In the wild, bearded dragons would be munching on live bugs and various vegetation. For some bearded dragon owners though, the thoughts of feeding their pet live bugs is enough to make them cringe. Is it possible to keep your bearded dragon healthy, without feeding them live bugs? Yes. In fact, there are a number of alternative food sources to keep your pet full and healthy.
Dried and Canned Wet Foods
There are a variety of dried and canned wet foods available for bearded dragons. Dried foods are available in little pellets and must be soaked in water before feeding. Canned foods are much like what you would feed a dog or cat and simply need to be served to the bearded dragon in the proper portions. In other words, this is quite a simple alternative to live bugs. There are however much healthier solutions to dried and canned wet foods.
Dry Roasted and Canned Bugs and Worms
Believe it or not, feeding your bearded dragon dry roasted or canned bugs and worms isn’t so bad. The bugs are dead so they are squirming around, which makes them easier to deal with. Also, it’s easy to not think about what they are. These are a favorite among bearded dragons. The only problem is providing a source of calcium. When feeding reptiles live crickets, the crickets have been fed calcium and are “gut loaded”. This means they are ready for the bearded dragons to consume and will provide a source of calcium. You can purchase calcium powder and dust bugs in the powder or you can purchase canned silkworms, which are already a good source of calcium.
Fruits and Vegetables
Juvenile bearded dragons only need around 20% of their diet to be vegetation. As they get older the numbers reverse and they should be receiving around 80% of their diet from fruits and vegetables. There are a number of fruits and vegetables that are safe and healthy for your pet. Mangoes, seeded strawberries, peeled bananas, peaches, mustard greens, parsley, kale and carrots are only a few of the fruits and vegetables bearded dragons may be fed. That doesn’t mean your pet will want all of these foods. It does take time to find fruits and vegetables your bearded dragon will like eating. One important rule to remember is to never feed your bearded dragon iceberg lettuce. It’s very unhealthy for reptiles. Also, bearded dragons like some flowers. Dandelions are a favorite, but you must be sure they are free of pesticides and other chemicals that could make your pet sick. Lastly, if you have a hard time finding fruits and vegetables your bearded dragon likes in season, you can purchase frozen varieties. Just make nothing has been added to the fruits and vegetables, such as salt or sugar.