Can Bearded Dragons Swim

Bearded dragons have become increasingly popular as pets due to their endearing appearance and temperament. These reptiles are native to Australia’s drier regions and are well-known for living on land.

However, bearded dragon fans frequently wonder if these reptiles can actually swim. We’ll cover everything from bearded dragons’ swimming abilities to safety considerations to other related topics in this in-depth tutorial.

Signs That Swimming is Stressing Your Beardie

Bearded dragon owners should keep a tight eye on their pets as they introduce them to water. Possible stressors for your bearded dragon when swimming include:

  • Excessive Stress Marks: The dark lines on their bottom, known as stress marks, grow more noticeable while the animal is in pain.
  • Agitation: Symptoms of anxiety include agitation, manifested by restlessness or thrashing.
  • Open Mouth Breathing:  If your bearded dragon’s mouth opens when it’s swimming, it may be an indication of stress or pain.
  • Swimming Aimlessly: Stress might cause your bearded dragon to swim aimlessly or make it difficult for it to swim at all.
  • Excessive Puffing: Bearded dragons, when under pressure, may puff up excessively when swimming.

If you see your bearded dragon exhibiting any of these symptoms, you should take it out of the water immediately to alleviate its stress.

Can Baby Bearded Dragons Swim?

Bearded dragon hatchlings can swim, but they are more fragile than their mature counterparts. Caution should be used while bringing juvenile dragons to water for the first time. When they first try swimming, make sure the water is shallow and keep a close eye on their behavior.

Do Bearded Dragons Swim in The Wild?

Bearded dragons are not commonly linked with swimming in their native Australia. They are a type of reptile that does well in dry climates like those found in the desert. However, they can use their swimming skills to cross brief stretches of water or to escape from predators if they ever do come across water. However, swimming is not a normal part of their activities when they are free in the wild.

Should I Put a Water Pool in My Beardies Tank?

Adding a water pool to your bearded dragon’s habitat is a good idea, but you should think it through first. Here are some things to remember:

  • Size and Depth: Your bearded dragon needs a pool big enough to swim in, but shallow enough that it can easily touch the bottom. The recommended depth is between 1 and 2 inches.
  • Clean Water: Chlorine and other additives should be avoided. To avoid clouding the pool with chlorine, use dechlorinated water or wait 24 hours before adding tap water.
  • Temperature: The ideal water temperature for these creatures is between 29 and 32 degrees Celsius (85 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit).
  • Supervision: Keep a close eye on your bearded dragon at all times, and never let it swim without supervision. Rapid occurrence of accidents emphasizes the need for constant monitoring.

Where Can Bearded Dragons Swim?

Bearded dragons are able to swim in a variety of environments, some of which are:

Indoor Basin, Bowl, or Container

Indoor swimming can be done in anything from a large pool to a small basin or container. Make sure it’s nice and shallow so your beardie can easily get in and out of it.

Can Bearded Dragons Swim

Ponds and Lakes

Bearded dragon owners who have access to natural outdoor areas like ponds or modest lakes may find it rewarding to introduce their pets to swimming in these settings. However, you should get rid of potential dangers such as predators or poisonous plants.

The Bath Tub

Your bearded dragon can enjoy a refreshing swim in a clean bathtub any time of the year. Keep the water at the right temperature and at the right depth.

Can Bearded Dragons Swim in Swimming Pools?

While it is theoretically possible for a bearded dragon to swim in a swimming pool, it is strongly discouraged. Chlorinated water and deep pools pose significant risks to your pet. The chemicals in pool water are harmful to bearded dragons, and deep water can lead to drowning. It is advisable to avoid swimming pools altogether when it comes to your beardie.


Bearded dragons are ill-suited for oceanic swimming. The presence of saltwater, strong currents, and large waves makes the ocean a perilous environment for these desert-adapted reptiles. Exposure to saltwater can damage their skin and eyes, and they may struggle to remain afloat in the turbulent sea.

How Long Should Bearded Dragons Swim For?

Keep the duration of your bearded dragon’s swimming sessions brief and enjoyable. A swim lasting 10-15 minutes, a few times per month, is generally adequate for them to relish the experience without becoming stressed or fatigued.

How Often Should I Let My Bearded Dragon Swim?

The frequency of swimming sessions can vary based on your bearded dragon’s age and inclination. Young dragons may benefit from more frequent swims, while older individuals might be less interested. As a general guideline, aim for swimming sessions once or twice a month and adapt as needed, considering your beardie’s response.

How Deep Bearded Dragons Swim Underwater?

Bearded dragons are not built for deep-water exploration. They lack adaptations for swimming in deep water and should always have access to a shallow area where they can stand comfortably. Maintaining a water depth of 1-2 inches is a safe practice.

Can Bearded Dragons Drown?

Indeed, bearded dragons can drown if left unattended in water too deep for them to touch the bottom. They are not natural swimmers, and their body structure is not suited for deep-water activities. Consistent monitoring during swimming sessions is vital to prevent accidents.

How To Resuscitate Your Beardie After Drowning

In the unfortunate event that your bearded dragon experiences drowning, immediate action is crucial. Follow these steps:

  • Remove from Water: Retrieve your beardie from the water promptly.
  • Clear Airways: Gently open its mouth and throat to ensure there is no water obstructing the airway.
  • Perform CPR: Administer gentle chest compressions to aid breathing. You can do this by gently pressing on the sides of its chest.
  • Seek Veterinary Help: Even if your beardie appears to recover, consulting a veterinarian for a comprehensive examination is essential to rule out any internal damage.

How To Prepare a Safe Place For Your Bearded Dragon to Swim

Establishing a secure swimming environment is paramount for your bearded dragon’s well-being. Here are steps to ensure their safety:

Maintain Appropriate Water Temperature

Bearded dragons are ectothermic reptiles, that rely on external heat sources to regulate their body temperature. Ensure that the water temperature is warm, ideally ranging from 85°F to 90°F (29°C – 32°C), to prevent them from becoming too cold while swimming.

Provide A Place To Rest

Include a floating platform or shallow area in the swimming enclosure where your beardie can rest during the session. This allows them to take breaks and avoid excessive fatigue.

Monitor Your Dragon At All Times

Never leave your bearded dragon unattended while it is in the water. Vigilance and readiness to intervene in case of stress or distress signs are crucial.

How To Warm Your Bearded Dragon After Swimming

Following your bearded dragon’s swim, it is essential to help them warm up. This can be accomplished by placing them under a heat lamp or allowing them to bask under their UVB light. Ensure they have access to a dry, warm environment to prevent chilling.

Final Thoughts

Can Bearded Dragons Swim? Yes, bearded dragons can swim. Although they prefer to stay on dry land, they can take to the water if necessary. It’s important to remember, though, that not every bearded dragon is a water baby. Some people will love swimming, while others will find it quite stressful.

While bearded dragons can indeed swim, it is essential to approach this activity with care. Not all bearded dragons may enjoy swimming, and some may find it stressful. Prioritize the safety and well-being of your pet by offering a shallow, warm swimming environment,

closely monitoring their behavior, and keeping swim sessions short and infrequent. By adhering to these guidelines, you can provide your bearded dragon with a safe and enjoyable swimming experience as an occasional enrichment activity in their life as a cherished pet.

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