Do you have a pool or you want to give your bearded dragon a bath and now you are wondering – can bearded dragons swim? Let me answer this question for you.
Bearded dragons are great swimmers. In the water, a bearded dragon´s movements remind of the movements of a swimming crocodile. Swimming is a great exercise for bearded dragons and it can help to clear impaction in bearded dragons.
Can Bearded Dragons Swim?
Yes, bearded dragons can swim perfectly. Bearded dragons inflate themselves with air to be able to float and then they show the movements of a crocodile to move forward.
Do Bearded Dragons Like To Swim?
Not every bearded dragon likes to swim. Every bearded dragon has a unique personality and that´s why there are bearded dragons that love water and swim whenever they have the opportunity and there are bearded dragons that would never hop into the water.
It is very important that you do not force your bearded dragon to swim if it just doesn´t want to. We have to respect our bearded dragon´s personality.
Forcing a bearded dragon to do something it does not like means a lot of stress for your bearded dragon. However, bearded dragons can get used to water. It just might take a lot of time.
If you want to encourage your bearded dragon to swim, I recommend placing a huge water bowl inside your bearded dragon´s tank. This way your bearded dragon is able to explore the water by choice and at its own pace.
Your bearded dragon will not only get used to the water by exploring it, it will get used to the water by seeing it every day as well.
Bearded Dragons Can´t See Still Water
To make sure that your bearded dragon knows where the water is, you have to move the water. Some people wiggle their fingers inside the water bowl to show their bearded dragon where the water is.
You can also install a dripper in your tank and let the water drip into the water bowl on a slow pace. This way the water will move from time to time and your bearded dragon will know where it is.
Is Swimming Good For Bearded Dragons?
If the temperature is okay and the bearded dragon is not forced to swim if it doesn´t want to, swimming is great for bearded dragons. It is a great exercise and it can help to have a bowel movement.
So what do I mean with that? It is very simple. Most bearded dragons in captivity are bored and inactive. Inactivity in bearded dragons can have several reasons.
The wrong food, the wrong lighting setup, but also an enclosure that is way to small.
Bearded dragons seem to be very lazy reptiles, but in the wild, that is not the case. In fact, bearded dragons are very active reptiles. They run around the whole day, exploring their territory and fight off intruders.
In addition to that, in the wild bearded dragons need to hunt their food. There are no humans who place crickets or mealworms right in front of them. So bearded dragons really have to work to get their food.
In captivity, bearded dragons have to do nothing to earn their food. They are just lying under their basking spot and wait for it. This is actually pretty bad and that´s why many bearded dragons in terrariums are way too fat.
So swimming can really help here. It is a great exercise for their body, but you will also get a much happier bearded dragon.
It Can Clear Impaction In Bearded Dragons
Further, a warm bath can help to clear impaction in bearded dragons. Unfortunately, many bearded dragons in terrariums are impacted very often. They get impacted from food that is too huge or from too much food.
Also, a lot of bearded dragons eat substrate and get impacted from that.
Swimming in warm water will relax your bearded dragon and it will have an easier time to defecate. To help your bearded dragon a little bit, you can rub its belly gently, but most of the times this won´t be necessary.
If you want to learn more about this topic and learn how to give your bearded dragon the perfect bath, click here to read my article on bathing bearded dragons.
If your bearded dragon is impacted very often, you are doing something wrong and you need to find out what that is. I recommend to read my article that explains why your bearded dragon is not pooping.
Frequently Asked Questions
Of course, there are a lot of more questions to answer regarding swimming bearded dragons. I listed the most common questions below.
Can Bearded Dragons Swim In A Pool?
This depends on the water the pool is filled with. Bearded dragons should not swim in a pool with a high chlorine content. Most family-owned pools do not have a lot of chemicals in it and are fine for bearded dragons to swim in.
Can Bearded Dragons Swim In Chlorine Water?
Bearded dragons can swim in a pool with low chlorine content. They should not swim in water with high chlorine content as they drink the water and that could cause health problems. Further, the chlorine could dry out their skin.
Since most people ask if their bearded dragon could swim in their pool which mostly means, if they can swim in chlorine water, I did some extra research on this topic.
Most people immediately say that bearded dragons should not swim in chlorine water, but so far I could not find one single person who said that their bearded dragon got sick from swimming in chlorine water.
No one seems to measure the chlorine content in their pools before they let their bearded dragons swim in it. So why are people saying that bearded dragons should not swim in this water?
Probably because we immediately think that those chemicals are not good for a bearded dragon which is probably right. However, do you know how many chemicals are in tap water? Do you know how high the chlorine content in tap water is?
In some regions, it is pretty high actually, and there can be more chemicals in your tap water than in your pool.
Still, a pond with normal water might be better for your bearded dragon. So I would at least make sure that the chlorine content is not that high.
Besides that, I recommend washing your bearded dragon with normal water afterwards, since the chlorine can dry out your bearded dragon´s skin. Just to be safe… there is no evidence that this helps.
Can Bearded Dragons Swim Underwater?
Bearded dragons inflate themselves with air in the water in order to stay above the water. However, some bearded dragons even swim underwater for a while, but they do not dive deeply.
Can Bearded Dragons Swim In Saltwater Pools?
Bearded dragons can swim in salt chlorinated pools, but the chlorine content should not be too high as this could dry out their skin and might be unhealthy if they drink that water.
Can Bearded Dragons Swim In The Ocean?
Bearded dragons should not swim in the ocean as they should not drink saltwater and this could happen while swimming. Further, the ocean can be pretty rough and without any possibilities to get out of the water, the bearded dragon could drown.
Actually, it really surprised me that people ask this question. The answer to this is common sense, I guess.
Can Bearded Dragons Swim In Deep Water?
Bearded dragons are exceptional swimmers and they can swim in deep water without any problems. However, they should always have the possibility to get out of the water quickly to rest.
Do Bearded Dragons Swim In The Wild?
Bearded dragons come from the woodlands of Australia and not from the desert as many people think. So there is water in which bearded dragons could swim and bathe – and if they have to, they do that. However, they are not natural swimmers like the Australian water dragons for example.
Can Bearded Dragon Swim In Cold Water?
Too cold water could lower a bearded dragon´s body temperature quickly. This could lead to the bearded dragon not being able to move properly anymore and drown. That´s why bearded dragons should always have the opportunity to get out of the water quickly to bask.
Most of the times the water will have a lower temperature and for a short time, this is not a problem. It can be a problem if you force your bearded dragon to swim even though it wants to bask. Every bearded dragon will bask after swimming, so do not interrupt it while doing that.
Bearded dragons are exceptional swimmers and swimming can be a great exercise for your bearded dragon.
However, if your bearded dragon is already pretty active and gets a lot of exercise, there isn´t really a reason to let your bearded dragon swim. Except your bearded dragon wants it, of course.
Just don´t get the feeling that bearded dragon must swim from time to time, because they really don´t. Chinese water dragons or Australian water dragons definitely must have the opportunity to swim at all times, but bearded dragons don´t.
So can bearded dragons swim? Yes, they can, but they don´t have to.