bearded dragon handbook

Get our pet owner's guide for bearded dragons and help your special friend live its best life.

How To Bathe A Bearded Dragon

Are you new to owning a bearded dragon ?

Does the idea of bathing a bearded dragon scare you?

It doesn’t have to.

Bathing a bearded dragon is a fun way for you to bond with your pet and keep him calm and happy.

To be a good pet owner, you need to know how to bathe a bearded dragon.

Our guide will help you do it and show you what you need.

bearded dragon bathtub

What You Need To Bathe Bearded Dragons

Bath Tub – Use any sink, container, or bathtub to wash your beardy.

But you may want to dedicate one container for your pet no one else uses for anything else.

I like this collapsible bath basket on Amazon.

Grooming Brush – After your bearded dragon’s finished shedding, you may want to give it a bath to get the dead skin off.

Use a soft toothbrush or washcloth gently on your pet without forcing the skin to come off.

Water Thermometer – It’s essential to keep the water at the appropriate temperature between 85° – 100° degrees Fahrenheit (29° – 38° C).

Go by feel, lukewarm or a little warmer than room temperature, or use a water thermometer, the safer option.

This cute ducky water thermometer would be a good option and double as a toy for your beardy.

How To Wash Your Bearded Dragon

In this section, we go step by step through how to bathe your healthy bearded dragon.

Make sure to follow these steps and watch the video close.

It’s possible to hurt your beardy in this process if you’re not careful.

#1 Fill The Tub

The first step here is one of the most important ones.

You start by making sure the tub, sink, or bathtub is clean to prevent your bathing bearded dragon from accidentally consuming anything it’s not supposed to.

Next, you need to use lukewarm tap water to fill up the tub.

The bath water should be between 85° – 100° degrees Fahrenheit (29° – 38° C).

Only fill up the tub with a few inches of water.

How much water you use depends on the size of your bearded dragon.

The water shouldn’t come up over their front leg shoulders.

Bearded dragons tend to aspirate (choke/breath) water if it’s too high.

Pro-tip: Put a large rock in the bearded dragon’s bath to give your reptile a place to climb out of the water if it needs to rest.

#2 Put In Your Bearded Dragon

Gently place your bearded dragon into the water and let him get used to the tub.

Don’t worry if your pet seems to scramble around the space.

Swimming is not a common experience for a beardy and may throw them off at first.

Don’t overstimulate your bearded dragon at this point.

Just let it be.

Be aware sometimes bearded dragons puff up in the water.

They’re inhaling to make themselves more buoyant and float easier in the water.

It’s a natural action often catching people off guard if they aren’t familiar with it.

Note: If your bearded dragon defecates into the water, take the reptile out and clean the container.

Start over with fresh water.

Just make sure you also go through the drying and warming process outlined below when you pull your pet out.

#3 Clean Your Bearded Dragon

Learning how to clean a bearded dragon isn’t hard.

They mostly take care of things themselves.

Warning! Do NOT use any chemicals or cleaners for bathing your bearded dragon.

Start by gently pouring water over their back.

Make sure not to get any water in the eyes or mouth.

Splash some water up under the beardy’s belly to get moving water against the bottom of its skin.

Use your grooming brush on the beardy to help remove dead skin leftover from shedding.

Note: Only brush once shedding is complete.

Removing old skin before the new is ready can damage the new skin and cause pain and an increased risk of infection.

#4 Play In The Water

Now, it’s the fun part!

Play in the water for 10-30 minutes with your bearded dragon.

Play with it by stroking its back or head, handling it gently, or getting it to chase your fingers around the water.

These 10-30 minutes are needed for the bearded dragon to allow time for the reptile to relax and drink some extra water.

Too quick of a bath won’t give your pet all the benefits of a bath.

#5 Dry And Warm Your Bearded Dragon

When you’re ready, pull your lizard out of the water and dab him dry with a towel.

Don’t rub him completely dry.

As soon as your pet is mostly dry, move it right under the basking lamp in the enclosure.

No matter how quickly you dry the reptile, some heat is lost, and the lamp helps to recoup the lost heat.

#6 Clean Up The Bearded Dragon Bath

While your adult bearded dragon is relaxing in the heat, it’s time for you to clean up the bath.

Dump out the water, and get fresh water to clean with.

Use any ordinary dish soap to clean the tub.

Just make sure you rinse it thoroughly when finished so the residue is gone before your next bath.

Congratulations on bathing your bearded dragon!

FAQ

Why Bathe Bearded Dragons At All?

Bathing your bearded dragon serves several important purposes:

  • Hydrates the skin
  • Calms the reptile
  • Removes dirt and grime
  • Helps with shedding dead skin
  • Relieves constipation
  • Bonding experience between pet and bearded dragon owner

How Often Should You Bathe Bearded Dragons?

How often you should wash a bearded dragon is mostly a matter of preference.

However, it is possible for a regular bath to happen too often.

Don’t bathe them more than once per week.

Remember, the native habitat for these reptiles is the desert and they can over-hydrate quickly.

If over-hydrated you’ll notice watery stool, possible diarrhea, and this can lead to dehydration.

Should You Use Dawn Dish Soap?

No, you should not use any type of soap while bathing your pet bearded dragon.

Avoid using anything you wouldn’t want your pet consuming.

Since your lizard will likely drink its bathwater don’t use any soaps etc. while bathing them.

What’s The Optimal Water Temperature & Depth?

The water should not go past their knees if your pet doesn’t like the water and if it’s comfortable in water it should be no deeper than below the shoulder.

Your bearded dragon will never be submerged in the water.

Using your water thermometer focus on keeping temperatures between 85° – 100° degrees Fahrenheit (29° – 38° C).

What’s The Best Way To Dry Off Bearded Dragons?

You always want to completely dry off your bearded dragon using a towel by hand.

Any other method risks the body temperature of your pet dropping to unhealthy levels.

Water remaining on your pet’s skin will lower their temperature too far and no, you cannot use the heat lamp to dry them.

Trying to dry their body with a heat lamp will only evaporate the water first meanwhile their internal temperature still drops.

Another issue with putting a wet bearded dragon into its enclosure is the potential of messing up your substrate or having it stick to the lizard’s body.

So, hand dry your pet with a towel and when it’s completely dry, then you can return it to its enclosure.

How To Stop Bearded Dragons Pooping During A Bath?

Bearded dragons often poop in their bath because warm water stimulates their bowels.

Bath time is often used to help a constipated bearded dragon.

When this happens remove the feces immediately and do not allow your lizard to swim in its own poop.

Unfortunately, there is no real way to stop them from pooping during a warm bath.

Some like pooping in water so much they’ll use their water bowl.

It’s so common most bearded dragon owners expect it to happen 100% of the time.

Conclusion

We hope you enjoyed learning about how to bathe a bearded dragon.

It’s a fun way to keep your pet clean and calm.

Remember to monitor water temperature, water depth, and dry your friend off when you’re done.