What Should You Feed Your Bearded Dragon

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It is very important to understand what the bearded dragons eat as the owner is an aspiring one. Choosing the right diet for your dragon will have a huge impact on your pet’s health and happiness, which makes it crucial to get it right. Sometimes coming up with the right diet for feeding your dragons might be a bit overwhelming due to a variety of foods to choose from.  This article seeks to guide you on the perfect diet and foods you can feed your bearded dragon and be assured of healthy living.

Why is it important to have a good diet?

The bearded dragons need to be fed a good diet to stay healthy and generally live a quality life like any other animal. A good diet also helps improve the coloring vibrancy, and it also helps the animal maximize its lifespan.

Bearded Dragon food and diet

Whenever you domesticate a dragon, it should be fed with the food it would have eaten in the wild. These include vegetables, meat, fruits, greens, and weeds.  However, as these animals age, the diet change since what it was fed as a young one will change in adulthood.  For instance, the amount of meat that is the insect that you feed the dragon as it grows will reduce when it gets old.

Insects to feed the dragons

 The bearded dragons will want to feed on any insects that it comes across. The insects are important in the diet of the dragons, especially the young ones, and this means that it is important to ensure your dragon is fed in insects and the correct amount, type, and species to remain healthy.

The favorite insects

  • Black soldier fly larvae
  • Butterworts
  • Cockroaches
  • Crickets 
  • Dubai roaches
  • Earthworms
  • Locusts
  • Red worms 
  • Super worms

As stated earlier that the bearded dragon will want to feed on any insects does not mean it is all insects that are healthy for these animals to feed on. It is your responsibility as the owner to ensure that these insects are feeding on the right insects.

Insects to Avoid

  • Fireflies
  • Elder bugs
  • Venomous insects, such as bees, wasps, and scorpions
  • Any insects that glow
  • Insects you found outside 
  • Insects sold as bait for fishing 
  • Insects found inside your home

Whenever you are feeding your bearded dragon, it is important to ensure they feed on as many bugs as possible during the first 15 minutes. After this time, do not let them feed; just collect the remaining ones and save them for the next time, but if you allow them to continue, you will risk the dragon overfeeding, or the insects will have time to hide in the tank.

Ensure you get your insects for the dragons from a feeder insect supplier. Do not feed your dragon with insects you find outside or inside your property, such as the house, since they can be harmful sometimes.

Fruits to feed the Bearded Dragons

These reptiles feed on a wide variety of fruits, but they should be regulated. As an owner, you should not feed them with fruits every day since they contain a lot of sugar which may end up causing obesity to them. Too much of the fruits can also raise their yeast levels.  It is also advisable to avoid some fruits such as citrus fruits because they can bring stomach problems to the dragon. Some of the favorite fruits include the

  1. Figs
  2. Guava
  3. Watermelon
  4. Apples
  5. Mango
  6. Papaya
  7. Strawberries
  8. Grapes
  9. Raspberries
  10. Dates
  11. Peaches
  12. Blueberries
  13. Apricots
  14. Plums
  15. Kiwi
  16. Pears
  17. Raisins
  18. Apricots

It is also advisable to avoid feeding the soft fruits regularly since they contain too much sugar and can ferment and end up causing teeth problems. They should be fed maybe once a month.

Feeding the vegetables to your Bearded Dragons

Plants and vegetables are important in the diet of a bearded dragon. However, it is worth noting that vegetables should be fresh since many frozen ones lose their nutritional value. Mostly the bearded dragons will prefer feeding on veggies and greens raw, but if they are too hard, you can consider cooking them so that they are soft enough for the dragons to eat them with ease.  However, you should be careful and ensure the cooked veggies are at temperatures that will not hurt them.

There are a variety of plants and vegetables that are safe and healthy for the bearded dragons to consume, but there are the favorites among them. They include squash, collard greens, bell peppers, mustard greens, and seedless watermelon. It is advisable to mix up the dragons’ diet over and over since adding varieties increases the animal’s appetite.

What weeds do bearded dragons eat?

  1. Plantain
  2. Dandelion
  3. Plantain
  4. Catsear
  5. Dead nettle

What the Bearded dragons cannot eat

The listed item in this article is the best and safe to feed the dragons, but there are some things that you need to avoid feeding your dragons to ensure they live a healthy life.  This is because these animals are not picky, and they are likely to feed on anything that comes their way, even the harmful ones; it is, therefore, your responsibility to ensure they eat only the recommended ones and in the correct amount. However, in case your dragon eats them and gets sick, just seek veterinary services from an expert. Some of them include;

  • Onion
  • Chives
  • Celery
  • Mushrooms
  • Lemons- this cirrus fruit should never be fed to the bearded dragons since they will upset their tummies.
  • Orange- it will also upset the tummy since it is a citrus fruit.
  • Spinach and beet tops- Some say that these two can be fed but in small quantities, but they contain the chemicals that can cause a deficiency of calcium and, in the end, cause metabolic bone disease.  A small quantity may have no harm, but it is not worth risking, and therefore it is advisable to avoid them completely.
  • Insects captured in the wild – The wild insects might contain some parasites that can be harmful to the reptiles, such as the bearded dragon. The exotic pet shops should have the liv and dead insects for your dragon. It would be very difficult to find enough wild insects in some places.
  • Fireflies – You should never feed a firefly to a bearded dragon any glowing insect since they are very toxic and can easily cause death to the reptile.
  • Avocados – The avocados contain some chemicals that are harmful to bearded dragons.
  • Rhubarbs- The rhubarbs contain a high percentage of oxalic acid, which can be extremely poisonous for bearded dragons.

You should also not give your dragons any fish or seafood such as the prawns. The bottom line of this is when you find out that you are not sure about some food, then do not feed them to your pet at all.

What do baby Bearded dragons eat?

The bearded dragon is considered babies at the age of birth up to five months.

The baby bearded dragons will require more insects than the plant matter in their diet, and the feeding should be done more regularly. They can be fed even three times a day.

If you leave vegetables and some greens inside the cage you have kept them, they will feed on them whenever they want, and you can add insects over three 10 to 15 minutes feeding periods.

The young bearded dragons can eat any insects at this point, but it is also fine if they stop eating. This means they are full, and it is high time you clear any insect left and start again after a few hours. As the young ones become of age and enter adulthood, the diet changes, and they now can feed on fewer insects, or they risk getting obese.

What SHOULD juvenile dragons eat?

A juvenile bearded dragon is considered to be between five months to 17 months. At this age, the animal’s diet should contain 5o percent of insects and 5o percent plant matter. The juveniles can be fed two to three times a day.  The juveniles still need to be fed with calcium-rich food more than the adults, but it should not be as much as the babies do. It is advisable to dust the juvenile’s food with the calcium-rich supplement three to four times a week.  It is, however, important to always consult a qualified veterinary officer whenever you have a nutritional or healthy question about your juvenile since they are very tricky on dieting. This is because this is a middle phase that may confuse.

What do adult bearded dragons eat?

The adult dragon is defined as 18 months and above old. There are a few things you will need to note when it comes to the adult dragon. When we talk about an adult dragon, it means this reptile has reached maturity and therefore does not need much protein for growth as the juveniles would need.  At this stage, the diet should contain 80 percent of plant materials and 20 percent insects just to supplement.  When you keep feeding the adult bearded dragons with a lot of proteins from insects, they are likely to become obese since they are aging and do not get enough exercise like those in the wild.

Whenever calcium is lacking in the diet of any reptiles, it becomes very dangerous since they suffer metabolic diseases. It is therefore important to add some calcium supplements to the food you are giving your bearded dragons. It is recommended that you regularly sprinkle the calcium supplements in the food you are feeding your bearded dragon at least three times a week.

 You should also dust their food with a general reptile mineral supplement once a week.  It is important to note that the supplement should not be mixed, and this means that each supplement should be added separately.  You can also dust your live insects or vegetation. You can achieve this by putting them in a container and sprinkling them with calcium supplements and multivitamins into the insects. Then you can gently shake the container to ensure the insects are covered with the supplements.

How frequently should bearded dragons eat?

The basic thing is first understanding the feeding cycle of these animals. The bearded dragons are usually active during the day and asleep during the night. This does not mean they spend the whole day feeding; in fact, they feed once or twice a day since overfeeding may lead to illness.  If you check properly, the adult dragons are likely to feed once a day while the young feed twice.

Animal-based proteins for the bearded dragons

While the bearded dragons are in the wild, they are very resourceful foragers, and they consume a ton of small bugs’ such as beetles and grubs. However, the research has shown that termites provide the best nutrition for them. This is because of what the termites’ gut load on and their natural calcium supply.

For the domesticated dragon, it will be difficult o get them the gut-loaded termites, and this means that you will need to look for an alternative source of these nutrients. It might look like a good idea to catch the wild bugs from your compound, but this may not be the best choice since they may turn to be harmful to the dragons as a result of pesticides and fertilizers in the soil.

Alternatively, it is advisable to look for farm-raised insects from your local pet shop or raise the insect by yourself. This will ensure their bugs are free from any harmful chemicals, and it will allow them to live their best lives.

What should you do YOUR bearded dragon is not eating?

There is a common cause of the bearded dragons failing to eat, and they include the temperatures being too high or too low through wrong setup, impaction that is caused by shedding skin, ingesting loose substrate, stress, and parasites. Another reason why the dragons may be losing appetite is due to brumation.

However, not all the time the dragon loses appetite means that there is something wrong. Sometimes they get so full, and they might go for a day without eating anything, or they may be too hot, and they might be too thirsty. The only cause of concern is when you realize the dragon has started losing weight and has not been feeding.

When you notice your bearded dragon has lost appetite and it’s not eating anymore, check the temperature in the basking area. It should be  35 to 43 degrees Celsius with a cool-down area being  27to 32 degrees Celsius and ensure your pet has not been feeding on the loose substrate. The bearded dragons might also refuse to eat food that is too big. Ensure that you feed the insects that are of small size and they do not exceed the size of the space between their eyes.

It is also important to check the UV of your dragon and make sure it is on a date. A bulb lasts for approximately 12 months, and this information is found in the packaging. Check and ensure it is the correct distance from the basking sot and make sure you use the reflector.

When you check the food set up and find it is perfect, the next thing you should consider checking is if the dragon is shedding the skin because that can cause them to temporarily stop eating food. Others may be due to illness, and this may be characterized by diarrhea, lack of energy, droopy or swollen eyes.

Do you need to give your bearded dragons water?

The bearded dragons mainly live in very hot climates, and this means they have adapted to living with very little water. This does not mean that your dragon does not need water.

The freshwater should always be available in a crock that will not easily tip over. As the responsible owner, you should always ensure that you provide clean and fresh water, and the bowl should be washed and disinfected regularly. The wild bearded dragons mainly get their water from the morning dew or the rain or other foods that they consume. Whenever there is a dish of water, they do not recognize it since they are not used to them. The misting vegetable matter that is fed to the domesticated dragons is another method of ensuring that they remain hydrated. These animals may be misted directly with water or soaked a few times a week to ensure they are hydrated.

Best food for an ill Bearded Dragon

Whenever you find out that your pet is unwell, it is advisable to always seek help from the vet. Then follow all the instructions, and when they recommend a certain diet, please follow the instructions for the wellbeing of the pet.

There are some feeding methods that can help out during some conditions.  For instance, your pet is dehydrated, it is important to avoid feeding it with solid foods until they are ready for them, and for the time being, you can use a syringe to drop an electrolyte solution near or inside their mouth. For other illnesses, it is possible to create a mixture of food and nutrients and feed the animal using a syringe, and as time goes by, you should be able to build up the solid food.

Important vitamins and minerals for bearded dragons

Too many keepers of these animals, it is very challenging to understand the mineral requirements and to ensure the dragons receive the correct amount of supplements that are important to their health.

Vitamin A

Mots adult bearded dragons receive the vitamin A from the vegetables while the young ones receive this vitamin from the eggs York, and it is enough to last them until they are six months old. There are many other vitamins A sources that are in the market but only make use o those that contain beta carotene.  If the dragon consumes beta carotene in excess, its body starts excreting instead of absorbing it, and this poses a major risk of overdosing on vitamin A. If you use the supplements that contain the artificial vitamin A the dragon will end up absorbing the vitamin A even when it is not needed, and this poses a health risk to the reptile.

Calcium and Vitamin D3

A bearded dragon cannot absorb calcium without vitamin D3, and this explains why most of the supplements contain both. Calcium and vitamin D3 are very vital for the development and growth of a dragon since they prevent any metabolic diseases and ensure the development of strong bones. They are so vital for the young and growing dragons and the females’ ones since they need a lot of calcium, especially during breeding. The baby bearded dragons will need the calcium and vitamin D3 supplement every day, while the juveniles will need them at least three to 4 times a week, and the adult will need them once a week.


Iron is among the most important mineral in the baby bearded dragon since it helps them in their development. Normally the bearded dragons obtain the iron from the vegetables they feed ion, but given the cat that the babies do not feed on the vegetables, it is important to get the supplements that will provide it.  Mainly the young ones receive this mineral from eating the crickets.


The phosphorous mineral also helps the bearded dragons in their bone development. Many fruits and vegetables are rich in phosphorous, and this is the main source that these animals get from.  It is, however, important to keep monitoring the calcium to phosphorous consumption by your dragon to ensure they get the right amount of nutrients. It should not be too high on these nutrients.

The best live food for bearded dragons

The crickets and the mealworms are the most popular live foods for the dragons. They are affordable and easy to store. The other reason why the live crickets are ideal for your dragons is that they are so stimulating to your dragon, especially when it is chasing after them.

 Whenever most keepers are looking for live foods to buy for their bearded dragons, they consider the cost, nutritional value, and ease of storing. It is, however, important to also consider other foods so as to feed you’re per with a range of them. Whenever you purchase the crickets and go home, store them in boxes that have holes in them.  Use the crickets that your dragons will have easy time eating. They should not be bigger than the space between the eyes since it will be difficult for the dragon to eat them.  To add nutritional value to these live foods, you can dust them with calcium and vitamin powders.

After you have dropped the crickets in with your bearded dragons, ensure that you do not drown them in the water bowl, and if they do, just pick them out and do not leave them there.

The mealworms can be stored in or out of the fridge, and they are cheap.  If you store them in a fridge, they will survive for a long, but they will go into a dormant state.


A healthy diet of the bearded dragon is one that contains all the necessary minerals and nutrients. A dragon that is fed the right diet will have a prolonged healthy life.  It may seem very difficult to keep your dragon on a healthy diet, but when you do proper research and get advice from a professional vet, it becomes very easy to raise healthy bearded dragons. Follow all the guidelines, and the process of keeping your pet will be easy, and you will enjoy a long-lasting relationship with your healthy pet.

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