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What Do Bearded Dragons Eat?

Updated on November 5, 2012

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.

Eating Bearded Dragon

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    • Florida Guy profile image

      Chen 6 years ago

      Wow. Your son is one pet lover. Thanks for liking my hub! :-)

    • BkCreative profile image

      BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      It pays to be informed. I'm glad folks can find your hub and get information and also get the books you have listed.

      My son and DIL have the most beautiful bearded dragon. He's 3 now. He did enjoy crickets for awhile. Since they were also giving him certain fruits and vegs my DIL decided to offer leftovers to the crickets who not only lapped them up but they became bigger and stronger and lived longer.

      I believe it is the wax worms that are the favorite now. And on a couple occasions when the new baby boa didn't eat the pinky, the bearded dragon (as well as the red-kneed tarantula) were thrilled to dine on it.

      Thanks a bunch and rated up!