We’ll talk about the bearded dragon diet in this article. The bearded dragon has become one of the most neglected pet reptiles as a result of the fact that many people do not feed them, which is a problem. Don’t worry though; in this article, we’ll discuss their entire diet as well as all the other items you can give them.
Basics of the diet for bearded dragons
Let’s first go through the basics of the diet for bearded dragons. The first thing to know is that bearded dragons are omnivores, which specifically means they will consume both plant and animal stuff.
Bearded dragons can technically consume mammal-based meat products like pinky mice and other creatures you would find in the wild, but that’s not really the case. As implied by their name, they are largely insectivorous.
Just a brief note: This diet advice especially addresses the nutritional requirements for an adult bearded dragon. However, in addition to a range of insects, they can also consume a variety of vegetables and fruit.
My bearded dragon was actually a rescue, therefore ever since I acquired him, he has been an adult. Fortunately, I’ve never had the experience of caring for him when he was a tiny, bratty baby.
However, there are variations among bearded dragons of various ages. The primary source of nutrition for young bearded dragons is insects, however, adults type of have a more plant-based diet, which is what my bearded dragon receives.
Feed vegetables to a bearded dragon
First of all, a lot of people find it to be quite boring since, of course, as humans, we enjoy seeing live animals devouring other live animals. However, I can offer you a few examples of how crucial veggies are for the health of your bearded dragon.
When I mention greens, I don’t mean lettuces; rather, I mean things like turnip greens, mustard greens, collard greens, and things of that nature. Bearded dragons are known to really enjoy eating greens. Because lettuce has such a poor nutritional value and a water content that is far too high, it effectively causes your bearded dragon to feel sick with diarrhea and is therefore not good for him.
As an alternative, you need to give them a lot of wholesome greens, such as those I just described plus a few of the ones I’ve included below. In order to write this article, I have some young arugula and turnip greens on hand.
Therefore, when giving veggies, use the greens as sort of the base of the vegetable portion. You can also include other veggies, such as cooked squash, shredded carrots, zucchini, and a variety of other things, in addition to those mentioned above.
They also require some fruits as part of their plant-based diets. Fruit can now be considered more of a treat. Therefore, you should only offer them very, very modest amounts of fruit; it shouldn’t account for more than 10% of their daily calories.
Bearded dragons typically enjoy sweet foods like blueberries and anything else that is sweet because it basically entices them more. Strawberries, pears, apples, and blueberries are some of my favorite food suggestions. They absolutely adore blueberries, I promise.
Feed insects to a bearded dragon
They enjoy eating insects, therefore here are several that they can consume. Super worms come first. Super worms are an example of a bug that they can consume; they cannot consume crickets, but they can consume dubia roaches, as well as other roaches like red runner roaches, wax worms on occasion as a treat, hornworms, silkworms, and a variety of other insects.
So, all of the insects I just listed as feeders are absolutely safe, but I need you guys to swear not to go outside and collect insects for your bearded dragon.
There are several reasons you should not do this, including the fact that you are unsure whether the pesticides in your yard or the pests in your yard have come into touch with pesticides.
Because of the toxins they contain, pesticides have the potential to seriously harm your bearded dragon. For the same reason, you shouldn’t walk outside and choose random plants for your bearded dragon.
Another factor is that you are unsure of whether the bugs are deadly or venomous.
The bug may first respond by fighting back, which could result in your bearded dragon suffering an injury. Many bearded dragons have been known to perish after accidentally eating a toxic bug while outside without their owner’s knowledge. Some bugs, like fireflies, contain poison inside of them.
Feeder insects are actually very reasonably priced, and you can get some online to be delivered to your home or shop for them at your neighborhood pet store.
You should always ensure that your bearded dragon receives the proper supplements at each meal when feeding it any type of food.
Toxics you should never ever allow your bearded dragon to eat
Now that we’ve covered some of the things you can give your bearded dragon, I’m going to list a few that are extremely toxic and that you should never ever allow your bearded dragon to eat.
I’ve already said about the random plants and bugs we discovered outside are a total no. Avoid doing that; as I said, it might be quite deadly.
Dairy products are another thing you should avoid. Despite being omnivorous, they do not necessarily consume anything and everything.
There is no point in giving them dairy goods like cheese or milk because they can’t truly digest them.
Naturally, there are plants that can be poisonous to them. As you probably already know, common vegetables like rhubarb and avocado are actually quite dangerous for most animals and should never be given to bearded dragons.
Lettuces are another vegetable you should avoid, as I already mentioned. Any type of lettuce is incredibly low in nutrients for bearded dragons and is also extremely watery, which might lead to digestive problems.
You probably already know that bearded dragons require a lot of calcium in their diet, but some plants have an effect known as binding calcium. Spinach is a particular example of this. Enzymes that bind calcium are present in the spinach plant itself.
If your bearded dragon accidentally ate one spinach leaf, nothing would happen, but if you feed a bearded dragon spinach every day, its diet will be seriously ruined.
Kale is another item; nevertheless, some people argue that just a limited amount is risk-free. Others claim that it is harmless when consumed in high quantities. Since it binds calcium similarly to spinach, I simply have to avoid it.
Kale’s only advantage is that it is dark leafy green with a lot of nutrients. However, this quality and a lot of controversies make it less desirable. I just advise staying away from it because there are so many alternatives and fully secure solutions you may choose from.
If you didn’t already know, hornworms are among the best feeder insects you can provide to any reptile since they are thick and juicy, packed with calcium, and have a tonne of other nutrients.
Hornworms are not commonly consumed by bearded dragons, especially not adults. But every two or three days, you can offer hornworms to bearded dragons.
The bearded dragon’s diet will become unbalanced if its hornworm intake is too high. Like with people, feeding your bearded dragon properly requires moderation.
How many times per day should we be feeding our bearded dragons?
This gentleman has an issue that he has a job he has to go to and said that he cannot feed his bearded dragon the three times a day that the pet shop told him these dragons had to be fed.
That is not true at all. Dragons do not require three times a day feeding.
Remember dragons are opportunistic animals- they feed when the opportunity presents itself in the wild.
Now, in captivity, we do say feed them as often as you can, especially when they’re young and they’re growing. But we understand people do have to go to jobs, they have to go to school. So we’re going to share a couple of tips with you real quick that will help you out.
Now one of the things that we always do here and we also recommend is if you’re gonna feed your dragons vegetables, do that first thing in the morning.
If you give the average bearded dragon the choice between insects and vegetables, they’re always going to choose insects over vegetables. So for that reason we give them the vegetables first thing in the morning when they wake up, their lights have been on for a few minutes, and they’re hungry.
We go ahead and let them eat their vegetables like collard greens, mustard greens, and turnip greens. We sprinkle a little calcium powder on there and if you want to save time, you could make up a week’s supply of bearded dragon salad and just keep it in the refrigerator and give them a little bit every morning on your way out to school or to work.
Then when you come home in the afternoon offer them their insects. Remember to feed them about an hour before their lights go out.
You don’t want your dragon going to sleep and the temperature dropping at night with a lot of food in its stomach. So, guys, we hope this has been beneficial information for you.
Also, read Reptiles That Act Like Dogs [5 Cool Reptiles].
Comment down below what are your experiences with feeding your bearded dragon. Also, let me know if you guys have any questions or concerns I will also get to you there if you leave them in the comments. So thank you guys so much for reading.