A lesser percentage of the diet can include cactus, various squash, sprouts, cooked sweet potato, parsnips, okra, cucumber, asparagus, mushrooms, carrots, peas, and corn.Fruits that are particularly healthy include figs (high in calcium), apricots, dates, raspberries, and strawberries.Swiss chard, spinach, and beet greens should be fed sparingly, as they contain oxalates that can bind calcium and other trace minerals, preventing their absorption.Caution should also be exercised when feeding cabbage, kale, and mustard greens; these vegetables contain goitrogens (substances that suppress thyroid gland function by interfering with iodine uptake), and excessive intake may lead to hypothyroidism."Swiss chard, spinach, and beet greens should be fed sparingly, as they contain oxalates that can bind calcium and other trace minerals.".Appropriate animal-based protein sources include grasshoppers, gut-loaded (i.e., fed nutritious food that is then passed on to the lizard) or calcium-dusted crickets and mealworms, spiders, wax worms (occasionally, as they are high fat), silk worms (occasionally), tofu, moths, slugs, and earthworms.Larger bearded dragons may be fed pinkie or young "fuzzy" mice sparingly.In addition, once a week, you should provide a LIGHT sprinkling of a general reptile mineral supplement on the food.In addition, pet bearded dragons may be misted directly with water from a plant mister or soaked a few times a week, too, to ensure they are hydrated.Opinions vary regarding the most appropriate diet for captive bearded dragons, and our knowledge and understanding of this subject continues to grow and change.Please discuss your bearded dragon’s specific dietary needs (based on his age, weight, and health status) with a reptile-savvy veterinarian familiar with your lizard.Remember – always WASH YOUR HANDS THOROUGHLY after feeding, cleaning, and handling a bearded dragon, as they can carry bacteria and parasites that may not be harmful to them but that may affect us. .
Best Greens for Bearded Dragons: Daily and Weekly Staples
We’ve highlighted some perks and pitfalls for each green, and included each calcium to phosphorus ratio for your reference.The following factors play an important role in determining what greens bearded dragons can eat and how often:.If a leafy green vegetable is nutrient dense, high in calcium, and low in phosphorus, oxalates, and goitrogens, it’s a winner.These greens offer a variety of textures and flavors, allowing you to make each salad an exciting treat for your dragon.This desert delicacy is high in calcium and rich in antioxidants, fiber, and Vitamin C. To serve it, carefully slice away the outer thorned coating and cut the inner flesh into small pieces.Rich in calcium and Vitamin A, these common yard weeds are actually an excellent addition to your bearded dragon’s salad, as long as they are pesticide-free.Whether you serve up the crunchy, bitter heart or the dark, curly leaves, endive and escarole both add texture and nutrients to your bearded dragon’s salad, particularly calcium.Even more irresistible is the fact that they are rich in calcium along with Vitamins A, C, and K. Serve them with collard greens to offset the moderate amount of oxalates and goitrogens.Filled with Vitamins A and C, bok choy is a flavorful mixer for your bearded dragon’s salad.Although green cabbage is goitrogenic, this crunchy salad mixer contains Vitamin C, fiber, calcium, iron, and potassium, all of which are great for your dragon’s health.A good source of calcium, Vitamins A and C, and fiber, napa cabbage will give your dragon’s salad a refreshing crunch.Celery and its bushy leaves are a great way to get antioxidants, Vitamin C, and hydration into your bearded dragon’s salad.Make sure you chop this veggie extra small to eliminate any possibility of your dragon choking on the stringy stalk.Aside from being flavorful, cilantro contains antioxidants, calcium, potassium, manganese, and Vitamins A, C, and K. In addition, it has antimicrobial properties.High in protein, Vitamin A, and that all-important mineral calcium, grape leaves can really amplify the health benefits of your dragon’s salad.One of the best greens bearded dragons can eat, kale is dense with Vitamins A, C, and K, potassium, manganese, magnesium, and calcium.High in fiber and antioxidants with a delicious citrus flavor, lemongrass has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that will help your dragon fight illness.This fragrant herb is high in calcium and fiber, making it an excellent way to spice up your dragon’s meal.Now, if your bearded dragon is refusing to eat at all, that is also common but could be the sign of stress or a more serious health problem.A popular solution is to mix in favorite fruits or insects with the greens so your dragon accidentally eats the leaves along with the stuff he likes.Some owners leave greens in their dragon’s tank all day, replacing them every 24 hours or when they show signs of wilting.This is especially helpful for baby dragons who primarily eat insects and don't realize that greens are edible.For tougher veggies like collard greens, it can be very helpful to massage the leaves and remove the stems first. .
What Vegetables Can Bearded Dragons Eat?
Bearded Dragons are extremely popular in the United States and are found in almost as many homes as the Ball Python.When your Bearded Dragon is still small, it will require a diet of 80% insects and 20% vegetables, though most owners port that their pet refuses to eat veggies during this time.Crickets are probably the most popular insect to feed your Bearded Dragon because they are easy to find at almost any pet store, and they are relatively inexpensive.You can also raise them if you have an area in the garage or other place to store them, which can significantly reduce food costs.The problem with feeding your Bearded Dragon crickets is that they smell bad and also make quite a bit of noise if you are trying to raise them.Dubai roaches are another popular food for Bearded Dragons and are almost as easy to find as crickets.These insects are quiet and don’t jump or climb, so you won’t need to worry about them escaping, and you can raise them in your home if you have a dark space to house them.They also have a harder shell that doesn’t hold powdered calcium supplements very well, and they tend to hide or remain motionless, making it difficult for your Bearded Dragon to find them.Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD) results from your pet not getting enough calcium or eating too much phosphorus preventing it from getting absorbed.There are several vegetables that your Bearded Dragon can eat safely, and they will make up a large part of your pet’s diet once it becomes an adult. .
What Do Bearded Dragons Eat? Complete Food & Diet Guide
Being a pet parent to a bearded dragon means knowing exactly what they need nutritionally in their diet so they can stay full, happy and healthy.There isn’t bearded dragon food on grocery store shelves like there is for dogs and cats, so where should you start?What bearded dragon food goes in their belly has an impact on how they feel, their quality of life, how active they are and even how they look.Young bearded dragons need a diet that’s more insects than vegetables because they need the added protein to grow and develop.Vegetables - Veggies should make up 25% of a young bearded dragon’s food and half of an adult’s.Prepared Diets - Bearded dragon pellet food, moistened with water, may be offered daily.Commercial/Pellet Food - Store bearded dragon pellets inside a sealed, airtight container to keep them fresh for your pet.Information in this article is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure your pet and is not a substitute for veterinary care provided by a licensed veterinarian. .
10 Best Greens for Bearded Dragons & Ingredients To Avoid
We’ll show you a picture of what they look like and tell you a little about each one so you can supply your bearded dragon with a healthy and varied diet.Alfalfa is one of the good greens that you can feed your bearded dragon to provide your pet with high-quality nutrients.It has a good balance of calcium to phosphorus so it will help your pet maintain a strong, healthy body.Most experts recommend making collard greens a part of your pet’s staple diet.You are likely to find that dandelions will quickly become one of your bearded dragon’s favorite foods, and it will often choose them over crickets and other insects.Mustard greens also provide plenty of vitamins and fiber to help keep your pet healthy.Turnip greens are another great food to feed your bearded dragon with acceptable calcium to phosphorus ratio.It also provides plenty of vitamins and fiber to help keep your pet healthy and its digestive system regulated.These greens are fine as a standard part of the diet, and they are soft and tasty, so your pet will enjoy eating them.Your bearded dragon can eat aloe, but it has almost no nutritional value, so it’s best reserved as a treat if it’s something your pet enjoys.However, this food also has many oxalates that can be harmful to your pet, so most experts recommend limiting it to a treat that you provide on occasion.Foods like spinach, parsley, and rhubarb contain dangerous levels of oxalates that can lead to kidney stones.Peas, squash, carrots, potatoes, and rutabagas can all add weight to your pet if you make them part of their regular diet.We recommend only including these foods in small amounts as part of a salad to enhance flavor.Your pet will still need to eat plenty of crickets to get the protein it needs, but greens can add essential nutrients like calcium that are difficult to obtain elsewhere.Dandelion and collard greens are your best bet, but there are several options listed here that you can use to provide your pet with a varied diet.If we have helped you create more nutritious meals, please share this guide to the best greens for bearded dragons on Facebook and Twitter. .
Leafy Green Vegetables to Feed Your Bearded Dragon
Adult bearded dragons need a variety of dark, leafy greens to eat on a daily basis.In addition to some crickets and other insects, these greens provide the vitamins and minerals they need to stay strong and healthy.Bearded dragons should eat a variety of different dark, leafy green vegetables.The majority of the greens that you offer should have a higher calcium to phosphorous ratio, to prevent and correct metabolic bone disease.Romaine, iceberg, red, and green lettuces should only be offered in small amounts (yes, spring mix contains some of these).On the other hand, if your beardie is dehydrated or doesn't have access to water for some reason, it is great to feed these lettuces.Many bearded dragons develop preferences for certain greens and become picky when it comes time to eat.When dealing with a finicky eater, continue to offer a variety of greens mixed up as a salad.Some people have had luck with adding in some colored bearded dragon pelleted food from the pet store.In addition to a variety of greens, your bearded dragon should get plenty of gut-loaded crickets and other insects, some fruits, and vegetables such as squash and bell peppers.Adding a light dusting of calcium powder to your dragon's salad a few times a week is also a good idea to make sure he is getting adequate amounts of the important mineral. .
The Best Guide To Bearded Dragon Nutrition
Bearded dragons (Pogona vitticeps) have exploded in popularity since they were first introduced to North America a few decades ago.Their hardiness, long life span and mellow temperament make them a great choice for anyone interested in owning a pet reptile.Bearded dragons are not difficult to feed, as these popular lizards are very hardy eaters that enjoy devouring a wide variety of food items.Given that bearded dragons need a combination of vegetables and live food to stay healthy, their dietary requirements can seem complicated and overwhelming to anyone inexperienced with reptiles, but the tips in this article will help ensure that your beardie gets the right stuff.Your bearded dragon’s age plays a large role in its diet and nutrition needs.Given that younger bearded dragons are constantly growing and protein is required to aid in that growth, they will have a large appetite for insects.Expect to feed younger dragons as many insects as they can eat in a 15-minute period, two to three times per day.As far as tasty insects go, you can’t go wrong with black soldier fly larvae, butterworms, cockroaches, crickets, Dubia roaches, earthworms, locusts, redworms and superworms.Never feed your lizard bugs you find outside or on your property, or insects intended to be used for fishing bait.This is because it’s not uncommon for the bugs around your house to have parasites or to have trace amounts of pesticides, both of which are dangerous for bearded dragons.Anything frozen can lose its nutrition fairly easily, so it’s important to use fresh vegetables and greens.Bearded dragons are not difficult to feed, as these popular lizards are very hardy eaters that enjoy devouring a wide variety of food items.Bearded dragons live in very hot and dry climates, so they have adapted to survive on very little water.When eating plants and insects, beardies can accidentally ingest small bits of sand, gravel or other loose substrate with their food.Accidental substrate ingestion can put more stress on a bearded dragon’s digestive system and can sometimes lead to serious health concerns.Anything wider than this space can cause impaction and/or put pressure on the spine, which can cause health and mobility issues, so be sure insects are not larger than this, and cut any fruits and vegetables you offer your beardie to the appropriate size.Most cases of overfeeding result from owners giving adult beardies insects that are higher in fat (such as waxworms) too often.It is recommended that you feed adult bearded dragons lower-fat insects, such as crickets, for meals, and offer fatty waxworms for occasional snacks or treats only, not as standard fare.Bearded dragons live in very hot and dry climates, so they have adapted to survive on very little water.However, given that your bearded dragon’s tank is hot and dry, it doesn’t take long for the greens to become dehydrated, so sometimes it’s necessary to supply other water sources.Given that bearded dragons often urinate or defecate while they soak, make sure to change the water regularly, and most certainly the moment you see it has been fouled.Misting with fresh water once or twice a day with a spray bottle simulates rainfall and dew.In nature, bearded dragons will drink the dew drops for hydration, so misting will recreate this environment.Understanding vitamin and mineral requirements can be a tricky task for many keepers, and making sure your beardie receives the right amount of supplements is vital to its health.Most adult bearded dragons will receive enough vitamin A from their vegetables, and younger bearded dragons generally receive enough vitamin A from the yolk within their egg to last them until they’re 6 months old (which is also about the time they start eating more greens).Beta carotene is present in many vegetables, and when consumed, it is converted into vitamin A by the bearded dragon’s body.If a bearded dragon consumes too much beta carotene, its body simply excretes it instead of absorbing it, posing no risk of vitamin A overdosing.Calcium and vitamin D3 are beneficial for gravid female dragons and also for young, growing beardies.The bearded dragon’s temperament, long life span and general hardiness make it the perfect addition for any family.Steven Holdaway lives in Chattanooga, Tenn., and he is the founder and owner of thebeardeddragon.org, a popular website that teaches people about bearded dragon care, health and ownership. .
What Can Bearded Dragons Eat? The Best Food for Bearded
Since they’re active during the day, don’t take up too much space, and are gentle creatures who aren’t afraid of being held, they make for an excellent introduction to the wonderful world of herpetoculture.Much like humans, bearded dragons enjoy eating fresh fruit because of the sweet flavor and energizing sugar content.Bearded dragons can easily chew and digest grapes, and they offer important nutrients for their diet.They have an excellent ratio of Calcium to Phosphorus, which means they can appropriately synthesize each substance to bolster their growth and nutrition.Additionally, you should avoid feeding your pet green grapes because they have a higher acidity, which could upset its stomach!Bearded dragons can eat apples, although you should take care to cut each piece so your beardie won’t hurt itself in the process.Much like grapes, apples provide a healthy ratio of Calcium to Phosphorus but also lack suitable quantities of Vitamins A and D.For starters, these fruits are almost entirely made up of water, making them filling without providing much in the way of vitamin content.In fact, when comparing the ratio of Calcium to Phosphorus and the amount of Vitamin A, these are even less nutritious than blueberries as far as bearded dragons are concerned.Although bananas are considered healthy for humans due to its high potassium content, this isn’t a nutritional benefit for bearded dragons.The exception to this is if a vet or herp recommends feeding pumpkin seeds to help remove intestinal parasites.However, it’s a bad idea to feed any citrus fruit to your bearded dragon because the highly acidic content will hurt their stomachs!However, the C:P ratio isn’t good enough to justify making this a staple of their diet, and the high sugar content can be concerning as well.Don’t feed your bearded dragon mangos; they have too much Phosphorus for your pet to get any nutritional value from the Calcium.It’s not ideal to feed your pet bearded dragon red or green sweet peppers.Absolutely do not feed your bearded dragon any avocado; it can severely injure and possibly even kill your pet.Many people don’t know this, but avocados are actually considered toxic despite being a common staple of the modern human’s diet.In particular, the high acid quantities found in these fruits are extremely dangerous for bearded dragons, so keep them away!Although fruit isn’t a good choice for the biggest portion of your bearded dragon’s diet, vegetables are.Keep reading to learn about the best vegetables for bearded dragons that will provide the appropriate amount of vitamins and hydration to maintain your pet’s health!In particular, a high acidity similar to that found in citrus fruits can cause discomfort and potentially lead to gout!It’s not a good idea to feed your bearded dragon broccoli, although they won’t get hurt if they have a small amount.For starters, the Vitamin A content is pretty low and the ratio of Calcium to Phosphorus is equally disappointing.It does provide some nutritional benefits thanks to a decent amount of Vitamin K. Also, it’s Calcium-Phosphorus ratio is good enough to avoid digestive and absorption issues.However, these have a very high water content that will fill up your beardie’s belly without offering an equivalent nutritional benefit.However, the Phosphorus content happens to be significantly lower in comparison to Calcium— to the point that it throws off the ideal ratio and makes it a poor substitute for healthier veggies.That’s because the greens have a higher concentration of Vitamin A and a lower water content, meaning they can provide sustenance without just filling your pet’s belly.Feeding this to your pet as an occasional treat is alright, but any more than that and you run the risk of kidney issues and malnutrition.Instead of safely absorbing these nutrients, your beardie will have a strong adverse effect if it ingests even a small amount of rhubarb.In fact, baby bearded dragons should have a diet mostly made up of protein-rich insects to help them grow big and strong.However, it’s a bad idea to feed your bearded dragon spiders, especially if you find them around your house or in your backyard.For starters, feeding your beardie wild insects is a bad idea because of all the potential contaminants they can contain.Second, if you accidentally feed your bearded dragon a poisonous spider, it can badly hurt your precious pet!In addition to high amounts of Calcium, feeder crickets are a terrific source of protein and are great for baby bearded dragons.However, it’s also a good idea to improve the nutrition of your crickets before feeding them to your beardie by giving them extra nutrients via powders or gelatin cubes.Additionally, these have a high fat content and shouldn’t be a mainstay of their diet— although they make for a great occasional treat.On the other hand, it’s extremely difficult (if not impossible) for bearded dragons to digest the bones, and overfeeding mice can cause your pet to develop fatty liver disease.If your bearded dragon accidentally ingests a small amount of chocolate, they’ll most likely be able to pass it through their system without serious injury.Their digestive systems aren’t capable of absorbing nutrients from milk or cheese; it can lead to diarrhea and other bad stomach problems if you try to incorporate any dairy products into your beardie’s diet.Now that we’ve gone over some of the most commonly asked questions about bearded dragon diet and feeding, you’re probably interested in knowing the absolute best foods for your pet to eat.The best fruits for bearded dragons are the ones that aren’t too full of water, have a low acid content, and contain an appropriate amount of Calcium in relation to Phosphorus.When taking care of a fully grown bearded dragon, vegetables should make up the majority of your pet’s diet.If they don’t get enough of it at a young age, it’s possible for baby beardies to develop metabolic bone disease, which will have a severely negative effect on their quality of life.They also need a lot of protein at a young age, so the best course of action is to feed them insects covered in calcium powder.If your female bearded dragon is expecting, you can safely up their food intake without being concerned about weight gain.Hopefully, this guide answered some of your burning questions and taught you important information about feeding bearded dragons. .
Fruits & Vegetables to Feed Your Bearded Dragon
But as they grow older, they need less protein for fueling rapid growth and more nutrient-packed bearded dragon vegetables for maintenance, which means that feeding them gets cheaper.Now more than ever, never trust the pet store’s opinion on bearded dragon vegetables, fruits, or feeding in general.As much as we wish otherwise, employees have a lot of animals to keep track of, and Following their advice will more than likely have your dragon eating the reptile equivalent of popcorn and TV dinners.Feeding a variety of veggies gives your dragon a good balance of the nutrients s/he needs to keep bones healthy and immune system going strong.Kale (a recent study revealed that it is not high in oxalates after all!).Vegetables should be sliced into thin, bite-sized pieces than your beardie can grab with his/her tongue.Wet or slimy vegetables like cucumber and cactus may frustrate your dragon since these don’t stick to tongues very well.Some people like to feed their dragons spinach, kale, or lettuce.Lettuce – yes, even romaine – is essentially water in vegetable form, with no value except in giving your beardie diarrhea.If your dragon is severely dehydrated or constipated, lettuce may be a temporary addition to the salad bowl.As for spinach, this contains calcium-binding substances (oxalates) that hurt rather than nourish your dragon.Fruits tend to have a higher water content and more sugar than vegetables, so they must be fed sparingly to prevent a laxative effect.For an extensive list of bearded dragon vegetables, fruits, and associated nutrition facts, please visit www.beautifuldragons.com/Nutrition.It’s generally referred to in the reptile world as the Bearded Dragon Food Bible. .
Best Foods for a Bearded Dragon
Offering the best foods for a bearded dragon is crucial for maintaining its overall health and well-being.Not only should you offer wholesome foods, but you should also vary the diet as often as possible.You would also deprive yourself of the nutrients offered from a large variety.This is why most doctors advise us to eat a varied diet.If you feed your bearded dragon nothing but crickets for months and months, he may begin to develop a deficiency in many of the needed vitamins and minerals not contained in crickets.If you begin to introduce dubia roaches, horn worms, wax worms (as seldom treats), butterworms, and Phoenix worms as part of a balanced mixture of insects and include the proper mixture of fruits and vegetables, your bearded dragon’s overall nutrient intake will vastly improve.It is also very important to add supplements to any food offered, and to gut load any insects before feeding.Well, here is an easy list of the best foods for a bearded dragon.Feeding these foods regularly can increase the risk of Metabolic Bone Disease and other issues.Avocados and rhubarb are toxic and should be completely avoided as part of a bearded dragon’s diet.Lettuce should not be fed to a bearded dragon (or any other reptile, really) because it lacks any real nutritional value.Lettuce is made up of mostly water, and feeding it to bearded dragons can lead to diarrhea.Small amounts of lettuce can be fed if the bearded dragon is suffering from dehydration, but be careful how much you feed.Feeding too much lettuce can lead to diarrhea which in turn, worsens dehydration.Tomatoes can be fed to bearded dragons every now and then (like once every few months or so) in small amounts.Tomatoes are very acidic and can be difficult on their digestive system.Citric fruits are high in citric acid and can be difficult on a bearded dragon’s digestive system, especially with babies.Fireflies and Boxelder bugs are very toxic to bearded dragons and should never be feed to them.It’s advised to avoid feeding your bearded dragon any wild-caught insects.Remember that plant matter and insects should be offered daily.The percentage of plant matter to insects will vary depending on the age of the bearded dragon.If you would like to have a copy of this best foods lists, you are welcome to download a PDF version.Simply click the link below to automatically start the download.If you prefer, you can right-click the link and choose “Save As…” or “Save Link As…” (depends on how your browser words it), then select where on your computer you’d wish to send the download.If you are interested in more detail information on bearded dragon diet and nutrition, we welcome you to check out our Bearded Dragon Care Sheet. .