Bearded dragon owners often cite the lack of any obvious, visible pee done by their pets as a reasonable cause for concern. After all, every one of us – humans or animals does pee right? What if we told you that does not hold true with all species, especially bearded dragons? In this post, we will be exploring all the nuances of urinating in bearded dragons so that you stay calm and lay to rest any concerns you may have on your bearded dragon’s peeing habits.
Do bearded dragons even pee? Well, bearded dragons do not pee in the same way most other species do. Due to their natural acclimatization to the hot, desert conditions of Australia – their native home, they produce a concentrated, solid form of pee as uric acid, without any liquid. Doing so helps in keeping them hydrated.
In this post, we will look at additional aspects related to the peeing habits (or lack thereof) of bearded dragons. The aim is to keep you as informed as possible about the excretory system that nature has naturally devised for bearded dragons, which at the end of the day, is for their own good.
Lack of Pee Does NOT Equate to Poor Health
Many bearded dragon owners, especially newbies, straightaway equate lack of pee among their beloved pets as a sign of ill health in them.
This is simply not true at all.
Remember that it is nature which has devised the digestive and urinary system of bearded dragons such that the overarching aim is to conserve the (ever so slight) hydration which they possess.
Excess or even a meager bit of liquid pee could cause bearded dragons to lose their hydration balance. That is the reason, the best way to ensure optimal hydration in bearded dragons to nullify liquid pee in favor of a solidified form of excretion which is essentially concentrated uric acid.
Identifying Pee in Bearded Dragons – Urate
While bearded dragons do not pee the same way most other species do, they do pee nonetheless. Therefore, identifying pee as pee has its own importance; otherwise, you may assume your pet to only poo!
The “pee” in case of bearded dragons is most often in the form of a dry, white colored substance with a powdery consistency called urate. This is different to bearded dragon poo which tends to look (and have the same texture) as poo of other species.
Quite often, you will find your bearded dragon discharging this white, powdery substance in tandem with its poo. This is a clear indication that your pet has “peed” and importantly, that it is in reasonable good health.
There is no real definite pattern to the frequency with which bearded dragons pee. At the same time, once a day – in tandem with their pooping cycles, would be considered as the norm.
Some pointers for your help:
- A baby bearded dragon, herein defined as one under 3 months of age, would usually pee at least once while going up to as much as 3 times in a day. In other words, such young beardies are likely to pee more often.
- Slightly older bearded dragons, for our purpose anywhere between 4 and 18 months in age, should likely be peeing once a day and not more.
- Adults (above 18 months) tend to pee less frequently. But again, once a day would be fine. Slightly lesser than that would also be fine!
Bear in mind – age is just one factor. Other factors such as diet, hydration, stress, adequate heat, and light, etc. are all determining factors when it comes to pee frequency.
Yellow Colored “Pee”
The solid consistency “pee” as described in the previous section can at times be yellow instead of white. This is a possible sign of dehydration in your bearded dragon. In case you notice such yellow colored pee all too frequently, we suggest taking measures to hydrate your beardy.
These would include additional initiatives to ensure there is enough water to drink for your beardy at all times, in its enclosure. You must also check the ambient temperature; is it so hot, that your beloved beardy is ending up losing way too much moisture?
At the same time, yellow colored pee as described above can also be a sign of excess calcium in your beardy’s diet. This clearly entails doing an audit of your bearded dragon’s diet such that it has just the right amount of calcium in it, and not too much.
Urine Consistency Also Matters
While white, powdery pee in bearded dragons is quite fine, you do need to pay attention to its consistency. If it is soft, then it is alright but if it is rather hard, then again it may be a sign of dehydration. This may not necessarily be a case of prolonged dehydration but rather at that particular moment.
If you find that your bearded dragon may be dehydrated for a long time and it doesn´t get better, we recommend giving your beardy a warm bath. This really does the trick well since it gets bearded dragons rehydrated adequately, to subsequently go on and pee their usual powdery white pee, but with the desired soft consistency.
Keeping your Bearded Dragon Hydrated
Irrespective of the frequency or consistency of your bearded dragon’s pee, it is important that you keep it adequately hydrated at all times. Remember that it is really about the wellbeing of your pet.
Once out of its natural desert habitat and onto a more controlled ambiance, the extent to which your bearded dragon’s system naturally preserves hydration from within would not be the same.
Therefore, you need to preemptively take adequate measures to ensure that your beardy remains adequately hydrated. So for instance, if you do notice harder pee than usual, place a few drops of water around your pet’s snout. Your beardy will slurp away at the water, automatically rejuvenating itself with that extra bit of hydration.
Stress and Bearded Dragon Pee
Unfortunately, as with a lot of other aspects, peeing behavior in bearded dragons is impacted by stress as well. Therefore, as a responsible pet owner, you must do everything possible to minimize or ideally negate stress exposure in your beardy.
Agreed that it may not be very easy to identify possible causes of stress in your bearded dragons, some no-no’s which you can easily address:
- Loud noise around your pet’s enclosure
- Housing too many bearded dragons together in the same habitat; remember even two males together is one too many!
- Inaccurate ambient temperature (too high or too low)
Bearded dragons DO pee! It’s just the consistency of their pee which is different from what we are used to, not only in us humans but in most other animals as well.
At the same time, as we have outlined in this post, there are so many different aspects around the peeing habits of bearded dragons, that you as a responsible pet owner must keep in mind at all times.
With a good perspective on whether bearded dragons pee (sure, they do!), you might also want to know:
How often should I bathe my bearded dragon? It is recommended that you bathe your bearded dragon at least once a week. In the hot summer months, you can up the ante on that number to at least twice a week. Remember that these bathing sessions do wonders to your pet’s hydration.
How do I calm my bearded dragon? Gently stroking your bearded dragon’s head really does wonders as far as keeping it calm and poised goes. If it closes its eyes it is a definite sign of calmness in your bearded dragon. Holding it firmly (but gently) in the palm of your hand while stroking its head adds to the calmness quotient.