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What Do Bearded Dragons Like To Eat? A Diet and Nutrition Guide

What Do Bearded Dragons Like To Eat? A Diet and Nutrition Guide

The Inland Bearded Dragon is the type of lizard most commonly kept as a pet. They are also known as Central Bearded Dragon. This dragon is very popular as they are docile and friendly, and make a great pet for children.

To ensure your bearded dragon is kept happy and healthy, it is important he is fed a nutritious, balanced diet. Bearded dragons, or ‘beardies’ as they colloquially known, enjoy a variety off different foods.

In this blog post, I will talk about the different foods bearded dragons like to eat, what foods to avoid, and how to feed them.

Dr Bobby Ortiz, small and exotic pet vet, posing with a bunny patient

Dr. Bobby Ortiz, M.V.B.

Dr Bobby Ortiz, aka 'Dogtor Bob', is a small animal and exotic veterinarian based in Dublin. He has a strong interest in Small Mammal (rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets) and Reptile medicine and surgery.

He grew up in a family of avid animal lovers, which led him to work as an Aquarist at the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific in California. It was there he decided he wanted to become a vet, and specialise in exotic animals, that needed the same care and medical attention that dogs and cats are given.

He lives with his wife and Brittany Spaniel Bodhi, and has dreams to build a new tropical marine fish tank in the near future!

What To Feed Your Bearded Dragon

Bearded dragons are omnivores, meaning they have a mixed diet of leafy greens and insects. Their diet is dependent upon their age, with hatchlings (also known as ‘juveniles’, under 1 year old) receiving 25% of mixed greens and 75% of appropriately sized live food, such as crickets and mealworms. An adults’ diet should consist of 75% leafy greens and 25% of live insects.

Suitable Leafy GreensSuitable InsectsSuitable Fruits (as treats)
CabbageCricketsApple
Mixed LettuceMealwormsMango
RocketMorio WormsPapaya
KaleWax WormsBanana
DandelionCockroachesWatermelon
Bell peppersEarthwormsGrapes
BroccoliBlackberries
Parsley

Ensure any uneaten insects are removed if they are not eaten after a day.

Always make sure your bearded dragon has access to clean, fresh drinking water. If he doesn’t seem interested in drinking from the shallow bowl of water in his habitat, try lightly misting his fruits and vegetables with clean water.

Do Bearded Dragon Need Food Supplements?

Food supplements are very important for your bearded dragon. They can be used by sprinkling over their food or gut loading insects that they eat. The first supplement that should be given is a general multi vitamin powder such as EXO TERRA Multivitamins Supplement, 30g, and the other being a calcium supplement such as EXO TERRA Reptile Calcium + Vitamin D3, 90g. Calcium deficiency is a major dietary problem in captive reptiles, and can lead to metabolic bone disease. Therefore, it is important these supplements are given to your beardie.

How Often You Should Feed Your Bearded Dragon

Juvenile bearded dragons should be fed every 1-2 days, and mature adults every 2-3 days. Always chop up food for a bearded dragon where possible, and as a rule, live food should be no larger than the half the size of your Bearded Dragon’s head. If your beardie doesn’t finish all his food, try feeding him less next time.

How to Feed Your Bearded Dragon

It is a good idea to prepare food away from your pet where they cannot see you; if they can see food, they may become hyperactive and try to reach the food, which could mean escaping from their enclosure.

Make sure any food you give them is placed in a bowl. Often bearded dragons, particularly juveniles, tend to eat too quickly and indiscriminately, and may inadvertently ingest some of their cage substrate alongside their food if you simply put the food inside their cage. Instead,  put the food in a shallow dish, which can then be put inside the cage when it is mealtime.

bearded dragon looking up from tree branch ps

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