If your bearded dragon isn’t coming over for mealtimes or to get a drink of water, it’s only natural to wonder how long they can go without any food or water. So, just how long can they make it without either one, and when should you start to get worried?
While we’d love to give you a clear-cut answer right here, the truth is that it depends on quite a few factors. So, keep reading and we’ll break down everything you need to know.
How Long Can Bearded Dragons Go Without Food?
If your bearded dragon isn’t coming over for mealtime, there are a few different reasons this might be the case, but they can generally go for a little while without food, even if it isn’t ideal. The exact amount of time a bearded dragon can go without food depends on a lot of different factors, but many bearded dragons can make it weeks to months without food.
But just because a bearded dragon can go this long without food doesn’t mean you should let them. Fasting for this long isn’t good or comfortable for your bearded dragon, and if they’re still not eating after several days of offering them food, you should take them to a vet to try and figure out what’s going on.
How Long Can Bearded Dragons Go Without Water?
Bearded dragons can go a lot longer without food than without water. The opinions on how long a bearded dragon can go without water vary quite a bit, with ranges starting as low as three days and stretching out to multiple weeks.
The truth is that you should never withhold water from a bearded dragon, but they can get water from a wide array of sources. So even if you think your bearded dragon isn’t drinking any water, they might already be getting everything they need.
Top 4 Tips for Giving a Bearded Dragon Enough Water
If you’re worried about your bearded dragon getting enough water, you need to take a step back and look at all the different ways a bearded dragon can get water. We’ve highlighted a few of the most common ways for a bearded dragon to get water for you here:
1. Keep Their Water Bowl Clean
Merely providing a water bowl is what most people think about when they think of giving their bearded dragon water, and that’s because it most closely resembles the way we drink water. But while a bearded dragon might use the water bowl as a source to drink from, many bearded dragons don’t look at a water bowl that way.
They might view the water bowl as a soaking tub, and they’ll often defecate and make other messes in it. Because of this, you need to change the water in the water bowl at least once a day.
2. Misting Helps
Bearded dragons don’t need the most humid environments, but they sure do enjoy a good misting from time to time! Not only will they enjoy the feeling of the misting, but they’ll often drink up the water that lands on them.
3. Eating Hydrates Them Too
When you think of eating you don’t usually think about water, but vegetables are full of water. As desert animals bearded dragons are experts at using the water that’s already inside the food.
Since bearded dragons should have access to leafy greens every day of the week and vegetables about every other day, there are plenty of chances for them to extract water from their food!
4. Consider Water Drippers
Some people don’t like keeping a large amount of standing water in a bearded dragon’s habitat, and a water dripper is a perfect solution for that. It controls the amount of water entering the bowl, ensuring your bearded dragon doesn’t get too much or too little water.
A Bearded Dragon’s Diet
Once your bearded dragon reaches adulthood (around 18 months) they should have a diet that consists of 80% plants and 20% insects and bugs. Feed them twice a day, leaving insects in the cage for about 10 minutes at a time.
Leave fruits and vegetables in their enclosure a bit longer, about 30 minutes each time. This ensures they have plenty of time to eat but keeps them from overfeeding. Common insects for bearded dragons include mealworms, crickets, earthworms, waxworms, and other types of worms.
Common vegetables for bearded dragons include kale, celery, mustard greens, carrots, bell peppers, cabbage, pumpkins, and parsnips. Finally, while you want to provide fruit on a limited basis, these are some safe options for a bearded dragon as long as you don’t overdo it: apples, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, plumps, and pineapples.
If you think your bearded dragon isn’t getting enough food or water or if you’ve noticed a drop in how much they’re consuming, you should trust your gut. Take them to a vet specializing in exotic animals and express your concerns.
You might not need to take them, but in the end, it’s better to play it safe and make an extra trip to the vet when they don’t need it instead of not taking them when that’s really what they need!
Featured Image Credit: Miriam Fischer, Pexels