How To Tell If A Bearded Dragon Is Dehydrated?

Have you ever wondered how your beardie will let you know of his being dehydrated? Whereas other pets can drink water on their own, bearded dragons need help to drink water in captivity. As a result, drinking less water can lead to serious dehydration of your bearded dragon. So, a quick question is supposed to come into your mind- how to tell if a bearded dragon is dehydrated?

You can easily tell if your bearded dragon is dehydrated by the loose skin test. When the skin of your beardie takes time to get normal after pulling it, your bearded dragon is dehydrated. Otherwise, several signs of their body will let you know that they require water. For example sunken eyes, lethargy, urate changes, loose skin, lack of appetite, etc.

To help you get a complete guide, I’ll discuss the symptoms, causes, remedies, preventions, and so on. If you want to tell whether your beardie is dehydrated, I will urge you not to miss this article.

Firstly, let’s get enlightened about the signs of your bearded dragon’s dehydration.

How Do You Tell If Your Bearded Dragon Is Dehydrated:  9 Warning Signs

1. Wrinkled Or Loosen Skin

You must keep in mind that wrinkled skin is a sign of something wrong with your bearded dragon. But, you have to find out whether the wrinkled skin is the outcome of dehydration or other causes.

Firstly, let’s see what other issues besides dehydration can cause wrinkled skin in your bearded dragon.

  • Becoming fatten out
  • Old age
  • Being underweight
  • Particular body position
  • Incoordination in temperature, humidity, or lighting, etc.
  • Fear response
  • Being stressed
  • Shedding

So, when you notice wrinkled skin of your beardie, you should check out the mentioned probable reasons at first. If you can cut out all of these potential reasons, wrinkled skin can be the sign of your bearded dragon’s dehydration state. To confirm your doubt, you can do a pinch test on the skin of your beardie.

This pinch test method is easy and harmless. You can effortlessly perform this test on your beardie with just six steps.

  1. Firstly, you need to hold your bearded dragon firmly in one hand. Make sure that you are not making your beardie feel stressed.
  2. Pull out the skin gently using two fingers on his side or back.
  3. Then, you can release the skin.
  4. Now, you have to observe how quickly the skin of your bearded dragon returns to its normal state.
  5. If the skin bounces right back on previous normal state quickly, your beardie is hydrated.
  6. Otherwise, if the pulled-out skin takes time to stretch back to normal, your beardie can be dehydrated. In short, your beardie will lose skin elasticity and flexibility.

If you remain confused after the pinch test, you should be looking for other symptoms too. When you see several signs of dehydration in your beardie, you can confirm it.

2. Sunken Eyes

Like humans, bearded dragons also have sunken eyes while suffering from dehydration.  Their eyes seem like they are sleepy. But, this is a serious sign of bearded dragon’s dehydration.

Moreover, the eyes may seem dark, receded, and hollow. As the dehydrated bearded dragon’s body lacks fluid, the vessels of the eyes become more prominent. Besides, the skin around the eyes becomes loose.

3. Saliva Tackiness

If you are confused thinking your bearded dragon is dehydrated or not, you should check the saliva. The tackiness or consistency of saliva will clear up your confusion.

The saliva of a dehydrated bearded dragon is thick. So, when your bearded dragon opens up his mouth, double strands of saliva will be formed. The thick saliva will be stretched between the upper and lower mandibles of the dehydrated bearded dragon.

In a word, the thick and double-stringy saliva is a key symptom of the lacking of fluid in the bearded dragon’s body.

4. Urate Changes

Generally, bearded dragons do not pee. But, they excrete white or yellow urate. Besides, the urate of healthy bearded dragons should not smell foul. Also, it has a softer consistency. There will be the presence of fluid wastages in the urate.

In the case of a dehydrated bearded dragon, the urate becomes hard. Sometimes, the urate can be chalky too.

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Due to a lack of fluids in the body, there will be no fluid wastages. Besides, the urate of a dehydrated beardie will be fecal and become slightly reduced.

Moreover, the color of the urate will become pink or yellow if your bearded dragon is dehydrated.

However, the hard urate can also be caused by over calcium. So, you can tell if your bearded dragon is dehydrated by noticing the color change of urates.

5. Poop Changes

When a bearded dragon is healthy, his poop should be soft but solid. It will be uniform in shape and brown in color. But, when you notice their chalky and white poop, you can be sure of their dehydration.

Besides, the poop of a dehydrated bearded dragon remains dry. As there is a lacking of liquids in the dehydrated beardie’s body, no urine is excreted with poop.

6. Flaky Or Layered Skin

Usually, you can notice layered or flaky skin in a bearded dragon while shedding. Baby bearded dragons shed the skin often due to their fast growth. Moreover, bearded dragons do not shed their skin all at once like snakes or geckos. They shed their skin on individual scales of their body parts.

The researchers think that water facilitates the process of shedding. That’s why the experienced owners suggest misting the terrarium while the bearded dragon is shedding.

So, if your bearded dragon is dehydrated, the shedding process will take time longer than usual. It seems like their shedding process gets stuck in the middle. This abnormal shedding is known as Dysecdysis as well.

You can specifically notice such retained shedding in your bearded dragon’s tails, toes, or eyes.

So, if you notice flaky skins of retained shedding condition, your bearded dragon must be dehydrated.

7. Lack Of Appetite

If your bearded dragon is dehydrated, he will show no interest in foods. Usually, bearded dragons love to catch their prey. But, a dehydrated bearded dragon takes too long to catch the prey.

Sometimes, your beardies may refuse to eat any food. As a result, your bearded dragon may lose weight. So, their lack of appetite is another leading sign of dehydration.

8. Lethargy

Due to a lack of fluids, your bearded dragon seems not to have any energy and remains idle. Your beardie will struggle to move around.

Besides, a dehydrated bearded dragon shows no interest in playing or catching prey. This lack of energy or lethargy is another sign of dehydration of your bearded dragon.

9. Lack Of Poop Or Constipation

If your bearded dragon is dehydrated, he will struggle to make feces. As the dehydrated bearded dragon lacks water in the body, the digestive process of the beardie will be slower.

As a result, the dehydrated bearded dragon will find it difficult to poop. Also, there can be the presence of blood in poop as well. Besides, there will be trouble with their movement and shaking legs.

You can also notice a bump in their stomach. So, all of these signs of constipation make clear that your beardie is dehydrated.

How Do I Rehydrate My Bearded Dragon?

The bearded dragon owners often get confused, thinking about what to do when they suspect their beardie is in dehydration. But, do not worry. You can rehydrate your bearded dragon fast by following only four procedures.

1. Soaking: Does Soaking Bearded Dragons Hydrate Them?

If you suspect that your bearded dragon can be dehydrated, you should offer more frequent baths and soak. Many owners wonder thinking if the soaking of bearded dragons hydrates them or not.

Soaking bearded dragon or giving a warm bath can help a dehydrated beardie fast to rehydrate himself. While having a bath, the bearded dragon can drink water by mouth. Moreover, they absorb water through their vent.

So, whenever bearded dragons seem dehydrated, you should give them a chance to enjoy a good bath. Soaking in a water bowl will help them regain a good level of fluids in their body.

How Often Do Bearded Dragons Need To Soak?

To keep your beardie hydrated, you should give a bath or soak the lizard often. Now, the required duration and repetition of soaking depend on the nature of your bearded dragon.

Generally, you should soak your bearded dragon 2-3 times a week.

If your beardie does not like soaking, you can bathe him just one day a week. But, if your bearded dragon is dehydrated, you should soak them at least one time every day.

Multiple baths or soaking are also good for a dehydrated bearded dragon. Each bath should be for around 15-20 minutes. It will help a dehydrated beardie regain the required fluid level in the body.

2. Spraying The Bearded Dragon: Should I Mist Bearded Dragon?

One of the easiest ways to rehydrate your dehydrated beardie is spraying. If you can not make your beardie drink water, spraying will be effective for your beardie.

Usually, the bearded dragon does not require misting like other reptiles. The spraying is not about maintaining humidity in the case of bearded dragons. The actual purpose of spraying bearded dragons is to provide water.

If you spray the tank of a bearded dragon, your dehydrated beardie will be able to lick the water droplets from the floor or wall of the tank. When your beardie plays or slides on the wet floor surface, there may be some chances of having a lick along the way.

In this way, your dehydrated beardie can absorb water.

Make sure that the tank is clean before spraying. Otherwise, your beardie might consume dirt with water. That can lead to serious diseases of your bearded dragon.

Another warning is not to mist the tank for having a loose substrate. Besides, you should not make the tank too wet by over misting. If you want to know more about bearded dragon’s tank, you can click here.

3. Help Your Beardie Drink Water Through Pipette

When you notice that your beardie is seriously dehydrated and weak, you should help your bearded dragon absorb the required fluid. Hence, you can give water to your beardie through a pipette. As your bearded dragon is thirsty due to dehydration, he will drink water immediately.

After seeing the pipette close to the mouth, the dehydrated bearded dragon usually allows its owner to put water in the mouth. Besides, you can splash some water over the face. You can also put some drops of water on their nose or mouth. Your beardie will lick the water droplets.

4. Adding Flavors

It is a tricky procedure to help your beardie rehydrate again. If your bearded dragon shows no interest in the water kept in the water bowl, you can add a small amount of juice to that water.

You can choose papaya or strawberry juice for this. Also, you can add some sugar to the water too.

It will provide a good smell, and your beardie might come to investigate the water. In this way, the dehydrated beardie might drink water a little.

But, you must not continue this trick in a long term. Otherwise, there is the possibility of not drinking straight water anymore. You should only use this trick to make your beardie drink some water immediately.

All that matters is to regain hydration or the required liquid level in the body.

How Often Should A Bearded Dragon Drink Water?

Although bearded dragons do not often drink water like other pets, they need water. You might have imagined making your beardie drink water only from a water bowl.

But, there are several ways by which your bearded dragon can consume their required water. Such as misting, drinking from the water dish, food intake, etc.

A bearded dragon should drink water daily. You should set up their lifestyle in captivity in such a way to absorb water in all ways.

To ensure providing water daily, firstly, you should maintain a well-balanced diet. A good source of water requirements gets fulfilled from the vegetation, fruits, and salad. You can check the human foods which a bearded dragon can eat. Those human foods are safe and contain much water.

Besides, you need to keep a water bowl to offer water to your bearded dragon. So, do not forget to soak him in a warm pool of water too. Also, giving a weekly or bi-weekly bath is another prevention of dehydration.

 In a word, you should keep their maintenance in such a way that your beardie can drink water daily.

How Much Water Should A Bearded Dragon Drink Daily?

The requirements of water vary from one bearded dragon to another beardie. It highly depends on the age, size, and physical condition of the bearded dragon. If your beardie is already dehydrated, he will need more water demands from others.

Generally, a bearded dragon should drink 10-30 ml of water in a day.

As a bearded dragon owner, you should ensure that your beardie gets the required amount of water daily. The researchers also suggest that bearded dragons need only 1% of the water of their body weight. For example, a beardie of 300 gm needs at least 3 ml water daily.

 If you want to keep your bearded dragon healthy, you must provide the required amount of water, comprising their bathe, food intake, etc.

Causes Of Dehydration: Why Is My Bearded Dragon Not Drinking?

There are several reasons for the dehydration of your bearded dragon. If you learn about the causes, you will be able to take precautions. So, let’s get enlightened about these reasons for dehydration.

1. Stagnant water

If the water of the water bowl remains stagnant, your beardie may not approach the water to quench his thirst. Either you need to make the water move, or you should train your beardie to drink water from the bowl. Otherwise, your beardie will be dehydrated despite having water sources in his habitat.

2. Stress

If your beardie is stressed out, he will stop drinking and eating. As a result, he will get dehydrated soon.

3. Brumation

During brumation, bearded dragons go into sleep mode. Hence, they refuse drinking water too. For this reason, there are chances of your bearded dragon’s being dehydrated after coming out of brumation.

4. Sickness

Sickness can be another reason why your bearded dragon is not drinking water. Sometimes, the beardies can get injured, impacted, etc. Due to sickness, your beardie may show less interest in taking liquids and foods. Thus, your bearded dragon succumbs to dehydration.

5. Diarrhea

Diarrhea is one of the most crucial reasons behind dehydration. Because of losing excess fluids from the body, your bearded dragon may get dehydrated.

Prevention Of Dehydration: How Do I Get My Bearded Dragon To Drink Water?

You must have known that a dehydrated bearded dragon is easily prone to sickness. It may lead to death too. If you do not want any such tragic incident to your beardie, you should take prevention beforehand.

I’ve explained some ways to get your bearded dragon to drink water. These steps will keep your bearded dragon hydrated and prevent dehydration. These are-

  • Regular bathing
  • Keeping water bowl
  • Water drinking training
  • Fixing a dripper above the water bowl
  • Misting regularly
  • Diet

Let’s check them out thoroughly.

1. Regular bathing: Can I Bathe My Bearded Dragon every day?

Some owners bathe their bearded dragons only when they are dirty. Some of them give baths to their bearded dragons once a week or month.

You can bathe your bearded dragon every day, but this can put stress on the lizard. Moreover, some beardies hate bathing. Hence, I will recommend bathing your bearded dragon 2-3 times a week from time to time.

It is applicable for both baby bearded dragons and adult bearded dragons.

A proper dip in the water bowl helps bearded dragons drink water while soaking themselves. Some beardies can not drink water purposefully from the water bowl. Thus, bath-time meanwhile allows them to consume some water

Make sure that the water level is up to their arm-pit so that they can drown their head if they want to. But, you need to ensure that they can keep their head comfortable above water.

Can I Bathe My Beardie In Tap Water?

Bearded dragons do not need any specially treated water to bathe.

You can bathe your bearded dragon in fresh, tap water. But, do not use any soap or detergent while giving a bath to your bearded dragon.

Besides, bathing is a perfect opportunity to help your beardie remain hydrated. As tap water is safe for drinking, there will be no issues with using tap water in the bath.

If you think that the tap water quality is not up to the mark, you can purify the water before using it for a bath.

2. Keeping Water Bowl

You should keep opportunities for drinking water in the bearded dragon’s tank. For this reason, you should always keep a water bowl. If your beardie wants to drink water, he will drink water from the water bowl.

Besides, if you train your beardie to drink water from a bowl beforehand, your beardie will look for a water bowl while being dehydrated. Do not forget to keep fresh and safe water for bearded dragons in the water bowl.

Is Tap Water Safe For Bearded Dragons?

Like other pets, you might have thought to provide distilled water or boiled water to your bearded dragon. But, you need to take such hassles. 

A bearded dragon can drink tap water. If the water quality is poor in your locality, you can boil or purify the tap water before giving it to your bearded dragon.

In the natural habitat of deserted jungles, bearded dragons do not get any pure source of water to drink. That means the fresh tap water is safe for them too.

Besides, you should never provide them distilled water to drink. Such is because distilled water lacks minerals and other nutrients. However, you can offer spring water to your beardie.

3. Water Drinking Training: How To Teach Your Bearded Dragon To Drink Water From A Water Bowl?

Many bearded dragon owners complain that their beardies do not drink water from the water bowl. Besides, bearded dragons struggle to see still water. You need to train your beardie by teaching that the water from the water bowl is drinkable.

After all, training your beardie to drink water from a water bowl is essential for his sound health. However, your bearded dragon is a calm and friendly pet who supposes to respond if trained properly.  So, making your beardie trained is not too hard.

Firstly, you should keep a water bowl with fresh water. You can also mix some juice of papaya, apple, or strawberry. The scent of the juice will lure the beardie to come close to the water bowl.

Otherwise, you can also call him by his name. Then, you can point the water of the bowl to your beardie. Repeat this process frequently for several days.

Do not get worried in case your beardie drinks a small amount of water. After all, your pet lizard will not be going to drink the entire bowl of water.

When your beardie becomes trained to drink water, you should decrease the amount of juice slowly. After a few days, you can start providing only fresh water in the water bowl.

4. Fixing A Dripper Above Water Bowl

You might observe that your beardie will not drink water from the water bowl even if your bearded dragon is dehydrated and thirsty. Such is because the bearded dragons can not recognize standing water.

For this reason, you have to manage to keep the water moving. Hence, a dripper can help you out.

You can install a dripper over the water bowl of your bearded dragon. When the dripper drips water continuously at a slow pace, your beardie can easily recognize seeing the moving water.

Thus, your beardie might drink water whenever he becomes thirsty. So, installing a dripper can fix your problem and prevent dehydration of your bearded dragon.

5. Misting Regularly

Regular misting helps keep the water of the water bowl moving. Moreover, it will keep the entire tank slightly wet. Because of misting or spraying, there will be water droplets in the wall or floor of the tank.

So, during sliding the wall or playing around, your beardie may lick and absorb some water.

6. Diet: Do Bearded Dragons Get Water From Foods?

The experienced bearded owners believe that bearded dragons get the maximum amount of water from their diet. If you can maintain a proper diet, your beardie may not need to drink water from a water bowl or misting.

Hence, you need to choose such bearded dragon foods that are fulfilled with water. Generally, vegetation and insects are the primary sources of water in the bearded dragon’s diet. Besides, you can feed fruits, salad, greens, etc.

For example watermelon, papaya, apple, strawberry, banana, lettuce, bell pepper, cucumber, squash, kale, and so on.

However, fruits contain a good level of water, which can fulfill the needs of water in bearded dragons.

If you have any confusion about choosing foods containing a good level of water, you can directly click here to check out safe human foods for beardies. Such is because human foods also contain a high level of water and prevent dehydration from beforehand.

Do Beardies Absorb Water Through Skin?

Naturally, bearded dragons belong to desert areas. So, there are no ways or sources to absorb water through their skin.

Beardies can not absorb water through their skin. They can consume water only either by mouth or vent, located on the other side of their body.

But, the experienced owners suggest soaking them or misting the tank in captivity to keep them hydrated. Hence, it remains confusing whether beardies absorb water through the skin or not. But, it is a misconception or myth.

How Long Can A Bearded Dragon Go Without Water?

When you notice that your beardie is not drinking water for a long time, you might be worried. As bearded dragons hail from the dry and hot natural habitat of Australian islands, they can last without water for a long time. But, there are still risks of dehydration.

A bearded dragon can survive without water from 3 days to 3 weeks.

But, you should not let your beardie go without water for such long days. Ideally, your bearded dragon needs water daily. So, it will be better if your bearded dragon does not stay without water for over two weeks.

If you notice the signs of dehydration in your bearded dragon, you must try to rehydrate the beardie. If the situation becomes worse, you should see a vet as early as possible.

Why Is My Bearded Dragon Sleeping In His Water Bowl?

The bearded dragon owners often wonder seeing their beardie sleeping in a water bowl, despite belonging from hot natural habitat. Although bearded dragons hail from dry areas, they sometimes need to cool themselves off.

Your bearded dragon can sleep in his water bowl due to being overheated. He might want to cool off himself desperately. Besides, your beardie probably finds the water area comfortable.

Generally, it is pretty ordinary for bearded dragons to fall asleep wherever they find comfort and ease. So, it will not be unusual if your bearded dragon is sleeping in his water bowl.

Final Words

Seeing your beardie fall sick is heartbreaking for any owner. I hope this article has helped you get enlightened about all symptoms, reasons, treatment, and prevention of bearded dragon’s dehydration. It will help you keep your beardie maintaining proper fluid level in his body.

Muntaseer Rahman

I have been keeping shrimps as a pet for many years now. I’ve fallen in love with these cute pets from the moment I saw them. That’s why I am writing articles to share my shrimp keeping knowledge with you.

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