Bearded Dragon Diet – The Basics
The basics of a bearded dragon diet stem from where the lizard developed. The dragon is originally from the deserts of Australia where there is not much food to speak of. Because of this, the species has evolved to really enjoy a combination of vegetables and meat. This means that your pet loves leafy greens and really enjoys the occasional insect.
Many people understand that a bearded dragon diet needs to include greens and vegetables but they are not sure of exactly which vegetables to include. It is incredibly important to include a variety of leafy greens and yellow vegetables to make sure that your bearded dragon does not develop a beta-carotene deficiency. The best way to avoid this is to feed your pet a good supply of carrots and yellow vegetables like squash, mustard greens and even dandelions. However, you do not want to get stuck in the idea that your dragon only enjoys vegetables. They also love to eat fruit to satisfy their sweet tooth. Some of the best fruits to include in a bearded dragon diet are apples, peaches, melons, grapes and even strawberries and raspberries. It is important that the bearded dragon diet involves insects quite regularly.
A lot of people think that the meal worm is the perfect feeder insect for their pet. However, the meal worm has a hard exoskeleton which makes it quite difficult for the dragon to digest and may even cause a fatal impaction – meaning the food will get stock and block the digestive tract. A better choice would be crickets, locusts, silkworms, butterworms or phoenix worms.
Over the last few years, roaches have also become a rather popular choice. The Dubia Cockroach also known as the Orange-spotted Cockroach is a great choice because it is slow moving and doesn’t fly. When you’re bearded dragon is younger, they will require more insects than an adult.
However, it is critical that you never feed your pet an insect that is too large. Never give them any food that is larger than the width of their mouth or you are in danger of causing health issues. From time to time, your dragon might enjoy a small young mouse also known as a ‘pinkie’. These can be purchased at pet stores all over the place. You don’t need to prepare your pinkie at all. Simply let it loose inside your pet’s cage and your dragon will eventually get to it. They might even enjoy having a very small lizard added into their diet as well. Only feed this type of live food to an adult bearded dragon because a younger lizard might be injured.
There are a number of multi-vitamins that you can add into your lizard’s diet as well. Always read the label and make sure to follow the directions exactly when administering vitamins. Remember that the most important vitamins will be acquired through sunlight.
On top of this bearded dragon diet, you need to be sure that fresh water is always available to your pet. It is best served in a very shallow dish that will not be tipped over.
Follow these tips and you and your bearded dragon will be together for a long time.