orange bearded dragon waiting for food

Is There Anything a Bearded Dragon Should Not Eat? [The List]

Processed foods, dairy products, raw meat, and insects with hard exoskeletons should not be fed to bearded dragons because they can cause digestive issues and nutritional deficiencies. Insects caught in the wild should also be avoided because they may contain parasites and toxins. 

Fruits and vegetables can be a nutritious and safe alternative to feeding your pet bearded dragon, but they must be properly prepared to reduce the risk of digestive issues. 

What Should Not Be Included in a Bearded Dragon’s Diet

High Phosphorus Foods

When feeding a bearded dragon, avoid high phosphorus foods because they contain too much phosphorus for the reptile to get any nutritional value from the calcium. 

Acidic Foods

Lemons, grapefruit, tomatoes, and oranges should not be consumed by bearded dragons because their acidity levels are too high for their digestive systems. 

Wild Caught Insects

Wild-caught insects should not be fed to bearded dragons because they may contain pesticides and parasites. This is why it’s important to buy your insects from a reputable source. 

Why Are These Dangerous For Beardies?

High phosphorus foods can cause kidney and bladder stones, whereas acidic foods can cause digestive issues as well as nutritional deficiencies. Toxins found in wild caught insects can be harmful to the dragon’s health. All of these items should be avoided to ensure that your dragon does not suffer any negative consequences from its diet.

Digestive Issues

Feeding a bearded dragon the wrong foods can cause digestive issues. This is especially true with dairy based or high fat foods.

Nutritional Deficiencies

A bearded dragon can suffer nutritional deficiencies if it is fed the wrong foods. A bearded dragon’s growth may be stunted and its immune system weakened if it does not receive proper nutrition, making it more susceptible to diseases. 

They may also become lethargic or irritable as a result of a lack of essential vitamins and minerals.


One of the biggest dangers of feeding your bearded dragon food they shouldn’t eat is toxicity. Just a small amount of toxicity can cause severe health consequences.

What Are Some Alternatives to Feed a Bearded Dragon

Bearded dragons should be fed a variety of foods, such as commercial diets, fruits, and leafy greens. 

Since commercial diets are made with species-specific ingredients, they can provide complete nutrition. Fruits such as apples, grapes, blueberries, and melon can be offered in small amounts on occasion. Leafy greens like dandelion, collard, and turnip greens are high in vitamins and minerals. Other vegetables that can be fed in moderation include carrots, squash, bell peppers, and broccoli. 

It is critical to keep an eye on the size of the food you feed your pet dragon; any food item wider than the space between its eyes should be avoided. 

Commercial Diets

Commercial diets are specially formulated to provide a balanced diet for bearded dragons. They include insect-based proteins, vegetables, and fruits. 

These diets are a great alternative to feeding your bearded dragon live insects because they are specially designed to provide them with the proper nutrition without causing digestive issues or nutritional deficiencies. 

They also help to reduce the toxicity risk posed by wild-caught insects. As an added bonus, these diets are simple to feed and store.


Although fruits should be limited, they do contain important vitamins and minerals. However, some fruits should be avoided because of their high phosphorus content or acidity. For example, avocados are extremely toxic to bearded dragons and should never be fed to them. 

As an alternative to these fruits, you can give your pet cactus pads or prickly pears, as well as apples, strawberries, and cantaloupe.


Vegetables make up the majority of a bearded dragon’s diet and should be fed on a daily basis. Vegetables that bearded dragons can eat include sweet potatoes, peppers, kale, collard greens, turnip greens, endive, radicchio, and chicory. 

They should, however, avoid fiber-rich, nutrient-poor, and vitamin-deficient light green vegetables like iceberg lettuce and celery. 

Red or orange veggies are also great for your bearded dragon if they do not contain acidic ingredients such as onions or chives. 

How to Know if a Bearded Dragon Is Getting the Right Nutrition

To ensure that your bearded dragon receives proper nutrition, you must monitor its weight and behavior. 

A healthy beardie will have a thick tail and be active all day. If your pet exhibits any signs of nutritional imbalance, such as tail thinning or loss of appetite, it may be time to adjust their diet. 


To ensure that your bearded dragon is receiving enough food and nutrition, it is crucial to keep track of their weight. If your beardie is too thin, it could be a sign of malnutrition, whereas if they are too heavy, it could be a sign of overeating. 

A healthy bearded dragon should have a slightly rounded belly and a thick and full tail. If you notice that your dragon’s tail is thinning or that they are losing weight, it is critical that you adjust their diet.


One of the most important indicators of whether your bearded dragon is getting enough nutrition is its behavior. A healthy bearded dragon is active, alert, and curious. 

They should be exploring and interacting with their surroundings as they move around their enclosure. 

If your dragon appears lethargic, sleeps more than usual, or has difficulty moving, this could be a sign of nutritional deficiencies or toxicity. If you are concerned about your dragon’s behavior, you should consult a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Key Points

  • Processed foods, dairy products, insects with hard exoskeletons, or wild-caught insects should not be fed to bearded dragons because they can cause digestive issues and nutritional deficiencies.
  • High phosphorus foods should be avoided because they can cause kidney and bladder stones.
  • Acidic foods like lemons, grapefruit, tomatoes, and oranges should be avoided because their acidity levels are too high for their digestive systems.
  • Insects caught in the wild should be avoided because they may contain pesticides and parasites; instead, use safe alternatives such as Dubia roaches and mealworms.
  • Feeding the wrong foods to a bearded dragon can cause digestive problems, nutritional deficiencies, stunted growth, and a weakened immune system, making them more susceptible to diseases.