If you have a Leopard Gecko you may be wondering what food is best for him. But what about freeze-dried crickets, are they a good idea?
Yes, you can feed your Leopard Gecko freeze-dried crickets. However, this is not ideal and should be offered occasionally rather than their staple. Live insects are a better option for Leos. This is more natural for them and in line with their hunting instinct.
Now that you understand that these dried crickets are ok, but not ideal, let me continue to explain why live insects are a better idea if you can simulate live behavior in dried crickets and so much more. Keep reading.
Earlier I mentioned that live crickets is a better choice thank freeze-dried. But, you may be wondering why this even makes a difference, right? Well, here are the main reasons:
One of the benefits of live food is these insects will naturally feed themselves to survive. This means that right up until they are fed to your Leo they a packed with nutrients.
Gut loading is a method used to force nutrients, basically pe-feeding the insects with vegetables, before feeding them to your Leo. When they are freeze-dried this can happen (more on this later), but only up until the point they were dried and frozen.
With live food they can eat right up until the point when your Leo consumes them, are you with me?
You may find that many Lepard Geckos will not even want to eat anything that is not Live. This is because it is their natural instinct to eat live insects. There are ways to help trick them into eating freeze-dried crickets (more on this later). But, it is not guaranteed for all Leos.
Leos are natural hunters. The movement of crickets will catch their attention and make them feel compelled to attack and prey on them. Feeding them these Live insects will keep them practiced on hunting and keep in line with their natural instincts.
Earlier I mentioned that you can trick your Leo into thinking that the dried crickets are moving. This is an attempt to entice them to eat the freeze-dried version.
Basically you can use some tongs or another item to hold the cricket. The idea is to make it seem that the cricket is moving. Some Leos will go for this. But, to be honest it may be hit and miss. Some might, some won’t.
Earlier I explained why gut loading is used, as a method to pre-feed crickets with nutrients. However, many Leopard Gecko owners are encouraged to dust their pets, but why is this even necessary?
This is because gut loading only helps with part of the puzzle. Many experts have acknowledged that these insects may not meet their entire calcium and vitamin requirements.
So, they will need some supplementation to help to meet this need. This is where dusting comes in. This supplement is brushed onto your Leo to boost its calcium and/or vitamin needs.
There are other methods to get calcium into the crickets (Click here to check the availability on Amazon) and some owners prefer this method.
Earlier I explained why and how gut loading is used to pre-feed crickets and other insects, prior to feeding them to your Leo. But, is it really necessary?
Yes, gut loading the crickets is necessary. If you think about the natural cycle of insects in the wild, what happens? They eat, grow and multiply, right?
This natural urge to eat is nature’s way of providing your Leo with food. Because they are next in line in the food chain. In a domestic pet setup, we are obviously leading an artificial version of nature. Therefore nature should be emulated as much as possible, right?
So, this is why gut loading is done. It keeps the insects alive and well. And, in turn, provides your Leo with a nutritious meal.
The amount of crickets required for your Leo heavily depends on their age. While they are young and growing, you will need to keep them regularly feed. But this will slow down as they get into their adult years.
As a guide, while they are hatchlings, they may consume up to seven crickets each day. They can also consume larger food items a few times a week.
However, as they get older, over 12 months roughly, they may only consume up to seven crickets up to three times a week.
So far you have learned about the viability of freeze-dried crickets and how they stand up when compared to live crickets, etc. But, with that being said, when is a good time to feed them? Just anytime, or is there an optimal time for this?
The best time to feed them is after their day time sleep. Ideally around about 8PM. This is because Leos are active about this time and like to eat when they rise.
Do you like to eat breakfast when you rise? Exactly, the same concept for Leos. This is why this time is ideal for them. And, increases the chances of them eating all the crickets that you have provided for them.
Yes, you can feed your leopard gecko a combination of live and freeze-dried crickets. But, if this the direction you wish to take, you should make live food a priority.
The reason for this is for the same points stressed earlier. It is more nutritious, in line with their natural instincts and keeps their hunting instincts sharp, are you with me?
Just understand this, you may still need to entice him to eat the freeze-dried option using the same tactics I mentioned earlier.
You may have heard before that it is not a good idea to leave insects in the enclosure after your Leo has eaten. But, you may be wondering why this is even such an issue, right?
Well, it’s actually quite important for the following reasons:
Once your pet has finished eating its fill of crickets, some novice owners will just leave the live insects to roam around. But, this is not a good idea. Why? Because these crickets are feisty and will start to nibble on your Leo.
As you can imagine, this is not good for your Leo and open wounds can also lead to other infections, which intern, will result in you having to pick up the costs.
Earlier I explained why dusting these crickets is required. Now, this is all well and good if your Leo eats them in a timely manner. Basically, right away. But, if you leave them roaming around, this will start to wear off them.
On a one-off occasion, this is fine. But, on a regular basis, this can lead to deficiencies.
Earlier, I explained the benefits of feeding your Leo live insects, instead of freeze-dried versions. But, it is important to say that some of these freeze-dried variants are actually gut-loaded as well.
For example, some of these crickets are gut loaded with calcium supplementation (Click here to check the price on Amazon) They are typically gut loaded with this, along with any other offerings before they are dried and frozen.
The idea is to lock in the nutrients at the point of freezing. It makes sense, but it is unlikely to match the benefit of live crickets.
In this section, I will answer some questions related to Leopard Geckos, crickets and their feeding habits. If you have more questions that need to be answered, feel free to drop a comment below.
No, Leopard geckos should not eat lettuce. This is because they are insectivores. They get their nutrients from the insects directly. This is the reason why it is important to supplement the insects when they are kept domestically. This is to ensure that they get their required nutrition.
Yes, Leopard Geckos will eat ants. In fact, they will eat almost any insect they can get their hands on, which is the right size for their consumption. Crickets are one of their staples, but ants will definitely be eaten by them.
To give you an idea of the different types of insects they will consume, they have been known to eat flies, beetles, butterflies even wasps have been tackled.
If you have a leopard Gecko, no doubt you want to check everything before you give it to him. Water is one of those important things you need to check.
Yes, leopard geckos can drink bottled water. In fact, many geckos are fine with bottled or tap water. If there is some concerns about it, such as possible chlorine content, spring water can be used as a possible replacement, especially if he is sensitive.
Now that you understand that bottled water is ok, let me go on to explain if it is reliable, the concerns some people have with tap water, why you should have a shallow dish for the bottled water and so much more…
So far you know that bottled water is ok for your Leo. But, it is important to understand what you are using. There is a chance that some bottled water is not as pure as you think. What do I mean by this?
Well, there is a chance that it can include chlorine or even chloramine. While this is not necessarily a problem (more on this later), it is important to understand exactly what you are getting.
The reality is, some people assume that bottled water is the ultimate pure product, but this is not always the case. And, it varies heavily on the brand that you use.
Leos require their water served in a dish, ideally a shallow dish (Click here to check availability on Amazon). This serves three purposes:
First and full most, your Leo needs a regular supply of water to drink. Therefore, this dish will help him get that necessary supply of water. Make sure that the water is replenished regularly because he won’t like dirty water.
As well as drinking, he will benefit from the dish for humidity (Click here to see how to lower the humidity in a Leo’s enclosure). This will help to regulate the humidity basically. However, understand that this can only help with humidity, it is not the full solution.
This may seem a bit weird to you. You know, why would your Leo soak in the same water it drinks? Well, it may sound weird to you, but this is just what they do. It helps them keep themselves cool when required.
Also, when they are shedding, this will help them go through the process easier. Because an incomplete shed is painful and a big problem for some lizards.
As I mentioned earlier, an incomplete shed is painful for Leo’s, so anything that you can do to aid the process, is greatly appreciated.
Firstly, as discussed earlier, providing a water dish big enough for soaking (Click here to check the price on Amazon) is very important.
Another trick that you can use is to let your Leo soak in warm water. This will help them shrug off any excess skin during the shredding process. For this to be effective it needs to be more than once. Ideally, you need to consider two or even three times a week, are you with me?
As I mentioned briefly earlier, some Leo owners are a bit anxious when the word “tap water” comes up. But why is this?
The main reason is the unknown chemicals used during the cleanup process to make it drinkable for us humans. In fact, we all should take an interest in what we drink, not just for the care of our Leo’s, but that’s another story.
By far, the biggest concern is the chlorine content. This is one of the known chemicals used to clean up the water for human consumption.
Some of these concerns have stemmed from fish and amphibians. This is because they are known to be sensitive to tap water. And, this fact makes other pet owners ask questions before using it, are you with me?
Aside from this, is the fact that some areas are unlucky and may have contaminated water. This is often impossible to detect until years later after studies have been done.
Regarding chlorinated water, such as ta water. other objections exist, some minor, others are more significant. such as:
As you can imagine this is a more minor concern but worth mentioning. Some humans feel that this type of water has a weird taste. Obviously this is subjective. And, is this a concern for Leopard Geckos? Well, it hasn’t been proven.
Another issue is using unapproved water sources such as outdoor pipes. You know, maybe that rusty old pipe in your back garden?
The issue with these is, they may contain lead or other dissolved solids because they are not qualified water sources. And, most definitely not to be used for you or your Leopard Gecko.
If you have a glass enclosure (Click here to see why I selected this glass enclosure), chlorinated water can be a concern. This is more of a cosmetic issue, but considering a glass enclosure is all about aesthetics, it is a big deal.
Basically, the minerals in the water can cause hard water streaks on the enclosure glass. Hence the reason some owners are wary of using it.
With all this talk about chlorine and concerns, it makes you wonder why even bother to have it in the water in the first place, right?
The reality is, it is claimed that it is necessary to treat the water to make it safe for use to consume. The assumption is that is safe for non-aquatic animals as well, I say “assumption” because others argue the case. The expectation is that these chemicals will be broken down as we (or the animal) digests the water.
Now that you understand the importance of having water in the enclosure, whether that’s bottled or tap. You may be wondering exactly what location should you place it? And does it really make a difference?
Yes, there is an optimal location to place the water in the enclosure. In fact, it should be located on the cool side of the enclosure.
Well, if it is on the hot side (more on this later) it will get hot and gradually evaporate, are you with me? This will mean there is a danger that your Leo will either will not have enough water or the water will be too warm, make sense.
If you are scratching your head wondering what I mean by the “cool side”. Basically the enclosure should have a hot or “basking area”. This where your Leo can warm up.
And, the cool side is where your Leo can cool off when required. This is where the water should be.
In this section, I will answer some questions that are related to Leopard Geckos, water & food consumption. If you have more questions, please feel free to drop a comment below.
No, distilled water is not good for Leopard Geckos. With all this talk about chlorinated water, and the concerns about it. Maybe you were thinking distilled water could be a safer option, right.
Lack of salt and Minerals
Well, no it isn’t. The main issue with distilled water is the lack of salt and minerals. These elements are typically dissolved in natural water and offer big benefits to your Leopard Gecko. But, none of this is contained in distilled water, hence the reason why it is not ideal.
You can tell if your Leopard Gecko is dehydrated by its skin (maybe wrinkled, trouble shedding, flaky or lost elasticity), eyes (maybe sunken), energy (lack of it) or its feces (reduced frequency or constipated).
Understanding which type of water is just one thing, but making sure you give your Leo enough water is another important factor.
Yes, Leopard Geckos need baths. But, this should be done sparingly. You should only really consider bathing him if he is really dirty, been instructed by your vet or he has difficulty shedding, If you bath him too much he can get dry skin and attract diseases.
No, Leopard Geckos do not get lonely. In fact, Leo’s are known to be solitary, meaning they often enjoy their own company. This follows the trend of most reptiles, not being sociable. You may find if they are mixed they will fight.
If you have seen a weird white looking excretion in your Leopard Geckos tank, you may be wondering when do they actually pee, right?
Yes, Leopard Geckos do pee. But, it is not like our urine. In fact, it’s not liquid. It is a white substance called urates. It is a white powder that appears to be solid. It is designed to conserve water in the wild.
Now that you know how they pee, you may also be wondering what the benefits are if they can pee without pooping, the dangers of white looking urates, and so much more. Keep reading.
As you may already know, Leopard Geckos are from dry areas. Also known as “Arid”. So, they have evolved to master how to survive in these areas. With the emphasis on water (Click here to see if Leo’s can use bottled water) conservation.
The biggest benefit is their ability to conserve water, which is at a premium in their natural habitat. So, in these hot dry areas they can survive longer with less water, are you with me?
In addition to these, they get to get rid of unwanted chemicals such as uric acid.
By now you should understand the benefits of these urates, why it is necessary for their natural habitat, etc. However, if you have not seen these urates before you may be curious to understand roughly what they look like, right?
If you haven’t seen them before, let me explain, they should look white, soft to touch, but a solid structure. It is usually white one end, then whit the other.
This is because when she urates, it is usually followed up with poop, same time. So, one end should be white, for the urates. And, the other end should be brownish. I say “should”, because this is not always the case, sometimes the urates may look yellow (more on this later).
Earlier I explained that you should expect to see urates accompanied by feces. Meaning you would expect to see a white color one end, followed by a brown color. But what happens if you just see a white solid substance, should you be alarmed?
The answer is not necessarily. This is because there are certain times when this is to be expected. In particular, during the breeding season. The reason for this is, during this period there may be extended periods where the female and male Leo will stop eating.
So, as you would expect, if there is no eating, there is no feces expected during this time, are you with me? So, don’t be alarmed if this is the case, during this period.
If you have noticed yellow-colored urates from your Lepard Gecko, there is a good chance that he is feeling dehydrated. If this is the case, you may be wondering how you can work around this.
One of the best ways to avoid this is to make sure that you provide regular freshwater. This is essential so that they have the option to keep themselves hydrated.
During the breeding season, you may notice the male or female Leo stop eating. However, it is still important to provide water during this time. This will avoid hydration during this important time.
Because Leo’s do not always drink as much as they should do, you may find that your pet will get most of her hydration from the food she eats. Therefore, gut loading (Click here to see how and why you should be gut loading) is important.
If you have never heard of gut loading, it is a method of pre-feeding the insects that you plan to feed to your Leo. This will fill them full of nutrients and help them hydrate her.
If you have discovered some Urates for the first time, or you are just looking for better ways to handle it, you are in luck. Because I am going to explain how you can clean it up as easy as possible.
If you use paper towel substrate then this is good news. This is because you can easily utilize these paper towels to your advantage. If you have had a Leo for a while, you may agree that they tend to poop in the same location of the enclosure. This helps because you know where to find the mess.
You can simply locate the poop, then fold up the towel, containing the poop. Then simply discard it. This is a simple way forward.
If you use other substrates (Click here for the best substrate for Leopard Gecko eggs), such as tiles, you need a different cleaning solution.
One of the biggest errors lizard owners make is trying to clear it up immediately after it’s been dropped. This is the worst time by the way. Why? Simple, it will be runny and likely to smear and dirty the tank, are you with me?
Therefore, a better solution is to be patient. Wait for a short while. Once it naturally hardens, you can scoop it up and dispose of it easily, make sense?
In this section, I will be answering some questions related to Leopard Geckos, urates and poop. If you have any other related questions please feel free to leave a comment below.
No, they do not eat their own poop. Maybe you have heard rumors that Leos are known for eating their own Poop. But, where did these rumors come from?
Not sure, but I can say that it not based on fact. One thing though, they may be inclined to hide their poop in the substrate. So, it is a good idea to look out for it in the enclosure.
The poop may stink because it has been left for a few days. If it is cleaned up right away it will stop the smell. It is important to look carefully for the poop because Leos can hide their poop.
If you are worried about taking on a Leo because of their smell. You may be anxious wondering if it will stink out the house. Which is understandable, who really wants this? Hopefully, now you know, it’s not too much of an issue, as long as they are managed correctly.
Your Gecko may pee on you because she is scared of you, and feels that you may be a predator. Her natural reaction is fear until she is conditioned to trust you. If she is new, give her time to adjust.
Yes, some Leopard Geckos do poop every day. However, there are others that vary. Younger Leos tend to go two or three times, and other older ones may only go two or three times a week. The food intake is a factor too.
Put it this way, if you feed your Leo a lot of food each day, then there is a good chance that she will poop more often, make sense?
No, Leopard geckos will not eat fruit and vegetables. They are carnivores and will mainly consume insects such as crickets, mealworms, super worms, and even roaches. They get most of their nutrients from these insects. But, supplementation is also required.
Yes, you can overfeed a Leopard Gecko. However, most Leo’s will naturally stop when they have had enough. But, unfortunately, there are some greedy ones that won’t. Therefore, you need to look out for them to avoid overfeeding and obesity.
If you are a responsible Bearded Dragon owner, the chances are you want the best for him. Meaning, you are likely to be focused on feeding him only the best food for him. But, what about eggs?
Yes, Bearded dragons can eat eggs. But, it should not be in large quantities. The reason for this is, it is high in protein. Too much protein for an adult Beardie is not good for them.
Now that you know that they can eat eggs, let me explain exactly what an egg is made of, how to prepare the egg, if you wish to serve it up, parts of the egg you must not serve up and much more. Keep reading…
According to Wikipedia, an egg is an organic entity, which contains zygote. An embryo is developed and grows until it can survive on its own. It is actually produced from the fertilization of an egg cell.
If you are wondering exactly what is in an egg, I have compiled some facts about their contact, according to Wikipedia – This is based on a 100g sample:
As you may already know, eggs have a hard outer shell that protects them from impact. Obviously, it is not the strongest of materials. However, it does protect them never the less.
This hardshell is primarily made from calcium carbonate crystals. From the outside, it may look like a solid unpenetrable material. However, in reality, it is penetrable.
In fact, it is known as a semipermeable material. This basically means that water and even air can pass through it. This is important for the growth and survival of the contents of the egg.
It also has a thin outer layer known as the cuticle. This is important because it helps to guard the egg. From what? Well, believe it or not, there are varies forms of bacteria that can threaten to penetrate the egg. Therefore, this outer layer can help to protect, as well as keeping dust particles out.
If you are keen on serving up some eggs for your Beardie, you may be wondering what is the best way to prepare these eggs, right?
Firstly, you need to make sure that you never offer any raw eggs, they need to be cooked. As well as this, avoid any seasoning, oil or butter. I know this may seem a bit different to how you prepare your eggs, but your Beardie cannot tolerate these extra ingredients, are you with me?
The best, and easiest way, to prepare eggs is boiling or scrambling them. Boiling goes without saying though, right? As for scrambling:
Remember, NO additional salt, pepper, seasoning, butter or oil, got it?
No, bearded dragons should not eat eggshells. Sometimes, while you prepare eggs, you get the odd piece of shell in there. Sometimes, if it’s us eating it, you can get away with just eating it (Well I have, anyway).
But, when it comes to our bearded friends, it’s not a good idea. The reason is, it can lead to impaction problems.
If you have not heard of that before, it basically blocks their system, often occurs with poor choices in substate choices in substate (Click here to see why I rate these 3 Bearded Dragon substrates). It’s important to get the right one.
Earlier I stated that too much protein is bad for a bearded Dragon. To expand on this, when they are young it is not too bad. Why? Because they need more protein when they are younger. In fact, they are usually fed live insects most days at this stage.
However, as they get older they require less protein. In fact, their diet will typically consist of more vegetables, in particular, leafy greens, once they reach adulthood.
At this stage, if they are feed too much protein they run the danger of getting fat and susceptible to diseases such as fatty liver, or obesity.
Yes, Bearded dragons can eat scrambled eggs. However, like eggs in general, it needs to be done in moderation.
Think of it this way, we all know that fast food is bad for us right? So, when is the last time you ate a burger, pizza or kebab? Exactly!
My point is this, scrambled eggs is really not ideal, but it can be done in moderation, are you with me? You know, you may be short of veg one day and you Beardie needs feeding.
Maybe, in this situation, you might just give him some scrambled eggs “for now”, until you get to the shops with more veg, are you with me?
No, bearded dragons should not eat raw egg, not ever! This is a big NO. Also, while we are on this note. Never consider feeding them unboiled eggshells either. In fact, eggshells should be avoided anyway, to be honest.
The main reason for this is the bacteria. Eggs are rife with bacteria when they are raw. But, when they are cooked, this kills the bacteria. So, eating it raw is not a good idea for us humans or Beardies.
In this section, I will be answering some questions related to Bearded Dragons and food. If you have any other related questions, please feel free to leave me a comment below.
Yes, Bearded Dragons do lay eggs. In fact, the female Beardie is even known to lay eggs without mating. But why is this? The reason for this is she can lay infertile eggs. You see, the male is required to fertilize the eggs, for the “magic” to happen.
There are some occasions, that can confuse some lizard owners, where they see their female lay fertilized eggs without any sight of a male. The chances are, this has happened because a male was there at some point, without you seeing it. Or, maybe they are really not fertilized eggs, are you with me?
No, Bearded dragons do not chew their food. This is why it is important to feed them food that is correctly sized. Why? Because, if the food is too big it can choke them.
But, what is the right size? Well, a general guide, for most lizards, is to not feed them any food item that s longer than the distance between their eyes, are you with me?
No, you should not feed your bearded dragon bacon. To be honest, they may attempt to eat it if it’s offered, but that’s not the point.
Well, bacon is full of fat and salt, both of which are not good for your beardie. It offers no nutritional value and negatively affects its health. Are you with me?
Yes, Bearded Dragons can eat Kiwi. But, it should not be its staple food. Meaning, it should only be a rare treat, at best. Why? The main reason for this is the high amount of oxalic acid it contains. This is not god for its calcium levels.
Think of it in the same manner as scrambled eggs, that we discussed earlier. Yes, your beardie will probably devour this Kiwi, but it doesn’t mean its good for him. It is, again, similar to my fast food analogy (see above).
If you are keen to avoid feeding your Beardie the wrong foods (Click here for my best guide to stop this happening) you are probably keen to see if clementines are a good idea.
Can bearded dragons eat Clementines? No, it is not a good idea to give bearded dragons clementines. The reason being, it contains too much acid and sugars, which is not ideal for them. Also, the calcium to phosphorus ratio is not optimal for Beardies.
Now that you know why they are not good for your beardie I will go on to explain why Beardies persist with eating clementines, even though they are not ideal, alternatives that you can and cannot use, and much more…
You may be wondering exactly what a clementine is. Sometimes these fruits are confused with other similar looking fruits, such as satsumas, etc.
A Clementine is actually a hybrid between a mandarin orange and a sweet orange. In my opinion, it looks like a small tangerine. It has orange skin with an array of fruit segments (Usually up to approx 12).
Earlier I mentioned how they get confused with tangerines. This may have led you to think, what exactly is the difference between a tangerine and a clementine?
The differences are, a tangerine is typically harder to peel than a tangerine. You will notice this if you attempt to peel both of them.
Also, there is a size difference between them. If you put a tangerine in your left hand and a clementine in your right, you would immediately notice the difference between these two.
Chances are you here because you have heard rumors about citrus fruits. And the fact that they are not good for bearded dragons.
It may lead you to hope that a clementine is an exception. The reality is, as I have confirmed, it is not an exception and you should not give it to your bearded dragon.
But, why exactly? well, there are a few reasons…
Firstly they have a high acidic level which is not ideal for the expected dietary balance of a bearded dragon.
Also, due to this and other elements within the Clementine, it can cause diarrhea. Not nice at all. And, not something that you really want to be cleaning up, are you with me?
Finally, the last issue is the calcium to phosphorus ratio. The calcium to phosphorus ratio in a clementine is not ideal for bearded dragons and this is another factor.
So, as you know, a clementine is a citrus fruit and for these are the reasons why it is not a good idea.
So far I have mentioned citrus a few times in this article. And, if you are not sure what citrus is, it is only natural that you may be wondering exactly what it is.
To clarify, citrus is actually a genus of plants and shrubs. These plants are also part of the Rue family, according to Wikipedia. As one would assume, the fruits that they produce are known as citrus fruits.
One of the confusing things about clementines and bearded dragons is the conflicting information you get. Some say they are fine with clementines, others don’t agree. And, to add to this, you may even witness a Beardie eating one without any problems.
So, it is a good question to ask, why are they eating clementines if it is bad for them?
The easiest way to explain this is to compare it to us humans. How many times have you eaten some fast food?
The reality is, regardless if you are willing to admit it or not, we are all likely to have had fast food at some point in our life, or even a sugary cake, are you with me?
However, deep down, we know that these are bad for us, right? And, we know it really has little to no nutritional benefit for us, right?.
So, my point is this, in the wild, bearded dragons may come across a clementine. and yes, it may take a bite of it. It may even taste delicious, to be honest. But, in the wild, what are the chances of him finding that same clementine tree again?
In the wild they have to hunt for food and food is not guaranteed.
However, in the domestic world lizard owners will give their bearded dragons a set diet again and again.
If the bearded dragon owner in question has a bad idea about what is good for their pet. They will feed it these things, such as clementines or oranges over and over again.
Unfortunately, in the domestic world, our pets are typically overfed. And, they can be fed these bad foods over and over again routinely. Mainly because of lack of knowledge, or laziness.
So, the short answer is, bearded dragons will eat almost anything you put in front of them but it doesn’t mean that is good for them.
Because you now know that clementines are not a good idea, you may be wondering what you can substitute it with.
Humans typically substitute clementines with mandarins. However, much like clementines, are still not a good idea for a bearded dragon. This is for the same reason as clementines. They are acidic, have high sugar content, etc.
The mandarin is a close relative of the orange fruit. All of these citrus fruits have the same related problem, as discussed earlier, which comes down to the sugars and acidic levels. Also, the calcium to phosphorus ratio.
After all of this talk about citrus fruits, you may, quite rightly, start to question if any fruits are good for your bearded dragon. The answer to this, yes they can and should eat fruits, but it needs to be a very small percentage of their diet.
To put this into perspective, in the next section I will give you a breakdown of the expected proportions, and how their age plays a factor.
In the previous section, I talked about the fact that fruits need to be given to your bearded dragon. But, in small doses. let me explain…
Bearded dragons are omnivores. Meaning they will eat meat, fruit, and vegetables. The younger bearded dragons will start off with a mix of approximately 80% meat with 20% fruit and vegetables.
However, as they get older this completely reverses. Meaning an adult bearded dragon will eat a lot more fruit and vegetables than meat.
To be precise, approximately 80% fruit and veg 20% meat. And when I say meet I mean insects. However, understand these proportions are for fruit and veg, not just fruit. So, it doesn’t mean that you feed your adult bearded dragon 80% fruit, are you with me?
This is why I mentioned earlier, that fruit should only really be a small part of their diet. The majority of their day-to-day calories should come from vegetables, such as leafy greens, but more on this in the next section.
You may be wondering what fruits are good for your bearded dragon if they cannot eat clementines or any citrus fruits. The following fruits are good for bearded dragons.
According to Wikipedia, Papayas are also known as Pawpaw or papaya. And they are part of the family Caricaceae. They originate from the tropical areas of the Americas such as Mexico and Central America.
You may have heard rumors that papayas have very good health benefits for humans. And you may be wondering about this.
The rumors state that papayas help to reduce cholesterol, rich in fiber, antioxidants and have good vitamin c content. Some people regard them as superfoods. and generally has a bit of hype around the word.
As well as the actual segments, which we have already dismissed, there is the actual peel, which we have not discussed. You know, the part that protects the segments of the fruit.
Before we go any further, no, bearded dragons cannot eat clementine fruit peel. The reason for this is the peel is typically covered in pesticides.
Especially when sold domestically. Feeding this directly to your bearded dragon is dangerous because it will make give them an unwanted dose of these pesticides, which needs to be avoided. Like most things, their are many foods they can and cannot eat (Click here to see if Beardies can eat eggs).
If you are going to be feeding your bearded dragon fruit on a regular basis. It is important that you maintain these fruits in your lizard’s enclosure.
What do I mean by this? Basically, food such as fruit has a tendency to rot very quickly. I mean, fruit rotting is good in the scheme of things. Because it means it breaks down well and it’s good for the environment.
But, for your enclosure, it could be a challenge. Because your bearded dragon needs to have a clean, well-maintained enclosure. This is to keep him happy and healthy.
Therefore, you need to continuously check the enclosure for rotten fruits and remove them immediately. from the enclosure to keep him happy.
If you have a Beardie, no doubt you love him and are thinking of the best foods to feed him (Click here to learn how to avoid making big mistakes with your beardie with this guide). One unexpected food that owners usually get confused about is dandelions…
Can Bearded Dragons eat Dandelion Leaves? Yes, Bearded Dragons can eat Dandelion leaves. In fact, they can eat the flowers and leaves. However, I would suggest that you remove the stem before serving them up.
Now that you know that you can feed him dandelions, let me go on to explain if you can pick up these dandelions from just anywhere if they are deemed as “weeds”, why they go white and much more…
Now that you understand that Beardies can eat them, you may be wondering what are the real benefits of them doing this? Well, they actually contain quite a few minerals (more on this later) and vitamins that are beneficial to beardies.
The reality is, these benefits are not just restricted to lizards, they are also good for us humans as well.
No, it is not a good idea to collect dandelions from any old random place. This is because some dandelions may be laced with pesticides, herbicides or other fertilizers, are you with me?
Therefore, it is a good idea to get them when you know you can trust the source. For example, you can find dandelion greens in superstores or some health stores.
Before we go any further, let me clarify exactly what dandelions are, to avoid any confusion or assumptions. According to wikipedia, dandelions are actually a species of the Taraxacum genus. Which is part of the Asteraceae family.
Dandelions are native to North America and Eurasia. However, there are two very common dandelion species that were actually introduced from Europe. These species are Taraxacum Officinale and Taraxacum Erythrospermum. They now grow wildly in Europe and are quite popular.
Yes, dandelions are technically weeds. However, they are not just weeds. In the western world they are consumed as food and are quite popular for the health-conscious.
In fact, as discussed earlier, you can pick them up in superstores and health stores. They can be boiled up as a refreshing tea drink or even eaten raw.
You may be wondering if you can feed your bearded dragon dandelions as a staple. I would not regard them as a staple for your bearded dragon’s diet. In my opinion, crickets would be more regarded as a staple.
However, I would say that dandelions are an excellent addition to your beardies’ diet and should definitely be included on a regular basis.
Dandelions are a good source of vitamins such as vitamins A, C, and K. Not many people know this but you can eat them cooked raw or even boil them into tea, as mentioned earlier.
Even if we put the vitamins aside for a second, they also include important minerals such as iron, magnesium, and calcium.
The root of a dandelion is also beneficial because it has good fiber. This is advantageous to the intestinal tract.
These Seeds are commonly known as parachutes. you may be wondering why they are called this. I get it, because on the surface this name doesn’t make any logical sense, right?
The reason for this name is the way that they actually propagate. What I mean by this is the life cycle of dandelions. In particular, the transition from those beautiful yellow petals to the white puffballs yo may be used to seeing.
With time, as they mature, these yellow petals wither away and become whitish looking puffs. These “parachutes” will then inevitably fly away with the wind. And, the seeds within them will move, take root and the cycle continues.
There are many greens that can be considered for your bearded dragon. However, to give you an idea of these it can be simple things such as collard greens or even beet greens, etc.
In this section, I am going to answer some questions related to Bearded dragons and dandelions. If you have more unanswered questions in your mind feel free to drop a comment below.
Bearded dragons may have parasites on their skin which can pass on to you through hand contact. In most cases these parasites offer not much risk to your bearded dragon. But, they can manifest into different issues for us humans.
Therefore, to be safe it is advisable to always wash your hands after coming into contact with them. To be perfectly honest this should be standard for any pet that you handle, right?
This can be anything from once a day too to once a week. Unfortunately, bearded dragons have quite a wide range of frequency when it comes to elimination.
Like us humans, their frequency largely depends on their diet. For example, if your bearded dragon has a diet which consists of a lot of silkworms, which are typically high in calcium, then there is a good chance he will eliminate more frequently.
Therefore, it’s important that you consider the general energy levels of your beardie, and not just focus on hi poop frequency when assessing his general wellbeing.
Many people ask if Beardies can eat clementines (Click here for the full article). According to some owners on this forum, you can, but they advise in moderation. However, I wouldn’t advise it. The reason for this is the acidic levels in clementines is not great for them. Therefore, in my opinion, it’s better to avoid them. Because there are so many other things available.
As discussed earlier, this is part of their process to propagate these seeds and to continue the life cycle of the dandelion. The seeds will float into other areas and their seeds form into other dandelions.
No, bearded dragons should not be fed cheese. I guess you may be wondering why right? Well, it is to do with the nutritional break down of cheese. In particular, its the calcium.
Whilst calcium is an important part of their diet, cheese takes calcium to the next level. Meaning, it is just too calcium-rich for them. There are other safer ways for them to get calcium, so it is a good idea to avoid cheese completely.
20 to 50 a day if he is a juvenile. However, this varies with age. Why? This is because when they are older they tend to consume less protein and increase their veg intake. in this guide, it explains the correct food to give to your beardie to keep him happy.
No. But, on some rare occasions, if the crickets are too big, a Beardie can choke on a cricket. This is not really a cricket specific issue, it could happen with any incorrectly sized food item. Even for us humans.
As a general rule, you should not feed your Beardie any food item that is greater than the distance from each eye, are you with me?
No. You should not leave crickets in with your Bearded Dragon. But, why? Well, these crickets, as harmless as they may seem, can start to feast on your Beardie by nibbling on him if left in the enclosure.
Therefore, it is critical to clear them out immediately after your Beardie has finished eating.
Q: Should their crickets be dusted?
Yes, calcium supplementation dust will help to keep your Beardie healthy. It is a similar concept to gut loading super worms (Click here for full article), it needs to be done to add more nutritional value.
If you are a fan of panther chameleons you may be wondering how long they live, and the best way to care for them (Click here to see my best enclosures for Panther Chameleons to keep them happy), but how long can they live?
How long do panther Chameleons live? They live 7 to 8 years on average. However, females are expected to live less than this mainly because of laying eggs (more on this later). How they are treated makes a big difference in their life expectancy, as you can expect.
Now that you know roughly how long they live, let me go on to explain why the female is not expected to live as long, how breeding affects their life, how long till they get their colors and much more.
As discussed earlier panther chameleons can live 7 to 8 years. However, like us humans, how we treat our bodies plays a big factor in that. Therefore you can expect a well looked after panther to live longer, remember the figure I stated is an average.
I also mentioned that females live younger, on average. This is because their bodies receive a lot more stress. Mainly due to breeding. They breed every year and this takes a toll on their bodies.
The interesting fact about females, and life expectancy. Is the stress their bodies with breeding even if there is not a male around, really? Yes, really.
This is because, even if there is not a male to fertilize their eggs, they just go ahead and lay the unfertilized eggs.
With a relatively short life, you may be wondering how long they take to get those beautiful colors that you may have heard about.
It will take at least 18 months for them to get these colors. However, it can be quite confusing for some owners. Why? Because by the age of approx 6 months they will be displaying some lovely vibrant colors.
And, you may be fooled into thinking that they have fully developed their colors. But, this is not the case. They are not fully there yet. Again, in a few more months, say about 9 or 10 months, you may be fooled again for similar reasons. But, until they are at least 18 months, they have not fully developed their colors.
So far you have learned how long panthers live for and why the female has the raw deal. But, what about feeding them, to keep them happy and maximizing their life expectancy?
According to this site, they should not be fed too much. This may sound like a weird thing to say, I guess. But, they suggest that in the wild, they cannot guarantee regular food, due to the restraints of hunting, etc.
Therefore in captivity, it is not recommended to overfeed them. Therefore, the recommendation is approx four times a week.
Earlier we talked briefly about how the female has the raw deal. With the extra stresses of laying eggs, etc. But how often is this egg-laying?
Once the female panther chameleon reaches sexual maturity, they are expected to lay eggs each year. And, unfortunately, are expected to die only a few years after they are done with egg-laying.
To give you an idea, they are expected to drop between five and eight clutches of eggs in their lifetime. And, each clutch can have quite a few eggs. But, to be more precise, each cutch can have anywhere from 15 to 35 eggs (give or take a few).
The eggs take quite a while to hatch as well. according to Wikipedia, they typically take 240 days to hatch, wow! Quite a while. If you think about it logically, the female spends the majority of her adult life either laying, mating or hatching eggs.
Yes, a panther Chameleon can change color (Click here to see what a Chameleon’s Color Actually Mean). However, many people have an unrealistic understanding of what triggers a chameleon’s color changes.
Contrary to popular belief it is not based on camouflaging themselves to their environment. And, they can’t instantly change to any color to match their surroundings, even though it makes entertaining television thinking this happens, right?
Their color changes are based on their mood, temperature, and lighting. And, regarding them being perceived to change to any color. In reality, they have certain colors within their range actually. For example, if yellow is not in their range, they will never turn yellow, regardless if they standing next to a yellow object, no what I mean?
From time to time a female may come across an over-excited male, you know the type, eager to get his “mate on”. But, how does this damsel in distress deal with this beast on heat?
Simple, she literally raises her alarm! When I say alarm, I mean visually, rather than sound. Basically she will change color to some weird contrasting hues.
I am talking about black with pink, for example. In the panther cham’s world, it means something to the over-excited male. They usually get the hint at this point.
In some cases, it’s not because she is just not interested. She may also be gravid (carrying eggs) at the time.
In this section, I am going to answer some questions related to panther chameleons. If you have any questions that you feel have not been answered, then feel free to drop a comment below.
Yes, panther chameleons are aggressive. Especially male chameleons. In fact, not only are they aggressive to their own species, but they are also like this with other lizards.
The male is known to get so worked up about rival males that even his own reflection on a glass enclosure has been known to spark aggression. At this point, he will flare up his bright colors to show a clear warning sign.
Once these colors are displayed, If another male panther cham is in the vicinity it is likely to follow up with a fight for territory.
The Ambilobe is a sub-species of the panther chameleon. But, what is a sub-species? If you have researched chameleons before you may know that there are not only species of chameleons, such as the panther there are also sub-species such as the Masoala Panther Chameleon (Click here to learn more about them, Facts, Diet, Care, etc). They are ultimately still Panthers but may have certain color variations that are different, etc.
You may be wondering why the panther Chameleon is actually this, that is fair enough, I had the same question in my head until I discovered this. Let me explain…
According to this site, A Panther Chameleon’s scientific/particular name is “Furcifer Pardalis”. The “Pardalis” in their name stands for Leopard in Latin. This is because their skin has an interesting pattern that is spotted like a leopard.
In Africa, panther chameleons have black markings and black leopards are known as panthers. Hence the name Panther Chameleon.
No, Panther Chameleons do not like to be held. As much as you may love the idea of holding them. They tend to get stressed out by this. Therefore many owners have the understanding that they are not really a touchy-feely pet. And, they understand that should be just observed and enjoyed from a distance.
Their tongue is approximately twice their body length. It’s actually one of those weird facts about chameleons. The share size of it is amazing.
You may not be amazed right now, because it may be hard to compare to our tongues. But, lets put it like this. It’s almost like you walking around with a tongue that is about 12 foot in length, are you with me?
If you are a fan of beardie’s like me, you will be keen to offer them the right food (Click here to see what foods they should eat, and what to avoid), but what about meats such as Turkey?…
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Turkey? No, it’s not recommended. The reason is it has very little nutritional benefits for them and there are other more nutritional meats, such as insects that will better for them. Some keepers do feed it to their beardies, but mainly as an occasional treat.
Now that you know that turkey is not the best, let me explain to you exactly why turkey is not great, the exact nutritional benefits it offers, if the processed turkey is any better (hint: not much different) and other alternatives that are better suited, keep reading…
Earlier I mentioned that turkey is not a good idea. But, what is it, exactly that is wrong with turkey, from a nutritional perspective?
In general, it has more salt and fat than a Bearded dragon should be consuming. As I said, you can probably get away with it occasionally, but it should never be considered their staple diet. Later on I will list the nutritional content of the turkey to help you understand my point.
As they say, you are what you eat, but what exactly is a turkey, and how did it get that name? Let me explain…
According to Wikipedia a Turkey is a big bird and it’s from the Meleagris genus. It has a distinctive wattle that hangs down, looks like a piece of excess skin, are you with me?
The male is larger and has some stand-out colors. This trend of the male being more colorful has been seen in many other animals such as other species of lizards.
These turkeys are native to the Americas. You may be wondering, if that is the case how did they spread out to Europe and other areas? Well, in the 1500s they were introduced to Europe & Asia by Spanish sellers.
It is believed that one of their routes to get into Europe was via Turkey, and for that reason, the name stuck.
You may be wondering, what does turkey actually have in it? Have a look at the table below, compiled with the help of wikipedia (amount per 100g):
Now that you know that bearded dragons should avoid turkey, what meat sources can they actually eat is the obvious next question, right?
They can eat quite a wide variety of meat. This is typically in the form of live insects. However, some insects are better than others, as you would assume. Here are a few examples:
However, it does not just have to be live insects, it can also be animals such as pinky mice (but these are only a consideration for adult Beardies – but, more on pinky mice later).
So far I have explained some of the concerns with turkey and the meats that you would typically expect them to eat. But, even though the answer may be obvious right now, based on my last sections. What about turkey sliced meat, you know the one you usually put in sandwiches?
I get it, this type of meat is convenient, cheap and easy to get hold of. Also, you do not have to mess with live insects, right? I get the reasons why someone would be interested in. But, the short answer is no, Bearded dragons should not be fed turkey lunch sliced meat.
Why? Simple, it is packed with salt and fat (not as much fat at some meats, I get that, but still). These foods are even questionable for humans, to be honest (but that is whole other topic).
So, by now you should be getting the trend. And, you should definitely know that sliced turkey is a big no-no. But what about the ground turkey, surely that’s ok, right?
The short answer is no, Bearded dragons should not eat ground turkey. But, why? Well, if you look at things logically, is this something that is available in the wild, in their natural habitat?
Exactly, no it’s not. Therefore, it should not be considered as pet food in our domesticated environment. This is why live insects are good, they are more akin to their natural habitat, are you with me?
So far I have given many meat-related foods a kicking when it comes to feeding your bearded dragon. However, does this mean that no cooked food is an option?
Generally speaking, no, cooked food is not a good idea for Beardies. However, from time to time many lizard keepers do feed them this, for example, these owners discuss it. But, the point is, it should never be considered as an alternative to their main (staple) diet, such as vegetables and live insects.
As discussed, in moderation, many lizard keepers have fed their beardies cooked meat. But what happens if that cooked meat has seasoning on it (e.g. salt, pepper, spices)?
The short answer is no, bearded dragons should not be eating seasoned cooked food. The problem with this seasoning is, even if it doesn’t have salt directly on it, the seasoning is likely to have a high salt content. So, it is not worth chances it.
Early I mentioned pinky mice as a consideration. But, are they a better option than serving turkey? Arguably they could be considered a better option. But, they should still only be considered a treat.
However, before you go ahead and buy a selection of live pinkie mice and throw them in your beardies enclosure, let me explain why this is a bad idea.
The problem is, pinkies are fighters! If you throw a pinkie mice in with your beardie and it inevitable tries to eat it live. The pinkie with bite your beardie pretty badly. They will not go down easy.
Therefore, many owners suggest it is better to feed them frozen pinkies instead. This will avoid the headache and potential injury.
If you have looked into food for your Beardie, then there is a good chance that you have heard of owners discussing or buying crickets. But, why are they a better option than turkey?
Comparing turkey and crickets for Beardies is simply no challenge. Crickets have a great amount of protein and calcium and are a popular choice for that reason. Also, Beardies love live insects, the movement entices them.
The only gripe is their hard body. They can sometimes cause some digestion issues due to this. However, owners still persist to use them.
So, now that you know why crickets are a better option. What about mealworms, no doubt you have heard of these before, right (Click here to learn more about mealworms).
Mealworms are perfect for many lizards, but according to this site, they are not ideal for bearded dragons. But, why is this? They say that they have too much fat and also phosphor.
To make matters worse, they have little protein and calcium, which is needed by your beardie. So, let me be clear, other owners do still feed them this. But, it is not their main staple food are you with me?
It’s like us humans, we know if we eat fatty fast food too much its bad, but arguably, in moderation (as a treat) it’s not that bad. Does that make sense?
If you are keen to understand your beardie (Click here for more ways to understand your bearded dragon) then you may wonder what that throat pouch on their head is and what it’s used for. Let me explain…
What is the Bearded Dragons throat pouch for? It is used for a number of reasons such as being enlarged (or puffed up as it is commonly called) to intimidate its opponent, to attract a mate for breeding and even a sign of anxiety. Therefore, it is a multi-faceted organ.
Now that you know what it is used for let me now explain to you the number of ways it can be used, how baby beardies use it, why it can be linked to anxiety and much more…
Now that you understand what it’s for, do you actually know what this pouch looks like? If not let me explain. On the surface, as you glance at it, it looks like a flap of skin and fat and resembles a human beard.
This is the reason why it is typically called a beard, as you can imagine. This throat patch, or beard, has the ability to turn black as well (but, more on this later).
So far you have learned what their throat pouch is used for and exactly what it is. However, are you aware of all the things that it can use its throat pouch for? If not, hold tight, I will explain this now.
One of their known tricks is puffing up their beard and body to intimidate their opponent. They are also known to open their mouth wide, whilst keeping their body puffed up so that they can further intimidate their foe.
Often baby beardies are seen to be puffing up and turning black for unknown reasons. The confusion happens when there is no clear threat, however, they still do this.
It is believed to be linked to anxiety or nervousness. This may be brought on by a new environment. This is more expected as your new baby beardie gets acclimatized to its new home. In time, it is likely to feel less stressed and return to normal.
Another trick that often confuses lizard keepers is during shedding. For Bearded dragons, they have an additional trick up their sleeve. Basically they can puff up their throat pouch to force their skin to shed quicker.
As you can see by now, this behavior is so multi-faceted it can be very difficult to nail down exactly why the throat pouch has been expanded.
Their throat pouch can even be used for them just to show off. Yes, they may just puff up that damn beard to put the spotlight on themselves. Especially if it’s mating season (more on this later).
Like us humans, we all need to stretch sometimes. This is no different for beardies. However, unlike us, they can expand their bodies, and throat pouch to relieve this sudden urge.
Pop it like its hot!
Ok, just a personal joke. But on a serious note, beardies are even known to pop their ears using the simple expansion of their throats and body.
Think of it in terms of us humans. Do you ever yawn to pop that thing? Well, beardies are no different, are you with me?
Puffing out their throat can also help them find a date. As they expand it, along with their body it sends a signal to a potential female mate. If the female is interested, she will reciprocate with a cheeky head bob!
With the share size of their throat, you may wonder what else they can store in there. Could they store food in there? Well, let’s discuss this now…
Yes, they can store food in their throat. But, to be honest it is not a long term storage location. In fact, it is a hazard while it is there. Short term, yes it should be fine.
To help to prevent this happening, it is a good idea to provide smaller portions, monitor him while he eats and just check that he is not overdoing it, are you with me?
There have been some beardie keepers that claim that they have seen their bearded dragons puff their eyes. According to this site, they believe it’s linked to shedding.
It sounds a bit weird, but the belief is that it is a technique used to expand their skin and force the shedding around that area to finish.
If you have seen your beardie change its throat color to black, you may be puzzled wondering why it is doing this. The reality is, it could be for a few reasons.
In fact, we have covered a couple naturally in this article already. But just to summarise, this could indicate an unwell beardie, as well as a male trying to entice a female for mating.
Think of it as a complex signal that could be used for many things. However, one thing you can be sure of, it is an indication of emotion with an intended purpose.
In this section, I am going to answer some questions related to bearded dragons. If you have some additional questions, not answered here, please feel free to leave a comment below.
Yes, they do. This may seem like an outlandish statement. In fact, you may even feel like hitting the back button-based ion this, but hear me out. According to this site they do.
Apparently they have a parietal eye which is located o their head, near their other two normal eyes. However, this eye is not the same. They do not have the same vision with this eye. It simply picks up shadows and changes in light with it.
No, they will not poop on you. But, this is not out of courtesy, its because they technically do not poop. What? Instead of pooping they get rid of their waste in one universal matter called urates.
Urates is in the form of white/yellow solid form and come out of its cloaca. What is the cloaca? Think of this as your beardies equivalent of the human anus. This is probably the best way to explain it.
Yes, bearded dragons can see you. You may be curious to understand what your beardie can really see, and to be honest that is reasonable. Especially when you are investing in them.
Not only can they see you they can also see colors. They also have a great field of vision as well. Their only real issue regarding their vision is their perception of depth.
Bearded dragons (Click here to see if Bearded Dragons can eat turkey) can live an average of 10 years. However, that is in captivity. In their natural habitat that can be less. But why? Well, in the wild there are a lot more hazards. Such as the constant threat of being eaten by another predator, lack of food to prey on, etc.
No, unless you neglect them. What do I mean? Well, like any pet, if you neglect to clean up after them, such as cleaning their housing, making sure they are physically clean, etc. Then, you will start to smell them. It may not be instantly (however, in some cases it can be), but, in time it can for sure if the lackadaisical treatment continues, are you with me?
If you are a bearded dragon fan and you want to make sure you do things right (click here for my best guide for bearded dragons) you may be wondering if they can eat a banana. Let me explain…
Do bearded dragons eat bananas? Yes, bearded dragons do eat a banana. However, you need to make sure that you give them bananas sparingly. This is because the nutritional value of the banana is not perfect for them (more on this later).
Now that you know that they can eat bananas, I will now go on to explain why they shouldn’t eat so much, exactly what is in a banana to raise these concerns, what the ideal food mix is for your beardie, and more…
In the last section, I explained that bearded dragons can eat bananas but I cautioned you not to do it regularly. In this section, I’m going to give you a couple of reasons why you should limit the amount of banana you feed to your bearded dragon.
One of the biggest concerns with bananas is the number of carbs it has (more on this later). Secondly, the other big issue with bananas is the amount of phosphorus it has in ratio to the calcium it has.
Phosphorus is a binding material for calcium. there is a certain phosphorus to calcium ratio that bearded dragons should consume to keep them safe. However, the phosphorus levels in bananas is far greater than thy need.
The problem with this is if you feed your bearded dragon a lot of bananas you could be making it calcium deficient. Which, in the long term, could lead to deficiencies such as Metabolic Bone Disorder or MBD as it is more commonly known as.
So far we have learned why your bearded dragon should not be eating too many bananas and the reasons for this. However, I do not want to assume you fully understand exactly what a banana is. And, for this reason in this section, I will explain exactly what it is.
A banana is an edible fruit that is popular in many countries. Stereotypically it is known to be a yellow elongated fruit with a hard outer skin and a soft white flesh in the middle.
However, you can get bananas that are not always yellow. In fact, before they are ripe, they are green. You can also get plantain. Plaintain is typically used for cooking rather than a dessert banana. It is usually sold while it is green.
Earlier I explain exactly what a banana is and the reasons why you need to limit the amount you give to your beardie. However, there are some people that still ask if it’s possible to feed their bearded dragon bananas exclusively.
For that reason, I’m going to give you some reasons why this is not a good idea and an idea of what they should be eating.
Bearded dragons are omnivores. this basically means that they eat a combination of meat (insects) as well as vegetables and fruit.
This means that they have the best of both worlds. They can eat vegetables as well as meat. But they still need to have a balanced diet, meaning the combination of these food types, are you with me?
Therefore, no bearded dragons should not be eating bananas exclusively. They should be eating insects as well as vegetables and fruit.
Later on, in this article, I will explain some of the best ratios of meat to vegetables that your typical bearded dragon should be eating. I will also explain how this ratio will change with old age.
So far we have learned what you should or should not be allowing your bearded dragon to consume, when it comes to bananas and combining this with vegetables, etc. But, what are the advantages of bananas for us as well as bearded dragons?
Bananas are often loved for their convenience because they are easily picked up in supermarkets and easily served.
Even though we talked about some of the concerns, such as the amount of sugar/carbs, they still have a good source of fiber.
For humans, we love bananas because they are a sweet snack that can be picked up on the go, especially during lunchtime.
I explained earlier that bananas are filled with sugar but why is this exactly? In this section, I will explore some of these reasons.
According to this site, 93% of bananas are from carbs. Right now this may not mean much to you at the minute but I will explain how this is relevant to sugar in a second.
Carbs have a massive impact on your blood sugar levels. They are a big concern for diabetics and they need to be monitored for this reason.
Therefore for a bearded dragon, it is important to control the number of carbs they are consuming. Because there is only so many carbs and sugar that their body should be consuming on a daily basis.
Carbs effectively raise the blood sugar level more than any other nutrient and this is one of the reasons why they have to be controlled.
One of the biggest concerns with bananas is they are not great for humans that are on a low-carb diet. For a bearded dragon there is a certain nutritional balance that they need to maintain and therefore bananas are great but need to be consumed in small doses.
And, as I mentioned briefly earlier for diabetics that are controlling their carbs and sugar intake they are a bit concerned because they can spike insulin levels.
In this section, I am going to answer some questions related to bananas & bearded dragons. If you have some extra questions that you need answering, please feel free to drop a comment below.
No, most commercially sold bananas do not have seeds. Some bearded dragon owners have concerns about seeds in certain fruits and how it may affect their pet.
In the commercial market, you’ll be very hard-pressed to find seeds in bananas. If you happend to notice some black speckled dots within the banana there is a good chance that these are immature seeds which will not actually develop and reproduce.
Meaning they are harmless seeds that are not the same as the original wild grown bananas that you would find in tropical countries such as Jamaica.
But why is this?
The main reason for this is due to commercial objectives and profit. Meaning it is a way to control the reproduction and supply of bananas to entice their buyers to continually buy from one supplier.
Yes you can serve them bananas along with insects and water. But, when you are serving up bananas or any fruit for that matter along with insects you need to be careful when you combine them with water.
This is because there is a chance that the insect can actually fall into the water and drown. This is not ideal because the dead insects are not good for your bearded dragon. Therefore you need to discard these insects as soon as possible.
Yes, as bearded dragons gets older you need to adjust their diet. Especially in the domestic market. But why is this? Because, as a bearded dragon gets older it inevitably becomes less active.
This means that the beardie stands the chance of becoming obese if you do not control its diet correctly. It is a good idea to reduce the amount of meat they consume in a day when they get older to cut down the chances of them becoming too obese.
Yes, you should feed baby beardies vegetables, some even recommend dandelion leaves for Beardies (Click here for the full article). in fact, they should be consuming at least 20% of vegetables and 80% meat. This is the kind of percentage you will need for a hatchling and a juvenile bearded dragon. As discussed earlier, as they get older this ratio will change.
No, you should not feed bearded dragons onions (Click here to see why Bearded Dragons should not eat onions).