bearded dragon on wood

What Does a Bearded Dragon Eat as A Pet? [The Best Diet]

To make sure that your pet beardie stays healthy and happy, you should feed them a mixture of live insects, leafy greens and vegetables, and occasionally some fruits. Feeder insects should be gut-loaded to ensure that your dragon gets the most nutrition out of their food, and vitamins and minerals can be dusted onto them before feeding. It’s important to avoid overfeeding your bearded dragon and feeding them sugary treats or insects with hard exoskeletons. With the right diet and feeding schedule, your beardie will stay healthy and thrive.

What to Feed a Pet Bearded Dragon


Vegetables should make up a large portion of your bearded dragon’s diet. Veggies should make up 25% of a young dragon’s food and about 75% of an adult’s. Favorites include kale, collard greens, mustard greens, turnip greens, and green beans. You can also offer squash, carrots, bell peppers, and other non-toxic vegetables to your pet beardie. Be sure to cut the veggies into small pieces that your dragon can easily eat.


It’s also important to feed your bearded dragon live insects. Gut-loaded insects like crickets and Dubai roaches are the most popular feeder insects for bearded dragons. Mealworms, superworms and waxworms should be offered only in small amounts.

Gut-loaded insects provide a good amount of protein and calcium, which is beneficial for the health of your pet. They can be found in pet stores and online. Be sure to dust the insects with a vitamin and mineral supplement before feeding them to your dragon.

Commercially-Packaged Food

When it comes to commercially-packaged food, Fluker’s Bearded Dragon Medley Treat Food is a good choice. This food is high in protein and low in fat, making it a great option for both young and adult bearded dragons.

It contains a mix of freeze-dried crickets, mealworms, and grasshoppers, which all make for tasty snacks that your pet will love. If you choose to feed your beardie this food, make sure to supplement it with some fresh vegetables and fruits.

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Food Preparation

It is important to make sure that food is properly prepared for your bearded dragon. Vegetables should be chopped into small pieces and any cooked food should be cut into even smaller pieces.

Commercially-packaged food should be checked for expiration dates and may need to be supplemented with additional vitamins and minerals.

For insects, you can gut-load them by feeding them healthy foods prior to feeding them to your bearded dragon. This helps to ensure that your pet is getting the proper nutrition from their diet. You should also dust insects with vitamins and minerals for extra nutrition.

Gut-Loading Insects

Gut-loading insects is a great way to ensure that your pet bearded dragon is getting the necessary nutrients. It involves providing insects with a nutrient-dense diet several hours before feeding them to your bearded dragon.

This can be done by feeding the insects high quality, highly palatable and nutritious food such as fruits and vegetables. You can also use dog or cat kibble to feed the insects, and some keepers have had success using fish flakes as cricket food.

Gut-loading the insects before feeding them to your pet bearded dragon will ensure that they are getting all of the essential vitamins, minerals, and proteins they need!

Dusting With Vitamins and Minerals

As the most common supplement, calcium powder should be sprinkled on food items before feeding to ensure that your pet bearded dragon is getting the essential vitamins and minerals they need. Vitamin D3 is also an important supplement, as it is necessary for the digestion and absorption of calcium and other minerals.

Feeding Schedule

Feeding frequency is also important for the health of your pet. Bearded dragons should be offered fresh food and water a minimum of twice per day, but generally are fed as many as four to five times a day.

It is important not to overfeed your pet, as this can lead to obesity and other health issues. The best schedule for feeding bearded dragons is to offer food every 12-24 hours, with the last meal of the day being offered two hours before lights out.

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Feeding Frequency

Feeding frequency is an important factor in the health and well-being of your pet bearded dragon. Young beardies usually need to eat more often than adults, typically two to four times per day. Older lizards may only require one feeding a day, depending on their individual appetite.

It’s important to ensure your dragon is eating enough, but not overfeeding them. Small portions of fresh food and water should be offered a minimum of twice daily, with as many as four or five feedings per day.

As soon as you bring your dragon home, make sure you follow a two-hour rule after turning on the lights – that means two hours without food before the first meal of the day. This helps ensure their digestive system has time to rest and reset for the day ahead.


The amount of food a bearded dragon should consume varies depending on its age and size. Young bearded dragons should eat once or twice daily, while older lizards can be fed once daily, depending upon each pet’s individual appetite.

Healthy adult bearded dragons should eat around 10 crickets per day OR 20 crickets every other day. For an adult dragon, that typically means 80% plants and 20% insects over a day and 3-5 feedings.

A baby beardy can eat between 30-80 insects, depending on the size of the insects. At this age a Bearded Dragon should get 50 crickets daily.

Importance of Not Overfeeding

It’s important to feed your bearded dragon a balanced diet and avoid overfeeding, as too much food can lead to obesity. An adult bearded dragon’s diet should consist of 75-80% insects and 20-25% vegetables. They should only consume as many insects as they can in 10 to 15 minutes.

Foods to Avoid

Bearded Dragons should not be fed sugary treats, as these can lead to health problems. It’s important to be mindful of what food you give your pet Bearded Dragon and make sure it is part of a balanced diet.

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Sugary treats

Bearded dragons should never be fed sugary treats like candy or cake. These foods contain too much sugar and can lead to obesity and other health problems.

While some fruits are suitable for bearded dragons, they should be given in moderation and not as a regular snack. Fruits with high sugar content like watermelon, grapes, and bananas should be avoided or fed in very small quantities.

Insects with hard exoskeletons

Insects are an important part of a pet bearded dragon’s diet, but it is important to choose insects that have a soft exoskeleton. Darkling beetles contain a high level of fat and protein, and a balanced diet of these insects will provide your pet with the nutrition it needs.

Be careful not to feed your bearded dragon too many insects with tough exoskeletons. The hard exoskeleton can lead to a higher risk of impaction.

Key Points

  • Bearded dragons are omnivores and need a balanced diet of live insects, leafy greens, vegetables, and fruits.
  • The recommended diet consists of fresh vegetables, live feeder insects sprinkled with vitamin and mineral supplements, and commercially-packaged food.
  • When preparing food for your bearded dragon, it is important to gut-load the insects before they are fed and to dust them with vitamins and minerals.
  • A pet bearded dragon should be fed a varied diet every day on a regular schedule.
  • The amount of food should be appropriate for their size; overfeeding should be avoided.
  • Sugary treats and insects with hard exoskeletons should also be avoided in the diet.