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How to Bathe a Bearded Dragon (Easy Step-by-Step Guide)

Nicole Cosgrove

May 3, 2021

Because bearded dragons are cold blooded, you need to be a little bit more careful when bathing them. You don’t want the water to be too cold, but you don’t want it too hot either. Instead, you need to know the perfect temperature and overall bathing practices in order to give your bearded dragon a safe, fun, and effective bath.

In this article, we are going to tell you how to bathe your bearded dragon, starting with gathering your materials and ending with clean up. This will allow you to bathe your bearded dragon safely from beginning to end. Let’s get started.

divider-bearded dragon

Why Do You Need to Bathe Your Bearded dragon?

bearded dragon_Gerhard G., Pixabay
Image Credit: Gerhard G., Pixabay

If you are a new bearded dragon owner, you are probably wondering why you need to bathe your bearded dragon. After all, they don’t have hair or fur that needs to be cleaned. Even though they are covered in scales, you still need to give them a nice bath at least once a week during the winter and two times a week in the summer.

Just as a bath does for you, bearded dragon baths help to improve their overall hygiene. This is mainly done by removing old skills and skin. At the same time, it also removes germs and bacteria that can build up on your bearded dragon’s claws and feet.

During the shedding season, baths are particularly helpful. It allows the old skin and scales to soak, making the shedding process go along much smoother.

What You’ll Need

Whereas humans love to lather up in luxurious soaps during bath time, bathing your bearded dragon requires almost no ingredients. You do not wash your bearded dragon with soaps or any other type of ingredients. Soap can irritate their skin and they might accidentally swallow it.

This is all you will need for your bearded dragon’s bath:
  • Water
  • Container to hold the water (a sink works fine)
  • Thermometer
  • Dechlorinate substance
  • Paper cup (optional)

Prepare the Bath

Once you gather up all of your ingredients for your bearded dragon’s bath, the next thing you need to do is prepare the bath itself. Preparing the bath is the most crucial part in bathing your bearded dragon because it ensures that the bathing process is safe and efficient for your beardie.

Depending on your bearded dragon’s size, select some sort of a container to fill with water. For many bearded dragons, the kitchen sink will work great. For smaller bearded dragons, a bathroom sink may also work. If your bearded dragon is large or enjoys splashing around, you could use a bathtub instead.

Water Height

No matter what option you select for your bearded dragon’s bathing container, do not fill it up completely with water. Instead, you should only fill up the water so much that it reaches your bearded dragon’s knees. This height is safe and will ensure the bearded dragon does not drown.

If your bearded dragon is a baby or juvenile, you probably will not need to fill the bathtub more than one inch. Adult bearded dragons may need up to three inches of water depending on the size.

Water Temperature

You also need to check on the water temperature. Because your bearded dragon is cold blooded, you can’t use cold water. At the same time, you don’t want to burn your bearded dragon either. Instead, use a thermometer to ensure that the water is between 85 and 92 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature is warm enough but won’t burn them.

Water Chlorination

Tap water is the best option for bathing your bearded dragon. In most cases, tap water will be completely clean and suitable for your bearded dragon to bathe in and drink. Depending on where you live, you may need to invest in a water dechlorinate substance. Even if you think your water is safe, investing in a reptile conditioner can only benefit the bearded dragon.

Bathe Your Bearded Dragon

bearded dragon_Evgeniia Zakharishcheva_Shutterstock
Image Credit: Evgeniia Zakharishcheva, Shutterstock

After you have set up the bath, now it is time for the fun part. You get to bathe your bearded dragon! Because you cannot use any soaps or detergents on your bearded dragon, bathing your beardie is really easy and super fun.

Simply put the bearded dragon inside the water. On its own, the bearded dragon may splash around by itself. Most bearded dragons love water and their bath. Still, you will likely need to help your bearded dragon out a little bit. Splash some water on your bearded dragon’s body.

Some people like using a paper cup to pour the water down the bearded dragon’s tail and back, but your hands will work just as well. Make sure to avoid your bearded dragon’s eyes. Allow your bearded dragon to sit in the water for at least 15 to 20 minutes.

Clean Up

Whenever you are ready to take the bearded dragon out of its bath, it’s time to clean up. Once you remove the beardie from the water, don’t put it back in its enclosure just yet. Make sure to gently pat the bearded dragon dry using a soft towel first.

Do not skip the drying process. If you do, the bearded dragon’s ground in its tank will likely stick to its body, and it will be more difficult for the bearded dragon to warm back up. After you pat the bearded dragon dry, place it back underneath the basking lights in its enclosure.

With the bearded dragon safely in its enclosure, let out the water in the container. Make sure to wash the container thoroughly, especially if you bathe or wash your food in it. Clean the container using a good detergent to prevent spreading any germs.

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Final Thoughts

Bathing your bearded dragon is an easy, efficient, and fun way to keep your beardie clean, healthy, and happy. Not to mention, it’s a great way to bond with your bearded dragon. Just make sure to provide a safe and suitable amount of water and temperature to ensure that the bearded dragon remains safe throughout the entire process.

So long as you are diligent in offering the right water, your bearded dragon will love splashing around during bath time!


Featured Image Credit: Mylene2401, Pixabay

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.