Almost every new bearded dragon fancier or owner (who recently adopted a beardie) gets confused when they rarely see their bearded friend drinking water from the bowl. In addition, the advice from experts to mist their tanks occasionally led to the myth that bearded dragons do not need to drink water physically because they can keep themselves rehydrated by absorbing moisture from their skin.
No doubt, bearded dragons have evolved from deserts where water is scarce, and bearded dragons have some very interesting and unique ways to fulfill their water needs. However, absorbing the water through the skin is certainly not one of them. So we have created this comprehensive post after thorough research for new bearded dragon owners looking for the answers to questions like “do bearded dragons really need water?” “Do bearded dragons absorb water from skin?” “How bearded dragons stay hydrated?” etc. Continue scrolling down, and you will get all the necessary information.
Do Bearded Dragons Really Need water?
Yes, like all other living organisms, bearded dragons also need water to survive and carry out different metabolic functions in the body. Though beardies can survive for weeks without eating without water, they will dehydrate soon, and dehydration can lead to death. How quickly a bearded dragon will become dehydrated depends on many factors like the beardie’s age, size, overall health, and environmental temperature and humidity. The same factors also determine how frequently or how much water a bearded dragon requires to survive.
Do Bearded Dragons Absorb Water Through Their Skin?
No. As already mentioned, bearded dragons don’t absorb water from their skin to keep them hydrated. You may ask then why misting is advised by the reptile experts. Let’s clarify your concept about misting and the role of a beardie’s skin in rehydration. Misting is done for different objectives, and helping a bearded dragon rehydrate itself is one of them, but not in the way you are thinking. If you closely observe your bearded friend while misting, you will notice that they bend their heads down as soon as misting starts. Lowering their heads actually makes the water drops flow toward their mouths, and they drink with the help of their tongues. Secondly, they can store water in their ridges, and when they need water or feel dehydrated, they will slightly bend their heads and bodies forward, and water stored in ridges will slowly flow toward their mouths, and they can use it.
Do Bearded Dragons Drink Water?
Yes, bearded dragons drink water. As mentioned earlier, they have evolved from deserts where water is not as readily available as in captivity, so they mostly rely on the water in their food and have adapted to survive in low water conditions. When there is occasional rainfall, or they find a water pond, they definitely drink water to fulfill their water requirements.
When it comes to captivity, we make sure of the 24/7 availability of water in the tanks. Still, their instinct keeps them from drinking water from the bowl, and they drink from the bowl occasionally only when they feel too hot or dehydrated. In addition, sufficient food is more readily available in captivity, and they can meet their water needs by water present in the food. Therefore it seems to most new owners that their bearded friend is not interested in drinking water from the bowl.
Another unique and interesting aspect is that if bearded dragons feel dehydrated and they find an opportunity to take a bath, they can uptake water through their vents.
How Much Water My Bearded Dragons Need To Drink Daily?
The daily water requirements of bearded dragons depend on age, weight, size, activity level, individual personality, and environmental conditions (like temperature and humidity). However, in general, a three hundred grams beardie needs to drink around 3ml water daily. The approximate volume of water that bearded dragons of different sizes should drink is given in the table below. However, this information is provided as general guidelines. For an accurate estimate, you must consult your vet.
|Bearded dragon’s Weight (grams)||Water required |
in 24 hours
|Water required |
in 24 hours
How Can You Keep Your Bearded Dragon Hydrated?
Here are 5 ways you can keep your beardie hydrated.
1. Food With High Water Contents
As we have mentioned earlier, bearded dragons get most of their water from the food they eat. So the best and most natural way to keep your bearded friend hydrated is to offer him food with high water content. Thanks to their omnivorous nature, bearded dragons can eat many fruits and vegetables, in addition to insects, thus increasing their options to get water. No doubt insects, vegetables, and fruits naturally contain a lot of water; you can mist them to improve their water contents further. To help understand what human food or vegetables are suitable for your bearded friend and how much water they contain, we have given a table below.
|Food Name||Water Contents (g)|
|Turnip greens (frozen)||93.00|
|Lettuce Romaine or Cos fresh||94.5|
|Zucchini inc. skin (raw)||95.00|
|Capsicum or bell peppers (raw)||93.00|
|Watercress fresh (raw)||95.10|
|Mustard greens (frozen unprepared)||93.20|
|Rocket fresh (raw)||92.00|
2. Place A Water Bowl
It’s necessary to place one or more water bowls in the tank, depending on the size of the tank. Unlike other animals, bearded dragons will not readily drink from the bowl because, in the wild, they usually drink moving water (from lakes or streams). So initially, you may have to train them to drink from the bowl, or if you afford it, you can buy a water dripper or water fountain to keep the water moving.
We have already discussed how spraying or misting in the tank helps to keep your bearded dragon hydrated.
4. Bathing Bearded Dragons
Bathing is also an excellent way to help your beardie to rehydrate itself. Again, it’s crucial to note that beardies don’t absorb water from the skin while bathing. If they feel deficient in water, they can drink through their vents. They also store water in their ridges and utilize it later on.
5. Use A Syringe
You can help your beardie to drink water with the help of a syringe. However, it is possible only when your beardie is very well socialized, have trust in you, and is ready to be in your lap.
Though bearded dragons don’t drink often, they certainly don’t absorb water from their skin. Mainly bearded dragons fulfill their water needs by the water present in the food. So in captivity, you can keep them hydrated by providing water-rich fruits and vegetables along with insects. In addition, placing the water bowl and giving them an occasional bath can help keep your beardie hydrated.