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Bearded Dragons are omnivores that can eat a variety of fruits, vegetables and insects. Here are some ideas for foods to feed your dragon. If you’re ever unsure about whether they can eat something, make sure to look it up beforehand.
Fruits & Vegetables For Your Dragon
After your baby dragon has grown into a full sized adult, they will start to eat much more fruits and vegetables than insects. In fact, plant matter will make up the majority of their diet. This is why it’s important to find nutritious greens that are safe for your bearded dragon to eat.
Here are some beardie vegetable favorites:
- Bok Choy
- Turnip Greens
- Collard Greens
- Raw Cabbage
- Acorn Squash
- Sweet Potatoes
And here are some favorite fruits for your dragon:
Don’t forget to wash these fruits and vegetables thoroughly before cutting them up and feeding it to them. If pesticide is present on them, the toxins will certainly affect them sooner than later. Because beardies are such small reptiles, their bodies will react much more severely to toxins than humans will.
Insects For Your Bearded Dragon
There are a number of insects that provide a great source of protein for your beardie. Most of the time, you can find live insects anywhere you can find bearded dragons for sale, such as a local pet store. I’ve heard of a lot of beardie enthusiasts that have actually raised insects themselves to provide their pet with “organic” insects. It may be a good idea if time permits, but not everyone has the time or will. And, it is by no means necessary.
Here is the list of safe worms for your dragon:
- Meal Worms
- Wax Worms
- Phoenix Worms
- Silk Worms
- Butter Worms
- Red Worms
- Earth Worms
- Super Worms
I want to note that worms should only be given as treats, and not as a main source of their diet. These worms, especially silk worms, are considered to be very fatty. Having your pet reptile take in a lot of fat is never a healthy choice. Instead, insects should be the staple of your dragon’s diet.
Here are some safe insects for your dragon’s diet:
- Deathhead Roach
- Lobster Roach
- Discoid Roach
- Dubias Roach
Can I Feed My Beardie Insects I Catch?
The short answer is “no,” I wouldn’t recommend it. Unless you’re living in a cabin in the wild somewhere, do not catch insects for your bearded dragon. In a residential area, there’s a good chance that any insects wandering around have already been exposed to toxins. And, like I’ve mentioned before, your dragons are extremely sensitive to toxins.
Sure, you can make the argument that wild beardies eat insects that are in the wild. And although that’s true, the natural habitat of this particular reptile is not in a residential neighborhood.
Gut Loading Your Insects
An important step when it comes to your bearded dragon’s diet is gut loading. This refers to the process of feeding the insects before you let your dragons eat them. Although it does require some time and a little more money, I do highly recommend it.
Just like how humans like to eat animals that have been fed well (think Kobe Beef), so do your bearded dragons. This ensures they receive high nutritious insects in their diet, which will lead to better overall health.
You can mash up vegetables that are safe for your dragon (refer to the vegetables list) and feed them to the insects/worms. Do this roughly 24 hours before you plan on feeding the insects to your reptile.