Do Bearded Dragons Swim


Bearded dragons are fascinating reptiles that have become popular pets in recent years. These docile creatures are known for their unique appearance, calm demeanor, and interesting behaviors. One question that often arises among bearded dragon owners is whether or not these reptiles can swim. In this article, we will explore the swimming abilities of bearded dragons and provide you with all the information you need to know about this topic.

The Anatomy of a Bearded Dragon

Before diving into the topic of swimming, it is important to understand the anatomy of a bearded dragon. These reptiles have a unique body structure that allows them to navigate their environment with ease. Bearded dragons have muscular legs and sharp claws that enable them to climb rocks and branches effortlessly. Their strong tails provide balance and stability, allowing them to move quickly and gracefully. Additionally, bearded dragons have a specialized respiratory system that allows them to breathe effectively both on land and in water.

Can Bearded Dragons Swim?

Now that we have a basic understanding of the bearded dragon's anatomy, let's address the burning question: can bearded dragons swim? The short answer is yes, they can. While not all bearded dragons enjoy swimming, many of them are quite capable of doing so. It is important to note, however, that not all bearded dragons are natural swimmers, and their swimming abilities may vary from individual to individual.

Why Do Bearded Dragons Swim?

There are several reasons why bearded dragons may choose to swim. One of the main reasons is for hydration. In the wild, bearded dragons often encounter water sources such as puddles or small streams. Swimming allows them to drink water and maintain their hydration levels. Additionally, swimming can help bearded dragons regulate their body temperature. By immersing themselves in water, they can cool down on hot days or warm up when they feel cold.

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Swimming Abilities and Techniques

Bearded dragons have unique swimming abilities and techniques that allow them to navigate through water. While they may not be as proficient as aquatic reptiles such as turtles or crocodiles, bearded dragons have adapted to their semi-aquatic lifestyle. They use their strong limbs and tail to paddle through the water, creating forward motion. Some bearded dragons even use their tail as a rudder to steer themselves in the desired direction.

Observing Bearded Dragons Swim

If you have a bearded dragon as a pet, you may be curious to observe their swimming abilities firsthand. Before introducing your bearded dragon to water, it is important to ensure their safety. Use a shallow container or a specifically designed reptile pool filled with lukewarm water. It is crucial to supervise your bearded dragon at all times during the swimming session to prevent any accidents or injuries.

Signs of Distress

While most bearded dragons enjoy swimming, it is essential to be aware of the signs of distress. If your bearded dragon appears stressed or uncomfortable in the water, it is best to remove them immediately. Signs of distress may include heavy breathing, frantic movements, or struggling to stay afloat. Every bearded dragon is unique, and some may simply prefer to stay on land rather than swim.

Swimming Safety Tips

To ensure the safety and well-being of your bearded dragon during swimming sessions, here are some important tips to keep in mind:

1. Always supervise your bearded dragon while they are in the water.
2. Use lukewarm water to prevent temperature shock.
3. Keep the swimming session short and gradually increase the duration as your bearded dragon becomes more comfortable.
4. Provide a shallow area for your bearded dragon to stand or rest if they need a break.
5. Dry your bearded dragon thoroughly after swimming to prevent any respiratory issues.

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Bearded Dragons and Water Quality

When it comes to swimming, the quality of the water is crucial for the health of your bearded dragon. It is essential to provide clean and chemical-free water for them to swim in. Chlorine, which is commonly found in tap water, can be harmful to bearded dragons. To ensure the water is safe, it is recommended to use filtered water or let tap water sit for at least 24 hours to allow the chlorine to evaporate.


In conclusion, bearded dragons are indeed capable of swimming. While not all bearded dragons enjoy swimming, many of them can navigate through water with ease. Swimming provides them with opportunities for hydration, temperature regulation, and exercise. However, it is important to always prioritize the safety and well-being of your bearded dragon during swimming sessions. By following the guidelines and tips provided in this article, you can ensure that your bearded dragon has a safe and enjoyable swimming experience.


Do bearded dragons swim?

Yes, bearded dragons are capable of swimming. However, not all bearded dragons enjoy swimming, and it is important to supervise them to ensure their safety.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can bearded dragons swim in deep water?
Bearded dragons are not strong swimmers and can easily become exhausted, so it is best to provide them with shallow water for swimming.

2. How often should I let my bearded dragon swim?
Bearded dragons do not need to swim regularly. A couple of times a month for a short duration is sufficient for their exercise and hydration.

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3. What is the proper water temperature for bearded dragon swimming?
The water temperature for bearded dragon swimming should be around 85-90°F (29-32°C) to ensure their comfort and safety.

4. Should I use any chemicals in the water when my bearded dragon swims?
No, it is not recommended to use any chemicals such as chlorine or harsh cleaners in the water as it can be harmful to your bearded dragon's skin and health.

5. How can I introduce my bearded dragon to swimming?
To introduce your bearded dragon to swimming, start with shallow water in a confined area and provide a gentle slope for them to enter and exit the water easily.

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