Some people believe that bearded dragons are capable of absorbing water through their skin, but this is actually not the case. In reality, they absorb water in a similar way to how humans do – by drinking it. This blog post will go over how bearded dragons take in water and how you can make sure your pet always has enough.
Bearded dragons don’t absorb water through their skin. Instead, they drink and eat it through food. They also absorb water through their anal vent and store water droplets on their skin and backs which they later drink through their mouths. Always provide a clean bowl of water in their cage.
You never know which method your bearded dragon prefers to take water. As such, always have water in a bowl while providing succulent foods and misting and soaking them several times a week. However, if the humidity is too high in the enclosure then just leave the water bowl for a fixed time and remove it. Excessive humidity problems are often an issue with glass tanks. Keep in mind that dehydration can quickly kill off your pet lizard if there is no intervention.
Do bearded dragons absorb water through the skin?
It’s recommended to mist your bearded dragons which have led many to think they absorb water through the skin. However, misting the bearded dragon only works to cool and clean them down.
Being desert lizards, bearded dragons have clear ways of absorbing water into their bodies. This includes misting, eating watery foods, drinking and soaking in a pool of warm water. They can also absorb water through the lungs when they breathe, which is how most reptiles get hydrated. These are methods they use both in the wild and in captivity.
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How do bearded dragons absorb water?
The water intake methods for bearded dragons include the following:
When a bearded dragon soaks in water, it absorbs it through its vent. Bearded dragons have a vent near their tail. With this entryway, they can excrete liquids such as urine and faeces. However, if need be, they can also take in water with this facet as well.
As such, they don’t absorb water through their skin but through their vents instead. The myth that bearded dragons absorb water through their skin comes from the fact that most bearded dragons can be seen entering the water and leaving without drinking it but end up hydrated.
Giving a bearded dragon a bath is important. It also gives the lizard’s skin and its shedding capabilities as well as keeps the lizard hydrated through the vent and mouth. It’s best to do this at least once a week or every other day.
Regular baths and soaks not only provide your bearded dragon with the appropriate hydration but also keep it clean of parasites. If you ever suspect that your bearded dragon is dehydrated, try giving a bath or soaking dish filled with fresh water to drink daily.
A bearded dragon can often find enough water through its natural habitat, but drinking is necessary as well. Bearded dragons may soak or bath in standing water to get a drink of water – they have many ways to stay hydrated, after all.
Bearded dragons can absorb water by soaking or bathing and drinking from a dish. If your lizard has not defecated in some time, it may be because they cannot relax enough to go during this process. But if you give them a good soak in warm water the relaxed process of absorption will help push along the waste that is stored in their lower intestine.
If the beardie defecates in the water, change the water before they drink and get infected. Don’t startle them as you reach for the water bowl in their cage. Rather, observe what they do then remove the water afterwards.
One of the most important water sources for your bearded dragon is their food. To keep a healthy balance, you should ensure they are not only receiving nutrients but also liquid from the food itself. Bearded dragons are omnivores and get their water through the plant and animal sources they consume.
In order to maintain a healthy balance of fluids your bearded dragon needs, you should offer them foods that contain at least 60% moisture. This is especially important for young dragons who are still growing rapidly and need lots of liquid as well as nutrients. If you notice dry-looking skin or signs of dehydration in any other way, then make sure to provide plenty more high-moisture food options until it recovers.
Bearded dragons eat various insects, including crickets, mealworms, and wax worms. Larger bearded dragons will also eat baby mice as well as small lizards such as anoles or geckos. They also eat greens, including collard greens, turnip leaves, beet tops and dandelion greens.
Another clever way to get them to take water in their food is by misting the food. The mist will be eaten together with the food thus allowing the dragon to eat the food together with the water. However, this is not an excuse to give them dry food as they only eat and benefit from fresh foods.
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Bearded dragons typically depend on rainfall to provide them with hydration in the wild. Your pet bearded dragon can also be given access to water by spraying its body. This has been the main reason people think it absorbs the water through the skin. However, it works differently for these lizards.
One way by which a bearded dragon will absorb water is by catching or lapping up any drops of water that run down its face. Like in the wild, bearded dragons will raise their head during rainfall and water sprays to allow droplets to roll down the face towards the mouth for drinking purposes.
The other method the dragons use to have a drink is to store water on the bumps and ridges on their backs. As it rains or you spray them, they store water on these areas of the body. When they get thirsty, they simply tilt their bodies upwards and forwards directing the water droplets forwards and into their mouths.
While common in bearded dragons of the wild, these methods can be used by the dragon at home since not all of them prefer drinking water directly from the bowl.
This brings out the idea that you should always try to find the best way to hydrate your bearded dragons since you never know which methods best suit them.
Another way bearded dragons have a drink is by drinking from a bowl. In the wild, they often drink water that has pooled in natural depressions on land or collected at the base of trees and rocks. But how does this happen?
There are two main ways: drinking from pools and licking dew off leaves. Bearded dragon owners might also offer them a dish of fresh apple juice every few days as another way to hydrate.
How much water do bearded dragons need?
It’s hard knowing how much water your bearded dragon needs since it depends on their weight, age, diet and season.
The table below gives the estimated amounts of water the dragons will need based on their body weights.
|Bearded dragon weight (g)||Water per 24 hours (ml)||Water per 24 hours (oz)|
These figures can also be used for other pet lizards, such as leopard geckos.
What are the signs of dehydration in bearded dragons?
Some signs that your bearded dragon is thirsty and dehydrated include sunken eyes, reduced activity, wrinkled skin, lethargy, lack of appetite and skin that doesn’t regain shape when the dragon is pinched lightly.
If you notice your bearded dragon displaying any of these signs or if they don’t immediately drink from their water dish when it’s presented to them (despite how thirsty they may look), then there is likely an issue with hydration that needs addressing.
You can offer a small amount of fresh fruit juice in addition to regular water, as well as make sure you’re misting your beardie regularly for maximum humidity. You should also provide more bathing opportunities by placing clean pebbles into their enclosure so they have somewhere else to go other than just laying on dirt all day.
Make sure the temperature remains above 75 degrees Fahrenheit during this time period due to how sensitive they are to the cold. Too much heat also dehydrates them hence you should be careful with that as well.
Dehydration can be a significant problem for bearded dragons, so it’s best that you address and correct any problems as soon as possible. If the dragon doesn’t regain its normal activities after a few hours of dehydration followed by hydration, you need to take it to the vet as soon as possible.
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