase their nutritional value along with their water content essential for the lizard pets’ optimum health.
12. PERMITTING THE BEARDED DRAGON TO SWIM IN THE WATER BOWL
Bearded dragon dehydration can be effectively addressed if owners allow their tamed lizards to swim in the water bowl while bathing them at least twice or thrice weekly. We want to stress the fact that bearded dragons are excellent swimmers and they relish swimming.
Owners can calmly pick up their domesticated home companion, place it in the water dish, and give it a bath. They can also splash their fingers around and in front of the bearded dragon’s face to encourage it to drink water.
While performing this action, we recommend these keepers permit their reptile pets to swim while bathing. After all, bearded dragons’ drinking instincts can get activated by the water in the water bowl where they are swimming and bathing.
Therefore, these domesticated lizards can have their bodies properly cleaned and hydrated simultaneously, which they naturally do in the wild.
We advise that bearded dragon owners ensure that the water dish features reachable edges that are low enough for their lizard pets to climb into when bathing.
Additionally, as a safety precaution, the water should not come above the domesticated reptile’s shoulders to prevent it from getting into the animal’s ear canal, leading to inner ear infections.
The bathwater’s temperature should also be warm. Moreover, the bearded dragon should be under the close supervision of its owner when swimming and drinking at the same time for safety.
Bearded Dragon Dehydration: A Preventable Wellness Concern
Bearded dragons originated from Australia’s dry regions like its deserts. They have adapted to survive with low drinking water consumption.
Bearded dragons may be desert species. Moreover, they may thrive even without much rainwater or precipitation, making the most of the water source when it rains in their natural habitats in the wild.
Nevertheless, fresh and clean drinking water is essential for the physiological processes of bearded dragons, similar to other animals. These domesticated lizards require access to enough drinking water and the constant availability of these hydrating fluids.
Adult bearded dragons can survive without drinking water for three days to two weeks. However, they require approximately two teaspoons of water to avoid getting dehydrated.
Owners should also keep them hydrated every day. Meanwhile, young bearded dragons are actually more at risk of dehydration as they prefer going under basking lamps with high temperatures to support their fast growth.
Hence, baby bearded dragons need to drink water daily. Otherwise, they will lose moisture in their bodies faster due to their small body mass.
Juvenile bearded dragons also need to drink fresh and clean water every day to ensure that they do not suffer from excessive water loss in their bodies. These young bearded dragons are prone to dehydration due to their small bodies that tend to lose water faster than fully grown adults.
Additionally, the small tanks where baby and juvenile lizard pets live have temperature ranges that can be challenging to maintain as they tend to heat up more rapidly, unlike the big terrariums.
Bearded dragons obtain the necessary hydration they need through drinking water and eating foods such as green leafy vegetables, mealworms, Dubia roaches, and live crickets.
With all of these important facts, owners should keep them in mind to prevent bearded dragon dehydration. The latter is a health concern that can result in other wellness problems if not addressed as soon as possible.
We advise bearded dragon owners to always keep an eye on how hydrated their lizard pets are and make sure that they are eating and drinking normally. Furthermore, they need to ensure that there is always clean and fresh drinking water in the terrarium.
We highly recommend bearded dragon keepers work closely with a veterinarian to ensure that bearded dragon dehydration problems get resolved immediately. They should not hesitate when doubt sinks in regarding their domesticated reptile’s overall wellness.
In this way, owners and their reptile pets can relish trouble-free and disease-free experiences together. We want to wish bearded dragon owners a wonderful time with their beloved domesticated lizards today!