How to Bathe Bearded Dragons
Bearded dragons are desert reptiles, but they still need to be bathed about once a week. Bathing is important for cleanliness, as the bearded dragon's feet and tail tend to get dirty from time to time. Giving your pet a bath also provides much-needed hydration and aids in shedding.
Get the bath water the right temperature. The bath water should be warm -- 90 (for juveniles) to 37.8 degrees Celsius (for adults) -- similar to the temperature at which you would bathe a small child. Your bearded dragon might let you know that the water is too hot or too cold by trying to climb back up your arm when you lower the dragon into the bath, but checking the temperature using a thermometer is more accurate and safer than guesswork.
Run the water until it reaches the height of the bearded dragon's shoulders when it is standing in the tub. This depth allows the dragon to put its feet down at intervals to rest, while also being deep enough for it to swim around if desired.
- Bearded dragons are desert reptiles, but they still need to be bathed about once a week.
- Your bearded dragon might let you know that the water is too hot or too cold by trying to climb back up your arm when you lower the dragon into the bath, but checking the temperature using a thermometer is more accurate and safer than guesswork.
Be ready to scoop the poop. Bearded dragons almost always defecate when they are in the water. When this happens, scoop out the bowel movement with the plastic cup before the dragon has a chance to swim through it.
Let your bearded dragon soak in the bath for 15 to 20 minutes. This is enough time for the dragon to enjoy itself, and for most of the dirt to loosen and dissipate.
Towel dry your bearded dragon after its bath. This will prevent loose substrate from sticking to it when it is placed back in its tank.
- Be ready to scoop the poop.
- This is enough time for the dragon to enjoy itself, and for most of the dirt to loosen and dissipate.
Place your bearded dragon under its basking light. This helps to regulate its body temperature after the bath.
- You can use a soft toothbrush that has been sterilised to clean your bearded dragon, being careful not to get too close to the vent on its underside.
- Spray with a bleach-and-water mixture to sanitise the bathtub after the beardie's bath.
- Do not use any soaps or detergents in your bearded dragon's bath. These animals enjoy drinking the water as well as swimming in it, and the addition of soap or detergent is toxic.
- Never leave your bearded dragon unattended when giving it its bath. Accidental drownings can occur.
- The first time you bathe your dragon, you may want to wait until the water is finished running before setting it into the bath because the sound of the running water may scare the animal.
Ann Yacono has been editing scientific books and journal articles for more than 20 years. She writes and copy edits nonfiction articles on diverse topics. Yacono earned a B.A. and M.A. in English from Lehigh University and is a board-certified editor in the life sciences (ELS).