Bearded dragons have so many impressive qualities that make them ideal pets. Most first-time pet owners think that bearded dragons can eat anything because they are omnivorous. In truth, dragons can eat most plant and meat-based foods, but some can be toxic. You need to know what to feed your pet before buying the bearded dragon for sale. Here is everything you need to know about feeding bearded dragons.
Consider Dietary Changes Based on Age
Even with the variety of foods available on the menu, your dragon’s diet should change with age. The changes are necessary since your bearded dragon’s nutritional needs will change with age.
For example, baby dragons need more protein in their diet to facilitate their growth and high metabolism. Feed them high-protein insects like crickets during the day and only substitute a small part of their diet with plant materials.
You should reduce how frequently you feed the bearded dragon with age. Adult beardies only need one meal daily since they stop growing once they reach maturity. Also, you should reduce the protein content in their food; make the bulk of your beardie’s diet from plant materials.
What Do Bearded Dragons Eat?
Here is an outline of foods your bearded dragon might enjoy eating.
Bearded dragons are natural hunters, so they enjoy meat-based foods. Some of the insects that your bearded dragon can hunt for include:
- Different worms like butterworms, earthworms, and redworms
You should get the insects from a reputable source and expose them to your dragon while still alive. Offering your bearded dragon dead insects that you catch can cause health problems.
Insects offer your beardie different nutrient content levels, so to meet their nutritional needs, you can gut load them before feeding. Gut loading involves insects eating specialized foods to give your pet certain nutrients.
Since super worms are large, you should only feed them to adult dragons. Others, like mealworms, have a hard exterior skin, which could cause impaction on young dragons.
Aside from insects, bearded dragons also love vegetables. Nutrient-packed green veggies like mustard and collard are perfect for bearded dragons. Other vegetables that they can be interested in include:
- Bell peppers
- Peeled cucumber
- Acorn squash
Before serving vegetables to your beardie, cut them up into manageable sizes. You should cook hard vegetables like butternuts to make feeding easier and aid digestion.
When cooking vegetable foods for your dragon, do not fry; instead, boil, steam or bake. Avoid adding seasonings or fats to the veggies since they can affect your pet’s health. Remember to let the foods get to room temperature prior to serving them to your pet.
Most fruits contain essential nutrients that can help your bearded dragon’s development. Beardies enjoy fruit offerings such as:
The bearded dragon may eat most fruits, but not all are good for their digestion. Fruits like avocados are unsuitable. Chop the fruits into small chunks to make them easy to swallow and digest.
Dragons can eat some foods not listed under the above categories but only have them as treats. This means they should not incorporate them into daily meals, regardless of how much your pet enjoys them. Some special treats include:
- Fatty insects like Morio worms and waxworms
- Grasses like clovers and dandelion
- Flowers like carnations and impatiens
- Fresh herbs like chives, basil, oregano, and sage
What Not to Feed Your Bearded Dragon?
Not all vegetables, fruits, or insects are great for your bearded dragon. Some may be harmful and can cause health problems if ingested. Such foods include:
- Citrus fruits – oranges and lemons contain too much acid juice for your beardie.
- Iceberg lettuce – This vegetable primarily consists of water, so it has little to no nutritional value for your bearded dragon
- Spinach – calcium in the dragon’s body binds to the spinach, removing the essential nutrient from your pet’s body. This can result in deficiency and weak bones for your dragon.
- Rhubarb – contains oxalic acid at high levels, which can be poisonous for reptiles. Such foods are considered deadly when ingested.
- Fireflies – Glowing insects like fireflies contain toxins that can kill most reptiles, including bearded dragons.
- Wild insects – Insects you can capture in the wild might have been anywhere and may contain deadly chemicals. Instead, get insects from pet shops since they are reared exclusively for reptile consumption.
Find the Best Bearded Dragon for Sale
The right foods help your bearded dragon grow and develop correctly and maximize its life expectancy. Before getting the pet, you should learn about everything the bearded dragon can feed on. When looking for a bearded dragon for sale, ask the seller for the best feeding instructions. They will likely recommend foods ideal for the beardies’ age and nutritional needs.