Feeding & Supplements
In their natural habitat of the Australian desert, Bearded Dragons will feed on a number of insects and plants and opportunistically many other small animals. However, in the wild, food can be scarce at times and as a result, these animals have evolved to be a little greedy. In fact, in captivity care must be taken to ensure they do not become obese! Their diet must include a blend of different dark leafy greens. Dandelion leaves/ flowers are perfect.
Shop-bought dark greens such as watercress, rocket, and kale can be offered but plants high in oxalates are best avoided as staple feedstuffs. Whether shop-bought or wild-collected, remember to wash food items thoroughly to remove residues such as fertilisers or pesticides and avoid collecting feedstuffs from areas of potential contamination. You can purchase a food growing kit from Pets Corner (designed for tortoises but also great for Bearded Dragons), complete with suitable seeds. Finely chopped vegetables can be fed occasionally and fruit such as strawberries and blueberries rarely offered as a very special treat. Ask a friendly member of staff for a list of suitable food plants.
Being an omnivorous lizard, Bearded Dragons require live insects in combination with vegetable matter. The length of the insect to be fed should be equal to the distance between the lizard’s eyes. Crickets are the most suitable insect both nutritionally and for promoting hunting activity in your Bearded Dragon but other insects such as locusts and mealworms can be offered as a treat. Feed as many insects as your lizard will consume in around five minutes once a day (hatchlings and juveniles may require more frequent feeding) and then remove any uneaten insects from the enclosure. It is a good idea to place the insects in the food bowl used for the greens as this encourages the lizard to associate this area with feeding and they will be more likely to eat their greenery when hungry. Lightly sprinkle the insects with a calcium carbonate supplement such as Calcidust every meal. Also on alternate days, the insects must be lightly dusted with a vitamin D3 supplement such as Nutrobal.