If you're thinking about owning a bearded dragon, it's essential to learn about its dietary requirements. Our Clarksville veterinarians have compiled a comprehensive list of the types of food that bearded dragons need to consume, as well as the recommended quantity and other crucial information.
Bearded Dragon Diet Plan
Since bearded dragons are omnivores, providing them with a diverse diet is recommended. Live insects like mealworms, kingworms, and crickets, greens such as parsley and kale, and vegetables like peppers and sweet potatoes are all acceptable options. It's also acceptable to feed them a limited amount of fruit. We've compiled a list of vegetables, meats, weeds, greens, and fruits that can be included in your bearded dragon's diet.
However, it's crucial to seek advice from your veterinarian for nutrition information and other concerns regarding bearded dragons and other exotic pets.
Juvenile & Adult Bearded Dragon Diet
The age of your bearded dragon plays a vital role in its dietary needs. A baby bearded dragon's diet should consist of 80% insects and 20% plants, although some owners may struggle to get their young dragons to eat greens. Adult bearded dragons' diet should consist of 80% plants and 20% insects.
While some fruits can be added to a juvenile bearded dragon's diet, they should be done sparingly and not on a daily basis. In order to maintain the health of adult bearded dragons and avoid obesity, they should primarily consume plants and vegetation, with fewer insects and animal-based foods in their diet.
How much should I feed my bearded dragon?
Once bearded dragons reach 18 months of age, they become adults and should eat twice a day, following the suggested ratio of vegetables to live insects.
To avoid overfeeding and the growth of mold on uneaten food, it's recommended to provide insects for 10 minutes and remove any leftovers after one minute. Leave fruits and vegetables in the enclosure for approximately 30 minutes.
Here's a brief summary of some of the foods that bearded dragons can consume:
- Wax worms
- King worms
Some of these can be found in pet stores. Keep in mind that live crickets are a good food source in addition to being stimulating since a wild bearded dragon diet would typically include these, and your dragon can chase them. When purchasing live food, consider the nutritional value, ease of storing, and cost. Our vets also recommend occasionally varying the food you provide so your pet dines on a diverse range of animals. Bearded dragons should not eat wild insects as they can have diseases or parasites that could hurt or kill your dragon.
Remember to gut load any insects your dragon eats - meaning ideally, you'll feed your insects what you're not feeding your dragon that week. Hence, your pet gets the nutritional variety and value of whatever the insect has eaten.
A bearded dragon can safely eat many vegetables. Here is a list of the most common staple vegetables they can dine on daily:
- Asparagus (Raw)
- Butternut squash
- Yellow squash
- Acorn squash
- Spaghetti squash
- Peeled Cucumber
- Yams (Raw)
- Turnip greens
- Collard greens
- Mustard greens
- Zucchini (Raw)
- Okra (Raw)
- Bell Peppers (Raw)
- Cabbage (Raw)
- Artichoke Heart
- Bok choy
- Cooked Lentils
Here are some fruits that are safe for Bearded Dragons to eat on a limited basis:
What Else to Know About Feeding a Bearded Dragon
Since bearded dragons can sometimes inadvertently ingest the substrate around their food, we don't recommend feeding smaller bearded dragons in tanks with a loose substrate.
Older bearded dragons are typically more accurate and may be able to digest a little substrate more easily.
Is there a bearded dragon diet chart?
Although we don't have a specific bearded dragon diet chart, the accompanying photo in this article illustrates the types of food that are suitable for them.
If you're unsure about what to include in your bearded dragon's diet plan, we recommend scheduling a checkup with our veterinary team. We can offer tailored advice and guidance by evaluating your pet's needs and characteristics.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.