What do bearded dragons eat? (The Complete Diet Guide 2024)

Bearded dragons are omnivores. So they can eat a wide variety of both protein-rich insects and healthy greens. In captivity, the safest staple that bearded dragons of any age can eat on daily basis are:

  • Dubia roaches or crickets for protein.
  • Collard greens, dandelion greens, escarole, endive or alfalfa for leafy green vegetables.

They are also able to ingest a variety of fruits as part of their diet mix. However, do keep in mind that the amount of fruits should be kept within 10% to 15% of their entire diet mix. This is due to the calcium-to-phosphorus ratio which we will talk about in later chapters.

What do bearded dragons eat in the wild?

In the wild, however, bearded dragons are opportunistic hunters that eat about any insects or animals they can get their hands in that season.

So as new or “soon to be” beardie pet owners, you will need to know when and what can bearded dragons eat, foods to avoid, the feeding frequency and also on how to feed them.

Understanding bearded dragon diet mix

When it comes to feeding bearded dragons, understanding the nutrients they need from their daily diet is absolutely crucial to their long term well being.

For a juvenile bearded dragon, breeders will usually recommend a 70% to 80% protein diet along with a 20% to 30% green diet.

A study done in 2015 concluded that plant intake only contributed 16% of total dry matter within bearded dragons in the wild. This clearly shows that a green diet is required to mimic their diet in the wild.

As they grow into adulthood, young adult bearded dragons can have a diet of 50/50 mix between protein and vegetables.

But once they start getting older, their diet mix will continue to change into a 70% to 80% vegetable and 20% to 30% meat diet.

Bearded dragon nutrition: Calcium and Vitamin D3

You will probably see a few nutritional terms floating around when doing your research on the bearded dragon’s diet. To make it easy for you, we will provide context to every single nutrition that your bearded dragons needs.

To begin, you need to know that…

Bearded dragons need Calcium and Vitamin D3

bearded dragon eating food dusted with calcium powder

For bearded dragons to remain healthy with good bone development, they will need 2 elements – calcium for strong bones and vitamin D3 to metabolize the calcium.

Vitamin D3 can be gained through sunlight or UVB lamp. See more about UVB requirements for bearded dragons vivarium here.

While calcium is gained through their daily intake of food, not all food with high calcium are suitable for beardies.

You have to take into consideration another key element – Phosphorus. It is a chemical element that is commonly present in most food source. Even the crickets or roaches you feed them with have high amount phosphorus present.

So what’s the deal with phosphorus?

Phosphorus in the body will be combined with calcium to form calcium phosphate which is the substance that gives your bone it’s hardness.

But for bearded dragons, too much of it can result in cardiovascular problems such as brittle bones or metabolic bone disease that harms your bearded dragon.

On the flip side, however, the lack of phosphorus will reduce metabolic function.

Either way, too much or too little phosphorus, can affect your beardie’s ability to effectively use other minerals within the body resulting in metabolic bone diseases or MBD.

That said, deficiency in phosphorus is really rare as it is readily found in many food sources. Most people tend to struggle more on finding the balance of calcium rather than phosphorus.

Therefore, many owners will coat their beardie food sources with additional calcium powder.

The ideal ratio you want to achieve between calcium and phosphorus for reptile pets is 2:1. Or 3:1 if it is possible. This will ensure that your pet bearded dragon receives a balance between both elements.

Bearded dragon vitamins and supplements

bearded dragon supplement

So to deal with phosphorus, you will need to balance it out with calcium additional calcium powder through dusting. There are 2 types of calcium powder, one with vitamin d3 and one that is just calcium. Either one is fine or you could also use both. 

Pro tip: You probably want to have 1 bottle of calcium powder with D3 and one without. Since other supplements might also come with d3, you do not want to overload them. 

That said, there is also a huge controversy over whether vitamin d3 is absorbed well through oral feeding. Hence, it is good to include vitamin d3 but not an absolute must. Bearded dragons should get most of their Vitamin d3 through UVB.

Here is a list of suitable calcium powder that are popular among bearded dragon owners:

As for the frequency of using calcium powder, you can follow the instructions on the bottle. In most cases, you will need to dust your food with calcium powder once a day.  

Other important nutrients: Oxalates and Goitrogens

According to beautifuldragons.com, there are 2 other anti-nutrients to keep an eye on when it comes to food. They are oxalic acid (Oxalate) and goitrogen levels. Food with high oxalate and goitrogens should be fed sparingly.

Here are the reasons why.

Oxalates

Oxalic acid or oxalates work similarly to phosphorus. This anti-nutrient binds calcium or iron to form iron oxalate or calcium oxalate when food is being ingested.

So they essentially strip calcium and other nutrients from the food that is fed and are disposed off as waste.

High-oxalate diets are also linked to a higher risk of kidney stones and other health issues.

That said, you do not have to be afraid of oxalates as almost all leafy greens or common food contains oxalates.

They can’t be avoided entirely. What you want to do is to control or reduce your bearded dragon’s intake of food with high oxalates if the benefit outweighs the risks.

Goitrogens

Goitrogens are another type of compound that can be found in many food sources. Food with high goitrogens should be fed sparingly as they are linked to thyroid function.

High amounts of goitrogens can reduce thyroid function causing lower hormones that are required for normal metabolic functions to be produced.

You will find a list of food items in the next section that takes into consideration of all these nutrients and anti-nutrients we talked about earlier.

They will also be broken down into vegetables/greens, fruits, protein and also covers every food that you should totally AVOID.

Let’s begin with common food that must be avoided!

Food to AVOID for bearded dragons from A to Z

#1 Avocado

avacado

Avocado is packed with nutrients but for a bearded dragon, they are highly toxic.

This is due to high oxalic acid from avocados. High dosage of oxalic can be deadly to bearded dragons while small amounts may cause them harm.

Never feed avocado, despite what you see online.

Substitute this fruit with other leafy greens or squashes that are great as staples.

#2 Beet greens or beet top

Beet greens have high protein and provide a good source of fiber. However, it is best to avoid as they are high in phosphorus and oxalic acid which can prevent calcium absorption.

Calcium deficiency is one of the main causes of metabolic bone disease (MBD)

If you want to feed beet greens, make sure they are fed in moderation. A few pieces once a month should not be a problem.

#3 Fireflies or any insects that glow

Never feed fireflies to bearded dragons. The substance that makes them glow is toxic to bearded dragons.

This also brings us to the next thing to avoid.

#4 Any insects in the wild

Never feed bearded dragons any insects caught in the wild. They may contain parasites that can be passed on to your bearded dragon when ingested.

Always keep an eye on your bearded dragons when he or she is bought outside to refrain them from going after any wild insects.

#5 Lettuce (iceberg lettuce)

Lettuce, in general, are mostly water and do not provide many nutrients that bearded dragons need. They can be fed but there is really no point.

#6 Rhubarb

Rhubarb must be avoided totally. They are very high in oxalic acid and can be deadly to bearded dragons.

#7 Spinach

Spinach is best avoided due to high oxalic acid and goitrogen. Feeding too much spinach can lead to metabolic bone disease in the long run.

But as spinach does provide good amounts of certain vitamins, iron, and calcium, giving your bearded dragons a little taste in moderation is fine.

Now that we have gotten the food that we must avoid out of the way, let’s look at the food that is suitable for your bearded dragon pet.

What vegetables or leafy greens can bearded dragons eat?

List of vegetables bearded dragons can eat [A-Z]:

*All nutrients Percentages (%) are based on DV% (daily value) which are the standard figures used in nutrition facts labels.

Jump to section:

Acorn squash

Acorn squash is a part of the Cucurbita family of vegetables and got its name from its “acorn like” shape. It is known for boosting immune systems and is a great healthy staple for bearded dragons.

Can be fed either raw or cooked. But know that cooking squash will lose their nutrients while feeding raw retains most of the nutrients.

To feed raw, make sure to cut, shred or grate them into small bite-size. Tip: Microwave your squash slightly so that it is easier to cut or peel.

Feeding Frequency: Daily staple. Can be fed daily.

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio of acorn squash: 1 : 0.9
Protein: 0.8%
Fats: 0.1%

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Alfalfa plant or Alfalfa sprouts

Alfalfa plant is also known as the Lucerne or Medicago sativa is from the legume family of vegetables (plants with pods and seeds within) but they are also considered herbs.

Most people take alfalfa plant as they are rich in nutrients and all sorts of vitamins such as vitamin A, C, E, and K4. They are also high in both calcium and protein making them a good choice of a staple for bearded dragons.

You can feed the plant raw. Just make sure you wash them thoroughly. You can also cut them into smaller pieces and mix them with their protein for picky dragons.

Feeding Frequency: Alfalfa plant can be fed daily.

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1 : 0.5
Protein: 4%
Fats: 0.7%

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Artichoke Heart

Artichoke heart is a perennial thistle that belonged to the Cynara family. They are known to provide aid to digestion due to their high fiber.

They are considered good greens for bearded dragons but due to their high phosphorus content, they should be fed sparingly.

Artichoke heart should be fed raw. Cut, shred or grate them into small bite size for picky or smaller dragons.

Feeding Frequency: Feed occasionally due to high phosphorus

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1 : 2
Protein: 3.2%
Fats: 0.3%

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Arugula

Arugula or the garden rocket belongs to the Brassicaceae family (flower plants) of vegetables. Its leaf is also known to produce a bitter and peppery flavor.

The plant comes in high vitamin A. Arugula is also known to produce chemicals to slow down cancer. However, due to its bitter taste, bearded dragons might not like them.

Arugula should be fed raw to keep its nutrients. As for feeding frequency, it is recommended in beautifuldragons.com to feed occasionally due to its bitter flavor. However, you can choose to mix arugula with other green staples during feeding.

Feeding frequency: Feed occasionally as treats (1 or 2 times a month)

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 3 : 1
Protein: 2.6%
Fats: 0.7%

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Asparagus

Asparagus is another perennial plant species under the genus Asparagus. They are packed with vitamins A, C, E, K, and B6 along with other nutrition such as Iron, Calcium, and Fibre.

However, due to a higher phosphorus content, asparagus should be fed occasionally for bearded dragons. You can also mix them in small amounts within their daily staple.

Asparagus can be fed both cooked and raw. Cut, shred or grate them into small bite size for easy feeding.

Feeding Frequency: Feed occasionally as treats (1 or 2 times a month) due to high phosphorus

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1 : 2.7

Protein: 2.3%
Fats: 0.2%

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Basil – Fresh Basil

Basil aka Saint-Joseph’s-wort is from the Lamiaceae (mint) family of vegetables. It is commonly used as a culinary herb in cuisines worldwide.

Basil is fed raw to retain nutrients. As you are feeding raw, remember to wash them thoroughly.

Feeding Frequency: Feed occasionally.

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 2.2 : 1
Protein: 2.5%
Fats: 0.6%

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Beet Greens

Beet greens are the leaves that can be found at the top of beetroot. They are high in protein and are also a great source of fiber.

However, they also have high calcium to phosphorus ratio and should be fed with caution due to high oxalates. You can still feed bearded dragons beet greens but make sure not to feed them often.

Feed them raw. Cut, shred or grate them into small bite size and wash them before feeding.

Feeding Frequency: Best to avoid due to high oxalates.

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 3 : 1
Protein: 1.8%
Fats: 0.1%

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Bell Peppers

Bell peppers aka Capsicum annuum are actually fruits that are under the nightshade family. They are loaded with vitamins and antioxidants.

Green Bell Peppers

Green bell peppers are considered unripe bell peppers and can produce a slightly bitter taste.

Green bell peppers can be fed raw or cooked. Note that cooking it will lose nutrients. Recommended to cut, shred or grate them into small bite size.

They are rich in vitamin C and E. However, advise not to feed too much bell peppers due to oxalates

Feeding frequency: Feed occasionally

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1 : 2.7

Protein: 0.9%
Fats: 0.2%
Moderate oxalates level: 1,171 ppm

Red Bell Peppers

Can be fed raw or cooked. Note that cooking it will lose nutrients. To prepare, cut, shred or grate them into small bite size. Recommended to feed occasionally due to oxalates

Feeding frequency: Feed occasionally

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1 : 2.2
Protein: 0.9%
Fats: 0.2%
Moderate oxalates level: 1,171 ppm

Yellow Bell Peppers

Can be fed raw or cooked. Note that cooking it will lose nutrients. Recommended to cut, shred or grate them into small bite size.

Feeding frequency: Feed occasionally due to high phosphorus over calcium.

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1 : 2.2
Protein: 0.9%
Fats: 0.2%
Moderate oxalates level: 1,171 ppm

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Bok Choy or Chinese Cabbage

Bok choy or pak choi is a type of Chinese cabbage under the cruciferous family of vegetables They are rich in vitamins A, C, K and are low in calories. Bok Choy should be feed occasionally due to high goitrogen.

Feed them raw by tearing them up into smaller pieces.

Feeding frequency: Feed occasionally 

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 2.8 : 1
Protein: 1.5%
Fats: 0.2%
Contains goitrogen

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Butternut squash

Butternut squash or the butternut pumpkin is a type of squash that grows on a vine. It produces a sweet taste similar to the pumpkin. It is high in fibre and packed with great vitamins C and A.

They can be fed either raw or cooked. To feed raw, make sure to cut, shred or grate them into small bite size. Tip: To cut or peel butternut squash easily, you can microwave them slightly.

Feeding frequency: Daily staple

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1.5 : 1
Protein: 1.0%
Fats: 0.1%

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Borage

Borage also known as a starflower is a type of herb in the Boraginaceae family. Both their leaves and flowers are commonly used as garnish. They are also high in potassium.

You may feed your bearded dragons raw borage but not too often. Feeding them occasionally is fine.

Feeding frequency: Feed occasionally

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1.75 : 1
Protein: 1.8%
Fats: 0.7%

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Broccoli

The broccoli comes from the cruciferous or cabbage family of vegetables. They contain high amounts of vitamin C and K.

They can be fed raw or cooked to bearded dragons. But cooking it loses its nutrients.
You should also break them down to small bite-size pieces for easy consumption.

Even with all the upsides to broccoli, you should still feed rarely as they contain goitrogens with moderate oxalate levels

Feeding frequency: Feed rarely due to goitrogens.

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1 : 1.4
Protein: 3%
Fats: 0.4%

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Brussels sprouts

Brussels sprouts are from Gemmifera Group of cabbages. They are highly nutritious and are packed with vitamins C, K and B. But due to high amounts of goitrogen, it is better to feed them rarely.

Brussels sprouts can be fed raw or cooked. Make sure to slice or chop them into small bite-size pieces.

Feeding frequency: Feed rarely due to high amounts of goitrogen.

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1 : 1.6
Protein: 3.4%
Fats: 0.3%

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Cabbage – Green or Red cabbage

Cabbage is part of the Cruciferous family of vegetables. They contain rich amounts of vitamins C and K. However, do feed bearded dragons with occasionally as they are high in goitrogens.

Cabbage can be fed raw or cooked to bearded dragons.

Feeding frequency: Occasional Feed as they contain goitrogens

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio:
Green cabbage = 2 : 1
Red cabbage = 1.2 : 1
Protein: 1.4%
Fats: 0.3

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Cactus Leaf or Cactus Pad

Cactus leaf or the nopal cactus is a great staple for bearded dragons. They are rich in vitamins, antioxidants and many other minerals.

To feed your bearded dragons cactus pad, remove the dark outer part of the cactus pad with a knife and feed only the inner lighter green color areas. The dark outer part cannot be fed.

Feeding frequency: Daily staple. Very nutritious.

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 2.3 : 1
Protein: 0.8%
Fats: 0.7%

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Carrots

Carrots or the Daucus carota is a type of root vegetable that is low in fats and protein but provides good amounts of fiber.

They can be fed with raw or cooked to bearded dragons. Just make sure to feed in bite-size pieces to avoid impaction. Cut, shred or grate them for easier feeding.

Feeding frequency: Occasional Feed

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1 : 1.7
Protein: 0.80%
Fats: 0.50%
Contains moderate oxalate level

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Cauliflower

Cauliflower is an annual plant that is reproduced from seeds. They are under the Brassicaceae family of flower plants.

They are packed with vitamins and are high in fiber. However, due to poor calcium to phosphorus and goitrogens, they should be fed rarely.

You can feed them raw or cooked. Break them down into smaller bite-size pieces.

Feeding frequency: Feed rarely

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1 : 2
Protein: 2%
Fats: 0.2%
Contains goitrogens

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Celery stalk and leafs

As a marshland plant in the Apiaceae family of vegetables, the celery is a low-energy plant type that are often used in conjunction to weight loss diets.

You can feed them raw or cooked but make sure to cut or chop them into small bite size to avoid impaction.

Feeding frequency: Feed occasionally

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1.6 : 1
Protein: 0.8%
Fats: 0.1%

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Chayote

Chayote is also known as mirliton squash. It considered a plant from the gourd family Cucurbitaceae.

They are known for having rich dietary fiber, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, vitamin C and choline. But these are not of the highest importance to bearded dragons.

Fed raw or cooked to bearded dragons. Cut them into smaller bite-size pieces.

Feeding frequency: Occasional Feed due to oxalates

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1 : 1
Protein: 0.8%
Fats: 0.1%
Moderate oxalate: 340 ppm

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Chives

Chives or the Allium schoenoprasum are perennial plants that are close relatives to leek, garlic, shallot, and Chinese onion, etc.

Chives are also one of the questionable vegetables among bearded dragon food. According to beautifulbeardedragons.com, chives are potentially toxic.

However, there are owners who have ever fed chives and had no problems. Still, whenever in doubt just avoid it altogether.

Feeding frequency: Best to avoid as it might be toxic to bearded dragons.

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1.6 : 1
Protein: 3.3%
Fats: 0.7%
High oxalate levels

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Cilantro or Coriander

Cilantro/coriander are also known as Chinese parsley. They are an annual herb in the Apiaceae family of vegetables.

Coriander is usually fed raw to bearded dragons.

Feeding frequency: Occasional Feed

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1.4 : 1
Protein: 2.1%
Fats: 0.5%
Low oxalate: 50 ppm

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Collard Greens

Collard greens are part of the Acephala group of vegetables which makes them in the same category as kale or spring greens.

They are an excellent source of calcium, vitamin K, A, C, manganese, and dietary fiber. Because of their high calcium, it makes that one of the top choices as a staple for bearded dragon.

Fed raw or cooked collard to bearded dragons.

Feeding frequency: Daily staple with high calcium

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 14.5 : 1
Protein: 2.5%
Fats: 0.4%

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Corn

Corn or maize is actually a type of whole grain cereal crop. They are great source of fibre which make excellent weight loss diet.

However, for bearded dragons, they should be fed rarely due to high phosphorus over calcium.

Feed raw or cooked

Feeding frequency: Rarely due to high phosphorus percentage

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1 : 13
Protein: 2.6%
Fats: 1.0%
High phosphorus
Moderate oxalate: 99 ppm

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Dandelion Greens

Dandelion is flowering plants in the family Asteraceae. The greens are the dandelion leaves that are packed with iron, calcium, magnesium, and potassium.

They can be fed raw or cooked to bearded dragons. But cooking dandelion will reduce their nutrient content.

Feeding frequency: Daily staple with high calcium and vitamin A

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 2.8 : 1
Protein: 2.7%
Fats: 0.7%

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Endive or Escarole

Both endive and escarole is under the chicory family of vegetables. They are rich in vitamins K, A and other minerals such as manganese, calcium, etc.

For greens like endive or escarole, feeding them raw will retain more nutrients.

Feeding frequency: Daily staple with high calcium. Perfect for mixing with other greens

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1.9 : 1
Protein: 1.3%
Fats: 0.2%
Contains oxalate

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Egg Plant

Eggplant aka aubergine or brinjal is a type of plant species under the Solanaceae (nightshade) family of vegetables.

Eggplant contains high potassium, fiber, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and phytonutrient content. However, they are considered questionable food source for bearded as they can be toxic to them.

Feeding frequency: Best to avoid as it might be toxic to bearded dragons.

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1 : 3
Protein: 1.0%
Fats: 0.2%

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Figs

Figs aka Ficus carica is an Asian type of flowering plant under the mulberry family. So technically they can be considered as fruits.

Figs also are high in calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, and copper. However, they should not be fed too often for bearded dragons as they contain oxalate.

Feed raw to bearded dragons

Feeding frequency: Occasional Feed

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 2.5 : 1
Protein: 0.8%
Fats: 0.3%
Contains oxalate

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Hubbard squash

Hubbard squash is a common staple for bearded dragons loaded with vitamins A, C, B6 along with potassium, manganese, and magnesium

Like all other squash, hubbard squash can be fed either raw or cooked.

Feeding frequency: Daily staple with high vitamin A

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1 : 1.5
Protein: 2.0%
Fats: 0.5%

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Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi also known as the German turnip, is a biennial vegetable under the Brassica oleracea family. They are considered a type of wild cabbage.

They are high in vitamins and potassium but also have high phosphorus hence are categorized as occasional feed for bearded dragons.

Kohlrabi can be eaten raw or cooked.

Feeding frequency: Occasional Feed

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1 : 2
Protein: 1.7%
Fats: 0.1%
Contains goitrogen

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Leeks

Leeks are similar to onions but grow deeper. They are classified under the genus of Allium ampeloprasum.

Leeks have high amounts of vitamins and minerals such as calcium. But I personally won’t feed them to bearded dragons even though beautiful dragons classify leeks as occasional feed.

This is because leeks quite are quite similar to an onion. And onion is poisonous to dragons. Leeks also produce a mild onion taste since they are in the same category type as onion.

Feeding frequency: Questionable Feed. avoid if possible.

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1.7 : 1
Protein: 1.5%
Fats: 0.3%

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Lettuce

Bearded dragons can eat lettuce but I recommend to avoid them altogether as they can cause diarrhea. This includes:

Romaine lettuce

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1 : 1.3
Protein: 1.3%
Fats: 0.2%

Iceberg lettuce

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1 : 1
Protein: 1.0%
Fats: 0.2%

Loose leaf lettuce

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1.4 : 1
Protein: 1.3%
Fats: 0.2%

Red leaf lettuce

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1 : 1.2
Protein: 1.3%
Fats: 0.2%

They have little nutrients and are made up of mostly water. So there are really not much benefits from eating lettuce.

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Mushroom – Portabella mushrooms

Mushroom should be avoided for bearded dragons as they can be toxic and contains high phosphorus.

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1 : 16.3
Protein: 2.5%
Fats: 0.2%

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Mustard greens

Also know as Brassica juncea or chinese mustard, these greens are packed with rich nutrients.

They contain high amounts of Vitamins A, C, K along with moderate vitamin C and calcium.

Mustard greens can be fed raw or cooked.

Feeding frequency: Daily staple with high vitamin C and A.

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 2.4 : 1
Protein: 2.7%
Fats: 0.2%

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Okra – Ladies’ fingers or Ochro

Okra or the ladies’ fingers (Abelmoschus esculentus) are a type of flowering plant in the mallow family.

Okra is also 90% water but rich in dietary fibre, vitamins C and K. Feed lady’s finger occasionally to bearded dragons due to moderate oxalate content.

Feeding okra raw retains most of its minerals.

Feeding frequency: Occasional Feed

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1.3 : 1
Protein: 2.0%
Fats: 0.1%
Moderate oxalates level

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Parsley

Parsley is a type of flowering plant that belonged to the Apiaceae family of vegetables.

They are rich in vitamin A, C and packed with calcium. However, feed bearded dragons with caution as they contain high oxalates.

Usually fed raw to bearded dragons.

Feeding frequency: Feed Rarely due to high oxalates

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 2.4 : 1
Protein: 3.0%
Fats: 0.8%
High oxalates level

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Parsnip

Parsnip is a type of biennial root vegetable that much resemble a carrot. They all belong to the Apiaceae family of vegetables.

They are rich in vitamin C but have little calcium. Feed them to bearded dragons occasionally as parsnip contains moderate oxalates.

Feed raw or cooked. Cut to bite size pieces to avoid impaction.

Feeding frequency: Occasional Feed

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1 : 2
Protein: 1.2%
Fats: 0.3%
Moderate oxalates level

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Peas – Green peas

Green peas are actually seed-pod of a fruit known as Pisum sativum. Each pod contain many peas that are packed with vitamins and minerals.

For bearded dragons, it is better to avoid peas or feed rarely as they are very high in phosphorus.

Can be fed raw or cooked

Feeding frequency: Feed Rarely due to high phosphorus

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1 : 4.3
Protein: 5.4%
Fats: 0.4%

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Peas – Snap peas

Snap peas are similar to green peas. They are a type of seed-pod from the Pisum sativum species.

They are high in Vitamin C and K but are really low in calcium and fair in phosphorus. Snap peas can be fed occasionally to bearded dragons.

Can be fed raw or cooked

Feeding frequency: Occasional Feed

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1 : 1.2
Protein: 2.8%
Fats: 0.2%
Moderate oxalate levels

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Potato – Russet potato

Russet potato is high in calories. They provide an excellent source of potassium and vitamin C.

Only feed potato that is cooked. Mash them up or feed in small bite size.

Feeding frequency: Feed Rarely due to high phosphorus

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1 : 5

Protein: 1.7%
Fats: 0.1%
Moderate oxalate levels: 150 ppm

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Potato – Sweet potato

Sweet potato is a root vegetable that comes from the dicotyledonous plant which belongs to the bindweed or morning glory family.

Nutrients wise, they are packed with vitamin E and C. However, due to oxalates, it is best to feed bearded dragons rarely.

Only feed sweet potato that is cooked. Mash them up or feed in small bite size.

Feeding frequency: Feed Rarely due to oxalate level

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1 : 1.3
Protein: 1.7%
Fats: 0.3%
Moderate oxalate levels: 1000 ppm

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Pumpkin

Very similar to other squash types vegetables and are in the same category as the gourd family

They are low in calories, sodium, and fats but high in fiber. They provide good amounts of Vitamin A, B potassium, protein, and iron.

However, they are categorized as occasional feed for bearded dragons because of oxalates and higher phosphorus.

Feed raw or cooked

Feeding frequency: Occasional Feed

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1 : 2
Protein: 1.0%
Fats: 0.1%
Moderate oxalate levels: 400 ppm

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Radish

Radish is a type of root vegetable under the Brassicaceae family. They provide good amounts of vitamins C.

Radish is also an occasional feed for bearded dragons due to oxalates. Their calcium levels are similar to phosphorus so they are not a poor food option but not a good one either.

Feed raw

Feeding frequency: Occasional Feed

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1 : 1
Protein: 0.6%
Fats: 0.5%
Moderate oxalate levels: 92 ppm

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Rosemary

Rosemary or the Rosmarinus officinalis is a type of fragrant perennial herb under the mint family Lamiaceae. They are commonly used in food as condiments.

Rosemary are know for many health benefits such as antioxidants and improve digestions. But high dosage of this herb will lead to side effects like spasm, vomiting, coma etc. This is also why rosemary is classified under occasional feed for bearded dragons.

Feed raw

Feeding frequency: Occasional Feed

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 14.8 : 1
Protein: 3.3%
Fats: 5.9%

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Scallop squash

Scallop squash also known as Pattypan squash is a type of summer squash that is generally picked while they are still immature. They belong to the Cucurbitaceae or gourd family of vegetables.

They are high on vitamin C and low on calories. Other forms of minerals such as Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, and calcium can be found in scallop squash.

Feed raw or cooked. Cooking squash will lose its nutrients. Use a cheese grater to shred raw squash into smaller pieces.

Feeding frequency: Feed occasionally as treats (1 or 2 times a month)

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1 : 2
Protein: 1.2%
Fats: 0.2%

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Seaweed

Edible seaweed are high in fibre and calcium.

Feed raw or cooked

Feeding frequency: Occasional Feed

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 4 : 1
Protein: 1.7%
Fats: 0.6%

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Spearmint

Spearmint also known as garden mint are commonly used in essential oil and small amounts in food.

These herbs are known for their antibacterial properties and helps in digestion. They are also high in calcium, iron and vitamin C.

However, they should be feed only at occasions for bearded dragons as too much of it can lead to side effects even for humans.

Feed raw or cooked.

Feeding frequency: Occasional Feed

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 3.3 : 1
Protein: 3.3%
Fats: 0.7%

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Spinach

Spinach is a type of leafy green flowering plant under the Amaranthaceae family of vegetables. This annual plant is packed with Vitamins A, C and K. They are also high in iron and calcium.

However, it is best to avoid feeding too much spinach for bearded dragons due to high oxalate and goitrogen.

Can be fed raw or cooked to bearded dragons

Feeding frequency: Best to avoid due to high oxalate and goitrogen.

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 2 : 1
Protein: 2.9%
Fats: 0.7%
Contains oxalate and goitrogen

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Spaghetti squash

The spaghetti squash also known as the vegetable spaghetti, is under a group of cultivars called Cucurbita pepo subsp. They can come in all kinds of shapes, sizes and colors.

They are packed with all sorts of nutrients and are low in calories. They can be used as a staple for bearded dragons.

Feed raw or cooked. Cooking squash will lose it’s nutrients. Use cheese grater to shred raw squash into smaller pieces.

Feeding frequency: Daily staple. Highly nutritious.

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 2 : 1
Protein: 0.6%
Fats: 0.6%

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Summer squash

Summer squash is a classification for all squashes that can be harvested when immature but edible. They are the opposite of winter squashes.

Most types of summer squash can be fed raw or cooked. Cooking them will lose some nutrients. Use a cheese grater to shred raw squash into smaller pieces.

Feeding frequency: Daily staple. Highly nutritious.

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1 : 1.8
Protein: 1.2%
Fats: 0.2%

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Tomato – Red tomato

Tomatoes are berries from the tomato plant or also known as the Solanum lycopersicum.

These red juicy berries are packed with Vitamin C. However, they are quite acidic hence are not really suitable for bearded dragons.

Feed raw

Feeding frequency: Feed Rarely due to acidity

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1 : 5
Protein: 0.9%
Fats: 0.3%
Moderate oxalate: 263 ppm

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Turnip

Turnip or the white turnip is a type of root vegetable. They are high in Vitamins K, A, C and also provide moderate calcium.

But they should be fed to bearded dragons occasionally due to oxalate and goitrogen

Feed raw

Feeding frequency: Occasional Feed

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1 : 1
Protein: 0.9%
Fats: 0.1%
Contain moderate oxalate and goitrogen

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Turnip greens

Just like kale and broccoli, turnip greens are part of the cruciferous family of vegetables. They have high nutrients and are low in calories.

They are packed with vitamins A, C and K, along with high amounts of calcium. With a good Calcium to Phosphorus ratio, turnip green is a great staple option for bearded dragons.

Feed raw or cooked.

Feeding frequency: Daily staple. High in vitamins.

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 4.5 : 1
Protein: 1.5%
Fats: 0.3%
Contain moderate oxalate levels.

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Watercress

Watercress aka Nasturtium officinale or yellowcress is a type of aquatic plant species under the Brassicaceae family.

They are rich in Vitamins A, C, K and have a calcium to phosphorus ratio of 2:1. However, as they also comes with high oxalate levels, they should be fed to bearded dragons occasionally.

Feed raw or cooked

Feeding frequency: Occasional Feed

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 2 : 1
Protein: 2.3%
Fats: 0.1%
High oxalate levels

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Yam

Yam is a type of perennial herbaceous vines with one of the highest carbohydrate content. Yam should be an occasional feed as they have lower calcium compared to phosphorus.

Feed raw or cooked

Feeding frequency: Occasional Feed

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1 : 3.2
Protein: 1.5%
Fats: 0.2%

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Yucca root or cassava

Yucca root or cassava aka Manihot esculenta is a type of perennial plant but is cultivated as an annual crop.

Cassava has no significant nutrients except calories and vitamins C. They also have to be prepared and cooked properly as raw cassava/yucca contain small amounts of cyanide which can be toxic to both humans and animals.

With little to no benefits and a small risk of cyanide poisoning, I will avoid feeding yucca root to bearded dragons.

Have to be cooked if you choose to feed Cassava to bearded dragons.

Feeding frequency: Can avoid since they do not provide good nutrients anyway

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1 : 1.7
Protein: 1.4%
Fats: 0.3%

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Zucchini

The zucchini or courgette is a type of summer squash. It is also a low energy food that is high in vitamin C.

There aren’t a lot of good nutrients from a zucchini and phosphorus ratio is higher than calcium. Hence, zucchini is an occasional feed.

Feed raw or cooked. Slice or grate them into smaller bite-size pieces.

Feeding frequency: Occasional Feed

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1 : 4.4
Protein: 2.7%
Fats: 0.4%

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What fruits can bearded dragons eat?

Jump to section:

Apple

One of the most common fruits in the world. They provide a good amount of vitamin C and fiber along with low calories.

However, apples should not be a staple for bearded dragons as they have higher phosphorus than calcium.

Feed fresh peeled apples. Cut into bite size pieces to prevent impaction.

Feeding frequency: Feed occasionally as treats (1 or 2 times a month)

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1 : 1.8
Protein: 0.2%
Fats: 0.3%

See what other fruits can bearded dragon eat here

Apricot

Apricot provides good amounts of vitamin A and C. They are also rich in potassium and iron. Just like most fruits, apricot should be fed adequately as they have higher phosphorus than calcium.

Feed fresh apricot. Cut them into small bite-size pieces.

Feeding frequency: Feed occasionally as treats (1 or 2 times a month)

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1 : 1.4
Protein: 1.4%
Fats: 0.4%

See what other fruits can bearded dragon eat here

Banana

Banana is one of the top fruits with high fiber and potassium. But you should not feed bearded dragons with banana frequently as they have no calcium but a 3% daily value per serving of phosphorus.

Best to avoid due to low calcium and moderate phosphorus.

Feeding frequency: Feed rarely.

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1 : 3.3
Protein: 1.0%
Fats: 0.5%
Moderate phosphorus, zero calcium

See what other fruits can bearded dragon eat here

Blackberries

Blackberries are a great fruit packed with antioxidants. They are also one of those fruits with higher calcium content compared to phosphorus.

Despite their various benefits, back berries should not be a frequent feed to bearded dragons as they have moderate oxalate levels.

Prepare fresh blackberries in small bite sizes.

Feeding frequency: Feed occasionally as treats (1 or 2 times a month)

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1.5 : 1
Protein: 0.7%
Fats: 0.4%
Moderate oxalate levels

See what other fruits can bearded dragon eat here

Blueberries

Blueberries are from perennial types of flowering plants that bears blue or purple colored berries.

They are low in calories and contains moderate micro nutrients. They are also known to provide antioxidants.

However, they should only be fed to bearded dragons occasionally due to oxalates and higher phosphorus levels.

Prepare fresh blueberries in small bite sizes.

Feeding frequency: Feed occasionally as treats (1 or 2 times a month)

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1 : 1.6
Protein: 0.7%
Fats: 0.4%
Moderate oxalate levels

See what other fruits can bearded dragon eat here

Cantaloupe melon

The Cantaloupe melon is also known as sweet melon or spanspek in africa. They are a variety of the Cucumis melo species in the Cucurbitaceae or gourd family of vegetables.

Fresh cantaloupe provides a rich source of Vitamins C and A. Similarly, cantaloupe melon contains more phosphorus than calcium so they should not be fed frequently to bearded dragons.

Prepare fresh and shred or cut them down to small bite sizes.

Feeding frequency: Feed occasionally as treats (1 or 2 times a month)

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1 : 1.5
Protein: 0.9%
Fats: 0.3%

See what other fruits can bearded dragon eat here

Cherries

Cherries are a type of drupe or stone fruit that are related to plums, peaches etc.

There are 2 types of cherries: sweet cherry (Prunus avium) or the sour cherry (Prunus cerasus). Both provide slightly different micronutrients.

Sweet cherries contain moderate dietary fiber and vitamin C, while sour cherries contain 50% more vitamin C along with 20 times more vitamin A. See their difference in Calcium to Phosphorus ratio below.

Prepare fresh and shred or cut them down to small bite sizes.

Feeding frequency: Feed occasionally as treats (1 or 2 times a month)

Sweet cherry

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1 : 1.6
Protein: 1.1%
Fats: 0.2%

Sour cherry

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1 : 0.9
Protein: 1%
Fats: 0.3%

See what other fruits can bearded dragon eat here

Cranberries

Cranberries can be found in subshrub or dwarf shrub, a type of woody plant. They provide moderate amounts of vitamin C and dietary fiber.

It is recommended not to feed bearded dragons so often as cranberries contain more phosphorus than calcium.

Make sure berries are washed thoroughly and prepared fresh in small bite sizes.

Feeding frequency: Feed occasionally as treats (1 or 2 times a month)

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1 : 1.3
Protein: 0.4%
Fats: 0.2%

See what other fruits can bearded dragon eat here

Grapefruit

Grapefruits are a type of subtropical fruit from the citrus tree. They produce a sour to semi-sweet and bitter taste.

Nutrients wise, the grapefruit is packed with Vitamin C and are known to provide antioxidant properties.

Again they should not be fed too frequently to bearded dragons as they don’t provide good calcium to phosphorus ratio.

To be prepared fresh in small bite size.

Feeding frequency: Feed occasionally as treats (1 or 2 times a month)

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1.2 : 1
Protein: 0.6%
Fats: 0.1%

See what other fruits can bearded dragon eat here

Grapes – Both red and green grapes

Grapes are from woody vines of the Vitis flowering plant. They are packed with vitamins C, K, and other minerals. They are also known to provide antioxidant properties.

Similarly, due to low calcium to phosphorus ratio, it is advisable not to feed grapes to bearded dragons so often.

To be prepared fresh in small bite size.

Feeding frequency: Feed occasionally as treats (1 or 2 times a month)

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1.4 : 1
Protein: 0.6%
Fats: 0.4%

See what other fruits can bearded dragon eat here

Guava

It is a type of tropical food that comes from a small tree in the myrtle family of plants. They are rich in dietary fiber and packed with vitamin C.

However, as guava have a higher phosphorus content and moderate oxalate, they should not be fed so frequently to bearded dragons.

To be prepared fresh in small bite size.

Feeding frequency: Feed occasionally as treats (1 or 2 times a month)

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1 : 1.3
Protein: 0.8%
Fats: 0.6%
Moderate oxalate: 140 ppm

See what other fruits can bearded dragon eat here

Honeydew

Honeydew or the honeydew melon is a fruit categorized under the muskmelon. They are only high in vitamin C and do not provide much of other micronutrients. But they are high in water content so are great for hydrating.

They should not be fed frequently to bearded dragons due to the imbalance in calcium to phosphorus ratio.

To be prepared fresh in small bite size.

Feeding frequency: Feed occasionally as treats (1 or 2 times a month)

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1 : 1.7
Protein: 0.5%
Fats: 0.1%

See what other fruits can bearded dragon eat here

Kiwi

Kiwi is also known as the Chinese gooseberry. It is an edible berry of several species of woody
vines in the genus Actinidia.

They are packed with Vitamins C and K at above 20% of Daily Value. They also have a moderate amount of Vitamin E.

Bearded dragons should be fed kiwi once a while due to their high oxalic acid which can bind calcium.

Feeding frequency: Feed rarely

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1 : 1.5
Protein: 1.0%
Fats: 0.4%
High oxalate

See what other fruits can bearded dragon eat here

Mango

Mangoes are stone fruits or drupes. They come from tropical trees that belong to the flowering plant genus of Mangifera.

They are high in vitamin C and provide moderate folate. But as they contain moderate oxalic acid, they should be fed only on occasions.

Prepare fresh and in cut them into small bite sizes.

Feeding frequency: Feed occasionally as treats (1 or 2 times a month)

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1 : 1
Protein: 0.5%
Fats: 0.3%
Moderate oxalate: 300 ppm

See what other fruits can bearded dragon eat here

Olives – Pitted or canned olives

Olives or Olea europaea is a type of fruit under the Oleaceae family. They are known for having high amounts of vitamin E. However, due to the high-fat percentage, it is best not to feed bearded dragons too often.

To avoid impaction, make sure to cut them into smaller pieces.

Feeding frequency: Feed Rarely due to the high-fat percentage

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 29 : 1
Protein: 0.8%
Fats: 10.7%

See what other fruits can bearded dragon eat here

Orange – Mandarin oranges

Mandarin oranges are also known as the mandarin or mandarine, They come from a small citrus tree that is usually eaten during the chinese or lunar new year, a festival celebrated in Asian countries.

The only notable micronutrient from mandarin oranges are the high amounts of Vitamin C at 32% of the daily value per 100 grams of serving.

Mandarin oranges should be fed only occasionally to the bearded dragon as they are high in phosphorus

Prepare fresh and in small bite sizes.

Feeding frequency: Feed occasionally as treats (1 or 2 times a month)

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1.4 : 1
Protein: 0.6%
Fats: 0.2%

See what other fruits can bearded dragon eat here

Orange – Navel oranges

Navel oranges are also called sweet oranges. They are actually a hybrid between pomelo and mandarin.

Oranges are an excellent source for vitamin C. But at the same time, they contain moderate oxalates.

Hence, only feed bearded dragons oranges once a while as treats.

Prepare fresh and in small bite sizes.

Feeding frequency: Feed occasionally as treats (1 or 2 times a month)

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 2 : 1
Protein: 1.0%
Fats: 0.1%
Moderate oxalates

See what other fruits can bearded dragon eat here

Papaya

Papaya also known as papaw or pawpaw comes for the Carica papaya plant.

They are rich in Vitamin C and provide a good source of folate. However, they also contain moderate oxalic acid hence, should only be fed occasionally to bearded dragons.

Prepare fresh and in small bite sizes.

Feeding frequency: Feed occasionally as treats (1 or 2 times a month)

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 2 : 1
Protein: 1.0%
Fats: 0.1%
Moderate-Oxalate: 87 ppm

See what other fruits can bearded dragon eat here

Peach

Peach also known as the prunus Persia is from a deciduous tree plant that is under the same family as cherries, plums, apricots, and almond.

They contain small amounts of micronutrients, hence should only be used as a treat for bearded dragons.

Prepare fresh and in small bite sizes.

Feeding frequency: Feed occasionally as treats (1 or 2 times a month)

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1 : 2.4
Protein: 0.7%
Fats: 0.1%
Contains little oxalate and goitrogen

See what other fruits can bearded dragon eat here

Pear – Asian pear

The Asian pear or Pyrus pyrifolia is known for its sweetness. But apart from that, the Asian pear does not provide any significant micronutrients.

They also contain high levels of oxalic acid and hence should only be fed as a treat for bearded dragons.

Prepare fresh and in small bite sizes.

Feeding frequency: Feed occasionally as treats (1 or 2 times a month)

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1 : 2.8
Protein: 0.5%
Fats: 0.2%
High oxalate levels

See what other fruits can bearded dragon eat here

Pear

Pears are from the deciduous tree under the Rosaceae family. They are known to produce a sweet and juicy texture.

They provide moderate dietary fiber but very little micronutrients. Similarly, they contain high oxalic acid and hence should be fed to bearded dragons only as treats.

Prepare fresh and in small bite sizes.

Feeding frequency: Feed occasionally as treats (1 or 2 times a month)

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1 : 1
Protein: 0.4%
Fats: 0.4%
High oxalate levels

See what other fruits can bearded dragon eat here

Pineapple

Pineapple is actually a type of tropical plant with an edible fruit which is also referred to as pineapples.

They produce a really sweet taste and are often used in pastries and deserts. They are a rich source of of manganese at 44% Daily Value and vitamin C 58% DV.

They also contain moderate oxalic acid which is why they should only be treats for bearded dragons.

Prepare fresh and in small bite sizes.

Feeding frequency: Feed occasionally as treats (1 or 2 times a month)

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1 : 1
Protein: 0.4%
Fats: 0.4%
Moderate oxalate levels

See what other fruits can bearded dragon eat here

Plum

Plum is a fruit for the genus Prunus, which are trees and shrubs that produces cherries and peaches.

While plums come in different variations, all of them are somewhat similar in terms of micronutrients. They are only rich in vitamin C.

Plum should only be fed as treats to bearded dragons due to higher phosphorus.

Prepare fresh and in small bite sizes.

Feeding frequency: Feed occasionally as treats (1 or 2 times a month)

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1 : 2.5
Protein: 0.8%
Fats: 0.6%

See what other fruits can bearded dragon eat here

Pomegranate

Pomegranate comes from a fruit-bearing shrub. They are mostly sweet or sour in taste.

They are a rich source of dietary fiber and provides good amounts of Vitamin C and K.

However, it is best not to feed pomegranate to bearded dragons so often due to oxalic acid and higher phosphorus.

Prepare fresh and in small bite sizes.

Feeding frequency: Feed rarely due to high oxalic acid and phosphorus

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1 : 2.7
Protein: 1.0%
Fats: 0.3%
Moderate oxalate levels: 140 ppm

See what other fruits can bearded dragon eat here

Raisins

Raisins are dried grapes that are also high in sugar also well as antioxidants. But they provide lower Vitamin C as compared to grapes.

Similarly, raisins should not be fed often as they are high in sugar and have higher phosphorus.

Only feed seedless raisins

Feeding frequency: Feed occasionally as treats (1 or 2 times a month)

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1 : 2
Protein: 3.2%
Fats: 0.5%

See what other fruits can bearded dragon eat here

Raspberries

Raspberry is from a perennial plant under the rose family. They produce a sweet taste and are often used in cooking.

They are high in dietary fiber, Vitamin C and manganese. But as their phosphorus is still slightly on the higher side and should only be fed to bearded dragons once a while.

Prepare fresh and in small bite sizes.

Feeding Frequency: Feed occasionally as treats (1 or 2 times a month)

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1 : 2
Protein: 3.2%
Fats: 0.5%

See what other fruits can bearded dragon eat here

Starfruit

Prepare fresh and in small bite sizes.

Feed rarely – Best to avoid due to very high oxalates.

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1 : 4
Protein: 0.5%
Fats: 0.4%
High oxalate levels: 95,800 ppm

See what other fruits can bearded dragon eat here

Strawberries

The garden strawberries are healthy and popular fruit that are known for their bright colors, sweet and juicy textures.

Strawberries provide a great source of Vitamin C and manganese. But they should still be fed to bearded dragons occasionally as treats.

Prepare fresh and in small bite sizes.

Feeding frequency: Feed occasionally as treats (1 or 2 times a month)

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1 : 1.4
Protein: 0.6%
Fats: 0.4%
Moderate oxalate levels

See what other fruits can bearded dragon eat here

Watermelon

Watermelon also known as the Citrullus Lanatus belong to the Cucurbitaceae or gourd family of plants.

Apart from having moderate Vitamin C, they do not provide great amounts of micronutrients. Similarly, they should only be used as treats for bearded dragons.

Prepare fresh and in small bite sizes.

Feeding frequency: Feed occasionally as treats (1 or 2 times a month)

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1 : 1
Protein: 0.6%
Fats: 0.4%

See what other fruits can bearded dragon eat here

What live feeders or insects are suitable for bearded dragons?

Jump to section:

There are a variety of live insects that are suitable for bearded dragons. But not all of them have enough calcium to maintain the golden calcium to phosphorus ratio of 2 : 1.

Let’s dive in to see all suitable insects and their nutritional values.

But before you continue, do take note is that nutrient facts you are about to see below can vary from site to site. This is due to statistical dispersion. In other words, even tests that are done in the same labs can produce different results.

Just take the simplest example, the batches of insects that are tested come in different shapes and sizes while in the same stage of their lifecycle.

Studies have shown that the dry matter of insects can vary between 20% to 76% depending on their type and development stage. This result in a wide disparity of fat content that can possibly range between 2% to 50% of dry matter.

For example, worms can be in different larvae stages when being tested: small to medium larvae stages may not differ much in size but are different in fat content.

That alone will change the results of the fat percentages from the test. Not to mention that there are also many other factors involved.

So we want you to look at this information with a grain of salt and always feed with discretion.

Without further ado, we begin with…

Butterworms

Butterworms are reddish yellow in color and are great live feeders for bearded dragons. They are the larval form of the Chilean moth and are also known as Tebo or Trevo worms.

Their color and possibly their scent makes bearded dragons go crazy on them.

Though some sites might report their fat% as low, butter worms are actually known for higher fat percentages.

They require dusting with calcium or multivitamin on alternate days to make up for the lack in calcium.

However, note that butterworms are not the best choice when it comes to protein. They are higher in fats and is more suitable as a weekly treat than a staple.

For feeding frequency: Feed occasionally to avoid obesity. Should be used as treats.

Nutrient facts on Butterworms:

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1 : 18
Protein: 16%
Fats: 29%
Moisture: 60.2%
Fiber: 1.4%

Pros on using butterworms as live feeders

  • Their bright color and fruity scent is known to attract the most stubborn eaters

Cons on using Butterworms as live feeders

  • High in fats and phosphorus
  • Not easy to breed in captivity
  • Must be kept refrigerated at temperatures of 38-42 degrees F for them to last longer.
  • Require dusting to make up for the lack of calcium
  • Can be gut loaded

If you are planning on getting butter worms as treats, you can purchase live butter worms here.

See what other live feeders can bearded dragon eat here

Crickets

Some owners used crickets as staple as they are lower in fats. However, crickets are definitely higher in phosphorus and lower in calcium.

Hence, dusting them in calcium powder daily before every feed and in multivitamin at least once a week.

Alternatively, you can gut load them with nutrients.

How many crickets to feed baby or adult bearded dragon?

It really depends on the size of the crickets you are feeding.

As bearded dragon don’t usually overeat, you can feed as much as they can eat within a timeframe of 10 to 15 minutes and stop whenever they stop eating within that time frame.

Every feed can range between 5 to 10 pinhead crickets.

Baby dragons can be fed 2 to 3 times a day while an adult can be fed 1 to 2 times daily.

Nutrient facts on crickets

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1 : 12
Protein: 15.4%
Fats: 3.3%
Moisture: 77.1%
Fiber: 2.2%

Pros of using crickets as live feeders

  • Not difficult to culture.
  • Does not require much maintenance to farm crickets.
  • Good range of sizes: Baby pinhead crickets are a great option for baby bearded dragon.
  • Easy to gut load.

Cons of using crickets as live feeders

  • They stink pretty badly.
  • Makes a lot of noise.
  • Jumps a lot and might escape if not handled well.
  • Does not provide enough calcium. Will require dusting or gut loading to make up for the lack of calcium.

Planning on cultivating your own crickets? Get softer and more digestible live banded crickets here.

See what other live feeders can bearded dragon eat here

Dubia Roaches

Dubia roaches are excellent live feeders for the bearded dragon of any age. As they are cheaper, easily accessible online and can be cultured to save cost.

Comparing to crickets, they do have slightly higher protein but are definitely not enough to reach the 2:1 golden ratio of Calcium to Phosphorus.

To meet that golden ratio, it will require gut loading or dusting to provide enough calcium. See more information on Gut Loading and Dusting here.

How many dubia roaches to feed the bearded dragon?

Dubia roaches can be fed daily as a staple for young bearded dragons. As they get older the amount of protein will usually be reduced.

Depending on the bearded dragon and roaches sizes, each feed can range from 5 to 8 roaches or more. Bearded dragons don’t usually overeat so feed them between 10 to 15 minutes till they stop eating on their own.

Nutrient facts on dubia roaches

Small baby dubia roaches

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1 : 3.7
Protein: 21.4%
Fats: 6.1%
Moisture: 71.5%
Fiber: 2.6%

Large adult dubia roaches

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1 : 3.25
Protein: 23.4%
Fats: 7.2%
Moisture: 65.6%
Fibre: 2.9%

Pros of using dubia roaches as live feeders

  • Easy to culture and feed as they reproduce fast.
  • They have a long lifespan that requires little care or maintenance.
  • They burrow or climb. They do not jump or fly hence easy to contain.
  • Quiet and don’t make a lot of noise.
  • They have no smell at all.
  • Come in a wide range of sizes: Newborn dubia roaches that are smaller in size are a great option for baby bearded dragon.
  • Inexpensive and easily accessible available online and offline.
  • Great for malnourished bearded dragons.
  • Can be gut loaded.

Cons of using dubia roaches as live feeders

  • They may burrow or climb into areas that are out of sight if they are not eaten or left unattended.
  • Dubia roaches are still a form of cockroaches which scares some people.
  • Does not provide enough calcium. Will require dusting or gut loading to make up for the lack of calcium.

Here are some live dubia roaches that you can buy online:

See what other live feeders can bearded dragon eat here

Earthworms

Dust with calcium or multivitamin on alternate days.

Feed occasionally as treats (1 or 2 times a month)

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: ?
Protein: 10.0%
Fats: 2.0%

See what other live feeders can bearded dragon eat here

Hornworms

Hornworms aka “Goliath” worms are the larvae stage of Carolina sphinx or tobacco hawk moth. As its name suggests, hornworm tends to grow large really fast. However, they are low in fats and contain high calcium.

Feeding frequency: Hornworms are not the best insect as live feeders but some owners do use them as a staple for bearded dragon.

However, hornworms still require dusting with calcium every day and multivitamin on a weekly basis to maintain calcium to phosphorus ratio.

Nutrient facts on hornworms:

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1 : 3
Protein: 9%
Fats: 3%
Moisture: 85%
Fibre: –

Pros of using hornworms as live feeders

  • Low fats and high calcium
  • Fairly good amount of protein
  • Due to their color and scent, they are great food for picky eaters

Cons of using hornworms as live feeders

  • Short shell life – They get huge really fast. Short larvae stage.
  • Requires cool temperature to slow down growth.
  • Can be expensive

You can get premium live hornworms here. Or if you prefer to cultivate your own, you can get hornworm culture in a cup here.

See what other live feeders can bearded dragon eat here

Mealworms

Mealworms are the larvae of the mealworm beetle also known as Tenebrio Molitor dark beetle.

They are high in both fats and protein but are pretty low in the calcium. Hence, they are usually fed as treats rather than a staple.

With their low calcium and high phosphorus, mealworms are required to be dusted with calcium and multivitamin to make up the lack of calcium.

Bearded dragon owners also tend to avoid mealworms because of their hard outer exoskeleton or chitin shell that acts as protection.

This exoskeleton may cause impaction for young or baby bearded dragons. Hence they are not suitable for baby bearded dragons unless mealworms have recently molted leaving behind softer chitin.

Feeding frequency: Feed occasionally as treats (1 or 2 times a month) due to high-fat content. Baby bearded dragons should avoid mealworms entirely.

Mealworm today can be purchased easily online. Get organic live mealworms here.

Nutrient facts on mealworms

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1 : 25
Protein: 20.3%
Fats: 12.7%
Moisture: 61.9%
Fibre: 2.5%
Low calcium, high phosphorus & fat, hard chitin shell

Pros of using mealworms as live feeders

  • High protein
  • Can be cultured easily
  • Don’t make much noise
  • Easily accessible from online or offline pet shops
  • Relatively cheap
  • Can be gut loaded

Cons of using mealworms as live feeders

  • Hard chitin and outer exoskeleton. Not suitable for baby bearded dragons.
  • Low calcium and require dusting
  • High phosphorus and fat percentages
  • Required refrigeration at temperatures of at least 55F to slow down growth. They can turn into dark beetles pretty fast.

See what other live feeders can bearded dragon eat here

Phoenix Worms / Nutri Grub aka Black Soldier Fly Larvae (BSFL)

Phoenix worms are larvae of the black soldier fly. Despite many opinions of phoenix worms online, they are in fact one of the highly nutritious feeders with both high protein and calcium.

They are one of the few live feeder insects that have a close 2 : 1 ratio of Calcium to Phosphorus.

They also have a soft outer body making them a great staple for babies or bearded dragons of any age.

Feeding frequency: Can be used as a daily protein staple despite some sites placing them under treats. Phoenix worms have considerable fats content and are an excellent choice for baby bearded dragons.

Nutrient facts on phoenix worms

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1.52 : 1
Protein: 17.3%
Fats: 9.4%
Moisture: 61.2%
Fibre: 3%
Great source of calcium

Pros of using phoenix worms as live feeders

  • High in calcium. Require little to no dusting for additional calcium.
  • Good balance of Calcium to phosphorus ratio.
  • Soft body. Hence excellent for baby bearded dragons or any age.
  • Can be kept for months refrigerated.
  • Makes no noise, no smell or odor.
  • Require little to no maintenance.
  • Can be gut loaded
  • Can be cultured. If they turn into black soldier fly, they can still be fed to bearded dragons. But take note that at their adult stage, their calcium is not as high as compared to larvae stage

Cons of using phoenix worms as live feeders

  • Required to be stored in the fridge at temperatures of at least 50F if you plan to culture them.
  • Relatively expensive

To summarise, phoenix worms are one of the live feeders that contain the most nutrients and at the same time, low in fat. So if you plan to feed your beardies with nutritious food, you can get black soldier fly larvae from Josh Frog here or you can get larger size phoenix worms here.

See what other live feeders can bearded dragon eat here

Silkworm

Silkworms are great protein for bearded dragons. They are the larva or caterpillar of the domestic silkmoth, Bombyx mori. Which is the insect responsible for creating silk.

They are high in Protein, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, and Vitamin B. On top of that they are high in moisture which is great for bearded dragons younglings. But also take note not to feed any silkworms larger than the width of your dragon’s eye.

Although they are one of the few insects that are slightly higher in calcium, they still require dusting.

Silkworm also contains serrapeptase. It is an enzyme that provides more efficient calcium absorption, reduce inflammation, pain and also break down arterial plaque.

Overall, they make a great daily staple as they are lower in fats higher in protein compared to other insects. But they can be costly and they are are more difficult to cultivate in general.

Nutrient facts on Silkworm

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1 : 2.4
Protein: 63.8%
Fats: 10%
Moisture: 82.7%
Fibre: 1.1%

Pros of feeding silkworm to bearded dragons

  • High moisture
  • Contains serrapeptase that help calcium absorption
  • High in protein and many other nutrients.
  • Lower in fat content
  • High calcium makes them a great option for gravid female bearded dragon.

Cons of feeding silkworm to bearded dragons

  • Quite expensive
  • Not easy to culture
  • Die easily

You can get live silkworms for this link here.

See what other live feeders can bearded dragon eat here

Superworms

Superworms are the larvae of the Zophobas morio, which is a type of darkling beetle species. They are sometimes also known as king worms and are often mistaken for giant mealworms.

Superworms are a protein that is on the high side for fats. They do provide a good amount of protein but lack of calcium and are high on phosphorus. Dusting will be required to make up of lack in calcium

How many super worms to feed a bearded dragon

There is no actual number on how many super worms you can feed your bearded dragon but they should be used as treats instead of a daily staple. Feeding them once or twice a week is still fine.

Just stick to the general 10 to 15 minutes feeding time frame and stop feeding when they stop eating and you will be fine.

Nutrient facts on super worms

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1 : 18
Protein: 17.4%
Fats: 17.9%
Moisture: 57.9%
Fibre: 2.7%
Contains high phosphorus, dust to increase calcium

Pros of feeding super worms to bearded dragons

  • Can be cultured
  • Can be gut loaded

Cons of feeding super worms to bearded dragons

  • Lack of calcium. Require dusting.
  • High-fat content.
  • Superworms is said to have strong mandibles and might bite even though they are unlikely going to injure your bearded dragon.

Get live super worms from Amazon here.

See what other live feeders can bearded dragon eat here

Wax Worms

Waxworms are the caterpillar larvae of the wax moth. They are high in protein and fats. Which makes them more suitable as a treat than a staple.

Due to their high phosphorus, they require dusting of calcium on every feed and multivitamin every week to make up for the lack of calcium.

You are also required to be stored at temperatures between 55°- 60°F. So you can put them in refrigerators but make sure temperatures don’t go below 50°.

Feeding frequency: Feed occasionally due to their high-fat content.

Nutrient facts on a waxworm

Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 1 : 7
Protein: 15.5%
Fats: 22.2%
Moisture: 58.5%
Fibre: 3.4%
Contains high phosphorus, dust to increase calcium

Pros of feeding waxworms

  • High protein
  • Can be stored easily
  • Easily accessible
  • Relatively cheap
  • Can be cultured

Cons of feeding waxworms

  • High in fats
  • Require dusting
  • Not enough calcium

If you prefer to feed live waxworm, you can them from this link.

See what other live feeders can bearded dragon eat here

Commercial and Pallet food for bearded dragons

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Pallet or freeze-dried insects are very common food options for bearded dragons that are readily available from a nearby pet or online stores.

Some bearded dragons can absolutely go crazy over these type of food. Think of pallet food or freeze-dried insects as “fast food” for bearded dragons.

They are convenient but you should never feed bearded dragons solely on pallet food as they often not as nutritious compared to live insects and fresh vegetables.

Here are some advantages and disadvantages of pallet food for bearded dragons:

Pros of pallet or freeze-dried insects

  • Convenient – lesser preparations required.
  • More diet options.
  • Some bearded dragons love them.
  • They last longer compared to live food – If live food runs out, pallet food can come in handy.

Cons of pallet or freeze-dried insects

  • Lack of important nutrients compared to live food.
  • Some bearded dragons may not eat “dead” food. They are attracted to insects that is moving.

Now that you have seen the pros and cons do you still prefer live or pellet food? If you prefer convenience, there is nothing wrong with that too.

But note that if you plan to feed your beardies pallet food, make sure they are part of their diet mix and not just solely used as a staple.

Popular pellet food options from Amazon

  • T-Rex Bearded Dragon Gourmet Food Blend is one of the top choices among commercial food. They provide high levels of protein and are made up of various greens and insects.
  • Zilla Reptile Munchies is another popular choice for bearded dragons. They are made up of dehydrated ingredients and are easy to prepare.
  • Fluker’s Medley Treat is made up of dry insects and vegetables. They provide a good amount of nutrients but not the best. So use them as treats as beardies love them.
  • Fluker’s New Crafted Cuisine is made up of real insects, vegetables and fruits. They are soft and moist which are great for juvenile dragons.

Final Thoughts

Feeding bearded dragons is definitely not an easy task. They might not be the pickiest eating animals but feeding them will require some patience and time.

It is recommended to prepare their meals daily with a diet mix of both greens and protein especially during the early stages of their lifecycle.

Mix small amounts of different greens within their daily meal as a staple to get them accustomed to different food types.

With that, this is the end of our bearded dragon guide. If we missed out certain food types do let us know in the comments below.

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