Yes, bearded dragons do drink water. It’s essential to provide fresh, clean water for them at all times. Bearded dragons obtain much hydration from their food but still require water access. In captivity, providing a shallow water dish is typically sufficient for them to drink from. Some bearded dragons may also enjoy being misted with water, which can provide additional hydration and help them to shed their skin more easily.
Signs Your Bearded Dragon Is Dehydrated
Sunken or Dry-Looking Eyes
Sunken or dry-looking eyes can indicate that a bearded dragon is dehydrated, according to PetMD. When a bearded dragon becomes dehydrated, their eyes may appear sunken or dull and dry due to a lack of bodily fluids, which can cause the tissues around the eyes to shrink or become less plump.
If you notice your bearded dragon’s eyes looking sunken or dry, increasing their water intake is essential and ensuring they are correctly hydrated. This may involve providing more water sources, misting them with water, or more moisture-rich foods. If you need help addressing the issue, consult a veterinarian with experience working with reptiles.
Wrinkled or Dry Skin
Wrinkled or dry skin can indicate that a bearded dragon is dehydrated. When a bearded dragon becomes dehydrated, their skin may lose its elasticity and become less plump, which can cause it to look wrinkled or dry. This can be due to a lack of fluids in the body, which can cause the tissues under the skin to shrink or become less hydrated.
Lethargy or lack of energy can indicate that a bearded dragon is dehydrated. When a bearded dragon becomes dehydrated, their body may not function as efficiently, which can cause them to become tired and lethargic due to a lack of fluids in the body, which can cause a decrease in blood volume and blood pressure.
Reduced appetite can be a sign that a bearded dragon is dehydrated. When a bearded dragon becomes dehydrated, it may not feel as hungry or have a reduced appetite due to a lack of fluids, which can cause digestive issues and decrease metabolic function.
Dark or Sticky Urine
Dark or sticky urine can indicate that a bearded dragon is dehydrated. When a bearded dragon becomes dehydrated, their urine may become more concentrated and darker in color. It may also become sticky or have a thicker consistency. The body is trying to conserve fluids by excreting less urine.
Constipation can be a sign that a bearded dragon is dehydrated. When a bearded dragon becomes dehydrated, their digestive system may not function as efficiently, which can cause constipation. This is because a lack of fluids in the body can cause the digestive tract to become dry and compact, making it harder for waste to move through the system.
Tips to Make Your Bearded Dragon Drink Water
- Provide a water dish: Always have a clean and fresh dish for your bearded dragon. The dish should be shallow enough for your dragon to drink from quickly and large enough to allow for soaking.
- Mist your bearded dragon: Use a clean spray bottle to mist your bearded dragon with water several times a day. This can help to stimulate their thirst and encourage them to drink water.
- Offer moist foods: Offer moist foods like fruits, vegetables, and insects with high water content. This will help keep your bearded dragon hydrated while providing them with essential nutrients.
- Soak your bearded dragon: Give your bearded dragon a shallow bath in lukewarm water for 15-20 minutes. This can help to hydrate them and encourage them to drink water.
- Add flavor to the water: Some bearded dragons prefer slightly flavored water. However, you can add a small amount of fruit juice or vegetable broth to their water dish to make it more appealing.
- Monitor water intake: Track how much water your bearded dragon drinks daily. This will help you identify any changes in their behavior or health and ensure they stay hydrated properly.
Risks of Being Dehydrated by Your Bearded Dragon
Kidney problems can be a severe health issue for bearded dragons. The kidneys filter toxins and waste products from the blood and regulate the body’s balance of fluids and electrolytes. Here are some common kidney problems that bearded dragons can experience:
- Kidney failure occurs when the kidneys can no longer function properly, often due to long-term damage from dehydration or other health issues.
- Kidney stones are hard mineral deposits that can form in the kidneys and cause blockages or damage to the urinary system.
- Kidney infections: These can be caused by bacteria or other pathogens that enter the body and affect the kidneys, leading to inflammation, pain, and other symptoms.
- Gout: This condition is caused by a buildup of uric acid in the body, leading to joint pain, kidney damage, and other health issues.
Digestive problems are a common issue for bearded dragons and can be caused by various factors, including poor diet, dehydration, and other health issues. Here are some common digestive problems that bearded dragons can experience:
- Impaction: This occurs when the bearded dragon’s digestive system becomes blocked with undigested food or other material, which can lead to constipation, bloating, and other symptoms.
- Diarrhea: This can be caused by various factors, including dietary changes, infections, or other health issues. Chronic diarrhea can lead to dehydration and other health problems.
- Parasites: Bearded dragons can be affected by various parasites, including worms and protozoa, which can cause digestive problems and other health issues.
- Liver disease: Bearded dragons can be prone to liver disease, affecting their ability to digest and process food properly.
Metabolic disorders can be a severe health issue for bearded dragons. Metabolism refers to the chemical processes in the body that convert food into energy and other necessary compounds. Here are some common metabolic disorders that bearded dragons can experience:
- Metabolic bone disease: This condition is caused by a lack of calcium or vitamin D3 in the diet, leading to weak bones, deformities, and other health issues.
- Obesity: Bearded dragons that are overfed or have a diet that is too high in fat can become overweight or obese, leading to various health problems.
- Hypothyroidism: This is a condition caused by an underactive thyroid gland, which can lead to various symptoms, including lethargy, weight gain, and changes in skin or coat quality.
- Diabetes: Bearded dragons can develop diabetes, characterized by high blood sugar levels, and can lead to various health issues.
Weak Immune System
A weakened immune system can be a severe health issue for bearded dragons. The immune system protects the body against infections and other health threats. Here are some common factors that can weaken a bearded dragon’s immune system:
- Poor nutrition: A diet lacking essential nutrients can weaken the immune system and make the bearded dragon more susceptible to infections and other health problems.
- Stress: Bearded dragons in stressful or crowded environments or with poor husbandry can experience chronic stress, weakening the immune system.
- Overcrowding: Keeping too many bearded dragons in one enclosure can spread infections and other health problems, weakening the immune system of all the dragons.
- Environmental factors: Excessive heat, poor air quality, or other environmental factors can also weaken the immune system of bearded dragons.