You might know already that bearded dragons can eat a variety of insects for their protein needs. In fact, for baby and juvenile beardies’ diet involves mostly proteins.
Unfortunately, not all protein-rich foods are good for bearded dragons. Some meats are harmful for beardies.
So, can bearded dragons eat ham?
No. Ham is not good for bearded dragons. Apart from having no nutritional value, ham can be toxic to beardies too. Above all, the preservatives used to preserve the ham can also be harmful to bearded dragons.
As a rule of thumb, processed foods are not good for bearded dragons. Beardies usually eat live insects as they used to in the wild. In captivity, bearded dragons should have a balanced diet to remain healthy in their new habitat.
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What Should Bearded Dragons Eat?
As mentioned, your bearded dragons’ diet should emulate their diet in the wild. They used to eat live insects, fruits, and vegetables.
Now that they are in an artificial environment, their diet should remain. They should eat live animals such as crickets, mealworms, and king worms.
Aside from insects, bearded dragons should also have vegetables such as sweet potato and other leafy greens such as parsley and kale.
These are just a few examples of foods they can take. However, it is important to remember that the diet should be balanced.
Baby and juvenile bearded dragons for instance, should consume 70-80% live insects and 20-30% greens.
For adult beardies, their diet is the exact reverse of those in young bearded dragons. Adult bearded dragons should have 70-80% greens and 20-30% live insects.
As you can see, young bearded dragons tend to eat more protein-rich foods than greens. The reason for this is that they need more protein for their healthy growth.
On the other hand, the reason why adult beardies don’t eat many insects as they used to be is that they don’t need much protein sources.
In preparing the right diet, always consider the age of your beardy. Also, prepare their foods by the correct ratio for insects to greens.
It is also important to remember that not all insects and greens are safe for bearded dragons. If you are a beginner, it is a real challenge for you on what food to choose.
In this post, I will share with you some of the safe and nutritious insects you can give to your beardies. Below I listed some of the live insects you can choose from.
Safe Animals for Bearded Dragons
In terms of protein sources, there are a variety of animals that beardies can take. This involves insects and worms such as:
- King worms
- Phoenix worms
- Dubia roaches
- Mealworms (On the occasional basis and for adult bearded dragons only. Mealworms could potentially cause impaction due to their hard exoskeleton. Not good as staple food for bearded dragons)
- Superworms (Good for adult beardies only. These worms are larger mealworms and therefore should be fed on an occasional basis only)
Aside from live animals, bearded dragons should also eat fruits as part of their diet especially for adult bearded dragons.
Same with insects, not all fruits are safe for bearded dragons. Some are too watery and have a high sugar content that are not good for bearded dragons.
But don’t worry, I have provided a list of safe fruits you can give to your beardies. Let’s take a look at the list below.
Safe Fruits for Bearded Dragons
Although bearded dragons can eat a variety of fruits, not all of them are healthy. To guide you accordingly, I have listed a few fruits that are safe for beardies.
I have a quick note here. When choosing the best fruits for your beardies, stay away from fruits that are high in sugar and water content. Watery fruits could cause digestive problems such as diarrhea.
Bearded dragons also need vegetables. They can eat a variety of vegetables too. But again, not all veggies are safe for bearded dragons. So you need to be careful when feeding veggies to your beardies.
Again, I have listed a few vegetables that bearded dragons can eat.
Safe Vegetables for Bearded Dragons
Below are some of the vegetables you can offer to your bearded dragons. You can choose what is available in your location.
- Acorn Squash
- Bell pepper
- Bok choi
- Butternut squash
- Green beans
- Sweet Potato
- Yellow squash
The salad is almost complete. The last missing thing is greens. Yes, apart from insects, fruits, and vegetables, bearded dragons also need greens.
To make everything easy for you as far as making safe food for beardies goes, I have listed a few greens that are healthy and safe for bearded dragons.
Safe Greens for Bearded Dragons
Below are some of the greens your bearded dragon can eat. choose from the list according to their availability.
- Dandelion greens
- Mustard greens
- Turnip greens
There you go. You have a complete set of foods you can offer to your beardy. You can choose from the list to make a wonderful combination of insects, fruits, vegetables, and greens.
One more thing. Always remember that when making a salad, make sure that you chop the veggies and fruits into small bite-size pieces. This will help beardies eat the salad easily.
This is very important especially if you are feeding young bearded dragons. Baby and juvenile beardies can choke swallowing big chunks of foods. So help your beardies consume their food easily.
Foods That Bearded Dragons Should Not Eat
Bearded dragons are gluttonous. They eat virtually any food available to them. Thus, if you are not careful, your beardies can get poisoned by eating the wrong food.
Below is the list of foods your bearded dragons should not eat.
1. Iceberg lettuce
Iceberg lettuce is not poisonous to bearded dragons. But the reason why beardies should eat it is due to its high water content. Besides, it also has no nutritional value for bearded dragons.
Spinach is another green you should avoid feeding your bearded dragon. It contains chemicals that could cause calcium deficiency which will result in metabolic bone disease if not regulated immediately. Some owners do recommend spinach for bearded dragons. And surely, beardies can eat this green on an occasional basis. But for the safety of your reptile pet, I don’t recommend it here. Choose other available greens instead.
There are poisonous insects that you should not offer to your bearded dragons. One of them is a firefly. Fireflies are highly poisonous to reptiles. Needless to say that you should refrain from feeding your beardies with this insect.
Avocados are safe for humans but not for bearded dragons. These fruits contain chemicals that are toxic to reptiles. Even a small amount can negatively affect bearded dragons. Large amounts can be fatal.
Rhubarb contains high oxalic acid a substance that is poisonous to bearded dragons. So avoid feeding your beardy with this.
6. All insects captured in the wild
Yes, you read it right. I don’t recommend feeding a bearded dragon with insects captured in the wild. The reason being is that insects in the wild may have parasites in them which could bring harm to the bearded dragon.
Final Thoughts on Can Bearded Dragons Eat Ham
All bearded dragon owners might agree with me when I say that ham is not good for bearded dragons. And you should probably do the same.
All processed foods do not bring any nutritional value to bearded dragons. Instead, the preservatives used to preserve the ham can only harm the bearded dragons.
What you can do instead is choose other protein sources such as insects. There are a variety of insects included in this post. You can choose the available ones in your location.
Also, this post contains a list of safe fruits, greens, and vegetables for bearded dragons. If you are new to caring bearded dragon, this post may help you in making good decisions.
If you are interested in learning more about bearded dragons, please feel free to visit my guide page.
Thank you for reading!