What Do Bearded Dragons Eat?

If you’re a new reptile owner, you’re probably wondering what bearded dragons eat, how to build a bearded dragon diet and what your scaly friend should never snack on. The good news is that you don’t have to be a five-star chef to cook up a meal plan your beardie will love — just brush up on the basics!

Here’s everything you need to know about bearded dragon food: what it looks like, how it compares to a wild bearded dragon diet and what you should never put in your pet’s bowl.

What Would a Wild Bearded Dragon Eat?

When you first start planning a bearded dragon diet, you should ask one big question: What do bearded dragons eat in the wild? When you plan meals around your reptile’s basic instincts, you’ll have an easier time deciding what fruit, vegetable and insect varieties to offer.

Here’s a look at what a wild bearded dragon would dine on, according to National Geographic:

  • Insects: A wild beardie loves live insects. Their strong teeth and jaws allow them to crunch on insect varieties with tough shells.
  • Leaves and flowers: Although it might seem funny to imagine a reptile snacking on greenery, bearded dragons enjoy leaves, stems, flowers and other plant life.
  • Fruit: Baby bearded dragons mostly eat animal-based food like live insects, but an adult bearded dragon will snack on the occasional fruit.
  • Small animals: As omnivores, bearded dragons often eat whatever they can sink their teeth into, which includes small lizards and mammals. 

One of the most important things bearded dragons get from this diet is calcium. According to VCA Animal Hospitals, bearded dragons also need phosphorus and vitamin D, although in lower amounts than calcium.

Planning a Bearded Dragon Diet

So, what should your pet bearded dragon eat? What should they never be allowed to snack on? Here’s everything you need to know about bearded dragon food:

Bearded Dragon Food

As an omnivore, your bearded dragon can eat all kinds of things:

  • Dried feeder insect varieties like calcium-dusted crickets 
  • Live insects including earthworms, mealworms and Dubia roaches
  • Leafy green foods like turnip greens or dandelion greens
  • Vegetable varieties like kale and parsley

A bearded dragon diet may also need to include added calcium, phosphorus and vitamin D3, according to VCA Animal Hospitals. Just make sure to talk to your vet before including any vitamins or additives in your beardie’s food.

Another thing to keep in mind is that, while much bearded dragon food can be found in your own backyard, it’s best to leave live insects and wild greenery outside where it belongs. That’s because these things could have come into contact with pesticides or other factors that might be toxic to your beardie.

How Often to Feed Your Beardie

Like humans, every bearded dragon has an individual appetite. Most eat once or twice a day, but others may want to eat more or less depending on their needs. Keep an eye on how much your beardie munches so you can offer the right amount of food without any excess waste.

Remember to make sure your beardie’s water bowl is always full, as they’ll drink throughout the day. You might also want to mist their leafy green foods with a little bit of water to help keep them hydrated.

What Not to Feed a Bearded Dragon

Just like chocolate isn’t safe for dogs, bearded dragons can’t eat certain foods. Here are a few live food and plant matter varieties to keep away from your little reptile:

  • Fireflies
  • Bees
  • Wasps
  • Ladybugs
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Dairy products

Bearded Dragons and Other Pets

Keep in mind that your beardie would eat small lizards and mammals in the wild, which means you shouldn’t keep pets like mice, gerbils, small birds, reptiles or amphibians in or near your bearded dragon habitat. On the other hand, pets like large birds, cats or ferrets might eat your scaly friend — especially if you have a baby bearded dragon — so keep them away, too.

Speaking of other pets, make sure your bearded dragon doesn’t snack on their food. Cat food, for example, could have too little calcium and too much phosphorus, meaning your beardie isn’t getting the nutrients they need for their reptile bodies.

Bearded Dragon Treats and Snacks

Although most of your bearded dragon’s diet should be vegetables and live food like roaches or calcium-dusted crickets, these scaly critters will love a reptile snack or two on a rare occasion. Here are a few fun things to offer your beardie as a treat, according to VCA Animal Hospitals:

  • Wax worms
  • Silkworms
  • Pinkie mice
  • Spinach
  • Cucumber
  • Fruit
  • Asparagus
  • Dandelion flowers
  • Roses

Keep in mind that, just like your own meals, a bearded dragon diet should never be based on treats and snacks. These foods don’t offer the nutrients your scaly friend needs — especially baby bearded dragons, who need nutritious food to keep growing.

However, snacks are a fun part of bearded dragon care because they give you a chance to train your beardie. That’s right: These clever climbers can learn tricks! Your bearded dragon can use a litter box, walk on a leash, come when you call their name, and more — and the training process is much easier when you offer treats as a reward.

Feed Your Bearded Dragon the Smart Way

Bearded dragon care is fun and exciting, but it comes with plenty of questions, too. One of your most important tasks is to find out what your beardie likes to dine on, from different insect varieties to snacks like fruit and flowers. 

If you need bearded dragon food — or habitat accessories, reptile supplies, heat lamps and other beardie necessities — you’re in the right place. At Pet Supermarket, We Speak PetTM, which means we know just what your scaly friend is hungry for and we’re here to fulfill their every need.

Visit your local Pet Supermarket today to find everything you need to become a bearded dragon care expert.

Pet Owner Guide to Caring for a Bearded Dragon

If you’re thinking of adding a bearded dragon to your family, consider these tips and a checklist for essential supplies from Pet Supermarket.

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