Questions for Bruce
What Can My Bearded Dragon Eat?
Zach from Cleveland Heights, Ohio, asked: “My son is getting a bearded dragon for his birthday, and I’ve been doing some research about a typical bearded dragon diet. Is it true that beardies can eat fruit and vegetables? What else do you recommend?”
Bruce’s Answer: “Thanks for your question, Zach! First, that is a pretty awesome birthday gift. Second, yes, it is true that bearded dragons enjoy some varieties of fruits and vegetables as part of a balanced diet. Let’s look at all the components of a well-rounded diet for your son’s new bearded dragon to help you with your meal planning!”
Recommended Foods for Bearded Dragons
Nutritious Live Feeder Insects and More!
Your baby dragon will need to be given fresh food and water at least two times a day. Adult dragons eventually need up to four or five daily feedings. Because bearded dragons are omnivores, they eat both animal protein—in the form of live insects—and plant matter. When we talk about a bearded dragon’s diet, we typically think about four categories: water, insects, fruits, and vegetables.
Water: Your bearded dragon will need a shallow bowl of fresh, dechlorinated water in his enclosure. We recommend using either tap or bottled spring water. Keep in mind that you’ll also be briefly misting him with water several times a day.
Live Insects: Young dragons will eat a diet of approximately 80% insects and 20% plants—and that ratio will flip when he is fully grown. Make sure you have a reliable source for fresh, healthy feeder insects because you will need them! While some lizard experts recommend crickets for bearded dragons, we believe you should feed your bearded dragon Dubia roaches rather than crickets. Among their many benefits, Dubia roaches are low maintenance and rich in protein. Phoenix Worms are also a great food choice for bearded dragons, as they are high in calcium and protein.
Other feeder insects to consider include:
Vegetables: Bearded dragons can safely enjoy a large variety of dark, leafy greens (think kale, collard greens, and bok choy) and vegetables. Make sure any offered vegetables, like broccoli, bell peppers, or green beans, are finely chopped.
The list of safe greens and vegetables for beardies is long, so we’ll point out what you should avoid instead. In general, focus on dark, leafy greens and vegetables rather than light greens, like iceberg lettuce and celery, which have little nutrient value. Make sure your dragon is never fed avocados or rhubarb and avoid difficult-to-digest veggies like spinach, beet greens, and tomato.
Fruits: If you really want to make your bearded dragon happy, offer him some chopped papaya, mango, or prickly pear. Fruits should be fed sparingly as an occasional treat, but they can still be a nutritious part of your dragon’s diet.
We hope this information helps you prepare a nutritious and delicious diet for your pet bearded dragon or lizard! If you have concerns or questions about your dragon’s diet, please reach out to our team.