Bearded Dragons and Other Omnivorous Lizards

Please check the nutritional requirements of your pet carefully or contact us for advice.  Juvenile lizards need more protein than adults and diets may change with age.  Adult Bearded Dragons should have a diet of over 85% vegetation, whilst younger individuals should have around 90% insects. Vegetation can be in form of a variety of vegetables and weeds- different coloured vegetables will provide a wider range of vitamins for your dragon.

Safe vegetables and plants for Bearded Dragons:

  • Bell peppers
  • Kale
  • Water cress
  • Rocket
  • Squash
  • Carrots
  • Cabbage and dandelion. Some vegetables such as squash may need to be cooked to make them more palatable to your dragon.

Bearded dragons can also enjoy a range of fruits – these should be only offered as a small part of the diet as they are high in sugar which can lead to dental disease and fermentation in the gut. It is best to avoid citrus fruits due to their high acidity which can lead to diarrhoea.

Safe fruits (feed in small amounts only)

  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Grapes
  • Apricots
  • Peaches
  • Mangos
  • Papaya

Safe insects (should form 90% of diet for juveniles, but only up to 15% of the diet for adults)

  • Crickets
  • Wax worms
  • Silk worms
  • Butter worms
  • Meal worms (adults only)

Considerations when feeding insects

Parasites

Many insects can transmit parasites such as pin-worm. Signs of a parasite burden commonly include: change in demeanour (listlessness), constipation or diarrhoea, poor appetite and weight loss. Some affected dragons show no symptoms at all so it is recommended that your bearded dragon is wormed routinely every 3 months- please contact us for advice on this. You should avoid feeding insects found in your garden.

Injury

Some insects such as crickets can actually feed on your dragon! If your dragon isn’t interested in eating them, you should remove any uneaten insects and try again later. Occasionally insect bites can lead to infection or swelling, requiring veterinary treatment.

Feeding the insects

In order to ensure your dragon’s diet is as balanced as possible, you should feed their food! This can easily be achieved by feeding them any spare vegetable peelings or left over fruit or salad. It is best to use a wide variety of fruits and vegetables of different colours.

UV lighting and Calcium

Broad spectrum UV lighting is essential to most reptiles, particularly diurnal desert species such as bearded dragons. Reptiles use UVB by converting Vitamin D into Vitamin D3, which then aids the absorption of calcium- without UVB, they are simply unable to absorb calcium, even if the rest of their diet is perfect. Calcium plays a vital role in nerve and muscle function, as well as preventing metabolic bone disease. It is important that you provide a calcium supplement, which may be given either by gut loading insects, dusting food, or providing powders in a bowl for your pet to lick. We recommend Nutrobal as a good all-round supplement for reptiles.