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Bearded Dragons/Behavior of Bearded Dragon


Hello Mr. Zarnick,

My brother and I have a pet bearded dragon - Fluffy - who's approximately 2 years old at home. She's in the process of shedding right now. Usually when she sheds, she squirms around inside her water bowl, so we figured she might like to have a slightly larger space, so we put her in about 3 inches of warm water in this plastic tub that we have. I've seen videos of bearded dragons swimming in actual bathtubs before online, and Fluffy was mimicking some of their movements with the tail and "paddling", but she didn't have enough room.

Yesterday, I put her in our bathtub with warm water so she'd finally have proper room to swim...and she defecated. I got her cleaned up, and realized that she hadn't pooped in a while and the warm water must have felt nice. But today, I figured since her system is clean, that she might like to try the bathtub again.

I took her upstairs, and right before I put her in, she shivered a little. I made the water a little warmer, but she didn't even try to swim. Instead, she just closed her eyes and looked very tired. That got me scared, so I rushed her back to her heat lamp. 5 minutes later, she went inside her water bowl! Can you make any sense of her behavior?

Also, on a side note, we try to trim her claws every winter when she's brumating on and off because she's less likely to suddenly move and hurt herself. Are we supposed to trim them more often?

Thanks so much!


Hey there, baths are usually good to cause bowel movements. Bearded dragons can't swim, they may squirm and move but not swim. The water should be filled just barely ankle high on your bearded dragon. The "strange" behavior may be him/her relaxing or just simply not enjoying it. The water needs to be warm, around 80 should be ok for a quick soak. This behavior you have described is normal. Trimming nails should be done when they seem to be very sharp and long. If there is drift wood in the enclosure it may help file the nails down. Be careful not to cut into the veins. Each nail has a vein located inside of it closer to the actual toe. It usually isn't a huge deal if the nails bleed a tiny bit, just be gentle.

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I can answer every question towards the bearded dragon except for questions that deal with sickness and disease. I can answer questions on heating and UV rays, the questions pertaining to food, habitat, bedding, breeding, egg/hatchling care, nature, and attitude are my best. Last, I cannot help you with at home sickness meds, always find a vet within your area. I can answer questions regarding body language and movement. I will try to help you to the best of my ability.


I have owned bearded dragons for over seven years and have been a breeder for two years. Caring and raising bearded dragons has been a great experience in my life and will continue to play a big role throughout my life.

Currently studying Biology with an Ecology Emphasis at Northern Michigan University.

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