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What To Feed a Bearded Dragon

Updated on June 24, 2010
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Whitney has raised and bred different species of geckos, snakes, lizards, tortoises and other exotics since 2003

Baby bearded dragon. About 8 weeks old.
Baby bearded dragon. About 8 weeks old.

Bearded dragons eat both fruits and vegetables as well as insects, which makes them omnivorous. When feeding a bearded dragon you need to make sure that you can provide both a feeder insect as well as fruits and vegetables. One without the other, means an unhealthy lizard.

Age should always be taken into consideration when feeding a bearded dragon. Baby and juvenile beardies need to have more proteins in the diet to supplement for growing bones and tissues, but they should still be provided with veggies. An adult bearded dragon diet should consist of mostly fruits and veggies.

Baby bearded dragons should be given as many feeder insects as he will eat within 15 minutes, all uneaten insects should be removed. This should be done every other day. But, you're not getting away with just feeder insects when raising a bearded dragon. You should still provide him with fruits and vegetables DAILY, even if he doesn't eat them. Having the vegetation in the tank with him, will get him used to seeing it, so when he is older he will be more likely to eat the veggies on his own.

As for adults, they can be given feeder insects once or twice a week, and again, never leave uneaten insects in the tank. So, after about fifteen minutes, remove the uneaten insects. As for fresh fruits and vegetables, provide them daily.

Bearded Dragon with MBD.
Bearded Dragon with MBD.

Bearded Dragon- Feeder Insects

Now, at this point I'm sure you're still trying to figure out what to feed bearded dragons. Well, here we go...

FEEDER INSECTS: As for feeder insects, the rule of thumb for all reptiles is to not feed anything larger than the width between the eyes. So, you need to appropriately size insects for the age and size of your bearded dragon. Some insects that are good staples include:


Fruits that are appropriate for bearded dragons include:

  • Strawberries
  • Apricots
  • Mango
  • Melon
  • Blackberries
  • Raspberries
  • Blueberries
  • Peaches
  • Cantelope
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Grapes


As for vegetables that you can give your bearded dragon, you can feed it just about anything that you eat yourself.

Vegetables that you can feed your bearded dragon include:

  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Kale
  • Collard greens
  • Chicory
  • Cucumber
  • Carrots
  • Squash
  • Zucchini
  • Spinach (occasionally)
  • Peas
  • Green beans
  • Broccoli
  • Dandelion greens
  • Cabbage
  • Other thawed- frozen vegetables

Fruits and Veggies to Avoid

  • Iceburg lettuce, as it is nothing more than a filler with absolutely no nutritional value
  • Tomatoes
  • Lemons
  • Oranges
  • Other acidic fruits and vegetables

A lot of times I got to the grocery store and purchase the pre-mixed bags of vegetables. Pre-mixed salad mixes are a great vegetable staple, and they're quick and easy to have on hand.

Eating pre-mixed brocolli-slaw, which includes chopped carrots, broccoli, and red cabbage. NOTE- never use Calci-sand; the substrate in this picture was removed soon after.
Eating pre-mixed brocolli-slaw, which includes chopped carrots, broccoli, and red cabbage. NOTE- never use Calci-sand; the substrate in this picture was removed soon after.


Water can be given in the form of a water bowl kept in the aquarium, baths, or a spray. It is not really recommended to spray the bearded dragon as it can raise the humidity levels in the tank.

A breeder once told me that she doesn't provide water because all the water they need can be gained from eating fruits and vegetables that tend to hold water, such as squash and zucchini. Using this method, you should let you bearded dragon have a bath at least once or twice a week. Babies require baths more often that adults.

When I say "bath," I do not mean soap and water, lather, rinse, and repeat. What I mean by 'bath' is more of just a soak with warm water in a large tupperware, sink, or bathtub, depending on the size of the beardy, and letting it hang out for a little while in the water.


ALWAYS add supplements to your bearded dragon's diet. Dust the feeder insects with calcium at least three times a week, and a vitamin/mineral dust at least twice a week. Supplement at least once a week a calcium PLUS d3 powder.

You can, also, sprinkle the vitamin or calcium powder over the veggies. OR, Fluker's has a vitamin spray that you can purse to spray on top of the veggies in order in ensure that you bearded dragon is getting his proper nutrition.

Without calcium and vitamins, your bearded dragon can end up getting metabolic bone disease, or suffer other illnesses.


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    • profile image

      trisha L.B.C. 4 years ago

      i love my boi jack.hes 14 yrs trooper!

    • profile image

      lizzard 4 years ago

      i wonder were bd's originate from!

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      teddy 4 years ago

      i am 10 and ive got a beardie called Dave lol don't know y but he always poops in his food bowl and i always have clean it out blwaa!!!!!!!! they are

      always runny

    • profile image

      chris 4 years ago

      im 11 and i am an expert at reptillian lifeforms.I got a bd and should he be nocturnal?

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      Amie 4 years ago

      My dad has just got 2 baby fire tiger bearded dragons. They are roughly 9-10 weeks. They are so adorable! They eat lettace off of your hand and are beautiful colours! You can really see the tiger pattern on their back especially under the heat lamp.

      Amie, Scotland.

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      adele 5 years ago

      Hi. I have a beardie called olly. He is gorgeous. He won't eat fruit or veg sobi syringe feed him with fruit juice, he loves it. He is fully toilet trained and won't go in his tank. I wiggle his tail sand he goes, its brilliant. I'm disabled and don't move around on a night so he sleeps on my belly all night. He hates itbwhen I wake him up but it is the best time to feed him because he takes it out on the insects. He is just the perfect pet x

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      Briana 5 years ago

      Hi,my beardie doesn't eat his veggies and he won't eat them unless I put them in his mouth or he will only eat live food, what should I do

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      Kylie 5 years ago

      I have a 4 1/2 yr. old beardy and he's the lightest orange color i've seen on any beardie. I've had him since New years. His name is Buddy pepe morris. Milbert was his name to his last owner. Anyway, he's only eating crickets... Nothing else. I have veggies in there everyday, but he never touches them. How should I get him to start eating them? Also, he's very lazy, and when I take him out sometimes he gets really active then finds a corner and sleeps. Anything I can do to get him up and moving more & to get him to start eating his veggies. (veggies- lettuce (like salad lettuce), sometimes romain, cantelope, recently fed him honey dew, kiwi, pear, and apple.. Should i try more variety? More options like green beans squash, zucchini, and peas?? Brocili perhaps?? Just want him eating his veggies.. Thanks for your time!

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      spikes :) 5 years ago

      i love my bearded dragon spikes he loves me too he is 1 year old so cool i love him :)

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      callum1998 5 years ago

      ive just got a bearded dragon 2 days ago the petshop owners said that he is 3months old.the only problem is that he hasent eater anything yet and his chin is black does anyone know how i can get him to eat and does the black chin mean that he is stresed

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      Deborah//Rockton, Il. 5 years ago

      Beardies are fabulous!! I have a 2 year old female,Draako who loves everything in her dish... lots of dark greens (turnip greens, mustard greens, arugala and romaine, dandelion greens) and fruits, papaya, kiwi, mango, 1/2 a grape every few days, and definitely steamed squash.

      I adopted a 5 year old male, Akon, and he is fabulous and loves to be out running through the house.

      As many crickets as they will eat within 15 min. but remove any extras after that, otherwise the crickets may torment your beardie after dark. Superworms to adult beardies twice a week... beatles and grasshoppers.

      NEVER have them out after dusk as they may grab a lightning fly... FATAL//POISON !!

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      anthony 5 years ago

      i just got a bearded dragon he was just hatched about 5 days ago i gave him meal worms but he did not touch them. then i put it in front of his face and ate half of it.than the next night i gave him shredded carrots a ate about 3 than left he getting full to easily or is it normally like this for baby bearded dragons?? please help me whitney05.

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      Thomas G 5 years ago

      i am 11 year old i have a beardie called yoshi omg yeah they really are amazing animals i have something to tell you guys don't make the same mistake lol i gave 1 year old yoshi grapes there is something in the grapes so strong it makes the lizard drunk so he is diving from the log to the glass so if you feed yours grapes your on a risk lol

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      Laura 5 years ago

      Put them in vermiculite half out, get an incubator and set it to about 84. They should hatch around 60 days but it can take longer. Make sure u put small air holes on the container you use for the eggs, for ventalation but a plastic container helps keep the humidty high. If you ever need to add water don't get the eggs wet. That's what I did :) all my babies hatched. Check them out

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      ccrawtyttt 5 years ago

      How do you treat bearded dragon egg s and what temp. do they have to be at.

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      Sally 5 years ago

      To rye:

      It sounds like your beardie is impacted. He needs medical attention ASAP. This condition causes a great deal of pain. Please find a vet that can treat reptiles.

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      rye 5 years ago

      My BD can not move it's back lags and it has a big lump on it's back.Will Max be okay?

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      Pupreca 5 years ago

      Hi my brother has a Beared Dorgon and his name is Spike he was skitish to you should hold him every day and let him rome around it can really help!

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      patty 5 years ago

      my beardie is about 6 and lately all he wants to eat is giant meal worms. he just leaves everything else in the bowel. when he poops sometimes there is this big hard thing that comes out first gross. what is this.

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      ranae 5 years ago

      i have a really small baby bearded dragon and i was wondering how old they have to be before they eat greens

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      Wendy 5 years ago

      Hi Whitney

      I am curious about the supplements for my dragon, she is about three years old now. I feed her mostly greens and veggies with collard greens and squash being the staple and then mixing other fruits and veggies with them for her salads daily. I still get confused to this day on wether or not I am using the right supplement. I have by T-Rex the Bearded Dragon Calcium Plus. It says it is a vitamin/mineral supplement. So will this be fine to give her about three times a week on her salads or mealworms, or do I need to purchase another supplement? Thank you for all your help.

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      Tony 5 years ago

      Hey I might get a bd is there anything I can feed it daily?

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      skyeler 5 years ago

      mine eats scrambled eggs that's ok right

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      dean 5 years ago

      me and my partner have 2 bd's called isis and nibbler which i was told they was both female but i was told i do need to get them both checked again when they get older ive had them from 4wks they are now 8mths old and recently nibbler was nipping isis on its head at first we thought it was down to showing who was the dominant one but then after a few days when the person we brought them from came round to check the sex of them both nibbler tried mating with isis so but we stopped them and assumed that, nibbler was not female but was actually a male but over the past couple of days isis has been nipping and has tried mating. so as you can tell its kinda confusing as we have no idea what's goin on does anyone have any ideas??

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      davidy2k10 5 years ago

      some of the information on here, im just started to keep bd's and ive got two 10 week old babies and 2 two year old ones, ive asked everyone about them, one being the north east breeder of the year, you need to be careful about what you feed them and you also shouldn't feed them rocket lettus. good site

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      John 5 years ago

      To. lizzard man 98, I wounld not go smaller then a 2gal. tank just so it still has room to run and move as it fell's... But you will have to move up the size as they grow.

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      Katieferg19 5 years ago

      U cannot give a bearded dragon broccoli its bad for them and can make them sick

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      Sasha 5 years ago

      I just got a bd that's about 4 months old, how small should I cut his veggies n fruit?

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      Dillon 5 years ago

      I have a 1 month year old bearded dragon that is 4 in. long and is a female and her name is Athena.She eats 6 crickets a day and she HATES to be held she always jumps out of my hands and lands on the floor and runs.

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      Jade 5 years ago

      if your beardie is not eating veg very much - just offer them a lot of green leafy veg - kale, rocket, watercress, brocoli tops etc - and whoever asked about specalised calcium sand, yes that is the best substrate to use - it allows them to express natural behaviour as they would in their australia habitat, normal play sand should never be used as this causes gut impaction as they cannot digest this - so, always read the label! :)

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      rolo 5 years ago

      i have a BD that is 6 months old, hes 1 foot long and he dosent eat he's vegies what should i do?

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      franky chavez 5 years ago

      Just got my bdragon and he doesn't breath fire lmao jp I love these animals

    • profile image

      IlikeBd21 5 years ago

      I want to get a Bd and this site helped me. Thank you...Ima name my Bd Leo.

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 5 years ago from Georgia

      You should already be offering a variety of foods, so skip the lettuce (which hopefully is NOT iceburg), and offer more of the other things.

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      Natasha 5 years ago

      Im running low on lettus and mealworms. What should i feed her?

    • marimccants profile image

      marimccants 5 years ago

      They're really magnificent animals.Love them.

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      Caytlin 5 years ago

      i am a 13 year old girl and i got a 7 month old bearded dragon today! i am soo ecited his name is Taz..and i got a lot of information off thank you to whoever made this site!

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      Alexis 5 years ago

      I am 11 years old and got a bearded dragon!!! I am soo excited for it. I read this all and even took notes :DD

      My queston is that my bearded dragon seems lonely. He had two other friends in his tank at the pet shop. But now that hes at home, he seems soo sad.

      I feel bad for him and my mom won't buy the other two dragons that he was friends with.

      Can yu tell me what to do to make him happier?

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 5 years ago from Georgia

      Occasionally, but not all the time.

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      kayla 5 years ago

      i have a beardie, and i just got him.. i just wanna make sure, is it ok if the eat bananas? cuz i already fead him one thinking he eats all types, and its not in that list up there so..

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      Oscars mom 5 years ago

      I saw on here in one of the comments not to use cal sand. Why would that be. When I got my bd pet smart told me that's the best thing to use cause it wont hurt him if he eats it or gets it in his mouth.

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      con 5 years ago

      im really confused i see on youtube people saying don't feed them lettuce but i feed my beardie romaine is that allright because im really really confused

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      andy 5 years ago

      i have 2 bds, they/ are bout 8 months old,recently 1 of my dragons has went off her food she ate sum the day before but now seems like she always go for shaded aerea of tank,any ideas?

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      xav 5 years ago

      y bearded dragon does not eat a flipping thing

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      brezzswag 5 years ago

      i have a bd he is bout a year a half now he have been great now but i use to have 2 wen dey wan lil but he kill her do i wanna know y he did dat 4 kan yall help m3?

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 5 years ago from Georgia

      Carrots once in a while, not daily. As for heating at night, it just depends on what your temps are without heating.

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      con 5 years ago

      should i use any source of heat in the night and how much nutrobal calcium stuff should i put on my beardies food?

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      con  5 years ago

      is it bad to feed carrots every day or should i do it occasionally ?

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      bella 5 years ago

      Hi i have a beardie and he is about 1year old.for the last 2 days he has not been eating anything his face looks droopy and and his ears are turning orange. Im really scared that something is seriously wrong?What can be the problem

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 5 years ago from Georgia

      iceburg lettuce is not recommended, as it is nothing but water and does not contain any nutritional value. Romaine is one step up, but there are other greens that contain more nutrients. It's not lettuce, as a whole, it all depends on what type.

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