Diet & Hydration:
Bearded dragons are omnivorous meaning that they will eat a varied diet of vegetables and insects. Though they may try to eat meat and fruit these can cause stomach upset and are not an essential part of the dragon’s diet so we would advise you avoid them. Similarly, there are vegetables and live foods that can be fed to the dragon but are not particularly nutritious and should not be used as a part of the main diet.
For the carnivorous part of this omnivorous diet, we would recommend a mix of Dubia roaches and Locusts, along with Calciworms and Silkworms. They are very nutritious, fairly easy for the dragon to hunt, widely available and great value for money. If your dragon will not take them, crickets are also a brilliant alternative. Every now and again you might want to provide your dragon a treat, for this purpose you could feed: waxworms, mealworms, morio worms or beetle grubs. The grubs and worms tend to be quite fatty so we normally offer these a maximum of once a week. Mealworms and morio worms can be difficult to digest so we would normally only provide these to mature dragons (18 months or older) and only once a week.
For the vegetable portion of the diet, we recommend spring greens, curly kale and Italian herb mix as the base of the salad. Opuntia and grated carrot, parsnip or courgette can be added for additional textures and chopped bell peppers can be added to provide colour to the salad and make it more enticing for the dragon. Vegetables to avoid include onion, peas, spinach, iceberg lettuce and anything else that might be acidic or could swell with moisture. A few times a week it is advised that some roughage is added to the salad. Various weeds or plants like plantain, dandelion, chick weed can be chopped up and added to the top of the salad. Alternatively dry herb cobs or flower mixes can be rehydrated and mixed into the salad.
We always include a water bowl in the dragon’s enclosure. You might never see the dragon drink from it but it should be there as a back-up. You might notice the dragon use it for bathing, this is usually to cool down or to help loosen its shedding skin. Both the food dish and water bowl should be kept on the cool side of the enclosure to prevent them from raising the humidity in the enclosure.