There is a lot of different information out there when it comes to a Beaded Dragons Diet and even more myths surrounded by their diet causing "impaction". While impaction is a very real thing that happens, the risk is EXTREMELY low when proper husbandry is administered. Bearded Dragons. Bearded Dragons are oportunistic eaters, meaning just about anything is fair game in the wild. Of course in captivity, we want the best diet to match their activity levels and keep them healthy and living longer. So what does that look like?
Juveniles and Adults:
Bearded Dragons are omnivores, meaning they need both animal and plant based foods to get the best nutrition. Nutrition varies with age. As juveniles, their diet is heavily insect based and as they grow older they transition more towards a heavily vegetable based diet.
Juveniles and adults should be offered fresh vegetables daily. We spray ours with water before feeding for hydration. When feeding insects, a good rule of thumb when choosing size is about the size of the space between the Bearded Dragon's eyes. Always remember each vegetable or feeder insect offers different nutritional benefits to your animal. Your animal should not have a singular "staple" food item. The key to the best health is VARIETY.
- Hatchlings < 2 months old: insects 2-3x daily / vegetables daily
- 3-4 months old: insects 1-2x daily / vegetables daily
- 4-12 months old: insects 4x weekly / vegetables daily
- 12-18 months old: insects 3x weekly / vegetables daily
- 18+ months old: insects 2x weekly / vegetables daily
Our Buggy Bowls are a great way to allow for vegetables and insects to be placed in an all-in-one bowl. These bowls also have an escape resistant lip so that bugs cannot crawl out.
Feeder insects: crickets, moths, dubia roaches, red runner roaches, black soldier fly larvae, mealworms, darkling beetles, hornworms, grasshoppers, silkworms, and superworms.
Vegetables: When choosing vegetables make sure to choose vegetables low in oxalates. Oxalatesis naturally occurring in plants and they calcium binding and make calcium unusable for your pet.
Collard greens, watercress, spring mix, kale, alfalfa, dandelion greens, turnip greens, mustard greens, hibiscus leaves/flowers, dandelions, and arugula
We recommend mixing Arcadia Flower Boost with your daily greens as it provides a boost of nutrition and vitamins your Bearded Dragon may not regularly receive.
Fruits: Fruits are high in sugar and should be offered occasionally as a treat.
Blueberries, apples, prickly pear, bell peppers, and figs
Toxic (never feed): Avocados, Citrus fruits, and fireflies,
Supplements: To make sure your Bearded Dragon is receiving all the vitamins it needs we suggest using a quality calcium with D3, a calcium without D3, a multivitamin, and occasionally bee pollen.
Water and Hydration: Every living creature needs water, to include the desert dwelling Bearded Dragon. We recommend a water bowl with fresh water added daily, even if they do not drink from it. We also recommend spraying your greens with water before feeding.
The importance of Gut loading: Gut loading is the process of also feeding your feeder insects a diet that will be benefit your Bearded Dragon, after all, you are what you eat. Do not gutload with anything that you would not feed your Bearded Dragon. We recommend a mixture of fresh vegetables every few days and the following insect feeds:
Monitor your Bearded Dragons weight by weighing your animal weekly and writing it down. If yo notice an exception weight gain during adulthood, adjust your animals food intake and increase activity levels.
Babies will eat roughly 60-80% protein
Juveniles will eat roughly 50-60% protein
Adults will eat roughly 20-30% protein
Occasionally add bee pollen to your gutload
The key takeaway from this article is that variety is the key to a healthy Bearded Dragon. We hope this helps you become a better keeper and understanding a little more about a balanced and healthy diet.
-Tifani and Whitney