To keep pet Bearded dragons healthy, it is important to practice good hygiene. Best hygiene practices for Bearded dragons include keeping the environment clean, regular disinfection, supplying fresh food and water, and keeping your hands clean.
In its simplest form, hygiene refers to keeping things clean. Dirtiness can be in the form of dust, soil, moisture, organic material, and feces. As with humans, or keeping any other pet, hygiene is just as important for keeping Bearded dragons.
Bathing Bearded Dragons For Hygiene
Bearded dragon baths are an essential part of their care. Providing regular baths not only helps them stay hydrated but also ensures they maintain good hygiene. Many dragon owners struggle to get their bearded dragons to drink from bowls, so giving them baths is a great way to give them the hydration they need without having to fight with them!
Baths also help keep bearded dragons’ skin healthy and provide an opportunity for them to get some exercise and move around – which is especially important for beardies who spend much of their time in tanks or terrariums. Plus, bathing your pet can be a great bonding experience for both you and them! So if you’re looking for a fun way to bond with your scaly friend, take ‘em out for a swim!
Why Do Bearded Dragons Need Baths?
Bearded dragons need baths for a variety of reasons, not only to keep them clean and healthy but also to give them an opportunity to play and bond with their owners. By providing a bath, you can help curb the spread of fungus, parasites, and bacteria while also promoting healthier skin.
Moreover, it is a great way to keep your dragon hydrated and alleviate any potential constipation or shedding issues they may have. Not only do baths benefit your bearded dragon physically but they can be a wonderful time for both you and your pet as well. Baths provide an opportunity for both of you to further strengthen the bond between each other through recreation and playtime.
Importance of bathing your bearded dragon
Bearded dragons need regular bathing to stay healthy, energetic, and hydrated. Without these baths, the beardie may develop fungi or bacteria on their skin, which almost always leads to a wide range of health issues.
Bathing helps keep your bearded dragon’s skin hydrated, preventing them from developing any sort of skin condition. Hydration is key for the health of your bearded dragon, and bathing helps keep them hydrated which will in turn help to maintain their health. Furthermore, it can also elevate their overall energy levels and help with digestion.
Another important benefit of bathing is that it has been noted to reduce stress levels in your bearded dragon as well. If they can stay relaxed while taking a bath then it may actually be beneficial for their overall wellbeing! Additionally, it provides an important social bonding time between you and your beardie by providing a shared activity.
It helps with hydration
When we’re talking about keeping your bearded dragon hydrated, bathing is one of the best ways to do this. When placed in their enclosures, a water dish can provide them with the water they need for daily functions, but when a bath is provided it gives them an extra boost of hydration that’s beneficial for long-term health.
Better Skin Health
Bathing your bearded dragon can significantly improve their skin health. Captive bearded dragons will typically bask under UVB light for extended periods of time, which can cause their skin to become dehydrated and brittle. This can make it difficult for them to shed their skin properly, leading to skin rashes and injury.
By bathing your dragon regularly, you can help prevent this problem. The warm water will help soften their skin and make it easier for them to shed properly. If you notice that there are large chunks of skin stuck to your beardie’s body when they’re shedding, a nice warm bath will help loosen it up and increase the chances of its smooth removal.
Regular bathing of your bearded dragon will not only keep your pet clean and free from any waste or germs, but it will also help improve hygiene in his enclosure. The beardie tends to crawl around in the waste that he produces, so it’s important to bathe him regularly, which means getting rid of bacteria, as well as reducing the risk of infections and diseases.
Better digestive health
Better digestive health can be achieved for your bearded dragon by making sure it is well hydrated. Hydration plays an important role in helping your dragon’s digestive system work more efficiently. Regular bathing is a great way to keep them hydrated, as it will help maintain the water levels in their body.
In addition, drinking more water also helps with impaction, which is caused by dehydration and should be addressed immediately. Bathing your bearded dragons can quickly get their hydration levels up so that they can recover from this problem faster.
How to bathe a bearded dragon?
Bathing a bearded dragon is not too complicated, but there are certain orders and requirements that have to be followed beforehand when preparing to give your beardie a bath.
Fill the tub with warm water
It’s important to ensure the tub has warm water when giving your bearded dragon a bath. The temperature of the water should be carefully monitored as it can heavily affect your pet’s comfort. Additionally, you must make sure that the bath bowl is deep enough for your beardie to swim in.
Take care not to overfill the bowl or splash too much water; an excess could potentially lead to respiratory issues in your pet. By following these steps, you will ensure a safe and comfortable bathing experience for your beloved beardie.
Don’t leave your dragon alone
It’s essential that you never leave your beloved bearded dragon alone when they are in the bath. Otherwise, there is a very real danger of them drowning due to being unsupervised or the water depth being too great for them.
To prevent this from happening and ensure their safety at all times, make sure to keep an eye on your dragon during the bath and never walk away, even for a moment. After all, your furry companion can’t always take care of themselves, so it’s up to you to be there for them!
Make sure the water temperature is correct
When giving your bearded dragon a bath, it’s essential to make sure the water temperature is correct. Dragons should ideally be bathed at temperatures between 85-100 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything hotter or colder than this could cause serious harm to their health.
To ensure that the water you’re using is at the right temperature, it’s best to use a thermometer every time. That way, you can keep your bearded dragon comfortable in lukewarm water without worrying about any potential hazards!
Place them in water and let them get comfortable
When it comes to introducing your bearded dragon to a bath, there is no need to rush. Start by holding your beardie for several minutes before slowly splashing water on them. This prepares them for the upcoming bath and helps them adjust to the temperature of the water.
If you encounter any resistance from your dragon, don’t panic – this could merely be because they are unfamiliar with bathing. To help reassure them, try putting your hand in the tub and forming ripples in the water as a visual reminder that this is nothing to fear.
Once everything is ready, place your bearded dragon inside the tub and let them get comfortable. The warm bath should be relaxing and beneficial both physically and mentally, so let them enjoy it!
If you want to give your bearded dragon a good cleaning, the best way to do it is by using a grooming brush or any other soft brush. When you bathe your beardie, make sure you gently brush their skin so that dirt and grime are removed from every single pore. However, take care not to scrub too harshly as this can be detrimental to your reptile’s health.
Make sure to cover all parts of the body when brushing, except for the eyes and cloaca. You could also use a small cup or spoon in order to rinse off their body properly when finished bathing. Let them soak in the water for at least 10-15 minutes, allowing them ample time to drink plenty of water. This will ensure that your reptile stays healthy and free from dirt.
Dry them off
Once you’ve finished your pet reptile’s refreshing 10-15 minute bath, it’s time to dry them off carefully. Take a towel of your choice, and carefully absorb all the extra moisture from their skin. It’s important to note that rubbing their skin too hard may leave rashes or cause skin damage, so it’s best to take a gentle approach when drying your bearded dragon.
Bearded dragons are cold-blooded reptiles, so once you’re done drying them off, it is vital that you place them under UVB light in order to maintain their body temperature and keep them safe and healthy.
Warm your dragon
It’s important to keep your dragon warm! Due to being cold-blooded, dragons depend on external temperatures to maintain their body heat. If you just brought your dragon out of the bath, its body temperature will start to drop immediately.
That’s why it’s best to place him back under his basking light as soon as possible in order for him not to get too cold.
Clean the tub
Cleaning your dragon’s tub is essential for their health and hygiene. Cleaning your dragon’s tub properly means rinsing it out thoroughly with a solution of water and white vinegar to remove any chemical residue. This will help get rid of any dirt or bacteria without compromising the safety of your dragon.
How often should you give a bearded dragon a bath?
The frequency of bathing your bearded dragon will depend on the level of hygiene you’d like to keep up with. Generally, it’s recommended to give your pet a bath twice to thrice a week in order to keep them hydrated and regulate their body functions properly.
However, you can adjust this schedule depending on how often your particular species needs bathing, and look at the condition of your dragon for further guidance. If you find that your dragon is extra dirty or having problems shedding its skin, then it may be best to increase the number of baths until these issues are resolved.
Too much bathing can be just as bad as too little; it’s possible to over-hydrate a bearded dragon which can lead to diarrhea and weak droppings. Therefore, it’s important to regulate the amount of baths given in order to ensure that your bearded dragon remains properly hydrated and healthy.
Should you use soap?
It’s suggested to avoid using soap when giving your bearded dragon a bath. Doing so can potentially contaminate the water and put your pet beardie at risk if they drink any of it. Not to mention, the skin on your beardie can absorb whatever substances are in the soap, which could be detrimental to their health and wellbeing.
It’s best not to chance it. Keep their bath water free from soap and other chemicals to ensure that your beloved pet will stay safe from the risks associated with them. Ultimately, this will keep your beardie healthy and hydrated while they bathe!
How Old Does a Bearded Dragon Have to Be to Take a Bath?
Bathing bearded dragons have no age restrictions; it can be done at any point during their lifespan. However, if we are talking about baby bearded dragons, it is not recommended that you introduce them to water right away. It is better to wait until they grow a bit and then start the bathing process.
When dealing with hatchlings, you must pay extra attention as they tend to be more excitable and inquisitive than adult dragons. You should always monitor the activity of your baby dragon while it is in the water so that it does not get out of sight.
What if my bearded dragon doesn’t like baths?
It’s normal if your bearded dragon doesn’t like being in the water. If this is the case, it’s important not to force them into taking a bath, as this can increase their stress level. The best way to approach this situation is to start slow and early. This will help get them comfortable with taking baths over time.
If you have an adult bearded dragon and they don’t want to get into the water, you can try splashing some on them and gradually increasing their exposure time. But if they continue to resist baths or become stressed out by it, you should stop immediately as this could negatively affect their emotional well-being. If a bath isn’t feasible for your beardie, there are still other ways of cleaning them such as misting or providing a water bowl for them to drink from.
Trimming your bearded dragon’s nails
Trimming your bearded dragon’s nails can become necessary if the nails become overgrown or very sharp and begin to scratch you. Regular climbing, digging, and walking helps to keep their nails short and healthy, but if there is not enough wear on the nails, it’s time to take action!
Before beginning any trimming process make sure that you have a nail clipper specific for small animals such as this one. It is important to recognize the shape of your bearded dragon’s nails before trying to clip them.
There should be a noticeable line between the thicker yellow-whiteish part and the thin sharp tip of the nail which must never be cut above. If this line isn’t visible then you must look at their nails from different angles in order to notice it properly thanks to good lighting in the room.
Shedding in bearded dragons
Bearded dragons shed their skin gradually, often in small pieces. It’s important not to pull off the skin before it’s ready as this can cause bleeding and lead to infection. Usually, a bearded dragon can manage their shedding all on their own, but you’ll know it’s time for them to shed when you notice the darkening of the skin.
To help your Beardie with shedding, you can use a shedding aid spray or try misting them once a day and giving them warm baths every week – but make sure whatever product you use is made especially for reptiles. Be sure to also check toes, tail, limbs, and around the legs after your dragon has finished shedding – any skin left behind needs to be gently rubbed off otherwise it will restrict blood flow to that area which could result in the death of toes or at the tip of the tail!
How often do bearded dragons shed their skin?
Bearded dragons typically shed their skin once or twice a year. However, certain factors can influence the frequency of shedding, such as the age and health condition of the dragon.
In comparison to older or healthier bearded dragons, younger ones with infections usually shed their skin more frequently.
Bearded dragon cage cleaning routine
When it comes to keeping a clean and healthy environment for your bearded dragon, it’s important to follow an effective cleaning routine. Especially since they naturally carry a variety of bacteria and parasites, such as Salmonella and Coccidia. To avoid these germs becoming an issue, regular cleaning is necessary.
The most important practice when it comes to handling a bearded dragon is good hygiene. Avoid kissing them, and after handling them make sure you thoroughly wash your hands with soap. As Salmonellosis symptoms can be serious in humans, this simple practice can protect you from illness.
To ensure that your vivarium is getting the care it needs to create a safe living space for your bearded dragon, developing a schedule for cleaning and maintenance routines is key. This way you can plan what days are best for certain chores like cage scrubbing or spot checking your pet’s health and will help you stay on top of maintaining the healthiest environment possible.
Handle Bearded Dragon with Good Hygiene
When it comes to handling bearded dragons with good hygiene, there are some important steps all owners should take. Petting these creatures can expose us to certain bacteria, such as Salmonella, so it’s important to always be mindful of proper hygienic practices. Although the risk of transmitting diseases is less when compared to other reptiles and amphibians, extra caution should still be taken around children, pregnant women, nursing mothers, and those with weakened immune systems.
Salmonella can cause food poisoning in humans if ingested – symptoms include severe stomachaches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever, and the recovery process may last up to 7-10 days. To avoid contracting this potentially serious illness when handling a bearded dragon, hand washing immediately after playing with or feeding your pet is a must. Clean any parts of the house used for setting up its cage regularly with a strong bleach-water solution or a designated reptile disinfectant from pet stores and keep its environment clean at all times (avoid contact with waste matter as much as possible).
It’s also essential that you don’t let your pet wander around every room in your home – especially where food is served. And drinking or eating while handling them should also be avoided. Following these steps will ensure that any potential risks associated with owning a beardie are drastically reduced! Informing friends and family who might own one too will go even further in keeping everyone safe.
General hygiene practices to follow
To ensure a healthy bearded dragon, good hygiene practices are necessary. After touching or cleaning the cage of your bearded dragon, make sure to use antibacterial soap and wash your hands. While cleaning its enclosure, it’s recommended to wear gloves and afterward apply hand sanitizer if you don’t have access to soap.
It’s also important to not put your fingers in the dragon’s mouth, as well as forgo eating while handling it. Additionally, any accessories that belong to the bearded dragon like food bowls or rocks should never be washed in a sink where you do other dishes, as this can introduce bacteria and put your pet at risk of catching a nasty bug.
Following these general hygienes, and rules make sure that both you and the bearded dragon stay safe and healthy!
On a daily basis
Every day, use a litter scoop to pick up any droppings from the substrate and around the cage if you see them, and then one last time before the end of the day. If you have a carpet liner, be sure to spot clean it with a cloth. Wipe rocks and branches of any poops too.
Make sure to check temperature and humidity readings from the cage every day, too, to ensure they’re optimal. If using a paper towel or newspaper substrate as bedding, change it out once or twice daily. Misting your dragon just once per day is an effective way of imitating morning dew, so keep up on that as well! Don’t forget to replace their drinking water every day too!
On weekly basis
On weekly basis, take some time to inspect all of the corners in the vivarium for hidden feces or dead bugs. The carpet liner should also get washed thoroughly with warm water and mild soap – just make sure it’s completely dried out before putting it back in place.
On monthly basis
Once monthly, changing out your entire substrate is ideal – especially if sand is being used – but if that’s not feasible due to time constraints just try removing all droppings and leftovers on a regular basis instead. Monitor your dragon’s weight monthly so you can spot any potential changes or health issues early on. And don’t forget to scrub their food bowls with soapy water before disinfecting them each month in 1-part bleach solution/4-parts water. All accessories should be removed first too, with those same disinfecting solutions applied before rinsing them off with hot soapy water after they’ve been submerged for 1-2 hours at least! Vacuum up any debris left behind in the cleanup process when possible.
Every six months to a year
Finally, every six months or even yearly replacement of full spectrum lights is recommended since are known for emitting UVA + UVB properly within 6 months of installation; some precautionary measures such as steaming (reaching 165 F) vs cleaning with bleach solutions inside the vivarium should also be kept in mind throughout this entire process!
Why Bearded dragon hygiene is important
There are a couple of good reasons why it is important to practice good hygiene when it comes to keeping pet Bearded dragons. They all boil down to keeping your Bearded dragon healthy and looking after your own health.
Good hygiene reduces the chance for Bearded dragons to get sick. Unhygienic environments have the tendency to serve as a breeding ground for micro-organisms and act as a hiding place for worms and coccidiosis. Bearded dragon diseases that are common in unhygienic environments include ‘mouth rot’, yellow fungus disease, coccidiosis, intestinal worm infections, pneumonia, and gastroenteritis.
The most important hygiene principles to prevent diseases are to keep the Bearded dragon environment clean and sterilization.
Preventing the spread of Bearded dragon diseases
Some contagious diseases can spread from one Bearded dragon to another. This can either happen directly, e.g. when Bearded dragons sit on top of each other, or indirectly. Indirect transmission of diseases can take place through human hands and feeder insects. Common Bearded dragon diseases that can potentially spread indirectly are coccidiosis (through crickets), ‘mouth rot’, yellow fungus disease and salmonellosis. It is suspected that Adenovirus infections in Bearded dragons can also spread indirectly.
The most important hygiene principles to prevent the spread of diseases between Bearded dragons are disinfecting your hands and by discarding uneaten feeder insects (especially crickets). Although not hygiene-related, the spreading of diseases between Bearded dragons can also be prevented by quarantine.
Preventing humans from getting diseases from Bearded dragons
Some diseases, e.g. salmonellosis and campylobacteriosis, can be transmitted from reptiles to humans. These diseases are called zoonoses. Zoonotic salmonellosis is mostly reported to be from pet turtles, but Bearded dragon owners are also at risk. Campylobacter, which is also a bacteria found in the feces of reptiles, has been reported to be a significant cause of gastrointestinal disease in humans. In a study done by Harriet Whiley, Ryan McLean, and Kirstin Ross 60% of the captive/pet reptiles (of which some were Bearded dragons) they tested were positive for the organism. There are also studies that say that mycobacteriosis, chlamydophilosis, Aeromonas, and Pseudomonas infections may also be of reptile origin.
It is also possible for humans to contract diseases from feeder insects.
The most important hygiene principles to prevent the spread of diseases from Bearded dragons to humans are by washing your hands and by applying a proper disinfectant after each time you handle one. You should also be washing and disinfecting your hands after touching anything inside the Bearded dragon enclosure (e.g. the enclosure furniture) or feeder insects. Also see Bearded dragon owner hygiene for more information.
Bearded dragon hygiene practices
Good Bearded dragon hygiene practices include cleaning and disinfecting food and water bowls, removing soiled substrates, cleaning and disinfecting enclosure furniture and only supplying fresh food and water.
Daily removal of stool or droppings is very important. Where granular substrates are used, the affected area can be removed, but where non-granular substrates are used (e.g. carpets or butcher paper) the entire substrate sheet needs to be removed. One can use an inverted plastic bag over your hand or disposable medical grade gloves instead of bare hands to prevent direct contact with faeces. Food and water containers should also be cleaned once a day.
It is also recommended to remove, clean, disinfect or even sterilise cleanable enclosure furniture and substrates at least once a week.
Cleaning, disinfecting and sterilisation
Cleaning refers to either removal, wiping or washing with water/soap after which it is dried. Sterilisation refers to the removal of all micro-organisms from objects (as suppose to live tissue), whereas disinfection refers to the cleaning of live tissues e.g. your hands, and hard surfaces.
There are various sterilants and disinfectants on the market and can be in the form of soaps, sprays, wipes and gels. Some products are sold as ready to use (RTU) while others are in a concentrated form that needs controlled dilution before it can be used. Note that not all sterilants and disinfectants are safe to be used with Bearded dragons, reptiles and other animals. Save sterilisation and disinfection (e.g. for enclosure furniture and non-disposable substrates) can also be achieved by using the sun.
Health & Hygiene’s F10 product range is tested safe and efficient to be used with Bearded dragons, reptiles and other animals. Various forms of their contact sprays, hand soaps and gels are available from most veterinarians and some good pet shops.
Bearded dragon owner hygiene practices
As a summary, these are good hygiene principles for Bearded dragon owners:
- Do not touch your face while, or directly after, handling a Bearded dragon, the inside of their enclosure, feeder insects or their substrate.
- Protect any open sores or wounds you might have on your hands before touching or handling a Bearded dragon.
- Wash and disinfect your hands (or in-contact skin) directly after handling a Bearded dragon, the inside of their enclosure, their food or their substrate.
- Do not kiss a Bearded dragon or bring it close to your face.
- Do not eat while handling or even close in close proximity with Bearded dragons.
- Use safe, but proven disinfectants to wash, wipe or spray your hands.
For more information, also see our Bearded dragon owner hygiene article.
In conclusion, keeping your pet bearded dragon clean and healthy will help ensure a long and happy life. Regular baths, shedding assistance, and even occasional nail trims can all be part of their hygiene routine.
In addition to providing your bearded dragon with the proper nutrition and habitat conditions for them to thrive, maintaining a good hygiene routine is an easy way to show your little friend how well you care for them.