Bearded dragons are truly fascinating creatures. Their distinct and unique appearances make them quite a sight, which is why so many pet owners opt for this type of reptile. However, stepping foot into the realm of bearded dragon ownership can come with many questions. One of the biggest questions is whether your bearded dragon actually pees.
Do bearded dragons pee? Yes, bearded dragons do pee, but they do not pee in the traditional way. Instead of their pee being in liquid form, their urination comes out as a chalky white solid substance known as uric acid. It’s not unlikely for your bearded dragons to go several days without peeing. The average adult bearded dragon pees 1 to 4 times in a week.
Knowing the reasoning behind the solid pee will help you to better understand your bearded dragon and where he came from. It will also put to rest any fears you might have that your bearded dragon is dehydrated, and therefore, not urinating. We will be discussing true symptoms of dehydration in your beardy as well, so you don’t run into any health problems along the way.
The Bearded Dragon’s Pee: What is it, and Why?
After a week of having your first bearded dragon, one thing you might notice is a lack of pee, which can cause some concern right off the bat. This is especially true since you will likely see ‘traditional’ fecal matter in his cage on a regular basis. So, what’s the deal with the pee?
Well, it all roots back to your bearded dragon’s humble beginnings. The bearded dragon originated from the hot deserts of Australia. In this type of climate, the reptile needed to find a way to hold on to his moisture for an extended period of time. After all, excreting too much liquid from the body would surely lead to dehydration, just like with any other mammal.
This is why the bearded dragon’s ‘pee’ is a solid substance that is white in color.
So, if you notice this thick, white, chalky substance in your bearded dragon’s cage, it’s nothing to be concerned or confused about. That is, in fact, your reptile’s pee, and it will often be found in conjunction with his poo.
How Often Does a Bearded Dragon Pee?
Now that you know what it looks like, you might still be concerned. After all, you have only seen the uric acid in his cage a few times a week- that can’t be normal, right? Wrong.
In fact, the bearded dragon doesn’t pee that much at all. This likely has to do with how their elimination works, trying to hold onto liquid as much as possible to avoid dehydration.
A bearded dragon owner can expect the following from their reptile:
- Baby bearded dragons (less than 4 months) will typically pee 1 to 3 times a day.
- Slightly older beardies or ‘teens’ (4 to 18 months) will drop their pee schedule to once a day.
- Adult bearded dragons will only pee one to four times in a single week. So yes, only seeing your bearded dragon pee once a week is nothing to be concerned about. It’s also normal if your adult bearded dragon pees daily.
Keep in mind that every bearded dragon is different, and this is just a general guideline. And while age is the biggest factor in the amount of urination, it isn’t the only thing that determines pee cycles. Things such as diet, stress, and the amount of heat and light in the tank can also change how often (or not often) your beardie pees. For instance, too much heat in the enclosure can lead to excessive loss of moisture.
Is Any Liquid Okay?
Getting used to the bearded dragon’s unique pee can be a challenge, especially if you notice liquid around his poo/pee. Your initial thought might be, “That’s not supposed to happen. What’s going on?” The good news is that a little bit of liquid found around the poo/pee is completely normal.
The liquid is no cause for concern, as long as it is mostly clear looking, and the poop looks normal. All this means is that your bearded dragon is very well hydrated. In fact, he’s so hydrated that he is excreting the excess fluid in his body. (source)
Therefore, spotting clear liquid when your bearded dragon poops or pees is actually a good sign that your reptile is in good health and fully hydrated.
What About Yellow Pee?
Seeing some yellow from time to time in your bearded dragon’s urination is nothing to be immediately alarmed about. However, consistent yellow pee can be a sign of dehydration in your reptile. If you see a recurring yellowing of the uric acid, you will need to make sure you’re taking extra steps to increase his hydration levels (see below).
However, yellowing can also be an indicator that there is too much calcium in your reptile’s diet. The best thing to do is to take a look at what you are feeding your pet and ensure there isn’t an excessive amount of calcium in his food. If so, change the food to reduce the amount of calcium consumption.
Signs of Dehydration in a Bearded Dragon
Knowing that it’s fine for your bearded dragon to only pee once or twice a week can put you at ease. A lack of pee is not directly related to any health issues, with dehydration being the biggest cause of concern. However, that does not mean that it is impossible for your beardie to end up being dehydrated.
Signs and symptoms of dehydration to look out for, according to Dehydration by Beautiful Dragons, include:
- Sunken eyes
- Wrinkles skin
- Sudden lack of appetite
- Harder pee than usual
- Consistent yellow pee
If you think your bearded dragon may be dehydrated, here is a simple way to check:
- Gently pinch your reptile’s skin. The best location to pinch is the side of their back.
- If the skin goes back to normal immediately, your pet is hydrated.
- If the skin stays in the pinched position, he is dehydrated.
It is important to act fast when your bearded dragon is dehydrated, especially if he is ill. An ill beardie can have a challenging time drinking water and may not be able to drink at all. This leads to severe dehydration that can eventually be fatal.
To help your bearded dragon get back on track with hydration, you can offer him more water in his tank or feed him water using a needle-free syringe or eyedropper.
The syringe and eyedropper are more than likely going to be used if your beardie is refusing to drink from his regular water, which typically occurs with a sick reptile.
A nice, warm bath can also help your bearded dragon become hydrated quickly. You can also place some water on your bearded dragon’s snout.
He will be able to lick it off his snout and bring back normal hydration levels. Both of these methods are best used on a beardie that isn’t sick, but rather suffering from a bit of dehydration.
A bearded dragon’s natural elimination system holds on to liquid as much as possible due to his roots in the Australian desert. This means that it’s common for a beardie to only pee 1 to 4 times in a single week, and the substance (uric acid) should be a white, chalky substance rather than traditional liquid pee.