What To Feed A Bearded Dragon? Better Be Careful

What To Feed A Bearded DragonSo the question is: What to feed a bearded dragon? Well what do you think to feed a dragon? Humans of course! Don´t you have an annoying neighbour or a stupid boss you would love to sacrifice to the dragon? Lol, don´t worry I am just kidding.

Beardies might look like dragons, but in fact they are always calm and relaxed and won´t spit fire if they are angry on you.

What you are going to learn in this article

So these loveable little wanna-be dragons have to eat something. In this article I am going to show you

  • what a healthy bearded dragon diet looks like and how often you should feed your dragon.
  • Further I am going to tell you what makes the difference between feeding an adult bearded dragon and feeding a baby bearded dragon.
  • tips on supplementing and gut loading
  • At the end of this article I´ll give you a few recommendations where you can order your bearded dragon food online.

Hope you enjoy this article!

What do bearded dragons eat?

A lot of people like reptiles and want to have one, but when they see what those reptiles eat, they immediately don´t want to have a reptile anymore.
So, if you are such a person who does not like feeding insects, spiders or little mammals (I understand that, don´t worry), I have some good news for you. Adult bearded dragons should eat vegetables most of the time.

Get started with Bearded Dragons in 5-Steps!

Adult bearded dragon diet

If you have an adult bearded dragon or if you want to get one, you should feed your dragon live food two to three times per week. 6 times per week bearded dragons should eat vegetables.

No food one day per week!

A lot of people do not do that, but I only feed 6 days a week. 1 day a week my beardies get nothing except water of course. In my opinion this is more natural and my dragons are very healthy. Beardies can get fat quickly and that can cause damage to liver and kidneys. I think I do not have to say that your beardies can die from that.

Small mammals can be feed once in a while, but you do not have to do that. I would not feed small mammals more than once in 3 months.

Diet of a 6 months old beardie

I usually switch the diet when my beardies get 6 months old. Before they got live food every day, but after six months I think it is time to feed a little less of crickets etc.

You should feed live food four times a week now. Vegetables should still be offered every day.

Please note that it always depends on your dragons size and state of health. If you get a dragon which is underfed or sick, of course you have to feed it more live food for more energy. Please do not get me wrong here.

Diet of a baby bearded dragon

Even if they are very small, baby bearded dragons eat the most. You should offer live food every day.

Besides that you should also feed vegetables, although the babys will most probably not eat much of that.

What kind of live food?
bearded dragon dietI mostly feed crickets and locusts.

Once in a while my beardies get mealworms or zophobas. However I use that more as a treat. You should not feed those worms too often, since your beardies will get fat quickly from that.

What kind of vegetables?

You can find a list of vegetables and live food you can feed your beardie here. If you click this link, it will open in a new tab, so you can continue to read this article.

How much should you feed?

It is not easy to say that without seeing the animal, as I already said above it depends on the size of your dragon and on the state of health.

Baby bearded dragons get 5 – 10 crickets a day. However most of the time I do not feed all 10 crickets at a time. I throw three of them in the tank and look if my baby beardie gets all of them. After that I feed more.

6 months old beardies should eat less than babies. I feed 4 to 5 crickets four times a week.

Adult dragons get 3 big crickets three times a week.

However that are just vague numbers. But you can take this as rule of thumb:

Never feed your bearded dragon so much, that it is full. That sounds a little bit weird and maybe cruel, but it really is not. You want to make sure that you do not overfeed your pet.

Supplementation and gut-loading

If you buy live food for your reptile, most of the times it is already gut-loaded.
What does that mean?

It means that the insects were fed with fruits or vegetables. Why?
Well let me explain:

The insects you feed your bearded dragon are a bus and all the vitamins of the fruits and vegetables get into the insect-bus. Next stop Bearded Dragon Stomach City.

The result? A healthy and happy beardie.

(That part with the insect-bus was really weird…whatever lol)

No matter if the food you´ve bought was already gut-loaded, you should always feed the insects with salad, vegetables or fruits before feeding your beardie.

Supplementation

You should always offer a source of calcium.

You should dust the crickets you feed with supplements 2 times a week. Be very careful, you do not want to use supplements more often since that can cause poisoning. A lot of bearded dragons die from poisoning.

Where to order bearded dragon food?

bearded dragon foodI was pretty surprised to see that you can get live food for reptiles at Amazon. First I though that the quality can´t be good there, but according to the reviews on Amazon, they offer a great service.

After seeing this I have tried it myself and ordered some crickets and locusts for my beardies and I have to say that the quality instead was great. Only a few of them were dead, which is absolutely normal.

I don´t know what you think, but I find it a little bit annoying to always run to the next pet shop, I rather order my beardie food online.

Further not all pet shops have live food for reptiles. Amazon even have hornworms, which are an awesome treat for bearded dragons, since the like them very much.

Get Your Bearded Dragon Food Here At Amazon!

You could also order your food from petco, but they only send huge quantities and I do not like that. 1000 crickets per order are too much for me. However it is okay if you have a lot of reptiles at home.

So now you know what to feed a bearded dragon!
Do you have any questions? Leave them in the comment section, I will get back to you quickly!

What do you feed your bearded dragon? Do you have any additional tips for a bearded dragon diet? Leave your tips in the comment section below so we can help bearded dragon lovers together 🙂

All the best,

Pierre

Pierre

About the Author

Pierre

Hey! I am Pierre. I own bearded dragons and many other reptiles for a very long time. I know from experience that it can be very hard to find the right information about a specific reptile, since there is so much misinformation out there.That´s why I created this website. To help other people to have the best time with their reptiles.

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Amber

Hi there!

Thank you for having this site… I have 2 bearded dragons 11 years old. I feed them boiled chicken breast when I don’t have time to run to the pet store for crickets. Problem is, my friend fed a piece of chicken fat/skin to them. Will they be ok or should I rush them to the vet? One of them had fatty liver disease in the past and almost died from it.

Please and thanks so much for your help!!

Amber

    Pierre

    Hey Amber!

    You are welcome, I am glad that you like it! 🙂
    If you do not have the time to run to the pet store, you should feed your beardies salad. Here is a food list where you can see what bearded dragons are allowed to eat. Beardie Food List.

    I would not feed the bearded dragon boiled chicken. Think about this: Bearded dragons can eat small mammals and they do that in the wild. However Mostly they catch insects and stuff like that.
    Most bearded dragon owners only feed their bearded dragons small mammals after they laid eggs or when they are underfed, because it is just too much for beardies to feed it more often.

    You have seen it yourself. Your bearded dragon suffered from a fatty liver and almost died.

    So my recommendation is: Don´t feed chicken at all and only feed them salad if you don´t have the time for buying live food. Further it is okay if you do not feed at all for a couple of days, but don´t overdo it. In fact it is just natural. Just make sure they have enough water.

    Do you need to go to the vet? I can´t tell, since I do not know how long you have been feeding chicken to your beardies. I do not know if they are fat or not fat at all.
    If you just fed it one time you do not need to worry. The skin is not the problem.

    Hope this helps!

    Pierre

Mandy

Hello! We have a baby beardy. He’s approximately 9 in long from head to tip of tail. We assume he is about 7-9 months old?? We purchased him from a local pet store. Since purchase have been given & read such mixed information about everything from lighting to feeding. He has started twitching in his toes. I’ve read horrible things about this. We desperately want to get him healthy. I have been feeding him kale & crickets daily. I just read that kale is not good for daily feeding( which the pet store recommended) due to the depletion of calcium. We also were told by the pet store that a UVB light wasn’t necessary. Please help!!
Thanks,
Mandy

    Pierre

    Hey Mandy,

    when I read your comment I rushed to the computer to reply to your email.

    It sounds really bad and the first thing you have to do is running to the vet with your baby.I have a lot of experience with reptiles, I could tell you a lot of things now, but you really need a vet now.

    Lighting: When I started with reptiles, the guy from the pet store told me the same. This is not true! Your dragon needs UVB light!
    Here is my guide on lighting for bearded dragons. I tell you exactly what you need, so I highly recommend you to read it and get that stuff for your dragon: Bearded Dragon Lighting.

    If you are unsure if your tank is right for your dragon, have a look at my Bearded Dragon Terrarium Guide here as well.

    When it comes to vegetables and herbs, here is a Food List For Bearded Dragons, which shows you what you can feed your dragon and how often you can feed it.

    Please let me know if this helped you and how your dragon is doing!

    All the best,

    Pierre

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