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What Are the Best Food for Bearded Dragons ?

What Are the Best Food for Bearded Dragons ?

There are quite a few different brands of bearded dragon food on the market today. These are usually a dry pelleted form of food that is given to your bearded dragon.

They are made up of plant and animal based ingredients and are readily available at most pet stores. If you can’t find them at smaller pet stores, they are also available amazon.com.

I have used different brands of food to varying degrees of success. If you own a bearded dragon, you know that they sometimes can be stand-offish of new foods.

They also seem to be more attracted to food that moves. Even so, they will eat food out of a dish.

Most dragons will eat greens and vegetables out of dishes. It might make sense that bearded dragons will eat the dry food as well. Though, this will all depend on the demeanor of your bearded dragon.

Like I said earlier, I have use different brands and have found ones that my dragons have accepted more readily. Every dragon is different.

I’ve also had dragons that would not accept any dry food, and only if it was hand fed to them. If it was hand fed, they still would eat it sparingly.

I have also seen some dragons that will eat anything you give them. My dragons I have now seem to pick at the dry food every once in awhile. I like to include some dry food every day for them to free feed on if they wish.

What Kinds of Bearded Dragon Food are There?

If you visit a pet store and walk down the reptile supply isle, you will see a lot of different kinds of foods. Depending on how big the pet store is.

You’ll notice that there are foods made all kinds of different reptiles and amphibians. There may even be some that are just marketed as reptile food.

I like to stay away from the catch all reptile food and buy something that is made specifically for bearded dragons.

I have tried the bearded dragon food by Exo-Terra, Nature Zone, Fluker’s, Rep-Cal, and Zoomed. Right now I am trying Exo-Terra’s bearded dragon food, and it seems to be doing pretty good.

I’m trying this because I got a free bag, included with my order from ReptileSupply.com, for being patient while waiting on a backorder. Though, it was only a couple of days and I didn’t wait long at all. Still, free stuff is stuff I didn’t have to pay for. I know that it spoke a lot to me, and now that’s where I like to get my supplies from.

Zoomed’s Dragon Food
I really like Zoomed’s bearded dragon food. When I go to purchase more, this is what I’m going to be using. The dragons I have now seem to eat it a little better than other food I have tried. I kind of like having some moisture in the food, but with the others it isn’t hard to moisten them with water or juice.

Fluker’s Dragon Food
On a previous dragon, I owned, I have used Fluker’s juvenile food, when she was younger. She really seemed to like the smaller pellets. I had to switch when I had a hard time finding it in the pet stores I frequented.

I had finally found something that seemed to work and then it was gone. I never thought to check online reptile stores at the time. Since then, I have seen it more. I would try it again, but I think that I’m going to stick with Zoomed’s.

Rep-Cal’s Dragon Food
On the same previous dragon, I had tried Rep-Cal’s adult bearded dragon food as well. That one didn’t go over so well with her. She seemed to like smaller pellets and the Rep-Cal’s was considerably bigger.

Though, Rep-Cal has a juvenile formula that consist of smaller pellets. I never did tried those. I trust Rep-Cal and can whole heartedly recommend any of their products. I love their calcium and vitamin supplements. Even though my dragon didn’t take to the Rep-Cal food like the others, she did eat it.

Rep-Cal’s pellets are different colors and my dragon would mostly eat only the green ones. She would try a brown one every once in awhile, but she would shy away from the red pellets. She also that felt that I should hand feed them to her as well.

Nature Zone’s
I have also tried Nature Zone’s bearded dragon treats. These are moistened cube like treats, and not everyday food. I believe they are prickly pear flavored.

I didn’t have to much success with these. Even though, I thought they looked very appetizing, my dragon thought other wise. I don’t want to go by just that one experience, because the bearded dragon I tried it with was a very picky eater.   I know that there are a lot of sources that say bearded dragons are ravenous eats, but I know first hand that this is not always the case.

How to Offer Bearded Dragon Food?

I like to offer the bearded dragon food every day. I put it in my dragon’s food dish with their greens and vegetables. This allows them to free feed on it whenever they want to. Basically, that is all you really have to do with this.

You can also try hand feeding some of the larger foods to your dragon if you desire. Offering food or a treat is a good way to help hand tame your dragon. Be careful not to get bit!

Most of the bearded dragon food is dry and can benefit from having some sort of moisture added to them. You can either soak them or spray them, what I like to do, with water.

You can also use fruit juice to add moisture and maybe even make them a little more appetizing. If you use fruit juice, it would be best to use the kind that are 100% juice. While juice may increase how appetizing the food is, it may also make it unappetizing to some dragons. You never know how every dragon will react.

Can I Feed Bearded Dragon Food Exclusively?

You might be able to as long as you provide greens, vegetables and plenty of water. Though, I think that it is still best to give your dragon some live prey every now and then.

As your dragon gets older and has past the rapid growing stage of juvenile, it might be a more viable option. I think, though, if you have a young dragon, it is best to feed crickets supplemented with calcium and vitamins.

You can offer juvenile bearded dragon food at this time, but I don’t know if it would be a good idea to exclusively feed only on dry pellets.

I know that it might seem easier to throw some food in a bowl and put it in your dragon’s cage, but it probably isn’t the best thing. One of the things with owning a bearded dragon is the time it takes to feed them. It definitely gets easier as they get older and don’t require as much food.

I think with an older dragon, you can get by with a dry food diet. You will probably want to offer crickets, waxworms, or mealworms once or twice a week for a treat.

There is some concern though, about the amount of water your dragon will receive, if fed on exclusively dry pellets.

Bearded dragon food on average will only contain about 10-12% water. Where as live feeders contain about 60-70% water.

If you do use dry pellets, you need to make sure that your bearded dragon is getting plenty of water. Bearded dragon can suffer from kidney disease from chronic dehydration (Phillipe de Vosjoli, The Bearded Dragon Manual, 2001).

Conclusion

I really like to use the bearded dragon food that is on the market. I like to keep some in a food dish with my bearded dragon’s greens and vegetables so they can free feed if they want to.

Whether your dragon will accept commercial food, will all depend on them. Try one, make sure you give your dragon a chance to get used to it before giving up. If they don’t seem to like that particular one, you can always try another.

I don’t recommend using just dry pelletized food. It can serve as half of your dragons diet along with greens, vegetables and live feeders. Younger dragons that are growing rapidly will need the fats, and protein received from crickets. You can offer it to younger dragons though, if you desire.

An older dragon should do fairly well with a diet of greens, vegetables, bearded dragon food and occasionally live feeders as treats. Also, make sure that your dragon receives enough water, if you are using dry pellets as a big part of their diet.

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