Optimal dietary habits will not only keep your bearded dragon healthy over time, but would also assist it to live longer, be more active, and have more bright coloration. The large variety of live foods included in the bearded dragons diet can consume includes crickets, kingworms, and mealworms as well as vegetables like sweet potato and pepper and leafy greens like parsley and kale. Fruit is also permissible in moderation for them.
“Variety” is one of the most essential things of your bearded dragon diet. Because bearded dragons diet demands a mix of veggies and live food to keep healthy, their food preferences may appear difficult and burdensome to those unfamiliar with reptiles, but the recommendations in this article will assure that your dragon gets the proper nutrition. They are easy to feed since they are tough eaters that love eating a broad variety of foods. Continue reading to know everything about bearded dragon diet chart, plan, and schedule.
What Percentage of Food a Bearded Dragon Needs?
Live insects and vegetables are the part of bearded dragon diet. They require a wide range of healthy plants and vegetables, and also the appropriate supplements.
“Bearded dragons eat both plant and animal food, insects too”.
Dragons have a good sense of smell and a good sight. They are largely carnivorous as they get older, whereas adults are increasingly plant-eaters. They consume mostly animals in the wild (insets), accounting for around 75% of their diet, with plants accounting for the remaining 20%-25%.But in captivity, bearded dragon’s food should consist of roughly 40-60 percent plant-based food and 20-40 percent animal-based food, alters according to their age. Veggies and flowers should make up the majority of the plant food (80 to 90 percent), with fruits accounting for just 10 to 20 percent. Consult your veterinarian about a special diet for your pet reptile.
Food Bearded Dragon Can Eat
Veggies, plants, fruits, and insects are essential to the bearded dragon diet. Consuming these is necessary to get vitamins and minerals and water also. Any frozen food might lose its nutrients quite rapidly, so it’s crucial to utilize fresh greens and veggies.
Fruits are appetizing to them, but they are low in nutrition, so they should not make up a large part of their meal. They can be used as a dressing on top of veggies and greens. Fruits should be washed before giving your bearded dragon diet. Keep in mind that certain fruits rotten rapidly, so check them well before feeding them to your bearded dragon.
Here is the list of those fruits (per 100 gm serving) bearded dragon could eat and are full of nutrients
|Fruit (100g)||Frequency||Ca:P||Vit. A (IU)||Vit. K (µg)||Iron (mg)||Water (%)||A:D:E|
Ca:P = Calcium to Phosphorus ratio
A:D:E = Vit A : Vit D : Vit E ratio (Ideal is 100:10:1)
Water = The percentage of water pr100 grams of food.
- Prickly Pear
- Honeydew Melon
Never Give These Fruits
“Lemon” and “orange” are citrus fruits that can disturb your bearded dragon’s stomach. So, don’t give these fruits to your dragon.
Most greens and veggies will be eaten raw by dragons, but if the veggies are very hard, then cook them to make them soft enough so that your bearded dragon could consume. A variety of veggies (that are safe for them to take) are important as bearded dragon diet. Here is a list of more than 50 healthy veggies to give your bearded dragon
|Vegetable 100g||Frequency||Ca:P||Vit. A (IU)||Vit. K (µg)||Iron (mg)||Water (%)||A:D:E|
|Beet Greens (Raw)||Rarely||1:2.9||6326||400||2.6||91.0||2108:0:1|
|Bell Peppers (Raw)||Occasionally||1:0.5||370||7.4||0.3||93.9||370:0:1|
|Brussel Sprouts (Cooked)||Rarely||1:0.6||775||140||1.2||88.9||775:0:1|
|Mushrooms (Raw)||Very Rarely||1:0.1||0||0||0.6||91.2||0:0:0|
|Swiss Chard (Raw)||Rarely||1:1.1||6116||830||1.8||92.6||1529:0:1|
|Sweet Potato (Raw)||Rarely||1:0.6||14185||1.8||0.6||77.3||14185:0:1|
Ca:P = Calcium to Phosphorus ratio
A:D:E = Vit A : Vit D : Vit E ratio (Ideal is 100:10:1)
Water = The percentage of water per 100 grams of the food.
- Dandelion Greens
- Turnip Greens
- Mustard Greens
- Carrot Tops
- Celery Leaves
- Bok Choy
- Kohlrabi Leaves
- Swiss Chard
The following greens should be served only seldom and in lesser amounts than the regular greens. These may be added to your regular greens and veggies. Because several of these greens are rich in oxalates, they should only be consumed in very low amounts one or two times a week.
- Acorn Squash
- Green Beans
- Butternut Squash
- Sweet Potato
- Snap Peas
- Yellow Squash
The veggies mentioned above should account for the majority of the plant diet of your bearded dragon. To make a meal easy for the dragon to consume, all veggies and fruit should be chopped finely and neatly. Never serve a very large food item.
- Bell Peppers
- Celery Stalks
- Green Peas
The veggies listed above, like the “occasional greens”, will only be served one to two times a week and combined with routine vegetables and greens.
Rarely Given Vegetables
- Beet Greens
Oxalates, which are abundant in “beet greens” and “spinach”, can be lethal to dragons in excessive doses. It’s also a calcium binder, which means it can inhibit calcium absorption. With time, this could cause problems like Metabolic Bone Disease. Your bearded dragon can eat beet greens, and spinach but only on rare occasions.
“Lettuce” is low in nutrients and should be strictly avoided. The only time it should be offered to a dragon is if it is severely dehydrated. A small amount of lettuce can aid with hydration, but very much might cause diarrhea, which can exacerbate dehydration. ” Cucumber”, crushed and peeled, is a superior hydration alternative.
Bearded dragons could eat “tomatoes”, but only in small quantities. The reason behind this is that tomatoes are quite acidic, and if eaten regularly, they might create problems. It’s fine to eat a tomato once a week.
Never Give These Veggies
Both of these are highly toxic and never be given to your bearded dragon. Their small quantities could make your bearded dragon sick and high levels may kill it.
You may also give a few plants as your bearded dragon diet. Given that they come from the wild, it is likely that they did not always have access to vegetables, therefore some plants formed a portion of their meal. Here’s a list of plants that are safe to feed your bearded dragon
|Plants 100g||Frequency||Prepare||Ca:P||Vit. An (IU)||Vit. K (µg)||Iron (mg)||Water (%)||A:D:E|
|Astilbe||Unknown||Plant (but remove the flowers and buds)||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Arugula||Unknown||Plant (but remove the flowers and buds)||1:3.1||2373||109||1.5||91.7||2373:0:1|
|Alfalfa||Unknown||Plant (but remove the flowers and buds)||1:0.5||155||30.5||1||92.8||155:0:0|
|Basil||Unknown||Leaves, Flowers, and flower buds||1:3.2||5276||415||3.2||92.1||5276:0:1|
|Baby’s tears||Unknown||Leaves, Flowers, and flower buds||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Carnations||Unknown||Flowers and flower buds||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Clover||Unknown||Plant (but remove the flowers and buds)||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Daylilies||Unknown||Flowers and flower buds||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Dandelion Greens||Unknown||Leaves, Flowers, and flower buds||1:2.8||10160||778||3.1||85.6||1451:0:1|
|Dahlia||Unknown||Flowers and flower buds||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Fennel||Unknown||Plant (but remove the flowers and buds)||1:1||134||0||0.7||90.2||134:0:0|
|Hollyhock||Unknown||Leaves, Flowers, and flower buds||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Hibiscus||Unknown||Leaves, Flowers, and flower buds||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Johnny Jump Up Vila||Unknown||Flowers and flower buds||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Lavender||Unknown||Plant (but remove the flowers and buds)||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Nasturtium||Unknown||Leaves, Flowers, and flower buds||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Oregano||Unknown||Plant (but remove the flowers and buds)||—||5000||—||36||—||—|
|Pansies||Unknown||Flowers and flower buds||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Rosemary (Fresh)||Unknown||Leaves, Flowers, and flower buds||1:4.8||4924||0||6.6||67.8||2924:0:0|
|Sage||Unknown||Leaves, Flowers, and flower buds||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Thyme (Fresh)||Unknown||Leaves, Flowers, and flower buds||1:3.8||4751||0||17.4||65.1||4751:0:0|
|Yucca||Unknown||Flowers and flower buds||—||—||—||—||—||—|
Ca:P = Calcium to Phosphorus ratio
A:D:E = Vit A : Vit D : Vit E ratio (Ideal is 100:10:1)
Water = The percentage of water per 100 grams of food.
A finely chopped combination of around 75 percent favorite greens, 15 percent favorite vegetables, and 15 percent favorite fruits should make up the plant part of the diet, with the remaining 10 percent comprising of occasional fruits, greens, and vegetables.
You don’t have to serve all veggie, fruit, or bug indicated in every meal, but you should swap the regular and unusual items as frequently as possible to provide a diversified diet. Alternating the bug and plant items is critical for your dragon’s long-term health.
Bearded dragons diet may include almost any mobile insect, but it is up to their caretaker to ensure that they would only eat safe insects. Insects are an essential part of a bearded dragon diet (particularly for adult bearded dragon), so ensure your dragon is getting the correct amount, variety, and species. Here is the list of the most frequent bugs that dragon caretakers feed their pets.
|Kingworms||Black soldier fly larvae|
The following are the most commonly accessible insect diet options for your pet dragons
- HornWorms (occasionally known as Goliath Worms)
- Dubia Roaches
The protein diet of bearded dragon should consist mostly of Dubia roaches, hornworms, and crickets. These insects are considered healthy for dragons. There are some benefits and drawbacks of both dubia roaches and crickets.
“Crickets” have a soft shell and do not quickly hide in the substrate. They, on the other hand, can climb (which allows them to run more easily), smell awful, and transmit parasites, all of which can create health problems for your bearded dragon. These are also difficult to breed if you want to raise your own insects.
“Dubia roaches”, on the contrary, do not smell, can not climb, and also do not transmit parasites. These are also easier to breed and have a better life expectancy. However, they remain motionless or hidden, making them more difficult to locate for dragons. The Dubia roach’s strong shell makes dusting them prior to eating more difficult. Sorting them by size prior to giving them to your dragon takes longer as well.
- Elder bugs
- Insects that you caught outside
- Bees, wasps, and scorpions are venomous insects
- Meat (poultry, seafood, red meat, etc.)
- Insects marketed as fishing bait
- Any glowing insects
- Insects discovered within your house
The insects indicated above as “Occasional Insects” should only be given infrequently and not as the main source of dietary protein.
“Mealworms” contain tough chitin – exoskeleton that can’t be easy to digest, particularly in younger bearded dragons. Only if the mealworms have just “molted” and have a “soft chitin”, otherwise these worms shouldn’t be given to as baby bearded dragons diet.
“Wax worms” should only be given as an unusual diet because of their excessive fat level, which can lead to obesity concerns as the dragon grows older.
The insects listed above may typically be available in most PetSmart or through online breeders. Adult bearded dragons could be fed small pinkie mice, however, for protein, it’s best to stay with insects.
Never Give These Insects
- Wild-caught insects
- Boxedler Bugs
Bearded dragons are extremely poisonous to “Boxedler bugs” and “Fireflies”, thus they should not be given.
It is advised that you feed your bearded dragon insects in fifteen min as it could consume. Then after this, clean up any remaining insects, since leftover food might cause overeating or insects to burrow into the substrate of your dragon (causing issues later).
- Use a small dish/bowl to feed your bearded dragon.
- You should not give your lizard loose substrate as it can get eaten accidentally when feeding (occurs with young bearded dragons). Although older dragons may more readily digest a little amount of loose substrate if they swallow it mistakenly, it could cause major health problems in younger bearded dragons.
- Thirty to sixty minutes before eating meals, switch on your dragon’s light to heat them up and increase their hunger.
- After eating meals, keep your dragon’s light on for at minimum half to an hour. In order to digest their diet correctly, your dragon has to be kept warm. Your dragon’s body can not absorb the nutrients it requires if it’s not warm enough at the time of digestion.
Water and Hydration
Bearded dragons have managed to thrive on very little water since they live in warmer and drier areas. Yet, hydration remains a major concern. Vegetables and plants will provide the majority of the water for your dragon. However, because your bearded dragon’s tank is warm and dry, the greens quickly get dehydrated, necessitating the addition of extra water sources.
Some caretakers provide water bowls in their dragon’s habitat, although bearded dragons are adapted to arid conditions and have difficulty recognizing standing water. They are not supposed to drink from their bowl of water. Bearded dragons may have slightly different dietary requirements. Conflicting views on the best food for captive dragons and our research and understanding of the matter are always changing. Please consult a reptile veterinarian experienced enough about bearded dragons diet and unique nutritional demands (depending on their weight, age, and health condition).
To avoid drowning, water bowls must be kept shallow and replaced on a daily basis. Water bowls in which they defecate must be replaced right away.
So, how do Bearded dragons drink water?
Bearded Dragons hydrate and drink water by using one of the following methods
- Place a water bowl in the tank
- Water or moisture present in their natural food
- Caretakers mist their bodies with water and let them drink these droplets
- Caretakers mist their food with water
- Drink through their nostrils
Many caretakers struggle to know mineral and vitamin needs, and ensuring that your dragon gets the proper quantity of supplements is essential to its health. Here is the list of dietary supplements
Most mature dragons get sufficient vitamin A from their veggies, while juveniles get it from their egg yolk to survive till they become six months old. You may add vitamin A supplements to your bearded dragon’s diet from a variety of sources, but only those that comprise beta carotene should be used.
Many veggies contain beta carotene, which the bearded dragon’s body converts into vitamin A when digested. A dragon’s body excretes excess beta carotene rather than absorbing it, therefore there is no threat of vitamin A overdose. If you give your bearded dragon a vitamin A supplement that consists of artificial/synthetic vitamin A. Your dragon will absorb it even if it is not required, which can lead to “vitamin A toxicity”.
Calcium And Vitamin D3
Because bearded dragons are unable to absorb calcium without vitamin D3, most supplements will include both. Calcium and vitamin D3 are essential for development and growth. They assist to keep bones strong and avoid metabolic bone disease. Gravid (egg carrying) female dragons, as well as young, developing dragons, benefited from calcium and vitamin D3.
Generally, a daily dosage of calcium and vitamin D3 is required for baby bearded dragon, 3-4 times a week for juveniles, and once a week for adults.
Iron is especially vital for babies since it aids in their growth. bearded dragons can generally obtain sufficient iron from the veggies they consume, but younger dragons might not always eat their greens, therefore a supplement is recommended. Generally, juvenile dragons get adequate iron through crickets. If a juvenile does require extra iron, the alternatives include eating greens rich in iron, receiving an iron supplementation from a herp veterinarian, or giving a commercial food that has iron.
Phosphorous aids in the formation of bones. Because phosphorous is abundant in veggies and fruits, most dragons will get sufficient of it from their meal. You should keep an eye on the calcium to phosphorous ratio of your dragon to ensure they’re getting enough of both nutrients. If your dragon’s diet is heavy in phosphorus, you should use “phosphorus-free multivitamins”. Excessive phosphorus prevents bearded dragon from correctly digesting calcium.
The optimal ratio is 1.5 ± 0.5 (Calcium) to 1 (Phosphorous) or Ca:P ratios of 1:1 to 2:1.
The easiest method to keep track of these values is to keep an eye on your bearded dragon’s food. In general terms, the best strategy is to locate a food that your bearded dragon likes and stick to it.
Providing a multivitamin supplement particularly formulated for reptiles is one of the greatest methods to meet all of a bearded dragon’s mineral and vitamin requirements. These minerals and vitamins are particularly created for lizards and contain a variety of important vitamins and minerals. Many of these may be purchased from pet stores or a reptile vet. Multivitamin supplementation should be administered to babies no more than two times a week, and to juveniles and adults no more than once a week. Despite the multivitamins, Vit D3 and calcium will still be required.
|Age of Bearded Dragon||Vegetables (%)||Insects (%)||Number of Meals per Day|
|1 to 3 months||20||80(As many crickets as they’ll eat in 5-10 minutes)||5|
|3 to 6 months||50||50||4|
|6 to 12 months||50||50||3|
|12 to 18 months||50||50||2|
|18 plus months (Adult)||75||25||1|
Feeding schedules of babies, juveniles, and adult bearded dragon diet are given below.
Baby Bearded Dragons Diet
In order to acquire muscle, body mass, and fat stores, baby dragons need a greater protein intake. This suggests that babies require a higher proportion of insects than plant food. Baby bearded dragons will also require more regular feeding than adult dragons. It’s very usual for a baby to be fed four or five times a day, consuming up to 70-80 pinhead crickets each day.
Baby dragons (hatchlings to 5 months of age) should be given a diet consisting of 60–80 percent insects and 20–40 percent plant stuff.
So, if you’re feeding your baby bearded dragon five times a day, three of the feedings should be insect food and the other two should be 1⁄2 insects and 1⁄2 different plant food. Serve the vegetable or fruit combination prior to the insects throughout the plant diet feeding. The majority of dragons will go after insects first, ignoring the veggies completely. Early on, you try to teach your bearded dragons to enjoy and eat a plant diet. The outcome will vary based on the bearded dragon. Some people thrive on veggies, while others avoid them.
Here is an example of a baby bearded dragons diet plan
|Protein Diet||Greens and Vegetables||Fruits|
|Day 1 (am)||(10x) crickets||(2x) small kale leaves, 1x small pumpkin piece||(1x) blueberry|
|Day 1 (afternoon)||(10x) dubia roaches||(2x) small collard green pieces, (1) small squash piece||(1x) peach slices|
|Day 1 (pm)||(10x) crickets||(2x) small dandelion green pieces, (1x) pepper slice bell||(1x) blackberry|
|Day 2 (am)||(10x) dubia roaches||(2x) small kale leaves, (1) small pumpkin piece||(1x) blueberry|
|Day 2 (afternoon)||(10x) crickets||(2x) small collard green pieces, (1) small squash piece||(1x) peach slices|
|Day 2 (pm)||(10x) dubia roaches||(2x) small dandelion green pieces, (1x) pepper slice bell||(1x) strawberry|
Juveniles Bearded Dragons Diet
When your dragon gets the juvenile phase, their nutritional requirements alter slightly. They should build up their body mass and fat stores so that the number of insects they eat decreases and the number of plant materials they eat increases.
Nearly 50 percent of insects and 50 percent plant diet should be fed to young bearded dragons (5-18 months old).
“Feeding frequency” may also reduce, however this varies widely from one dragon to another. A juvenile must be fed three times each day on average. If you’re serving your youngster three times a day, make each meal 50% insects and 50% plant diet. Feeding only plant food in the morning, just insects in the noon, and a combination of both in the evening is another option. These are only a few examples that may be adjusted to match your schedule and requirements.
Here is an example of juvenile bearded dragons diet plan
|Protein Diet||Greens and Vegetables|
|9 AM||(10x) small crickets||(2x) collard greens, (1x) bell pepper slice, and (1x) strawberry|
|12 PM||(10x) dubia roaches||(2x) kale, (1) slice of squash and (1x) blueberry|
|3 PM||(10x) small crickets||(2x) dandelion greens, (1) slice of pumpkin and (1) slice of banana|
|6 PM||(10x) dubia roaches||(2x) collard greens, (1) bell pepper slice and (1x) grape|
Adult Bearded Dragons Diet
Your dragon’s nutritional needs will significantly differ from those of a baby as it grows older. In fact, they will be the total opposite. Adults now require significantly fewer insects and prefer to eat a wide variety of plant stuff.
Because an adult’s diet requires such a huge number of fruits and veggies, it’s critical to develop a love of plants in them at a young age. It may be tough to break them of their bug craving if you wait till they are juveniles or adults before offering them fruit and veggies. Fruits and veggies must be the most frequent option in bearded dragon diet at this point. Insects should be supplied in considerably smaller quantities. As a result, the number of essential offerings will decrease. Adult dragons often eat just one or two times a day. Give chopped fruit and veggies in the morning and another part of the plant diet with a few bugs in the evening if you serve a mature two times a day (one in the morning and one in the evening).
Here is an example of an adult bearded dragon diet chart
|Protein Diet||Greens and Vegetables||Fruits|
|Day 1||(5x) crickets, (5x) dubia roaches.||Kale, collard greens, (2x) sweet potato pieces, (2x) bell pepper slices||(3x) blueberries, (1x) strawberry|
|Day 2||(5x) superworms, (3x) earthworms.||Dandelion greens, Bok choy, (2x) baby carrots, (2x) pumpkin pieces||(2x) peach slices|
|Day 3||(5x) crickets, (5x) dubia roaches.||Kale, collard greens, (2x) sweet potato pieces, (2x) bell pepper slices||(3x) blueberries, (1x) strawberry|
|Day 4||(5x) superworms, (3x) earthworms.||Dandelion greens, Bok choy, (2x) baby carrots, (2x) pumpkin pieces||(2x) peach slices|
There are three frequent feeding blunders to avoid while feeding a bearded dragon. These faults can result in a range of health problems, including obesity.
Obesity is relatively frequent in adult dragons. These bearded dragons, the same as other reptiles, have a demanding appetite and are susceptible to being overweight if fed a large number of insects.
A daily intake of no more than twenty insects for an adult is recommended! It’s simple to overfeed them since they’ll consume as many insects as you serve them. Obesity is a serious health concern for your bearded dragons, because it can lead to heart and joint problems.
Serving your juveniles mealworms
Feeding young dragons mealworms might limit their development and deprive them of essential nutrients. Mealworms possess a chitin-based outer shell that young dragons are unable to digest. When your dragon becomes eighteen months old, you must switch to superworms instead of mealworms.
Not Gut Loaded
It’s crucial to gut load your dragon’s live insects at least a day before feeding them.
Gut loading includes feeding the insects nutrient-dense fruits and veggies before giving them to your bearded dragons. This method dramatically increases the quantity of nutrition available to your dragon.
One of the most frequent pet lizards is the “bearded dragon”. Bearded dragons diet should be nutritious and diverse including fresh foods, live foods, and commercial diets. If you desire to bring a bearded dragon to your home, the guidelines about bearded dragon diet mentioned above will assist your dragon to live a long and healthy life.
Feeding a bearded dragon is an easy and simple task, but you will need to keep plenty of bugs, fruits, and veggies on hand. Even while the exact bearded dragons diet remains the same, keep in mind that the ratio of plants to insects will alter over time. An adult bearded dragon diet consists of more plant food, whereas a baby bearded dragon diet consists of more protein. Fifty percent of juvenile dragon diet includes insects and fifty percent, includes plant food. Providing your pet with a nutritious meal is an important part of maintaining a proper husbandry schedule that will keep your lizard healthier and happier for long life.
FAQs about Bearded Dragons Diet:
Never add these two to your bearded dragons diet because they could make your bearded dragon ill. There is a list of not only vegetables but also some fruits too that will be harmful to them. Fruits “lemon” and “orange” and veggies “ruhrab”, “onion”, “chives”, “celery” and “avocados” are included in this list.
Overfeeding your bearded dragon can result in severe/worse constipation. The formation of bolus/mass of food in the stomach of a bearded dragon imposes pressure on the spinal nerves, resulting in “hindquarters paralysis”. This illness can frequently be lethal if not addressed right away.
It is not a common thing that a bearded dragon to ingest a cricket, big in size will cause choking. If you don’t keep an eye on your dragon when he eats. You might not discover he’s choking till it is very late. Feeding little crickets reduces the danger of impaction and choking.
Bearded dragons must be kept warm for proper digestion of the food. No matter how old your dragon is, their first meal of the day should always be two hours after their lamps are switched on. Likewise, the last feeding should give at least two hours before the lamps are turned out for the day.