What can bearded dragons eat? The short answer: a lot. The long answer will show that supplying some lettuce and a water dish simply won’t do. Just like humans, beardies need a well balanced diet accompanied by specific nutritional cloudy pool water supplements. There are also foods that can be poisonous to them, or just don’t add any value to their diet whatsoever. Knowing the difference between good and bad chow will play a huge role in the overall health and longevity of your pet’s life.
The golden rule when it comes to a beardie’s diet is to ensure that all food items, veggies and insects, are less than 3/4 of your lizard’s head. Not doing so can result in the blocking of their digestive track. This will ultimately lead to even more serious health risks. Make sure your insects are correct size and chop all veggies well.
For the vegetarian side of their appetite, dragons benefit most from dark leafy greens. Turnip, dandelion, mustard and collard greens will do. Any kind of squash is also a suitable choice as an everyday staple along with kale, cactus pads, escarole, and endive. You can add most kinds of beans, bell peppers, asparagus and bok choy on occasion to change things up. Fresh berries of all kinds as well as mango,peaches, pears and oranges can be offered occasionally. Stay away from avocado and rhubarb as they are poisonous and can kill your pet.
For insects you will want to go with crickets, silkworms, phoenix worms, or dubia roaches as staples. As your dragon matures they will be able to handle a wider variety of worms and an occasional pinky mouse. Crickets are the cheapest choice, and are usually easier to get a hold of than some of the other feeders. Whatever you decide, you will want to “gut load” them in advance. This means feeding your feeders a nutritional diet before offering them to your dragon. This maximizes the nutritional value your pet gains from these bugs.
In addition to the correct food items, you should be “dusting your insects and even vegetables with a calcium and multi-vitamin supplement. For young dragons you should be dusting with calcium once a day and a few times a week with multi-vitamin. For mature lizards, dust their meals 4 times a week with calcium and twice a week with multi-vitamins. Be sure not to use both supplements for the same feeding, as they can work against each other if ingest simultaneously.