Bearded dragons are extremely fun and curious when it comes to trying new foods. Although there are so many fun things that you can give to your bearded dragon as staples and treats, there are many unexpected things that must be avoided to keep your beardie feeling their best!
The first thing that you need to avoid feeding your dragon is wild caught bugs. Wild caught bugs in general are not a safe bet for feeding your bearded dragon. Bugs that are caught from your yard can carry any number of parasites or diseases that can potentially be transmitted to your bearded dragon. It is extremely important to never feed your bearded dragon fireflies (lightning bugs), ladybugs and Box elder bugs. All of these bugs are deemed to be extremely toxic and potentially fatal to bearded dragons. There is also no way to know whether or not the bugs you catch from your yard have been munching on potentially toxic plants. The safest option for insects for your bearded dragon is buying captive bred feeders from a reputable source. This will cut down on the chances of your beardie obtaining a parasite or getting sick.
Another thing that shouldn’t be fed to your bearded dragon is iceberg lettuce. It isn’t because it is harmful or dangerous to your dragon but it really doesn’t contain any kind of nutrients. It is made of mostly water and could lead to diarrhea. If only fed lettuce, your dragon will likely obtain various vitamin deficiencies which will affect their life negatively. For these reasons, iceberg lettuce should be avoided when other options are available.
There is a list of veggies and fruits that should be avoided when you are feeding your bearded dragons. Some of these are toxic and some can be toxic. Regardless, it is best to play it safe and not feed them at all. Some things on that list include onions, chives, mushrooms, garlic, rhubarb, avocados and eggplants. Some fruits and veggies may be too high in Phosphorus or oxalates. Having too much of these in your beardie’s diet can interfere with their ability to absorb all of the vitamins and minerals that they need to survive. Other fruits and veggies such as oranges, tomatoes, lemons, limes and pineapples are very acidic and could cause issues with the dragon’s digestive tract.
Some great foods to feed your bearded dragon every day include mustard, collard and dandelion greens, alfalfa, arugula and squash. Some things that can be offered a couple times in a week include bell peppers, apples, kale, pumpkin and asparagus. Safe bugs for dragons include dubia roaches, superworms, BSFL, hornworms and crickets. Dubia roaches are pretty much the best staple bug for dragons and contain a great amount of nutrients and protein.
There are many fun things that can be offered to your dragon that will not harm them. It is important to do lots of research before giving your bearded dragon any new foods. Some are safe in moderation and some are very dangerous. There are a lot of great resources online that can guide you into making the best snack decisions for your little friends!