With all the info out there about what to eat, what not to eat, what to eat occasionally, how often and so on, meal time may have become more confusing than necessary. See, feeding your bearded dragon doesn’t need to be unnecessarily confusing. In fact it’s really quite easy and much of what they require can be bought from the local grocer. To tell you the truth, you may, and most people do, already have most of what they need in stock at home. But as there is so much information available, I thought I’d put it together into an easy to read guide that briefly outlines everything you need to know.
Firstly, the majority of your bearded dragon food intake should consist of greens such as peas, beans, collard greens, etc. They’re rich in vitamins and minerals and are very healthy. Best of all they’re relatively inexpensive to buy – so let your beardie eat as much of them as he wants. The health benefits are amazing and they won’t cause him to gain excessive weight (it’s the insects you’ve got to be careful of). They, along with vegetables should make up approximately 85% of your bearded dragons diet.
As I mentioned before, you need to be careful when feeding your bearded dragon insects, worms, etc as they contain a high fat content and some are not a very healthy choice. In saying this though, it’s very important that they’re included in their diet as they are an essential source of protein. As a general guideline, feed you beardie 1-2 dozen crickets (as they are one of the healthiest options) per meal, twice a week. Remember though that this is just an outline to give you an idea. You’ll have to adapt this, depending on the size of your beardie. There are also other protein options available that will help to ‘mix it up a bit’. You might like to feed him 2-3 roaches or another alternative is 8-16 mealworms.
You should also treat your beardie to a little desert once a week. Not the kind of dessert people eat though. I’m talking about some delicious fruit and flowers. Bearded dragons love fruit! There’s a complication though. Excessive amounts can cause loose stools and diarrhea. It may even lead to dehydration. An interesting fact – bearded dragon are able to excrete ‘dry’ urine in order to conserve their fluids. Therefore losing fluids from having diarrhea is not good and very much preventable.
Remember to chop all food into an appropriate size. As each beardie is different a good way to gauge is to ensure each piece is no larger than the distance between your bearded dragon’s eyes.
Always provide water! You can put a water dish in the enclosure or spray your beardie, or his food with water regularly. Remember though a water dish can become messy so ensure you clean it at least once a day.
Lastly, remember that a healthy bearded dragon has a bit of substance to him. A skinny dragon is not a good sign and may be an indication of sickness or underfeeding. On the other hand though you don’t want a chubby dragon. You can tell if your beardie is getting a bit fat if his belly drags along the ground when he runs. At this point it’s a good idea to reduce the size of his meal.