What Do Bearded Dragons Eat? for Balance Diet

What Do Bearded Dragons Eat

Having bearded dragons as pets is fun and cool. They are calm so that you can play with them safely. The Bearded Dragons are very hardy with a lifespan up to 7-12 years. Another thing that makes people love to have these lizards is that they enjoy various foods. However, to keep your bearded dragons healthy, you need to feed them properly.

What do Bearded Dragons Eat in the Wild?

Feeding bearded dragons is pretty easy. They are omnivores so that they eat a wide variety of foods. In the wild, they usually eat a combination of meat and plant. Diet of Bearded dragons in wild consists of a high amount of meat and less amount of fruits and leafy greens. The meat is usually in the form of small animals or insects.

Therefore, you need to give a similar diet to your bearded dragons. It is also important for you to measure the foods in the right amount. Giving them the right foods will not only make them healthy. It will also improve their hardiness. Therefore, they will live longer and you can spend more time with them.

What Vegetables Can Bearded Dragons Eat?

Feeding various vegetables to your bearded dragons will help them getting enough nutrients. However, not all vegetables are good for lizards. You can give certain vegetables daily. Meanwhile, other vegetables are good for occasional feeding.

If you are going to feed some vegetables to your bearded dragons, you can opt for the vegetable listed: Alfalfa, Cactus pear, Cactus leaves, Collard greens, Mustard greens, Butternut squash, Acorn squash, Spaghetti squash, Summer squash, Okra, Green beans, Broccoli, AsparagusCabbage, Parsnip, Kale, Parsley, Turnip greens, Clover, Endive, Celery, Bok Choy, Peas, Sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts.

Among the vegetables listed above, some of them are stapled foods. You can feed them every day to your dragons. These vegetables are alfalfa, cactus pear, and cactus leaves, collard greens, mustard greens, butternut squash, acorn squash, spaghetti squash, summer squash, turnip greens, Dandelion greens, and endive.

Meanwhile, other vegetables are not good for daily or occasional feeding. They are broccoli, peas, parsley, cooked sweet potatoes, and Brussels sprouts.

You must also avoid feeding tomatoes, cauliflower, beets, potatoes, and corns to your bearded dragons. Moreover, the rest of the vegetables in the list above are good for daily or occasional feeding.

When you are feeding those vegetables to these bearded dragons, do not forget to cut them in small cuts. The size must be no more than the gap between the two reptile’s eyes. Therefore, your bearded dragons can eat them easily.

What Fruits Can Bearded Dragons Eat?

Aside from enjoying some vegetables, bearded dragons also love fruits. If you want to feed some fruits for them, you need to peel and cut the fruits in smaller pieces. As a result, these lizards can eat them effortlessly.

You can feed these safe fruits to the bearded dragons: Apple, Papaya, Pears, Peaches, Blackberries, Blueberries, Strawberries, Apricot, Figs, Cranberries, Cherries, Grapefruits, Grapes, Melons, Honeydew, Cantaloupe, Watermelons, Guavas, Mango, Nectarines, Pineapple, Plums.

Other fruits, such as bananas, kiwis, pomegranates, and raspberries should only feed them on an occasional basis because they are not good if bearded dragons eat too much.

They may contain oxalates that prevent calcium absorption. In addition, they may have certain substances that can cause depression.

What Insects Can Bearded Dragons Eat?

Insects play an important role in the bearded dragon diet. They offer essential nutrients to help the beardie stay healthy.

These are bearded dragons favorite insects:

Pinkie Mice – Your bearded dragon can eat mice, it is okay to feed it pinkie occasionally into the mix but remember mice are high in fat and protein and it is not good for healthy bearded dragons and does not add mice into part of regular bearded dragons diet.

Aside from the insects or meat above, you can also feed your bearded dragons with cockroaches, Dubia roaches, and black soldier fly larvae if you want. Let the Bearded Dragons eat those foods for 10 minutes.

If they left some food in the bowl after 10 minutes, you must collect the remaining ones. And, if you decide to feed crickets, locusts, or Dubia roaches, choose ones in bite-size. In addition, you must get the insects and meats from trusted suppliers. It is also important to avoid using worms that are for fishing baits.

Feeding live foods to your bearded dragons can make them happy. While eating, they can chase the foods, you can feed bearded dragon with live foods like Crickets, Locusts, Dubia roaches, Mealworms, Waxworms.

Crickets and locusts are the staple live foods for these Bearded Dragons. Meanwhile, you will likely get difficulty in shopping for roaches. Therefore, you can feed them to your pets occasionally. If you want mealworms or waxworms to feed these bearded dragons, it is important to combine it with other staple foods. Moreover, you must limit the amount and frequency of feeding waxworms to your pets because this live food is rich in fat.

What Do Bearded Dragons Eat

What Bearded Dragon Foods to Avoid?

These Bearded Dragons may be omnivores. But, not all meat, fruits, and vegetables are good for them. The Bearded Dragons need foods that are high in vitamins, calcium, fiber, protein, and carbohydrate. Meanwhile, certain foods have low nutrients and others contain bad substances.

Some of these substances are phosphorus, oxalic acid, and goitrogen. The first two substances can prevent calcium absorption. Meanwhile, the last one can cause depression in bearded dragons. Therefore, you must not feed your bearded dragons with foods that have those substances.

  • Lettuce – Bearded dragons can eat lettuce but lettuce has little to no nutritional value, so it is not recommended.
  • Avocados – Do not ever feed bearded dragons with avocado, because this fruit can cause a toxic reaction to bearded dragons. It may cause the reptile to become ill or even dead.
  • Wheat bran – Wheat bran is high in phosphorus. Therefore, you must not give it to your bearded dragons.
  • Beet greens – This vegetable is rich in oxalic acid that causes calcium deficiency to the lizards. Prolonged calcium deficiency causes bearded dragons to suffer from metabolic bone disease.
  • Spinach – Similar to beet greens, spinach can cause calcium deficiency. As a result, you had better not feeding it to your breaded dragons.
  • Rhubarbs – The oxalic acid found in rhubarbs is very high. If your bearded dragons eat this vegetable, they will suffer from metabolic bone disease.
  • Wild insects – It is common for insects to carry parasites with them. Therefore, bearded dragons can suffer from certain diseases if they eat wild insects.
  • Fireflies – This insect contains is poisonous for bearded dragons. Feeding fireflies to your bearded dragons may kill them.

What Baby Bearded Dragons Eat?

If you are taking care of baby bearded dragons, you must give them the right diet. They have different diets from adult ones. It is because the babies need more protein and fat to grow. In the wild, the baby Bearded Dragons get protein and fat from crickets, locusts, and other live foods.

In consequence, you need to make sure that your baby Bearded Dragons eat enough live foods. They can eat 60 insects in one day. However, you must not serve them in one sitting. The baby bearded dragons need more frequent feedings than the adults do. Therefore, you must divide 60 insects or other staple live foods into several mealtimes. Give the babies a 10-minute period to eat their foods.

Aside from living foods, you must also provide some vegetables and fruits to those babies. You can leave these foods in their cage and let the babies bite them anytime they want. However, the baby bearded dragons may have no appetite for vegetables and fruits until they are 6 months old.

In some cases, baby bearded dragons won’t eat all their foods. If it happens, you don’t need to worry much. It may be that their small tummy is already full. In addition, the foods may be too big and not to their liking. To solve this problem, you need to provide smaller and tastier foods for babies.

What Adult Bearded Dragons Eat?

Foods for adult bearded dragons consist of vegetables or fruits and meats. However, at this age, you will see that they have a change of appetite. They will likely have more appetite for fresh vegetables or fruits than for meats. The reason for this change is that they no longer need lots of fat and protein to grow.

Therefore, you don’t need to provide lots of insects and other meats.

However, in some cases, bearded dragons will not eat vegetables and fruits that you have provided in their cage. It is usually because they are already full of meats.

In order to make sure that they eat many vegetables, you must leave these foods all day in their cage. Moreover, you can add some meat or insects later on.

Since they need fewer insects than baby bearded dragons do, you must limit the number or amount of these foods. Let the adult bearded dragons eat the insects for 10 minutes. And, if there are some leftover insects, you must remember to remove them from the cage.

How Often Should You Feed a Bearded Dragon?

Tips: You need to sprinkle the vegetables and insects with supplements before you give them to the pets. At least 2-3 times a week.

Baby

If you are taking care of baby bearded dragons, you must feed them 3-5 times a day. There are several reasons why you have to feed the baby bearded dragons more often. One of them is that they have more needs for live foods. On the other hand, they have a smaller tummy. Therefore, you must feed them frequently.

Baby Bearded Dragons Diet Schedule
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* example meal schedule, you can adjust

Adult

Meanwhile, adult bearded dragons require less feeding. You can feed the meats or insects once a day once in two days. However, you also need to give Bearded Dragons vegetables and green every day. It is important for you to avoid overfeeding your bearded dragons.

Overfeeding will cause digestive problems. It can also cause the reptile to become fat and unhealthy. Therefore, it is better for you to choose low-fat insects to feed your bearded dragons and avoid rich fat insects.

Like waxworms should be given occasionally and in a small amount. If your bearded dragons are already fat, you can take them to a walk or let them roam your house for several minutes every day.

Adult Bearded Dragons Diet Schedule
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* example meal schedule, you can adjust

Diet of Bearded Dragon Chart by Age

As guidance, you can look at these bearded dragon food chart by age when panning for diet for your bearded dragons.

AgeInsects/MeatsVegetables/Fruits
Baby bearded dragons80%20%
Juvenile bearded dragons50%50%
Adult bearded dragons20%80%

baby bearded dragons diet

juvenile bearded dragons diet

adult bearded dragons diet

Vitamins and Minerals for Bearded Dragons

As the owner of bearded dragons, you have to provide nutritious foods that meet their minerals and vitamin needs. If they don’t get enough minerals and vitamins, they will get a higher risk of suffering from metabolic bone disease.

  • Vitamin A

These pet Bearded Dragons need vitamin A in a moderate amount. Adult bearded dragons that eat enough vegetables and fruits usually don’t need vitamin A supplement. It is because they already get the vitamin from these foods.

Meanwhile, the baby Bearded Dragons get this vitamin from their egg yolks. These egg yolks allow them to get enough vitamin A until they are about six months old. Later on, they will have this vitamin intake from vegetables or fruits. Unfortunately, not all of those fruits are rich in vitamin A.

In consequence, you need to give vitamin A supplement occasionally. If you give it too often, your bearded dragons may suffer from vitamin A toxicity. As an alternative, you can give them beta-carotene supplements instead of vitamin A supplements. If you give the former, the Bearded Dragons will absorb the supplement as vitamin A and won’t suffer from any harm because of this supplement.

  • Vitamin D3

The pet lizards need a large amount of vitamin D3. This vitamin is good for their development and growth. In addition, it helps them avoid metabolic bone diseases. You need to sprinkle the vegetables and insects with this supplement before you give them to the pets.

Baby bearded dragons need more amount of vitamin D than the adult ones. Therefore, it is safe to give the babies this supplement every day. Meanwhile, juvenile bearded dragons need to be given this vitamin 3 times a week while the adult ones need one dose a week.

  • Calcium

This mineral is as important as vitamin D3 since it promotes bone health. In some products, you can find a combination of calcium and vitamin D3 powder. The need for calcium in baby, juvenile, and adult bearded dragons is similar to the need for vitamin D. Therefore, you must give it to the Bearded Dragons in the same dose and frequency.

  • Phosphorous

Bearded dragons need phosphorus in a small amount. In large amounts, this mineral will prevent calcium absorption. Therefore, you need to make sure that your bearded dragons get more calcium than phosphorus. The safest level of calcium and phosphorus intake is 2:1.

  • Iron

This mineral is highly needed by baby bearded dragons because it promotes good development and growth. Iron can be found easily in leafy vegetables. Unfortunately, the baby reptiles are not fond of these foods. Therefore, you need to give iron supplements to your baby bearded dragons if they won’t eat vegetables at all.

  • Calcium Powder

Another supplement that you can give to your bearded dragons is calcium powder. This supplement will help them to avoid metabolic bone disease. When you are giving this supplement, be sure that you give it in the right dose.

You need to sprinkle the foods with calcium powder before you give them to the pets. Recommend 2-3 times per week.

How do Bearded Dragons Digest their Food?

Bearded dragons don’t chew their food so all the food must cut into bite-sized or smaller than their mouths so they can swallow it. Bite-sized help them eat easily and help digestive organs to process the foods.

as reptiles, Bearded dragons must be warm enough in digesting their foods. Therefore, you must bask bearded dragons in the sunshine before feeding them since they cannot produce body heat.

If it is not sunny outside, you can warm them using a UV light. When bearded dragons are not warm enough, they will not be able to digest their food properly. Therefore, they will suffer from digestive problems or take more time to process the food. In normal conditions, the bearded dragon needs 48 hours to digest their food. But, the older ones may need more time for it.

Why are My Bearded Dragons not Eating?

Several things cause bearded dragons not eating their foods.

  • Already full

One of the reasons why baby bearded dragons won’t eat all the foods at the given time is that they are already full. If it happens, you must remove the foods from the cage.

  • Bad food size and taste

In addition, the bearded dragons may not eat because the size of the live foods is too big. Moreover, they may dislike foods. Therefore, it is important for you to offer smaller foods for them. Changing their diet is also a good solution to this problem.

  • Environment and health conditions

Most bearded dragons won’t eat because the temperature is too low or high. Other reasons for this behavior is that they are suffering from certain health conditions, brumation, and shedding skin.

  • Impaction

What kind of substrate are you using? Is it sand or loose wood chips? Your bearded dragon could have accidentally ingested substrate. It’s not recommended to use a loose substrate.

  • Pregnancy

If you have a female bearded dragon over the age of 1 year that shares her tank with a male dragon, she might be pregnant and ready to lay her eggs soon. Gently feel her underbelly and see if it feels lumpy or like small grains of dried rice.

How Long Can Bearded Dragons Go Without Food?

These bearded dragons can go without food days or even months. The length of this period varies between one bearded dragon and the others. It depends on the age and weight of the reptile.

Some bearded dragons can go without food for up to 2 months. When the brumation period bearded dragons can survive without food for several months.

However, baby bearded dragons cannot go without food for a week.

Do Bearded Dragons Need Water?

Bearded dragons can live only with a small amount of water because they are originally from dry and hot environments. In the wild, they usually get water from the plant they eat or from dew. However, it is okay for you to provide a shallow dish of water for the beardies so that they can get enough water.

Don’t store large amounts of water on the tank because the water will evaporate and affect humidity, or you can mist the Bearded dragons once a day so that the beardies get the water from the mist.

A good diet is one of the keys to having healthy bearded dragons. Aside from providing the right food, you must keep the temperature ideal and provide UV light.

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