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Bearded Dragon Diet: What do They Eat? Best Food for Bearded Dragons

The Bearded dragon diet is something that new beardie owners are concerned with at first because they might have heard they can eat everything or nothing

The absolute best thing you can do in order to understand what they can and can’t eat is to think of the wild

Check out this beginners guide

On top of that they are going to behave a certain way in the wild vs when they are in captivity

For example giving them too much fruit can result in diabetes because in captivity they don’t move around nearly as much as they would in the wild. Running from predators and running after prey would be a good example

There is another reason why beardies can’t have too much fruit which is the phosphorus content can be too high in certain fruits which blocks the calcium from being absorbed

Lack of calcium over time leads to metabolic bone disease

What protein can bearded dragons eat? Feed them live insects

  • Dubia Roaches
  • crickets
  • cockroaches
  • butterworms
  • earthworms
  • mealworms (adult bearded dragons only)
  • superworms (adult bearded dragons only)
  • wax worms (treat only, High fat content)
  • kingworms
  • phoenix worms

What fruits can bearded dragons eat?

What vegetables can bearded dragons eat?

  • Green Beans
  • cabbage
  • yellow squash
  • sweet potato
  • butternut squash
  • acorn squash
  • grape leaves
  • red/green leaf lettuce
  • peas
  • carrots
  • bell peppers
  • collard greens
  • dendelion greens
  • turnip greens
  • parsley
  • mustard greens
  • bok choy

What can’t a bearded dragon eat?

  • avocados
  • wild insects
  • spinach
  • lemons
  • mushrooms
  • onion
  • fireflies
  • rhubarb
  • iceberg lettuce
  • chives

If you’re unsure about what you can give your bearded dragon the safest option is to just not do it. Bearded dragons can get sick if you give them the wrong food

I wanted to give you a quick guide incase you didn’t feel like reading an entire article just to get the list

Bearded Dragon Diet

Bearded dragons eat a wide variety of food. Bearded dragons are omnivores. There are some limits you should impose on their diet like the amount of fruit you give them. i will provide a schedule down below.

If you give them too much of anything it can be bad. You have to make sure they have a lot of good nutrition in their diet

You’re going to want to feed them differently based on the age of the beardie

Beared dragon diet
Bearded dragon diet

Adults will eat more vegetables and less protein

juveniles will eat a good mix of protein and vegetables

baby bearded dragons will need more protein and half vegetables

You need to limit the amount of fruit a bearded dragon eats as certain minerals (calcium) will not be absorbed

In the wild a Bearded dragon is going to eat a lot of protein. This can also be bad if you give them too much. If you want a good indication of your bearded dragons health you can look at their poop

Baby Bearded Dragon Diet Needs (0-6 months old)

Baby bearded dragons diets are going to include much more protein

You’re going to want to feed them 50 to 60 percent protein that is GUT LOADED

Babies need this much protein because they are growing rapidly

If they don’t get the right food requirements they will not shed properly

Juvenile Bearded Dragon Diet (6-18 Months old)

Juveniles are going to be consuming lots of gut loaded protein sources like crickets and dubia roaches

as they start getting older you will want to slow down on the protein and start adding more vegetables in the diet

So if babies are eating 50 – 60 percent you want to give your juvenile around 40 – 45 percent and then slowly dial it back as they get older

remember you can tell when they are having too much protein because of their poop

If their poop is dark then its too much

Adult Bearded Dragon Diet

Adults are going to be quite different with their main food sources being vegetables

The protein is still going to be there around 25 – 30 percent but vegetables will the the most they eat

Fruit is ok to feed your bearded dragon but you need to remember they need to have it but not in abundance

Calcium is a very important mineral to them and if its off for too long they will get Metabolic bone disease which can be fatal

Bearded Dragon Feeding schedule

My Bearded Dragon Diet and feeding schedule looks like this

I would do about 2 to 3 crickets every 20 to 30 mins when they are hatchlings. When they start growing fast (they will grow really fast) you can dial it back a bit to a few times a day.

This is my schedule here

Day 1

  • 30 crickets throughout the day dusted with calcium powder
  • 3 carrots (sometimes they wont eat it all)

Day 2

  • 30 crickets
  • 1-2 collard green pieces
  • a few carrot pieces

day 3

  • 30 crickets
  • lots of peas
  • lettuce (not too much)

Day 4

  • 30 dubia Roaches
  • lettuce leaves
  • a couple pieces of carrot

Day 5

  • 30 crickets
  • 2 big pieces of bell pepper
  • some peas

day 6

  • 30 dubia roaches
  • A few green beans
  • some grape leaves

day 7

  • 30 crickets
  • dandelion greens

You can totally play around with this as you want

I take my bearded dragon to the vet often for checkups and all that and he is healthy and happy.

Fruits and vegetables are going to be important for long term bearded dragons health

Gut Loaded Insects

Gut loaded insects are super important in your bearded dragon diet

Gut loading is when the insects you feed your bearded dragon have eaten. When the bearded dragon has eaten then he will be consuming all the good stuff the insects have eaten

This gives your bearded dragon diet a much need boost

Metabolic bone disease

I did link to a whole article about MBD but i will talk about it here as well

Metabolic bone disease is when your bearded dragon hasn’t been getting enough calcium in their diet

MBD is nasty, especially when its progressed. They can lose function in their legs and its very painful

The best way to prevent this from happening is to focus on the right lighting

I give my bearded dragon this calcium supplement (not affiliated)

Bearded Dragon Refusing Food

My own bearded dragon has this issue sometimes

What i do to help him through this is by putting a bit of fruit in with his salads or bee pollen

That tip i learned from a friend of mine. I don’t know what it is about bee pollen but they LOVE it

Sometimes a bearded dragon will stop eating because they are about to shed their skin

When my bearded dragon is shedding he doesn’t want me anywhere near him. He wont eat food and he wont want to be handled which he normally loves

Sometimes bearded dragons wont eat because the temperature is off in their enclosure

If its too hot or too cold they will try to preserve their energy but remaining still and not eating too much

The right temperatures need to be like so

  • Basking spot needs to be between 95 – 105 degrees Fahrenheit
  • warm side needs to be between 85 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit
  • cooler side between 75 – 85 degrees Fahrenheit

You can purchase a thermometer here (amazon link – not affiliated)

I’ve also noticed that bearded dragons won’t eat food that is too big for them to eat

A good rule of thumb is don’t give them food that is too big, the space between their eyes is a good idea. That will also grow as they grow obviously which means you can give them bigger food as they get older

Summary and Things you should know

Bearded dragons are awesome pets. after you figure out what they need and how they work they are so rewarding.

Learning a bearded dragon’s diet is super important and the better their diet is the longer they will live

Since bearded dragons can eat a large portion of what humans can eat you can easily shop for yourself and your beardie at the same time which is really what i do

Bearded dragons should be eating every day. Mine usually eats around midday each day. Sometimes they will eat two – three times a day

Don’t forget about the water needs for your bearded dragon. My bearded dragon has a water bowl. Its shallow as well.

Hydration is obviously extremely important but beardies are used to not having a lot of water

Bearded dragons need fresh water daily and stay away from water with chlorine in it if you can