If you’re looking for a brief guide on the bearded dragon diet, you’re in for a treat!
In today’s article, we’ll walk you through all the information you need to know regarding this topic whether they’re adults or juvenile!
Adult Bearded Dragon Diet
Bearded dragons in general are omnivores, so they can eat fruits, vegetables, insects, and even small animals.
Adult domesticated bearded dragons can easily suffer from obesity due to the lack of movement when compared to their cousins in the wild.
For that reason, their diets should usually be around 25 to 30% of insects and 70 to 75% of fruits and vegetables. This means that feeding them insects once a day is probably enough.
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Juvenile Bearded Dragon Diet
Juvenile bearded dragons are still building their body, so they’ll need a lot more protein than the adult ones.
Ideally, juvenile bearded dragons should get a diet of 50% to 60% insects and 40 to 50% fruits and vegetables.
They can eat up to 60 insects a day on a day, so you’ll need to feed juvenile bearded dragons insects about 3 times a day.
As they get older, you’ll gradually shift them to an adult diet by reducing insect intake, so they don’t get fat.
Food List for Bearded Dragons
Now that you know what both adult and juvenile bearded dragons’ diets should be made of, let’s find out what kind of food is ideal for them.
Most of the following food is ideal for both adult and baby bearded dragons. Make sure you optimize their proportion depending on the bearded dragon’s age.
What Vegetables Can Bearded Dragons Eat?
- Green beans
- Turnip greens
- Sweet potato
- Broccoli (small bits weekly)
- Acorn squash
- Yellow squash
What Fruits Can Bearded Dragons Eat?
Larger fruits that are peeled and cut to bite-friendly sizes are also allowed occasionally, such as:
- Bell peppers
Here’s a list of some of the best live foods for Bearded Dragons to eat:
- Dubia roaches and Cockroaches
- Small Locusts
- King worms
Some insects and worms with very hard exoskeletons are too hard to digest by juvenile bearded dragons.
For that reason, they’re all only fed to adult bearded dragons only, such as mealworms and their larger versions (super worms).
Larger cricket and species also may have hard shells, so they should be only fed to adult beardies only.
Foods to Avoid
While bearded dragons would eat a lot of food elements, there are some that should be avoided. Here’s a quick list of these foods and why you should avoid them:
- Rhubarb, Oak, Chestnut, Buttercup, Daffodils, and Ivy: All of them are extremely poisonous to beardies.
- Glowing Insects: insects that glow in the dark, such as fireflies, are known to be very toxic to almost all reptiles, including bearded dragons.
- Wild Insects: it’s always safer to rely on a trusted commercial source for your beardie’s insects. Wild insects might be riddled with parasites that can make your bearded dragons very ill.
- Fish and Seafood: not only do they provide lower nutritional value than insects to beardies, but they also contain parasites and enzymes that make them ill.
- Avocado: as innocent as an avocado might seem to use, even a small amount can make your bearded dragon seriously ill. Large doses, however, can be fatal.
- Iceberg Lettuce: relying on it as the main vegetable source is a bad idea because it’s mostly water with little nutritional value, leaving your beardie weak with time.
- Beets and Spinach: while they aren’t toxic, they’re better avoided altogether, as they contain elements that cause minerals deficiency.
A varied diet is recommended for bearded dragons to provide them with all the essential nutrients that promote their general health and growth.
However, even with a healthy diet, you might need to add some supplements to their diet to prevent the common calcium deficiency problems among domestic bearded dragons, which usually causes metabolic bone disease.
For that reason, you’ll need to buy calcium supplements and multivitamin supplements for your beardie. They’re sprinkled over the food that they eat.
Similar to regular feeding, a juvenile bearded dragon will need daily doses of these supplements while adult ones may need it a bit less frequently. For example:
- Under 6 months: once a day (try to separate the addition of calcium and vitamins within the same day)
- From 6 to 12 months: day in day out
- Over a year: about 2 to 3 times a week
How to Feed Bearded Dragons
Feeding bearded dragons should be a problem for a healthy one. You can leave fruits and vegetables for bearded dragons in their cage to munch on them freely.
As for insects, they’re added in the form of feeding periods, which would be about 10 to 20 minutes each.
Force-feeding a bearded dragon is possible but it’s done with the vet’s approval. If you notice that your beardie isn’t eating, check the temperature of their habitat. If it’s too cold or too hot for them, they might not eat.
How Much Water Do Bearded Dragons Need a Day?
Ideally, a bearded dragon needs about 10 to 30 ml of water per kg every day. This translates to about two teaspoons of water.
You can provide them with a fresh and shallow dish of clean water, so they remain hydrated. Keep in mind that some veggies have enough water in them to sustain the moisture they need.
If your bearded dragon doesn’t like drinking from a dish, misting the fruits and veggies with clean water should be enough for them.
Tips About Bearded Dragons Diet
Here are some feeding tips regarding bearded dragons’ diet:
- Avoid super soft and sugary fruits because they can easily ferment and cause dental problems to bearded dragons.
- Juvenile bearded dragons can accidentally ingest smaller substrates (like sand) while eating, which can cause impaction and blockage of their digestive tract. Always keep them in large substrates to avoid that.
- You can opt for commercially packaged food for lizards, which are a great way to add variety to the bearded dragon’s diet.
- Make sure that you peel and cut fruits and veggies to the ideal sizes that bearded dragons can bite into.
There you have it. A complete guide with everything you need to know about bearded dragon diet.
Remember, a variety of food is the best way to keep your beardie healthy, so make sure that you give your friend new things to taste every now and then.