It’s hotly debated amongst bearded dragon owners: is bathing a bearded dragon necessary?
Some owners insist on weekly baths because they think their pets are encouraged to drink and have bowel movements.
Conversely, others only give their bearded dragon a bath when they want to help them with a problematic shed.
The truth is, it’s difficult to know whether these baths are entirely necessary or not. But, even if they’re not essential, they’re an excellent way to bond with your bearded dragon, and it is fun!
Not all bearded dragons will enjoy bathing, but if it’s something you’re keen on doing for them, you should start them young.
Before we progress further with this article, though, it’s imperative to make it clear that you must always watch your bearded dragon when they’re having a bath.
Just like you wouldn’t leave a baby unattended, nor should you leave a beardie.
It is so easy for a bearded dragon to aspirate water, which can cause health problems like respiratory infections and even worse, drowning.
What Is the Ideal Water Temperature to Bathe a Bearded Dragon?
The ideal range is between 90 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s pretty similar to a baby’s water temperature. Since your Beardie can’t regulate his own temperature, the water mustn’t be too hot or too cold.
Does a Bearded Dragon Need to Be Dried After Bathing?
Yes. Drying bearded dragons as soon as they’re out of the bath is essential. Don’t forget that the bearded dragon’s natural habitat is a hot, arid environment.
So, being outside his enclosure and wet is not a situation they should be in for long.
The room temperature is much colder than their enclosure, and they’ll feel much cooler when wet.
They should actually be three-quarters dry before they’re put back inside their enclosure and under the heat lamp.
So, how do you dry a bearded dragon?
Before bathing them, ensure you have a towel to hand for afterward. You should wrap your bearded dragon gently and press lightly to soak up excess water.
It’s important not to rub as most bearded dragons won’t like it.
If your bearded dragon doesn’t mind, you can rub him dry, but you should do this in the direction of his scales.
How Deep Should the Water Be when You Bathe a Bearded Dragon?
The water should be high enough to reach your Beardie’s armpits, but it should be below his face. It’s easy for a bearded dragon to drown, so his head needs to be above water.
How Often Does a Bearded Dragon Need a Bath?
This question doesn’t have a definite answer. It depends entirely on what your bearded dragon likes.
Daily baths aren’t recommended. These are the reasons why you should bathe a bearded dragon:
- He is dirty
- He is dehydrated
- He is shedding, and it is difficult
- He is brumating, and you’re trying to hydrate him
- He’s impacted
- He has an open wound that needs cleaning
If your Beardie loves baths, there’s no reason why you can’t give him baths more frequently, around two to three times a week, if he likes.
The Benefits of Bathing Your Beardie Frequently
As mentioned above, you can let your bearded dragon enjoy splashing in the bath once to twice a week. There are many benefits to giving him a bath. Let’s take a look at a few of them:
- Regular bathing will help with hygiene and keeping your Beardie healthy.
- A bath is great for cleaning any bacteria or germs from your beardies feet – especially if he tends to walk through his own waste! You can avoid this by removing feces immediately, but this would mean you’d have to be watching his enclosure a lot!
- It aids the shedding process. A nice soak in the bath can help loose skin to come off. Once soaked, you can use a very soft toothbrush to gently rub areas of a shed to remove any dead skin.
- Regular baths for a baby or juvenile bearded dragon will also help them get used to the process. They’ll typically grow up to enjoy their baths!
- Bathing helps their digestive health. Not only will your bearded dragon be cleaner, but bathing improves their digestion. This is because they take in water while bathing and thus are less likely to suffer impaction problems.
- Baths ease some health concerns. Bathing a bearded dragon can help a problematic shed or constipation.
How Long Should You Bathe Your Bearded Dragon For?
So, how long should a beardie soak? Most beardies will enjoy a nice warm bath for around fifteen minutes. However, half an hour will be fine if they seem to enjoy it.
Can You Use Bath Toys when You Give a Bearded Dragon a Bath?
Absolutely! You only need to remember not to put in too small toys. You really don’t want your Beardie to swallow them! You can probably find suitable toys in a pet store.
Toys in the bath are a great way of making bath time fun and provide stimulation. Also, if you have a beardie that you need to bathe but he doesn’t enjoy it, toys can be a good distraction for your tiny dinosaur.
My Beardie Doesn’t Like Baths – What Should I Do?
It’s pretty standard for adopted pet reptiles to dislike baths. However, when you raise baby bearded dragons, it’s something you can work on getting them used to so that they enjoy them as they grow.
With adult bearded dragons, though, if they already don’t like baths, you probably won’t ever get them to enjoy it – but they might learn to tolerate it!
If your Beardie is having a horrible time in the bath, just stop bathing them. The stress isn’t worth it for them (or you!).
You could also try putting a shallow water dish in the enclosure to encourage familiarity with it. You’ll need to ensure the humidity level stays within the range, though.
Does Bearded Dragon Bath Soap Exist?
No. There’s no such thing as bearded dragon bath soap – and it’s not a good idea to use any type of soap on a bearded dragon.
Some brands (like Dawn) claim to be so gentle that they’re suitable for wildlife. Still, in reality, the soap contains harsh chemicals that could cause problems to a bearded dragon over time.
Bearded dragon skin can absorb chemicals, so it doesn’t matter if you prevent them from drinking water in the bath. They will still absorb the soap chemicals.
If you do use soap, it should have as few ingredients as possible and be very gentle. Realistically, it’s doubtful your Beardie will be so dirty that water alone doesn’t do the job!
When avoiding soap, you can use a small soft towel dipped in water to gently brush their skin. Some people even use a soft brush like a child’s toothbrush!
Can You Bathe Your Bearded Dragon when It’s Shedding?
You don’t need to bathe your bearded dragon during shedding, but it often makes the shedding process more effortless.
This is because the water can help soften the old skin to help reveal new skin underneath.
While shedding, fifteen minutes per day (in warm water) can help – especially if the shed is difficult.
You should never pull the shed off, but you can use a soft-bristle toothbrush, encourage its removal, and gently brush it for a few moments.
Twenty seconds is enough – and if the skin doesn’t come off, it’s simply not ready to.
If you don’t want to brush, you could soak a paper towel in the bath water and lay it over your bearded dragon to encourage the shed to come away with the warm water.
How Young Can I Bathe My Bearded Dragon?
Bearded dragons can enjoy bath time at any age! However, a bearded dragon bath can happen for a couple of months. Getting them used to it is recommended to avoid a bearded dragon hates baths situation!
It’s not a good idea to bathe a hatchling, but baby bearded dragons and juveniles are fine. In fact, it’s recommended that they learn to tolerate baths. They’re much more likely to enjoy them as adults too!
It’s important to remember to stop the bath as soon as your bearded dragon decides he’s had enough. This means he’ll be more likely to tolerate it next time.
How to Set up A Bearded Dragon Bath
There are two critical things beardie owners need to remember when bathing their bearded dragon. Firstly, the water depth. This is important as a beardie can drown in just a few inches of water if not supervised.
The second thing to remember is the temperature. It should be lukewarm water – you don’t want to risk scolding your pet! Also, because these creatures are cold-blooded, the water mustn’t be too cold either.
In terms of depth, the water should come up to your pet lizard’s knees – the joints on his legs.
If you have water deeper than this, you’ll need to keep an extremely close eye on your Beardie while he’s in the water to prevent drowning.
The water will be one to three inches deep, depending on your Beardie’s size.
To bathe a baby or Beardie of a young age, you could use a plastic storage container or a bathroom sink for their bath. Older bearded dragons will probably like bathing in the bathtub with lots of room.
Tips for Bathing Your Bearded Dragon
As previously mentioned, you should use detergents or soap. This isn’t just because their skin absorbs water, but also because your Beardie is very likely to drink water in the bath. Pure tap water is perfect.
You can clean your bearded dragon during bath time by gently splashing water on him. Using a cup or other vessel will mean you can pour water over the areas that aren’t submerged, like his back and tail.
You shouldn’t pour water over his nose or eyes, however.
After cleaning your bearded dragon, allow him some time to enjoy the bath water and splash around.
After the Bath Is Finished
Once your Beardie is done with his bath, you can use a clean towel or dry washcloth to soak up excess moisture.
You can place him back in his enclosure under the basking light when he is three-quarters dry.
However, if you use a loose substrate like sand, you should ensure your Beardie has 100% dry skin before putting him in. This is because the sand will stick to the dragon’s skin.
If you’re bathing your bearded dragon during the winter months, it’s crucial to put him under the light afterward so he can warm up.
Being without his heat source for a couple of hours won’t harm your bearded dragon, but he must warm back up as soon as possible.
Conclusion Bathing Bearded Dragons
I hope you’ve learned how to safely and successfully bathe a bearded dragon by reading this guide.
There are lots of things to take away from this article. Still, the most important is that you should always carefully observe your bearded dragon’s bath.
To summarize, they need warm water (warm tap water is fine). When the bath is over, gently pat your bearded dragon dry, ensure the basking light is on in your Beardie’s enclosure and let him warm back up again.
As for bathing frequency, you can bathe a bearded dragon several times a week. You should do this with juvenile dragons so that they get used to regular bathing (and learn to enjoy it).
Bathing a bearded dragon might seem simple, but it does need preparation. So when I bathe my bearded dragon, I run the warm bath and ensure I have a rolled-up towel ready to dry him afterward.
Drying a bearded dragon is essential!
Bathing your Beardie can be a fun and rewarding activity, and most bearded dragons love the water!
Bathe a Bearded Dragon: FAQs
What Is the Ideal Bath Temperature for A Bearded Dragon?
It is recommended to bathe a bearded dragon in water that is between 85°F and 95°F, which is 30°C to 35°C. The perfect temperature is around 90°F.
Can You Bathe with Your Bearded Dragon?
There is no reason why you couldn’t bathe with your bearded dragon (as long as the temperature was right). However, bathing encourages them to have bowel movements, so you might not want to share bath time!
Can You Bathe Two Beardies Together?
If you have two beardies, you might be tempted to bathe them together. However, this isn’t recommended even if they are tank mates. Bearded dragons are territorial, and the last thing you want is a beardie to be nervous (or aggressive) around water.