What do bearded dragons eat? Bearded dragons eat a diet of live insects and invertebrates. They feed on insects, vegetables, fruits. These omnivores can eat both animal and plant-based food. Bearded dragons are adapted to a location where food is scarce. Therefore they eat different sorts of food. Bearded dragons consume 80 percent bugs and 20 percent plants when they are young, but some owners have difficulty getting their dragons to consume any veggies at all when they are young. Mature bearded dragons are virtually the polar opposite, with an 80 percent plant diet and a 20 percent bug and insect diet.
Bearded dragons exist in eight different species, all of which are fondly referred to as “beardies.” Bearded dragons are one of the most popular pet reptiles because they are friendly, curious, and energetic during the day. The most commonly bearded dragon species to be kept as a pet is Pogona vitticeps, the central bearded dragon.
Pogona is a reptilian genus that includes six lizards species that are commonly referred to as bearded dragons. The term “bearded dragon” alludes to the lizard’s bottom of the throat (or “beard”), which may also turn black and puff up for a variety of causes, the most common of which being stress or feeling threatened.
Australia is the home of the Bearded Dragon. The Inland Bearded Dragon, Pogona vitticeps (previously Amphibolurus vitticeps), is the most prevalent species in the pet business. The Central, or Yellow-headed Bearded Dragon, is another name for the Inland Bearded Dragon. Pogona also includes the following species:
Pogona barbata — Common Bearded
P. henry lawson — Rankin’s
P. minima — Western
P. minor — Dwarf
P. mitchelli — Northwest Bearded
P. nullarbor — Nullarbor
- The dry forests and deserts of central Australia are home to the Inland Bearded Dragon.
- It spends most of its waking hours among shrubs and trees, as well as on rocks.
- The bearded dragon will burrow underground when it is exceedingly hot.
- The bearded dragon is a diurnal, omnivorous creature.
- During the day, it forages for insects, tiny lizards, mammals, fruit, flowers, and other plant material.
- The colors of the Bearded Dragon range from brown to yellow.
- The dragon’s propensity to stretch out the skin around the throat area when threatened or territorial is the reason why it’s termed “bearded.”
- When the dragon is startled, the flattened look of its body becomes much more prominent.
- The neck, sides of the face, and sides of the body all have spines.
- Males and females are difficult to identify among hatchlings and juveniles.
- Sexual differences become more evident as they get older.
- Males have more oversized heads and darker stubble than females.
- You can distinguish males from females by their femoral pores.
Bearded dragons may be found over much of Australia in the wild. They favor warm, dry environments such as deserts, subtropical woods, savannas, and scrublands.
Wild bearded dragons were forbidden from being exported from Australia in the 1960s; nevertheless, they’ve been produced in the United States for generations for the pet trade and now come in a range of color “morphs” not found in nature.
Bearded dragons require a warm environment to thrive.
They warm up themselves by basking in the sun and can burrow underground to avoid predators and excessive temperatures.
They’re semi-arboreal, and they like to hang out on fence posts and tree branches.
|Quick Stats||Bearded Dragon|
|Size:||Male adults with a height of up to 2 feet (including tail)|
|Diet:||Chopped meat, crickets, pinky mice, earthworms, leafy vegetables, squash; a separate feeding tank may be required|
|Water:||Water dish, droplets, misting|
|Terrarium:||For hatchlings, a 10-15 gallon aquarium is recommended; for adults, a 55-60 gallon tank is required.|
|Substrate:||Playground sand, indoor/outdoor carpet, newspaper|
|Decoration:||Hide box; provide rocks and branches for climbing and basking|
|Lighting:||Full spectrum fluorescent illumination with UVBat night.|
|Temperatures::||78-88°F, with a basking area of 95-100°F and temps in the 70s Compatibility: Bearded dragons of comparable size can be housed together, but this should be done with caution; they appear to prefer human interaction.|
|Sexing:||Males have more oversized heads, black beards, and larger femoral pores than females.|
|Life Expectancy:||10 years|
The term “bearded dragon” alludes to the lizard’s bottom of the throat (or “beard”), which may also turn black and puff up for a variety of causes, the most common of which being stress or feeling threatened. * The colors of the Bearded Dragon range from brown to yellow.
Australia is the home of the Bearded Dragon. The bearded dragon is a diurnal, omnivorous creature.
Bearded Dragons may consume a variety of natural foods, including mealworms, crickets, ringworms, and vegetables like sweet potato and pepper and leafy greens like kale and parsley. They are also allowed to eat a certain amount of fruit. The meat, vegetables, greens, fruit, and weeds they can consume are included in the food list below.
Mainly in the wild, Bearded Dragons consume animals, which account for around 75% of their meal, including crickets, worms, ■■■■■■■■■■■■ and even small animals like mice. The remaining 20% to 25% of their diet is made up of vegetables, greens, and minimal fruit.
- Ants and beetles are two of the most common insects.
- Crickets, Earthworms, and superworms, Dubia roaches.
- Kale, collard greens, and dandelion greens
- Grapes, bananas, apples, strawberries, melons, and blueberries are some of the fruits available.
They don’t have a lot of food preferences. Bearded dragons are quick and pursue live prey in the wild. They consume crickets and mealworms every day, crushing them with their strong teeth. Adults in captivity should be fed once a day, although various meals are required at different phases of life. Because they are quickly developing, juveniles require extra protein. Three times a day, juveniles should be fed. Compared to adults who eat fewer insects and more vegetables and fruits, they should consume primarily insects.
Crickets should be fed to hatchlings on a regular basis. Adults, juveniles, and hatchlings need to eat the right foods and get the proper nutrients to be healthy. Calcium powder should be put on their meals twice a week for bearded dragons. Calcium is required for bone formation, neurological activities, and several other physiological functions. It might be difficult for them to decide on a diet.
- Protein: Bearded dragons eat live waxworms, mealworms, and crickets that have been “gut loaded” or provided nutrients and vitamins that are beneficial to lizards. Adult beardies may only need to eat every two days, but young beardies need to eat once a day. If the beardies don’t complete their food, feed them less the following time.
- Calcium: Dust your bearded dragon’s live food with a calcium supplement twice a week (ask a PetSmart associate for details).
- Vegetables: Vegetables should account for 25% of a juvenile beardie’s diet and a quarter of a mature beardie’s diet. Kale, bell peppers, zucchini, collard greens, and shredded carrots are all favorites.
- Packaged food: Commercial food offers diversity to a bearded dragon’s diet. There are high-protein formulations for juvenile amphibians and lower-protein ones for mature beardies in many companies.
- Water: If your Beardie refuses to drink from a shallow dish of water put in their habitat, softly spray their fruits and veggies with fresh water.
Bearded Dragons may consume a variety of natural foods, including mealworms, crickets, ringworms, and vegetables like sweet potato and pepper and leafy greens like kale and parsley. They consume crickets and mealworms every day, crushing them with their strong teeth. Adults in captivity should be fed once a day, although various meals are required at different phases of life.
Bearded Dragons are able to consume a wide variety of fruits. These, on the other hand, should be fed in moderation and not daily. Fruit contains a large amount of sugar and can contribute to obesity. It can also increase the amount of yeast in their bodies. You should not offer them Citrus fruits since they might irritate their stomach.
If you have a juvenile bearded dragon, finely slice the food. If you’re feeding an adolescent, the food should be cut more coarsely. When at all feasible, choose a food particle size that is somewhat smaller. You don’t want to give the bearded dragon any chunks that are large enough to suffocate it. Never give a bearded dragon anything more prominent than the space between its eyes.
Fruit that your Beardie can eat is listed on our food list:
• Peeled apples
• Cherries (without the pit)
• Blueberries, Blackberries, strawberries, cranberries
• Green & Red Grapes
• Honeydew & Cantaloupe
• Canned pineapple and prunes
• Seedless Raisins
• Mandarin Oranges
Remove the outer skin from any fruit with an outer skin (such as apples or grapes) before giving it to your bearded dragon. If you’re picking these veggies outside, be sure they’re free of pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers. These toxins have the potential to make your bearded dragon sick or even kill it.
Bearded Dragons are able to consume a wide variety of fruits including peeled apples, peaches, seedless raisins, plums, mango, papaya, and whatnot. Fruit contains a large amount of sugar and can contribute to obesity
Vegetables and greens should account for 80-90 percent of the plant matter you feed your Beardie. The majority of your lizard’s vegetable intake can be made up of any dark leafy greens. Light greens are heavy in fiber and low in nutrients, so it’s best to avoid them.
Cooked or raw veggies can be fed to your Beardie. We prefer fresh veggies to cooked ones because natural foods retain more nutrients. Washing veggies before giving them to your lizard is a good idea. To keep your Beardie from picking and eating only their favorite meals, chop veggies and mix them together.
Beet greens, Swiss chard, and spinach should be fed sparingly to your beardies.
Spinach (and other cruciferous vegetables) and lettuces are two vegetables to avoid feeding a bearded dragon. Spinach can be given to the diet of developing newborn bearded dragons to aid with iron absorption, but only in small amounts. Give them one modest contribution every week at most. The bearded dragon can be harmed by too much spinach.
Kale, broccoli, and bell peppers should also be eaten in moderation because they contain goitrogens, which inhibit thyroid gland activity. Too much of these veggies might cause hypothyroidism.
Whilst bearded dragons enjoy all sorts of lettuces, they are nutritionally useless and should only be given in an emergency. If you must provide your bearded dragon lettuce, make sure to complement it with a reptile-specific diet supplemented. Sharing lettuce with a bearded dragon can also result in diarrhea, which isn’t enjoyable to clean up.
Here is the list of vegetables you should offer bearded dragons:
• Collard Greens
• Dandelion Greens
• Turnip Greens
• Mustard Greens
• Artichoke Heart (uncooked)
• Bell pepper (Green, Red, Yellow)
• Bok Choy
• Red & Green Cabbage
• Peeled Cucumber
• Squash (Acorn, Butternut, Spaghetti, & Summer)
• Various types of squash
• Swiss chard
• Beet greens
• Bok choy
• Bell peppers
• Mustard greens
• Turnip greens
• Collard greens
• Artichoke hearts
Cooked or raw veggies like mustard greens, asparagus, bok choy, beet green, corn, etc can be fed to your Beardie. We prefer fresh veggies to cooked ones because natural foods retain more nutrients. Washing veggies before giving them to your lizard is a good idea.
It’s crucial never to feed your bearded dragon insects that are too big for him. If you give the bearded dragon insects too big to chew and swallow, it could choke.
Furthermore, never put extra insects in the environment of a bearded dragon that it can devour. Insects that have gone crazy in the background might upset your bearded dragon, and they may even start biting on your pet!
It’s best to offer your bearded dragon plenty of insects as it can consume in 15 minutes. Then, pick up any leftover insects since excess food can result in overeating or insects burrowing themselves in your lizard’s habitat (causing problems later). Two of the most widely found insects to feed bearded dragons are crickets and Dubia roaches.
Crickets have a thinner exoskeleton and do not instantly hide in the substrate. On the other hand, crickets can leap (which allows them to fly more efficiently), smell terrible, and transmit parasites, all of which can create health problems for your lizard. Crickets are also more challenging to breed if you want to raise your insects.
On the other hand, Dubai roaches don’t stink, can’t leap, and don’t spread parasites. They’re also easier to breed than crickets and live longer. On the other hand, Dubai roaches remain motionless or conceal, making them more challenging to locate for bearded dragons. The Dubai roach’s strong shell makes dusting them before feeding more difficult. Sorting them by size before giving them to your lizard takes longer as well.
The following is a complete list of insects that may be fed to a bearded dragon:
• Dubai Roaches
• Super Worms
• Silk Worms
• Black Soldier Fly Larvae (Phoenix Worms)
• Wax Worms
• Goliath Worms
Most pet stores have these feeder insects, and they may also be bought online. Crickets are by far the most common insect feeder. A reliable retailer should be used to acquire feeder insects. If possible, avoid providing natural insects that have been exposed to pesticides, herbicides, or other chemicals.
Waxworms should only be fed as a special treat now and then. They’re heavy in fat and can lead to ill health in your bearded dragon if you give them a lot of it. Limit the number of mealworms you give out, as the worms’ outer shells might be tough to digest.
- They’re not ■■■■■■■■■■■ (which creep some people out)
- Don’t try to hide or bury themselves right away.
- Have a more pliable shell
- It stinks.
- Make noises and chirp.
- Jump, and you’ll be able to get away faster.
- Breeding is more challenging.
- They are easily filthy and might carry parasites.
- The Dubia Roach Pros are quite silent.
- They can’t leap and only manages to get away once in a while
- Make sure you don’t stink.
- They live longer than crickets.
- They are parasite-free and extremely clean.
- Breeding is simple.
- In comparison to crickets, they are more robust and live longer.
- They will conceal or remain motionless, making it harder for reptiles to detect them.
- Sorting them by size before feeding takes longer.
- Dusting them is more complicated than dusting crickets because of their hard shell.
- It’s bugged, which frightens some people.
It’s crucial never to feed your bearded dragon insects that are too big for him. Never put extra insects in the environment of a bearded dragon that it can devour. Crickets and Dubia roaches are two of the most commonly found insects to feed bearded dragons.
Small Dubia roaches or 2-3 times a day should be fed to a bearded baby dragon. They are preferable to mealworms since mealworms are difficult for infants to digest. To preserve their health, babies should be fed a mixture of crickets and plants. Nutritionally, a 75 percent protein to 25% greens ratio is ideal. You can feed the following vegetables:
Mustard GreensBeet Tops
Other Leafy Greens
Foods that are low in nutrients, such as cabbage, spinach, and celery, should be eliminated. If you wish to reward them, tiny fruits like berries or peach chunks are a good choice.
If you put veggies and greens in their cage, they’ll eat them anytime they want, and you may then introduce insects during three 10- to 15-minute feeding intervals. Throughout that period, baby dragons can consume various insects, although it’s OK if they don’t. They’re simply overflowing! Remove any unwanted insects and begin again a few months later.
Each and every day, babies should consume 20 to 40 tiny bugs. Hatchlings must be fed with special care to ensure they obtain the correct amount of food for their size. The crickets you feed your dragon should be no bigger than the space between his eyes. It’s ideal for giving your lizard a 10-minute window to eat as many bugs as possible. They will generally devour a cricket every minute or so.
Remove any extra food from the cage after 10 minutes. Insects should not be left in your dragon’s enclosure since they might harm your pet.
Here’s an example of an infant or juvenile feeding schedule:
|Time||Insects||Greens (all chopped**)|
|9 AM||10+ small crickets||2x collard greens, 1x bell pepper slice, and 1x strawberry|
|12 PM||10 + Dubai roaches||2x kale, one slice of squash, and 1x blueberry|
|3 PM||10 + small crickets||2x dandelion greens, one slice of pumpkin, and one slice of banana|
|6 PM||10+ Dubai roaches||2x collard greens, one bell pepper slice, and 1x grape|
Bearded dragon babies are three to four inches long when they are born. For the first two months, healthy hatchlings develop 1 to 3 inches per month. It will take your dragon 18 to 24 months to attain full adult size. Females are shorter than males, ranging in length from 12 to 20 inches. Males range in height from 16 to 24 inches.
When properly cared for, beardies grow fast. For the first 12 months, keep a close eye on your baby lizard’s development:
Baby Dragon Growth Chart
|Age (months)||Size (inches)||Weight (grams)|
|One month||3 to 4 inches||4 to 6 grams|
|Two months||5 to 9 inches||8 to 40 grams|
|Three months||8 to 11 inches||22 to 110 grams|
|Four months||9 to 12 inches||41 to 115 grams|
|Five months||11 to 16 inches||102 to 115 grams|
|Six months||11 to 18 inches||183 to 188 grams|
|Seven months||13 to 18 inches||230 to 280 grams|
|Eight months||14 to 20 inches||252 to 327 grams|
|9 to 10 months||16 to 22 inches||280 to 360 grams|
|11 to 12 months||16 to 24 inches||350 to 465 grams|
|Baby Bearded Dragon Growth Chart|
In the wild, Bearded Dragons consume insects primarily as babies and juveniles. As they become older, their diet becomes more vegetarian. This implies that your young bearded dragon’s diet will differ from that of an adult:
- Protein to greens should be provided to babies in a 75/25 ratio.
- Adults should be fed a 25/75 protein-to-greens ratio.
Once a day, adults should be fed. Feed a mixture of 75 percent herbs, veggies, and fruits and 25% bugs and vertebrates. It is critical to offer a variety of meals to your pets. This serves as a sort of enrichment and a way to keep children engaged in their feed.
The following is an example of a feeding schedule:
|Protein||Greens and Vegetables||Fruit|
|Day 1||5x crickets, 5x Dubai roaches.||Kale, collard greens, 2x sweet potato pieces, 2x bell pepper slices.|
|Day 2||5x superworms, 3x earthworms.||Dandelion greens, Bok choy, 2x baby carrots, 2x pumpkin pieces.|
|Day 3||5x crickets, 5x Dubai roaches.||Kale, collard greens, 2x sweet potato pieces, 2x bell pepper slices.|
|Day 4||5x superworms, 3x earthworms.||Dandelion greens, Bok choy, 2x baby carrots, 2x pumpkin pieces.|
Any vegetables or fruits should be chopped into little bite-sized pieces before serving to make them simpler to consume. Some owners like to cut and freeze vegetables and fruits every week. They then defrost the mixture in the microwave before serving it to the children. Fresh greens should always be available.
If your bearded dragon somehow doesn’t consume its meal within an hour, it should be removed from its habitat. This will save them from consuming rotten food and becoming unwell as a result.
Adults, on the whole, are decent eaters. Speak with your veterinarian if they begin to refuse food or eat less than usual since this might be the first symptom of a sickness or injury.
At all times, freshwater should be provided in a crock that will not readily tip over. Freshwater should be provided on a regular basis, and the water bowl should be cleaned and disinfected on a daily basis.
Rain or morning dew on plants and the other food they eat provide the majority of the water required for bearded dragons in the wild; others do not appear to recognize a dish of water. Another technique to keep pet bearded dragons hydrated is to mist the vegetable matter they eat.
Pet bearded dragons can also be misted directly with water from a plant mister or bathed a few times a week to keep themselves hydrated.
Bearded dragons may have slightly varied dietary requirements. The best food for captive bearded dragons is a matter of debate, and our knowledge and understanding of the topic are constantly evolving. Please consult a reptile-savvy veterinarian knowledgeable with your lizard about his unique nutritional needs (depending on his age, weight, and health state).
Always remember to WASH YOUR HANDS THOROUGHLY after feeding, cleaning, or handling a bearded dragon, since they might contain germs and parasites that aren’t dangerous to them but can hurt us.
According to veterinarians, a calcium powder (calcium gluconate, lactate, or carbonate) that does not include vitamin D3 should be sprinkled on food provided to bearded dragons 2-3 times per week, while a calcium powder containing vitamin D3 should be sprinkled on food 2-3 times per week, according to vets.
Reptiles can suffer from calcium insufficiency, which can lead to metabolic bone disease. Bearded Dragons can benefit from calcium and vitamin supplements even if they eat a diverse diet. Pete Hawkins suggests taking Arcadia Earth Pro-A, which contains a wide range of vitamins and minerals. He also suggests that you take Arcadia CalciumPro Magnesium. Sprinkle it on all insects once more.
Calcium is required for bearded dragons for the following reasons:
• Bone formation
• Contractions of the muscles
• Female reproductive health and proper egg development.
The dragon’s body can absorb calcium from its digestive tract thanks to vitamin D3. Without Vitamin D3, calcium means nothing to your dragon.
Bearded Dragons’ bodies require so much calcium that their bodies begin to extract calcium from their bones if they are lacking, resulting in metabolic bone disease (MBD). MBD is one of the most frequent illnesses in domestic bearded dragons, although it may be easily avoided with adequate food and care.
The temperature is too high or low due to improper setup, impaction caused by eating loose substrate, parasites, shedding skin, or stress is why the bearded dragon is not eating. Your Beardie’s appetite may also be affected by brumation.
Check the temperature, which should be 35-43oC on the basking place with a cool-down region of 27oC-32oC, and ensure your Beardie hasn’t been eating loose substrate if they aren’t eating. Dragons may reject extensive food; a good rule of thumb is to stick to insects that are no bigger than the distance between your Bearded Dragon’s eyes.
Check to see whether your Bearded Dragon is losing its skin since this might cause them to stop feeding for a brief period of time.
Insects, veggies, and fruits from the list below are ideal additions to your bearded dragon’s diet:
• Earthworms, Dubia roaches, crickets, and super worms.
• Apples, strawberries, peaches, blueberries, and watermelon.
• Cabbage, collard greens, carrots, pumpkin, kale, and sweet potato.
You should not serve baby bearded dragons mealworms. Mealworms have a thick outer shell that might be difficult for a newborn to digest, perhaps resulting in paralysis. Due to their high metabolism, baby bearded dragons require smaller, more frequent meals.
Bearded dragons can eat the following green food:
• Acorn squash
• Artichoke Heart
• Asparagus (Raw)
• Bell Peppers (Raw)
• Bok choy
• Butternut squash
• Cabbage (Raw)
• Collard greens
• Cucumber (Peeled)
• Lentils (Cooked)
• Mustard greens
• Okra (Raw)
• Spaghetti squash
• Turnip greens
• Yams (Raw)
• Zucchini (Raw)
• Yellow squash
Bearded dragons are omnivorous lizards. In the wild, these omnivorous lizards eat fruit and leaves, as well as any invertebrates (such as ants and beetles) and small vertebrates (such as lizards) that they can catch.
Yes, bearded dragons can eat bananas. Bananas have a high phosphorus-to-calcium ratio (3:1), which means the phosphorous exceeds the calcium to the point that bananas are toxic to dragons in large quantities. As a result, bearded dragons can only eat bananas once or twice a month in tiny amounts.
No, bearded dragons do not eat meat. In the wild, bearded dragons do not consume meat, thus it should not be offered to them in captivity. Meat and fish contain much too much fat and phosphorus. Garlic, onion, Avocado, and eggplant should all be avoided since even tiny amounts can be harmful. Foods that are low in nutrients and high in water should also be avoided.
Yes, bearded dragons can eat cooked meat. You should only feed unseasoned cooked meat to the bearded dragon as an emergency protein source. Serve them cooked meat only at the time when live feeders are not available. They can eat cooked lean meat like chicken, steak, and turkey.
Bearded dragons are omnivorous lizards, and they feed on insects, vegetables, and fruits. 80 to 90 percent of their diet should be vegetables, and the rest 10 to 20 percent should be fruits.
Dark leafy and green veggies are a more significant part of their diet. Bearded dragons can also consume yellow, orange, and red leafy vegetables.
Avoid serving light green vegetables high in fiber but low in nutrients and vitamins, such as iceberg or head lettuce and celery; these veggies are mostly fiber and water with little nutritional value.
Some vegetables’ interior, light-colored portions are less nutritious than the deeper green, outside leaves. * * Bearded dragons can likewise eat insects like crickets, moths, wax worms, mealworms, spiders, slugs, silkworms (occasionally), tofu, and earthworm.