Bearded dragons are popular pet lizards that originate from Australia. They require specific care to remain healthy and happy in captivity. An important part of caring for a bearded dragon is providing regular baths. Bathing helps hydrate your bearded dragon, aids in shedding their skin, and allows them to defecate. When bathing your bearded dragon, it’s important to use an appropriate water depth. The depth of the bath water for a bearded dragon depends on their size and age. Read on to learn how deep bearded dragon bath water should be.
How Often Should You Bathe a Bearded Dragon?
Most bearded dragons should be bathed 2-3 times per week. Bathing them this frequently provides the hydration and shedding assistance they need. Some owners bathe their dragons daily, while others do it a couple times a week. Here are some guidelines on bathing frequency:
– Baby bearded dragons: Bathe daily or every other day. They shed frequently as they grow.
– Juvenile dragons (2-8 months): Bathe 2-3 times per week. Their shedding slows down.
– Adult dragons: Bathe 1-2 times per week. Watch for signs they need more baths during shedding.
– Elderly dragons: Bathe 1-2 times per week. Monitor their hydration closely.
Increase bathing during times of shedding to aid the process. Also bathe more often if your bearded dragon seems dehydrated or constipated. Signs include dry, flaky skin and difficulty passing stool.
What Type of Container Should You Use?
You can bathe your bearded dragon in a variety of containers, as long as they are large enough. Avoid using extremely deep containers for younger dragons. Here are some suitable options:
– Plastic tub or bin: Choose one big enough for your dragon to turn around in. Smooth sides prevent climbing.
– Tank or terrarium: Use their regular home if size appropriate. Familiarity reduces stress.
– Bathtub or sink: Ensure it’s disinfected and your dragon can’t escape! Never leave them unattended.
– Special reptile bath: Purchased baths with optimal sizes and ramps for access.
The container should allow your dragon to move around and submerge themselves up to their shoulders. It’s ideal if they can lift their head up out of the water. Avoid containers so large they can’t sit comfortably.
What Temperature Should the Bathing Water Be?
Bearded dragons are cold blooded, so the temperature of their bath water matters. If the water is too hot or cold, it can stress them out or even become dangerous. The ideal water temperature for a bearded dragon bath is:
– Babies: 85-90°F (29-32°C)
– Adults: 90-95°F (32-35°C)
Checking the water with a thermometer is the best way to achieve the right temperature. It should feel warm, but not hot on your wrist. When in doubt, err on the cooler side. They can handle water being slightly cold better than overly warm.
Never use hot tap water straight from the faucet. Let it cool down first to avoid scalding your bearded dragon. Prepare the bath ahead of time so you can adjust the temperature. Having the right temperature for their bath helps keep your dragon comfortable.
How Deep Should the Water Be for Baby Bearded Dragons?
Baby and juvenile bearded dragons should have shallower bath water than adult dragons. A good rule of thumb is the water should come up to the middle of their sides when seated. Here are recommended bath water depths by age:
– 1-3 months old: 1-2 inches deep
– 4-6 months old: 2-3 inches deep
– 6-12 months old: 3-4 inches deep
Younger dragons tire more easily in deeper water. They also run a greater risk of drowning. Start conservatively with depth and increase it as your dragon grows. The water only needs to reach their lower stomach and legs. This allows soaking and swimming without danger.
Always supervise baby bearded dragons during bath time. Have a hand ready to lift them out if needed for safety. Check on them frequently and end baths if they seem tired. With shallow baths, they can lift their heads up to breathe comfortably.
How Deep Should the Water Be for Adult Bearded Dragons?
Adult bearded dragons can handle deeper bath water than babies. Aim for a depth that allows them to completely submerge themselves up to their neck and shoulders. Recommended bathing water depths for grown dragons:
– 10-16 inches long: 4-6 inches deep
– 16-20 inches long: 6-8 inches deep
– 20+ inches long: 8-10 inches deep
Some owners create deep enough baths for adults to swim short distances. Most bearded dragons enjoy soaking more than swimming though. Providing an adequately deep bath allows them to fully soak their body while still touching the bottom safely.
Monitor larger dragons in deeper water closely. Have a hand ready to intervene if they appear tired or unable to lift their head. Even adult dragons should never be left unattended during bath time. Adjust the depth as needed based on their size and comfort.
Should the Water Cover a Bearded Dragon’s Head?
In most cases, the bath water should not completely cover your bearded dragon’s head. Allow them to lift their head fully out of the water when seated. Small exceptions include:
– Rinsing off their head and face
– Very briefly fully submerging a healthy adult dragon
– Gently dunking to encourage drinking
Fully submerging their head repeatedly or for extended time can be dangerous. Your dragon may inhale water and drown if unable to surface to breathe. Never force their head under or hold them under water.
However, very brief, gentle dunks can sometimes stimulate drinking. Only do this with adult dragons and never babies. Simply lower their head into the water for 1-2 seconds, then immediately lift them back up. Allow them to lift their head following a dunk to breathe.
In general, aim for a depth allowing easy head lifting, not full coverage. This provides safety while still allowing adequate soaking. Monitor them closely and have a hand ready to intervene when their head is near the water.
Are Ramps Necessary for Bearded Dragon Baths?
Ramps allow bearded dragons to easily enter and exit their bath. They prevent scary climbing and reduce the risk of drowning if a dragon falls off bath sides. Ramps are recommended for bath setups, especially with babies and juveniles.
Good ramp options include:
– Gradual sloped rocks
– Flat sticks or branches
– Plastic reptile ramps
– Aquarium rock ledges
The ramp should reach from inside the bath up and over the side. This creates a gradual, textured slope they can crawl up and down. Position the ramp stable and secure so it does not shift when in use.
For sink and bathtub baths, try using a folded washcloth ramp. Drape it over the side with part of the fabric in the water. The texture helps their feet grip and climb up the ramp.
Ramps are not absolutely required for adults if the bath sides are low and smooth. But they provide added security and ease of use for any aged dragon. Investing in a good ramp improves their bathing experience.
How Long Should You Bathe a Bearded Dragon?
Aim for 10-15 minute baths for bearded dragons. Younger dragons may only tolerate 5-10 minutes. Watch for signs your dragon is ready to get out. Here are signals bath time should end:
– Trying to climb out
– Scratching at the bath sides
– Opening mouth to breathe (sign of stress)
– Darkening beard (signal of aggression or fear)
– Looking lethargic or tired
– Sitting with eyes closed
Carefully observe your bearded dragon throughout baths. End the bath sooner if they show signs of wanting to get out. Attempting to escape means they feel stressed.
Forcing them to stay in too long can cause added anxiety. Older dragons may enjoy longer 20-30 minute soaks if they seem relaxed. But generally aim for 10-15 minutes, especially for youngsters and during shedding.
How to Bathe a Bearded Dragon Step-by-Step
Here is a step-by-step guide to safely bathing your bearded dragon:
– Plastic tub, tank or bath container
– Ramp or textured bath access
– Digital thermometer
– Shallow water at proper temperature range
1. Set up the bath container in an escape-proof area. Make sure to add a ramp or access point they can climb.
2. Fill the container with a few inches of water at the ideal temperature for their age. Measure with thermometer.
3. Gently place your bearded dragon into the bath, allowing them to swim or soak as desired.
4. Stay present to continuously monitor them during the bath. Keep a hand ready to intervene if needed.
5. Allow 10-15 minutes of bathing time, less if they seem stressed or too cold.
6. After time is up, gently lift them out or assist exiting via the ramp if needed.
7. Dry them off with a towel and return them safely to their habitat.
8. Thoroughly clean and disinfect the bath container after use to prevent bacterial or fungal growth.
Following these bathing tips and steps will help ensure a safe, pleasant experience for your bearded dragon. With routine baths, you’ll have a hydrated, healthy dragon.
Determining the ideal bearded dragon bath water depth requires considering their age, size and abilities. Follow these guidelines for babies vs. adults:
– Babies: 1-4 inches deep
– Adults: 4-10 inches deep
Monitor them closely during baths and assist if needed for safety. Ramps provide easy access in and out to prevent injuries. Aim for 10-15 minute baths 2-3 times per week in the proper temperature water.
Bathing is an important part of caring for pet bearded dragons. By using the right depth for their size, you can give your dragon the hydration and shedding assistance they need to stay healthy in captivity. With some trial and error, you’ll find the perfect bathing routine and setup for your bearded dragon.