Bearded Dragon Food and Nutrition

When feeding your dragon you must take into account the age and size. A baby bearded dragons food will consist of 80% live prey and only 20% fruit and veg. This will change as the dragon gets older to 20% live prey and 80% fruit and veg when s/he is about a year to 16 months old. This is because the required protein intake of your beardie will decrease.

The size of the food should be determined by the size of the beardie. If you go on the basis of nothing bigger than the space between your pet's eyes, you shouldn't have any trouble. If it is bigger and they come into difficulties, impaction or paralysis of the hind legs are possible consequences. This method should be used for both live food and veg.

Lets tackle the food in different sections.

Live food

Fruit and vegetables

Food they cannot eat!

Water

Nutritional supplements

Live food

Never leave live prey in the enclosure over night! They may cause harm to your dragon by biting the lizard's skin during the night.

A bearded dragon will eat the following live prey.

  • Crickets
  • Locusts
  • Roaches
  • Silkworms
  • Waxworms
  • Superworms
  • Tomato/Goliath worm

Fruit and vegetables

Feed daily:

Collard Greens, Dandelion Greens, Endive, Escarole, Mustard Greens, Turnip Greens, Acorn Squash, Butternut Squash, Hubbard Squash, Green Beans, Peas, Parsnips ,Turnips, Scallop Squash, Spaghetti Squash, Summer Squash, Sweet potato, Figs, Mango, Papaya, Raspberries, Silkworm, Cactus Pad/Leaf

Feed occassionally:

Arugula, Bok Choy, Kale, Bell Peppers - red & green, Bell Peppers yellow, Celery, Cucumbers ,Okra, Potato, russet, Pumpkin, raw Radish, Watercress, Yams, raw Zucchini, raw & peeled Apples, Apricots, Blackberries, Blueberries, Cantaloupe, Cherries, Cranberries, Grapefruit, Grapes, Guava, Honeydew, Kiwi, Nectarines, Orange, naval, Orange, mandarin, Peaches, Pear (not Asian), Pineapple, fresh Plums, Prunes, seedless, Strawberries, Watermelon, Butterworms, Silkworms, Superworms, Waxworms, Basil,Beans, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, lima beans, pinto, Cilantro, Peppermint leaves, Spearmint, Wheat grass

Flowers & plants:

rose petals, dandelions, dahlias, hibiscus, nasturtiums, alfalfa, astible, baby tears, basil - leaves & flowers , Chinese lantern - flowers, Carnations - petals, Chamomile, English, Clover, Day lilies, Dracaena, Fennel, Ficus - leaves, Geranium - flowers & leaves, Grape - leaves & fruit, Impatiens, Hollyhock, Lavender, Mint, Oregano, Pansies - flowers, Phlox, Rosemary - leaves & flowers, Spider plant - leaves (sap may irritate) Split leaf philodendron - leaves, Squash flowers, Thyme - leaves & flowers, Yucca - flowers, Wandering Jew - leaves (sap may irritate)

Rarely

Broccoli, Brussel sprouts, Carrots, Cauliflower, Green peas raw, Rutabaga raw, Tomatoes, Pomegranate, Star fruit, Bananas, Rice brown long grain, Soybeans

What bearded dragons cannot eat!

Never feed your dragon a firefly or bee it will kill it within a matter of minutes. The following should also be avoided because they contain oxalic acid which can be toxic to your bearded dragons:

  • Cabbage
  • Corn
  • Iceberg Lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Avocado
  • Eggplant
  • Mushrooms
  • Rhubarb
  • Chicken
  • Ground beef
  • Pork chops
  • Spaghetti, cooked

Water

Bearded Dragons can sometimes get dehydrated as they are not good at drinking water from their water bowl. This is because it is an unnatural thing for them to do. In the wild a beardie will get its water from moisture on the plants and rain. They also find it difficult to recognise still water.

It is advised that you spray your dragon with a mist bottle once or twice a day but again there is differing opinion on this. By spraying them, they will lick the water that that has run down their face. Make sure the water is slightly warm, about the temperature of the enclosure, so as not to shock your beardie.

Movement in the water of the water bowl will also entice your dragon to stand in it and drink. Another way of ensuring your beardie has consumed enough water is to bath him/her.

All these methods of course depend on the individual beardie as some may enjoy being sprayed and bathed where to others it may cause them distress. Eddie likes being sprayed but doesn't enjoy being bathed and I need to be reassuring when putting him in a bath.

Nutritional supplements

Calcium dust

Calcium dust is a must and should be sprinkled on your beardie's food 1 to 2 times a week. This will help prevent vitamin deficiencies and combat brittle bones.

Gutloading

In order to ensure that what your bearded dragon is eating is of a good standard you must also do the same to the live food you will be keeping for your pet. What the locusts and crickets eat will also be what your dragon will end up eating. Many 'Gut loader' products are available and come highly recommended as part of your live food's diet.

Feeding up your live food before you feed them to your dragon is a good way of providing nutrition to your dragon. You should also feed your live foods leafy greens, potatoes and anything else your bearded dragons can eat.