Reptiles are in habit of drinking lesser water than it is needed for their body requirement. When you are planning to keep one as a pet, then you must know that the necessity of water for being healthy of a reptile is 10 to 30 ml per kilo of the body of the pet per day.
However, this is also included the water consumed through the food. When the proper amount of water is not consumed, the bearded dragon can face dehydration issue. Keeping the ratio we have mentioned earlier, a normal and mature bearded dragon should consume 10 ml of water, which is two teaspoons full. Additional water is always needed to be fed to the bearded dragons along with the consumption of liquid through the daily diet.
Ways To Hydrate A Bearded Dragon
As they are desert animals, it is not sufficient to just add water to their terrarium, as they do not prefer to drink ample water naturally. They need water but they not always drink the adequate amount, which results in mild dehydration to long term illness. If you keep a bowl of water on the enclosure, it will not drink on its own. So
There are different processes through which you can keep the dragon properly hydrated.
You can mist the bearded dragon often as they quite enjoy this process. The environment should be clean and residual water should be later dried up. Through misting, the bearded dragon learns to drink.
You can keep a water bowl within the enclosure, to encourage the dragon to drink from it. It should be specially designed, to be specific, it should be shallow. You must always keep enough water on this dish. As the dragons often drink the water through the food they are consuming or through their skin, only a little amount will they take from the dish.
Keeping a shallow dish is mandatory, as the dragons are not good swimmers. If the water is poured on their mouth or splashed on the eyes, or goes above the shoulder height, they will feel uncomfortable and get out of the dish. While keeping a shallow water dish, you will be helping in this process. It can lick the water or sit on the water, whenever it wishes.
Giving bath once in a week is a great way of balancing the water consumption of the bearded dragon. As we have already mentioned, dragons take in water through the skin. Thus when you will bath the dragon they will absorb moisture which will increase the level of water their body. The water, with which you will bath the dragon, should be lukewarm.
The water level should be of shoulder height of the dragon. The bowl or container that you will use for bathing of the dragon must not be very deep, for the same reason. Once you lightly place it in the water, let it play and splash in the water. It should stay within water for at least 15 minutes. This is enough time to get sufficient water through their system.
Once it is done, you can lift it up and pat it with a dry towel of handkerchief. Bathing is a good exercise which keeps the dragon hydrated as well as washes away the bacterial which might have grown on its body parts.
There is chance that it poops on the water when you place it inside. In that case immediately remove it from the water and clean the bowl. You can repeat the bathing process later. This is a natural tendency of the bearded dragons to defecate
When they are in mild warm water. Also you can try this process when the dragon is constipating for few days.
High water food
keeping your bearded dragon healthy is a duty of yours. You must keep the water intake of the dragon proportionate. But this creature of desert does not willingly drink ample water. So you can feed it with foods that are high on water content.
Taking green food along with insect meal is normal for both baby and matured dragons. But the adult dragons need more green vegetables or fruits. So you can hydrate the dragons through the green meals. Insects and worms are protein meals which consist of less amount of water. You can try small pieces of vegetable and fruits that are good for the consumption of bearded dragons, as not all kind of fruits and vegetables are not fit for their digestion. Some worms though, contain high amount of water, like hornworms. You can try to feed these as there is also sufficient amount of calcium in this worm. You can get the best food for bearded dragons and feed them.
When dehydrated, you will see the bearded dragon with sunken eyes, lethargy or loss of appetite. You should be cautious to take care of it and rehydrate its system to get it revived from such condition.