The 5 Best Water Dishes For Your Reptiles

Written by Alan Lemus
Updated: September 7, 2022

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Water is, perhaps, nature’s most pleasant gift to the ecosystem. It’s an incredible substance, the key to survival and an essential resource for overall well-being. From green plants, and fresh foods to clean beaches and hydrated bodies, water is indeed life. Whether you agree or not, the hype around water is real.

Reptiles aren’t left out of the abundant goodness of water. It makes up about two-thirds of the weight of an average reptile. Water is essential for the normal functioning of both internal and external body processes such as shedding and the operations of the cells and organs.  Some reptiles, like frogs and salamanders, react quickly to the lack of water in their natural habitat. Others, like desert reptiles, don’t seem to be quite as picky, but they still need to meet their water requirement.

Unlike mammals, reptiles usually absorb water through their skin. As such, they can take a bath instead of drinking to stay hydrated.

For instance, house lizards can go 10 to 30 days without food if they have constant access to water. If you take water away from them, they can only persevere for a maximum of three days. They would pass away from dehydration before they would ever experience hunger.

Beyond the bodily benefits of water to reptiles, their food chain is dependent on rain because it guarantees that the young ones have access to prey. It might also interest you to note that mating and egg incubation rely heavily on the availability of water in the environment.

As a responsible pet reptile owner, you want to give your pet the best possible care, nutrition, and feeding gear. This starts with choosing the best water bowls after the enclosure. Clean water should always be available in a stable and accessible bowl. 

As the market gets more saturated, you’re presented with more options than ever. How do you know the best water dishes to buy for your reptiles? Here’s a well-researched list of the best water dishes to assist you in selecting the best for your pet.

#1 Best Overall: Exo Terra Reptile Water Dish

The Exo Terra Reptile Water Dish is our best choice for a water dish for your pet reptile. With its solid rocklike appearance, neutral color, and smooth, interior, this water dish fits into any terrarium with ease. It is not only made from food-grade resin, but it also features a coated nonporous surface that prevents bacteria accumulation and makes cleaning easy.

It’s perfect for reptiles like lizards, bearded dragons, chameleons, tortoises, aquatic turtles, and snakes.

Thanks to its safety steps, insects, smaller reptiles, and amphibians can simply climb out without drowning.  Larger reptiles cannot easily topple the Exo Terra Reptile Water Dish due to its stability. 

According to one user, this product works great and is suitable for their leopard geckos. “It also provides a rough texture to rub against to aid shedding,” they added.

Best Overall
Exo Terra Reptile Water Dish
  • Fts into any terrarium with ease
  • Safety steps to prevent smaller reptiles or amphibians from accidentally drowning
  • Can't be toppled by larger pets
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#2 Best For Aesthetics: Boao Leaf Reptile Food and Water Bowls

Here’s one for those who live for aesthetics. These cute little dishes from  Boao are at a point where aesthetics meets functionality. Excellent for all species of tortoises as well as, snakes, lizards, and other small reptiles, they offer your pets a neat and orderly dining environment. However, ensure you check the measurements because they could be too small for certain sizes of species.

They come in small and large sizes, so you can choose what suits your pet reptile’s needs. Not to mention that they’re made of high-quality plastic free of cracks and rough edges.

Their striped patterns and smooth surfaces make them easy to clean and dry up quickly after washing. This product works well for any reptile that eats dry food or fruits and veggies.

“These were exactly what we needed for our young tortoise,” a couple remarked about the Boao Leaf Reptile Food/Water Bowls. “We don’t have to worry about him drowning in deeper dishes.”

Best For Aesthetics
Boao Leaf Reptile Food and Water Bowls
  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Multiple sizes
  •  Easy to clean and dry up quickly after washing
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#3 Best Option With Suction: SLSON Acrylic Ledge Suction Cup Reptile Feeder

Equipped with a powerful suction cup, 20 food-grade replacement plastic dishes, two slots for feeding, and water bowls, this reptile feeder is made of high-quality food-grade plastic and is ideal for small reptiles that enjoy climbing.

The best part? Its suction cap is quite unique because it can be secured and screwed into place, making it hold firmly. To use it, you have to wipe the surface of your terrarium tank first. After which you can unscrew the nut from the suction cup, attach the suction cup, and then tighten the nut on this reptile feeder.

Got a full-grown gecko? You should be extra careful because this product can wobble if the gecko tries to stand and eat from it. 

A user bought this for her crested geckos and expresses satisfaction.” I was reluctant to buy this item because I often avoid reptile supplies with suction cups, however, the suction cup on this item is really powerful and my herp absolutely loves it.”

Best Option With Suction
SLSON Acrylic Ledge Suction Cup Reptile Feeder
  • Feeder made of high-quality, food-grade plastic
  • Suction cup means it will hold firmly
  • Ideal for small pets that like to climb
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#4 Best Value For Money:  Zoo Med Repti Rock Reptile Rock Food & Water Dishes

These plates are manufactured with a smooth, hygienic non-porous surface that won’t breed bacteria and are extremely durable. Given that you get a meal and water dish for less money than most single food or water dishes, it offers great value for money. The dishes can also be stacked for easy storage.

This product has an authentic appearance that blends nicely with the majority of natural terrarium or enclosure designs. It also comes in various sizes to satisfy your pet’s needs. 

It’s recommended to go for the medium size because the small size might be too shallow to hold water.

A regular user of Zoo Med reptile supplies was pleased to have bought this product for their beardie. In their words, “it’s an overall superb product. It’s easy to clean and highly durable.”

Best Value For Money
Zoo Med Repti Rock Reptile Rock Food & Water Dishes
  • Smooth, hygienic non-porous surface prevents bacteria
  • Will fit in well in any terranium
  • Great value for money
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#5 Best For Corners: Fluker’s Reptile Corner Bowl

As a corner bowl, it can fit in the corner of any terrarium, giving enough space for your pet to move around without restraint. This product is versatile and ideal for the majority of reptile species including snakes and beardies.

Unlike the smooth interior, the exterior has a rather rough feel which makes it difficult to clean. 

A user loves two things about this corner bowl: It’s the perfect size for his beardie and it’s sturdy. 

Best For Corners
Fluker’s Reptile Corner Bowl
  • Can fit in the corner of any terrarium; great for space
  • Ideal for the majority of reptile species
  • Sturdy
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Choosing The Best: What To Look For

Usability

It’s recommended to clean water dishes regularly to avoid bacteria buildup. Thus, ensure you choose a product that is made of sturdy and easy-to-clean material. Ceramic and plastic materials are good options to consider. 

Price

As always, budget plays a key role. While it’s true that water dishes are important in herpetoculture, make sure you choose a product that’s within your budget and offers good value for money. 

Size

The size of water dishes is another factor to consider when selecting the most suited option for your pet reptile. For some, the optimal bowl is just large enough to totally cover the reptile. For others, the ideal size is one that is shallow enough to prevent them from drowning. 

Best Water Dishes for Reptiles: Pros and Cons Compared

Best Overall

Pros!Cons!
It’s extremely stableIt’s heavy
Its natural look fits easily into any terrariumIt could lose its paint
It might be small for some snake species.

Best For Aesthetics

Pros!Cons!
It has an appealing design.The size could be bigger.
It’s accessible to less mobile critters.

Best Option With Suction

Pros!Cons!
It’s easy to clean.The bowls might be too deep for small reptiles.
It offers value for money.It generates more waste than the typical reptile bowls.
The suction cup is sturdy.

Best Value For Money

Pros!Cons!
It’s made from durable materials.The color may be different.
It’s worth the price.

Best For Corners

Pros!Cons!
It’s durableIt’s heavy.
It can be used for food or water.

Verified Review: User Experience

Great functionality is the selling point of the Exo Terra Reptile Water Dish. A user shares his experience: “This water dish was thoughtfully designed for amphibians and reptiles. Smaller creatures will appreciate the tiny steps that extend from the water dish. My pet white tree frogs are young, and they enjoy splashing around and clinging to the edge of the water dish. It is easy to clean. I really don’t do much cleaning; I just lightly wipe it down with a paper towel every other day and then give it a thorough cleaning every few weeks. To prevent tipping, it is nicely weighty as well.”

About the Author

Alan is a freelance writer and an avid traveler. He specializes in travel content. When he visits home he enjoys spending time with his family Rottie, Opie.

The 5 Best Water Dishes For Your Reptiles FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Do lizards need a water dish?

Nothing is more important in keeping a reptile than providing an easily accessible, clean water source. In fact, water is the most important nutrient. Here’s what you need to know: It is best to provide water in a large shallow dish.

How long can lizards survive without water?

Depending on the situation, house lizards with constant water sources can live between 10 to 30 days without food. However, they can only hold up to a maximum of three days with no water. Before they would even feel hunger, they would die out of dehydration.

Can you give reptiles tap water?

Most tap water is fine for reptiles. Filters improve taste and remove particulate contaminants, so if you have a problem with these, a filter is the way to go