Wondering “why won’t my bearded dragon eat?” If your beardie refuses to feed, is losing weight despite regular feeding, or seems to have lost interest in their normal diet– you have reason to worry.
Getting a bearded dragon to feed can be as tricky as goading a fussy toddler into finishing their peas. But never fear– we have some excellent insights on how to get them to eat their vegetables (and protein, too!).
Why Won’t My Bearded Dragon Eat? We Have Answers
In this blog, we will discuss:
- The five main reasons why your beardie may have you asking “why won’t my bearded dragon eat?”
- What you can do to stimulate your bearded dragon’s appetite.
- Why dubia roaches are a perfect feeder insect for persnickety eaters.
- And finally, where you can order dubias today!
Of course, we understand that it can be incredibly concerning when your cherished pet isn’t behaving typically. Especially when it comes to getting enough to eat! But if it’s any comfort, in many cases the problem may be one that can be solved with relative ease.
If you’re concerned about your beardie’s dietary changes or want to avoid undereating altogether– read on!
5 Reasons Why Your Bearded Dragon May Not Be Eating
Before you start stressing, examine the following five factors that may be contributing to dietary changes in your bearded dragon (it may be a simple fix).
1. Habitat–Bearded dragons don’t do well in cramped quarters. If they seem cramped, try relocating your pet to a larger enclosure to give them a little more legroom. This will also make it easier for you to establish a thermal gradient for them. “Thermal gradient” is just a fancy way of saying that you’ve provided a range of temperatures in the cage. This will allow your bearded dragon to move around from hot to cool areas throughout the day – which is vital to their good health.
- A 30-55 gallon terrarium or larger is ideal.
You will also want to confirm that your enclosure is at the right temperature.
- A basking site that ranges from 100-110° F should be created, with the rest of the terrarium sitting around 72-85° F.
2. Hibernation–Although your bearded dragon is most likely several generations removed from the wild, the inclination to hibernate may still be around. Internal clocks (or circadian rhythms) can cause your beardie to become sluggish and refuse food during the winter.
3. Stress– Not all bearded dragons play well together. Females usually co-exist just fine, but males do not. If you decide to keep your pets in a group, make sure that each can bask and feed equally. Location matters too! Please don’t keep your terrarium in a loud area or where vibrations from appliances or machinery can disrupt them. If you have several enclosures, consider placing them away from each other. Merely seeing what is considered to be a dominant dragon can upset others– inhibiting them from feeding.
4. Disease and Illness– Parasites (both internal and external) are often the culprit when reptile owners start asking “why won’t my bearded dragon eat?” Parasites can directly affect whether your bearded dragon eats or not. Like all animals, they can sometimes fall ill due to viral or other types of infection, but parasites are more likely.
Another cause of appetite loss is impaction due to substrate consumption. To avoid this problem, try housing your bearded dragons on washable terrarium liners instead of sand.
While it’s always best to eliminate illness or environmental stressors as reasons why a bearded dragon won’t eat, some bearded dragons (and other reptiles, too) are just plain fussy when it comes to mealtime. This brings us to the last factor that affects beardie eating habits…
5. Diet– Wild bearded dragons enjoy an incredibly diverse diet of countless plants, invertebrates, and even the occasional small lizard or rodent. Unfortunately, because of this, they can get bored of a monotonous diet. Luckily, there’s a quick, affordable, and easy solution to this problem– dubia roaches!
What Can You Do to Stimulate Your Bearded Dragon’s Appetite?
If you’re still wondering “why won’t my bearded dragon eat?” and you’ve ruled out environmental stressors and illness, it’s probably time to switch up their food source. They may have naturally lost interest in their current feed because it lacks certain vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.
The enthusiasm your beardie will show for live, nutrient-packed feeder insects like dubia roaches and superworms will surprise you! Getting to play out their natural desire to hunt down prey is also immensely beneficial for their mental and emotional wellbeing.
Why Dubias are Perfect for Persnickety Eaters
If you’re still asking yourself “why won’t my bearded dragon eat?” – try incorporating dubia roaches into their regular diet!
Nutrition– Dubia roaches are high in calcium and protein and feature a much better calcium-to-phosphorus ratio than other popular feeders like crickets. Supplementation will still be necessary with dubias, but it will be much lower than with a diet of primarily crickets.
>>To learn more about the nutritional difference between crickets and dubia roaches, read our blog, Why Dubias? <<
Gut load-ability– Gut loading is the practice of filling your feeder insects with whichever vitamins, minerals, and nutrients you want your beardie to load up on. Dubias are perfect for gut loading because their digestive system can hold 2-3 times their body weight!
>>Interested in learning more about gut loading, and more importantly, how to do it? Read our blog, What is Gut Loading, and How Does it Help Your Reptile?<<
Beardies love them– Why do bearded dragons love dubia roaches?
- They are easier to digest than crickets and other feeder insects
- They can be purchased in the perfect size for your pet
- And they are an interactive food that is a whole lot of fun to chase down and devour
Get Your Beardie to Feast Today
Hopefully we’ve helped you answer the question “why won’t my bearded dragon eat?” If you’re ready to help your dragon find their love for food again, it’s time to pick up some dubia roaches right away!
Remember, it’s our responsibility as reptile keepers to ensure our pets have a happy and healthy life. We personally couldn’t think of a better way to provide a nutrient-rich diet that is fun to eat than with dubia roaches… it’s actually the exact reason why we got into dubia roach breeding in the first place!