What Do Bearded Dragons Eat?

Bearded Dragons have become popular pets over the years, but they’re still considered exotic pets requiring specific dietary requirements. So, what does a Bearded Dragon eat?

Bearded Dragons come from a habitat where food is sparse, so they’re required to hunt for it in the wild. Whereas in captivity they’ll accept various foods, such as; plant based foods and meat, predominantly insects.

Don’t worry if this sounds like a lot. In this guide, I am going to talk you through all aspects of a Bearded Dragon’s diet and how you can master it.

Baby Bearded Dragon

Baby Bearded Dragons are aged 0-6 months. They’re primarily carnivores so require more insects than vegetables, and they’ll need to be fed more often than older beardies. They can be fed up to two times a day, with a balance of 60% proteins and 40% vegetation. The number of live insects you feed should be between 30-60 a day.

Pro Tip: In the beginning, try feeding your Bearded Dragon vegetables by hand, this’ll help build trust and associate your hand as a friend and not a foe.

Juvenile and Adult Bearded Dragon

Juvenile Bearded Dragons are aged between 6-12 months and they should be fed insects five out of seven days a week, while still feeding vegetation every day. Not exceeding 20-30 insects a day.

Adult Bearded Dragons are aged 12 months and above, and tend to be more herbivorous, so require 20% proteins and 80% vegetation. I recommend only feeding them insects 2-3 days a week, exceeding no more than 15 insects per meal.

Safe Food Guide

InsectsVegetableFruit
KingwormCabbageKiwi
EarthwormSweet PotatoFigs
CockroachesParsnipWatermelon
PhoenixwormAsparagusApple
ButterwormOkraMango
CricketsGreen BeansButternut Squash
Dubia RoachesSnap PeasPumpkin
WaxwormParselyBlueberries
MealwormPumpkinGrapes
LocustsBell PepperBanana

Pro Tip: All food being eaten by your Dragon needs to be small enough to fit into the gap between their eyes. This is because anything larger is a choking hazard for them.

What Not To Feed Your Dragon

Bearded Dragon’s tend to be quite greedy and will eat anything that is presented to them, even if it is harmful. So it is down to you to ensure you’re not giving them toxic treats.

Here is a list of food unsafe for your Dragon to consume;

  • Mushrooms
  • Onions,
  • Celery
  • Lemon
  • Orange
  • Chives
  • Avocados
  • Rhubarb
  • Garlic
  • Insects that “glow” for example fireflies this is due to cardiotoxins.
  • Insects you catch from the wild are harmful. The potential of parasites isn’t worth the risk.

Gut Loading Insects

Gut loading is where you feed the insects fruits and vegetables that are dense in nutrients. This is so when you feed your Dragon, all the nutrients the insects have ingested will be passed onto your Dragon when you’re feeding them. This greatly improves the amount of nutrients that your Bearded Dragon is receiving in their food.

I strongly recommend gut loading as this is an important part of your Bearded Dragons health.

Supplement Use

Most reptiles suffer with Calcium Deficiency and this can cause metabolic bone disease. A simple way to protect them from this is to use proper vitamin and calcium supplements in their food. I recommend the use of ZooMed Repti Reptile Calcium Supplement

Other good supplements for your Bearded Dragon’s health are;

Summary

There are plenty of things you’re able to feed your Dragon for a healthy diet. Remember not to go overboard on the treats. For more information on how to care for your Dragon, take a look at my Bearded Dragon Care Sheet article.