Bearded dragons come from dry and arid habitats in Australia. However, despite their desert origins, they can benefit from regular baths that can help them stay hydrated, healthy, and clean.
Bathing your bearded dragon is not difficult, but it does require some care and attention to ensure its safety and comfort.
In this article, we will show you how to bathe a bearded dragon in a few simple steps. We will also explain why bathing is important for your beardie and what to avoid when giving them a bath.
By following this guide, you can make bath time a fun and relaxing experience for both you and your scaly friend.
How to Bath a Bearded Dragon
Here are the 7 easy steps to properly wash your bearded dragon.
Step 1: Fill the Basin with Warm Water
Fill a basin with clean water that reaches up to your bearded dragon’s elbows or half of its stomach. The water temperature should be between 85 – 95° F. You can use a thermometer to check the temperature of the water.
Step 2: Place an Object in the Middle of the Basin
Place an object in the middle of the basin that your dragon can climb onto if needed. This will help your bearded dragon to feel more comfortable in the water.
Step 3: Gently Grab Your Bearded Dragon
Gently grab your bearded dragon by its entire body with both hands. This will help to prevent any injuries to your pet.
Step 4: Slowly Place Your Bearded Dragon into the Water
Slowly place your bearded dragon into the water and see how it reacts. If your bearded dragon is not comfortable in the water, you can use a small towel to support it.
Step 5: Let Your Bearded Dragon Play with the Water
Let your bearded dragon play with the water for about 10-20 minutes. This will help to remove any debris from its skin.
Step 6: Clean Your Bearded Dragon
If you need to clean your bearded dragon, take your hand and splash some water onto it. Rub gently on its body to remove any debris off its body. You can also use a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean its skin.
Step 7: Dry Your Bearded Dragon
After bathing your bearded dragon, you should dry it off with a clean towel. Make sure to pat it dry gently. You can also use a hairdryer on a low setting to dry its skin.
For baby and juvenile bearded dragons, fill the basin with about half an inch of water to one inch. For adults, you can fill the basin with one to three inches of water, depending on its size.
If your bearded dragon defecates in the water, remove the feces immediately to avoid a mess.
You can bathe your bearded dragon in anything that holds water. Some people use the kitchen sink or a bathtub, others use plastic storage bins. There are no hard and fast rules here, you just need something that has enough room for your dragon and will hold water.
Water temperature is the most important part to get right. The water temperature should be between 85 – 95° F.
You can use a thermometer to check the temperature of the water.
Why Do Bearded Dragons Need Baths?
You might be wondering if it’s necessary to give your bearded dragon baths since they don’t get them in the wild. However, there are numerous advantages to bathing your pet bearded dragon.
To stay hydrated: Bearded dragons are native to the arid regions of Australia, and they are adapted to survive with very little water. In captivity, however, they need a constant supply of water to remain hydrated. Bathing your bearded dragon regularly can help them absorb water through its skin and prevent dehydration.
Note: Beardies do not recognize still water and drink from moving water, mist, or dewdrops in the wild.
To aid digestion: Bearded dragons are omnivores, which means they eat both plants and insects. Bathing them before or after a meal can help stimulate their digestive system and improve their overall health.
To remove shed skin: Bearded dragons shed their skin regularly, and bathing can help soften the old skin and make it easier to remove. This process can prevent the buildup of dead skin, which can lead to infection and other health issues.
To maintain cleanliness: Bearded dragons are known to defecate in their water dishes, which can lead to the growth of harmful bacteria. Regular baths can help keep them clean and reduce the risk of infection.
How Often Should You Bathe a Bearded Dragon?
The frequency of bearded dragon baths depends on several factors, including their age, size, and overall health. Generally, adult bearded dragons need to be bathed once a week, while younger dragons may require more frequent baths.
Note: It’s important to note that over-bathing can be harmful to your bearded dragon’s skin, so it’s essential to find the right balance.
The bathing routine can also be determined by looking at the hygiene of the bearded dragon. You can go off the beat if you find your bearded dragon filthy, having a problematic shed, or impaction. In these times particularly, you can go by your instincts, laying the schedule aside for some time.
What if my Bearded Dragon Doesn’t Like Baths?
If your bearded dragon hates baths, it can be a challenging experience for both you and your pet. Here are some tips on what to do if your bearded dragon hates baths.
Understand why your bearded dragon hates baths: The first step in addressing your bearded dragon’s bath aversion is to understand why they hate it.
Some bearded dragons dislike being submerged in water, while others may not like the temperature or the container they are being bathed in. Once you understand the reason behind your bearded dragon’s bath aversion, you can take the necessary steps to address it.
Choose the right container: The container you use for your bearded dragon’s bath can make a big difference in how they perceive the experience. Some bearded dragons prefer shallow containers, while others may like deeper ones.
Additionally, the material of the container can also matter. Some bearded dragons may not like the feeling of a slippery plastic container, while others may prefer a rougher texture. Experiment with different containers until you find one that your bearded dragon feels comfortable in.
Get the temperature right: Bearded dragons are cold-blooded, and the temperature of the water they bathe in is crucial. The ideal temperature for a bearded dragon’s bath is around 100°F (38°C).
If the water is too cold, your bearded dragon may become stressed or even sick. Conversely, if the water is too hot, your bearded dragon may get burnt or dehydrated. Use a thermometer to ensure that the water is at the correct temperature.
Try different bath locations: If your bearded dragon dislikes bathing in a particular location, try moving them to a different spot. Some bearded dragons may prefer bathing in a quiet, private area, while others may prefer being in a high-traffic area where they can see what’s going on.
Experiment with different locations until you find one that your bearded dragon feels comfortable in.
Use treats to encourage your bearded dragon: Rewarding your bearded dragon with treats can help encourage them to enjoy baths. Try offering them a small piece of their favorite food while they are in the bath.
Over time, your bearded dragon may associate baths with positive experiences and become more willing to participate.
Consider a different approach: If your bearded dragon still hates baths despite your best efforts, you may want to consider a different approach.
Some bearded dragon owners have had success using a misting bottle or a damp cloth to clean their pets instead of bathing them. However, it is important to note that misting or wiping may not provide the same level of cleaning as a bath.
How to Dry a Bearded Dragon after a Bath?
Bringing a wet bearded dragon right into an open environment can cause health issues in the bearded dragon.
You can dry your beardie by using a paper or cloth towel or any other suitable material. Make sure not to be harsh on the beardie or rub its skin. Warm the bearded dragon by placing it under the UVB light of the enclosure to maintain the reptile’s body temperature, as they are cold-blooded animals and need external sources to warm their bodies.
You can wrap them in the towel for some time to dry their body completely before exposing them to the room for transportation or playing. Furthermore, be more vigilant if your beardie is just a baby at the moment; wrapping them wouldn’t be a good idea, as you might lose track of them in there and hurt them unintentionally.
Should I Use Soap to Bath My Bearded Dragon?
It’s recommended to avoid using soap while bathing your bearded dragon for several reasons. As bathing aims for keeping your bearded dragon hydrated and healthy, introducing soap will contaminate the water, which your beardie might consume.
Bearded dragons love to drink water while bathing, and if the water had soap in it, there’s a high chance of risk to the life of your pet beardie.
Furthermore, the bearded dragon’s skin can absorb nutrients and everything that it is introduced into. No matter how reputable the product is in the market, it will still contain chemicals that can affect the bearded dragon’s health and life. It’s best to keep the water soap-free to avoid risk.
How Long to Give a Bearded Dragon a Bath?
You can’t just let your bearded dragon hang into the water bowl all day long, as it can over-hydrate the beardie, which has its side effects. Keeping this in mind, you should allow your beardie to soak in water for a specific time, i.e., 10-15 minutes.
Are there any bearded dragon toys to improve the bathing experience?
Bathing is a time for bearded dragons to relax and enjoy the warmth of water by drinking it for enough hydration. Adding a few toys and luxuries into the bathing time can add more fun to the time the beardie spends inside the water. Ensure that the toys are not small enough for your beardie to swallow.
Should you bathe your bearded dragon while shedding?
If your bearded dragon has a problematic shed, then it might be because of dehydration. Bathing your bearded dragon can help solve this problem by softening the bearded dragon’s skin and making it easy to come off. It can further improve the experience of skin shedding by detaching the skin from the body gently and quickly.
If you find the patches of skin stuck on the bearded dragon’s skin, you may soak them inside the warm water for 15 minutes and use a soft brush to take off the skin gently.
How Old Does a Bearded Dragon Have to Be to Take a Bath?
There is no age limit for bathing your bearded dragon; you can undoubtedly bathe the bearded dragon even if it’s a baby. Bathing a hatchling is, however, not recommended, and you must hold on for some time to let it grow, then it’ll be ready to soak it in water.
Moreover, you must monitor the bathing activity of the baby bearded dragon at all times, as its small size can sometimes put him out of sight. Introducing bathing to the baby bearded dragon can have its advantages in the long run, as they will grow up enjoying these bathes and getting used to it.
Once you start to bathe your bearded dragon, you’ll learn the process. However, you must not ignore the crucial parameters of bathing for your beardie. Preparing a tub of lukewarm water and allowing your beardie to soak in the water for 10-15 minutes under your supervision can do the deed.
Just make sure to provide a suitable amount of water and temperature to ensure that the bearded dragon remains safe throughout the entire bathing process.
Furthermore, it’s essential to dry out the bearded dragon soon after the bath; otherwise, the beardie will go through health issues. Try bathing your bearded dragon by the steps provided above, and this will give you a smooth experience of bathing your beardie.
Lastly, it’s unnecessary to bathe your beardie if it’s reluctant to get one; forcing the beardie into bathing against its will can elevate the stress level, and you don’t want to do so. Stick to the procedure and make bathing fun for your bearded dragon.