Swimming for Bearded Dragons
Bearded dragons are fascinating, peaceful lizards originating from the arid, rocky deserts and woodlands of Australia. With their vibrant colors, active personalities, and intelligence, bearded dragons have become very popular pets in recent years. So, can these animals swim?
Do Bearded Dragons Naturally Swim?
Bearded dragons are not strong swimmers. They do not have the webbed feet that frogs and ducks have, which aids them in movement through the water. They can manage some energy-saving paddle strokes, but they are not natural swimmers like a turtle or fish.
Methods for Swimming
If horses can swim, why not a bearded dragon? As long as there is proper supervision, it is possible to teach a bearded dragon to swim. This can be done by taking the following steps:
- Gather the Supplies: Find a shallow kiddie pool, a towel, a thermometer, and some fresh dechlorinated or bottled water to fill the pool.
- Set Up the Pool: Place the pool on a level ground, gently fill it up with water, and insert the thermometer for temperature monitoring.
- Introduce the Dragon: When the water temperature is inside the lizard’s comfort zone, gently introduce the dragon to the water.
- Encourage Movement: Identify actions that your bearded dragon may use to move around the pool, such as paddling and walking.
- Make it Fun: Introduce floating toys, like reptile driftwood or LEGO pieces, to make the activity more enjoyable.
- Instruction: Always use one hand to support the lizard’s midsection when the dragon gets tired or if he/she wants to get out of the pool.
Risks of Swimming
It is important to remember that it is relatively unsafe for bearded dragons to swim for long periods of time if they are not adapted to it. Selecting the proper pool setup, bedding, and adequate supervision is essential as to not hurt or even drown the animal. If a bearded dragon swims too long without breaks, its body temperature may drop to a dangerously low level, leading to lethargy, hypothermia, or even death.
Although swimming is not a natural behaviour for bearded dragons, with the correct supervision, it is not a harmful activity, and could even provide essential exercise opportunities for your pet.