soaking in tap water

Can Bearded Dragons Soak in Tap Water? [Avoid if Possible]

Bearded dragons can soak in tap water if the water is filtered. This will ensure that no chemicals or metals are consumed. It is advised to use a bathtub or even a Rubbermaid plastic storage box, and supervision is required to prevent your dragon from drowning.

A warm water soak can be beneficial to your beardie’s health by encouraging healthy bowel movements and shedding. So when bathing your dragon, make sure to use filtered tap water!

The Dangers of Bathing in Unfiltered Tap Water

Bathing your bearded dragon in unfiltered tap water can be hazardous to your pet’s health.

Metals, chlorine, and other toxins in tap water can be ingested. Even if you use a filter, you should be aware of what is in your tap water and how it may affect your pet.

The following are the main risks of soaking a bearded dragon in unfiltered tap water.

Chlorine Damage

Chlorine in tap water can be toxic to bearded dragons. Bathing them in this water may irritate their skin, eyes, and respiratory system. If left untreated, this can lead to additional health issues.

Heavy Metal Toxicity

Heavy metals such as arsenic, lead, and mercury can be found in high concentrations in tap water.

If ingested or absorbed through their skin, these metals are toxic to bearded dragons. Bathing a bearded dragon in unfiltered tap water can increase their toxicity risk.

Bacterial Infections

Unfiltered tap water also contains bacteria that can become trapped in the bearded dragon’s skin crevices and cause infections. These infections can cause the reptile to become discolored, swollen, and in pain.

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Skin Irritation

The chlorine in unfiltered tap water can irritate your bearded dragon’s skin. This irritation can cause discomfort and itching, making it difficult for them to sleep or eat properly. In some cases, this irritation may necessitate medical treatment.

Ways to Disinfect Tap Water Before a Soak

Bearded dragons require clean and safe water to stay healthy and strong, so you’ll want to disinfect tap water before bathing them.

While boiling and filtration are the most effective methods for removing harmful contaminants from water, there are other methods that can be used for smaller batches of water.

Boiling Water

Boiling tap water is one of the simplest and least expensive ways to disinfect tap water. Boiling the water kills any microbes present, making it safe to drink.

Bring the water to a boil for at least five minutes to ensure that it is sufficiently sterilized.

Let the water cool down after boiling before using it, as hot temperatures can be dangerous to your pet.

Using Water Conditioners

Water conditioners are specially designed products that aid in the removal of chlorine, chloramines, and heavy metals from tap water. This makes the water suitable for bathing your bearded dragon.

Using a Water Filter

The final option for disinfecting tap water is to use a filter specifically designed for aquariums or reptile habitats.

These filters are intended to filter out harmful particles from tap water, making it suitable for use with bearded dragons.

To ensure that the filters are working properly and providing clean and safe water for your pet, they should be changed on a regular basis in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

What Are Signs of Irritation From Tap Water?

Bathing your bearded dragon is essential for their health and well-being. However, tap water baths can cause irritation in some bearded dragons, so be aware of the symptoms. Here are a few common symptoms of tap water irritation:

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Swollen Jaw

Swelling of the lower jaw is one sign of irritation. This is typically caused by a pH imbalance in the water or by impurities in the water. If your Beardie’s jaw begins to swell after a bath, check the pH levels to ensure they are balanced.

Loss of Skin Elasticity and Flexibility

Loss of skin elasticity and flexibility is another sign that your bearded dragon was irritated by a tap water bath.

This occurs when their skin becomes dry and brittle after being exposed to too much chlorine or other minerals in the bathwater.

If you notice your beardie’s skin is losing its usual elasticity and flexibility, it could be because their tap water bath was too harsh for them.

Respiratory Issues

Tap water baths can also cause respiratory issues in bearded dragons due to chemical irritation.

Breathing difficulties, wheezing, and sneezing are possible symptoms. If your bearded dragon develops respiratory problems after a bath, you should seek veterinary attention.

Softening of Bones

This happens when calcium and other minerals are leached from their bodies as a result of coming into contact with water containing too much chlorine or other minerals.

Steps to Safely Bathe Your Bearded Dragon in Tap Water

It is critical to take some precautions to keep your dragon safe and comfortable when bathing with tap water.

Here are some tips for bathing your bearded dragon safely in tap water:

1. Select a Filtration Method

In the preceding section, we discussed our top three water filtration methods. Choose whichever of the three works best for you. Please do not skip this step and soak your bearded dragon in unfiltered water.

2. Fill the Receptacle

Fill your bathtub or basin halfway with lukewarm water, about 0.5 – 1 inch deep, to the level of your bearded dragon’s hind knees or armpits. You don’t want to scald your dragon if the water is too hot.

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3. Let them Soak

Allow your dragon to soak in water for 10-20 minutes after you’ve created a suitable bathing area. This helps them relax while also washing away any dirt, debris, or parasites that may be on their skin.

4. Dry Them Off

When your dragon has finished bathing, carefully remove them from the tub and pat them dry with a soft towel.

Before returning them to their enclosure, make sure they are completely dry. This will keep moisture from causing problems with their scales or skin.

By following these steps, you can bathe your bearded dragon in tap water safely and provide them with a fun and relaxing experience!

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What You’ve Learned

  • Soaking bearded dragons in unfiltered tap water can be hazardous to their health due to chlorine, heavy metals, bacteria, and other toxins present in the water.
  • Bathing your bearded dragon in filtered tap water is recommended to ensure that no chemicals or metals are consumed.
  • A warm water soak can be beneficial to your bearded dragon’s health by encouraging healthy bowel movements and shedding.
  • Boiling water, using water conditioners, and using water filters are effective methods for disinfecting tap water before bathing your bearded dragon.
  • Signs of tap water irritation in bearded dragons include swollen jaw, loss of skin elasticity and flexibility, respiratory issues, and softening of bones.

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