bearded dragon on turf in cage

Can Beardies Eat Shrimp? [Try These Healthier Alternatives]

Shrimp should not be eaten by bearded dragons because they are not part of their natural diet, contain a high level of salt, and have a low calcium to phosphorus ratio. Furthermore, shrimp may contain parasites and excessive mercury, making it a risky food for bearded dragons to consume.

Feeding your bearded dragon shrimp can cause obesity and mercury poisoning. They also have indigestible shells that prevent your dragon from properly absorbing vitamins.

It is best not to feed them shrimp or other seafood. Instead, alternative live feeders such as dubai roaches, superworms, and crickets that are nutritious and provide the necessary moisture can be provided.

Why Bearded Dragons Shouldn’t Eat Shrimp

Hard Tail

Because of their hard tail, bearded dragons should not consume shrimp. The hard tail makes digestion difficult, which can lead to impaction.

High Levels of Salt

Shrimp contain high levels of salt, which can be fatal to bearded dragons. This is especially true for younger bearded dragons, whose kidneys are still developing and are less effective at removing excess salts.

Low Calcium to Phosphorus Ratio

Bearded dragons require more calcium than phosphorus in their diet, especially when they are young and their bones are developing. Veterinarians generally recommend a calcium to phosphorus ratio of 2:1. Feeding shrimp to your bearded dragon can result in an imbalanced diet because shrimp contain very little calcium and a lot of phosphorus.

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Shrimp May Contain Parasites

One of the dangers of feeding shrimp to a bearded dragon is the possibility of parasites. Shrimp can contain parasites that, if consumed, can cause serious illness or even death in bearded dragons.

Anisakis, a type of roundworm, is the most common parasite found in shrimp. Anisakis can cause digestive issues in bearded dragons, resulting in vomiting, diarrhea, and weight loss.

Not Part of Their Natural Diet

Bearded dragons are omnivores, which means they consume both animals and plants. Shrimp, on the other hand, is not a natural part of their diet.

Bearded dragons eat mostly insects in the wild, but they also eat fruits and vegetables. Shrimp does not naturally occur in their habitat, so it is not something they would eat.

Too Much Mercury

Shrimp should not be fed to bearded dragons because it contains too much mercury. Mercury is a neurotoxin that, if consumed in excess, can cause neurological and behavioral issues in bearded dragons.

What to Do if My Bearded Dragon Ate Shrimp

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  • The first thing to do if your bearded dragon has eaten shrimp is to determine how much they consumed.
  • Depending on how much shrimp was consumed, it could be a minor problem or a serious health issue for your reptile.
  • Keep an eye out for signs of illness in your dragon, such as vomiting, lethargy, or changes in appetite.


Find Out How Much They Ate

If your bearded dragon ate shrimp, you should find out how much they ate nd if they displayed any unusual symptoms. In the meantime, you can provide them with alternatives to shrimp such as dubia roaches, superworms, and crickets, which are natural diet items for bearded dragons. More on these below.

Monitor Your Dragon for Any Signs of Illness

Unusual behavior, such as lethargy, loss of appetite, and behavioral changes, can indicate that your bearded dragon is ill. Remember, shrimp may contain parasites that are harmful to the health of your dragon. If odd behavior is observed, they may be dehydrated or have a parasite.

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Take Them to The Vet if Necessary

If your bearded dragon has eaten shrimp, you should take them to the vet if you notice any unusual behavior. Other than parasites, the high levels of salt and hard tail can cause digestive tract irritation. So if you notice any signs of illness, such as lethargy or a decrease in appetite, give your vet a call to be on the safe side.

What Are Alternatives to Shrimp?

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  • Dubia roaches are high in protein and calcium, which helps bearded dragons stay healthy and strong.
  • Superworms are high in protein as well, and their soft exoskeletons make them easier to digest for bearded dragons.
  • Crickets are high in calcium and other vitamins and minerals, making them a healthy food option for your dragon.


Dubai Roaches

Not only are dubai roaches high in protein and vitamins, but they also have a great calcium to phosphorus ratio, which is beneficial to their health. Also, because Dubai roaches are a natural part of a bearded dragon’s diet, they are an excellent source of nutrition without the risks associated with seafood.


Superworms are also high in protein, easy to find and feed, and do not pose the same risks as shrimp. Superworms have a high calcium to phosphorus ratio, which benefits bone health. They are also high in vitamins and nutrients. Superworms, unlike shrimp, do not have hard tails or excess salt, and they do not pose the same risk of containing parasites.


Crickets are an excellent protein source for bearded dragons and are relatively easy to find and feed. Crickets are a natural part of the diet of bearded dragons, so you can rest assured that your pet is getting the nutrition it requires.

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  • Shrimp should not be eaten by bearded dragons because they are not part of their natural diet, contain high levels of salt, and have a low calcium to phosphorus ratio.
  • Shrimp may also contain parasites and excessive mercury, making it a risky food for bearded dragons.
  • Feeding shrimp to bearded dragons can result in obesity, mercury poisoning, and indigestible shells, which prevent vitamins from being properly utilized.
  • Alternative live feeders for bearded dragons include dubai roaches, superworms, and crickets, which are nutritious and provide moisture.
  • If your bearded dragon has eaten shrimp, keep an eye out for symptoms of illness and take them to the vet if necessary.
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