What vegetables to feed baby bearded dragons

What do Bearded Dragons eat? Our bearded dragon diet guide.

You will need to prepare some fruit and veg by taking the peel off or cutting it down into bite-sized pieces. You should also remove all pips from food.

If you put live insects in with your Dragon make sure they don’t drown in its water bowl. If they do, clean them out as soon as possible.

Check with your vet for expert advice about reptile diets and always get your Bearded Dragon checked out if you are concerned about them.

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Bearded Dragons can eat a range of insects

What can't Bearded Dragons eat?

Stick with food in the lists above and you should be fine, but there are a few food items that you need to ensure you avoid feeding your bearded dragon.

Dragons will consume things even if they are harmful so it is your responsibility to make sure they aren’t given them in the first place.

If your pet does get sick, seek advice from a vet. Insurance can cover many problems that can affect Bearded Dragons.

  • Onion
  • Chives
  • Celery
  • Mushrooms
  • Lemon - this citrus fruit will upset your dragons tummy
  • Orange - another citrus fruit that will upset your dragons tummy
  • Iceberg lettuce It’s mostly water and has little nutritional value so don’t let your Bearded Dragon eat it
  • Spinach and beet tops Some guides will say these are fine for your Beardie, and they can be in small quantities. However, both contain chemicals that can cause calcium deficiency, which in turn can lead to metabolic bone disease. An occasional taste shouldn’t harm a Bearded Dragon, but with so many other options available it may be best to choose different greens
  • Insects captured in the wild Wild insects may have parasites in them that can harm reptiles. Exotic pet shops should have a range of live and dead insects for your Bearded Dragon. And it would be pretty hard finding enough wild insects in the UK anyway!
  • Fireflies Never feed Bearded Dragons, or any other reptile, fireflies. Any insects that glow are toxic and can kill reptiles
  • Avocados Chemicals in avocados are toxic for Beardies. A small amount will make your reptile ill and a large portion can be fatal
  • Rhubarb High levels of oxalic acid in rhubarb can be deadly poisonous for Bearded Dragons

You should not give your dragon any sort of fish or seafood such as prawns.

There is a long list of wild plants that are poisonous for Bearded Dragons. Here are a few that are more common in the UK: bracken fern, buttercup, crocus, daffodil, holly, horse chestnut, ivy, oak and poppy.

Basically, if you aren’t 100% sure it’s safe for your pet, don’t give it to them.

Like this article? Then you may like this article Loss of Appetite in Reptiles

One final thing to think about is sand. You’re not likely to give your Bearded Dragon sand to eat but many owners use it as a substrate and because it is loose it can easily be consumed when your Beardie is eating.

If consumed it can cause impaction, which means it builds up inside an animal because it can’t be digested and causes a blockage that can be fatal. Even calcium sand can cause impaction.

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Baby Bearded Dragon diet information?

You may be wondering what do baby bearded dragons eat?

Baby Bearded Dragons are also known as hatchlings. Reptile expert Pete Hawkins states 3 stages of growth, the youngest being bearded dragons aged 0-6 months which are classed as babies. They will need to eat more insects than vegetables, and they will need to be fed more often than older Beardies. They can be fed up to three times a day.

If you leave vegetables and greens in their cage they’ll munch on them whenever they want and then you can add insects over three 10 - 15 minute feeding periods.

Baby Dragons can eat several insects during this time, but it’s fine if they stop eating. They're just full! Clear out any insects they don’t want and start again a few hours later.

As they get older Bearded Dragons need fewer insects or they’ll get fat.

Juvenile and adult Bearded Dragon diets

Juvenile Bearded Dragons are bearded dragons aged between 6-12 months and they should be fed insects five out of seven times a week, while still feeding greens everyday, according to reptile expert Pete Hawkins. 

Again fruit can still remain, but in limited quantities, and not everyday.

Adult Bearded Dragons are those aged 12 months and older and they should eat less insects and animal matter. You only need to give your dragon insects two or three times a week, with vegetation everyday.   

Remember, adult Beardies don't need too many insects and animal matter otherwise they'll become obese.

In the wild, Bearded Dragons will get a lot of exercise, meaning they can naturally eat more meat, however, domesticated Beardies don't get this.

Crickets are one of the most popular live foods for bearded dragons

What is the best live food?

The most popular live food for Bearded Dragons are crickets and meal worms. You can find them in most pet stores. Northampton Reptile Centre offer a great selection that you can order online. They're easy to store and don’t cost too much.

Live crickets are also a good choice because chasing them can be stimulating for your Dragon, you might be surprised how quick they are!

When buying live food most people think about the nutritional value, how easy it is to store and how much it costs. You should also make sure you vary what you buy occasionally so that your pet eats a range of animal matter.

500 crickets cost around £4-£8 depending on which size you purchase and they're available online or in pet shops. When you get them home, store them in boxes with holes in.

Only use crickets that your Bearded Dragon can eat easily, if they’re bigger than the space between your Dragon’s eyes they may have a problem consuming them.

To add more nutritional value you can dust them with calcium or vitamin powders. 

Try reading some of our other articles such as Advice on Reptile Vivariums, Heating and Lighting

Once you’ve dropped the crickets in with your Bearded Dragon make sure they don’t drown in its water bowl.

If they do you can just pick them out, but don’t leave them there.

Pet shops do sell covers for water bowls to stop crickets getting in and some people recommend filling the bowl with polymer crystals, which they can walk on.  

Meal worms are cheap and can be stored in or out of the fridge. If you put them in the fridge they will survive and last a little longer but they’ll go into a dormant state.

Meal worms do have a higher fat content than crickets so make sure you don't give your Dragon too many, they won't stop eating them even if it's making them fat!

Most live feeders for Bearded Dragons can start to smell when you’re storing them. It’s worth finding space for them in a garage, if you have one.

Cockroaches, locust and other kinds of worms are also popular live food. Some people give their adult Bearded Dragons live mice but it involves much more work and knowledge than other food and is not essential to their diet.

Gut loading insects

It's important to gut load any insects you give to your dragon. This means feeding your insects ideally what you're not feeding your dragon that week.

When your dragon eats those insects he'll be ingesting the goodness the insect has eaten. Providing even more nutritional variety to your dragon's diet.

Vitamins and calcium in your Bearded Dragons diet

Calcium deficiency can be problem among reptiles and it can lead to metabolic bone disease.

Even with a varied diet Bearded Dragons can benefit from calcium and vitamin supplements to keep them healthy.

Pete Hawkins recommends using Arcadia Earth Pro-A, as it contains a full spectrum of vitamins and minerals.

He also recommends using Arcadia CalciumPro Magnesium. Again sprinkling it across all insects.

What to do if a Bearded Dragon is not eating

Common reasons are the temperature being too high or low through incorrect setup, impaction caused by ingesting loose substrate, shedding skin, parasites or stress.

Brumation can also be a cause for your Beardie to lose its appetite. Find out more about this in our Bearded Dragon Brumation article. 

Refusing food doesn’t immediately mean something is wrong. Bearded Dragons do get full and sometimes adults might not eat for a day, or if they're too hot they might just be very thirsty. However, if they’re losing weight it’s a cause for concern.

If they’re not eating, check the temperature, which should be 35 - 43oC on the basking spot, with a cool-down area 27oC - 32oC and make sure that your Beardie hasn't been eating loose substrate. Dragons might also refuse food that is too big, a good guide is sticking to insects that are no larger than the space between your Bearded Dragon’s eyes.

You should also check that your dragons UV is in date. A bulb lasts for around 12 months, and you can find this information on the packaging. Check its at the correct distance from the basking spot, and ensure you use a reflector. 

If your setup and food is good, check if your Bearded Dragon is shedding its skin because that can cause them to stop eating for a short period.

Other flags that your Bearded Dragon may be ill include diarrhoea, a lack of energy, droopy or swollen eyes.

If you are concerned about your Bearded Dragon go to a vet or call one as soon as possible. Find out how ExoticDirect’s pet insurance can cover vet fees or where to find a specialist vet.

There are a number of reasons Bearded Dragons might refuse food and it is difficult to diagnose the exact cause or illness unless you are a vet.

For more information on why your Beardie may not be eating, read our article Loss of Appetite in Reptiles.

Best food for a Bearded Dragon that is ill

Always follow the advice of your vet, if they’ve diagnosed an illness they may be able to recommend a specific diet. You can find a find a vet that specialises in exotic pets here.

There are methods of feeding your dragon that can help for certain conditions. If they’re dehydrated, you might need to cut out solid foods until they’re ready for them and use a syringe to drop an electrolyte solution near or on their mouth.

For other illnesses you it’s possible to create a watery mix of food and nutrients and feed it to them with a syringe. You should be able to slowly build up to solid food.

But always check with a vet if you’re planning to change your pet’s diet.

Is your Bearded Dragon insured? Get a quote for £1,000 of vet fees, death and theft cover. Vet fee cover only also available | We've been insuring exotic pets since 1996 | Check out our customer reviews on Feefo.

Disclaimer Advice provided within this article does not reflect the opinions of ExoticDirect pet insurance. Advice provided within this article is not a substitute for veterinary advice.

Bearded Dragons - Feeding | VCA Animal Hospital

There are eight species of bearded dragons, but the most popular one is the inland or central bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps) from the arid to semi-arid southeastern parts of Australia. Pogona vitticeps is the spcies discussed in this handout.


What do bearded dragons eat?

Bearded dragons come from a habitat where food may be sparse, so they accept a wide variety of different foods. Bearded dragons are omnivorous, meaning they eat both plant- and animal-based foods, including insects.

"Bearded dragons eat both plant- and animal-based foods."

They have a sharp eye and keen sense of smell. Young, growing bearded dragons tend to be primarily carnivores, and adults tend to be more herbivorous. As a guideline, depending on its age, a bearded dragon's diet should be about 50% plant-based material and 50% animal-based material. Be sure to discuss a specific diet for your pet lizard with your veterinarian.

How often should I feed my bearded dragon?

Most young bearded dragons eat once or twice daily, while older lizards can be fed once daily, depending upon each pet's individual appetite.

What are some types of plant material I can feed my bearded dragon?

Most (80-90%) of the plant material should be vegetables and flowers, and only 10-20% should be fruits. As a rule, anything dark green and leafy can make up a large part of the diet. Yellow, red, and orange vegetables may also be included. Avoid fiber-rich, nutrient-poor and vitamin-deficient light green vegetables, including iceberg or head lettuce and celery; these vegetables are mainly composed of fiber and water with little nutrient value. The inner, light colored parts of some vegetables are less nutritious than the darker green, outer leaves.

Acceptable vegetables that should represent a high percentage of the diet include collard greens, beet greens, mustard greens, broccoli, turnip greens, alfalfa hay or chow, bok choy, kale, parsley, Swiss chard, watercress, clover, red or green cabbage, savory, cilantro, kohlrabi, bell peppers, green beans, escarole, and dandelion. A lesser percentage of the diet can include cactus, various squash, sprouts, cooked sweet potato, parsnips, okra, cucumber, asparagus, mushrooms, carrots, peas, and corn. Fruit can include apples, pears, bananas (with skin), mango, grapes, star fruit, raisins, peaches, tomato, guava, kiwis, and melons. Fruits that are particularly healthy include figs (high in calcium), apricots, dates, raspberries, and strawberries. Fruits may be eaten preferentially, but are generally mineral-poor so they should be fed sparingly as top dressing. As a treat, flowers such as geraniums, carnations, dandelions, hibiscus, nasturtiums, and roses, may also be offered.

"Fruits are generally mineral-poor, so they should be fed sparingly as top dressing. "

Vegetables can be offered cooked or raw, although raw is more natural and retains more nutrients. Thoroughly wash all fruits and vegetables. Flowers can be home grown or purchased from floral shops. Often, floral shops throw out older, wilted flowers. While these may be unacceptable for sale to the public, bearded dragon owners can often get them at no charge. Before feeding them to your dragon, be sure that no chemicals have been applied to the flowers or water.

Swiss chard, spinach, and beet greens should be fed sparingly, as they contain oxalates that can bind calcium and other trace minerals, preventing their absorption. Diets composed primarily of these can lead to nutrient deficiencies. Caution should also be exercised when feeding cabbage, kale, and mustard greens; these vegetables contain goitrogens (substances that suppress thyroid gland function by interfering with iodine uptake), and excessive intake may lead to hypothyroidism.

"Swiss chard, spinach, and beet greens should be fed sparingly, as they contain oxalates that can bind calcium and other trace minerals. "

Food should be presented in a shallow clean dish that is not easily tipped over. Vegetables should be finely chopped and mixed together to ensure your bearded dragon eats a wide variety of food types and to discourage selection of a single preferred food item.

What types of animal-based proteins can I offer my bearded dragon?

Appropriate animal-based protein sources include grasshoppers, gut-loaded (i.e., fed nutritious food that is then passed on to the lizard) or calcium-dusted crickets and mealworms, spiders, wax worms (occasionally, as they are high fat), silk worms (occasionally), tofu, moths, slugs, and earthworms.

Live prey, such as crickets and various worms, may be raised by owners or purchased from pet stores, bait stores, or reptile breeders. Collecting insects from outside or from the home garden is not recommended, as fertilizers and insecticides may be present in or on these insects and may be toxic if fed to bearded dragons. Fireflies should never be fed to bearded dragons, as these flies are generally toxic to lizards. Larger bearded dragons may be fed pinkie or young "fuzzy" mice sparingly.

Remember to feed a healthy and wide variety of food items from all of the food categories listed above for balanced nutrition.

Do I need to give my bearded dragons vitamins and minerals?

Bearded dragons have a higher need for dietary calcium than phosphorus, especially when they are young and their bones are growing. Generally, veterinarians recommend that 2-3 times per week, you LIGHTLY sprinkle food offered to bearded dragons with a calcium powder (calcium gluconate, lactate, or carbonate) not containing vitamin D3, and an additional 2-3 times a week, you LIGHTLY sprinkle food with a calcium powder containing vitamin D3. In addition, once a week, you should provide a LIGHT sprinkling of a general reptile mineral supplement on the food. Supplements should be dusted onto small portions of salads or moist foods, and those portions should be fed first to ensure that the bearded dragon consumes them.

A common problem seen in pet bearded dragons is inappropriate supplementation with calcium and vitamins (especially vitamin D3) and minerals. Check with your veterinarian for specific recommendations about supplementing your pet's diet.

What about water?

Fresh water in a crock that will not easily tip over should be available at all times. Provide fresh water daily and ensure it stays clean; wash and disinfect the water bowl daily.

Bearded dragons in the wild get most of the water they need from rain or morning dew on plants and the other food they eat; some do not seem to recognize a dish of water. Misting vegetable matter fed to pet bearded dragons is another way to help keep them hydrated. In addition, pet bearded dragons may be misted directly with water from a plant mister or soaked a few times a week, too, to ensure they are hydrated.

Different types of bearded dragons may have slightly different nutritional needs. Opinions vary regarding the most appropriate diet for captive bearded dragons, and our knowledge and understanding of this subject continues to grow and change. Please discuss your bearded dragon’s specific dietary needs (based on his age, weight, and health status) with a reptile-savvy veterinarian familiar with your lizard.

Remember – always WASH YOUR HANDS THOROUGHLY after feeding, cleaning, and handling a bearded dragon, as they can carry bacteria and parasites that may not be harmful to them but that may affect us.

Bearded dragon - description, care, feeding, maintenance and breeding at home

Bearded dragon is an obedient and easy-to-care pet. These lizards have been kept at home for over 30 years. The natural color is dominated by yellowish, gray or brown tones. The color may change depending on the temperature and condition of the animal. Now you can buy a variety of bred morphs, which makes this species attractive for both beginners and advanced amateurs.

The size of an adult individual can reach 40-60 cm. The body has a flattened ellipsoidal shape. On the body, mainly on the sides, there are scales in the form of prickly spikes. The head has a triangular shape and is framed by spines.

The lizard lives in arid deserts and semi-deserts of Australia. Leads an active daily life on the ground, sometimes climbing onto stones and branches of low trees. He uses burrows of other animals, piles of stones, crevices at the roots of trees and bushes as shelters.

For adults, a 90x45x45 cm terrarium is suitable, for young dragons you can use a smaller 60x45x30 cm terrarium. when the animal reaches 1 year.

Temperature is the most important parameter for keeping a bearded dragon at home. Only with the right temperature regime the animal will be able to fully digest food, develop and grow normally. The lizard's metabolism depends entirely on the correct temperature gradient, which is created by special lamps.

During the day the temperature should be 25-30 °C in the "cool zone" and 38-50 °C in the warm zone "under the sun".
For heating, a powerful directional heat and light lamp is installed, which is recommended for use in a luminaire with a bracket. You can raise and lower the lamp depending on what temperature is required in the terrarium.

Night temperatures can drop to 22°C.
Supplementary heating - eg heat cable, terrarium thermomat, ceramic heater, infrared lamps - may be required if the temperature falls below the recommended range.

Use Desert Sand or Stone Desert as a substrate. It is necessary to install strong snags, stones on which it is convenient for animals to climb, shelters and a small drinking bowl with water in the terrarium.

Several daylight lamps (Natural Light and Reptile Vision) and lamps with strong UV radiation (UVB150-200) are installed in the terrarium for lighting.

Daylight hours for the bearded dragon is 12-14 hours.

Terrarium humidity is not supported. Caring for a bearded dragon consists of bathing. A lizard under the age of 3 months should be bathed once a week in a basin with water at 30 ° C, 2-3 cm deep. From 3-6 months, you can bathe once every 2 weeks. From 6-12 months, 1 time per month is enough.

Only use the terrarium with a proven ventilation system that promotes good air exchange and prevents the windows from fogging up.

Bearded dragons have a diet of insects, greens, vegetables and fruits. The diet of an animal up to a year old should consist of 70% insects and 30% plant foods. As the lizards get older, the ratio should change to about 70% plant foods and 30% insects.

Approximate feeding schedule
1-6 months - ~10 crickets every day.
6-12 months - every other day ~10 crickets or 1-3 locusts.
12 months and older - 2-3 times a week for ~10 crickets or 5-8 locusts.

The numbers of insects given are approximate and may not correspond to the needs of a particular animal. Focus on your pet's appetite. You can also use frozen insects or Repashy special food as food.

Before feeding insects, pollinate with calcium and vitamins. Plant foods can be offered every day. You can feed all kinds of salads, various vegetables and fruits.

Eliminate all types of cabbage, tomatoes, citrus fruits and other acidic vegetables, fruits and berries.

In summer you can give dandelions, clover, knotweed, other weeds. Feed the animal in the morning and afternoon hours, but not at night. Animals under one year old should not be limited in feeding.

The Bearded Dragon should always have access to fresh drinking water.

Bearded dragons become sexually mature, ready for breeding by the age of two. This is an oviparous species. After mating, after 45-65 days, females lay eggs. To do this, they need to dig a hole with a depth of at least 40 cm. The number of eggs in a clutch is from 9up to 25 pieces. After 55-90 days, babies hatch from the eggs.

With proper maintenance and care in your home, the bearded dragon will live up to 12-14 years.

Bearded dragons are very territorial, so males should never be placed together. These lizards should be kept singly or in groups where there is a male and several females.

Like any other animal, the bearded dragon can get sick. Of course, if all the rules are followed, the risk of disease is minimized. If you suspect any disease, call our store and we will advise you.

Signs of illness:

  • lethargy,
  • lack of appetite for a long time,
  • problematic molt.

Bearded dragons get used to human contact very quickly. When the animal understands that there is no danger, it ceases to be afraid and will come out on its own. For the purpose of taming, it is necessary to feed the agama from your hands, take it out of the terrarium for some time and hold it in your hands, stroke it on the back. If she does not experience stress outside the terrarium, you can let her walk around the room, after closing the windows and locking other pets in separate rooms. The lizard should be outside the terrarium only under supervision.

On our site there are many photos of bearded dragons, as well as a video, after watching which you will get acquainted with the habits of a reptile.

Panteric only supplies healthy animals. Our consultants help with the choice of everything you need for terrarium equipment, answer all your questions, and give important tips on care and breeding. For the time of departure, you can leave your pet in our hotel, which will be monitored by experienced veterinarians.

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In this article, we will explain in detail how to care for a pet. We will tell you what they eat and how snakes breed.

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All instructions

Keeping and Feeding Bearded Dragons

  1. Keeping Bearded Dragons
  2. Feeding Bearded Dragons

The Bearded Dragon is a stunningly beautiful reptile that is great for keeping in a city apartment, good contact with people and can become a real pet.

In the wild, these lizards live in the deserts of Australia. Almost all agamas that can now be bought are bred in captivity. The average life span of bearded dragons in captivity is 10-15 years.

Keeping a bearded dragon

Before you bring your dragon home, prepare a place for it. Of course, like any reptile, dragons are cold-blooded animals, so they should be kept in a terrarium. For agamas, it is better to purchase a horizontal glass terrarium, the optimal size is 180 cm wide, 50 deep and 50 high. The terrarium must be closed with a lid so that the lizard does not escape.

Since bearded dragons are hermits, they need a humidity level of 30-40%. The temperature in the terrarium should be at the level of 26-29g. C, temperature under the heating lamp 36-38gr. C. For this, you can use incandescent lamps or ceramic lamps, you need to hang them at a distance of 45 cm from the place of heating, so that the agama cannot get burned. To monitor the temperature, you need to attach a thermometer to the wall of the terrarium, and you can also use a thermostat.

An ultraviolet lamp must be lit along with the heating lamp throughout the day. Reptiles require UV A and B spectrum lamps. These lamps are available from terrarium and aquarium stores. Day mode: 14 hours - daylight hours, 10 hours - night time.

Sand and pebbles at least 10 mm in diameter are most often used as soil. Sand is poured in a layer of 10 cm, so that, if desired, the lizard can burrow into the ground. There are also ready-made terrarium mats that are sold in pet stores (not rubber mats).

The terrarium should be equipped with branches (without bark), rocks (from the pet store) and a shelter where the dragon can hide if desired. It is better not to put artificial and live plants in the terrarium, as the agama will eat them.

To improve life processes (prevention of diseases, help with molting), the agama can be bathed in a small bath, so that the head is always on top, with a water temperature of 29-32 gr. C. This procedure should be done 1-2 times a week.

General cleaning in the terrarium is enough to carry out once a month (wash the entire terrarium, equipment, change or clean the soil). Food and faeces should be removed as soon as they appear.

Bearded dragon feeding

In the terrarium, you can put a container with water to maintain an optimal level of humidity, a drinker, but not all lizards drink from it. You can spray the agama once a day, and she will lick the droplets from her body, or give moistened greens.

Bearded dragons are omnivorous lizards. In nature, they eat everything from leaves and stems to small mice and chicks. Therefore, at home, it is quite easy for them to choose the right diet.

For plant food, leafy vegetables (Chinese cabbage, lettuce, spinach), vegetables (carrots, green beans, peas, peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant), fruits (pitted apples, bananas, grapes in small quantities) are suitable for them. , juicy green food (dandelion, clover, wheat leaves, germinated oats).

Animal feed suitable for mealworm, zoophobus, crickets, cockroaches and newborn mice. All these "products" can be bought at the pet store. For feeding worms, you need a bowl with high edges so that they cannot crawl out and burrow into the ground. It is better to feed crickets and cockroaches in a separate small terrarium or a plastic jig, a basin is not suitable for this, as crickets can jump out. You can also feed insects with tweezers. You just need to do it carefully so that the agama does not bite on the tweezers themselves, otherwise it can break its face.

Ready-made food for lizards and vitamin-mineral complexes for reptiles can be added to these feeds as top dressing. In Russia, such drugs as Reptilife (Agrovetzashchita), Reptolife (Tetra), Wordley (Calcium and Multivitamin) are common.

Young bearded dragons (up to 5 months old) should be fed 3 times a day so that animal food makes up more than half, and vegetable food less. "Teenagers" can be fed once a day, adult agamas (after 18 months) should be fed every other day so that they have less than half of animal food, and more vegetable food.

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