Bearded Dragon Bath Guide: How to Bathe a Bearded Dragon?

Bearded dragons are friendly pets who enjoy bathing and playing with you. Bating your bearded dragon is a great way to keep them hydrated and clean. Bearded dragon bath is also a helpful way to bond with your pet dragon and have some fun. Bating bearded dragons also aids in easing health concerns like shedding, constipation, and impaction. Many bearded dragons do the swimming but it is necessary to monitor them while they are bathing or chances of injury or drowning are there.

In this article, you will learn about what is the best and easiest way to bathe a bearded dragon and how to do it. Besides this, you will also learn the following:

What are the benefits of bath for bearded dragons and why do they need it? This is the first question that comes to mind. There are many benefits of bathing for bearded dragons. A good bath calms your bearded dragon, makes a good bond between you and your dragon, promotes hygiene and hydration, etc.

The common benefits and importance of bearded dragon bath are as under:

Like any pet, your dragon’s enclosure is a hub of bacteria and disease and when you handle them, you are spreading germs of several diseases. Bearded dragons practically live in their waste and they are not wise enough to avoid crawling it. The bearded dragon bath will help you clean your dragon from their waste, parasites, bacteria, and fungus.

Regular bath and tank cleanliness promotes hygiene and reduces the risk of falling ill.

Regular baths will keep the lizard dragon fresh and clean and reduce the risk of getting sick. For more cleanliness, you need to disinfect the enclosure regularly.

Due to basking and the hot temperature of the tank, your dragon skin becomes dry and rough. A bearded dragon bath ensures more water in their skin which promotes healthier skin and prevents it from becoming too dry.

A bath supplies water to the skin to keep it healthy and fresh and prevent it from drying.

Especially in the time of shedding, bearded dragons need regular warm baths to keep their skin hydrated so that they can easily remove it. Soaking bearded dragons in water will make that rough skin go off easily.

Almost all bearded dragons love bath time and they enjoy it. After all, it’s fun to swim. Bathing bearded dragons provides you an opportunity to strengthen your relationship bond with them and play with them.

Bathing time strengthens the bond between you and your bearded dragon.

Playing with your bearded dragon during baths and spending some quality time will keep your dragon more energetic and close to you.

Regular baths are very beneficial for the digestive system. A warm bath helps your bearded dragon to digest the food more easily and extract all the nutrients.

A warm bath relaxes your dragon, keeps him hydrated, and helps him digest food more effectively.

Regular baths also encourage your bearded dragon to go to the bathroom, which helps in avoiding constipation.

Bearded dragons usually don’t directly consume water from the water dish, instead, they rely on their food to extract water from it. In captivity, this can result in dehydration but you need not worry. Regular baths keep your bearded dragon hydrated as they drink it when they are around it.

Regular baths and mist provide water to bearded dragons to keep them hydrated.

So, if you ever feel your bearded dragon is dehydrated, give them a warm, relaxing, long bath and they will be thankful to you.

Constipation and impaction are states in which your bearded dragon is unable to pass the stool easily or can’t pass the stool. They make your bearded dragon quite uncomfortable. A nice, warm, long bath offers much-needed help and encourages your dragon to pass the stool. A massage on the tummy is also helpful in case of constipation or early stages of impaction.

During constipation and impaction, a warm bath encourages your dragon to pass the stool and remove the blockage from their digestive tract.

If your bearded dragon is shedding, their old skin will be replaced by the new skin. This is a natural but painful experience for them. Giving them warm baths will help them to remove their old skin more easily.

During shedding, a warm bath helps your bearded dragon to remove their dead skin from their body.

  • Container or a Bin.
  • Mug or Cup.
  • Clean Warm water (at a temperature of 90 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit).
  • Soft toothbrush.
  • Soft towel.
  • Rock, bridge, or something to climb on.
  • Water and white vinegar or some disinfectant clean the tub.
  • Rough Brush: can cause skin damage.
  • Wash-Cloth: Can cause skin damage.
  • Soaps, Shampoos, Or Chemical Cleaners: Your dragon can absorb the chemicals in their skin. They also drink a lot during their bath. So, don’t use any soap, shampoo, or chemical cleaners for a bearded dragon’s bath.
  • Bathtub or Sink: It’s not recommended to use a bathtub or sink as your dragon can defecate in the bath and their droppings contain salmonella which can cause health issues in humans. So, using a bathtub or skin is not good for you. As for your pet dragon, he will enjoy it. So, if you want to use a bathtub or sink reserve it only for your dragon.

For better understanding, let’s divide bath into the following easy steps:

Let’s discuss each part one by one.

While choosing a spot to bath your dragon, always avoid a sink or bathtub that’s shared with people as they usually defecate in the bath. Bearded dragon’s waste contains salmonella which can cause disease in humans. So, always go for a container or bin and select the container according to its size. For baby or juvenile bearded dragons, use small containers.

To bathe your dragon, fill the container with lukewarm water. The water temperature should be between 85 and 100 F or 29.4 and 37.7 C. Using too warm water can burn your dragon whereas using too cold water can cause your dragon’s body to shut down.

The water level in the container is also important as your dragon can drown in deep water. You can fill the container to the knees of your dragon.

  • Fill the container or tub with three inches of water.
  • Water should not be deeper than the shoulder joints (where limbs meet with the body) or knees of your bearded dragon. This will prevent drowning.
  • For babies, keep the water level to 1 inch or even half an inch only.

Using soap, shampoo, or any cleaning agent or chemical is not recommended. Your bearded dragon’s skin tends to absorb water and they also drink it while taking a bath, so adding any type of chemical can cause skin damage or internal damage. That is the reason, chlorinated water is also not recommended. Just, let them enjoy the swim and explore their wild side.

During baths, your bearded dragons like to swim but after some time they need something to climb on as they tire very easily. Putting a rock, a bridge or something on which bearded dragons can climb is a good idea.

Once the tub is filled with warm water and the climbing rock is in place, the second step is to gently put your dragon into it for a bath.  Probably your paddle and splash around in the tub, let him acclimatize with it. While bathing a pet dragon, you need to take care of the following:

  • Bearded dragon usually defecates in the water, if it happens, remove the waste immediately to avoid mess.
  • Bearded dragons also love to swim in the water and sometimes they inhale air to float on water. You need to remain alert and don’t let the bearded dragon’s head go underwater.
  • Bearded dragons also tend to close their eyes while bathing or swimming.

Bathing your dragon is a fun part where you will have a chance to bond with them. To give them a good bath, do the following:

  • Use a cup to pour water on his body except the head or mouth.
  • Use your hands to wash your dragon’s belly by splashing water under it.
  • Don’t pour water on their head or their mouth or they will drink it all which will cause health issues. Even their lungs can damaged.

Shedding is a process in which your dragon removes its old or damaged dead skin from the new one. If your dragon has undergone shedding recently, you can help him to remove leftover skin during a bath.

  • Use a soft toothbrush to massage dead skin very gently and help your dragon to remove it.
  • Only brush the dead skin.
  • If your dragon is currently shedding, don’t brush the skin that is still intact on his body. This can cause infection or you can damage the new skin.

After giving the bath, let your dragon enjoy in the water for about half an hour. This will help his skin absorb moisture, especially if he’s shedding, soaking in water is good practice. During this time, take care of the following:

  • Note the temperature of the water with the thermometer, if it gets cold, pour some fresh warm water.
  • If your dragon is getting uncomfortable, tired, or struggling to get out, get him out immediately.

To pat your dragon dry, keep a good soft towel which is only for your dragon.

  • Take out your dragon carefully from the tub.
  • Place him on a soft, clean towel.
  • Gently pat him dry.
  • Let him rest here for a little while.

After drying your dragon, the next step is to warm your dragon as these cold-blooded reptiles don’t produce their body heat and their body temperature must be dropped after a bath.

  • Take your dragon to his tank.
  • Place him under his basking spot.
  • Let him absorb the heat and UVB light.

A more detailed answer is written in the succeeding paragraph under the heading, “How to Dry a Bearded Dragon After a Bath?

It is very important to clean the tub after every bath as there will be many bacteria, skin, scales, and dragon waste left in the tub after the bath.

  • Use a good strong soap or washing agent to wash the tub.
  • Rinse it out well.
  • Also, wash the towel which you have used to dry your dragon.

For a good bath, always take care of the temperature of the water. A cold bath can cause many health issues, even the death of your dragon.

Every bearded dragon is unique, some like to bathe while others hate it. So, how many times a bearded dragon needs a bath entirely depends upon them.

As a thumb rule, if your dragon enjoys a bath, give him 3 baths a week. But if he hates it, one good bath a week is enough to keep him clean and hydrated.

If your dragon loves and enjoys baths a lot, you can even bathe them daily (But it is not recommended). There is no harm in giving daily baths, but it is a sort of overkill.

If you find your dragon in the following conditions, bath them:

  • They’re dirty.
  • They’re dehydrated.
  • They’re Shedding.
  • They’re woken up from brumation and need to be hydrated.
  • They’re suffering from gut impaction or constipation.
  • They’ve undergone open surgery and a bath is recommended by the vet.

The water level in the container is also important as your dragon can drown in deep water. You can fill the container to the knees of your dragon.

  • Fill the container or tub with three inches of water.
  • Water should not be deeper than your bearded dragon’s shoulder joints (where limbs meet with the body) or knees. This will prevent drowning.
  • For babies, keep the water level to 1 inch or even half an inch only.

A lukewarm temperature is a deal for bathing your bearded dragon. Use a thermometer to keep an eye on the temperature and set the water temperature to 85 and 100 F or 29.4 and 37.7 C. Using too warm water can burn your dragon whereas using too cold water can cause your dragon’s body to shut down.

Drying and warming your bearded dragon are very important as they are cold-blooded and they don’t produce body heat. Keeping them wet, and out of their tank can reduce their body temperature.

A cold dragon is a dead dragon, so always dry and warm your dragon after the bath.

Don’t try to dry every inch of your dragon’s skin. This will take a lot of time and your dragon’s body temperature will fall to a dangerous point.

Ideally, you can dry them about 75% and then take them to their tank and place them on a basking spot for necessary heat.

As you know, evaporation causes the cooling effect, hence your room can become a refrigerator for your dragon. So, instead of wasting time in drying their complete body, dry them quickly as much as you can and take them to their warm tank.

To dry bearded dragons and to help them retain their heat, wrap them in a dry towel, but don’t rub it too hard. Rub it softly in their scales direction. Wrap your dragon like a burrito and take it to the tank.

For baby bearded dragons, use soft paper towels as they are more fragile. Be gentle with them and take extra care.

A bearded dragon bath can be from 5 to 30 minutes long. But it entirely depends on your dragon, if he’s enjoying it, let him swim in water for about half an hour but if you notice he’s tired or trying to escape the tub, take him out immediately.

Also, take care of the temperature of the water. During long swimming sessions, the water can get cold and the body temperature of your pet dragon can drop. Use a thermometer to keep an eye on the temperature of the water. Adding warm water to the tub after short intervals will maintain the temperature of the water.

Usually, bearded dragons love to bathe and swim. But if you notice your bearded dragon that’s trying to escape the tub, splashing around, puffing frequently, he might be stressed.

The following are things that you can do if your dragon hates to bath:

In case of extreme hate and stress, you need to go very slowly. Start by misting your dragon periodically. You may spray water on him till the time he gets completely wet. In this way, you can increase the tolerance level for water in your bearded dragon.

During misting the tank or spraying water directly on your bearded dragon, you need to read his body language carefully. If your dragon is puffing up, or showing signs of anger, you need to stop and leave him alone.

Once your dragon is comfortable getting wet, you may proceed to the next step and take him for a small bath. Be very gentle and take him slowly to the tub.

  • Water should be warm and shallow.
  • Your dragon must not feel that water is pushing him up.
  • The experience should be the same as that of getting wet from direct spray.
  • Vet your dragon in shallow water instead of direct spray.

Once your dragon is comfortable getting wet in the tub, then go to the next step.

While introducing water to your lizard, the size of the tub also matters. A large tub can scare your dragon and cause stress or anger. So, try to start with a smaller tub, with shorter walls in which your dragon can have a shallow bath.

To increase the sense of security in your dragon, offer him a place to climb on. A rock or anything on which your dragon can climb and rest will do the job.

A surface to climb on is also necessary for the dragons who like to bathe, as they can get tired and need to have a point where they can climb and rest.

Lastly, if your dragon is still not getting ready for the bath, mist him daily. A weekly bath is not worth as compared to the stress it causes, so, you can leave the idea of a weekly bath and stick with misting your dragon for his hydration.

Although, it is not good to eliminate the idea of baths altogether. You need to check the condition of your dragon and if he’s too dirty, give him a very quick bath.

Although many soaps are available in the market, using soaps is not recommended due to the following reasons:

  • Bearded dragons tend to drink water while bathing and soap contains many chemicals which are not good for your dragon’s health.
  • Bearded dragon skin absorbs water and mist. Chemicals in soap or washing agents can cause many skin issues.

Many companies claim that their soap is natural, organic, or safe for bearded dragon use, but our recommendation is to avoid them. Because many hidden chemicals are there in soaps that are not good for your pet dragon’s health.

Yes, you can bathe your bearded dragon outside.

While giving a bath outside, be very careful about the dragon’s body temperature. It’s best to bath them outside on very hot days. If the temperature is not hot outside, they will quickly lose their body heat and it will be very difficult for them to retain their body temperature which will further cause many problems and health issues. Use a thermometer to maintain the water temperature.

Shedding is a natural process in which your bearded dragon removes its old or damaged skin from the new one. During shedding, bathing your bearded dragon will help him remove its dead skin and make the process easier.

For better results, bathe your dragon daily and soak him in warm water for 15 minutes during a bath.

Soaking them in warm water will soften the dead skin which you can easily brush off. Use a very soft toothbrush and gently rub the dead skin for 20-30 seconds.

If the dead skin doesn’t come off after 20-30 seconds, let it be as it is. Don’t remove it forcefully.

As already told, a good warm bath and brushing off the skin by using a very soft toothbrush is beneficial for bearded dragons during shedding. But what if your dragon hates the baths? In this case, you can mist him or spray the water on him. When you feel like your dragon’s skin softens up, you can use a wet paper towel to remove the dead skin.

You can bathe your bearded dragon of all ages, you can bathe baby bearded dragons, juvenile bearded dragons, and adult bearded dragons.

But bathing the bearded dragon hatchling is not recommended as they are too fragile and need to be kept in a tank. Only remove them from the tank if there is some emergency.

The best way is to introduce a bath to your baby bearded dragon so that he can easily adopt it.

Hopefully, you have learned how to safely give a perfect bath to your bearded dragon. Your bearded dragon is a friendly reptile who enjoys your company. Bathing him is a way to bond with them.

If you have any questions related to bearded dragons, feel free to Contact Us.

Leave a Comment