Bearded dragon feeding is fun yet challenging as well. These pets  sometimes demonstrate hesitation and do not want to eat the food that is fed to them.

Feeding the bearded dragons is one of the most important tasks in the schedule for owing these unique animals. You need to  understand how to feed them based on several criterions, such as food type, the frequency of feeding, types of minerals and vitamins for the different ages of the dragons.

Bearded dragons diet and food play is an important role to keep your pet healthy and active most of the time. A proper food and diet plan can keep your dragon in good physical shape and is fun to play with. A sufficient mineral supplement, especially calcium, is necessary to keep your bearded dragons health up to top level. This is even more important during the breeding and egg laying stage for the female.

Again, food feeding is quite tricky for some of the beginners. I will include several feeding tips for you.

The basic feeding for the bearded dragon across the different ages are the same. There are a few guidelines that are essential to follow.

In general, beareded dragons need to consume large amounts of food. They are high metabolism reptiles. Each feeding time should be around 10 to 15 minutes long.

After each meal, you may need to check if the pet is satisfied with the amount of intake. If they look full, then it should be enough food for them. If they are still looking at or licking the food bowl try giving them more.

If the crickets or prey can’t be finished, do not leave them in the enclosure with your bearded dragon over long periods of time or overnight. It they are in the cage, they might nibble on your dragon. It will be a disturbance and can hurt your pet.

Try not to feed your bearded dragon with a large size of prey. If you are getting the crickets from the pet shop, try to look for crickets with smaller sizes as bigger size prey may create health issues such as impactions or paralysis. It is vital especially for baby bearded dragons. It is good to breed your own crickets because it is cleaner and there will always be a wide range of cricket in different sizes available, especially smaller crickets.

As long as the guidelines for feeding bearded dragons mentioned above are met. The bearded dragons should be happy and healthy living in the captivity.

Although bearded dragons live in a dry habitat, it is good practice to provide them with water in their enclosure. Try to prepare fresh water daily to avoid bacteria growing. The other options in providing the bearded dragon with water are misting the decors and wall of the enclosure, spray on the pet or drop the water on the tip of their mouth. They will be more likely to drink from the droplets. Vegetation is another source of water for bearded dragons.

Freeze dried protein is also available for owners not wishing to feed their dragons live prey. 

Vegetation and fruits play an important part to compliment the food feeding and balance of the bearded dragon’s diet. Most of the vegetables and fruits can be easily found the in grocery store.

In terms of vegetables for bearded dragon feeding, it should be leafy greens as it provides moisture and nutrients. There are many choices of vegetables you can use to feed them.  

Lefty Greens

o    Collard Greens

o    Turnip Tops

o    Mustard Greens

o    Dandelion Greens

o    Coriander

o    Parsley

Try to avoid spinach and swiss chard as these vegetables contain chemicals that if combined with calcium can prevent its absorption. If you insist on feeding them spinach and swiss chard, it should be fed carefully.


Other than leafy greens, other fruits and vegetables should be provided occasionally as well. The vegetables can include:

o    Green Beans

o    Celery

o    Broccoli

o    Squash

o    Carrots

o    Bell Peppers


Fruits should be included as a secondary diet as well. Stay away from the acidic fruits such as oranges or lemons. Fruit choices for bearded dragons are as follows:

o     Grapes

o     Kiwis

o    Apples

o    Mango

o    Pears

o    Berries

DO NOT feed your dragon any banana's, this fruit is addicting to them and they will want nothing else. All fruits and vegetables should be prepared properly for bearded dragons. Cut them into small pieces or shred them into bite-sized pieces.

There are many types of vegetables and fruits that are suitable for bearded dragons, however the list mentioned above should be enough for feeding choices. 

 In addition to insects and vegetation feeding, vitamin and minerals such as calcium need to be fed to bearded dragons regularly for them to stay healthy all the time.

In captivity, the food we are feeding bearded dragons is not enough nutrients, thus including vitamin and mineral supplements for their diet is vital. Nevertheless, over feeding of vitamin and minerals can become toxic if it is not properly done.

The easiest way of feeding the vitamins and minerals to bearded dragons can be done through “dusting” on the live feeder insects, vegetables or fruits. Usually the reptile owners will only dust the feeder insects because it provides more nutritional values.

Dusting the insects with bearded dragon supplement is fairly easy. All you need to do is place your live insects in a plastic bag or cup, add appropriate amount of vitamins or minerals according to the manufacturer’s recommendation. Close the plastic or cup; shake it for few seconds until the insects are covered by the supplements.

There are many types of bearded dragon supplements in the pet stores today, including vitamin and minerals. Try to search for supplements that are especially made for reptiles. Many have asked on how to select an adequate supplement for bearded dragons. The main key is to use separate calcium mineral and vitamins to prevent degradation of the supplement.

A good vitamin should contain beta carotene, instead of vitamin A. It will be converted into vitamin A when digested. Please take note that high intake of vitamin A is toxic for bearded dragons. A good mineral would contain 2:1 ratio of calcium to phosphorus. Otherwise, calcium absorption of bearded dragons would be difficult.

A proper dosage of vitamins and minerals intake is vital. The intake may vary on the bearded dragon’s age. Young bearded dragons need more calcium and vitamin compared to the elderly as they are growing rapidly. Over or under feeding of supplements to bearded dragons may have negative effect on its health.

A guide on vitamin and mineral intake dosage for bearded dragons are as follow:

o    Baby or young bearded dragons up to 2 months need to take calcium and vitamin daily; one dusted feeding per day is required.

o    2 to 6 months bearded dragon need calcium daily and vitamin every other day.

o    6 month to 1 year bearded dragons should take calcium every other day and vitamins 3 times a week.

o    1 year or older bearded dragons should have calcium every 2 to 3 days and vitamin 2 times a week.

This simple guideline is generally used for most of the bearded dragons. However it may vary on your bearded dragons health conditions.

Bearded dragon supplements are important as part of the dietary plan for the reptile. A good dietary plan is good for their health; however always keep in mind that the rule of thumb is not to over feed them. 

Ratios of Greens vs. Protein

For a Bearded Dragon more than a year old, there should be roughly 70% salad and 30% insects. At this age a Bearded Dragon should get 50 crickets OR 30 worms a week.  Obesity is a problem in this age bracket.  So a good feeding schedule would be in threes.  One day salad, one day insects, one day nothing, and then repeat.  

For a Bearded Dragon less than a year old, there should be 70% insects and 30% salad in their diet.  A young Bearded Dragon should get between 30-80 appropriately sized crickets (smaller than the space between the Bearded Dragon's eyes) a day.  Before the age of 2 to 3 months, young Bearded Dragons should be fed 3-5 times a day.  Between 3 and eight months, they should be fed twice a day.  After eight months, they can be fed once a day.
Check out the links page for a wonderful site and chart on Beardie nutrition!