It’s bath time for your beardie! How do you give your bearded dragon a proper bath that they will enjoy and get clean? We are here to help!
Step by Step to Give a Bath For Your Bearded Dragon
What You Will Need?
- Rock (Optional)
- Soft Bristle Toothbrush
- Paper Towel or Soft Towel
- Temperature gun
Step 1: Getting The Tub Setup
Find a clear container that will be the dedicated tub for your bearded dragon. Some have suggested that you can use your sink or bathtub. There are 2 reasons why we don’t suggest this.
- There is a chance that can be some leftover harmful chemicals left over when you clean your sink or bathtub. Bearded dragons tend to drink the water when they take a bath. Even a small trace amount of chemicals can be harmful to your beardie.
- Bearded dragons tend to poop when they take a bath. Their poop has salmonella in it. Salmonella is dangerous to us.
Send a few dollars to get a dedicated tub for the health of you and your beardie.
The reason a clear tub is because it will help you determine the needed water level for the bath.
You can also add a rock to the tub. It lets your bearded dragon have a place to go if they don’t feel like being in the water the whole time during a bath.
Step 2: Filling the Tub with Water
The water should only go up to your bearded dragon’s knees. Any higher and you risk drowning. This is why a clear tub so you can see the water level from the side so you can be sure.
Making sure the temperature is right is important. The temperature of the water should be 85℉-100℉ (29℃-38℃). Use a temperature gun to measure this. It is better to be towards the high side. The water will cool down over time and you don’t want the temperature to be below the recommended 85℉ (29℃)
If you don’t have a temperature gun you can use the elbow test. Dip your elbow in the water to make sure it is not too hot or too cold.
Decholriante The Water
Tap water can have chlorine in it. You can research your local water quality to see if your city has it but we recommend being safe than sorry. We suggest using a reptile de-chlorinator called Reptisafe. You can watch a review of Reptisafe below:
Step 3: Putting Your Bearded Dragon in the Tub
IMPORTANT: You must always be watching your bearded dragon during a bath. It is like having a small child in a pool. You must always be supervising. Never leave your dragon unattended. Your beardie can drown or can upper respiratory infections.
If your beardie has taking baths before all you have to do is put your bearded dragon in the tub. If this is your bearded dragon’s first time then you will first want to calm your beardie down first. You can do this by laying your beardie on your chest or rubbing their head.
Once your bearded dragon is calm lower them into the water. Bearded dragons can’t see the water if it still. When you are about to lower them in gently splash the water so they can see it.
Step 4: Let Them Adjust
Every bearded dragon reacts differently when in the tub. Some like to splash and swim around right away. Others stay still. Give your bearded dragon a few minutes to adjust and enjoy the water.
If your bearded dragon poops in the water, clean it out right away.
Sometimes bearded dragons puff up. This is normal. They do this to make themselves float easier in the water.
Step 5: Cleaning
After you have given them a few minutes you will want to start cleaning them.
It is important that you never use any soap or detergent. They contain chemicals that can harm your beardie. Using only water is perfect.
What you want to do now is to take your soft bristle toothbrush and rub your bearded dragon. Do not scrub them. Think of it as a light massage. Make sure you are going in the same direction as their scales.
Continue to do this until you have massaged their whole bodies.
Step 6: Rinse
Take your cup and gently pour water over your bearded dragon’s back and tail. Be gentle and make sure to keep water away from their head, eyes, and nose. You want to keep water away from these areas so they don’t get an upper respiratory infection.
Step 7: Soak
You can now let your beardie soak. You can let them soak for 10 to 30 minutes, it depends on your dragon. Some dragons love to play in the water, others want to be out of there as soon as they can. Do what your dragon feels like.
Keep an eye on the temperature of the water. Usually, the water will cool down by now. Keep the water between 85℉-100℉ (29℃-38℃). If the water is under 85℉ (29℃) take some water out and add some more warm water.
If you see your beardie struggling or getting tired take them out. Regardless if it has been less than 10 minutes.
Step 8: Drying Your Dragon
Once you have taken your bearded dragon out of the water you can place them on either a paper towel or soft towel. Start to pat dry them. DO NOT RUB, only dab him dry.
You want to do a pat all over their body. This is important if you use a substrate. Substrate and stick to your bearded dragon if they are not completely dry.
Step 9: Warm Your Dragon
As soon as your dragon is dry put them under their basking lamp. It is important to get your dragon warmed up soon. Their temperature may have dropped during the bath or drying. Putting them in the basking area lets them regulate their own temperature.
Step 10: Clean Up
The tub might have salmonella, dried skin, or other bacteria. Cleaning the tub is even more important if your dragon pooped in the tub. Wash and wipe the tub with a vinegar and water mixture. Using this mixture ensures that no cleaning chemicals will contaminate the tub.
Frequently Asked Questions
How often should you give your bearded dragon a bath?
There is no universal rule for this. Depending on who you believe it can range from 2-3 times a week to only when your bearded dragon is impacted, dehydrated, or is having problems shedding.
We recommended 2-3 times a week because of the many benefits of a bath.
What are the Benefits of Bathing?
There are many benefits to giving your beardie a bath. They include:
- Helps promote bowel movements
- Provides them with exercise
- Helps with shedding.
- Keeps them clean from parasites, fungus, and bacteria.
- Gives them a better opportunity to drink water so they stay hydrated.
- Helps with bonding
When is your Dragon Old Enough for a Bath?
You can bath your dragon no matter how hold they are. The key is to keep the water level at their knees to prevent drowning.
I have a Silkback. Do I Need To Do Anything Special?
Because silkbacks don’t have scales we recommend more baths. Instead of using a soft bristle toothbrush, we recommend your fingers or a very soft microfiber cloth.
Silkbacks also need a moisturizer. The moisturizer should be completely non-toxic, natural, and food-grade without artificial ingredients.
Does Bathing My Bearded Dragon Keep them Hydrated?
There is a myth that bearded dragons absorb water through their skin. This is you have read that giving them baths keeps them hydrated. This is not true and there has been a study to prove this. Unless our bearded dragon is drinking water during their bath they will not get hydrated.
Resources and Further Reading
Bearded Dragons – Owning – VCA Hospitals
Bearded dragons – National Geographic
A Guide to Caring for Bearded Dragons as Pets – The Spruce Pets
Ultimate Guide For Caring For Your Bearded Dragon – Bearded Dragon Owners