If you are new to caring bearded dragons, choosing the right food for them can be a challenge. Wrong food could potentially harm your reptiles.
While bearded dragons have a variety of foods they can have, there are some foods that they should not eat.
Can bearded dragons eat wet dog food? This is one of the most common questions I get from bearded dragon owners.
The answer is NO. Bearded dragons should not eat wet dog food or other processed foods. They are insectivores so they need natural and live bugs, crickets, and other small insects.
In their natural habitat, bearded dragons don’t have processed foods and so they are accustomed to natural foods.
If you are new to this, you need to take some time to do research. Bearded dragons are susceptible to health problems especially digestive issues.
I understand that, sometimes, especially if we have a variety of pets at home, we tend to maximize time and resources. As a result, we tend to buy “food for all”.
Unfortunately, this does not work with all types of pets. It may work for all breeds of the same species but not with the others.
Related Article: Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cereal?
Dog food, for instance, can be great for virtually all types of dogs. But if you feed it to reptiles, it will be a different story. And surely cause health problems to your reptile pets.
Dog food is rich in protein which can potentially cause impaction in bearded dragons. Although bearded dragons, especially the younger ones need protein for their rapid growth, too much of it can cause digestive issues.
The thing is, bearded dragons have different protein requirements compared to dogs. Although protein is essential for their health and growth, dog food mimics the food of the wolf in the wild.
That said, high-quality dog foods contain a lot of meat from animal muscles, bones, and other animal parts. These ingredients make the dog food protein-rich.
Bearded dragons differ from dogs in terms of protein requirements. Their
favorite source of protein are insects and worms not from processed foods.
This is the reason why most baby or juvenile bearded dragons consume more insects than green leafy vegetables. In fact, live insects make up about 80% of their overall diet.
Animal protein is harmful to bearded dragons. It can cause kidney failure and even death if not treated immediately.
This is the ultimate way of saying that you should refrain from feeding your bearded dragons with wet dog food.
Reptiles also need fruits and vegetables. These should be included in their diet. This means that a healthy diet is a combination of insects and greens.
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What Fruits and Vegetables Are Good for Bearded Dragons?
As mentioned, bearded dragons also need vegetables apart from insects. When your reptiles are young, they need more bugs because they need more protein for their speedy growth.
However, as they get older, they don’t need protein as much as they used to. Instead, they need more nutrient-rich foods that can be found in vegetables. This means that as your bearded dragons get older, their food expenses get lower. Good news, right?
So what are the best vegetables for your beardies? I often asked this question. This is the reason why I included the list of vegetables that are good for bearded dragons in this post.
Best Vegetables for Bearded Dragons
Like humans, bearded dragons love a variety of vegetables for their balanced diet. It will help them grow stronger and develop a healthy immune system.
Below are some of the vegetables you should give to your beardies in an alternate manner.
- Bok Choy
- Cactus Pads
- Collard Greens
- Dandelion Greens
- Mustard Greens
- Oak Choy
- Turnip Greens
- Swiss Chard
- Artichoke heart
- Bell Pepper
- Carron Greens
- Peeled Cucumber
- Mint Leaves
- Rose Petals
When giving vegetables to your bearded dragons, make sure that you sliced the vegetables into bite-size pieces. This is to help your reptiles eat the vegetables with their tongue.
In some cases, though, bearded dragons won’t be able to grab those small pieces with their tongue. So the best option is to hand-feed them. Just be careful not to get bitten.
If your bearded dragons are constipated, you can give them lettuce or romaine. These vegetables are rich in water that can hydrate your beardies.
However, avoid vegetables that contain high oxalates or calcium-binding substances. Vegetables like these can harm your bearded dragons.
Best Fruits for Bearded Dragons
Bearded dragons also need fruits. However, the amount is smaller than vegetables and insects.
Fruits should only compose about 10% of their diet. The reason for this is that fruits are usually high in water making them not good for bearded dragons when the high amount is consumed.
If your bearded dragons eat too many fruits, they might suffer the laxative effect. Too much water can cause diarrhea in bearded dragons. So make sure that you serve fruits to them sparingly.
Below are some of the fruits you can give to your beardies.
- Cactus Fruits
Certainly, there are other vegetables and fruits not included in this post. You can find them online.
However, it is also important to note that not all vegetables and fruits are safe for your beardies. In fact, some of them are poisonous. So be careful.
Can bearded dragons eat wet cat food?
Can bearded dragons eat rice?
Can bearded dragons eat scrambled eggs?
Can bearded dragons eat cheese?
Can beardies eat carrots?
Can bearded dragons eat cheerios?
Can bearded dragons have nuts?
Can bearded dragons eat broccoli?
Can bearded dragons eat peanut butter?
So, what do bearded dragons should eat?
Bearded dragons are omnivores making them accustomed to vegetables and insects. Some examples of good food for beardies are crickets, mealworms, and waxworms.
Insects and vegetables should be their staple foods. For babies and juvenile bearded dragons, they need more insects than vegetables. This is because they need protein for their healthy growth.
Older bearded dragons, on the other hand, need more green leafy vegetables than insects. This is because older bearded dragons don’t need protein anymore as much as they used to.
The bottom line is that, when choosing the best diet for your bearded dragons, you need to consider their age. As their age changes, so their protein and nutrients need.
Finally, avoid all the foods that are harmful to your bearded dragons. You can use this post as guidance in making the best diet for your beardies. I hope this helps. Thank you for reading!