We are used to shower almost every day and some of us even take a bath on a regular base. We also know that our dogs need a bath from time to time, but what about bearded dragons? Can I bathe my bearded dragon?
You can bathe a bearded dragon from time to time. Especially when a bearded dragon is impacted, dehydrated or has problems with shedding, a warm bath can help to get rid of those problems.
As you see, you can bathe a bearded dragon and it can even be helpful. However, how often should you bathe your bearded dragon? Are there any downsides to regular baths? Actually, yes, you should be careful. Continue to read to learn more.
Do You Have To Bathe A Bearded Dragon?
First things first, do you even have to bathe a bearded dragon? Do you have to bathe it like a dog, for example? The answer to that is – no!
Many bearded dragon owners think that bearded dragons need baths on a regular base, because their bearded dragons are dirty. The truth is, bearded dragons do not smell and if your bearded dragon is not covered with dirt (feces) there is no need to clean them.
So you definitely do not have to bathe your bearded dragon.
How Often Should I Bathe My Bearded Dragon?
So how often should you really bathe your bearded dragon? Should you bathe it once a month, once a week or maybe even every day?
Can I Bathe My Bearded Dragon Every Day?
While you can bathe your bearded dragon every day, I do not recommend it. It can mean stress for the animals to get a bath every day and it can also be problematic for their health.
Yes, that´s right, while baths can help with a couple of health problems, too many baths can also cause health problems.
So what can happen if you bathe you bearded dragon too often? Most bearded dragons drink a lot of water while bathing. While this seems to be a good thing at first, it can be pretty bad for your bearded dragon.
If your bearded dragon drinks too much water it can get watery stool which can then evolve to real diarrhea. Diarrhea leads to dehydration and this means a lot of stress for your bearded dragon´s body.
Further, if bearded dragons are bathed too often, or if they are kept in a environment that is too moist, they can get cutaneous mycosis. Easier said, your bearded dragon´s skin will produce some kind of scab, which has to be removed each and every day.
Of course, it is also recommended to visit a vet if your bearded dragon is suffering from that.
So, I do not recommend to bathe your bearded dragon every day. Actually I only recommend to bathe your bearded dragon when it is really dirty. Sometimes bearded dragons crawl through their own feces and then it is time for a bath.
However, there are a couple of situations a bath can be really helpful. Let me explain in which situations you should bathe your bearded dragon.
Baths Can Help Impacted Bearded Dragons
Unfortunately, due to misinformation and bad husbandry, a lot of bearded dragons suffer from impaction on a regular base.
Many people think that the wrong substrate is the reason for impaction, but the actual reason for impaction is wrong feeding and supplementation.
So if your bearded dragon is not able for defecate for around 6 days, you can give your bearded dragon a warm bath. A warm bath can help an impacted bearded dragon in that situation, it helps to make the defecation easier.
This is the first thing I would do if your bearded dragon is impacted, but if that does not work, you should definitely take your bearded dragon to a vet. Impaction in bearded dragons can end deadly.
If you fear that your bearded dragon might be impacted, definitely read my article on impaction in bearded dragons.
Baths Can Help With Dehydration In Bearded Dragons
I said above that too many baths can lead to dehydration, because your bearded dragon can get diarrhea from it.
However, a bearded dragon that is already suffering from dehydration can really be helped with one single bath. It is better and quicker than watering your bearded dragon with a pipette.
If you need more information on this topic, read my article on dehydration in bearded dragons.
Can I Bathe My Bearded Dragon While It Is Shedding?
Yes, you can bathe your bearded dragon while shedding, but you don´t have to if your bearded dragon has no problems with shedding.
However, some bearded dragon are not able to shed properly and that´s when you have to help your bearded dragon. It can happen that your bearded dragon is not able to shed its tail or its toes properly.
The old skin can stop the blood supply there and parts of the tail or even whole toes could die away from that.
A warm bath can help your bearded dragon with shedding. Normally, reptiles prefer a higher humidity while shedding. This is not really easy to do in a bearded dragon tank, since it needs high temperatures and the humidity drops quickly in such a tank.
If you give your bearded dragon a warm bath during shedding, it will have an easier time to get rid of the old skin. The old skin will be soaked and detach quicker. If there is some old skin left on toes or tail, gently rub the skin off while giving your bearded dragon a bath.
If you need more information on shedding in bearded dragons, read my beardie shedding guide here.
Should I Bathe My Bearded Dragon During Brumation?
Bearded dragons should not be bathed during brumation. During brumation, leave your bearded dragon alone so that it can sleep how it is supposed to.
Bearded dragons need to brumate to grow and to stay healthy. If you disturb your bearded dragon during brumation, it could have bad consequences (health problems).
Always remember that bearded dragons are not human babys, they have a lot of needs we humans do not have and we need to respect that.
If you don´t really know how this whole brumation thing works and what you should do to help your bearded dragon with brumation, please read my article on bearded dragon brumation. This is such an important topic, you definitely should know what to do.
Can I Bathe My Baby Bearded Dragon?
Yes, you can bathe your baby bearded dragon. Actually, there is no difference in bathing adult bearded dragons and bathing baby bearded dragons.
Frequently Asked Questions
Related to bathing and cleaning bearded dragons, there are a couple of questions that get asked over and over again.
Do Bearded Dragons Smell?
No, like most other reptiles, bearded dragons do not have body odor. Only their feces can smell badly.
Do I Need To Brush My Bearded Dragon´s Teeth?
Bearded dragons that are not fed right might accumulate too much bacteria on their teeth and need dental care, since this can lead to mouth rot and similar diseases. Bearded dragons that eat enough greens and vegetables do not need any dental care.
If your bearded dragon is refusing to eat vegetables, I recommend to get my ebook on how to get your bearded dragon to eat greens within 7 days.
My Bearded Dragon Hates Baths
If your bearded dragon is not extremely dirty and is not suffering from dehydration, shedding problems or impaction, there is no need to give your bearded dragon a bath. A bearded dragon that hates water will be extremely stressed if you bathe it nevertheless.
Bearded dragons that are stressed have a weak immune system and I am sure you don´t want your bearded dragon to get sick.
As you see, bearded dragons do not need baths like we humans do. They do not smell and they are not really dirty.
However, baths can still help with a couple of health problems like dehydration, impaction and shedding problems.
So, can I bathe my bearded dragon? Yes, but you should not overdo it, because too many baths can lead to diarrhea since bearded dragons drink a lot of water during baths.