Reptile Maniac

Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Therefore, we may collect a share of sales from the links on this page, at no extra cost to you!

Can bearded dragons swim?

Over the years – several beardie owners have asked – Can bearded dragons swim?

Bearded dragons can swim, but don’t have the ability to remain submerged underwater for long. Bearded dragons are native to arid regions but possess the skills to navigate water. These dragons can float on water by inhaling air that keeps them inflated. But if a bearded dragon remains underwater for more than a few minutes, it could drown.

Since we now know that bearded dragons can swim, let’s look at how they do it and other essential details. If you plan to take your beardy pals for a dip, this post provides essential info you need.

Jump to..

How Do Bearded Dragons Swim?

Many bearded dragons may not encounter massive bodies of water in their natural habitat. However, most dragons can take a swim when they need to. Even if these dragons don’t have the bodies of other expert-swimming reptiles, they can still hold their own in water. Here’s how they do it:

Air inhalation

Since bearded dragons can’t remain underwater for too long, they use a different method to navigate waters. Bearded dragons will inhale air that aids their movement across water. With the air they inhale, it becomes easier to float on water.


Bearded dragons cannot stay submerged in water and use floating to take a swim when necessary. Floating with inhaled air allows the bearded dragons swim on water’s surface without submerging their head.


These reptiles wave their limbs to generate enough force to move through water. With the waving action, several bearded dragons can move swiftly across water with relative ease. The waving movement of bearded dragons is akin to that of crocs.

Body placement

Unlike crocs that could submerge in water without much issues, bearded dragons cannot. These reptiles will have to keep their head above water if they’re keen to take a swim. Bearded dragons swim with their bodies submerged and their head out of water at all times.

Should I Let Bearded Dragons Take a Swim?

Bearded dragons can do without swimming for as long as possible. But wild bearded dragons could need to brave through water when they have to. These dragons don’t swim to stay alive, but may do so for fun.

If you plan to allow your beardy pals take a dip, it could be great for recreation. But if you notice your bearded dragon doesn’t want to submerge, don’t try to force it.

Not all bearded dragons want to swim, and you may get some nasty attitude if you keep pressing. Forcing your beardy pals to swim may also cause them to feel stress, which may have negative health consequences.

That’s why it’s important to monitor your bearded dragon whenever it takes a swim. Also, it’s smart to look for stress signs after a swim. Watch out for lower levels of activity, poor/ no basking, clawing at the vivarium, and other signs.

Whenever you notice any changes to your bearded dragon’s overall behavior, it’s smart to let them take breaks from swimming.

What Should You Consider before Letting Bearded Dragons Take a Swim?

Not all bodies of water are ideal for your beardy pals to take a dip in. It’s vital to monitor other factors too. Here’s a look at everything you need to check out before allowing your bearded dragons take a swim:

  • Ensure that no chemicals are in the water your bearded dragon will swim in
  • Avoid putting your bearded dragons in chlorinated pools
  • Confirm the temperature of water if it’s coming from a hose
  • Make sure your water body isn’t cold. It could make your bearded dragon sick
  • The body of water your bearded dragon should swim in doesn’t have to be massive. A small kiddies pool, wide bowl, or sink should be enough
  • Will you have time to monitor your dragon? Close supervision is necessary to keep your bearded dragons healthy during a swim.
  • Disinfect a tub or pool if your bearded dragon is through with swimming. Disinfecting the pool makes sure your dragon doesn’t come down with any sickness from subsequent uses.
  • If you’re using a bowl as a pool for your bearded dragon, it should be used for nothing else. You could come down hard with a salmonella infection if your beardy isn’t healthy. Even if your beardy is healthy, desist from using the bowl for any other thing.


Can bearded dragons hold their breath underwater?

Bearded dragons can hold their breath underwater, but not for long. Bearded dragons could drown if they remain underwater for more than eight (8) minutes. After this time, a bearded dragon will suffer from exhaustion and drown.

Do bearded dragons breathe underwater?

Bearded dragons cannot breathe underwater. These reptiles can hold their breath for a few minutes underwater, but may drown when they submerge for too long.

Can you bathe a bearded dragon?

Yes, you can bathe a bearded dragon. However, you should keep an eye on your bearded dragon at all times. Furthermore, keep the water shallow enough for your bearded dragon to be able to stand on its own.

Can bearded dragons swim in tap water?

Bearded dragons can swim in tap water, but not in all cases. Some tap water may have minerals detrimental to the health of reptiles when ingested.

Should bearded dragons swim in a chlorinated pool?

Some bearded dragons may come down hard with sicknesses that could be fatal after swimming in a chlorinated pool. Ingested chlorine could cause digestive and respiratory issues for your bearded dragon.

Final Thoughts: Can Bearded Dragons Swim?

Since bearded dragons can drown, owners have to monitor how long these reptiles remain underwater. As a rule of thumb, it’s smart to take your bearded dragons out of a pool within  20 minutes. Also, your bearded dragons should not remain underwater for more than 8 minutes.

Keeping your bearded dragon underwater for long could lead to an unexpected event. You don’t want your bearded pals dying on you during or after a swim.