do bearded dragons need a pool

Should Bearded Dragons Have a Pool [The Pros and Cons]

Bearded dragons can swim in small and shallow pools with filtered water, but they must be supervised and have a log or similar structure to rest on.

Swimming can provide exercise, mental stimulation, and entertainment for your bearded dragon, but it is not required.

Bearded dragons require a tank with temperatures ranging from 100-107°F in the bright end to 72-79°F in the shaded end. Whether or not a pet should have access to a pool is ultimately up to the owner.

What Are the Benefits of Providing a Pool for a Bearded Dragon?

Swimming is a pleasurable experience for bearded dragons, and allowing them access to water can have a number of positive effects on their health, stress levels, and overall well-being.

Improved Health

Giving your bearded dragon access to water can improve its health. Swimming keeps them cool on hot days and provides exercise, which aids in bone density and muscle tone maintenance.

Stress Reduction

A swimming pool is also an excellent way to help your beardie relax. This can be useful during times of transition or when introducing the dragon to new environments. Swimming can help reduce stress and give them an outlet for their pent-up energy.


Access to a pool can also be beneficial to your bearded dragon’s enrichment. This type of activity can aid in their cognitive development and overall quality of life.

Improved Digestion

Swimming keeps their digestive system in good working order. This is especially important if your dragon is only eating insects, as the extra water helps with breakdown of any difficult-to-digest exoskeletons.

Healthy Skin

Swimming in clean water keeps their skin hydrated and healthy, while also promoting natural shedding.

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Cooling Down

Bearded dragons in the wild will frequently seek refuge in bodies of water such as streams and rivers to cool off in hot weather. A pool can provide the same cooling effect, assisting them in maintaining their ideal body temperature.

What Are the Dangers of Providing a Pool to a Bearded Dragon?

Creating a pool for a bearded dragon can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience, but it is critical to be aware of the risks.

Bearded dragons are poor swimmers and can drown even in shallow water. Chlorinated pools and ponds can cause skin and eye irritation as well as respiratory issues.

Skin Irritation

Chlorinated pools and ponds can cause skin and eye irritation as well as respiratory issues. If your beardie got into water with chlorine, be sure to closely monitor the dragon for signs of discomfort such as excessive scratching, rubbing against objects, or swelling around the eyes or mouth.

Stressful Environment

Owners should consider whether their beardie enjoys swimming or finds it stressful. Some bearded dragons enjoy playing in shallow water, while others get stressed. If you suspect your beardie will find swimming too stressful, avoid giving them access to a pool entirely.


Bearded dragons are poor swimmers and can drown even in shallow water. To avoid this, keep the pool depth between 2-3 inches for hatchlings, 3-4 inches for juveniles, and 4-5 inches for adults. A good general rule is to ensure the beardie can still lift their head out of the water.

Creative Ways to Integrate a Pool Into a Bearded Dragon’s Enclosure

Including a swimming area in a bearded dragon enclosure can be a fun and rewarding experience for both you and your pet.

There are several simple and inventive ways to incorporate a pool or bathing area into the enclosure without jeopardizing its health or safety.

Here are some suggestions for incorporating a pool into your bearded dragon habitat:

Pre-Made Shallow Pools

Shallow pre-made pools are the simplest way to incorporate a pool into your bearded dragon’s enclosure.

These pools are usually made of plastic or rubber and come in a variety of sizes. They can be filled with filtered and should be shallow enough for your beardie to enter and exit without difficulty.

Build a Natural Pond

If you’re feeling particularly ambitious, try making a more natural pond out of rocks, gravel, and real plants.

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This type of setup requires more effort but can benefit your reptile by providing natural stimulation and enrichment.

Make sure the pond is not too deep so that your beardie can easily get in and out of the water.

Including Decorative Water Features

Adding decorative water features to your bearded dragon’s enclosure is another effective way to provide your pet with an interesting environment.

Consider adding bubbling rocks or fountains to increase visual stimulation and humidity levels.

Use natural materials such as rocks or wood that will not leach toxins into the water.

In-Enclosure Pool

For those who want to provide their bearded dragon with its own swimming space, an in-enclosure pool is an excellent option.

Although this type of pool is generally shallow, it can still provide plenty of space for your pet to move around and get some exercise.

To keep the water clean and safe for your pet, it should be filtered and changed or replaced on a regular basis.

What to Do if Your Bearded Dragon Doesn’t Enjoy Swimming

Swimming can be a fun and healthy way for your bearded dragon to get some exercise, but not all bearded dragons enjoy it.

If your bearded dragon does not seem to enjoy swimming, there are still ways you can help them have fun in the water.

Introduce Swimming Slowly

When teaching your bearded dragon to swim, take it slowly at first.

Allow them to become accustomed to and comfortable in the water before introducing it as a regular activity.

Allow your dragon to explore the area and become accustomed to the sensation of water by placing it in shallow, warm water.

Make Swimming Fun

Toys in the pool, such as floating balls or sticks, can make swimming more enjoyable for your bearded dragon.

This can also encourage them to explore their new surroundings while getting rid some of their energy.

You can also make an obstacle course for them to climb on and explore by adding rocks or other objects.

Provide Support

If your bearded dragon does not appear to be confident enough to swim on its own, you can assist it by holding it in the water or using a floating platform such as a raft or inflatable ring.

This will provide your dragon with a sense of security while still allowing it to move freely in the pool.

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Be Patient

If your bearded dragon is afraid of swimming, don’t try to force it. Be patient and allow them to adjust at their own pace.

Begin slowly and gradually introduce more challenging activities as they gain confidence in the water.

Give Positive Reinforcement

When your bearded dragon is performing well, make sure to reward them.

When they make progress with swimming, give them treats or praise to encourage them to keep going.

This positive reinforcement will help your bearded dragon learn to swim and have fun in the water.

Provide Alternatives to Swimming

If your Bearded Dragon still doesn’t enjoy swimming, one thing you can do is provide them with alternatives.

Provide them with a variety of other activities such as digging, climbing, and sunbathing. These activities can help keep your Bearded Dragon active and healthy without them having to swim.

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What You’ve Learned

  • Bearded dragons can swim in small, shallow pools with filtered water if supervised and have a structure to rest on.
  • Bearded dragons do not need to swim, but it can provide exercise, mental stimulation, and entertainment.
  • Giving bearded dragons access to water can improve their health, reduce stress, improve digestion, promote healthy skin, and help them cool down.
  • The risks of providing bearded dragons with a pool include skin and eye irritation, respiratory problems, and drowning because they are poor swimmers.
  • Pre-made shallow pools, natural ponds, decorative water features, and in-enclosure pools are all creative ways to incorporate a pool into a bearded dragon’s enclosure. If your bearded dragon does not like swimming, introduce it gradually and in a fun way.