Questions for Bruce: Do Bearded Dragons Like Dried Insects?
Bruce’s Recommendations for Feeding Your Pet Beardy
Abby from Westlake asked: “We are the soon-to-be owners of a bearded dragon, and our entire family is excited. As we plan for his homecoming, we are wondering about the use of dried insects like crickets and mealworms compared to feeder insects. Do beardies like dried insects?”
Bruce’s Answer: Congratulations, Abby! And kudos to you for planning ahead to prepare for your beardy’s feeding needs. While your bearded dragon may enjoy the taste of a freeze-dried insect, keep in mind that dried insects should be considered an occasional treat—definitely not an everyday food or a staple of his diet. Let’s explore why.
A bearded dragon would not eat a dried insect in the wild. Feeding your dragon live insects models how he would be catching and consuming food in his natural environment. He would not naturally be finding or eating a dried insect.
A bearded dragon needs his food to be a source of water. Because beardies typically do not drink water from a bowl, they must obtain water from the food they eat, in addition to consuming some water while misting or bathing. Dried insects lack moisture and have lower nutritional values than live insects. A diet heavy in dried insects would also likely cause your bearded dragon to become dehydrated.
It is easy to overfeed a reptile on dried insects. If you offer dried insects in a high quantity, you put your bearded dragon at risk of impaction. Dried insects are very hard for a bearded dragon to digest and can make it difficult for him to have a bowel movement. Impaction can be very serious for reptiles and should be prevented at all costs.
Alternatives to Dried Insects: High-Quality Live Feeder Insects
While offering your beardy a freeze-dried insect here or there is fine, the bulk of his diet should consist of high-quality live feeder insects that offer the moisture and nutritional content he needs. These are just a few of our favorite feeder insects for bearded dragons:
- Dubia Roaches, which are protein-packed and full of nutrients
- Hornworms, offering high-moisture content
- Waxworms, a great source of healthy fat
- BSF Larvae, a calcium-rich staple food
ABDragons has all of your bearded dragon’s feeding needs covered. Shop with us for the highest quality live feeder insects available.