Do you know the scene in the movie Constantine where a guy wants to drink but he can´t get any liquid into his mouth because he is cursed? In actual fact he was drinking the whole time, but he could not see it.
This always remembers me of bearded dragons and offering too much water. Too much water can actual be lethal for your bearded dragon, even though you think you are doing him good with this.
However, this isn´t your fault. There is just too much misinformation on this topic all over the internet. In this bearded dragon water guide I am going to explain everything to you that you need if you want to keep a healthy, well hydrated bearded dragon.
The Reason Why Your Dragon Doesn´t Drink
If you put a food bowl with some water in your tank you might be wondering why your bearded dragon doesn´t drink anything.
Don´t worry, your little dragon is not sick. The reason is that beardies only see moving water. You can´t find dead water in the wild. The water there is always moving
If you have a bearded dragon that drinks out of a food bowl then let me congratulate you. Your bearded dragon learned from you that there is food bowl in the water.
Your beardie doesn´t see it, he just remembers that there is water for him. Smart little dragons 🙂 Some of them never learn it though, haha.
The Truth About Bearded Dragons And Water
The truth is that most of us offer their bearded dragons way too much water. In the wild of Australia bearded dragons often times only drink during one period of the year.
That is because it only rains then. Bearded dragons drink instinctively a lot of water during those periods. The rest of the year they are pretty much only eating.
They get most of the water they need from their food. Whether it be live food like crickets or similar stuff or just plants. Sometimes if they are lucky, they can find a couple of dew drops in the morning and lick them off flowers.
So, actually, bearded dragons are most of the time a little bit dehydrated in the wild. There is no one who offers them a food bowl with water. There is no one who mists their tank.
In fact, in the wild beardies are okay with being dehydrated, you could say it is a normal state for them as long as it is not caused by diarrhea.
So now you know that you should not offer too much water. However there some bearded dragons that really need water, but refuse to drink. Here is how you can get such a beardie to drink.
How To Make Your Bearded Dragon Drink Water
You might think it could be hard to make a bearded dragon, but actually, it is pretty easy. The problem is that you might think that your beardie only drinks if he opens his mouth.
Mist Your Tank
My favorite since it is such a natural method and it even has some side benefits. Misting your tank in the morning resembles a morning in the wild.
As I said beardies look for dew drops they can lick off wild plants. The great thing about it is, if your bearded dragon doesn´t want to drink, but needs to, you can gently point your mister above your bearded dragon´s head.
You can let it rain on his head and the water that will stay on his head will eventually be licked off by him or a part of it flows into his mouth.
Besides that misting your tank is great for your bearded dragon´s skin. Rising the humidity in your tank for a short time like this will make it easier for your bearded dragon to shed.
Bearded Dragon Water Bowl + Dripper
As you know now bearded dragons do not see dead water. However this does not mean that you should throw your bearded dragon water bowl into the trash. Simply buy a dripper and place it above the water bowl.
Let it drip into the water bowl very slowly. Your bearded dragon will see that he can get some water there whenever he needs it. This is what I call a bearded dragon water dripper 🙂
You do not need a food bowl for this. You could also let it dripp on a plant or against the glass panel of your beardie cage.
Your dragon will see it.
However, do not spend too much on a dripper if you want to buy one. Unfortunately most of them are pretty bad and you have to work a lot until you get it to drip as you want it.
These are the standard methods to get your bearded dragon to drink. If you want to learn more ways to get your dragon hydrated, have a look at this article. However those are methods for bearded dragons that are sick. The methods above should help you with a healthy bearded dragon.
Always remember that your bearded dragon should not drink too much water since beardies are used to being dehydrated.
Further, don´t feed too much watery greens to avoid diarrhea. However, this is another topic. If your bearded dragon suffers from diarrhea, read this article.
I really hope that this article helped you. If you have any question, leave a comment in the comment section below.
Your article has given me a lot to think about. I have had so many recommendations over the past 3 years concerning my bearded dragon’s lighting that I am often overwhelmed, not knowing what type of lighting to use! I’ve itdered mercury lamps from Australia, bought every bulb recommended, but I feel the lighting is not correct. My BD is in a 48” x 18” x 16” terrarium. I’m using a 100 w MegaRay mercury vapor lamp on the basking side & a 75 w exo terra heat lamp on the cool side. I use a 36” T5 lamp for UVA. I am reading more & more negative articles regarding these mercury bulbs. Can you please give me your advise on proper heating bulbs for a tank my size. I would certainly appreciate any feedback whatsoever!
I have written an article on heat lamps here.
Further, I also have a lighting guide that should be okay for your tank. Read it here.
Mercury bulbs are okay in my opinion.
The problem is that most reptile bulbs are just low quality. So even if you buy the best bulb on the market, it can happen that it burns out quickly.
It is frustrating.
Hope this helps!