Bearded Dragons and Feeding: The Key to a Healthy Life

Being omnivorous, Bearded dragons will accept a variety of foods including plant materials (greens, esp. leafy greens), invertebrates, and the occasional vertebrate.

As pets, Bearded dragons can be offered a variety of insects, fruit, vegetables, flowers, flower leaves/herbs, and nestling mice. To give a healthy, balanced diet, at least half the daily food should consist of commercial insects.

Bearded dragon feeding

An adult Bearded dragon can eat between one to forty insects per day depending on its age and the size of the food. Make sure to have a reliable feeder insect supplier nearby or breed your own.

Hatchling Bearded dragons will start to eat from two to four days after birth. Only very small insects should be offered until baby Bearded dragons are used to hunting and eating.

When babies have difficulty in hunting, live prey can be placed in a refrigerator for a few minutes prior to feeding. This will slow the insects down and make them easier to hunt. Dead insects can also be offered with the greens.

Try hand-feeding Bearded dragons as soon or as young as possible to limit the number of insect escapes.

The space between the eyes of a baby and a juvenile Bearded dragon is generally used as the maximum size of the food that can be offered.

Insects should always be gut-loaded with appropriate mineral/vitamin supplements and should be dusted two to three times a week with a suitable powdered calcium supplement.

The size of insects can be gradually increased to maximum when Bearded dragons are about four to six months of age.

What are some types of plant material you can feed your bearded dragon?

Bearded dragons enjoy a variety of dietary options, but 80-90% of their diet should consist primarily of vegetables and flowers. Dark green, leafy items such as collard greens, mustard greens, broccoli, bok choy, kale, Swiss chard, and watercress make up the majority. Orange and red veggies may also be included. But avoid light green foods like iceberg or head lettuce and celery since they have little vitamin or nutrient value.

In addition to cooked or raw veggies, bearded dragons can also eat fruits like apples and bananas (with skin intact), grapes, raisins, and melons as occasional treats. Figs are particularly beneficial as they’re high in calcium. Finally, flowers such as carnations and dandelions may also be offered as an additional supplement to the diet. However, always make sure to check if any chemicals were applied beforehand!

Swiss chard, spinach, beet greens, and dark greens containing goitrogens (like cabbage or kale) should be fed sparingly due to potential mineral deficiencies caused by oxalates or goitrogens respectively. And lastly, remember to thoroughly wash all fruits/vegetables before feeding them your dragon!

What types of animal-based proteins can you offer your bearded dragon?

When it comes to providing animal-based proteins for your beloved bearded dragon, your options are plentiful! One of the best sources of protein for this species is grasshoppers – and you can also feed them gut-loaded or calcium-dusted crickets, mealworms, spiders, wax worms (in moderation and for a treat), silkworms (also in moderation), tofu and other veggies that you might have at home, moths, slugs, and earthworms.

Owners can raise live food like crickets and worms, or purchase them from pet stores. However, it’s important to note that collecting insects from outdoor sources or from the garden is not recommended due to potential pesticides or other toxic agents which may be present in these insects. Similarly, fireflies should never be offered as they are generally toxic to lizards.

Finally, larger bearded dragons may also be fed pinkie mice sparsely – but should always be monitored when feeding pinkies.

The following foods can be given to Bearded Dragons:

Live Food

Crickets, Mealworms, Earthworms, Butterworms, Silkworms, Superworms, Cockroaches, Wax worms, King worms, Hornworms


Kale, Asparagus (Raw), Butternut squash, Yellow squash, Acorn squash, Spaghetti squash, Butterworms, Celery, Peeled Cucumber, Yams (Raw), Turnip greens, Collard greens, Mustard greens, Zucchini (Raw), Okra (Raw), Radicchio, Bell Peppers (Raw), Cabbage (Raw), Artichoke Heart, Bok choy, Carrots, Endive, Pumpkins, Parsnips, Cooked Lentils, Chicory


Apples, Peaches, Strawberries, Apricot, Blackberries, Blueberries, Cranberries, Cherries, Chayote, Figs, Grapes, Grapefruit, Melons, Plum, Watermelon, Guava, Nectarine, Prunes, Raisins, Pears, Pineapple, Papaya, Mango

How Should You Feed Your Bearded Dragon?

When it comes to feeding your bearded dragon, there are a few options that can help make the experience easier. Reptile feeding tongs are great for grabbing hold of insects and feeding them directly to your pet.

In addition, reptile owners can use food bowls to provide their beardie with pellets and store-bought food. If you prefer to feed them something like mealworms, reptile feeders are also available, making it easy to provide a nutritious meal for your pet.

Whichever option you choose, remember that proper nutrition is essential for keeping your bearded dragon healthy.

How often should you feed your bearded dragon?

When it comes to knowing how often your bearded dragon should eat, it can vary depending on their age. Younger bearded dragons will require more food as they are in the midst of growth and development. Those that are less than 18 months old can typically eat 2-5 times per day, while adult dragons will only need 1 feeding a day.

It is important to make sure that you provide the appropriate amount of nutrient-rich food for their age so that they can stay happy and healthy. Make sure to do research on what types of foods are safe for them to ingest and create a nutrition plan according to the recommendations given by the reptile vet specialist that you consult with.

By providing your beardie with regular meals, you’ll be sure that your pet gets all the necessary sustenance for proper growth and development over time!

How much should you feed your bearded dragon?

When it comes to feeding your beloved bearded dragon, you want to make sure that you are providing them with the right amount of food without overfeeding. When they become sexually mature, which is usually around 18 months old, they should only be fed twice a day with a ratio of vegetables and live insects.

Let your beardie decide how much they should eat by giving them insects for 10 minutes at a time. At the 1-minute mark, remove any uneaten insects from their enclosure. As for fruits and veggies, it’s important to only leave them in there for up to 30 minutes so that your dragon doesn’t become overfed but still gets enough to satisfy its hunger. This also helps prevent leftover food from becoming moldy.

Tips On Feeding Baby Or Juvenile Dragon

When it comes to feeding your baby or juvenile dragon, you want to do it right. Here are some useful tips that you can use to make sure your dragon is getting the nutrition they need:

Begin by providing your baby with food three times a day for approximately ten to fifteen minutes each session. Be sure to remove any uneaten insects afterward so that nothing goes bad inside the cage.

Babies have much higher nutritional needs than adults, since they have to grow quickly, and can often eat 60 bugs or more in one day.

It is also safe to leave some vegetables in their cage for them to snack on as needed. Just make sure not to set up the cage with the loose substrate, since this could be accidentally ingested by your dragon when they eat.

Following these simple guidelines will ensure that your baby is getting all of the nourishment they need in order to grow healthily.

Tips On Feeding Adult Dragon

When it comes to feeding your adult dragon, there are a few tips you should know. It’s important to get the diet right for optimal health and happiness.

Adults should have insects once a day, and veggies should be given more often – until they become bored of the same food! The percentage of insects in your dragon’s diet should not exceed 50%. Furthermore, depending on their appetite feed them either once a day or every other day.

Ultimately, your dragon needs a balanced diet with nutritious insects, veggies, and fruits. To ensure that they’re eating the best foods available, you should switch up their meals often so they don’t get bored with the same foods! This will help keep them healthy in the long term and greatly improve their quality of life.

Do you need to give your bearded dragons vitamins and minerals?

Vitamins and minerals play an important role in the diet of bearded dragons, as they have an increased need for dietary calcium. To meet these requirements, it is recommended that you lightly sprinkle food with a calcium powder 2-3 times a week (either calcium gluconate, lactate, or carbonate).

You should also sprinkle some reptile mineral supplements on your pet’s food once a week. It’s worth noting that there is potential to over-supplement your bearded dragon with vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin D3. This can lead to excessive reliance on supplementation rather than natural food sources. As such, it is vitally important that you contact your veterinarian for advice regarding the best approach when supplementing your pet’s diet.

Where Should You Store Their Food?

When it comes to storing food for your reptile, you’ll want to make sure you are using the right containers and methods.

For feeder insects such as crickets, a cricket feeder is often the best choice. For creatures like mealworms that don’t move, using the container they came in or a plastic storage container is the best option.

When it comes to fruits and vegetables for your bearded dragon, keeping them in the refrigerator is usually the best way to go about preserving them for optimal freshness for your pet.

You also want to ensure that when it comes to commercial or pellet food, it’s stored inside an airtight container. This will help keep them fresh and tasty for your reptile!

What Else to Know About Feeding a Bearded Dragon

When it comes to feeding a Bearded Dragon, there are several things you should keep in mind. First of all, for smaller Bearded Dragons, it is important that you avoid giving them food in a tank with a loose substrate. This is because they may inadvertently ingest the substrate around their food.

For older Bearded Dragons, however, you have more flexibility when it comes to the substrate. These dragons are typically more accurate eaters and may be able to digest a bit of substrate more easily. But regardless of the size or age of your Bearded Dragon, always ensure that you feed your reptilian friend in an area where there is little risk of him eating any unwanted materials.

Bearded dragon feeding schedule

Hatchling and juvenile Bearded dragons should be fed insects at least once or twice, but preferably up to four times, a day. Adult Bearded dragons can eat insects once a day or once every other day.

When feeding Bearded dragons more than twice a day, only feed the number of insects that can be consumed within about fifteen minutes. A satiated Bearded dragon will run away, close its eyes and go and have a nap in the basking area. Free-roaming insects can cause stress and should be removed.

It is advised to keep the feeding schedule constant by feeding insects at the same time of the day. Greens should be available during the entire day, even if no insects are offered. An electric timer can be used to switch the lights on early in the morning after which feeding can take place about two hours later.

Bearded dragon foods

Bearded dragon food should consist of a combination of plant materials, vertebrates, and invertebrates. Plant food should consist of a variety of green feed incl. leafy greens like leaves and herbs and other plant materials like fruit, vegetables, and flowers.

The bulk of the food should include invertebrates like commercial cricketsDubia roaches, other feeder cockroaches, silkworms, flying ants, and Phoenix worms. Other less desirable insects include mealworms, mealworm beetles, Superworms, Trevo worms, butter worms and waxworms. The occasional nestling mice can also be offered, but should not make out the bulk of the diet.


Crickets contain most of the main nutritional ingredients, namely carbohydrates, protein, fats, minerals, vitamins, and water. Their practicality, efficiency, and ease of culturing put them in the number one spot when it comes to Bearded dragon food. Crickets should be gut loaded from at least 24 hours prior to feeding them to Bearded dragons. Read more about feeding crickets to Bearded dragons.


The second half of a Bearded dragon’s diet should consist of an assortment of torn, shredded, or diced fruit, vegetables, herbs, flowers, and flower leaves. A shallow container with a mixture of the correct size greens should always be available on the cooler side of the enclosure. Popular greens that can be fed to Bearded dragons are carrots, carrot tops, alfalfa/lucerne, and nasturtium. For a complete list, also see what greens to feed Bearded dragons.

What about water?

Although Bearded dragons are desert reptiles and you probably might never see one drink, a shallow water container with clean fresh water should always be available. Baby and juvenile dragons love to take an occasional plash in their water container which is probably to cool down or to get rid of loose skin and not because they drink a lot of water. Some literature refers to misting hatchlings and young juvenile bearded dragons with water. Another source suggested misting the water container once a day to stimulate drinking in babies. As long as the humidity stays on the low side, any of these methods can be used.


Do bearded dragons need live food every day?

The recommended feeding frequency for adult bearded dragons is once daily or every other day with live insects. Speak to your dragon’s veterinarian to decide the best schedule for them.

Do bearded dragons need vegetables daily?

Adults should have a diet consisting of 75-80% vegetables, while young bearded dragons only need a daily salad to satisfy their needs. As they’re omnivores, variety is important.

Do bearded dragons need food at night?

When feeding your bearded dragon, their first meal should be given two hours after you turn on the lights and the last one should be eaten two hours before you turn the lights off.

Can bearded dragons live without vegetables?

A bearded dragon should eat mainly vegetables, with 75-80% of its diet made up of them. Younger lizards need a variety of vegetables in their daily salad to meet their nutrient requirements, as they’re omnivores like humans.


In conclusion, feeding your bearded dragon correctly is essential for their overall health and wellbeing. It is important to provide them with a diverse diet of insects, fruits, and vegetables to make sure they receive the necessary vitamins and minerals needed for a healthy life.

Additionally, be sure to feed them in moderation as too much food can lead to obesity and other health problems down the line. With proper care and a good diet, your beardie will live a long and happy life!