Bearded dragons are popular pets that require a balanced diet in order to thrive. As reptiles, they have unique nutritional requirements that must be met in order to keep them healthy. One question that frequently comes up among bearded dragon owners is whether or not they can feed their pets earthworms.
In this article, we will explore everything you need to know about feeding earthworms to your bearded dragon. From the nutritional benefits to health risks, we will cover it all. If you are considering adding earthworms to your bearded dragon’s diet, read on to ensure you’re doing it safely and responsibly.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Earthworms
Yes, Bearded Dragons can eat earthworms, but it should be done sparingly and with caution. While they are a source of protein and a popular feeder insect for Bearded Dragon owners, earthworms have a high-fat content. Furthermore, they can carry parasites that can cause health problems for your pet, so it’s crucial to source them from a reputable supplier.
It’s essential to balance your Bearded Dragon’s diet with a wide variety of healthy foods and nutritional supplements. Feeding them earthworms occasionally can provide essential nutrients but shouldn’t be a staple food. Instead, consider offering them as an occasional treat.
When feeding your Bearded Dragon earthworms, always check the moisture content as they can lead to other digestive issues. Also, keep an eye on their bathroom habits, and if it becomes watery, stop feeding them earthworms to prevent dehydration and other digestive issues.
It’s highly recommended to take your Bearded Dragon for a fecal test every six months if you’re feeding them earthworms. This allows the vet to diagnose any health problems such as parasites, faster and treat them effectively. So, feed earthworms to your Bearded Dragons, but with caution, and always remember to maintain a balanced diet.
Do Bearded Dragons Like Earthworms
Bearded dragons have a reputation for being picky eaters, and earthworms are no exception. Many owners have reported that their dragons find earthworms unpalatable due to the mucus they secrete through their skin to reduce friction as they tunnel underground. The taste of the mucus varies depending on the species of earthworm and the individual dragon’s preferences.
However, some bearded dragons may still eat earthworms due to their hardwired instinct to eat whatever food is available. Alternatively, dragons who have never experienced starvation and always have access to alternative food sources might refuse them.
If your bearded dragon does not like earthworms or you are hesitant to feed them, there are alternative sources of protein available. Popular feeder insects like super worms and fruit flies are a healthy addition to your dragon’s diet. Plant matter and commercial pet foods can also provide essential nutrients.
Are Earth Worms Good For Bearded Dragons
Bearded dragons require a balanced diet that provides them with essential nutrients necessary for their growth and maintenance stages. Protein and calcium are two nutrients that bearded dragons require in abundance to stay healthy. An occasional treat addition of farmed, correctly sized, and safely fed earthworms may be a source of protein that could help maintain an overall nutritional balance in their diet.
Earthworms are incredibly rich in amino acids, fatty acids, calcium, and iron. Though earthworms may look unappetizing to us humans, they are still a staple part of the human diet in some countries. They are an excellent source of protein for bearded dragons, which can serve as a supplement to their insect-based diet and plant-based meals.
However, it is important to note that overfeeding your bearded dragon with earthworms could cause health risks. Earthworms have high-fat content that can lead to obesity and other health complications like metabolic bone disease. Therefore, incorporating earthworms into your bearded dragon’s diet should be done in moderation and proportionate to their overall diet.
Types Of Earthworms To Feed Bearded Dragons
Bearded dragons are known to be fond of earthworms as a source of protein. If you want to introduce your pet to this food item, make sure to purchase earthworms from a reputable pet store or bait shop. Worms that come from a reliable source are more likely to be free from harmful chemicals and pesticides that can be harmful to your dragon’s health.
When feeding earthworms to your bearded dragon, keep in mind the importance of gut loading. This means feeding the worms a nutritious substrate such as tropical fish food flakes to ensure they have essential vitamins and minerals. In addition to gut loading, you can also dust the worms with calcium powder to supplement your dragon’s diet with calcium, a crucial nutrient for strong bones.
It’s important to note that there are different types of earthworms, including the compost worm, Earthworker worm, and root-dwelling worm. The Earthworker worm, also known as Nightcrawlers in certain bait shops, is the safest variety to feed your bearded dragon. These worms are commonly found in pet stores and have a high moisture content, which can help provide your pet with essential hydration.
Earthworms To Avoid Feeding Bearded Dragons
When it comes to feeding your Bearded Dragon, it’s important to be mindful of the types of earthworms you choose to give your pet. While wild-caught earthworms may seem like an inexpensive option, it’s best to avoid them altogether. These worms often carry harmful parasites that can cause serious health issues for your dragon. Additionally, there’s a risk of exposure to harmful pesticides that can be detrimental to your pet’s system.
It’s important to note that not all worms are created equal. Compost worms, in particular, should never be fed to your Bearded Dragon as they are most likely to contain parasites. Moreover, worms raised with certain fertilizers can also be unsafe for consumption. As a responsible pet owner, it’s crucial to understand the potential health risks associated with feeding your pet earthworms and to err on the side of caution.
Even if your dragon has a healthy digestive system, it’s generally recommended that they don’t consume earthworms. While it ultimately comes down to the individual needs of your pet, the risk of contamination is simply not worth it. Most worms sold at pet stores are specifically grown and raised for this purpose and have not been exposed to harmful pesticides or fertilizers.
Are Earth Worms Bad For Bearded Dragons
When it comes to feeding bearded dragons, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks associated with different types of food. In the case of earthworms, there are several considerations to keep in mind.
Firstly, earthworms can pose health risks to bearded dragons. They may contain harmful chemicals or parasites, especially if they are sourced from the wild. Ingesting these substances can make your bearded dragon sick, weak, or prone to illness.
Another concern is the nutritional value of earthworms. While they are a source of protein, they are also high in moisture content and may upset your bearded dragon’s stomach. Additionally, they can be too large for juvenile or baby bearded dragons to swallow, posing a risk of impaction.
Finally, if you plan on breeding or gut-loading earthworms for your bearded dragon, it’s important to ensure they are sourced from a reputable supplier. This can help minimize the risk of contamination or infection, as well as ensure a balanced diet for your pet.
Are Earth Worms Safe For Bearded Dragons
As a bearded dragon owner, it is essential to know whether earthworms are safe for your pet. While earthworms are not toxic to bearded dragons, feeding them wild-caught or farmed earthworms without taking the necessary precautions can be dangerous.
Earthworms from the backyard or farmed in unknown conditions may have consumed harmful pesticides and other toxic substances that can make your pet sick. They may also carry parasites that can cause the dragon to become unwell. To avoid these hazards, it is advisable to source earthworms from a reputable supplier that can guarantee their safety.
Moreover, the size of the earthworms you feed your bearded dragon is another important consideration. Earthworms that are too large in proportion to your pet can cause blockages and impaction in their digestive system, which can be fatal. Thus, it is crucial to feed them appropriate-sized earthworms to prevent such issues.
Are Earthworms Healthy For Bearded Dragons
If you’re thinking about feeding earthworms to your pet Bearded Dragon, it’s important to understand the health benefits and potential risks associated with this food source. Earthworms can provide a source of protein, calcium, and other essential nutrients, making them a potentially healthy addition to your pet’s diet.
However, it’s important to recognize that there are some risks associated with feeding earthworms to Bearded Dragons. For example, these worms can be large and cause blockages in a Bearded Dragon’s digestive tract if not properly prepared or if they are too large to be safely swallowed.
In addition, earthworms can be a source of chemical contamination due to pesticides, insecticides, and other hazardous chemicals that they may come into contact with in the soil. As a result, it’s important to only feed your pet earthworms that have been sourced from a reputable supplier to avoid the risk of chemical toxicity.
Another potential risk of feeding earthworms to pet Bearded Dragons is the risk of parasitic infection. Earthworms can carry nematodes, protozoa, and platyhelminths which can infect your pet and cause a depletion in their health over time.
Nutritional Information Of Earthworms
To ensure the optimal health of your bearded dragon, maintaining a well-balanced diet is paramount. When looking for suitable foods, it is essential to keep an eye on the nutrient content, which should be low in fat and high in calcium. Calcium is a vital component that aids in the development and maintenance of strong bones.
Earthworms are a nutritious source of protein and are frequently used as a staple food for adult bearded dragons. They contain vital nutrients such as protein, fat, calcium, and moisture. The average moisture content, which is 83%, may raise concerns as too much moisture can pose a threat to your bearded dragon’s health.
The metabolizable energy of earthworms is essential for energy stores, and their protein content aids in tissue building and regeneration. Calcium is the most vital nutrient, and a small amount is useful in promoting healthy body functions. Adult bearded dragons require a vast amount of calcium in their diet, and earthworms can be an excellent source of calcium, with 444mg/kg.
Benefits Of Feeding Earthworms To Bearded Dragons
1. Alternative Source of Protein
For bearded dragon owners who want to provide an alternative source of protein, earthworms are a great option. They are rich in protein, which is essential for dragons to grow and repair muscle tissue. Feeding your dragon earthworms will also help facilitate growth during the juvenile stage.
2. Reasonable Amounts of Vitamins and Minerals
Earthworms contain a variety of vitamins and minerals such as amino acids, iron, manganese, and copper. These nutrients help break down and absorb food, as well as repair body tissue. This means that feeding earthworms to your dragon can give them a well-balanced diet.
3. Source of Calcium
Calcium is crucial for maintaining healthy bones and metabolic functions. While earthworms contain a modest amount of calcium, it is recommended that you also add calcium supplements to ensure your bearded dragon receives an adequate amount. Calcium supplements can help prevent metabolic bone disease.
4. Rich in Moisture
Earthworms are rich in moisture, which can help keep your dragon hydrated. It’s important to note that too much moisture in their diet can lead to diarrhea, so it’s best to use earthworms as an occasional treat rather than a staple food.
5. Fat Content
Earthworms consist of high-fat content which can be used as an energy source for bearded dragons. Once consumed, fats help regulate body temperature and overall hormone production. However, too much fat and calories can lead to obesity and weight-related illnesses, so it’s important to feed them to your dragon in moderation.
Overall, providing earthworms as a treat to your bearded dragon will offer them an excellent source of protein, reasonable amounts of vitamins and minerals, and the benefits of hydration. But remember, moderation is the key to keeping your dragon healthy.
Potential Risks Of Feeding Earthworms To Bearded Dragons
While earthworms can be a great source of protein for your bearded dragon, there are some potential risks that you need to be aware of.
1. Impalatable Taste
One of the common issues you might face is earthworms secreting mucus that makes them unpalatable to your bearded dragon. In such cases, the beardie might reject earthworms, signifying the need to find alternative foods.
2. Size Matters
Earthworms are the second-largest edible worm for bearded dragons, which means that feeding larger earthworms can cause blockages in the digestive system, leading to constipation and several other severe health issues.
3. Chemical Contamination
Earthworms sourced from the wild or even your backyard can expose your bearded dragon to potentially harmful toxins such as fertilizers, pesticides, and insecticides. Over time, consistent exposure can cause them to fall sick.
Earthworms can also carry several parasites, including plathelminths, nematodes, and protozoa, which can infect your beardie and cause weight loss, lethargy, and other health problems.
5. Calcium-To-Phosphorus Ratio
Earthworms’ calcium-to-phosphorus ratio is relatively low, making them an inappropriate source for feeding juveniles and growing bearded dragons. It’s important to ensure a bearded dragon’s food diet is balanced and includes appropriate nutritional supplements.
6. Reputable Suppliers
It’s always essential to procure earthworms from a reputable supplier to ensure that the worms are free from contaminants and pose minimal risk to your bearded dragon’s health.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Earth Worms Every Day
Can bearded dragons eat earthworms every day? The answer is no. While earthworms can be a source of protein for beardies, they should not be the sole protein source in their diet. An occasional treat of earthworms is acceptable, but a staple food of only earthworms can pose health risks to your beloved pet.
A balanced diet for bearded dragons includes a variety of protein sources, which can come from insects such as crickets, mealworms, and dubia roaches. Food high in nutrients such as calcium and vitamin D3, like gut-loaded crickets, should also be included.
Plants and greens should not be overlooked either, as they are an important part of a balanced diet, especially for baby bearded dragons. Aim to offer greens daily, and use the 80/20 rule (80% plants, 20% insects) to ensure your beardie is getting the right amount of both.
How Often To Feed Earthworms To Bearded Dragons
Feeding your Bearded Dragons in moderation is the key to maintaining their health, and this is particularly true for earthworms. While it is undeniable that they are a great source of protein and calcium, feeding them too frequently can lead to potential health risks.
To keep your pet safe while still enjoying the benefits of earthworms as a treat or feeder insect, you can feed them once every couple of weeks. Feeding them too often, on the other hand, can lead to an overabundance of fat and lower protein-to-fat ratios, which can cause an array of health issues.
Feeding a balanced diet to your Bearded Dragons is essential for their overall health, so while earthworms can be a great source of nutrition, they should be treated as an occasional treat or part of a varied insect diet. Incorporate different feeder insects into your pet’s diet to ensure that they get all the essential nutrients that they need to thrive.
How to Prepare and Feed Earthworms for Bearded Dragon
As a responsible bearded dragon owner, you want to make sure you are feeding your pet food that is safe and nutritious. Earthworms are a great source of protein and can be a staple food for your pet if prepared correctly.
1. Washing Earthworms
After harvesting earthworms, it is essential to wash them thoroughly to remove any dirt or chemical contamination that may be harmful to your bearded dragon. This applies to all earthworms, whether purchased from a store or gathered from your worm farm.
2. Say no to Dead Worms
It is crucial to dispose of any dead worms before offering them to your bearded dragon as they can contain harmful bacteria and parasites.
3. Feeding Earthworms to Young Bearded Dragon
For a juvenile bearded dragon, it is best to slice the worm into smaller pieces beforehand to make it easier for them to swallow. To bond with your young bearded dragon, offer the worm using a pair of tweezers or allow it to eat food from your fingertips.
4. Feeding Earthworms to Adult Bearded Dragon
An adult bearded dragon’s gut is well developed and can digest earthworms comfortably. You can hold the worm out with your finger for your bearded dragon to eat or serve one or two worms in a bowl.
Do Bearded Dragons Eat Earthworms In The Wild
Bearded dragons are indigenous to the Australian deserts, making earthworms unlikely to be part of their wild diet. In the wild, Beardies have a host of options to choose from when it comes to the insect world.
Earthworms are not native to Australia, making them a rarity on the Beardies’ natural menu. Instead, these reptiles feed on a wide variety of insects that are found in their natural habitat. These insects are a more reliable source of nutrition for the Beardies than earthworms.
Beardies are known to be opportunistic feeders who eat almost anything that crosses their path. However, wild Beardies are unlikely to come into contact with earthworms in their natural habitat. Their diet primarily consists of insects, making the chances of them consuming earthworms near impossible.
Can Baby Bearded Dragons Eat Earthworms
When it comes to the diet of baby bearded dragons, insects are a crucial source of protein and essential nutrients. Although many insects are suitable for their diet, larger ones like earthworms can cause severe gastric problems and should be avoided until they mature.
A balanced diet consisting of smaller insects such as crickets, fruit flies, and small waxworms is necessary for the healthy development of baby bearded dragons. Providing them with a varied diet that closely resembles their natural diet in the wild is essential to their long-term health.
While some pet stores may offer earthworms as a potential food source for bearded dragons, it’s best to avoid this option for younger dragons due to the potential for digestive issues. As with any source of food, quality and safety should be top of mind, and sources from reputable dealers should be sought.
Where To Get Earthworms For Your Bearded Dragon
Bearded dragons require a strict diet that provides them with essential nutrients to thrive. Earthworms are a great source of protein and calcium, making them a popular feeder insect among beardie owners. But where can you get earthworms for your pet? Here are some options you can consider.
1. Purchase Earthworms From a Trusted Pet Store
The easiest and most convenient way to get earthworms for your bearded dragon is by purchasing them from a trusted pet store. Pet stores design earthworms specifically as pet food, and you can find them in different sizes. If your beardie is younger, it’s best to go for smaller sizes.
2. Breed Your Own Earthworms
Breeding your earthworms is a smart idea if you want to save money on your pet’s feeding expenses. You only need a bin set up for breeding purposes, and the worms can feed on compost waste such as potato peels, lettuce, and moldy bread. Earthworms lay eggs and reproduce quickly as long as the soil is moist enough.
3. Buy from Bait Shops
Another place to get earthworms for your bearded dragon is bait shops. Bait shops breed earthworms as fishing bait, and the earthworms there are usually free from harmful chemicals or pesticides. However, make sure that the bait shop’s earthworms are not dyed, as the dye could make your beardie sick.
Other Worms That Bearded Dragons Can Eat
As a responsible bearded dragon owner, it’s important to provide a balanced diet that includes a variety of insects and worms. Earthworms are a great source of protein and calcium, but they’re not the only worms you can feed your pet.
1. Horned Worms
Also known as “Goliath worms,” horned worms are a great addition to your Beardie’s staple diet. You can easily find them in your local pet store or purchase them online. They are protein-rich and a source of essential nutrients, contributing to a well-balanced diet.
2. Wax Worms
Wax worms should not be a part of your bearded dragon’s daily diet because of their high-fat content. However, as an occasional treat, wax worms are an excellent option. They are small, white, and your Beardie will go crazy for them.
Butterworms are small, protein, and calcium-rich worms that can be included in your bearded dragon’s diet. They contain essential minerals and nutrients, contributing to your pet’s health and vitality.
Mealworms are one of the most common food choices for many reptiles, including the bearded dragon. They are affordable, and your pets love them. However, due to their hard outer shell, baby bearded dragons might struggle to eat them.
Superworms are like larger versions of mealworms and offer the same nutritional richness. They are a source of essential nutrients and minerals that can contribute to your beardie’s overall health.
Alternatives To Earth Worms For Bearded Dragons
When considering what to feed your bearded dragon, it’s important to provide a balanced diet that meets their nutritional needs. While earthworms are a popular source of protein and calcium for beardies, there are other options available that can be just as beneficial.
Instead of trying to catch wild earthworms or purchasing them from a bait shop, consider looking for alternative feeder insects at your local pet store. Mealworms, crickets and dubia roaches are all popular prey food treats for beardies that offer essential nutrients.
Mealworms are high in protein and easy to digest, making them a great staple food for juvenile bearded dragons. Crickets are a good source of calcium but should be fed sparingly to adult beardies due to their high-fat content. Dubia roaches offer a good balance of protein and moisture content, making them a great occasional treat.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Red Earthworms?
Yes, bearded dragons can eat red earthworms provided that they are bred for feed purposes. It is important to refrain from offering wild worms or those caught outside as it’s probable that they may contain parasites and harmful chemicals.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Wild Earthworms?
It is not advisable to feed your bearded dragon with wild-caught earthworms due to the potential health risks. Wild earthworms may harbor parasites or harmful chemicals that can put your pet’s health at risk. Instead, stick to purchasing earthworms from reputable sources or cultivate them yourself.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Earth Worms From My Garden?
While it is possible for bearded dragons to eat earthworms found in your garden, there are risks involved. Garden earthworms may contain harmful chemicals and pesticides that could be detrimental to your dragon’s health. Additionally, they may carry parasites that could lead to infections. It is highly recommended to avoid feeding wild-caught worms to your pet and instead purchase them from a reputable source that farms them away from chemicals and ensures they are parasite-free.
How Many Earthworms Can I Feed Bearded Dragons
Bearded dragons enjoy earthworms as an occasional treat, but they should not be a staple food. Young bearded dragons can eat up to 10 worms while adults can have around 20 worms in one feeding. However, it’s important not to overfeed as this can lead to health risks for your pet.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Bait/fishing Worms?
Feeding bait or fishing worms to your bearded dragons is not advisable due to potential health risks. These worms are usually wild-caught and may contain harmful parasites that could be transferred to your pet. As a responsible owner, it’s important to ensure that your bearded dragon’s diet includes healthy foods that provide essential nutrients for strong bones and energy stores. Stick to reputable sources for your bearded dragon’s food, such as pet stores or online retailers that specialize in reptile nutrition.
In conclusion, bearded dragons can indeed eat earthworms as a source of protein and calcium, but it should only be given as an occasional treat.
As with any food, it is important to consider the moisture, fat, and nutritional content before feeding to ensure a balanced diet. It is also crucial to source the earthworms from a reputable source or bait shop to avoid harmful chemicals or pesticides.
While earthworms can offer nutritional benefits to bearded dragons, it is important to remember that they should not be the sole source of food. A wide variety of plant-based food, feeder insects, and nutritional supplements should be included to help maintain strong bones and energy stores.
By providing your bearded dragon with a balanced and healthy diet, you can help prevent health risks such as metabolic bone disease and promote their overall well-being. So go ahead and offer your beardie earthworms as an occasional treat with a pair of tweezers, but always consider their overall diet and nutritional needs.