bearded dragon in his cage on a rock

Can Bearded Dragons Swim [5 Rules to Follow]

Bearded dragons have a surprisingly good ability to swim for creatures that don’t look like they belong in the water. When swimming, bearded dragons move their limbs powerfully and quickly to propel themselves through the water. 

They are also able to submerge and stay underwater for a short period of time, allowing them to explore underwater. However, it is important to note that bearded dragons cannot swim for extended periods of time, so it is important to provide them with a safe and easy way out of the water. 

Choose a suitable space for your bearded dragon to swim, introduce them to swimming gradually, monitor their behavior, and maintain the water temperature. With the proper precautions in place, swimming can be a great way to give your bearded dragon exercise, stimulation and stress relief.

Benefits of Swimming for Bearded Dragons

  • The benefits of swimming for bearded dragons include physical exercise, mental stimulation, and stress relief. 
  • Swimming provides an opportunity for your bearded dragon to bond with you. 
  • Swimming stimulates their natural curiosity while providing a fun new environment. 


Swimming is a great form of exercise for bearded dragons, helping them to build strength and muscle tone. 

Water provides natural resistance to help increase their stamina, and for baby dragons, the exercise of swimming helps their bone development. 


Bearded dragons thrive on swimming as a form of stimulation. It can help to provide an enriching environment for these reptiles, and is a great way to keep them mentally engaged. 

Swimming can help to stimulate their senses as they explore the new environment of the water. 

Bearded dragons have excellent vision and good hearing, so they can take in a lot of information while swimming. This type of stimulation gives them an opportunity to explore and investigate, which can help to promote healthy behaviors.

Stress Relief

Swimming is a natural way for bearded dragons to relax and relieve stress. Most bearded dragons will feel more calm and relaxed when they get out of the water, which can help with overall health. 

Tips for Safe Swimming

  • Keeping your bearded dragon safe while swimming requires a few important considerations. 
  • Choose an appropriate swimming space for your beardie, such as a small paddling pool or a shallow pond. 
  • Introduce your bearded dragon to swimming gradually and monitor their behavior.
  • Ensure that the water temperature and water purity are suitable. 
  • Provide them with a safe and easy way out of the water.

Choose an Appropriate Swimming Space

When it comes to choosing an appropriate swimming space for a bearded dragon, it’s important to consider the size of the pool and its chlorine content. 

The pool should be small, with no more than a foot deep of water. Tap or filtered water is preferred over chlorinated water, as chemicals can be harmful to bearded dragons. 

Introduce Your Bearded Dragon to Swimming Gradually

When introducing your bearded dragon to swimming, it is important to take it slow. Bearded dragons don’t spend much time in the wild swimming, and may need some time to adjust. 

Start by introducing them to shallow water and gradually increasing the water level over time. Make sure they can always touch the bottom of the pool or tub with their feet. 

Once they seem comfortable, you can continue to increase the depth of the water and add additional swimming activities. 

Monitor Their Behavior

It is important to monitor your bearded dragon’s behavior when they are swimming. Make sure to watch for any signs of distress or discomfort in their demeanor. 

They may start to show signs of stress if the water is too cold or too deep, or if they are becoming exhausted. If you notice any signs of stress, make sure to remove them from the water immediately. 

Make sure to observe if they are having fun while swimming, as some bearded dragons may not enjoy it at all!

Ensure Proper Water Temperature and Maintenance

Proper water temperature is essential for a safe and enjoyable swimming experience for your bearded dragon. 

The optimal temperature range for bearded dragons is between 85-92 degrees Fahrenheit. To ensure the temperature is kept at a safe and comfortable level, it’s important to invest in a good thermometer and keep an eye on the temperature regularly. 

Provide a Safe and Easy Way Out of the Water

It is important to provide your bearded dragon with a safe and easy way out of the water when swimming. 

To do this, you can set up a ramp or floating platform for them to climb onto. This will help ensure that your dragon is able to exit the water when they are ready. 

If your dragon is struggling to get out of the water, you should be there to help them out. Making sure that your bearded dragon has a safe and easy way out of the water while swimming will help keep them safe and comfortable.

Observe for Any Signs of Stress or Discomfort

When it comes to swimming, it is important that owners observe their bearded dragon for any signs of stress or discomfort. 

Bearded dragons should not be forced to swim and should never be left unsupervised in the water. When swimming, watch for signs such as increased breathing, struggling movements, or any other physical signs that indicate they are not enjoying the activity. 

If these signs are observed, the bearded dragon should be removed from the water immediately and given a break from swimming. 

By taking these precautions, owners can ensure that their bearded dragon enjoys a safe and stress-free swimming experience.

Potential Risks of Swimming

  • One of the potential risks of swimming for bearded dragons is drowning hazards. Even though bearded dragons can hold their breath for several minutes, they may still get disoriented and struggle to get out of the water. 
  • Choose an appropriate swimming space where there are no currents or deep waters that can be dangerous for your pet. 
  • Ensure the pool is not chlorinated, as chlorine can be dangerous for bearded dragons.

Drowning Hazards

One of the potential risks of allowing your bearded dragon to swim is drowning. While wild bearded dragons rarely encounter large bodies of water, swimming can disorient your bearded dragon and put them in a dangerous situation. 

In order to ensure that your dragon has a safe and easy way out of the water, you should monitor them closely at all times. 

Exposure to Pathogens

Bearded dragons are hardy reptiles and can spend time in the water, but swimming in a chlorinated pool can be dangerous to their health. Chlorine is toxic to reptiles and can cause irritation to the skin and eyes. 

Swimming in a chlorinated pool can also expose them to certain pathogens and bacteria that could potentially make them very ill. 

To ensure that your beardie is safe while swimming, it is important to monitor the water closely, change it regularly, and use a filter to keep the chlorine levels low. 

Key Points

  • Bearded dragons can swim and move their limbs quickly and powerfully for a short period of time.
  • Swimming provides exercise, mental stimulation, and stress relief for bearded dragons.
  • The optimal water temperature for bearded dragons is between 85-92°F and chlorine levels should be low.
  • The swimming area should be small, shallow, and with a safe exit.
  • Owners should introduce the dragon to swimming gradually, monitor its behavior, and observe for signs of stress or discomfort.