Bearded Dragons and the Water World: Exploring Their Love for Swimming

Bearded dragons, despite their intimidating name, are some of the most beloved reptiles in the pet world. Their unique personalities, engaging behaviors, and surprising love for water make them a fascinating subject. In this deep dive, we will explore the aquatic side of these desert dwellers, debunking myths and offering insights into their swimming habits.

The Aquatic Side of Bearded Dragons

Contrary to popular belief, bearded dragons are not strictly desert animals. They do hail from the arid regions of Australia, but they also have a surprising affinity for water. This love for water is not just about hydration, it extends to swimming as well.

Yes, you read that right! Bearded dragons can swim, and they often enjoy it. However, their swimming style is quite different from what you might expect. They don't paddle like dogs or glide like fish. Instead, they float and paddle in a way that's uniquely their own.

How Bearded Dragons Swim

Bearded dragons swim by inflating their bodies, which allows them to float on the water's surface. They then use their legs to paddle around. Their tail acts as a rudder, helping them steer in the right direction. It's a sight that's as amusing as it is adorable.

However, it's important to note that bearded dragons are not natural swimmers. They don't have the streamlined bodies or the webbed feet that most aquatic animals possess. As such, they can struggle in deep or turbulent water. Always supervise your bearded dragon during swim time to ensure their safety.

Why Do Bearded Dragons Like Swimming?

Bearded dragons enjoy swimming for a variety of reasons. For one, it's a great way for them to cool off, especially on hot days. The water can also help them hydrate and clean their skin, which is beneficial for their overall health.

Swimming can also provide mental stimulation for bearded dragons. It's a different environment that challenges them in new ways. This can help prevent boredom and promote overall wellbeing.

The Health Benefits of Swimming

Swimming offers several health benefits for bearded dragons. It can help hydrate their skin, which is particularly beneficial during shedding periods. The water can also help loosen any stuck shed, making the process easier and more comfortable for your pet.

Additionally, swimming can provide a form of exercise for bearded dragons. It engages their muscles in a different way than walking or climbing, which can contribute to their overall fitness and health.

How to Safely Introduce Your Bearded Dragon to Swimming

While bearded dragons can enjoy swimming, it's important to introduce them to it safely. Start with shallow water and gradually increase the depth as your pet becomes more comfortable. Always supervise swim time to ensure your bearded dragon doesn't get into trouble.

Use a gentle, non-chlorinated water source for swimming. Tap water is usually fine, but make sure it's dechlorinated first. The water temperature should be lukewarm, similar to the temperature of their basking spot.

Step-by-Step Guide to Bearded Dragon Swimming

  1. Fill a shallow container with dechlorinated, lukewarm water.
  2. Gently place your bearded dragon in the water.
  3. Let them explore and get used to the water at their own pace.
  4. Gradually increase the water depth over time as your pet becomes more comfortable.
  5. Always supervise swim time to ensure your bearded dragon's safety.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can all bearded dragons swim?

Yes, all bearded dragons have the ability to swim. However, some may enjoy it more than others. Always introduce your pet to water gradually and monitor their reactions closely.

Is swimming safe for bearded dragons?

Swimming can be safe for bearded dragons as long as it's done correctly. Always supervise swim time, use dechlorinated water, and never let the water get too deep.

How often should my bearded dragon swim?

There's no set rule for how often bearded dragons should swim. Some enjoy a quick dip every week, while others prefer monthly swims. Monitor your pet and adjust the frequency based on their preferences.


Bearded dragons are full of surprises, and their love for swimming is just one of them. By understanding their swimming habits and providing safe and enjoyable swim times, you can enhance your pet's life and strengthen your bond with them.

So, the next time you see your bearded dragon puffing up and paddling around in the water, remember: they're not just playing around. They're engaging in an activity that's beneficial for their health and happiness. And who knows, you might just find their swimming antics to be the highlight of your day!

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