Bearded Dragon Diet
Bearded dragons are some of the most popular lizards for reptile owners because they are tame, hardy, and have interesting behaviors. They love chasing crickets around during a feeding and are known for their “arm wave” – a gesture that looks like they are saying, “hello”. They are alert and can even be affectionate, which is uncommon among pet lizard breeds.
Bearded dragons or “beardies” are friendly and will eventually respond to your voice and touch with affection. If you feed them well and gently introduce handling, you’ll find that they are excellent pets – even with children. It’s no surprise they are considered the most popular pet reptile.
Native to Australia they are happiest in a warm environment with a varied omnivorous diet. While they have few needs and are considered generally low-maintenance they do require a varied diet of vegetables, fruit, and insects. This varied diet is the most important thing you should offer your bearded dragon, because they are not be happy with food consisting of only pellets.
A good rule of thumb is to make sure their diet is about 60 percent vegetables and 40 percent insects, including crickets and mealworms. Fruit should only be offered to your bearded dragon two or three times per week and shouldn’t be more than 10 percent of his overall food intake.
Feeding your bearded dragon is another way for you and you lizard to bond. Have fun with it! Let him have a taste of what you’re having for dinner. You might be surprised at how they are able to eat a wide variety of vegetables. You can feed them a variety of foods including:
- Romaine lettuce
- Boston Bibb lettuce
- Bok Choy
- Sweet potato
Owners of bearded dragons enjoy finding out the particular tastes of their pets through offering them a bit of their own food. You can also supplement your bearded dragon’s food with supplemental food. Just be sure that their supplements don’t exceed 50 percent of their what they eat. Pet bearded dragons are known to live up to 10 years with the proper dieting and care. With a healthy diet, you’ll have a companion for a long time to come.
The Importance of the Bearded Dragon’s Diet in Behavior
The bearded dragon is an amazing reptile to own and bond with. As infants, the bearded dragon can come across as shy, even to the point where you may have to work a little to earn trust and build a bond. Bearded dragons are known to especially develop a strong bond with owners who feed them a good diet. A good bearded dragon diet will help with shyness. Eventually, you’ll be able to handle your bearded dragon. He may even lie calmly and close his eyes as you scratch his head.
Patience combined with consistency will steadily improve your bearded dragons’ behavior. The most important detail to having a dragon that will interact with its owner is making sure they remain on a healthy, well-balanced diet. A well-fed bearded dragon makes for a happy pet.
Bearded Dragons Can Be As Picky as a Kid
Just like people, some bearded dragons are picky while others enjoy almost all foods. This can be the most difficult part of owning a bearded dragon for some owners, but a fun challenge for others. Try a variety of foods early on to develop good eating habits. And remember the two most important foods a bearded dragon needs are insects and vegetables.
Not all bearded dragons like eating just vegetables. Therefore, you will need to find good, healthy foods that your bearded dragon favors to mix with the vegetables. Try supplemental foods and pellets to make sure your bearded dragon is getting enough of the essential nutrients he needs to be happy and healthy.
Top 8 Bearded Dragon Diet Supplemental Foods We Recommend
|Nature Zone Bearded Dragon Bites Reptile Food|
|Fluker’s Buffet Bearded Dragon Formula|
|Zilla Reptile Munchies Omnivore Mix|
|Fluker’s Medley Treat for Bearded Dragons|
|Zoo Menu Adult Formula Bearded Dragon Food|
|Nature Zone Ready-to-Eat Baby Bites for Juvenile Bearded Dragons|
|Zoo Med Can O’ Crickets Mini-Size|
|Tasty Bug Treats Premium Dried Mealworms|
While it’s important to make sure your bearded dragon is getting nutrition from real food, we understand that sometimes you’re short on time or you want to make sure that he’s getting a balanced diet including all the essential nutrients. There are a number of supplements that allow you quick meals with high nutrient content.
Here’s a list of the 8 best supplements for your bearded dragon.
1. Nature Zone Bearded Dragon Bites Reptile Food ** Our top choice for a bearded dragon food supplement**
If you are searching for a top-rated bite size food, Nature Zone Bearded Dragon Bites Reptile Food is the perfect product for bearded dragons. These bite-size treats are packed with over 50 vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Made up of 3 percent protein, 1 percent fat, and 5 percent fiber they are balanced to be the perfect combination of what your bearded dragons needs most.
They are soft and already moist so you don’t have to soak them in water before you feed them to your bearded dragon. These bites will also supply your bearded dragon with extra moisture he needs due to the 92 percent moisture content. This is great if you feel your lizard isn’t getting the proper amount of water. Also, owners love skipping the step of mixing the pellets with water and waiting for them to soak before feeding them to their bearded dragon.
Nature Zone Bearded Dragon Bites Reptile Food is the perfect helping hand when you have a picky eater. The deep wine color and prickly pear cactus flavor are perfect for mixing in other foods you know your pet needs. All you have to do is mix some veggies, add some bites, and watch the chow down begin. Nature Zone Bearded Dragon Bites Reptile Food is perfect for both juvenile and adult bearded dragons.
This product is not meant to be a replacement for live food or fresh vegetables, however mixing it with his food will make the perfect complete diet. Because they are already moist they can be mixed easily with dried crickets as a great way to sneak the insects they need into their diet if they have a preference for veggies.
2. Fluker’s Buffet Bearded Dragon Formula
What bearded dragon doesn’t love a buffet? This specially formulated supplement adds instant nutrition when mixed with your bearded dragons’ regular diet. A unique combination of pellets, dried crickets, and worms, this is a supplement even the picky bearded dragon will love. The texture of the pellets are designed specifically to be appealing to your bearded dragon and may even allow you to sneak other nutrient-rich foods into their bowl.
Fluker’s Buffet Bearded Dragon Formula is also great if you’re looking for ways to cut back on the expense of your lizards’ diet. Your lizard will be getting a blend of freeze-dried mealworms, freeze-dried crickets, combined with a large dose of vitamin fortified pellets at an affordable cost. The blend of pellets and dried insects improves to the balance of essential proteins, fats, and minerals in your dragon’s diet overall.
It’s recommended that the pellets are soaked in water until they turn soft. Not only will this make it easy for your bearded dragon to consume, it’s also a great way to add liquids that will help keep him hydrated.
This is an adult formula and shouldn’t be fed to juvenile bearded dragons. And as with all supplements, it is not recommended that you use this blend as a meal replacement but as a supplement to the veggies and live crickets you offer your beardie.
3. Zilla Reptile Munchies Omnivore Mix
Zilla Reptile Munchies Omnivore Mix is the perfect solution for times you need something ready to go in a hurry. No refrigeration is needed due to it being dehydrated and it only takes five minutes to rehydrate the mix. All that is required is adding water, then putting it in the tank, and let the feast begin. As with all food for bearded dragons, be sure to remove any uneaten food – that’s if there’s any left. Bearded dragons love this food because it’s a combination of vegetables, fruit, and insects.
This food is filled with multiple nutrients along with natural ingredients. Consumers regularly comment that Zilla Reptile Munchies Omnivore Mix is the freshest looking and smelling dehydrated bearded dragon food on the market. Made up of freeze-dried bok choy, green beans, zucchini, peas, bananas, carrots, crickets, mealworms, and silkworms – this mix is an excellent balance of protein, fats, and carbohydrates.
Convenience is another benefit of Zilla Reptile Munchies Omnivore Mix. For storing, simply reseal the bag and place in a cool storing area. Keep a bag on standby in case you find yourself out of veggies or insects. Also, pet owners love that there are plenty of unique insects in this mix, some you may not be able to find at a local pet store. This adds to the variety of your bearded dragon’s meals, an important factor they need to be happy and healthy.
4. Fluker’s Medley Treat for Bearded Dragons
Fluker’s Medley Treat food is great if you’re worried your dragon isn’t getting enough protein. With a whopping 56 percent crude protein content this is a great way to supplement the lack of insects you are able to find at your local pet store. And these freeze-dried insects allow you the convenience of dehydration, so you don’t have to worry about refrigeration. You can keep these as back up for when you are worried about the lack of protein or regularly use it to supplement your dragon’s diet.
This Medley is a combination of protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, moisture, and fiber. You don’t need to add water, simply serve your lizard a capful of this treat daily. This mix also saves you the hassle of having to keep, care for, and handle live insects everyday. If you’re interested in protein packed bearded dragon supplements, then Fluker’s Medley Treat is definitely a product you need to add to your list.
Fluker’s Medley Treat is packed with freeze-dried grasshoppers, mealworms, and crickets that come in a 1.8-ounce jar. With this perfect protein blend of insects, your bearded dragon will get all the protein needed while enjoying a tasty treat and you’ll enjoy removing the hassle of handling live insects from your day to day life.
This product is not recommended as the main source of protein in your dragons’ diet but used in conjunction with their regular diet plan. Remember, bearded dragons need about 60 percent of their diet to come from veggies and should regularly each live insects.
5. Zoo Menu Adult Formula Bearded Dragon Food
Zoo Menu Adult Formula Bearded Dragon Food features a tempting apple flavor that even the most finicky bearded dragons cannot resist. Made for adult lizards with a blend of nutrients and plants that will help round out your bearded dragon’s diet. Simply add water to these pellets for easier digestion and added hydration.
This food comes in cans with a 2-year shelf life. Zoo Med Canned Bearded Dragon Food is the perfect blend of ingredients to guarantee a balanced diet year round. Fortified with vitamins and minerals, this mix includes vitamin A, D3, zinc, calcium, and probiotics. Made up of a variety of plant products, this formula was designed with a balanced diet in mind. A few ingredients that make up this mix include:
- Dried apples
- Dried carrots
- Alfalfa meal
- Kelp powder
- Garlic extract
- Anise extract
Along with these healthy ingredients, your lizard will also be getting numerous vitamins and minerals required to stay healthy. It’s essential that adult lizards get the extra nutrients needed in order for their skin and organs to remain healthy for a long life.
There are no preservatives or artificial colors, which make this food a perfect choice for your adult bearded lizard. With numerous minerals and vitamins, it is the perfect formula for maintenance and to supplement your pet’s meals.
6. Nature Zone Ready-to-Eat Baby Bites for Juvenile Bearded Dragons
These ready-to-eat baby bites are the perfect food for your baby beardie. Made with just the right combination of nutrients, baby bites will help keep your lizards healthy and happy. Already hydrated, you don’t have to wait for them to soak up water or worry if they’ve soaked enough water for a healthy meal. Simply feed your juvenile bearded dragon the bites directly out of the jar for a balanced supplement.
These bites are made with over 50 amino acids, minerals, and vitamins. The nutritious soft bites are specifically formulated with a balance of protein, fat, and fiber. Even the wine color and prickly pear flavor are designed with picky bearded dragons in mind. You’ll love these supplements because your bearded dragon will love these baby bite sized morsels.
7. Zoo Med Can O’ Crickets Mini-Size
Perfect for both juvenile and adult bearded dragons, the Zoo Med Can O’ Crickets are just the right size and packed with nutrition. These farm-raised crickets are cooked in the can to preserve the natural flavoring and juices. This means they aren’t dehydrated and ready to feed directly to your lizard from the can. The added moisture is a bonus for the bearded dragon that needs a bit more water in his meals.
This ready to eat meal is the perfect starter food to add to your lizard’s food. You can use these to supplement your dragon’s insect intake or replace it altogether. This saves you the hassle of having to handle live insects.
This high-protein supplement is perfect for when you can’t get to the pet store for live crickets or want to offer your lizard a hydrated protein option. This is a supplement only and shouldn’t be the only thing your omnivorous lizard eats. Be sure your lizard is getting plenty of vegetables along with these crickets.
8. Tasty Bug Treats Premium Dried Mealworms
These are simply natural freeze-dried mealworms that are perfect for supplementing your dragon when you can’t get a variety of live insects from your local pet store. They are a great source of energy and nutrients and allow you to supplement additional protein without handling live insects.
Mealworms are naturally high in proteins and healthy oils, which are a great addition to your lizard’s salads. With 55 percent protein content, this feed is a great supplement for your lizard. The re-sealable bag keeps the mealworms fresh for 18 months, making them a great back up for your bearded dragon.
Your bearded dragon needs a well-balanced diet, so be sure that these worms make up no more than 50 percent of his overall food intake. These are a great supplement that adds variety to the insects you feed your pet. They are also a great option for sprinkling on veggies if your dragon has a preference for meats over salad.
Why Doesn’t My Bearded Dragon Want Fruits And Vegetables?
Both baby bearded dragons and adult dragons need a healthy balanced diet that reflects the omnivorous food they would eat in the wild. They require meals that are mixed with high doses of protein provided by feeder insects while adding plenty of vegetables and fruits. Every dragon is different and will have taste preferences just like people do. Some are picky while some will eat anything. Sometimes throughout a bearded dragon’s life, their tastes will change.
Older bearded dragons have different nutritional needs than juveniles and you should consider this because it’s the most important part in keeping your lizard happy and healthy.
Younger dragons will require more protein, so you should feed him food higher in insects. Adult dragons need more fruits and veggies. One important factor when feeding your dragon vegetables is to make sure you’re cutting the pieces small enough. Be careful to chop the pieces into bits smaller than the space between their eyes to prevent choking. Sometimes your dragon will simply refuse to eat if the pieces are too big.
A Couple Tricks For Feeding Your Bearded Dragon
If by the age of 1 ½ years old you find your dragon refusing vegetables and fruits – don’t panic. There are a number of ways owners have tricked their bearded dragons into eating vegetables and fruits. Here are a couple tips you should try.
- For both baby and adult bearded dragons, a simple paper towel can provide a helpful trick. In the space your dragon normally eats, place a white paper towel with the fruit and vegetables in the center. You may place the towel inside or outside its cage. The sharp contrast of the fruits and veggies against the bright white will capture your bearded dragon’s attention and get him to notice the food more readily and eat.For no known reason, the dragons are attracted to the contrast causing it to be curious enough to sample the goods. Once your dragon gets in the habit of eating from the paper towel, replace the towel with a regular dish.
- This trick is sneaky, and it works. Simply fool your dragon with food by adding live mealworms to the salad. Once he discovers the meat in there, he will automatically consume the salad while eating the meat. You can use any live worms or crickets he prefers with veggies to get him to inadvertently eat more veggies. Before you know it, he will eat veggies whether they wiggle around or not.
If the above tactics don’t work, you can try hand-feeding them tiny pieces of greens and fruits one piece at a time. If your bearded dragon is between 6 months and 1 year, you can skip a day or two of feeding worms or meats and only lay out veggies and fruits. He’ll get hungry enough, give in, and begin eating the veggies and fruits.
It’s important that you get your bearded dragon to eat a healthy mixture of both vegetables and insects whether they are his favorite or not. Just like a kid not wanting to eat his broccoli, you can try a variety of tactics to make sure you’re bearded dragon has a healthy and therefore a happy life.