How To Tell If A Bearded Dragon Is Dehydrated

Has it been a while since your bearded dragon drank some water?

Are you worried your reptile pet may be dehydrated?

As a good pet owner, you need to know signs of problems with your beardy.

If you miss something because you don’t know what to look for, it may have drastic consequences for your pet.

You need to know how to tell if a bearded dragon is dehydrated.

You’ll see if a bearded dragon is dehydrated by the quality of its skin. When you gently pinch the bearded dragon, the skin should spring back to normal quickly, but when dehydrated, the skin will stretch back slowly.

Read on for more details and answers to related questions.

how to tell if bearded dragon is dehydrated

Ways To Tell If A Bearded Dragon Is Dehydrated

Dehydration is serious.

Although these animals come from the Australian desert, they still need water to live healthy lives.

When they have a lack of water, it affects them.

You won’t have trouble telling if they’re dehydrated.

Look for these signs:

Look for differences in these areas with your pet, and you may be able to tell if the beardie is dehydrated.

Loose Skin Test

If you start to see the above signs, you may want to try the loose skin trick as the final test of dehydration.

How To Do The Loose Skin Test

  1. Hold your bearded dragon firmly in one hand.
  2. Take two fingers and gently pinch/pull the skin on its back or side.
  3. Release the skin.
  4. Observe how quickly the skin returns to normal.
  5. Fast = hydrated, slow = dehydrated

When your bearded dragon is well hydrated, its skin is elastic and “springy.”

In other words, the skin bounces right back into place when pulled on.

As more and more dehydration sets in, the skin begins to hang loosely on the reptile’s body.

The slower the skin goes back to normal.

Note: When you’re in doubt about your pet’s health, always feel free to take him to the vet.

Help Getting A Bearded Dragon To Drink

Bearded dragons get their water strictly through eating and drinking.

So it’s vital you ensure they’re eating and drinking normally.

If you think your bearded dragon is dehydrated, help them by getting them water in these three ways.

#1 Misting

In the case of dehydration, it’s OK to use misting for hydrating your pet.

Normally, you wouldn’t want to do this as bearded dragons are used to a dry, desert environment.

The rains which sometimes falls in the desert is what you’re trying to simulate.

This rain-like falling may activate the bearded dragon’s drinking instincts.

All around, misting is a good option as long as you don’t spray too much.

Start by placing the bearded dragon near the water dish in its tank.

And if you don’t have a water dish we have an article reviewing our favorite accessories for bearded dragons you should see.

Using a small spray bottle, spray the bearded dragon and the water in the water dish.

This will help the beardy realize there’s water, thereby making it feel like there’s rain.

Warning! Don’t spray too much (especially in humid environments).

This can increase the humidity in the tank too much.

If you’re having problems with humidity here’s our review on dehumidifiers for bearded dragons.

#2 Add Flavor

This trick is sneaky, but it does work.

Add small amounts of juice to the water dish.

Adding the sugar to the dish gets their attention.

They’ll smell the water, think of food, and come over to investigate.

It should begin to drink it at this point too.

The sugar isn’t bad for them, and they like the taste.

This isn’t a long-term trick you need to use, but hopefully, it will be enough to get them to drink and hydrate a little.

If you find the bearded dragon won’t drink straight water anymore, gradually decrease the amount of juice you put in the water until you don’t add any at all.

#3 Bath Time

Drinking and bathing are both effective ways to get hydrated for bearded dragons.

In the wild, beardies will often bathe and drink at the same time.

When your pet is dehydrated, being surrounded by water presents the ultimate opportunity for them to grab a drink.

Calmly pick up the beardy and place it in its water dish.

The bearded dragon may not have realized the water was in the dish, or it may feel ill for another reason.

By putting it in the water, its drinking instincts may be activated.

As always with water dishes and baths, make sure the water doesn’t come above the bearded dragon’s shoulders.

We have another article dedicated on how to hydrate bearded dragons you should check out if you’re having dehydration problems.

How Much Water Should Your Bearded Dragon Get?

You don’t need to force a bearded dragon to drink a certain amount of water, but you do need to provide water in its terrarium and misting their food as a bonus.

Once you provide these three main ways to get water, your job is done.

Just keep an eye on how hydrated the bearded dragon is.

Water Dish – Keep a water dish in the bearded dragon’s tank at all times.

This dish should have low enough edges for the bearded dragon to climb into if it needs.

Weekly Baths – Giving your bearded dragon a weekly bath gives it the ultimate opportunity to drink up.

And we have a guide on how to bathe bearded dragons if you’re not exactly sure how to go about it.

Varied Diet – Another way you make sure your pet is getting enough water is through a varied diet.

By providing a good mix of proteins and veggies, the reptile will get more water through its food as well.

And since we’re talking about dehydration here’s our article on how much water bearded dragons require.


Now you know how to tell if a bearded dragon is dehydrated.

Looking for those signs and the loose skin test will help you determine when your pet needs extra help.

If your bearded dragon is severely dehydrated, follow these tricks to get him more water or take him to the vet.

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