“What do I feed my bearded dragon?”
Ah, the age-old question of every new owner. Even a more seasoned owner might ask this! The reptile community is always learning it’s good to keep up-to-date with the latest reptile nutrition discoveries—including the best bearded dragon diet by age.
As with many other animals, bearded dragons have different dietary needs at different stages in their life. Young dragons are growing like crazy. Adults need to maintain a healthy condition. And gravid females need to be able to lay eggs. This is why it’s important to differentiate a bearded dragon diet by age. That, and of course we want our scaly friends to live as long as possible!
No matter how old your dragon is, their diet will have the same building blocks: a mix of protein, greens, fruits, veggies, and supplements. So the type of food stays the same, but the ratios change over time.
In this blog, we’ll guide you through what to include in your bearded dragon diet by age. For a complete list of what you can feed your dragon check out this guide (which pairs well with our blog on bearded dragon food practices).
What Should I Feed my Young Bearded Dragon?
Baby bearded dragons are tiny adorable, and about the size of a finger. Since a hatchling is so small it is easy to assume they can’t eat much. This both is and isn’t true. The size of the food is small, but the quantity is large.
How large? Well… let them loose and find out!
No, really. Put them in a feeding container with some insects (and veggies) for 5-10 minutes and see how much they eat.
Babies need a diet that’s 80% feeders and 20% veggies. The earlier a dragon is exposed to veggies during feeding the better. It can make a difference down the line, even if they aren’t too keen at the beginning. To check if the size of a food item is safe, ensure it is not bigger than the space between your dragon’s eyes.
Supplements are important for a young dragon. They grow quickly and need all the help they can get! Calcium should be given no more than once a day (3-5 days a week) and this can be done by dusting your feeders. Multivitamins can be given twice a week.
Feedings from 4-12 months should happen 3x a day, 70% feeders and 30% veggies. 12-18 months feed twice a day with 30% feeders and 70% veggies.
The Standard Adult Diet
Most diets are for adults when looking at a bearded dragon diet by age. This makes sense since this will be the longest stage in your dragon’s life. They need a mix of 20% feeders and 80% veggies which is a complete turnaround from when they’re younger.
Now that they’re done growing, adults only need to be fed once a day. Calcium can be cut back to 2-3 times a week, and multivitamins are good once a week. The amount of food will vary by dragon. Just be sure to keep an eye on their body condition!
Gravid females will need a lot more calcium in their diet to help form the shells for the eggs. It’s not a bad idea to offer some additional protein, too!
Bearded Dragon Diet by Age: Seniors
“What should I feed my old bearded dragon?” is another common question that depends on the individual dragon. Some only slow down a little, and some are more obvious in showing their age.
For the most part, the care stays much the same as with adults. Cutting back on calories can be a good idea. Older bearded dragons may become lethargic. This makes it easier for them to gain weight. Keep an eye on your dragon and reach out to a vet if there are ever any medical concerns.
Regarding supplements: there’s no need to increase them. If anything, focus more on hydration. Make sure they still have an easy time accessing their food and water dishes. Cutting their food into smaller bites will help too.
Need Some Feeders?
When looking at any bearded dragon diet by age, dubias are going to be a big staple. Superworms and mealworms are popular treats and offer enrichment with a varied diet. And our different dubia sizes mean that we can support diets for dragons of all ages. Check out our dubia roach selection today!