If you’re here to learn about bearded dragon misting, you’re probably concerned if your pet gets enough water. We’re here to answer your question!
Bearded dragons get a lot of water from veggies and greens. Adults should be misted from once a day to 2-3 times weekly. The frequency may increase or decrease depending on their diet, whether they use their water dish, and if they drink during baths. Juveniles need to be misted more frequently.
Misting your beardie can be a tricky process sometimes. That’s why we’ve gathered all the information you need to understand how much (if at all) misting your reptile needs.
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Should You Mist Your Bearded Dragon?
The answer to this question is quite debatable, as some will say bearded dragons require misting several times daily, others – several times weekly, while the rest will say they do not need this at all.
Here’s what we want to share – most veterinarians will advise misting your beardie from 1-2 times a day to 2-3 times a week, as long as you can maintain the required humidity levels inside its enclosure and do not overhydrate it.
If you know for sure that your bearded dragon gets its water from its diet or during bathing and is not very fond of misting, you can reduce the frequency or avoid misting it at all.
However, if your reptile enjoys it, so why not let it have some fun once in a while?
There’s another thing you should consider while deciding whether your bearded dragon requires misting. Is it shedding time?
Misting your reptile during shedding can be of tremendous help, as it will soften the skin and facilitate the process. Nevertheless, if your goal is to help your bearded dragon shed, you should be very careful, as the skin can be irritated.
Tip: If your bearded dragon is preparing to brumate or has just woken up from brumation, you should pay more attention to its water intake.
In short, the exact answer to this question highly depends on your pet’s preferences, habits, and living conditions.
If you’re still unsure whether you should mist your pet or how often this is required, keep reading, as we’ll dissect this topic and help you find the answer you’ve been looking for.
How Often Should You Mist Your Bearded Dragon?
If your adult bearded dragon:
- drinks water from a water dish
- eats enough veggies and greens
- lives in an enclosure with correct humidity levels,
- drinks water while bathing
you might not need to mist it but can do so once a week if your reptile enjoys it.
If any of the above aren’t part of your reptile’s lifestyle, you’ll need to increase the misting to several times a week or even several times a day, depending on how much water your reptile gets and where it comes from.
If your reptile is a juvenile, mist it several times a day regardless of its diet or tank conditions.
Old bearded dragons may also require more frequent misting, especially if they’re lethargic or sick, and cannot cover their basic needs by themselves.
As you can see, the line between lack of and just enough water is almost imperceptible – that is, the “science” of misting bearded dragons should be based almost solely on your (or your vet’s) observation on how much water your reptile gets from other sources – and we trust you’re excellent at observing this!
Nevertheless, we’re still here with more details – so keep reading to learn how to mist your beardie, whether you can use a mister, and how much water your reptile actually needs!
How to Mist Your Bearded Dragon Properly?
First, you should choose a bottle that sprays a fine mist.
It’s essential to use one that has been cleaned thoroughly beforehand, especially if it previously contained chemicals (although it’s generally recommended to avoid using those, as they might still have chemical residues).
Use tap water only if you know it’s safe. Otherwise, you should use bottled water.
Ensure to warm it up and spray the water on your pet’s head until water droplets appear – they’ll run down its face, and your pet will lick them with its tongue.
Watch this adorable bearded dragon drinking while being misted:
Specialists confirm that hard water is safe for reptiles, while softened water is suitable only for pets that aren’t on sodium-restricted diets.
If you find it easier, you can also use a dropper to leave water droplets on your bearded dragon’s nose.
If you’re misting your bearded dragon to facilitate shedding, spray the water on problematic areas. Ensure to be gentle in the process, as it might cause some discomfort.
It’s generally recommended to mist your bearded dragon outside its tank. Otherwise, the humidity levels in the enclosure might rise and affect your pet’s environment. This will also promote fungal and bacterial growth.
If you have issues keeping the humidity levels as needed, though – that is, if the tank dries out quickly – you can mist your reptile inside its enclosure and spray some water on the decoration, as well.
By doing this, you’ll mimic a bearded dragon’s natural environment. Just ensure to check the humidity levels frequently.
Can You Use An Automatic Mister?
Generally, bearded dragons do not require an automatic mister. Using a spray bottle to mist your bearded dragon 2-3 times a week (or more or less frequently, depending on its needs) should be enough.
On the other hand, using an automatic mister might be a good choice if you live in a dry area and your beardie’s enclosure dries out quickly. Misters release water into the tank that eventually turns into droplets, thus mimicking your beardie’s natural water source – the rain.
However, we must reinforce the fact that misting your reptile’s enclosure frequently should only be done if humidity levels are monitored regularly.
When Should You Not Mist Your Bearded Dragon?
By now you probably already know whether your bearded dragon requires misting, and if it does, how often. What we haven’t discussed yet is when these reptiles should not be misted. Here are some situations to avoid:
- Avoid misting your bearded dragon while it’s basking as the heat will cause the water to evaporate more quickly.
- Do not mist your bearded dragon too frequently if it has diarrhea. This may sometimes be an indication of overhydration.
- Stop misting your bearded dragon if you notice it’s not interested in licking the water drops anymore, and it gets enough water from other sources. If it’s dehydrated and still doesn’t want to drink water, schedule an appointment with the vet.
Here Is How To Keep Your Beardie Hydrated If Misting Is Not An Option
Naturally, like any other living creature, these reptiles need to stay hydrated to avoid health complications.
Although beardies are native to Australia’s dry areas, this doesn’t mean they can survive very long periods without getting the required amount of water.
To mist or not to mist – that’s a question that bothers many beardie owners. Why is this such a debatable discussion? The answer is simple – because, in fact, bearded dragons hydrate only by ingesting water.
Misting bearded dragons will only help keep them hydrated if they lick the droplets. Since their natural instincts tell them that, in the wild, water doesn’t usually come from something like a water dish, they’re more likely to lick those droplets rather than drink from a dish.
Many beardie owners place a water dish in their pet’s enclosure. Some reptiles may learn to drink from it as long as it’s always fresh.
Several pet parents reported that their dragons learned to drink from their dish if they saw the water splashing in it.
If your bearded dragon learned to drink from its water dish, it might not need regular misting.
Nevertheless, not all bearded dragons are as “open-minded” as to give up on their long-established instincts and adapt to drinking from a water bowl.
Instead, they absorb the water from the food they’re provided (given that their diet is adjusted accordingly depending on their needs) and even from the air (given that the humidity levels are kept as intended, that is, between 30 and 40%).
The situation is different for juveniles, however. Since they primarily eat insects and do not get the required water intake from their diet, juvenile bearded dragons require frequent misting – usually twice daily.
Watch this video to learn more about a bearded dragon’s diet:
Contrary to what many beardie owners believe, these reptiles do not stay hydrated by receiving baths.
They do enjoy soaking in water, which is why it’s recommended to place a water dish in their tank that’s large enough for them to soak in (not drown, though!), as well as bathing them yourselves from time to time.
However, bathing helps bearded dragons stay hydrated only if they develop a “routine” of drinking water during the bathing process.
How Much Water Do Bearded Dragons Need?
Here’s how much water a bearded dragon should get daily:
|10-30 milliliters or|
0.33-1 fluid ounces
|Per 1 kilogram or|
Let’s say your beardie weighs around 17.6 ounces (500 g). This means it should receive, on average, 0.16 – 0.33 fluid ounces (5-10 ml) of water daily.
These are only approximate calculations based on the required daily average intake, and they may also be influenced by your beardie’s overall body health and underlying health issues.
If you’re unsure how much water your reptile needs, don’t hesitate to ask your veterinarian for advice.
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