What Do Bearded Dragons Eat?
So you’ve decided you want a bearded dragon for a pet. That cute little reptile you’ve seen in an aquarium in a pet store. It’s looking at you with pleading eyes as though asking you to take it home. But before deciding to take it home, shouldn’t you be asking yourself, how will I take care of it and what exactly do they eat?
What Are They
Bearded dragons belong to the Pogona genus or the family of lizards. They are cold-blooded omnivores meaning they eat a combination of meats and plants. Bearded dragons originated in the woodlands and arid deserts of Australia. They are often found in tree branches as they love basking in the sun. Nowadays, bearded dragons are kept as pets in many homes for their calm nature. But they are territorial. They flare out the skin in their throat (like a beard) when they feel threatened, thus the name.
Where To Keep
Housing your bearded dragon is quite easy as they can live happily in a large enough aquariums. Temperature is an important factor though because they like the heat. An overhead lighting and a reflective hood will do the trick. A branch or a log should also be put into consideration as they like to climb up while basking.
What To Feed
Feeding the bearded dragon with commercialized food is not a bad idea but a well-balanced diet of fresh fruits and vegetables are the best. Juvenile dragons need twice a day feeding while adult dragons will be contented with once a day meals. They have a fairly unique diet which includes insects and plants. Bearded dragons should not be fed with large skeletal insects as they have a sensitive digestive system. Doing so will lead to blockage of stool in their rectum. Once your bearded dragons become adults, you can feed them with a variety of insects like silkworms, earthworms, wax worms and red worms.
Crickets can also be bought in a pet store or you can breed your own. Make sure though that you feed them nutritious food they can pass its benefits to your pet. Some say roaches have more nutritional benefits so try whatever works for you. Feeding is usually done in the morning with the right temperature and food they can eat in ten minutes. Fruits and vegetables found in your refrigerator can also be given like carrots, beans, peas, zucchini and red bell peppers. Organic fruits and veggies are the best because foods treated with pesticides are proven to be really harmful to them. Make sure you chop them up to pieces they can easily chew and swallow. Fruits which you can include in their diet are berries, apples, grapes, mango, papaya, pears and bananas. Spraying water once a week will be enough to hydrate them.
There are foods though that should be avoided like lightning bugs (fireflies), and wild insects. Spinach, avocado and rhubarb can lead to several illnesses so it’s best to avoid them. Bearded dragons live a long life as long as they are well taken care of.