Bearded Dragon Diet Tips, Tricks and Rules

Bearded Dragon
8/17/2015

When properly adhered to, a bearded dragon’s diet can have a number of beneficial effects on their life. A proper diet can increase their lifespan, enhance the richness of their coloring and stabilize their mood. Finding the right diet for your dragon, however, can be a difficult task for the uninitiated. In this entry, we’re going to look at a few dietary recommendations that will keep your bearded dragon happy, healthy and active.

Bearded dragons are omnivores

First and foremost, dragons eat a diverse range of foods. Unlike other pets, there is no single bearded dragon food. From collard and mustard greens to crickets and hornworms, dragons require multiple food sources in order to maximize their nutritional health. While this gives you a lot of options in regards to feeding them, it’s important to remember that you can’t just give them any old bug you find crawling around the house. Many wild insects are tainted by fertilizers or pesticides and, in some cases, carry parasites that can be passed on to your beloved pet. Only feed your bearded dragon crickets that have been purchased from reputable sources.

When it comes to diet, age matters

If you’re new to raising bearded dragons, chances are that you’ve purchased an adolescent dragon from a local pet store. When they are less than on year old, dragons prefer a diet that is richer in protein. At this age, the optimal diet consists of a mixture of 70% crickets and 30% fruits and vegetables. Like their human counterparts, young bearded dragons tend to hate eating their vegetables. A good solution is to feed your dragon three times per day, providing them with both crickets and vegetables but removing any uneaten crickets after ten to fifteen minutes.

As an adult, a bearded dragon’s diet shifts drastically. After they are a year old, their primary food will be fruits and vegetables. Of course, they still require insects once per day, however, it’s important to be careful with their portions. Overeating is dangerous and unhealthy for adult dragons, so after fifteen minutes it is best to remove any uneaten crickets from their tank.

General rules for a healthy bearded dragon

As we mentioned above, it’s crucial that you never feed your bearded dragon wild insects. Many insects, regardless of pesticides and parasites, are simply fatal to them, such as fireflies. Rules are a little more lax when it comes to fruits and vegetables, however, it is recommended that owners avoid avocados, lettuce and spinach.

A rule of thumb that we recommend following is to never feed your bearded dragon a piece of food that is wider than the distance between their eyes. Anything larger than this gap can be difficult for your pet to swallow and, as a result, can pose a choking hazard. For most dragons, we recommend Top Hat’s medium-sized crickets.

Whether you’re a longtime owner or a fresh face, Top Hat Cricket Farm wishes you and your pet the best!

Tags: bearded dragon, crickets, reptile, top hat