You need to keep a serious eye on the nutritional diet of your bearded dragon. This will become extremely more important to you when you are the new owner of a little beardie.
This article will give you a deep rundown of the nutritional requirements of the bearded dragon that you have just adopted or planning to adopt, or one that you’ve had for while now. I also threw in a feeding schedule so you can have a game plan on on what and when to feed your little reptile.
By the end of the article you will have a better understanding of how important it is that the diet be strictly maintained, so that your little beardie has a life with the best health results.
What Do Bearded Dragons Eat?
By now you may be wondering about the exact diet you should be providing and you’ll get your answers to that. First, I want to make sure you have some good context. Before providing you with the detailed list of the foods, let me tell you about the different food categories that these little creatures need.
In service to a healthy life, they can be fed with the combination of fruits, insects (most of them are crickets) and few vegetables.
You may find the specific foods in separate categories below.
Note – If you have been following this guide and your beardie is not eating then there might be a problem. Check this article out –> Why is my beardie not eating?
What Fruits Do They Eat?
Providing them with fruits helps with a lot of different health components. So you want to make sure that your beardie has a variety of fruits when dining. Fruits accelerates its internal metabolism. You can feed your bearded roomie the following fruits:
Note : Click any of the links for a more detailed explanation of fruit that you’re interested in
Note #2: Some of these fruits can only be given sparingly and will have negative effects if provided too much.
- Blueberries, Blackberries, strawberries, cranberries
- Peeled apples
- Seedless Raisins
- Green & Red Grapes
- Cherries (without the pit)
- Canned pineapple and prunes
- Honeydew & Cantaloupe
- Mandarin Oranges
What Vegetables Do They Eat?
How can we miss greens while talking about a perfect healthy balance diet? Much of the energy necessary to fulfill the nutritional requirements comes from the leafy green vegetables. Feed your dragon with any of the vegetables provided in the list below.
- Squash (Acorn, Butternut, Spaghetti, & Summer)
- Turnip Greens
- Zucchini (Uncooked)
- Bell Peppers
- Mustard Greens
- Dandelion Greens
- Uncooked Kale (Uncooked)
- Radish (Uncooked)
- Bok Choy
- Cabbage (Red and Green and Napa)
- Peeled Cucumber
- Collard Greens
- Uncooked Artichoke Heart
What About Insects?
Insects that contain a lot of protein should be fed to your reptile friend. But note, some of the insects may cause a little difficulty with ingestion for a baby so make sure you pay close attention. Don’t just pick any old insect you find flying around outside or stuck on your windshield wiper. Find the list of protein rich insects below.
- Black Soldier Fly Larvae
- Wax Worms
- Super Worms
- Dubia Roaches
- Silk Worms
- Goliath Worms
Diet of a Baby Beardie
To really understand how to pick out the right diet, its important to know that babies eat more often than grown ones. They are required to be fed 3-4 times a day. If your dragon is 6 months old then feed it 3 times a day.
Pay close attention when feeding them because they have a sensitive biological makeup. Do not allow them to over eat anything.
Feeders For Baby Bearded Lizards
I recommend as many crickets as they can eat in 5-10 minutes. Crickets are highly rich in protein and little bearded lizards need protein rich food in their early months. Again, don’t forget to feed them at least 3 times a day.
You must not rely only on proteins for your young beardie. It still needs greens and veggies for proper biological functioning. Feed them with an abundance of greens and veggies.
Now I’ll run you through the next stage of the baby bearded lizard called a juvenile. This is usually when they are 5-17 months and have special dietary needs that should be taken seriously.
You may notice now that your baby dragon has now transformed a little bit and demands a different diet than they would at their baby stage. They should be fed at least 2-3 times a day now.
From 9 months above till 12 they should be fed 2 times a day. Now that your juvenile reptile buddy is aging, try to reduce the daily intake of crickets. In time, you will notice that your juvenile will soon need to transition to the diet of an adult.
Feeder percentage is as follows:
1. Juveniles of 9 months old should be fed approximately 50% feeder.
2. Juveniles that are more than 12 months should be fed 30% feeder.
I still recommend the healthy greens and veggies be provided to your juvenile for the healthy life span. Also, juveniles must have some quantity of the healthy fruits mentioned in the list above for the ideal diet.
Now you’re probably starting to see that the diet needs to be switched as your pet ages. The daily intake of food of an adult is quite lesser than both the baby and juvenile bearded lizard. An 18 month old usually only requires a meal one time every day.
An adult needs 20% of proteins in this stage along with other green salad. Crickets could provide the required amount of protein. A number that I usually stick to is 10 crickets per day or 20 crickets every other day.
You may also provide them chopped veggies and serve it as salad since it requires 70-80% vegetables at this age. But don’t forget to feed it just once a day.
Along with proteins and veggies, an adult needs supplements like it would when its a baby. Adult beardies should be provided with vitamins and calcium/D3 supplement once per week. These food combinations will for sure help your bearded lizard live a healthy and peaceful life.
Baby Bearded Dragon Schedule
While feeding your pet you must have a well-designed diet schedule. Your baby bearded dragon eats 3-4 times a day. So you must make sure you are dividing the proteins and veggies accordingly. The schedule that I have shared below will help you understand what to feed and how to feed your baby dragon.
Its important to note that the diet for a baby should contain 40-60% proteins and 20-40% vegetation. I recommend the following schedule. Note- I’ve created a calcium guide for you with the top powder recommendations.
- Offer 20-30 crickets dusted with calcium supplement
- Some greens and veggies with fresh water bowl
- Offer 5-10 crickets again dusted with calcium supplement
- Check the bowl of water. You may replace it
- Offer 10-15 crickets dusted with calcium supplement
- You may also provide couples of wax worms( silk worms, butter worms, small horn warms)
- Chopped veggies should be fed, but the intake could be slightly lesser
- ½ cup of chopped vegetables along with some mixed fruits
- Wax worms could also be provided
- Replace the bowl of fresh water if empty
The eating schedule of an adult no doubt differs from when its a baby. The total amount of food per day could be divided into different portions or you may offer the total amount in fragmented form.
The point to remember is an adult needs 20% proteins and 70-80% vegetables. I recommend the following schedule for your adult beardie. I found this specific routine to fully meet the dietary needs of my adult bearded dragon. I hope you find this helpful!
- Offer 1 cup of chopped vegetable sprinkled with calcium supplement
- Bowl of fresh clean water
- 3-5 crickets or 2-3 wax warms dusted with calcium supplement
- ½ cup-1 cup chopped vegetables dusted with calcium supplements
- Offer 10-15 crickets again dusted with calcium supplement
- Try to replace the bowl of water
- Reduced volume of veggies
No matter what age your little scaly friend is, its extremely important that you focus on its diet. Following a perfect diet schedule can help provide your precious dragon with a healthy life full of increasing growth and high transforming rate.
Care should be taken while feeding your dragon, especially if you have baby beardie. You should not feed them something that is indigestible or they may find it tasteless. Feed them properly and watch them grow!
What Not to Feed bearded Lizards?
A complete and ideal balance diet always tells you to avoid certain foods. Your bearded dragon may not be very happy if it is fed the following:
- Fire flies
- Beet Tops
These foods are not rich in proteins and are sometimes dangerous.
I’m hoping you found this article insightful and a good diet resource. I’ve went into full detail on what to feed, what not to feed, and also when to feed your bearded dragon.
I understand that this diet needs a lot of consideration and the need for special products can be a little irritating sometimes. But these few struggles are completely worth it when you develop a long lasting relationship with your new roomie.
This journey is sometimes fascinating, sometimes irritating, and sometimes full of complete relaxation and happiness if you can be confident that you are taking care of your beardie the right way.
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