Bearded dragons can eat a variety of plants and vegetables. But obviously, not all plants and vegetables are edible for bearded dragons.
So can bearded dragons eat lavender?
Yes. Bearded dragons can eat lavender. It is one of the safe plants for beardies. However, it is better to give lavender to bearded dragons as a treat and not their staple food.
It is very important to remember that bearded dragons are omnivores. What this means is that bearded dragons eat both plants and animals.
So if you own one, you should provide your beardy diet that emulates their diet in their natural habitat – in the wild.
What Should Bearded Dragons Eat?
Since bearded dragons are omnivorous, they eat animals and plants. However, their age influences their food selection.
For instance, baby and juvenile bearded dragons tend to be more carnivores than herbivorous.
The reason is that younger bearded dragons need more protein for their speedy growth. As a result, they eat more insects than greens.
On the other hand, adult bearded dragons don’t need as much protein as they used to. As a result, they eat more greens than insects.
It is very important to remember that the consumption of insects and green leafy vegetables is generally influenced by the bearded dragons’ age.
For young beardies, their diet should compose of about 70 to 80% insects and 20 to 30% greens leafy vegetables.
The percentage may change as your bearded dragons reach adulthood. You can reverse the diet. But if you are not sure, it is better to consult a veterinarian.
How Often Should Bearded Dragon Be Fed?
Well, mostly, the feeding frequency is different from one bearded dragon to another. However, one thing that I am sure of is that younger beardies eat more frequently than their older counterparts.
For a baby or juvenile bearded dragons, they can be fed at least once or twice a day. While adult beardies can be fed once daily. But of course, as mentioned, the feeding frequency may be dependent on the individual appetite of your reptile pet.
What Are the Types of Plant Material that Should Be Fed to Bearded Dragons?
As a general rule, the diet of bearded dragons should compose of 80-90% green leafy vegetables and only about 10-20% is fruits. When choosing the vegetables, always go with the dark green. Dark green vegetables are more nutritious.
However, you can also include yellow, red, and orange vegetables. But avoid those fiber-rich, nutrient-poor, and low vitamin greens. Examples of those are iceberg lettuce and celery. These greens are mainly containing water and almost no nutritional value for bearded dragons.
Below is the list of vegetables that you should include in the diet for your beardies.
- Collard greens
- Alfalfa hay
- Bok choy
- Turnip greens
- Beet greens
- Mustard greens
- Green cabbage
- Swiss chard
- Bell peppers
- Green beans
There are a few things to remember here. If you feed Swiss chard, spinach, and green beans to your bearded dragon, keep it in a minimal amount and occasional.
These vegetables contain oxalates that bind with calcium which in turn prevents absorption. If you make these vegetable staple foods, it is highly likely that your beardies will suffer a nutrient deficiency.
While the vegetables like cabbage, kale, and mustard greens contain goitrogens, chemicals that prohibit or interfere with the thyroid hormone production. Although bearded dragons can eat these vegetables, keep it as an occasional treat.
In addition, you can add lesser percentage of the following vegetables:
Apart from vegetables, you can also give fruits to your bearded dragons. Unfortunately, not all fruits are safe for your beardies. So be careful to choose the safe ones.
Below is the shortlist of fruits that are safe and you can feed to your bearded dragons.
- Star fruit
It is important to remember though that many fruits have low nutrient content and high in water. Although bearded dragons can eat these fruits, the amount should always be minimal.
Fruits that are rich in water can potentially cause digestive issues in your beardies. So they should only be given as a treat.
Bearded dragons can also eat some flowers. Below are some of the flowers you can give to your bearded dragons.
These flowers should be given as a treat. I do not recommend these flowers to be fed as staple foods.
In preparing vegetables to bearded dragons, I recommend that you serve raw veggies. They can eat cooked though. But raw is better because it preserves all the nutrients.
However, when feeding raw vegetables, make sure that the leaves are clean and safe. Unless you grow your own fruits, they can have pesticides and other chemicals that are harmful to bearded dragons.
Wash the vegetables thoroughly before serving. Same is true with flowers. Flowers, especially those that can be bought from flower shops may be exposed to some chemicals.
It is really a challenge for us to clean the food before we give it to our beardies.
Things to Remember When Preparing Fruits and Vegetables for Bearded Dragons
Every bearded dragon has a certain level of appetite. In fact, some are picky and only eat certain fruits and vegetables.
And believe me when I say that feeding a picky beardy can always be a challenge. Fortunately, there are simple and quick tricks you can do to motivate a picky bearded dragon to eat the whole salad serving.
The first thing you can do is to mix three to five or more fruits and vegetables together. This makes the salad more colorful and enticing.
The second trick is to chop the fruits and vegetables in small bite-size pieces. This will be difficult for bearded dragons to pick their favorite fruits or vegetables.
Another good thing about chopping fruits and vegetables in small pieces is that it helps beardies consume the food without having digestive issues.
Baby and juvenile bearded dragons can choke when eating bigger chunks of foods. So provide small bite-size food for smallmouth.
What Protein-Based Foods Should Bearded Dragons Eat?
Bearded dragons need protein-based foods especially the young ones. They need it for their speedy growth.
But make sure that you’re giving the right animals. You can choose from the list below.
There are other live prey you can give to your beardies. However, I commonly use three of them because they are the most common.
But make sure that you don’t give insects that you catch from the wild or outside of your backyard. This is because you don’t know if they have pesticides or chemicals with them that could cause harm to your bearded dragons.
Do Bearded Dragons Need Supplements?
In some instances, yes. In fact, veterinarians sometimes recommend it. Multivitamins are mostly prescribed.
However, if you think your bearded dragon consumes enough amount of vitamins they need, be careful in giving them extra sources of nutrients because it could cause harm.
An example of this is vitamin A toxicity. This happens when a bearded dragon receives too much vitamin A on a regular basis. So I suggest that you consult a vet before applying supplements to your beardies.
Do Bearded Dragons Need Water?
Bearded dragons should get enough water. Lack of water could cause dehydration and constipation.
Make sure too that they receive not only enough but also clean water. You can serve the water in a water bowl. Change the water every day to keep it clean and safe.
If you can provide a fountain, it will be better. This is because bearded dragons love a moving water source.
Giving them a warm bath can also help them stay hydrated.
Final Thoughts on Can Bearded Dragons Eat Lavender
Lavender is one of the plants that bearded dragons can eat. However, it is also important to remember though that not all bearded dragons are equal. Every beardy can have a totally different appetite.
This means that there is no single food formula or guideline you can use for your reptile pets. As an owner, it is your job to figure out what is best for your bearded dragon.
In choosing the best food combination, it is important to note too that not all fruits and vegetables that are safe to humans are also safe for reptiles. In fact, as mentioned in the list above, some fruits and vegetables can be harmful to bearded dragons with ingested in large amounts.
So be open-minded. Don’t be afraid to change something if it can do good to your bearded dragon.
Thank you for reading. If you want more information on taking care of bearded dragons, feel free to visit my guide here.
Can bearded dragons eat pickles?
No. Pickles are way too acidic for bearded dragons. However, they can eat fresh and raw cucumber occasionally.
Can bearded dragons eat dog food?
I don’t recommend feeing dog food to a bearded dragon. This is because dog food is processed food designed for dogs. It contains high protein levels from different parts of animals including muscle meat, and bone. In short, dog food is not good for bearded dragons.