Why Does My Bearded Dragon Poop in His Water Bowl?

If your bearded dragon has been pooping in its water bowl, you might be getting pretty sick of cleaning it up. Why continue to provide fresh, clean water if your pet is just going to poop in it? As a bearded dragon owner, you might be wondering if this is normal behavior or not.

So why does my bearded dragon poop in his water bowl? Soaking in water often helps bearded dragons poop, so it’s pretty common for bearded dragons to poop in their water bowls. 

Read on to find out how often bearded dragons poop and why your bearded dragon may be pooping too much. You’ll also learn about how bearded dragons pee and what different colored stool indicates about your pet’s health. Finally, be sure to read our tips on how to help your bearded dragon poop if it hasn’t gone in awhile.

How Often Do Bearded Dragons Poop?

Depending on the age of your bearded dragon, it may poop as often as three times a day or as infrequently as once a week. Generally, baby and juvenile bearded dragons poop much more often. Babies in particular poop one to three times every day due to their rapid development and protein-filled diet. 

Juveniles (three to 18 months of age) typically poop every other day. As they get closer to 18 months, this number can fall to once or twice per week. Once your bearded dragon is full-grown, you can expect to be cleaning up its poop about once a week. 

However, these numbers can definitely vary based on health, diet, and other factors. As long as your bearded dragon’s poop looks solid and healthy and all of the conditions in its enclosure are sufficient, it should be nothing to worry about. 

What if My Bearded Dragon Is Pooping Too Much?

There’s no specific number of times per week that’s considered too much or too often. What’s normal for one bearded dragon isn’t necessarily normal for another. The best way to know if your pet is pooping too much is to carefully observe it and take note of anything that differs from its normal behavior.

Here are a few reasons why your bearded dragon may be pooping more often.

Stress

Stress can absolutely cause your pet to poop a lot more than normal. Make sure to check out its environment for any stressors. For example, the temperature and humidity could be too high or too low. Another pet could be hanging out around your bearded dragon’s enclosure and causing it to feel threatened. Or you may have recently moved your bearded dragon to a new vivarium. 

If you can pinpoint the cause of the stress and adjust your bearded dragon’s environment accordingly, your pet should be able to calm down and return to its normal behavior patterns within a week or so. In the case of a completely new environment, be sure to give your pet time to adjust.

Parasites

Almost all bearded dragons house some parasites, but they usually don’t cause any trouble. However, pesky parasites are one of the reasons your pet may be pooping more than usual. Parasites will usually cause your bearded dragon’s poop to have a very strong, foul odor. The feces will also be loose and runny. 

In this case, it’s time to take your bearded dragon to the veterinarian for expert care. The vet will do bloodwork and examine a stool sample in order to treat your pet for parasites. While parasites are definitely treatable, don’t delay in taking your pet to the vet! It’s always the best choice to handle health issues as soon as possible.

Pregnancy

Female bearded dragons can actually become pregnant (referred to as “gravid”) without having sex. The eggs they carry will be unfertilized and won’t produce any baby bearded dragons, but you’ll still need to take action to ensure that your pet is able to lay her eggs successfully. A gravid bearded dragon will eat more and thus will poop more.

What Does the Color of My Bearded Dragon’s Poop Mean?

Generally, your bearded dragon’s poop should be brown and solid. The color of your pet’s feces can actually tell you a lot about its health!

Brown

Solid brown poop that isn’t runny or watery indicates that your bearded dragon is in good health. Oftentimes your pet will produce waste that is brown and white. This is nothing to worry about, because the white substance is just a urate.

Green

While green poop might take you by surprise when you first see it, it’s actually pretty normal. Think about your bearded dragon’s diet–if it’s been consuming lots of leafy greens, it only makes sense that its poop is green. As long as the poop is well-formed and the urates are white, green poop is perfectly normal for bearded dragons.

White

White poop is probably not poop at all, but a urate. Urates are sometimes passed without feces, although they usually come together. As long as the urate is soft, your bearded dragon is perfectly healthy. However, a hard urate means that your pet is dehydrated. 

If you notice hard urates, be sure to give your bearded dragon some extra baths or soaks to ensure it’s getting plenty of moisture. To do this, fill your bathtub or a large storage container with warm (not hot) water that reaches up to your bearded dragon’s shoulders.

Let your pet soak for about 20 minutes. Don’t ever leave your bearded dragon unsupervised while soaking!

Yellow

Just like white poop, yellow poop is actually a urate. Yellow urates typically occur when your bearded dragon has too much calcium in its diet. It’s important to make sure that you’re feeding your pet a well-balanced diet with the appropriate levels of nutrients. Be sure to adjust what you’re feeding your bearded dragon if yellow urates occur. 

Red

Don’t ever shrug off red poop! It can be an indicator of dire health issues. Red poop gets its color from blood in the urate or stool. An internal blockage called impaction (similar to constipation) is often the cause of blood in the stool. If you catch impaction early, you can usually treat it at home. However, it’s always smart to get the opinion of a veterinarian.

How Can I Make My Bearded Dragon Poop?

If your bearded dragon hasn’t been keeping up with its usual waste schedule, there are a few possible reasons why. It could be too cold due to temperatures in its cage, stressed from a number of factors, dehydrated, or impacted. Luckily, there are a few methods you can try to help your bearded dragon get back on track.

Cage Conditions

A lack of heat or UVB rays can cause your bearded dragon to stop pooping normally, so be sure to check the temperature and your UV bulb. Oftentimes, UV bulbs lose their strength after about six months to a year, so you may need to replace it. Double-check your thermostat and thermometers to ensure temperatures are at the right level.

Hydration

If your pet has stopped pooping due to dehydration, there’s a very easy fix. The first step is to simply drip a small amount of water onto your pet’s snout. Your bearded dragon will lick off the water and start to get rehydrated that way. But a couple drops of water likely won’t be enough to fix the problem completely, so the next step is to give your pet a bath.

Let your bearded dragon soak for about 15 minutes each day until it relieves itself. Make sure to use water that is warm but not hot, and don’t fill it higher than your pet’s shoulders.

Many bearded dragons prefer to defecate in the water, which is why they often poop in their water bowls. In the wild, bearded dragons get their hydration from their environment, rather than drinking water. A water bowl in your pet’s cage is likely to serve as a spot to soak and do its business. 

Laxatives

A final step to take if your bearded dragon still isn’t pooping is to make a homemade laxative. All you need is a few drops of olive oil. Make sure not to use vegetable oil! You can also feed your pet one teaspoon of applesauce with no sugar added. 

Conclusion

It’s perfectly normal and even common for bearded dragons to poop in their water bowls. In nature, bearded dragons soak and defecate in water on a regular basis. They’ve simply carried that behavior over into captivity.

If your bearded dragon is pooping too much or too little, it could be a result of stress or illness. Always stay on top of vivarium conditions and take note of any strange behavior in your pet. If your bearded dragon hasn’t been pooping lately, make sure it’s hydrated and try giving it a laxative to help things along.

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