Nutrition for Bearded Dragon Lizards

Topics: Lettuce, Vitamin D, Leaf vegetables Pages: 12 (4345 words) Published: July 21, 2013
Bearded Dragon Nutrition

Bearded dragon lizards are omnivorous, which means that they eat both animal and plant matter. As a rule of thumb, do not feed anything to your lizard that is bigger than the space between their eyes. If you feed them any food items that are bigger than that you could cause impaction or paralysis of the hind legs. When feeding baby and juveniles, feed them appropriate sized crickets two to three times daily. Offer them as many as they can eat within a five to ten minute period. Additionally, you should offer your bearded dragon fresh greens daily, spray them with water as this will help keep them fresh, as well as keeping your bearded dragon hydrated. For adult bearded dragons, it is only necessary to offer their food once daily. Once they've reached adulthood you can begin to offer them locusts, Cockroaches, Mealworms, Waxworms, Zophobas worms, Silkworms, Butterworms, Red worms, Earthworms and just about any other worm available. These are used as treats in addition to the crickets and greens. It is recommended that you purchase all insects used in feeding your bearded dragon instead of catching them, as the ones in your back yard can have parasites on them. The parasites can be transferred to your lizard or can poison them. It's also recommended that you dust the insects with a calcium supplement daily and a multi-vitamin supplement weekly. Once your bearded dragon is finished eating remove any uneaten insects from the enclosure. There is a wide variety of greens that are available that are good for your Beardie. Dandelion greens, Collard greens, Mustard greens, Bok choy, Kale, Turnip greens, Escarole and Chicory are among the easiest to find and the best to use. Most types of lettuce are composed mostly of water and hold little or no nutritional value. With the wide variety of other greens out there, it is better and easier to avoid any type of lettuce. Spinach should also be avoided as calcium binds to it and will not be digested by your animal. A wide variety of vegetables can also be offered to your bearded dragon. Butternut squash, Yellow squash, Spaghetti squash, Acorn squash, all other varieties of squash, Green beans, Parsnips, Sweet potato, Snow peas and Carrots. Carrots should only be used as a treat though due to the high amounts of vitamin A. Any food with high amounts of vitamin A should be avoided, as reptiles do not absorb a lot of vitamin A. Feeding your lizard a lot foods such as carrots can cause a condition called Vitamin A toxicity which is deadly to your lizard. Squashes will have to be cooked before feeding them to your bearded dragon. This will soften them up so they can then be minced and eaten easier. Fruits can also be used, just avoid any citrus fruit such as oranges and grape fruit. Fresh water should be offered daily in a shallow bowl. This water bowl should be disinfected once per week to avoid any bacterial build up. Many bearded dragons may not drink from a water bowl so you may have to drip the water slowly onto your lizards snout. Wiggling your finger in the water may also get their attention, they like things that move so creating ripples in the water may get their attention. Edible Greens For Your Bearded Dragon

This is a basic guide to greens that can be used as feed for your bearded dragon. Staple means the feed is used often and is a base green. Occasional means that it is a treat for your bearded dragon, used in combination with a staple and only a few types at a time. Rarely used, means this is not a good nutritional source for your bearded dragon, but may be beneficial for re-hydration. Staples: Good as a main source of dietary needs.

Collard greens are a favorite among bearded dragon lizards. Substitutes include turnip greens or mustard greens. Dandelions, greens or flowers, have a bitter flavor and are available year-round. Substitutes include Watercress, curly endive, escarole, arugula, or collard greens. Mustard greens or curled...
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