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Men'S Health

Feeding Your Bearded Dragon

Your new bearded dragon pet requires a nutritious, well-balanced diet in order to grow healthy and strong. It is important to offer both insects and fresh greens, since bearded dragons are omnivores. As a baby, the lizard will only eat insects and should be fed insects that are soft-bodied and the proper size. To prevent choking, the young lizard should only be offered insects that are no larger than the space between its eyes. Small crickets make excellent feeders because their bodies are relatively soft and easy to digest.
Between 2-4 months of age, your bearded dragon needs to eat a diet that consists primarily of 80% protein (live insect feeders) and 20% fresh greens. As it gets older, you can incorporate more and more greens into the diet.
The best fresh foods for the bearded dragon are those that have a high calcium:phosphorous ratio.
These include:
*Collard greens
*Mustard greens
*Turnip greens
Bearded dragons are attracted to the colors yellow and red. For this reason, it is best to mix in a few shredded carrots or sweet potatoes to inspire the lizard to eat the healthy greens.
You may also feed yellow squash, dandelion leaves, and zucchini. All vegetables should be chopped up finely.
Fruit can be offered, but should be used sparingly. Stick to non-citrus fruits like apples, blueberries, and grapes.
There are also commercial pellets available for bearded dragons. They are safe, but are not recommended for the best long-term care. Unless you are unable to provide fresh foods, try to avoid using pellets.
The protein part of your bearded dragon’s diet may consist of the following live feeders:
*Crickets (these are the most popular feeders because of their protein / fat ratio as well as body-type)
*Mealworms (not as nutritious and harder to digest)
*Waxworms (use sparingly, as they have a high fat content)
*Dubia roaches
*Pinky mice
The more variety you can include in the bearded dragon diet, the better.
Don’t underestimate the necessity of calcium supplements and multivitamins either. The vegetables as well as the live feeders must be dusted with a calcium supplement for each and every meal. The risks associated with Metabolic Bone Disease are not worth aggravating. Once a week, dust with a multivitamin.
Consider alternating from protein (live feeders) to fresh greens every other day. For example, if you fed crickets today, feed veggies tomorrow. This ensures that your pet is nutritionally balanced.
Be sure to provide a water bowl that you replenish with new water each day. A spray bottle can also be used to mist the vegetables with water, giving additional hydration.