Most lizards thrive in desert environments and can go for longer periods without water. When it comes to your pet, you may want to know whether they need to drink water for their body functions to run well. Whether your lizard drinks water or uses other means to take in water into their system, we understand it is a concern that requires attention.
So, do lizards drink water? Lizards, just like other living things, drink water when thirsty for their bodies to function properly. It’s very rare to see lizards actually drinking water in the wild, as they tend to do it out of sight. However, when kept as pets, when they get used to their owners, they may drink from their water bowls in the presence of their owners.
Knowing whether your lizard drinks water is necessary to prevent dehydration which can result in death. Understanding when and how to give your lizard water, what happens if they fall in drinking water and how long they can go without drinking water is vitally important.
Reptiles, whether in captivity or the wild, require access to clean water. Water is essential for their body functions and denying them this important component will result in dehydration and eventual death. Their water requirements will vary depending on their age, species, and environmental temperatures.
Considering lizards are not natural swimmers, you should give your lizards water in a shallow container to prevent them from drowning in case they fall into it. Also, reptiles love soaking their skin in water to aid in the shedding process; therefore, they may be tempted to dive into the water. You also need to note that some lizard species will not drink water from bowls and prefer natural sources. To give these lizards water, you can spray the plants around or the side of their tank with water to act as a natural supply for them to lick.
If you do not like letting your lizard out often, or if they are still new, you can provide them with water by dripping it on the plants in their tank. To do this, make some holes at the bottom of a cup and fill the cup with water. You can drill the hole sizes depending on how you want the water to drip. Fill the cup with water and spray water on the leaves in the tank.
To prevent flooding in the tank, you can use a bowl under the leaf to hold excess water. Alternatively, you can opt for dripping tubing to dispense water droplets in the tank. If you supply your lizard with water in a petri dish or bowl, ensure you change it after 24 hours as your pet might contaminate it with its excreta.
When providing your lizard with water, especially when they are new, you will notice their cautiousness. Lizards, no matter how thirsty they may be, will not run directly to consume the water if they are new to their owner but will wait for you to move away before drinking.
Once they become used to you, they will drink the water in your presence as long as they are thirsty. Some lizards will even run to you when they are thirsty and signal you as a display of trust, but it may take months before your pet trusts you to this extent. However, not all lizards will display this behavior despite belonging to the same species and understanding your pet’s personality is necessary before setting up your expectations.
Before giving your lizard water, check the size first. Baby lizards will drink smaller amounts of water than adult lizards. Therefore, to prevent flooding the tank with excess water, only put enough water for your pet. Also, while lizards can fetch water for themselves, providing water for your pet increases the bond between you.
What Happens if Lizard Falls in Drinking Water?
When lizards feel thirsty, they will go and fetch drinking water by themselves around your household. Therefore, they are likely to find water stored in large containers and tanks, putting them at risk of drowning in these deep sources.
So, what happens if a lizard falls in drinking water? If a lizard falls in drinking water, it can swim its way out, especially if it is a baby lizard. However, depending on the species, adult lizards can easily drown and die in deep sources of water. When kept as pets, it’s best to ensure the amount of water they have in their drinking bowls doesn’t cause them to drown by accident.
If a wild lizard drowns in your drinking water, it is recommended that you drain and clean your tank. A dead lizard will contaminate your drinking water and consuming it will poison you. If you treat your water with chlorine, you will kill the pathogens, and drinking the water will not harm you. However, if you experience vomiting and nausea after consuming your water and confirm that a lizard fell in your water, you should visit your doctor for a medical checkup and treatment.
How Long Can Lizards Go Without Water?
As a lizard owner, it is normal to worry when you see your lizard fail to drink water. Some lizard species, such as the bearded dragon, will signal their owner that they are thirsty by constantly licking their lips. Other species may not exhibit this behavior pattern and require you to closely observe them in order to determine whether they are thirsty and need water.
So, how long can lizards stay without water? While lizards can go up to 2 months without food, but they can only last for a few days without water. This duration will vary depending on the species, as some lizards, such as bearded dragons (which are adapted to dry habitats) can last longer than lizards from tropical climates.
Despite these adaptations, you should not deny your lizard access to water as the tank’s temperatures and humidity may vary. These variations may cause them to take a shorter or longer duration than usual before their next drink, and their water consumption may vary.
If your lizard has not drunk their water even after you supply it in their tank, you can pick and observe them for dehydration signs before giving them water. Dehydration in lizards is manifested through sunken eyes, loss of appetite, wrinkled skin, and inactiveness.
If you pinch your lizard’s skin and it pops back immediately, this indicates that your lizard is well hydrated. However, if you pinch their skin and it takes long before popping back, it is a sign of dehydration, and you should consult with your vet for further evaluation.
Lizards Drink Water
Lizards can survive with water from their prey, especially in extreme water scarcity. However, when there is available water, some lizards will absorb it through their skin while others will drink it directly from the source. Usually, a lizard will submerge its head into the water and use its tongue to bring water back to its body against the force of gravity.
The lizard’s size will also dictate the water source, with smaller lizards opting for shallow ponds to avoid drowning while bigger lizards are comfortable drinking from ponds and lakes. Therefore, you should provide your lizard with water in a suitable container or use safer techniques to supply them with water.
Given that lizards can die if they fall in deep waters, ensure you use safe containers and cover the deep ones, especially if you allow your pet to roam around your home freely. Remember, giving your lizard water sends a message to them that you care and will improve your bond over time.