Bearded dragons can eat a wide range of
A wide variety of fresh human foods can be fed to bearded dragons. Generally, adult bearded dragons that are predominantly herbivorous thrive well in a diet with the plant portion composed of 70% leafy greens, 20% colored vegetables, and 10% fruits, on top of the occasional insects.
In this article, we will discuss the human foods and plants that bearded dragons can eat and the ones that they should avoid. We will also provide tips on how to safely incorporate human
Table of Contents
Can I Give My Bearded Dragon Human
Bearded dragons are omnivorous reptiles that require a varied diet of both plant and animal-based
Hatchlings start out as predominantly insectivorous, although feeding them leafy greens at an early age will let them grow accustomed to vegetables.
As they grow older, their diet changes to become more herbivorous, relying only on a few insect feedings a week.
While most people think that beardies should mostly eat insects (they shouldn’t – more on that later), many owners want to supplement their bearded dragons’ diet with human foods.
Incorporating human foods provides nutritious variety, is more convenient, and ensures that your bearded dragon receives whole, organic
Here’s the verdict: you can feed your bearded dragon a variety of human
However, not all offer the same quality of nutrition, and some choices are more beneficial than others.
Up to 12 months
12 to 18 months
|Feeding nature||Predominantly insectivorous||Omnivorous||Predominantly herbivorous|
|Diet composition||70-80% insects (2-3 pieces per meal)|
20-30% leafy greens
|Plant-based component consisting of:|
70% leafy greens
20% colored vegetables
4-5 pieces of insects 1-2 times per week
|Frequency of feeding||2-3 times daily||Gradually transition from 1-2 times daily to every 48 hours||Every 24-48 hours|
Leafy greens can be given daily
What Types of Human
Food Can Bearded Dragons Eat?
Can I Feed My Bearded Dragon Vegetables?
The short answer is YES! Vegetables are a crucial part of bearded dragons’ diet since they include essential vitamins and minerals, fiber, and water. However, not all vegetables are created equal.
It is crucial to choose vegetables for your bearded dragon that are nourishing and simple to digest. As a rule of thumb, darker leafy greens are better than the light green, thicker portions of a plant.
They offer more calcium, vitamin A, and cellulose which are good for your bearded dragon’s growth.
Some of the top vegetables to give your bearded dragon, and should make up around 70% of an adult beardie’s diet, include the following:
- Leafy Greens: Collard greens, mustard greens, bok choy, and dandelion greens are excellent sources of calcium, vitamin A, and vitamin K. These greens should make up the majority of your bearded dragon’s vegetable intake.
- Pre-package salad mix from the local grocery is an easy, convenient way to purchase mixed vegetables for your bearded dragon. They usually contain baby herbs and baby lettuces, and much of their green part is great to feed to your beardie.
- Other good leafy greens that may be available in your area include escarole, endive, grape leaves, turnip greens, and watercress.
Meanwhile, bright-colored starchy vegetables afford a good variety to the leafy green mix and are visually appealing to eat for your bearded dragon.
They can be included as 20% of your adult beardie’s diet. Examples of these vegetables are the following:
- Acorn squash, butternut squash, pumpkin, and turnips: These vegetables are high in potassium, vitamin A, and vitamin C. Be sure to remove the seeds and peel them before serving.
- Carrots, sweet potatoes, beets, and winter squash: These are excellent sources of beta-carotene, which is necessary for preserving strong vision.
- Yellow and red bell peppers: Bell peppers are rich in vitamin C and can be served raw or cooked. However, avoid feeding spicy peppers as they can be too hot for bearded dragons to handle.
- Legumes such as green beans, lentils, and peas are highly nutritious and can also be offered.
Some vegetables, although healthy for humans, may not be as safe for bearded dragons. Thus, if you want to offer these to your beardie, they should only be given sparingly as treats.
- Swiss chard, cabbage, kale, and beet greens are vegetables rich in vitamin C, vitamin K, and fiber. However, they are also high in oxalates that bind to calcium and other minerals, preventing their absorption by the body.
- Some vegetables, although green and leafy, contain goitrogens which decrease thyroid function. Examples are spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and kale.
- Some vegetables like corn, cucumber, zucchini, and radishes are safe to give but are less nutritious options.
When feeding vegetables to your bearded dragon, it’s important to remember a few key things. First, always wash the vegetables thoroughly before serving them.
Pesticides and other chemicals can be harmful to your pet. You should use a salad spinner like this to properly wash and dry vegetable and fruits.
Second, make sure to chop the vegetables into small pieces that are easy for your bearded dragon to eat. Large chunks can be difficult for them to chew and swallow, which can lead to digestive issues.
Vegetables can be given raw or cooked, but raw is generally preferred, as you lose much of the nutrients once you cook leafy greens.
Serve the greens in wide, shallow food bowls (like this one) to prevent substrate from sticking to them and getting ingested by your beardie.
Finally, make sure to rotate the types of vegetables you feed your bearded dragon to provide a holistic, varied diet.
Can I Feed My Bearded Dragon Fruits?
Just like humans, bearded dragons love a sweet treat every once in a while.
And while fruits are a great way to give your pet a tasty snack, it is important to remember that they should only be fed in moderation, accounting for 10% of an adult’s plant-based portion.
Fruits are high in sugar, which can cause health problems for your bearded dragon if they are overindulged. Nonetheless, there are several kinds that are both safe and nutritious for your pet to eat.
- Delicious berries like blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries are among the greatest fruits for bearded dragons. Vitamin C and antioxidants, which enhance your pet’s immune system, are abundant in these tiny snacks.
- Tropical fruit like mangoes and papayas are rich in vitamins and fiber, which help support digestive health. Just make sure to peel, remove the seeds, and chop the fruit into small pieces before feeding it to your pet.
- Apples and pears are also a great choice for bearded dragons. They are high in fiber and vitamin C, which help support healthy digestion and immune function.
- For a refreshing treat on a hot day, consider giving your bearded dragon some watermelon or cantaloupe. These juicy fruits are high in vitamin A and water content, which helps keep your pet hydrated. Just make sure to remove the seeds and skin before serving.
- Other nutritious fruits include apricots, cantaloupe, figs, peaches, plums, and tomatoes.
Can I Feed My Bearded Dragon Flowers?
Like fruits, edible flowers from nontoxic plants can also be fed as treats to provide nutritional variety for your bearded dragon.
- Hibiscus flowers and leaves, nasturtium, pansies, and dandelions are some of the best flowers to feed your bearded dragon. They are not only safe to eat but also provide a range of vitamins and minerals. Hibiscus is high in vitamin C, while nasturtium contains vitamin A and iron.
- Other flowers that are safe to eat are geraniums, carnations, petunias, pothos, rose petals and leaves, snail vines, violets, and Ficus benjamina.
When feeding your bearded dragon flowers, it’s important to choose organic, pesticide-free options.
You can either grow these flowers yourself or purchase them from a reputable supplier that guarantees they are free from harmful chemicals.
It is also important to wash the flowers thoroughly before feeding them to your pet to remove any dirt or debris.
A good way to get edible flowers is to ask your neighborhood flower shop for wilted flowers that they otherwise will just be throwing out.
Wilted flowers are just fine to feed your bearded dragon as long as they are not slimy or give off a pungent smell.
Can I Feed My Bearded Dragons Eggs and Dairy?
When it comes to creating a nutritious diet for reptiles, understanding their feeding habits in the wild should serve as an essential reference.
Eggs and dairy are
While it is safe to feed a little egg to your beardie as a protein-rich treat, dairy should never be offered.
Eggs are a good alternative protein source for those occasional, busy days when you run out of insects to feed your beardie.
They are rich in essential vitamins and minerals, including calcium and vitamin B complex and D. However, since they also contain fat and cholesterol, overfeeding eggs can lead to weight gain.
Never feed eggs raw. The best way to prepare them is to hardboil them or cook them scrambled without the addition of any seasonings or oil.
Allow the egg to cool, and chop it up into bite-sized pieces before serving your bearded dragon.
You can give up to ¼ or ⅓ of a portion of cooked egg to your bearded dragon for one meal.
It’s best to give only a little when feeding it for the first time, and mix it in with some vegetables that your bearded dragon is familiar with, to prevent any digestive issues.
Because bearded dragons are not mammals, their gut enzymes are not built to digest dairy like milk, yogurt, and cheese properly. It is best to completely exclude dairy products altogether from your beardie’s diet.
Can I Feed My Bearded Dragon Meat?
Bearded dragons should get most of their protein from insects like crickets, mealworms, and dubia roaches.
In the wild, they feast upon the occasional small rodents and reptiles, so some owners also like to offer pinkie mice to their beardies every now and then.
When in a pinch and you have run out of insects to feed, you might wonder whether animal meat is safe to feed to your bearded dragon as an alternative.
Technically, small amounts can be given every few weeks or months, mostly as an emergency protein source.
However, we do not recommend making meat a primary protein source for your bearded dragon.
Apart from it not being a normal part of a beardie’s diet in the wild, animal meat are mostly high in fat and phosphorous that can lead to weight gain and decreased calcium absorption, respectively.
When you are in a pinch and have no other option than to feed meat to your bearded dragon, it is best to stick to lean, low-fat options such as chicken breast, turkey, and lean cuts of beef.
Remove any bones or skin, and cook the meat well without any seasonings.
Raw or undercooked meat may contain harmful parasites or bacteria that can make your bearded dragon ill, so this is best to avoid.
Human Foods You Should Never Feed Your Bearded Dragon
While there are many types of human
Feeding your bearded dragon the wrong foods can lead to serious health problems, so it is important to know which foods to avoid.
Here are some of the human foods you should never feed your bearded dragon:
- Processed foods, such as chocolate, chips, or crackers, should never be fed to your bearded dragon. These foods are high in sugar, salt, and preservatives, which can be harmful to your pet’s health. Stick to feeding your bearded dragon fresh, whole foods to ensure they stay healthy.
- Avocado: While avocado may be a healthy
foodfor humans, it’s toxic to bearded dragons. Avocado contains persin, which can be harmful to your pet’s heart and lungs. Never feed your bearded dragon avocado or any foods that contain avocado.
- Rhubarb: Rhubarb is toxic to bearded dragons and should never be fed to them. It contains oxalic acid, which can cause kidney failure and other serious health problems.
- Citrus fruits: While bearded dragons can eat many types of fruits, citrus fruits like oranges and lemons should be avoided. These fruits are high in acid, which can cause digestive problems and damage to your pet’s mouth and throat.
- Spicy and strongly flavored vegetables such as chili peppers, garlic, chives, spring onions, and onions should also be avoided.
- A wide variety of plants and flowers are also unsafe to feed to bearded dragons, including bracken fern, buttercup, calla lily, castor bean, hyacinth, hydrangea, laurel, morning glory, oak, peony, periwinkle, poinsettia, poppy, primrose, rosary pea, sweet pea, tulip, and wild daffodil.
Mealtimes can be quite fun with bearded dragons as there are plenty of human foods that you can give them. As foraging animals, bearded dragons enjoy searching for
Thus, feeding your pet a variety of nutritious vegetable, fruits, and plants not only support their health and growth, but also keep them mentally and physically stimulated, which are all important for their overall health and well-being.
As responsible pet owners, it is our duty to ensure that we feed only safe, clean, and nutritious