The Best Bearded Dragon Foods (Safe & Dangerous Food List)

best bearded dragon foods

Have you ever wondered what to feed your bearded dragon? If so, you’re not the first to think about it.

In the sea of answers that you will find online, you will find lots of people talking about this subject quite regularly.

Some of them are right and others are wrong about a lot of things, which can make it a bit confusing when looking for a straight-forward answer.

So, because of that, I’m here to try and give you my best straight-forward answer you’ve been looking for.

Apart from feeding your pet with the best bearded dragon foods, it’s also important that you diversify the meals so that your pet doesn’t miss something beneficial for him or gets bored with the meals.

This meal plan changes with every stage of his life, from a baby dragon to a full matured adult.

In this article, we will discuss these different stages and what are the best bearded dragon foods for him for each one.

What Do Bearded Dragons Eat?

What do Bearded Dragons Eat

Bearded dragons can eat a wide range of foods such as feeder insects like crickets, mealworms, and dubia roaches.

Vegetables are also on the menu such as green beans and sweet potato and leafy greens such as kale and turnip greens.

They can also eat fruits but should be given more caution since they are high in sugar, especially soft fruits such as strawberries.

The quantity for each one of the foods that they eat, as already mentioned, will heavily depend on their age.

For example, a baby dragon’s diet will require to be rich in protein while an adult bearded dragon diet will consist mostly of vegetables and greens.

In the wild, bearded dragons will get a lot of exercise, indicating that they can naturally eat more, however, domesticated beardies don’t get as much exercise.

Baby Bearded Dragon Diet

The first 4 months of a bearded dragon we could say it’s the hatchling or baby phase of his life.

In this phase, he will be required to eat a lot of food to support their fast developing and growing bodies.

This means you’ll need to be feeding him lots of live foods multiple times throughout the day.

Try and aim for a diet break down of 80% feeder insects and 20% vegetables for your baby dragon.

Since baby dragons are more susceptible to impaction, you will want to make sure that the live feeder insects are smaller than the space between his eyes (this rule will apply to all ages of a bearded dragon).

Food Size Measurement

Also be sure the vegetables and greens are finely chopped together.

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If you are the type of person that hates to see and touch live insects, you need to toughen up for your baby dragon as frozen insects are not that beneficial for him.

Freeze-dried insects are usually not gut loaded.

They are most of the time fed cheap stuff and then starved before being freeze-dried.

If they were not then the food would rot inside and make them toxic.

Gut-loading is simply force-feeding the feeder insects a diet stuffed with calcium and nutrients to briefly fill their gastrointestinal tract.

The Best Bearded Dragon Food for Babies

After I’ve tested for myself I can say for sure that feeding Dubia Roaches and Black Soldier Fly Larvae (BSFL) are the most beneficial for a baby bearded dragon.

They are small, nutritious, and easy to keep.

Dubia Roaches are the most popular feeder roaches for a variety of reptiles including bearded dragons. 

The high protein and great nutritional value of dubia roaches make them a superior feeder insect as they are easier to keep than crickets and more mobile than superworms or mealworms for a better feeding response.

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Black soldier fly larvae (BSFL) are a great staple feeder, especially for baby bearded dragons. 

They’re cleaner than crickets and more nutritious, and they’re so high in calcium that no dusting is needed. 

Dusting means quite literally covering the reptile’s food in a calcium/multivitamin powder.

BSFL are also advertised as Phoenix Worms, CalciWorms, NutriGrubs, and ReptiWorms from certain brands, so keep an eye for that.

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However, for both of the feeder insects mentioned, you’ll need to buy a lot of them because they are both small. 

You can keep them in a container such as a plastic bin. 

You don’t need to feed either of them, but doing so will make them bigger and more nutritious for your bearded dragon.

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Juvenile Bearded Dragon Diet

Just after the 5 months period from when a beardie is born, you could say that your bearded dragon it’s a juvenile.

The juvenile stage of a bearded dragons life is where you will want to slowly introduce him to more types of vegetables and greens and try and cut out some of the feeder insects.

Some owners recommend that the juvenile bearded dragons can eat 50% feeder insects and 50% vegetables and greens.

But feel free to follow the 80/20 rule previously mentioned in the baby dragon section if you want, until your bearded dragon is about 9 months old.

After that time period try and introduce more vegetables and greens to his diet.

The Best Bearded Dragon Food for Juveniles

If handling live foods is too much for you to handle, you could always try Fluker’s Buffet Blend.

It’s a perfect blend of freeze-dried crickets, mealworms, and vitamin-fortified pellets.

It’s also accurately formulated to meet the dietary needs of a juvenile bearded dragon.

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As mentioned before, we will always recommend live feeder insects over free-dried feeders.

They just don’t provide the same amount of nutrition as the live ones do.

Being a reptile owner you will be needed to handle a lot of insects, and not many people can see or touch them, and for that, you can just use feeders tongs.

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Adult Bearded Dragon Diet

The adult bearded dragons should eat fewer feeder insects, at around 20% to 25%. 

You only need to give your beardie insects once a day.

The bulk of his food should mainly consist of vegetables, greens, and some fruits on occasions.

Just remember that adult bearded dragons don’t need too many feeder insects otherwise they’ll just become overweight.

Although protein will always play an essential role in any adult bearded dragon’s diet, you’ll want to ensure you’re feeding them more vegetables and green than anything else.

Aim for 80% vegetables and greens and 20% feeder insects.

The Best Bearded Dragon Food for Adults

The Fluker’s Buffet Blend ensures to provide all your pet needs to have a balanced diet specifically formulated for an adult bearded dragon.

It is made up of a balanced diet of pellets with dried insects so that it can serve as a complete meal on its own and provide your pet with all it needs to stay healthy and satisfied.

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Fluker’s 76041 Buffet Blend Adult Bearded Dragon Formula

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The pellets are made with a unique and attractive texture so that your bearded dragon will be drawn to eating it and with a good appetite.

Taking care of your pet can be demanding and will surely require some time from you.

If you are busy and don’t really have the time to provide the live insects that he needs and in their right proportions, you could make use of this amazing product and still have a happy and healthy pet.

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Since most of his diet will consist of plant material meaning vegetables, flowers, and greens, the other part of his diet should be feeders and fruits served sparingly as a top dressing.

As another rule, anything dark green and leafy can make up a large part of the diet.

The vegetables and greens should be finely chopped and mixed together with some calcium/D3 dusted over them.

Vegetables and Greens to Avoid

If you regularly feed a food that’s high in oxalic (which is a calcium-binding agent) like beet greens or spinach, you can increase their risk of having a metabolic bone disease.

So it is better that they are served this every once in a while or if possible to be avoided altogether.

Avocados and rhubarb should be avoided completely as they are toxic to your pet dragon.

Lettuce should also be avoided as it has no nutritional benefit for your pet.

As it is made of mainly water, feeding it to your beardie can lead to diarrhea.

Tomatoes should also be fed to your pet every once in a while because they are very acidic and can be harsh on their digestive system.

Fruits to Avoid

  • Limes
  • Lemons
  • Oranges
  • Grapefruit
  • Tangerines
  • Any citric fruit

Citric fruits have a high content of citric acid, and as such can be harsh on the digestive system of your bearded dragon, especially the juvenile beardies.

Insects to Avoid

  • Fireflies
  • Boxelder bugs
  • Wild insects

Fireflies and boxelder bugs are very poisonous to bearded dragons and so should be avoided.

Also, wild insects could be dangerous and so to be on the safe side, you should avoid feeding them to your pet.

Things to Look Out For In a Good Bearded Dragon Food

Read the Product Labels

When you go to make a purchase of a bearded dragon food, you will find that there are a lot of products in the market since beardies are a common pet.

This makes it difficult to choose and in this list, you will find out the important factors you need to consider when making a purchase.

1. Real Ingredients

When you pick up a pack of food for beardies, check out the ingredients.

The best types of food should be made of dried ingredients with preserved nutrients, and free from artificial additives.

These additives do not add to the nutritional requirements of your pet.

2. Renowned Brand

All well-known brands that have become trustworthy gained this position because of their reliability for giving quality at every time.

So before you make a purchase, check to be sure that the brand specializes in making reptile products and has good reviews from other users.

3. No Artificial Additives

In the food of a bearded dragon, the addition of color or flavor should be avoided as these could be toxic to your pet.

Any food that is not completely natural should be avoided as what your pet needs from its meal are good nutrients and real ingredients.

4. Balanced Diet

When feeding your pet, it is best that you provide a balanced meal at all times.

Bearded dragon food usually comes in two forms; as pellets or dried insects.

Pellets are less appealing to most beardies but are more balanced than the dried insects so when feeding your pet, try to give it a blend of everything it needs.

Commonly Asked Questions About Bearded Dragon Foods

What Can’t Bearded Dragons Eat?

Bearded dragons should not be fed lettuce, fireflies, avocados, rhubarb, beet tops, and spinach even though your pet seems to love them.

They are toxic and have no benefit to your pet.

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Eggs?

Yes, bearded dragons can eat a small number of eggs as they are very high in protein.

The quantity of egg also depends on the age of your pet as baby beardies need more protein and adults don’t.

Are Bananas Good For Bearded Dragons?

Yes, bananas are good for your bearded dragons and they love it.

However, bananas should only be fed to them occasionally; once or
twice a month as too much of it could lead to metabolic bone disease.

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Bread?

No, bearded dragons cannot eat bread and should not be fed bread.

It’s Your Turn

The nutritional requirements of your bearded dragon are essential and as such, you need to be well informed about the best foods for your bearded dragon.

Not all foods are good for him, and he doesn’t eat in random proportions so the key to a healthy and satisfied pet is to abide by the rules.

No matter the choice you make from amongst the products reviewed here, you can be sure that your expectations will be met.