What do bearded dragons eat? Many new reptile owners are going to wonder what they can feed their bearded dragon once they bring them home.
The best thing about bearded dragons is they can literally eat a plethora of food that humans can eat. Fruits need to be restricted to a few times a month max but vegetables and protein are OK to have daily
Adult, juvenile and baby beardies should be eating a different ratio of food which I will go over later on in this post so they can grow strong
This article will show you everything about what a bearded dragon can eat and what to avoid to keep them healthy,y happy, and strong
What do Bearded Dragons Eat?
Bearded Dragons have a wide variety of foods they can eat that humans also eat
A beardies diet is mostly going to consist of
- Vegetables 60%
- Protein 30% (insects)
- Fruit 10%
For insects, they can eat
- Dubia cockroaches
For fruits, they can eat
For vegetables, they can eat
- dandelion greens and flowers
- grape leaves
- Bell peppers of all colors
- mustard greens
- green and red leaf lettuce
- sweet potato
- green beans
- acorn squash
Things you need to be careful feeding them because they are high in oxalates
Bearded dragons are not too picky when it comes to eating (some can be but generally speaking they aren’t too bad)
Young juvenile beardies require more protein when they are young because they are growing so quickly. They are going to need around 50 percent protein until they reach adulthood.
You’re going to want to feed juveniles more times per day than adults around 3 to 4 times a day. Stick to protein and vegetables and less fruit.
Too much fruit can lead to Metabolic bone disease which I will explain later on in this post and I will link to another post all about MBD (Metabolic Bone Disease)
My bearded dragon has a monthly feeding chart broken down into a weekly feeding chart as well. One week a month I will give my beardie more fruits compared to other weeks and then I take him off the fruits for about 3 weeks.
I rinse and repeat this month after month.
Bearded Dragon Feeding chart by Age (IN DEPTH)
Young bearded dragons (hatchlings) will need to take in a lot of protein in order to grow strong. When feeding young bearded dragons you should feed them about 70%-80% insects and about 20%-30% vegetables.
I would stay away from fruit for a bit until your beardie is a little older
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
- 30 crickets throughout the day dusted with calcium powder
- 3 carrots (sometimes they wont eat it all)
- 30 crickets
- 1-2 collard green pieces
- a few carrot pieces
- 30 crickets
- lots of peas
- lettuce (not too much)
- 30 dubia Roaches
- lettuce leaves
- a couple pieces of carrot
- 30 crickets
- 2 big pieces of bell pepper
- some peas
- 30 dubia roaches
- A few green beans
- some grape leaves
- 30 crickets
- dandelion greens
I will rinse and repeat this week for the most part and then there is one week PER MONTH where i will add some strawberries, bananas, blueberries throughout the day along with the food I showed you above.
you can mix fruit in one week a month but stick to 1 or 2 days for that fruit week
Make sure anything that is too big is cut up into pieces because beardies can choke on things if they are too big.
As your beardie transitions into adulthood, you can slowly reverse the protein/vegetable ratio to 70 percent vegetables and 30% protein on non-fruit weeks
Bearded dragon Food List
Here is a big list of food your bearded dragon can eat
Bell peppers (all colors)
green and red leaf lettuce
Crickets and Dubia Roaches are the two most popular insect choices for your beardie and they are widely available
Bearded Dragon Hydration and Water
Bearded dragons can eat many different types of food and depending on what they eat they will get water from their food. Its not always the greatest idea to feed your bearded dragon lettuce for example.
it has low nutritional value and a ton of water. most people have access to a water supply that your beardie can have in it.
always remember that bearded dragons are used to dry and hot climates.
They will get most of their water from their vegetables but make sure there is a water bowl in there anyways so that when they are thirsty they can go right to it without your help.
Another way you can hydrate them is by misting them with water. What this does is it mimics the idea of rain and mist in the wild. They will use leaves that have water dripping from it to drink.
If you notice your beaded dragon is soaking in their water its ok!
i’ve had many reptile owners ask me if its alright for them to do this. They will soak because it helps them digest food better. If they ever have constipation you can actually help them with digestion by putting them in the water and rubbing their belly.
Bearded Dragons Diet in the wild
Reading this whole guide I know it seems a bit complicated and it is, to be honest
I’d like to remind you that in the wild they’re not always going to have this kind of diet. It’s OPTIMAL for them to have the diet that is mentioned above but in the wild, they have what they get.
If you feed them a great diet they will obviously live much longer. All I’m telling you is you don’t have to be THAT strict.
Some pet owners fall on hard times and worry so deeply that their beardie is going to develop MBD or something.
If all you can afford is crickets for a month or two with some calcium powder but can’t afford other vegetables and fruit just do what you can
In the wild, they will be eating mostly insects, like spiders, crickets, grasshoppers, and worms.
The obvious difference here being they feed on mostly protein in the wild. In captivity, they have a lot more abundance to a wider variety of food. Plants should be high on the priority list if you want them to live a long happy healthy life
What not to feed bearded dragons
There are definitely foods you need to be aware of to never feed bearded dragons.
Here is the list for you to screenshot
- Meat and poultry
- fish and seafood
- Bran and wheat
- Dairy products
- Wild caught insects
- fireflies or any kind of lightning bug
- horse chestnut
- venomous insects like bees, or wasps
- Elder bugs
If you’re unsure of what to give them ask your vet. It’s much better to be safe than sorry.
I hope I was able to help you with this guide. This is just my personal experience with my knowledge of bearded dragons and everything has worked out perfectly for me and my beardie