Powernubby.com: The basics of an adult bearded dragon diet stem from where the lizard developed. The dragon is originally from the deserts of Australia where there is not much food to speak of. Because of this, the species has evolved to really enjoy a combination of vegetables and meat. This means that your pet loves leafy greens and really enjoys the occasional insect.
Many people understand that an adult bearded dragon diet needs to include greens and vegetables but they are not sure of exactly which vegetables to include. It is incredibly important to include a variety of leafy greens and yellow vegetables to make sure that your bearded dragon does not develop a beta-carotene deficiency. The best way to avoid this is to feed your pet a good supply of carrots and yellow vegetables like squash, mustard greens and even dandelions. However, you do not want to get stuck in the idea that your dragon only enjoys vegetables. They also love to eat fruit to satisfy their sweet tooth. Some of the best fruits to include in a bearded dragon diet are apples, peaches, melons, grapes and even strawberries and raspberries. It is important that the bearded dragon diet involves insects quite regularly.
A lot of people think that the meal worm is the perfect feeder insect for their pet. However, the meal worm has a hard exoskeleton which makes it quite difficult for the dragon to digest and may even cause a fatal impaction – meaning the food will get stock and block the digestive tract. A better choice would be crickets, locusts, silkworms, butterworms or phoenix worms.
Over the last few years, roaches have also become a rather popular choice. The Dubia Cockroach also known as the Orange-spotted Cockroach is a great choice because it is slow moving and doesn’t fly. When you’re bearded dragon is younger, they will require more insects than an adult.
However, it is critical that you never feed your pet an insect that is too large. Never give them any food that is larger than the width of their mouth or you are in danger of causing health issues. From time to time, your dragon might enjoy a small young mouse also known as a ‘pinkie’. These can be purchased at pet stores all over the place. You don’t need to prepare your pinkie at all. Simply let it loose inside your pet’s cage and your dragon will eventually get to it. They might even enjoy having a very small lizard added into their diet as well. Only feed this type of live food to an adult bearded dragon diet because a younger lizard might be injured.
There are a number of multi-vitamins that you can add into your lizard’s diet as well. Always read the label and make sure to follow the directions exactly when administering vitamins. Remember that the most important vitamins will be acquired through sunlight.
On top of this adult bearded dragon diet, you need to be sure that fresh water is always available to your pet. It is best served in a very shallow dish that will not be tipped over.
Adult Bearded Dragon Diet: Essential Guide to Providing Your Beardie a Healthy Diet
Feeding your bearded dragons seems to be an easy process right? Many lizard owners will supply a food dish full of ‘whatever’ veggies they have in the fridge, fill up a water dish, and toss in some insects on occasion. They may even decide to use dry food pellets that can be purchased from nearly every pet supply store. This diet, as you may have guessed, will ultimately lead to poor health.
Some of this problem is caused by uninformed first-time owners who make an impulse purchase of a “cool looking” lizard they saw while picking up dog food at their nearest ‘super’ pet store. Now obviously these first-timers have no idea on how to provide proper care for a bearded dragon, so they turn to the ‘expert’ pet store clerk for answers.
This clerk will most likely point them in the direction of the packaged products (pellets and dried insects) once the conversation becomes focused on food. They will then inform the customer that beardies will also eat crickets and vegetables and to have a nice day.
Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not that this information is incorrect…it’s just lacking detail. This is what leads keepers to believe that their bearded dragon’s diet is fine, when in reality it is severely lacking vital nutrients.
“So what am I supposed to feed my lizard?”
Good question. Before we get to specific foods let’s first go over a few basic adult bearded dragon diet guidelines that should be followed when feeding any beardie.
- All food items must be smaller than the space between the eyes. This prevents choking and digestion issues.
- Offer as many feeder insects as the lizard will eat within 10-15 minutes for each feeding.
- Remove any uneaten insects. You don’t need them defecating in your enclosure, or gnawing on your pet.
- Have a water dish available at all times. Not all dragons will drink from a dish and you may need to use an eye dropper if it appears your lizard is becoming dehydrated.
- Mist all plant matter to enhance their hydration value. This is how beardies get their main source of liquids.
- “Gut load” all feeder insects 24-48 hours in advance of feeding them to your lizard. Gut loading is the process of feeding high-nutrient items to your insects, making them a much healthier meal.
- “Dust” all insects before feeding. This is the process of coating the insects with a multivitamin, or calcium supplement before giving them to your beardie.
- Staple Insects include: crickets, superworms, silkworms, calciworms, even roaches. Make sure all insects are of proper size.
- Staple Vegetables include: dark greens such as collard, mustard, dandelion, turnip and kale. All varieties of squash may also be offered as a daily staple along with cactus pads.
- Fruits that may be offered on occasion include: apples, fresh blue and blackberries, pineapple, mango, fresh strawberries and cantaloupe.
The amount of feedings per day, the insect-to-veggies ratio, and the amount of supplements all depends on the age of your dragon. You will find that younger dragons may ignore their veggies, while adults rarely turn them down.
Follow these guidelines for feeder insects and vitamin supplements:
- Babies – (0-6 months) Feeder insects 2-3 times daily. Dust insects with calcium everyday and multivitamin supplement 4-5 times a week.
- Juveniles – (6-10 months) 1-2 times daily. Calcium daily, multivitamin 4-5x
- Sub-adult – (10-14 months) 1 time a day. Calcium 5x weekly, multivitamin 3x
- Adult – (over 14 months) Offer feeders every other day or so depending on your dragon’s appetite for them. Calcium 5-6x, multivitamin 3x.
- When feeding bearded dragons it is critical to provide the best diet that is available to them. As their owners, we have taken on that responsibility and our pets depend on us.
Follow these adult bearded dragon diet tips and you and your bearded dragon will be together for a long time