The bearded dragon is a type of lizard that is native to Australia. They are an omnivorous animal which means that they live on a varied bearded dragon diet consisting of meats, plants, fruits and vegetation.
As such it can be a good idea to make sure that when you keep a bearded dragon as a pet you try to feed it a varied diet. Unfortunately though this is not always as straightforward as it seems so in this article we are going to look at all the foods which your bearded dragon can, and cannot eat. This is the ultimate guide to bearded dragon diet.
If you have come here to see if a bearded dragon can eat a certain food, fruit or vegetable you can use the table of contents which will take you straight to that section of the article.
What should be included in a bearded dragons diet.
It is important that your pet bearded dragon receives adequate nutrition by means of a varied diet. They are omnivorous and eat both insects and plants. They are a fun pet to feed as they eat such a variety of fruits, vegetables and insects.
Adult and baby bearded dragons vary slightly in diet, as baby bearded dragons will have to eat more frequently. They should also have access to fresh water daily – which can be given to them in a little bowl low enough for them to reach or you can spray their vegetables with water before putting it into their enclosure. Both methods are recommended.
How to feed baby bearded dragons.
A baby bearded dragon will need more insects than vegetables – in fact vegetables should only make up 25% of their bearded dragon diet. They should be fed three times a day, for 10-15 minutes and only as many insects as they can eat within that time period.
Take out any insects they have not eaten in that time, and make sure there are fresh vegetables in the cage for them to nibble on. They can eat a variety of vegetables and are known to love brightly colored and leafy ones. They can also enjoy fresh fruits.
How to feed adult bearded dragons.
Once grown, adult bearded dragons should have a balance of 50% insects and 50% vegetables. They will only need to be fed insects once per day, and only as many insects as they can eat within 10-15 minutes. The rest of the insects should be removed from their cage. They should be given fresh vegetables daily, and they will also enjoy eating fresh fruit as with baby bearded dragons.
Which insects should you feed your bearded dragon.
Bearded dragons have a number of favorite insects. In particular they love live mealworms, waxworms and crickets that have been pumped full of good nutrition and vitamins for bearded dragons to thrive on (this is referred to as ‘gut loaded’).
For some extra variety you can occasionally feed them phoenix worms. Other insects should be included into their diets to keep your little friends satisfied and happy – such as Black Solider Fly Larvae and Butterworms.
Although Butterworms should be kept as a treat for adult beardies rather than a regular meal. A variety of meals are required in order to meet their full nutritional needs.
You can ‘gutload’ any insects before you feed them to your beardie – in fact this is recommended. You would do this by simply feeding the insects vitamins and nutrients to help your bearded dragon thrive, such as vitamin D3 supplements.
You should only feed your bearded dragon as many insects as they can eat within a 10-15 minute period and remove any remaining insects from their enclosure.
Crickets, roaches and horn worms should be kept as the staple food within their bearded dragon diet, and occasionally you can add in mealworms and waxworms. Other insects such as superwormscan be included – as your beardie will enjoy eating them- however it should be kept as a very occasional treat.
It is encouraged that you vary the insects you are feeding your bearded dragon to ensure that they are receiving adequate nutrients and are enjoying their food. No one likes to eat the same thing day in and day out.
Where to get insects for your bearded dragon.
It is vital that you do not catch the insects yourself as wild insects can be full of pesticides and herbicides and may also carry parasites. It is highly recommended that you purchase your insects from your local pet store – they aren’t difficult to find, and you can purchase a large amount to minimize how many trips you’ll need to make to the store.
How to keep and store insects for your bearded dragon.
When storing the insects you have purchased it is best to keep them in a sturdy container as you don’t want them to chew through thin plastics and roam your home. Especially when you are storing a large amount of insects.
They should be stored somewhere with steady temperatures – and specifically temperatures suited for the insect, and they should be kept somewhere where the noise and smell will not annoy you.
Crickets for example can become extremely noisy. You should also keep in mind that your guests may have bug phobia’s, so it is probably best to keep your insects out of view or in a colored container. Also be sure to keep the container out of reach from your children or your other pets, it would be a nightmare if they all escaped as your toddler bumped their container over.
You can also purchase ‘critter keepers’ as a smaller container for your insects if you don’t plan to keep a large amount, and it is recommended you use this to transfer the insects from the larger container to your bearded dragon’s enclosure.
Which fruit and vegetables can you feed a bearded dragon?
Feeding your bearded dragon fruit and vegetables is one of the best parts of owning this amazing species of lizard. It is great to see which ones your beardie loves and also hates.
There are so many to choose from and below I will list which ones you can feed and include in your bearded dragons diet to keep them fit and healthy.
Vegetables that bearded dragons can eat.
These are all of the vegetables that you can feed to your bearded dragon. Remember to mix it up though and do not over feed on one type of vegetable.
Can bearded dragons eat broccoli?
Yes feeding broccoli to your bearded dragon is fine and they absolutely love it. Just make sure to wash it thoroughly first to remove and pesticides that may be present. As with all fruit and vegetables feed broccoli to your bearded dragon in moderation as to much of it could make your beardie ill.
The stems of the broccoli and the florets are all edible but will need cutting up to the appropriate size for the beaded dragon to be able to chew on.
Can bearded dragons eat carrots?
Yes bearded dragons can eat carrots. However you need to be careful about the amount of carrot that you feed to your bearded dragon if you are also giving your beardie vitamin A supplements. Carrots contain high amounts of vitamin A and combined with supplements could lead to vitamin A toxicity.
When feeding your bearded dragon carrots make sure that they are fresh and cleaned with water as carrots often come with pesticides ect on their skin. Also make sure to chop them up nice and small for your beardie to eat.
Can bearded dragons eat cabbage.
Yes bearded dragons can eat cabbage. One of the most common vegetables that people keep in their homes is cabbage, it is good nutrition for us and for your bearded dragon providing plenty of leafy and nutritious greens to the bearded dragons diet.
Wash the cabbage thoroughly before feeling it to your bearded dragon and make sure you cut it to a size that is small enough for your beardie to eat without choking. Do not cook the cabbage, always feed it to your dragon raw.
Can bearded dragons eat celery?
Yes bearded dragons can eat celery, this includes the stems and leaves. Celery is high in water content as well which will help to keep your bearded dragon hydrated. As usual make sure that you first wash the celery to get rid of any pesticides or other nasties which may be present on the surface. Cut the celery up into manageable pieces for your bearded dragon to eat safely.
Can bearded dragons eat cucumber?
Yes bearded dragons can and will eat cucumber. However there is not much nutritional benefit to be had as cucumbers are nearly completely made up of water, so with that in mind save cucumbers as a treat for your bearded dragon. It is best to skin the cucumber first before feeding it to your beardie, this will get rid of any pesticides and also remove the tough skin that bearded dragons struggle to chew through.
Can bearded dragons eat green beans?
Yes bearded dragons can eat green beans but as with any vegetable bough for human consumption it needs to be thoroughly washed first. Green beans can often have pesticides present on the surface and this can be harmful to your bearded dragon. Make sure that you chop up the green beans into small bits to make for easier digestion for your beardie.
Can bearded dragons eat kale?
Yes, feeding kale to your bearded dragon is absolutely fine. Always wash the leaves individually though to remove pesticide residue and cut up into very small strips. As with all vegetables make sure that kale makes up a very small portion of your bearded dragons diet and do not over feed it on kale as this can be harmful.
Can bearded dragons eat lettuce?
Yes bearded dragons can eat lettuce. However there really is not much point. Lettuce is mainly water and provides no real nutritional benefits to your bearded dragon. It has also been known to cause diarrhoea for beardies so it is probably best avoided or only fed as a very rare treat.
Can bearded dragons eat corn?
Yes, there is absolutely no reason why your pet bearded dragon cannot eat corn. I would only recommend feeding it as a rare treat though as there are much easier to break down and nutritional vegetables out there. Fresh and tinned corn is fine to feed your beardie but make sure if the corn is fresh that it has been thoroughly washed first.
Can bearded dragons eat dandelion?
Yes bearded dragons can eat dandelions and believe it or not they provide lots of great nutrients for your beardie. What’s more bearded dragons absolutely love the taste of them as you will see when you feed some to it. Dandelion can be fed daily to your pet beardie without any bad effects.
Can bearded dragons eat tomatoes?
Yes bearded dragons can eat tomatoes just fine. They are not the greatest of foods for them to eat though so feed sparingly like a rare treat. If you feed tomatoes to your bearded dragon to regularly it could possibly become ill from it. Because of this I highly recommend that tomatoes are not fed very often.
Can bearded dragons eat sprouts?
Yes bearded dragons can eat sprouts and they are very beneficial to them. Sprouts, much like cabbage although smaller are leafy greens that are packed with nutrients. Make sure to wash them thoroughly before feeding to your bearded dragon to get rid of all of the pesticides that may be present on the outer skin. The sprout will also need to be chopped up into small and manageable chunks that your beardie can easily chew and swallow.
Bearded dragons can eat bell peppers as long as it is in moderation. Have a read of my can bearded dragons eat red pepper guide for more information.
Can Bearded Dragons eat peas?
Bearded dragons can certainly eat peas as long as it is in moderation. For more information on bearded dragons eating peas please see my helpful guide.
Fruits that bearded dragons can eat.
Below are all of the fruits that you can feed to your bearded dragon. As always it is best to give your bearded dragon a varied bearded dragon diet and fruits should only make up a part of that diet along with insects and vegetables.
Can bearded dragons eat apples?
Yes bearded dragons can eat apples. Also your pet bearded dragon will absolutely love eating the sweet apple, make sure to peel the apple first for ease of digestion and also cut into small pieces so that your beardie and easily eat it. Remember though that apples are full of natural sugars and so do not feed to much of it to your bearded dragon as too much sugar could make it ill.
Can bearded dragons eat grapes?
Yes, bearded dragons can eat all varieties of grapes including red and white grapes. They are packed with valuable nutrients that are beneficial for your bearded dragon. However it is worth noting that grapes usually have a coating of pesticide on the surface so should be very thoroughly washed before feeding to your beardie. The best way to feed your bearded dragon grapes is to first peel it and then cut it into small pieces. Grapes are again full of natural sugars so try to avoid over feeding with this yummy treat.
Can bearded dragons eat strawberries?
Yes bearded dragons can eat strawberries but only as a rare treat. Always make sure that you wash the strawberries first and then cut them up into really small portions. This will help your bearded dragon to be able to chew and swallow the strawberries. As they are so full of natural sugars it is best to feed your beardie strawberries in moderation, however they will love this tasty treat!
Can bearded dragons eat blueberries?
Yes bearded dragons can eat blueberries and from my experiences they absolutely love the taste of them. It is very important though to make sure that the blueberries have been very thoroughly washed first. Blueberries usually have very high concentrations of pesticides on them from farming and this can make your beardie very ill. A good wash under fresh water will sort this though. I find that cutting the blueberries in half is the best way to make sure that your bearded dragon can eat them easily.
Can bearded dragons eat pineapple?
Yes bearded dragons can eat pineapple and this goes for either fresh or tinned pineapple. If the pineapple is tinned make sure that the liquid has been thoroughly drained first. Also make sure that the pineapple has been cut into small and manageable sized chunks first though. As pineapple is a very naturally sweet fruit it is best to give it in moderation and save it for a rare treat for your pet bearded dragon. This will keep it healthy.
Can bearded dragons eat peaches?
Yes bearded dragons can eat peaches. They absolutely love them and go mad for the sweet taste. Because of this though it is often best to keep them for a sweet treat every now and again for your beardie. Always try to get fresh and raw peaches and avoid tinned peach if you can as it can often have preservatives added to keep it fresh.
Can bearded dragons eat raspberries?
Yes bearded dragons can eat raspberries. However raspberries contain a moderate level of oxalates and as such should only be fed to your pet bearded dragon as a rare treat. When feeding raspberries there is no need to cut them up as they are a very soft and squishy fruit that your beardie will have no problems chewing up.
Can bearded dragons eat bananas?
Yes bearded dragons can eat banana. When feeding your bearded dragon banana try to cut it up into small pieces that it will not struggle to chew and eat. One thing to note though is that bananas contain high levels of phosphorus and as such should only be given to your bearded dragon a maximum of two times a month. The reason for this is because the phosphorus in the banana can bind with calcium in the bearded dragons diet and this can lead to a calcium deficiency. This can be very dangerous to bearded dragons.
Can bearded dragons eat blackberries?
Yes bearded dragons can eat blackberries. However just like most other fruits blackberries contain very high amounts of natural sugar. To much sugars can make your bearded dragon poorly so it is best to be moderate and save blackberries for a rare treat. Your bearded dragon will however very willing take and eat blackberries as they have a real taste for them!
Can bearded dragons eat kiwi fruit?
Yes your bearded dragon can absolutely eat kiwi fruit. Again this is a very naturally sweet fruit and as such should be saved for a rare treat. Kiwi is high in vitamin C which is very beneficial to your bearded dragon and it will love the taste of the sweet juices. What is worth noting though is that kiwi is quite high in oxalic acid.
This is known to bind with calcium which can lead to a calcium deficiency in your bearded dragon which is a very serious complication. So as such I recommend that you only feed kiwi to your beardie on very rare occasions to keep it fit and healthy.
Can bearded dragons eat cherries?
Yes bearded dragons can eat cherries. However they are pretty high in natural fruit sugars and as such should be provided in moderation. They are also quite acidic which can cause your bearded dragon to get digestive and stomach upsets. So with all of that in mind it is probably best to only feed cherries to your bearded dragon a couple of times a month or so.
Can bearded dragons eat eggs?
Yes bearded dragons can eat eggs but you should only provide small portions of egg to your bearded dragon at one time. This should not be to regularly either as eggs have huge amounts of protein in them. When the bearded dragons are at baby and juvenile stages of their lives they do need higher amounts of protein in their diet.
However when they get to the adult stage the amount of protein they need is greatly reduced. This means that only a small amount of egg should be given to a bearded dragon at a time. One quarter to a half an egg is more than adequate and do not give more frequently than once a week.
Foods that you should never feed to your bearded dragon.
All of the above foods were safe to feed to your pet bearded dragon. However there are many other fruits and vegetables that you should never feed to your beardie. I will list these below so you know which ones to avoid.
Can bearded dragons eat rhubarb?
No, you should never try feeding rhubarb to your bearded dragon. Unfortunately the bearded dragon will unknowingly eat it and suffer from the toxins that are present in it. Do not attempt to feed bearded dragons rhubarb, not even a little bit of it as it can have dire consequences.
Can bearded dragons eat oranges?
No you should not feed your bearded dragon oranges or any other highly acidic citrus fruits like it. It is not deadly in small doses but it is not good for them either and too much of it will cause your bearded dragon to become sick. There are plenty of other much more beneficial fruits to feed to your pet beardie.
Can bearded dragons eat spinach?
No, do not try to feed your bearded dragon spinach. There is nothing toxic in the spinach to worry about but there is something in it that binds with the calcium of other foods. If your bearded dragon does not get its required dose of calcium due to this binding it can cause metabolic bone diseases. This can prove to be fatal for your bearded dragon so do not feed it any spinach. Try to stick to other much more nutritious leafy greens such as kale and cabbage.
Can bearded dragons eat chicken?
No you should not feed your bearded dragon chicken. Whilst there is nothing toxic as far as we are aware in chicken it is totally unnatural for your bearded dragon to be eating it. There has literally not been enough studies done for me to be able to recommend you feeding chicken to your bearded dragon. They will get plenty of protein from there diet of insects and fresh vegetables so there is no need for a beardie to eat chicken.
Can bearded dragons eat avocados?
No, never feed your bearded dragon avocados. Like some of the other foods in this article avocado has oxalic acid in it. Except it is exceptionally high in avocados and this can be fatal to your bearded dragon. It will bind with calcium and end up meaning that your bearded dragon has a calcium deficiency. This can lead to bone diseases and malnutrition. Keep your beardie very far away from any avocado.
Before feeding your bearded dragon a new insect, fruit or vegetable please always do your research and consult a vetbeforehand to ensure that it is safe for your bearded dragon to eat
Bearded dragons are incredible pets to have and deserve to eat a healthy, and varied diet. You wouldn’t like to eat plain chicken every day for every meal, so why should your bearded dragon only get to eat crickets every day. There are plenty of options for them to enjoy a variety of meals, and it is easy to do so.
Take the above list and add some new foods to your bearded dragons diet to keep it healthy, for and active.
I hope this article was helpful to you and if it was why not check out some more of my bearded dragon guides.