Guest Post by Mike Valverde
If you’re just starting your journey as a reptile owner, bearded dragons are a fantastic choice. Since they’re active during the day, don’t take up too much space, and are gentle creatures who aren’t afraid of being held, they make for an excellent introduction to the wonderful world of herpetoculture.
Another thing that makes beardies such great pets for beginners is the fact that they’re omnivorous. What this means is that unlike hognose snakes and ball pythons, they aren’t picky eaters!
However, just because bearded dragons are capable of eating many different types of food, it doesn’t mean all those different foods are good for them. So if you’re curious about the best food for bearded dragons, check out the information listed below to learn more!
What fruits can bearded dragons eat?
Much like humans, bearded dragons enjoy eating fresh fruit because of the sweet flavor and energizing sugar content. However, you should only give your beardies fruit in smaller portions to other food groups.
In other words— bearded dragons can have a little fruit, as a treat!
If you want to know which are the best fruit for bearded dragons, take a look at the information below:
Can bearded dragons eat grapes?
Yes! Bearded dragons can easily chew and digest grapes, and they offer important nutrients for their diet. They have an excellent ratio of Calcium to Phosphorus, which means they can appropriately synthesize each substance to bolster their growth and nutrition. However, they are low in Vitamin D, so you should avoid making this a staple of their diet. Additionally, you should avoid feeding your pet green grapes because they have a higher acidity, which could upset its stomach!
Can bearded dragons eat apples?
Yes! Bearded dragons can eat apples, although you should take care to cut each piece so your beardie won’t hurt itself in the process. A good rule of thumb is to cut pieces no bigger than the space between their eyes. Much like grapes, apples provide a healthy ratio of Calcium to Phosphorus but also lack suitable quantities of Vitamins A and D.
Can bearded dragons eat strawberries?
Bearded dragons can eat strawberries, but they have almost no nutritional value. For starters, these fruits are almost entirely made up of water, making them filling without providing much in the way of vitamin content. And on that note, strawberries also have a poor Calcium to Phosphorus ratio. Basically, you won’t hurt your beardie if you feed him a strawberry, but you won’t be doing him much good either!
Can bearded dragons eat blueberries?
Although blueberries are considered a superfood for humans, they don’t offer the same nutritional value for bearded dragons. You can still feed them to your bearded dragon; just don’t expect them to have the same effect as when you put them in your smoothie! Much like strawberries, these have a poor Calcium to Phosphorus ratio and barely any beardie-essential vitamins.
Can bearded dragons eat raspberries?
You can feed your bearded dragons raspberries, but you really shouldn’t. Much like with blueberries, the nutritional content of raspberries makes them a poor nutritional choice for your beardie. In fact, when comparing the ratio of Calcium to Phosphorus and the amount of Vitamin A, these are even less nutritious than blueberries as far as bearded dragons are concerned.
Can bearded dragons eat bananas?
Yes. Although bananas are considered healthy for humans due to its high potassium content, this isn’t a nutritional benefit for bearded dragons. So while you can feed this fruit to your beardie without any issues, it serves little dietary purpose and is better as a small treat.
Can bearded dragons eat tomatoes?
Yes! Tomatoes are chock full of Vitamin A and have a great ratio of Calcium to Phosphorus. That being said, they are mostly made up of water and will quickly fill up your beardie’s belly before they really get to reap the benefits of these nutrients. Therefore, these are best suited for a healthy treat or a garnish for their greens.
Can bearded dragons eat pumpkins?
Sort of! You won’t poison your bearded dragon if you feed it a little bit of pumpkin. However, it serves no nutritional value and is acidic, which is bad for its digestion. Ultimately, it’s a far better idea to feed your beardie a different fruit instead, such as a tomato or a grape. The exception to this is if a vet or herp recommends feeding pumpkin seeds to help remove intestinal parasites.
Can bearded dragons eat oranges?
Not really! Once again, ingesting a small amount of an orange won’t kill your beardie. However, it’s a bad idea to feed any citrus fruit to your bearded dragon because the highly acidic content will hurt their stomachs! Additionally, the Calcium to Phosphorus level is poor, so there’s very little nutritional benefit regardless.
Can bearded dragons eat avocados?
No! Absolutely do not feed your bearded dragon any avocado; it can severely injure and possibly even kill your pet. Many people don’t know this, but avocados are actually considered toxic despite being a common staple of the modern human’s diet. In particular, the high acid quantities found in these fruits are extremely dangerous for bearded dragons, so keep them away!
What vegetables can bearded dragons eat?
Although fruit isn’t a good choice for the biggest portion of your bearded dragon’s diet, vegetables are. These are especially important for a full-grown beardie but less important when feeding babies. Keep reading to learn about the best vegetables for bearded dragons that will provide the appropriate amount of vitamins and hydration to maintain your pet’s health!
Can bearded dragons eat spinach?
Not really! This is another example of a food that’s healthy for humans but unhealthy for bearded dragons. Despite having large quantities of Vitamin A and a good Calcium to Phosphorus ratio, there are some aspects of spinach (and baby spinach) that can cause problems with your beardie’s digestive system. In particular, a high acidity similar to that found in citrus fruits can cause discomfort and potentially lead to gout! Instead, try feeding your beardie arugula or kale.
Can bearded dragons eat broccoli?
It’s not a good idea to feed your bearded dragon broccoli, although they won’t get hurt if they have a small amount. For starters, the Vitamin A content is pretty low and the ratio of Calcium to Phosphorus is equally disappointing. Additionally, these are largely made up of water, so they’re filling without providing much nutrition. However, broccoli does contain a decent amount of Vitamin K, which can help with its intestines. Despite this, there are better Vitamin K-rich foods to feed your bearded dragon!
Can bearded dragons eat carrots?
Yes! Carrots are a terrific source of Vitamin A and have a decent ratio of Calcium to Phosphorus. This makes for a terrific snack for your beardie, as well as a nice garnish to their salads. They’re also high in water, which will help keep your beardie hydrated. However, carrot greens are even healthier and make for a better meat than the root portion.
Can bearded dragons eat cucumbers?
If you remove the hard-to-digest peel from a cucumber, you can safely feed it to a pet bearded dragon. It does provide some nutritional benefits thanks to a decent amount of Vitamin K. Also, it’s Calcium-Phosphorus ratio is good enough to avoid digestive and absorption issues. However, these have a very high water content that will fill up your beardie’s belly without offering an equivalent nutritional benefit.
Can bearded dragons eat peas?
Yes, your pet bearded dragon can eat peas safely. They offer some nutritional benefit due to a high Calcium content and a low Phosphorus content, in addition to a decent amount of Vitamin A. However, the Phosphorus content happens to be significantly lower in comparison to Calcium— to the point that it throws off the ideal ratio and makes it a poor substitute for healthier veggies. Feed this to your pet in small doses!
Can bearded dragons eat cauliflower?
You can feed your bearded dragon cauliflower, but there’s essentially no reason for you to do so. The amount of important vitamins contained in this vegetable are meager when it comes to maintaining the nutrition of your beardie. What’s worse is that this is yet another waterlogged veggie that will just fill your pet’s stomach.
Can bearded dragons eat radishes?
Yes and no. It’s healthier to feed your bearded dragon radish greens (the tops of the radish plant) than it is to feed them the radish itself. That’s because the greens have a higher concentration of Vitamin A and a lower water content, meaning they can provide sustenance without just filling your pet’s belly. However, both the tops and bottoms of radishes are poor substitutes for healthier leafy green vegetables— try turnip greens instead!
Can bearded dragons eat rhubarb?
No! Avoid feeding rhubarb to your bearded dragon— it’s toxic! This seemingly innocuous vegetable has an extremely disproportionate amount of Calcium to Phosphorus. Instead of safely absorbing these nutrients, your beardie will have a strong adverse effect if it ingests even a small amount of rhubarb. Don’t do it!
What else can bearded dragons eat?
Bearded dragons are omnivorous, which means they eat meat in addition to fruits and veggies. In fact, baby bearded dragons should have a diet mostly made up of protein-rich insects to help them grow big and strong. Once they become adults, most of their diet should be made up of vegetables; however, you should still feed them insects to maintain a healthy diet. But what about animals that aren’t insects? Here’s what you need to know:
Can bearded dragons eat spiders?
Not really! Bearded dragons can technically eat some species of spiders without being sick. However, it’s a bad idea to feed your bearded dragon spiders, especially if you find them around your house or in your backyard. For starters, feeding your beardie wild insects is a bad idea because of all the potential contaminants they can contain. Second, if you accidentally feed your bearded dragon a poisonous spider, it can badly hurt your precious pet!
Can bearded dragons eat moths?
No! You shouldn’t feed your pet bearded dragon moths for the same reason that you shouldn’t feed them spiders, or any wild-caught insects. The risk of foreign parasites or diseases is far too great when feeding your beardie anything other than insects raised in captivity for the express purpose of reptile feeding.
Can bearded dragons eat crickets?
Absolutely! Crickets are one of the most popular feeder insects for bearded dragons and should be a staple in your pet’s diet. In addition to high amounts of Calcium, feeder crickets are a terrific source of protein and are great for baby bearded dragons. However, it’s also a good idea to improve the nutrition of your crickets before feeding them to your beardie by giving them extra nutrients via powders or gelatin cubes.
Can bearded dragons eat mealworms?
Yes! Much like crickets, mealworms obtained as captive-grown feeder insects are an excellent food source for your full-grown beardie. However, you should avoid feeding them to baby bearded dragons because they aren’t quite big enough to get one of these worms down their gullets! Additionally, these have a high fat content and shouldn’t be a mainstay of their diet— although they make for a great occasional treat. A more nutritious alternative is silkworms due to their lower fat content.
Can bearded dragons eat mice?
Technically, yes. There’s a lot of debate around whether or not you can feed a bearded dragon mice. On one hand, a feeder mouse has a lot of nutrients that are ideal for a pregnant beardie’s meal. On the other hand, it’s extremely difficult (if not impossible) for bearded dragons to digest the bones, and overfeeding mice can cause your pet to develop fatty liver disease. If you want to feed your bearded dragon mice, we recommend our Micro & Mini Links or our Whole-Prey Links, depending on your pet’s size.
Can bearded dragons eat rabbits?
Much like mice, it is technically possible for bearded dragons to eat rabbit meat. Obviously, it would be impossible for a tiny bearded dragon to consume an entire live rabbit! However, our 50/50 Omnivore Blend is designed for bearded dragons and contains rabbit meat for protein. If you’re interested, this is the method we recommend for feeding rabbit to your beardie.
Can bearded dragons eat frogs?
No! Don’t feed your bearded dragon frogs; it doesn’t matter whether they’re wild-caught or captive feeder frogs. They will cause intestinal issues for your beardie if eaten. There are so many better meals you can feed your pet, so there is absolutely no reason for you to feed them a frog or toad!
Can bearded dragons eat chocolate?
No! Much like dogs and many other domesticated animals, chocolate is bad for your pet bearded dragon. If your bearded dragon accidentally ingests a small amount of chocolate, they’ll most likely be able to pass it through their system without serious injury. However, by no means should you give your beardie even a small amount of chocolate!
What to feed bearded dragons
Now that we’ve gone over some of the most commonly asked questions about bearded dragon diet and feeding, you’re probably interested in knowing the absolute best foods for your pet to eat. Here are our recommendations for bearded dragon food that will ensure your pet has a long and happy life!
Best fruit for bearded dragons
As previously mentioned, fruit should make up the smallest portion of your pet’s diet. The best fruits for bearded dragons are the ones that aren’t too full of water, have a low acid content, and contain an appropriate amount of Calcium in relation to Phosphorus. Based on these criteria, our rankings for the best fruit to feed your bearded dragon is:
- Grapes (not green ones)
- Berries (raspberries, blackberries, blueberries)
- Tomatoes (sometimes)
Some other excellent fruits to feed your beardie that isn't covered in this article are peaches and prickly pears. Finally, remember to never feed your bearded dragon citrus or avocados!
Best vegetables for bearded dragons
When taking care of a fully grown bearded dragon, vegetables should make up the majority of your pet’s diet. However, not all vegetables will do; in particular, you should feed dark leafy greens that are rich with vitamins without containing too much water. Here are our rankings for the best vegetables to feed your bearded dragon:
- Turnip Greens
- Radish Greens
- Carrot Greens
- Peeled Cucumber (rarely)
Two vegetables that weren’t listed above that deserve special mention are dandelion greens and collard greens. In fact, these are the best first choice when feeding veggies to your beardie; everything else comes second! Also, remember to avoid feeding your bearded dragon any rhubarb— it’s toxic!
Best insects for bearded dragons
For baby bearded dragons, insects are going to make up the majority of their diet. When they get older, you should still feed your beardie the right insects, but not as much as you feed them vegetables. Also, only feed them captive bred insects specifically meant for feeding; wild-caught insects are too dangerous to feed your bearded dragon! Here are our rankings for insects (and other live creatures) to feed your bearded dragon:
- 50/50 Omnivore Blend
- Mealworms (occasionally)
Hopefully, this guide answered some of your burning questions and taught you important information about feeding bearded dragons. However, you should always consult a veterinarian, herpetologist, or reputable breeder before trying anything new with your bearded dragon’s diet.
Thanks for reading!