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Bathing Bearded Dragons

Bearded dragons don't need to be bathed regularly. They shouldn't have large volumes of water in their enclosures due to the high temperatures as this would increase the humidity, which should be very low/arid. However, they do enjoy an occasional bath and do tend to get a bit messy as they often walk through their runny poop and it gets stuck to their scales! So some people like to give their beardie a nice warm bath (this can be warmer than you think!) before handling to give the beardie an opportunity to go to the toilet in the water to reduce the risk of being pooped on!!

I've had some beardies in my care who ONLY would go to the toilet in water, I could tell they'd need a poo bc their tails would darken and they'd be agitated and not eating. I'd give them a 20 min very warm bath and, hey presto, they'd poop and be fine again!!

Generally I'd advise giving your bearded dragon a bath on the following occasions;

  • if he's a bit dirty and needs a clean (you can use an old toothbrush to clean the scales)
  • Before handling to prevent a potential mess!
  • If he looks cold, his scales darker in colour, or if he appears sleepy or generally not his usual self
  • if he hasn't eaten for a couple of days & could be constipated
  • if you fancy letting him have fun in a bath!

In all of these instances, I would recommend using a sink with a plug, this enables you to let a bit of water out and top up with warmer water slowly until the right temperature is achieved. I usually tell ppl the temp they are looking for starts with as warm as you'd wash a child's hands in, but this can be increased gradually until the beardie poops! The bath should last from around 20–30 minutes to allow the heat to warm the lizards body temp all the way through. You'll usually find that nothing happens for a while - just sits there, may drink a bit of water (which is ok) and then may start to wiggle his back end or legs before a large poop appears!! Often the beardie will kind of scrabble to let you know bath time is over! It can be messy, so I normally rinse him off before removing him from the water and drying him. If he's reluctant to go into the water at first you can gently lower him into the water whilst he sits on your hands for support.

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