Feeding Guide On How to Get a Bearded Dragon to Eat

How to Get a Bearded Dragon to Eat

Whenever you make a new change in their diet, it’s pretty common for a bearded dragon to completely ignore the new food and go on for days without eating it.

Even though this change in diet could be for their own good, they seem not to know or even care.

And now the questions comes, how do you get you bearded dragon to eat so they don’t fall sick?

Bearded dragons are picky and will prefer insects all day, every day over fruits and vegetables.

Several things could make a bearded dragon stop eating including their health, brumation season and stress.

If, however, everything seems well but they are just staying hungry because they don’t want to eat the food that you provided for them, read on to find out how to resolve this.

How to Get a Bearded Dragon to Eat

Bearded Dragons Eating

1. “Try it one more time”

If you do any change into their diet, like switching from insects to greens, your beardie may refuse to eat.

As long as they look in good shape, be persistent with the new food, they will eventually yield their protest.

Provide your pet with the best types of food and what’s beneficial for them regardless of its behavior.

If you give up just after the first tries, they will continue with this behavior in the future.

2. Offer A Mix of Meals

If you feed them the same meal constantly, they may also refuse to eat it.

So if this is the case, try and mix their meals up with different types of food.

Feeding them with different types of meal each time you can avoid the boredom of one meal and they may pick an interest with a new one.

3. Use an Appetite Stimulant

An appetite stimulant is only recommended if they are losing weight and getting weak but have refused to eat anything.

It makes them hungry for something so they can eat, but it’s not the cure to the underlying cause of them not eating.

So even when using this, try to fix the reason behind their loss of appetite.

amazon product

Our Top Pick

Fluker’s 73030 Insectivore/Carnivore High AMP Boost Reptile Supplement

If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

4. Make Their Feeding More Fun

Instead of always feeding them from a dish, you can hand feed them.

Add variety and spice to their meal times and they may look forward to it.

You can also feed them their greens when wet in a sauce they love.

The flavor may get them going and eat their foods.

Why Your Bearded Dragon May Not Be Eating Vegetables


Too many supplements on your vegetables may be putting your bearded dragon off.

Supplements are not very appetizing and so should be used in small amounts.


Baby bearded dragons are carnivores and so they won’t eat vegetables.

They require protein at this point and only crave for it.

So if your baby bearded dragon isn’t eating vegetables, it’s normal.

Frequent Feeding Times

When you feed your bearded dragon frequently, especially adults they tend to become picky with their food.

So if you have been feeding your pet frequently, it could be the reason why it’s being picky.

amazon product

Our Top Pick

Reptile Feeding Tongs Stainless Steel Straight and Curved

If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

How to Get a Bearded Dragon to Eat Vegetables

Create Movement in The Meal

By introducing an insect in the vegetable salad, your bearded dragon may become interested in the food.

Try slowing down the insects by refrigerating for a few minutes, then adding to the mix of vegetables.

Use Enticing Flavors

Spread any flavor that your beardie enjoys and loves over the vegetables, and their interest would be spiked.

Cut The Food Properly

Properly cutting up their food will allow them to pick it up easily.

It also ensures they eat everything as it would be difficult to select at this point.

Hang The Veggies

By hanging the veggies, they bite the leaves as they would in the wild.

It stimulates their natural feeding instincts and can make them eat their veggies.

Feed Every Other Day

Feeding every day will make them reject feeding.

So to get them to eat their vegetables, feed them every other day as per their feeding recommendation.

Hand Feeding

Most bearded dragons love being hand-fed.

You can also raise their interest in the food by including an insect in it.

Do it in such a way that they can’t eat the insect alone.

Also, be careful so they don’t bite you.

amazon product

Our Top Pick

Animal Handling Anti-bite/scratch Gloves

If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Reasons Why Your Bearded Dragon Won’t Eat


Impaction is the buildup of matter in the gut that isn’t moving on to be excreted.

It can cause discomfort and a loss of appetite, hence a possible reason why your bearded dragon isn’t eating.

Impaction is often accompanied by fatigue and lethargy and is caused by either substrate consumption or too much of the same protein.

Substrate consumption isn’t always on purpose as some bearded dragons eat it by accident.

It occurs when they are eating their food.

It’s also sometimes more convenient to feed your bearded dragon with the same protein meal, but it’s not recommended.

If this is your practice, then it could be the cause of impaction.

Seek the assistance of a vet if you suspect impaction.


Injuries cause discomfort and reduce the willingness of your pet to eat.

They could get injured either by the design of the enclosure or from a fight with another beardie.

It’s easy to spot injuries and care should be taken when this is noted to avoid infection.

amazon product

Our Top Pick

Vetericyn Plus Reptile Wound and Skin Care

If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Low Lighting and Temperature

Proper Lighting and heat are very important for reptiles.

When this becomes insufficient, there is reduced appetite amongst other things and your pet would stop eating.

Light makes them active, and eating is one of the signals they receive when the lighting is adequate.

Heat also helps them digest food and so they feel the need to eat.

When it’s cold and dark, however, they stop being active and refuse to eat.


Bearded dragons eat less as they get older.

You may be surprised at their reduced appetite after some years, but it’s all-natural.

When they are young, they are growing rapidly and are full of action, so they require more food to provide them with energy for all their activities.

But as adults, they have fully grown, and act less so they don’t need as much as they used to anymore.


Bearded Dragon Basking

Brumation is similar to hibernation and reptiles go into this state during the cold season of the year.

During this period, they stop being very active and as such stop eating.

They also spend a lot of time in the cold part of the enclosure during brumation, so this is a sign to guide you.

During brumation, don’t force-feed your bearded dragon.

Just make water available for them throughout so they can stay hydrated when they need to.

amazon product

Our Top Pick

Fluker’s Repta-Waterer for Reptiles

If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.


Illness is one of the reasons bearded dragons are not eating, and while it’s not a common situation, it can happen.

Some illnesses and infections may result in their loss of appetite, and they could get it from anywhere, even from their food.


Stress and anxiety in the life of your pet can make it go for weeks without eating.

If your pet feels threatened, it would stop eating due to the stress.

A change in their environment and diet can also induce stress and make them stop eating.

If they are not eating due to any of these changes, they will start eating when they get used to it.

They would also start eating if you revert the condition of the cage to what they are used to.


Shedding also comes with a loss of appetite and it happens regularly.

During shedding, their skin may be itchy and will be dry.

It’s an uncomfortable feeling and may affect their appetite and mood.

amazon product

Our Top Pick

Zilla Shed-Ease Reptile Bath

If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Nutrition Guide for Your Bearded Dragon

Bearded dragons are omnivores and so can eat a variety of food ranging from greens, veggies, and meat (insects).

Their nutrition in the wild is different from that in captivity because of the difference in lifestyle.

They eat mostly insects and it makes up about 75% of their meals.

Vegetables and fruits make up the remaining 25%.

Since they get a lot of exercise in the wild, this isn’t a problem but such meals while in captivity would make adult beardies obese.

Best Foods for Your Bearded Dragon

This section would be divided into the various meal categories for bearded dragons; fruits, vegetables, and insects.

The best fruits for bearded dragons include:

  • Guava
  • Kiwi
  • Figs
  • Plums
  • Apples
  • Grapes
  • Papaya
  • Dates
  • Pears
  • Peaches
  • Melon
  • Apricots
  • Mango
  • Strawberries
  • Raisins

The best vegetables to feed your bearded dragon include:

  • Bell pepper
  • Bok choy
  • Kohlrabi
  • Peas
  • Green beans
  • Parsnip
  • Sweet potato
  • Okra
  • Broccoli
  • Courgette
  • Acorn squash
  • Cabbage
  • Celery
  • Yellow squash
  • Butternut squash
  • Asparagus

The best insects to feed your bearded dragon includes:

  • Crickets
  • Locusts
  • Roaches
  • King worms
  • Waxworms
  • Butterworms
  • Silkworms
  • Earthworms
  • Phoenix worms
  • Mealworms
  • Superworms

The best greens for beardies include:

  • Endive
  • Kale
  • Dandelion greens
  • Parsley
  • Coriander
  • Clover
  • Turnip greens
  • Collards
  • Mustard greens

Foods to Avoid Feeding to Your Bearded Dragon

Bearded dragons would eat anything even if it’s not good for them.

The food listed below is harmful to bearded dragons and should be completely avoided.

  • Insects from the wild: such insects may have come in contact with chemicals that are toxic to bearded dragons. So only feed your pet with insects that are purchased from a reliable store
  • Fireflies
  • Avocados
  • Lettuce
  • Rhubarb
  • Spinach
amazon product

Our Top Pick

TDPET Ceramic Mini Reptile Worm Dish – Lizard

If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

It’s Your Turn

Bearded dragons can stop eating for several reasons.

It could be due to their health, or the condition of their enclosure.

Little light and heat in their enclosure can cause a loss of appetite.

Changes in the enclosure or relocation can also make them stop eating.

How to get a bearded dragon to eat is not a straightforward task and depends on why they are not eating in the first place.

Consult a vet as soon as you notice this just to be safe.