Providing Your Beardies With a Nutritious and Delicious Diet
Most of us can quickly name our favorite foods. Perhaps it is a special dish at a local restaurant or a carton of rocky road ice cream. Along with enjoying our favorite foods, we also try to make sure we eat a balanced diet. The food we eat can bring us pleasure, but it also needs to provide us with essential nutrients and energy.
You can think of your bearded dragon’s diet in the same way. While your list of favorite foods is different—we assume!—your beardy needs his meals to be enjoyable, fulfilling, and nutrient dense. He will have favorite treats that he enjoys on occasion, but the bulk of his diet should be providing him with vitamins, minerals, calcium, and protein that will promote his health and happiness. For this reason, your bearded dragon’s diet will primarily come from a variety of live feeder insects. You may supplement those insects with some safe fruits and vegetables depending on your dragon’s age and preferences, but the insects will be the main course.
On that note, if you could use some meal planning inspiration, consider these top feeder insects.
Top Feeder Insect #1: Dubia Roaches
Our love for Dubia roaches is no secret. We shout it to the rooftops because these roaches are such an excellent staple food source for bearded dragons and other reptiles. They are protein-packed, low-fat, and provide a range of nutrients. They are also a low-maintenance choice for reptile owners because they are quiet, do not have an odor, and cannot climb or fly.
Top Feeder Insect #2: Hornworms
These worms have a high moisture content that makes them a nice complement to Dubia roaches. This also makes them useful if you need to rehydrate your dragon for any reason. Just be cautious not to provide them as a staple of your pet’s diet—the downside of their high moisture content is that they could cause runny bowel movements if eaten in large quantities.
Top Feeder Insect #3: Waxworms
Waxworms, with their high fat content, are a great side dish for your bearded dragon. Like hornworms, they are ideal when served along with Dubia roaches. Think of waxworms as your bearded dragon’s version of rocky road ice cream—you would not serve it every day, but once in a while, it is a harmless and tasty treat.
Top Feeder Insect #4: Black Soldier Fly (BSF) Larvae
Many bearded dragons will need a calcium supplement. BSF Larvae pack a calcium punch and can be a good source of calcium, particularly for young dragons. Older dragons can sometimes be disinterested in eating the larvae due to the small size compared to other feeder insects.
What questions do you have about feeding your bearded dragon? We’re happy to provide any guidance that we can as you shop for feeder insects.