You’ve probably seen videos of bearded dragons eating many different kinds of fruits and vegetables; however, sometimes it’s hard to know if certain foods are safe to feed your pet. Here you’ll learn some general rules about feeding your bearded dragon, as well as learning about what treats you can give them.
So can I give my bearded dragon a popsicle? The short answer is yes, as long as they only eat a small amount. You shouldn’t feed your pet popsicles every day, but a couple of bites every few weeks or so won’t harm your bearded dragon.
To learn more about a balanced diet that will keep your bearded dragon happy and healthy, read on. You’re sure to find lots of informative and helpful advice.
What Should I Feed My Bearded Dragon?
Bearded dragons eat a wide variety of food! They’re omnivorous, which means they eat both animal-based and plant-based foods. So what specific types of foods should be a regular part of your bearded dragon’s diet?
Water is extremely important. Make sure it’s available at all times; the best way to do this is to keep a clean water dish in your bearded dragon’s terrarium. Don’t forget to wash and disinfect this bowl (and any other food bowls) daily!
If your pet doesn’t seem to like drinking water from a bowl, you can lightly mist their fruits and vegetables to keep them hydrated. You can also mist or soak your bearded dragon directly.
Protein is also essential. Insects are a great way for your bearded dragon to get enough protein. Crickets and mealworms are popular choices. Buy “gut loaded” insects at the pet store; this means they have been fed lizard-friendly vitamins and nutrients.
If you have a young bearded dragon, they should eat once a day. However, if your pet is an adult, they may only need to eat every two days. Make sure to pay attention to how much your bearded dragon eats. If they don’t finish their meal, try feeding them less next time.
Don’t forget about calcium! Simply dust your pet’s food with a calcium supplement, which you can find at most pet stores. Most veterinarians recommend lightly sprinkling food with calcium powder that doesn’t contain Vitamin D3 two to three times per week. You should also sprinkle food with calcium powder that does contain Vitamin D3 two to three times per week.
Once a week, sprinkle a general reptile mineral supplement onto your bearded dragon’s food. These supplements will help to keep your bearded dragon’s immune system strong so they can live a long and happy life.
Some favorites include shredded carrots, kale, and collard greens, although you can experiment to find out what other veggies your bearded dragon enjoys! Vegetables should make up 25 percent of a juvenile bearded dragon’s diet and half of an adult’s.
Commercial food from the pet store adds variety into your bearded dragon’s diet and ensures they get the nutrients they need. High-protein formulas are best for young bearded dragons, while low-protein formulas are better for adults.
General Feeding Tips
- Your bearded dragon’s diet should generally be about 50 percent plant-based and 50 percent animal-based, but be sure to talk to your veterinarian to figure out what’s best for your pet.
- Out of the plant material you feed your bearded dragon, 10 to 20 percent of it should be fruits, and 80 to 90 percent should be composed of flowers and vegetables.
- You can feed your pet raw or cooked vegetables, but keep in mind that raw veggies contain the most nutrients.
- Put your bearded dragon’s food in a shallow, clean dish that they won’t be able to tip over easily. Chop up veggies and mix them together to make sure your pet gets a wide variety of foods and nutrients.
- Do not feed your bearded dragon insects you find outside! They may have been sprayed with pesticides that are harmful to your pet, and they often carry parasites as well. Purchase insects from a pet store or raise them yourself to ensure they’re safe for your bearded dragon to eat.
- Don’t forget to thoroughly wash your hands after feeding, cleaning, or handling your bearded dragon!
Safe Foods for Your Bearded Dragon to Eat
Take a look at the lists below to see which fruits, vegetables, flowers, and animal-based proteins can be included in your bearded dragon’s diet.
Vegetables to Feed Your Bearded Dragon
- Beet greens
- Collard greens
- Turnip greens
- Bok choy
- Alfalfa hay
- Swiss chard
- Red or green cabbage
- Bell peppers
- Green beans
- Cooked sweet potato
Fruits to Feed Your Bearded Dragon
- Star fruit
Flowers to Feed Your Bearded Dragon
Animal-Based Proteins to Feed Your Bearded Dragon
- Gut-loaded grasshoppers
- Calcium-dusted crickets
Treats for Bearded Dragons
With so many food options, you may be wondering what could be considered a treat for bearded dragons. Of course, the occasional bite of a popsicle is one option, but there are plenty of other treats you can feed your pet as well!
A delicious fruit that contains lots of fiber, papaya is a wonderful treat for your bearded dragon! Peel the papaya and remove the seeds, then finely chop the fruit to prepare it for your pet.
Most bearded dragons love kiwi, but they should only eat it about once or twice a month at most. This is because kiwi has a lot of oxalic acid, which can be harmful to your pet’s health in larger quantities. But kiwi also contains Vitamin C, which is a great nutrient for your bearded dragon to have.
You can feed your bearded dragon a raw fig once a week. Figs are perhaps the best source of calcium for bearded dragons, and they also contain a lot of fiber! Since figs are usually dried, make sure to cut them up into small pieces before feeding them to your pet.
Bearded dragons enjoy eating kale in strips and large pieces, but don’t give it to your bearded dragon more than once or twice a week. As long as you don’t overdo it, kale provides your pet with a variety of vitamins.
Wax worms are an awesome treat for your bearded dragon, but they can also be addictive! Many bearded dragon owners report that if given wax worms too often, your pet may refuse to eat anything else. As long as you only feed your bearded dragon wax worms about once a week, your pet will be very happy!
Foods Bearded Dragons Should Never Eat
With so many options to include in your bearded dragon’s diet, it may seem like they can eat anything in small doses! However, this is not the case. There are a few foods that you should avoid feeding your bearded dragon.
While fireflies might seem like an easy insect to catch outside and give to your bearded dragon as a treat, they are actually very dangerous to your pet! They are extremely toxic and can even kill your bearded dragon, so avoid them at all costs.
Lettuce can be fed to your bearded dragon if it’s the only vegetable you have available, but it’s not recommended. Lettuce is mostly water and has very little nutritional value, so it doesn’t have any health benefits for your pet. It can also cause digestive conditions like diarrhea.
Rhubarb is very toxic to bearded dragons. If you mistakenly feed your pet rhubarb, take it to the veterinarian immediately.
Avocados have a high amount of oxalic acid, which can be fatal to bearded dragons. Feeding your pet a small amount will likely make it ill. Larger quantities fed to your pet over time can be fatal.
While beet tops contain magnesium and Vitamin A, they also have a chemical that keeps bearded dragons from absorbing calcium correctly. If this chemical builds up in your pet’s body, it can cause a calcium deficiency that eventually leads to Metabolic Bone Disease.
Yes, you can feed your bearded dragon popsicles in moderation! But make sure to remember that each bearded dragon is an individual with slightly different nutritional needs.
The best course of action to ensure your bearded dragon has a balanced diet is to speak with your veterinarian. They can make helpful suggestions based on your pet’s age, weight, and health status.