It can be overwhelming when it comes to the eating habits of our pets. As pet owners, we all want our pets to be healthy. In recent years, keeping reptiles as pets have been a new trend; one among them which is most loved is the bearded dragon.
Bearded dragons inhabit dry and hot regions of the world and are native to the desert lands of Australia. Being an omnivore doesn’t mean you can feed anything or anytime to your pet dragon. So, when it comes to the eating habits of bearded dragons, they should comprise a balanced diet.
Pet owners have to be responsible and should be able to provide them with the food they can eat to sustain themselves. So, now the question comes what do bearded dragons eat? How to take care of its diet? Let’s get answers to some common queries about bearded dragons’ diets.
What Do Bearded Dragons Eat
Bearded dragons are omnivores. It means they eat both plant-based and animal-based foods. Due to this, they have a wide variety of food options to choose from. They can eat an assortment of fruits, vegetables, insects, and bugs. And yes, all this food is needed by bearded dragons to support their growth.
Bearded dragons are not small lizards, so they need a balanced diet to maintain their health. Too much or too little can harm your reptile’s health, and they must be fed food that will give them the right nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.
Bearded Dragon Diet and Food Chart
The bearded dragon’s diet should include everything to develop the taste bud for different kinds of food and get the maximum benefits. Feeding them the same food every day can also make them bored. It’s good to feed them a different combination of foods every day. Bearded dragons need sufficient proteins, carbohydrates, and fats to support their body weight. So they need to eat many other foods to become exposed to different nutrients because not one food has everything.
To get a bearded dragon’s diet accurate, focus on portions; there are certain points to consider, like:
- How much are you feeding them?
- What foods do they need more?
- What do they need in small quantities?
A well-balanced diet for an adult bearded dragon (18+ months) is 80% vegetables and 20% insects. Fruits should only be given to them 1-2 times per week as treats. You must feed adult bearded dragons only once a day or according to their appetite. But don’t force them to eat.
Juvenile bearded dragons’ (4-12 months) diet should consist of 70% insects and 30% vegetables. You have to feed them 3 times a day. It is because they are still growing and need a lot of food.
Sub-adult (12-18 months) bearded dragons should have a 30% to 70% ratio of insects to veggies. They have to be fed 2 times a day.
For babies (0-4 months), their diet should be 80% insects and 20% vegetables. Baby bearded dragons have to be fed 4-5 times a day. Insects should be the priority in their diet because they need a lot of protein to support their muscle and bone growth.
A bearded dragon food chart should look something like this :
|Leafy greens||collard green, watercress, alfalfa||7 days a week|
|Insects||Example: crickets, dubai roaches||6 days a week|
|Vegetables||Example: carrots, pumpkin, broccoli||4 days a week|
|Vitamins, minerals, and calcium supplements||3 days a weekNOTE: Confer with a Veterinary doctor beforehand.|
|Fruits||Example: strawberry, grapes, kiwi||1 day a week|
Bearded Dragon Food List
Here are foods that are safe to feed your bearded dragon. This bearded dragon food list is compiled based on what foods are healthy and provide enough nutrients for their bodies.
What Fruits Can Bearded Dragons Eat?
Fruits are a source of vitamins and minerals—the essential components your body needs, filled with antioxidants and goodness. They are sweet and juicy and make great treats to give your pet occasionally.
Fruits are good for bearded dragons but should not be given daily. It is because fruits are sweet and have high fructose. Too much sugar can be addicting and cause health problems for your pet as they grow older.
Keep in mind feeding fruits to bearded dragons only once every week. Fruits should make up 10% of their whole diet.
Fruits to feed your bearded dragon:
What Vegetables Do Bearded Dragons Eat?
Veggies are essential for the body as they contain fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They keep your bearded dragon healthy and fit and provide enough calories for your lizard to say full for a duration of time.
Leafy greens are rich in calcium, which is essential for bearded dragons. Calcium deficiency can cause bearded dragons to develop Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD). This disease can have devastating effects on your bearded dragon if it progresses very quickly.
Green beans, bell peppers, potato, peas, carrots, pumpkin, and okra are vegetables that should be given 2-3 times per week in small quantities. It is because they have low nutritional value and instead have high traces of phosphorus in them.
Some vegetables, like broccoli, and tomatoes, will have a high phosphorus content. So, these must be given with great care to bearded dragons. Feeding them foods high in phosphorus can cause the phosphorus to bind with the calcium and stop it from getting absorbed by the body, leading to a calcium deficiency in their systems.
Feed your reptile foods with high calcium and low phosphorus ratio. It is more beneficial for your pet and has many more advantages.
Make it a habit to include vegetables of different colors in a bearded dragon’s diet. It refers to the rainbow diet and will ensure that they are exposed to varying nutrients by eating vegetables and fruits of different colors.
Vegetables to feed your bearded dragon:
Leafy veggies to feed your bearded dragon:
What Bugs and Insects Can Bearded Dragons Eat?
The best food for bearded dragons is insects. Originating from the wild and being carnivorous reptiles, bearded dragons rely on insects and bugs for their meat and protein. Live foods are a true treasure, and bearded dragons love them. Feeding the live insects can also stimulate their hunting instincts. It is good because it will keep them physically active, mentally happy, and healthy.
Crickets, dubai roaches, and goliath worms are a staple in a bearded dragon’s diet.
Mealworms, waxworms, butterworms, silkworms, earthworms, and phoenix worms should be given once a week. These insects are fatty insects and high in calories, and eating too many can cause your bearded dragon to put on weight or have heart issues.
Bugs and Insects to feed your bearded dragon:
What Bearded Dragon Can’t Eat?
You might think that bearded dragons could eat almost anything, but no. They have food restrictions as well. Not all food that looks good means it will be good. Some foods can be toxic, cause stomach upsets, induce vomiting, and make your dragon sick. We have to be careful what we are feeding them.
Do not feed them insects caught in the wild. They may be poisonous, have harmful parasites, or carry unknown diseases. Always buy them from a pet store; they are safe to feed and are made especially for this purpose.
Foods not to feed your bearded dragon:
Tips on Feeding Your Bearded Dragon
Set a Routine With Your Pet
Create a feeding schedule for your bearded dragon. Once you do this a few times, they will start to get familiar with it and expect food at that time only. This way, you will also not overfeed your bearded dragon.
Grow a Small Garden
Growing your fruits and vegetables will be great. The produce is always fresh, clean, and organic. They can bring down the cost of heaving to buy a regular supply for your bearded dragon. There is also no use of pesticides and other chemicals that could endanger your pet’s health if consumed.
Keep Some Pet Food
Have dry food handy. Bearded dragon food sold commercially comes in the form of pellets. You can buy it at any pet store. Pellets are a good option if you don’t have any supplies or are in an emergency. They are packed with protein, vitamins, and minerals. Your bearded dragon can survive a few days eating this. Though, don’t get used to it. It is only a temporary solution. Fresh food is always the best to feed your lizard.
Use Supplements to Give an Extra Boost
You can sprinkle calcium, vitamin, and mineral powder supplements on your bearded dragon’s food and feed them. It will ensure they get the amount of calcium and other nutrients their body needs. Consult a vet before proceeding with this step, and follow your doctor’s prescription.
Bearded dragons have a whole range of foods they can eat. These foods are very good for your bearded dragon and provide healthy nutrients. So, the answer to what do bearded dragons eat is they can eat fruits, vegetables, and insects. They should have a balanced diet to keep fit. Not having this can make them sick and malnourished or lose weight.
They are some foods that bearded dragons can’t eat. Keep these foods away from them. Bearded dragons are sensitive reptiles, and they can fall sick very easily. It is best to stick to the foods they like to eat. They are healthy and beneficial and support their lifestyle.
Remember that as bearded dragons grow, their diet also shifts. They will need more of one food and less of the other. You will need to be aware and make the necessary changes to ensure their food is not lacking. Once you get these basics in order, you are well on becoming a capable bearded dragon owner.