Do Skinks Drink Water? {How You Can Help}

I was worried when I never saw my skink drinking any water. Do skinks drink water?

What can I do to help make them drink? Should I give my skink a bath?

In this article we will run through some common facts about skinks and water with plenty of tips to assist along the way.

Do Skinks Drink Water?

Yes. Skinks should be supplied with fresh, clean drinking water every day. The water in these dishes needs to be changed frequently since many reptiles frequently commonly defecate in them after soaking.

Skinks can absorb water via their skin. They might take a bath instead of drinking to keep hydrated.

Wild skinks frequently restrict their metabolism in the cooler months as a result of brumation during lower temperatures and less availability of food and water. During this time, they may not drink, eat or poop much or not at all.

Do Skinks Need to Get Wet?

Yes. Their substrate doesn’t need to be completely drenched in water, but it should have some moisture in it.

Skinks demand a relatively humid atmosphere. The humidity level in the tank does not have to be kept at a particularly high level, nor is constant misting required like it is in other types of reptile enclosures.

The humidity in the tank should be maintained by the damp substrate, but you should also provide your skink access to a bowl of water.

Get a water dish that is shallow and large enough for your skink to lie down in and place it in the tank.

How Do Skinks Absorb Moisture?

Skinks, like many other lizards absorb moisture through their skin. Sure, they can drink water too, but their skin plays a larger role in hydration.

They have networks of small tube-like channels beneath their scales, which cover their whole bodies and extend throughout.

These tubes direct water across the lizard’s body and into the corners of its mouth, where it is subsequently ingested. The water is eventually expelled from the body.

Skinks don’t even need to drink much water since they can absorb it through their skin. This is in contrast to other species, who have developed mechanisms to extract water from the food they consume.

Are skinks dangerous? Let me try to explain this the best way possible.

How Long Can Skinks Go Without Water?

A skink in good health may go for months without drinking any water. This is because they are constantly looking for moisture in the ground.

We provide our blue-tongued skink with a damp substrate that allows him to absorb moisture through his skin. When the weather gets colder, he naturally begins slowing down. This is where my answer really makes sense.

As their metabolism slows down when it gets cold, skinks, like many other lizards with to enter brumation.

This is a form of hibernation where you may not see your skink drinking water or eating much. They will act sluggish and wish to be left alone. During these months, it’s normal for them to not drink water.

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Do I Leave Water Out for the Blue Tongued Skinks?

Yes. Leaving weather in a dish for skinks of any species is a good idea. We not only provide them with a damp or moist substrate, but we make the effort to change his water dish daily.

This is because we find that our blue-tongued skin is constantly going into the dish to:

  • Assist with shedding
  • Defecate
  • Play
  • Regulate temperature
  • Absorb moisture

Once the dish is soiled after a day or play and poop, it’s important to change the water, dump it out and replace it with fresh water for cleaning and bathing purposes.

Can I Give My Blue Tongue Skink a Bath?

Sort of. You don’t have to do anything to actually bathe your skink besides providing a dish with water. Let them do all the work.

There is no action required in the form of:

  • scrubbing
  • brushing
  • cleaning your skink

Just let them enjoy the water in a dish or bowl at their own accord. They will enjoy the moisture as they soak it up through their skin, drink it and bathe in it and most likely relieve themselves in there too.

This is all a part of the normal princess where life with skinks becomes easy to care for. Just don’t forget to replace the water each day for another fun day of bathing for your skink.

UVB lighting is also an important topic when caring for skinks. Find out more on this here.

Why is My Skink Not Drinking Water?

Do not be too concerned when you notice that your skink is not drinking water. They are absorbing moisture through damp substrates. You won’t even have to mist your skink. Just give it some time.

Skinks may not drink water when they feel:

  • Nervous
  • Shy
  • Skittish
  • Unaware of a new territory
  • The water is dirty
  • They don’t have privacy

My blue-tongued skink didn’t want to drink water around us for the first 2 weeks. We left him alone.

Most importantly, we provided more spaces for him to hide. Inspect the feces to make sure it isn’t hard or dry. If it is, then they might be dehydrated. Provide more moisture in the substrate.

How do they drink? Do skinks use their teeth or even have teeth? Let me try to open up this topic with this article. 

How To Help A Shy Skink Drink

You might start by positioning the food and water fairly near to their hiding spot and observe whether or not the skink takes any. If it’s only been a few days without drinking, this behavior is not too out of the ordinary.

It is best to give them some space and quiet for a few days without handling him for approximately two weeks.

Keep providing water and food and do not try misting or forcing them to drink while letting them hide.


It’s absolutely normal to be concerned about your skink who is not drinking water in front of you. They are shy around us sometimes and need to feel secure enough to enjoy their own space in peace.

All we can do is provide clean and fresh water daily along with meals to enjoy. The adjustment process is natural and colder months are also normal times for skinks to abstain from drinking much water.

They will continue to absorb it through their skin as well. Thank you for your concern and we hope our experience and knowledge on this topic helps you.


Thank you for visiting for the best information to help you enjoy the life of your pocket pet companion in a fun, safe & healthy way.


My name is Anna and I work full time in my local pet shop where we sell many animals that I write about on this site. I love all animals and love writing about them.