bearded dragon food chart

Essential Nutrients For Bearded Dragons: A Detailed Food Chart

Navigating the complex dietary needs of bearded dragons can be daunting, but the bearded dragon food chart serves as your ultimate guide. This chart meticulously outlines the essential nutrients—from proteins to vitamins—ensuring your scaly friend gets what they need for optimal health.

It’s not just about meeting dietary standards; it’s about embracing the joy of caring for your dragon and watching them thrive on a diet tailored just for them.

Remember, a balanced variety-rich diet is key to preventing nutritional deficiencies and keeping your bearded dragon vibrant and active. Always consult a vet to tailor the diet to your dragon’s specific needs, ensuring they remain the lively centerpiece of your home.

Bearded Dragons’ Nutritional Needs

bearded dragon food chart

Bearded dragons are fascinating creatures with specific dietary requirements that change from juvenile to adult stages. Understanding these needs is crucial for their health. For instance, calcium and vitamin D3 are vital to prevent metabolic bone disease, a common issue in captive dragons 🦴.

Essential Nutrients for Bearded Dragons

  • Proteins: Vital for growth and health. Juveniles need more proteins than adults. Recommended sources include crickets, mealworms, and occasional small pieces of cooked chicken 🍗.
  • Fats: While necessary, fats should be given in moderation. Sources like feeder insects and small amounts of avocado can be beneficial 🥑.
  • Carbohydrates: These provide energy but should be low in a bearded dragon’s diet. Focus on fibrous vegetables rather than fruits and grains 🌾.
  • Vitamins: Vitamins A, C, and D are crucial. However, balance is key as too much can lead to toxicity. Ensure a varied diet to cover these bases 🍋.
  • Minerals: Calcium and phosphorus must be balanced correctly to ensure bone health, with a recommended ratio of 2:1. Trace minerals like zinc and iron are also essential ⚖️.

Daily and Weekly Feeding Schedule

Creating a feeding schedule that suits your dragon’s age and health is crucial. Here’s a structured table to guide you through the process. Be mindful of seasonal changes that might affect their appetite and metabolism 📅.

Age GroupDaily Feeding FrequencyWhat to FeedWeekly Supplement Schedule
Juveniles (0-5 months)3-4 times a dayA mix of insects (80%) and vegetables (20%). Insects should be small and easy to digest, like pinhead crickets and small worms.Calcium with vitamin D3: 5 times per week <br> Multivitamin: 2 times per week
Sub-Adults (6-18 months)2 times a dayA balanced mix of insects (60%) and vegetables (40%). Suitable insects include crickets, mealworms, and wax worms.Calcium with vitamin D3: 4 times per week <br> Multivitamin: 1 time per week
Adults (18 months and older)Once a day or every other dayPrimarily vegetables (70%) like collard greens, bell peppers, and squash, with insects (30%) such as crickets and roaches.Calcium with vitamin D3: 3 times per week <br> Multivitamin: 1 time per week


  • Juveniles need more frequent feedings with a higher proportion of protein to support their rapid growth.
  • As bearded dragons grow into sub-adults and adults, their diet should shift towards more vegetables to prevent obesity.
  • The amount of food offered should roughly equal the size of the space between the bearded dragon’s eyes. This helps prevent overfeeding.
  • Always provide fresh water and adjust the diet according to the health and activity level of your bearded dragon.

This schedule provides a clear and organized approach to feeding your bearded dragon throughout its life stages, ensuring they receive the nutrients they need to thrive.

Detailed Food Chart for Bearded Dragons

  • Safe Fruits and Vegetables: Offer greens like kale and fruits such as mangoes in moderation to avoid sugar and oxalate build-up 🥬.
  • Protein Sources: Ensure live feed like crickets and worms are gut-loaded for extra nutrients 🐛.
  • Supplements: Dust food with calcium and vitamin D3 powders to support healthy bone development 💊.
CategoryFoodsFrequency & Guidelines
Safe VegetablesKale, collard greens, bell peppers, squash, carrotsOffer daily as a staple part of the diet. Chop finely or shred to aid in digestion.
Safe FruitsMangoes, papayas, blueberries, apples (without seeds)Provide sparingly; no more than 10% of the total diet due to sugar content. Serve 1-2 times per week.
Protein SourcesCrickets, mealworms, wax worms, dubia roachesJuveniles: Daily. <br> Adults: 2-3 times per week, ensuring live feed is gut-loaded for extra nutrients.
SupplementsCalcium with Vitamin D3, Multivitamin powdersCalcium with Vitamin D3: Dust over food 3-5 times per week depending on age. <br> Multivitamin: Dust over food once per week.

Foods to Avoid

Certain foods pose risks to bearded dragons, including rhubarb, iceberg lettuce, and fireflies, which can be toxic 🚫. Also, avoid feeding too much spinach as it binds to dietary calcium.

Here’s a detailed list of foods to avoid when feeding your bearded dragon, as some can be toxic or cause health issues:

  1. Rhubarb – Contains oxalic acid, which is toxic to bearded dragons and can lead to serious health problems.
  2. Iceberg Lettuce – Offers very little nutritional value and can cause diarrhea. It’s mostly water and can disrupt nutrient absorption.
  3. Fireflies – Highly toxic to bearded dragons; even one can be lethal.
  4. Spinach – Binds calcium and can lead to calcium deficiency if fed in large quantities.
  5. Avocado – Contains persin, a fungicidal toxin, which can be harmful in large amounts.
  6. Citrus Fruits (oranges, lemons, limes) – Too acidic for bearded dragons and can cause digestive issues.
  7. Onions and Garlic – Can be toxic and cause digestive and blood-related issues.
  8. Chives, Leeks, and Shallots – Similar to onions and garlic, they are harmful and can cause toxicity.
  9. Tomatoes – High in acidity and should only be offered very sparingly, if at all.
  10. Wild Insects – Risk of pesticide exposure or parasites that could harm your dragon.
  11. Chocolate – Contains theobromine, which is toxic to most pets, including bearded dragons.
  12. Dairy Products – Bearded dragons cannot digest lactose, making all dairy products unsuitable.
  13. Meat (Beef, Pork, Chicken) – Difficult for bearded dragons to digest and too high in fat.
  14. Fish/Seafood – Risk of heavy metals and not a natural part of their diet.

Ensuring that these items are excluded from your bearded dragon’s diet will help maintain their health and avoid unnecessary risks.

Tips for Feeding Picky-Bearded Dragons

Feeding a picky bearded dragon can be a bit of a challenge, but with a few strategic tips, you can encourage them to eat a more varied and nutritious diet. Here are five simple and effective tips:

  1. Mix It Up: Regularly introduce new foods to prevent boredom. Mix different textures and colors to make the meal visually appealing.
  2. Entice with Movement: Live foods like crickets or worms stimulate the hunting instinct in bearded dragons due to their movement, making them more enticing.
  3. Serve Warm: Gently warm the vegetables and fruits to just above room temperature. The warmth can enhance the aroma and make the food more appealing.
  4. Reduce Portion Sizes: Offer small quantities more frequently rather than large meals that can overwhelm your dragon.
  5. Consistency is Key: Consistently offer new foods. It may take several attempts before your bearded dragon decides to try something new. Patience is crucial.

Know About: How Long Can Bearded Dragons Go Without Food?

Monitoring Your Bearded Dragon’s Health Through Diet

bearded dragon food chart

A well-balanced diet is crucial not only for your bearded dragon’s growth but also for its overall health. By carefully observing your pet’s physical condition and behavior, you can often detect signs that may indicate dietary imbalances or health issues. Here’s how you can effectively monitor your bearded dragon’s health through its diet:

Watch for Physical Changes

  • Weight Loss or Gain: Sudden weight changes can be a sign of dietary imbalances or health issues. Weight loss might indicate inadequate nutrition, while rapid weight gain could suggest overfeeding or a lack of exercise.
  • Skin and Shedding: Healthy skin and regular, complete shedding are signs of good nutrition. If your bearded dragon has flaky skin or experiences incomplete shedding, it might not be getting enough vitamins or moisture.
  • Stool Appearance: Monitor the color, consistency, and frequency of your dragon’s stool. Abnormalities such as overly watery or extremely hard stools can indicate dietary issues.

Behavioral Signs

  • Activity Levels: A healthy bearded dragon should be active and alert. A lack of energy or lethargy can often be linked to nutritional deficiencies or an improper diet.
  • Appetite Changes: A sudden decrease in appetite can be a critical sign of health problems. While occasional disinterest in food can be normal, persistent lack of appetite warrants a vet visit.

Check for Signs of Common Nutritional Disorders

  • Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD): This is a common issue in captive bearded dragons due to calcium deficiency. Watch for signs like twitching, weak limbs, and deformities in the spine or jaw.
  • Vitamin A Overdose: Symptoms include swelling of the eyes and skin, and lethargy. This can occur if supplements are not properly balanced.

Regular Vet Check-ups

  • Routine Health Checks: Regular check-ups with a veterinarian who specializes in reptiles can help catch issues before they become serious. These visits should include discussions about your bearded dragon’s diet and any concerns you have observed.

Keep a Diet Diary

  • Record Keeping: Maintain a daily record of what and how much you feed your bearded dragon, including supplements. This can help you spot changes in eating patterns and preferences, and provide valuable information to your vet during check-ups.

By staying vigilant and informed about your bearded dragon’s diet and overall health, you can ensure your pet remains happy, healthy, and vibrant. Always consult with a veterinarian if you notice any concerning changes; early intervention is key to managing health issues effectively.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: What should I mainly feed my bearded dragon?

Bearded dragons should eat a balanced diet consisting primarily of vegetables and insects. Adults need more vegetables, while juveniles require more protein from insects to support their growth.

Q2: How often should I supplement calcium and vitamins for my bearded dragon?

Calcium with Vitamin D3 should be dusted on their food 3-5 times a week, depending on their age, while a multivitamin supplement should be provided once weekly to prevent deficiencies.

Q3: Are there any foods I should avoid giving to my bearded dragon?

Yes, avoid feeding rhubarb, avocado, iceberg lettuce, and fireflies, as these can be toxic. Also, limit spinach and other calcium-binding greens to prevent nutritional imbalances.

Q4: What are some signs that my bearded dragon might not be getting the right nutrients?

Watch for signs like lethargy, poor shedding, weight loss or gain, and changes in stool consistency. These can indicate dietary imbalances and may require adjustments to their feeding regimen or a vet consultation.

Read More: How Fast Do Bearded Dragons Grow?