If you are reading this article, chances are you made the plunge and got yourself a wonderful Chinese water dragon. Now although it is a great addition to your family, you want to be fully aware of how to take care of it. Amphibians and reptiles have a certain set of needs that you should cater to for the betterment of their health and well-being. A Chinese water dragon owner should be aware of things like living requirements, the right substrate, lighting conditions, temperature setting in the enclosure of the pet and food requirements. This article is all about the right food for Chinese water dragons. Have fun 🙂
Chinese Water Dragon Diet
The Chinese water dragon diet changes as they grow up. You need to feed a hatchling every day, while it’s okay for an adult to be fed every 2-3 days. Although there are many people who prefer to feed their adult Chinese dragons on a daily basis, too. If you want to do that you need to feed an adult Chinese water dragon smaller portions to prevent it from becoming fat. This is a serious issue, since you can´t really see your reptile getting fat, because only the organs get fat.
However, if your green creature seems frail then you can feel free to disregard this particular feeding routine and feed him good so that he can put on some weight. Another situation in which you can feed an adult Chinese water dragon every day is if he is recovering from a disease. You can even feed him more than once a day. Your pet might eat only a small amount of food in one sitting but you should offer him food again because chances are that he’ll be hungry again. If you don’t feed him whenever he is hungry then it might take a while before he gets back into shape.
What Do Chinese Water Dragons Eat?
As a recent pet owner you may wonder " What do Chinese water dragons eat??" Well, there is a variety of things that the Chinese water dragon food menu can consist of. The wide range of food includes crickets, feeder fish like gold fish, mealworms, waxworms, grasshoppers, locusts, pinkies (newborn mice), fuzzies (slightly older baby mice), butterworms, earthworms, king mealworms and of course cockroaches.
As for the babys, you can feed them pretty much everything that is listed above except for pinkies and fuzzies. Always remember that baby Chinese water dragons have a huge appetite. Baby crickets or baby locusts are perfect for baby Chinese water dragons. They fit perfect in their mouth and you can watch them hunting their food 🙂
Fruits and Vegetables And How Your Dragon Will Eat It!
Some people suggest that the diet of Chinese water dragons should also consist of vegetables and fruits. Although, the fruits and vegetables should contribute only up to 10% - 15% in the total diet of the dragons. However this is not always easy. Only a few Chinese water dragon owners find it easy to feed their pets fruits and vegetables as most water dragons simply won’t eat fruits and vegetables. The trick is to hold it in front of its nose and slightly wiggle the salad, or fruit so that the dragon thinks that it is moving.
Eventually the little water dragon will learn that fruits and vegetables are food and you won´t have to wiggle it anymore.
There are some good vegetables like kale, spinach, collards, lettuce, yellow squash, sweet potato, parsnips, broccoli, green beans and carrots, which can be fed to your lizard.
Insects And The Problems With Worms
If you are meaning to feed insects to your water dragon, then you should feed it worms in moderation. The reason behind that is worms have hard indigestible exoskeleton which could cause illness to your pet. If you feed worms to your Chinese water dragon in large quantities, then there is a chance that it might get impaction. Now that’s something you should think about before feeding worms to your Chinese water dragon. Apart from that worms do have nutritious value, that is of course if they are fed in moderation. They have a high phosphorous content but are low in calcium.
I suggest that you use worms more like a treat. Focus on crickets, locusts and cockroaches.
Chinese water dragons often get bored of eating the same thing over and over again. If you have been feeding it locusts every day and you see the water dragon uninterested in eating them then you should think about switching its food every now and then. You can also feed the water dragon during different times of the day.
Why Food From Your Backyard Might Not Be The Best Idea
One of the concerns that people with lizards share with me is that they wonder if it’d be okay to feed their Chinese water dragon with the worms they find in their backyard. Well, it is hard to give an answer on this. I mean, those worms could be contaminated with pesticides which could be fatal for the health of your lizard.
On the other side if you let your dragon run around in your garden, maybe on a leash, you can´t stop it from eating insects. I just recommend to see a vet on a regular base if you let your dragon eat insects from outside. Not only because of the pesticides, but also because of the parasites that might live inside your Chinese Water dragon.
Gut Loading - What Is it And Why Is It Important
Gut loading is a very important part of the feeding process. You should always feed the insects you are going to feed your dragon with healthy stuff like carrots, salad and other vedgetables.
The insect contains the vitamins of the vedgetables now and it will transport them into your dragon when your Chinese water dragon eats it. This is a very important thing to do as most insects whcih we can get from the pet store do not contain a lot of vitamins, since they were never in the wild before and could eat all kinds of stuff, which would make them more healthy.
Chinese Water Dragon Supplements
There are a lot of supplements for reptiles, however you do not really not a lot of them. When it comes to feeding I only use calcium to powder it on the feeding insects. Calcium in combination with a good UVB light prevent your Chinese water dragon from getting metabolic bone disease. Metabolic bone disease is a very seious issue and it is most probably the most common disease reptiles in captivity suffer from.
However it is not a big deal. Simply get a good UVB light as you can find in this article about Chinese water dragon care. Further get a good calcium for your feeding insects. The calcium on the right is one of the best you can get and it is very cheap as well. Get the Repti Calcium here!
Besides the calcium I recommend to use a multivitamin powder as well. However there is no need for using it more often than once or twice a month. It will fuel your reptile with a lot of very important vitamins and I think I do not have to tell you that this will make sure that your Chinese water dragon is in best shape.
I use the HERPTIVITE Multivitamin for all my reptiles and I highly recommend it. I use it for a very long time now and never had any problems with it. You can get the HERPTIVITE Multivitamin here!
This is a much discussed topic. Some people do feed their dragons small mammals on a regular base, others do not do that, since they do not really see a need for that. Personally, I hate it and I almost never do it. In my opinion there is no need for feeding small mammals, since Chinese water dragons in captivity have more than enough food and energy and there is no need for such a food.
If you want to feed your Chinese water dragons small mammals I recommend to not feed it to often, because your dragon can get fat easily then.
The only situatiuon I would feed my dragons small mammals is, when they were sick and are recovering. It helps the recovering process immensely.
Chinese water dragons should have water in their enclosure at all times. If there is a large amount of water then in addition to drinking the water they will swim in it too. One problem is that Chinese water dragons will defecate in that water which is why you will need to clean it every day. A tricky part about drinking water is that Chinese water dragons only see moving water.