Ask a Vet

Do Bearded Dragons Swim?

By Kerry
Updated on

Bearded dragons are popular pets as they are incredibly interesting reptiles. Although they are incredible to look at, they also need to be looked after properly.

Do bearded dragons swim

Having a bearded dragon as a pet is a lot of responsibility, so you want to make sure that you are giving your bearded dragon the best care possible.

Having the right enclosure for your bearded dragon is important, but do bearded dragons swim? You may have a bathtub or a paddling pool that you are thinking of using to give your bearded dragon some exercise, but do they enjoy swimming?

This article will help you to understand if bearded dragons enjoy swimming and how you can make sure that your bearded dragon is safe in the water.

Find out everything that you need to know about whether or not bearded dragons can swim and how you can look after them.

Are Bearded Dragons Able To Swim?

Bearded dragons can swim! Swimming is a great exercise to keep them healthy as they can inflate themselves so that they can float on the water.

This helps them to move through the water and swim perfectly. When bearded dragons swim, their movements are similar to the movements of a crocodile.

Do All Bearded Dragons Enjoy Swimming?

Not all bearded dragons are the same, so not all bearded dragons will enjoy swimming. You may have a bearded dragon who loves swimming and being in the water, whereas other bearded dragons may hate going in the water and never show any interest in it.

It is important not to force your bearded dragon into doing anything that it doesn’t want to do.

For example, if your bearded dragon dislikes water, do not force it to go in. This will cause your bearded dragon to distrust you as you will be going against its wishes. This can end up causing your bearded dragon a lot of stress which isn’t good for them.

If your bearded dragon is showing an interest in water, you can introduce them to having water inside their tank. Place a large bowl of water inside their tank and see how they react.

They may not seem interested at first, but this will help them get used to seeing water and having it in their tank. It will encourage your bearded dragon to explore the water at its own pace without being forced.

Can Bearded Dragons See Water?

Bearded dragons are unable to see still water, so you must move the water around to ensure that they can see it. You can do this with your fingers as you can place your fingers in the water and move them around.

The movement of the water will help your bearded dragon to know where the water is inside its tank.

You can also have a dripper placed inside the tank, which can keep the water moving at all times. Having the dripper allows water to constantly drip into the bowl, allowing your bearded dragon to see the water.

This means that your bearded dragon will be able to see the water at all times, so you can let them enjoy the water without you there.

You mustn’t shake the tank to move the water. If you shake the tank, you could potentially cause damage to the tank and break it.

This will also cause a lot of discomfort for your bearded dragon, so make sure that you do not move or shake the tank to move the water. Instead, either use your fingers to move the water or install a dripper inside the tank.

Is Swimming A Good Exercise For Bearded Dragons?

Bearded dragon swimming in a pond and resting on a water lily

Swimming is a great exercise for bearded dragons, provided that they want to swim in the first place. If you are not forcing your bearded dragon to swim and they want to, then swimming is a really good exercise for keeping them healthy.

As bearded dragons are very active reptiles, they must still be moving around to stay healthy.

In the wild, bearded dragons are constantly running around and protecting their territory, but they do not need to do this when they are out of the wild.

They also do not need to hunt for food when they are kept as pets, as their owners provide them with all of the food that they need.

As bearded dragons spend a lot of time lazing when they are out of the wild, this can cause them to become unhealthy.

That is why it is important to feed your bearded dragon a healthy diet and make sure that they are getting enough exercise. Swimming is a great exercise for them to stay healthy and not become too large.

How Does Swimming Help Their Health?

Swimming in warm water can help bearded dragons with impaction. Impaction is when the bearded dragon’s digestive tract is blocked, which can cause the bearded dragon to become constipated.

Impaction is very common in bearded dragons that live out of the wild, as they can have impaction when they are given too much food.

When bearded dragons are swimming in warm water, they will be more relaxed. This will help them to clear impaction as their body will feel more relaxed, so it is important to make sure that the temperature is right.

If your bearded dragon is still struggling with impaction, you can gently rub its belly to help clear the impaction. However, warm water usually helps to clear this.

Make sure that the water is warm but not too hot that it scolds your bearded dragon. You can place the warm water in the tank so the bearded dragon can bathe in the water in its own time, or you can help to bathe them.

If your bearded dragon is still constipated with no sign of movement, you will need to take them to see a vet to make sure that there are no other problems.

Do Bearded Dragons Like Swimming In Cold Water?

If the water is too cold for your bearded dragon, this can cause their body temperature to drop at a fast rate.

If they are swimming in cold water, the quick drop in their body temperature could cause them to not be able to swim properly and potentially drown. This is why it is important to always make sure that the water is warm for your bearded dragon.

When you put warm water inside the tank, and the temperature cools over time, this is okay as it is only for a short while.

After swimming, your bearded dragon will want to bask, so don’t interrupt them when they are doing this. After they have moved, you will be able to get rid of the water and make sure that it is warm for them again.

Do Bearded Dragons Swim In Deep Water?

Bearded dragon in water

Bearded dragons can swim in deep water as they are very good swimmers, but they will always need to make sure that they can get out of the water when they need to.

When you are putting a bowl of water inside the tank for the bearded dragon, make sure that the bowl is not too deep so they can always get out. Not being able to get out will cause them stress and potentially cause them to drown.

The bowl should be large enough for them to swim in but not too large that they would struggle to get out.

If the bowl is so high that it almost touches the top of the tank, then this is unsuitable, as your bearded dragon may struggle to get out of the bowl. Make sure that the bowl is a suitable size for your bearded dragon to swim safely and comfortably in.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Bad That My Bearded Dragon Doesn’t Swim?

Not at all! Every bearded dragon is different, so some will not enjoy swimming. There are lots of bearded dragons who love to swim, but others dislike it.

If your bearded dragon doesn’t like swimming, you shouldn’t force it to. This will cause them stress and cause them to distrust you. If you want to encourage your bearded dragon to swim, place a bowl of water in the tank and let it test the water in its own time.

Does Warm Water Help With Constipation?

If your bearded dragon suffers from constipation, basking in warm water can help their bodies feel more relaxed. The more relaxed your bearded dragon is, the more chance that they have of not being constipated anymore.

You can also gently rub your bearded dragon’s belly to help them if they are constipated, but the warm water should be enough to help them through.

What If My Bearded Dragon Is Still Constipated?

If the warm water doesn’t help your bearded dragon with impaction, you will need to take them to see a vet.

There could be a bigger problem with the bearded dragon that you are unaware of, so taking them to see a vet will ensure they remain happy and healthy.

Don’t force your bearded dragon into warm water if they dislike it just because they are constipated; just take them to the vet.

Final Thoughts

To conclude, bearded dragons are extremely good swimmers and are often found swimming in the wild. They can swim in deep water, but they still need to be able to get out and bask in the water.

The water you put out for your bearded dragon to swim in must be warm because if the water is too cold, it could decrease their body temperature and cause them to drown.

Swimming is a great exercise for your bearded dragon as it helps them to remain healthy. In the wild, bearded dragons hunt for food and run around their territory, so keeping active is important for their health.

However, if your bearded dragon isn’t interested in swimming, you shouldn’t force it to. Forcing your bearded dragon to swim will cause them to become stressed, and there are other ways to keep them active.

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About the author


Kerry White is an avid dog lover and writer, knowing all there is to know about our furry friends. Kerry has been writing for PetDT for three years now, wanting to use her knowledge for good and share everything she can with new dog owners.Kerry has two dogs herself - a German shepherd called Banjo and a chocolate labrador called Buttons. Kerry knows more than anyone how adjusting to new life with a puppy can turn your life upside down, and she wants to ease some of the burdens through her articles.