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Can Bearded Dragons Swim? Facts Explained

Can Bearded Dragons Swim? Facts Explained

In this post, we take a look at how bearded dragons can perform in the water.

Can bearded dragons swim?

Bearded dragons can swim, they are prolific swimmers. In fact, they can even remain underwater for about 10-15 minutes, longer than this and they may drown. When swimming bearded dragon’s body movement resembles that of a crocodile. Swimming helps bearded dragons to treat impactions and exercise.

Read on to learn facts that make bearded dragons prolific swimmers.

Do Beardies like swimming?

Not bearded dragons like swimming, whether a bearded dragon will enjoy spending time in the water or not is dependent on how they were raised. If they are accustomed to swimming when they are young, they will enjoy swimming even when they are adults and vice versa.

The natural home of bearded dragons is Australia where they loam in warm, arid areas: deserts, subtropical woodlands, savannas, and scrublands.

However, after Australia banned its exportation people have been breeding them for the pet trade.

While it is not easy to come by water pools in these areas in the domestic breeder’s environment bearded dragons can come into contact with water now and then.

Like any animal, when you find yourself in an unfamiliar environment, survival instincts kick in.

Bearded dragons are no exception.

How do bearded dragons swim

Bearded dragons do not have a diaphragm like most animals. A diaphragm separates the chest and the abdomen. Instead, bearded dragons breathe by using muscles found between their ribs called intercostal muscles. These muscles expand and contract their chests when breathing.

When in water bearded dragons will keep its head up and wiggle their body, the fact that their feet are shaped like a paw makes it easy to swim on the water when combined with the movement of the tail which helps to propel them.

Inflating themselves with air makes it even easier to stay afloat. If need be bearded dragons can actually hold their breath for about 10-15 minutes underwater.

However, they should not be in very deep waters as remaining underwater for more than 15 minutes may drown them.

“One fact that every bearded dragon owner should always be aware of is that bearded dragons cannot see still water.”

You will need to create a disturbance on the surface of the water to create riffles so that your pet can see the water.

However, though beneficial to the bearded dragon’s health. Swimming is not a necessity for the life of the bearded dragon.

Can all bearded dragon swim

Unfortunately, all just like men all bearded dragons are not raised the same. And if they are wild-caught, they might have not come across a pool of water during their stay in the wild. Remember their habit is the Australian desert.

So while you may find a bearded dragon that likes and enjoys swimming, you may also find another one that does not like swimming. But if it’s a matter of emergency natural survival instincts will kick in.

If you are looking forward to encouraging your bearded dragon to swim, place a bowl of water in the bearded dragon tank that is not to dip. Then install a drip that creates riffles at the surface of the water and makes the bearded dragon aware that there is water.

When it is too hot in the will, bearded dragons get into the bellows to escape the heat, water might also help your bearded dragon cool itself. And with time your bearded dragon might become used to the idea of swimming.

Benefits of swimming for bearded dragons

One of the issues that breeders and bearded dragon owners face when raising bearded dragons is impaction.

Impaction means that your bearded dragon cannot pass stool as a result, the matter continues to build up in your pet’s belly.

Taking your bearded dragon for a swim or providing conditions that make it easy for your pet to swim can help it fight or prevent impaction.

The wiggling movement of the beardie is beneficial enough to ease bowel movement. That is why it is important to ensure that your pet learns or loves swimming.

Additionally, swimming is a great way for your pet to exercise and help with bone development among young bearded dragons.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can bearded dragons swim in a pool? No, bearded dragons should not swim in a pool with chlorine in it. Chlorine can impact the breeding of most reptiles and given that bearded dragons can absorb water through their vent you should not let especially young bearded dragons swim or consume chlorinated water.

Do Beardies like swimming? Not, all dragons like swimming, however, the raising of a dragon can play a major role towards its liking swimming or not.

How long can a bearded dragon swim? The length of time your dragon can swim depends largely on its proficiency and its love for the water. However, on average a bearded dragon can swim for about 15 to 20 minutes. The depth of the source of water may also determine how long your dragon will swim.

Should I let my bearded dragon swim? Yes, you can let your bearded dragon swim if it seems to like water. Swimming is a great way for your dragon to exercise, and bathe, and also swimming can help treat or prevent impaction.

Can baby bearded dragons swim? Yes, baby bearded dragons can swim also. However, they will need some training to build confidence and provide some assistance by having small pieces of rocks that the baby dragons can attach to and rest when tired. Swimming can help baby dragons develop stronger bones.

How long can a bearded dragon stay underwater? The length of time your bearded dragon stays underwater is dependent on its swimming proficiency and age. Young dragons can stay underwater lesser time. The average time an adult bearded dragon can stay underwater is 10-15 minutes.

Can a bearded dragon go underwater? Yes, a bearded dragon can go underwater comfortably. Dragons inflate themselves with air before taking a dive underwater where they swim proficiently. An adult bearded dragon can stay underwater for about 10-15 minutes. Watch the video above to get an idea.

Can Bearded Dragons Swim In Deep Water? Yes, bearded dragons can swim in deep water. Bearded dragon swimming proficiency allows it to swim in different zones. If need be dragons can inflate themselves and go underwater.

Can bearded dragons hold their breath? Yes, the bearded dragon can hold their breath. Bearded dragons hold they’re breathe when swimming underwater. At times they can hold their breath and act dead.

Can bearded dragons swim in tap water? While bearded dragons can comfortably swim in tap water. Chlorine in tap water can be harmful to the bearded dragon. A bearded dragon can absorb water through the vent which may affect its breeding abilities.

Can bearded dragons drown? If bearded dragons remain underwater for a period longer than 10-15 minutes they may drown.


The next time your bearded dragon looks like it wants to take a swim. Do not panic, your dragon knows it way around the water. However, not all bearded dragons like swimming. Do not force your bearded dragon to swim.