There are currently more than 9 million reptiles kept as pets in the US.
While many people aren’t too keen on reptiles, they can still make great pets. Bear in mind, however, that some are more suitable than others. Bearded dragons are a popular choice, but before you look into buying one, it’s important to understand the pet care involved.
Keep reading for a rundown of what you should feed your pet bearded dragon.
Bearded Dragon Nutrition
Bearded dragons are omnivores, so there’s a variety of foods they’re happy to eat. This includes different insects, fruits, vegetables, flowers, and sometimes even rodents or other lizards.
In the wild, they tend to eat more as they get more exercise. Domesticated bearded dragons, however, don’t move around as much. As such, they don’t need to eat as much food. You need to make sure you don’t overfeed your beardie, so pay attention to how much you’re feeding it.
A balanced diet will keep your pet in good health — for an adult bearded dragon, about 80% plants and 20% insects are ideal. Juvenile dragons work well with anything from 80% insects and 20% plants to a 50/50 split. You can speak to a vet to get a better idea of exactly how you should be feeding your specific bearded dragon.
The Best Bearded Dragon Food
Several types of bugs are great for bearded dragons. Some common options are:
- Dubia roaches
- Butter worms
- Phoenix worms
- Wax worms
You should pick one type as the main source of your bearded dragon’s protein. Use others to supplement its diet, providing it with a range of nutrients. You can buy roaches and other insects here.
There are plenty of vegetables that you can feed your bearded dragon, such as:
- Carrots (a few times a week)
- Cucumber (every other week)
- Butternut squash (daily)
- Collard greens (daily)
- Pumpkin (a few times a week)
Make sure you know how often your beardie can eat different vegetables before offering it. The same goes for fruit, and you can go with things such as apples, cherries, grapes, strawberries, and plenty of others. You can also offer it flowers such as dandelions, carnations, hibiscus, and nasturtiums.
What to Avoid
Your bearded dragon might seem keen to eat anything you put in front of it, but not all foods are good. There are certain insects in particular that you should avoid. This includes:
- Dead insects
- Fireflies (or any insect that glows)
- Elder bugs
- Venomous insect
You should also never feed it any insects you find in your backyard, bait shops, or the wild, even if it’s something your beardie would usually eat.
Feeding Your Bearded Dragon the Right Pet Food
If you’re interested in getting a pet bearded dragon, make sure you’re prepared to care for it properly. Ensure you know what it should eat and be aware of its other needs to ensure it’s always happy and in good health.
For more lifestyle articles, check out some of our other blog posts.