WATER AND HYDRATION
Some people will advise not to use water dishes in your dragon’s enclosure. They claim that dragons will poop in them, or the water dish will create too much humidity in the enclosure.
I use water dishes in most of my enclosures. First, anything that helps insure my dragon is pooping regularly and not becoming impacted is good for me. I just watch and dump the water, sanitize the bowl and then re-fill it. This only takes a couple of minutes and to me it is worth the time. I use stream distilled water for my dragons, since city and well water can contain chemicals that I think may be harmful to their health. It’s only a dollar a gallon, so the cost is low. As for building up too much humidity, if your enclosure is well-ventilated this should not be a problem. Be sure you are not filling the water level higher than your dragon can lie in and keep its head above the water. Dragons will play in the water, lay in the water and even fall asleep in the water. Besides all that, some of my dragons will actually go drink from the dish. If you are careful, there is no reason to deny your dragon this method of staying hydrated.
Keeping your dragon hydrated is important. There are many ways to help achieve this. Misting their salads with water every day, keeps the salad fresher longer and adds to the water intake of your dragon. I personally don’t feel this is always enough, so I mist my dragons two to three times a day. I picked up a small spray bottle at the dollar store and fill it each day with the distilled water. I enjoy misting my dragons; they’ll lift up their heads and gape their mouths lapping at the water running off the tip of their noses. Or sometimes they will just stretch out and enjoy the feel of the cool water. You’ll know when they have had enough as they’ll just walk away from the spray of the water.
Baths are important also, I give weekly baths to help with hydration and keeping the dragons clean. Use lukewarm water, not hot or cold, about the temperature you would use on a baby. Only fill the tub or sink enough so the water brushes over the sides of your dragon. Please keep an eye on your dragon while it soaks. They could possibly relax, fall asleep and drown if your water level is too high. I use a soft tooth brush to clean stains of poop and food off my dragons. Just rub softly so you don’t abrade their scales. A dragon will often poop in its bath water. When this happens remove the water, clean the tub or sink and re-fill so your dragon can continue its bath. I suggest about 15 minutes of soaking each week. I have never had a dragon become impacted and I believe it is partly because of the baths and water dishes allowing them to relax and release any build-up of feces. It is fun to watch your dragon in the bath, the first bath they may be stressed and swim around a lot trying to get out. They’ll adjust and begin to enjoy them with a little time, swimming gently around and lazing in the water. You’ll also notice a lot of them drinking from the bath water, again helping with hydration.
Remember that your dragon is a cold blooded animal, so making sure the water is lukewarm is important.