What Food Should You Give A Baby Bearded Dragon?

For first-time Bearded Dragon owners, bringing home your first reptile is exciting and terrifying at the same time. These cute and cheeky little pets are anything but sweet however require attentive care to grow happy and healthy. One of the requirements of owning a bearded dragon is making sure that they are having a balanced diet which at first glance is quite intimidating. But honestly, once you get the hang of it, it’s not really a hassle to choose and prepare the best foods for your Bearded Dragon. 

© Image by T Ince from Pixabay

In this article. we’ll be discussing the different foods that you can feed baby bearded dragons and foods you should avoid. 

Facts about Feeding a Baby Bearded Dragon 

  • Bearded Dragons are omnivores and they need to eat a combination of fruits, vegetables, and insects. Juvenile dragons need around 40-60% of protein from insects and 20-40% of vitamins and minerals from fruits and vegetables. 
  • Hydration is important for Baby Bearded Dragons. A lot of them die at a young age because of Dehydration. Baby Bearded Dragons need to be misted until they can drink water independently
  • Live feeders need to be smaller than your Baby Dragon’s Head. 
  • Baby Bearded Dragons need to be fed 3-5 times a day. Bearded Dragons grow rapidly in their first 12 months so they need all the nutrients they can get to support their growth. 
  • To avoid impaction, Bearded dragons, adult, or juvenile should take their last meal at least 3 hours before nighttime. 
  • Calcium and Vitamins Supplement is necessary
  • Fruits contain high sugar level and feeding Adult and Baby Bearded Dragon fruits in a daily basis can cause health issues for your pet. Only feed fruits for Baby Dragon as a treat. 

Live Feeders for Baby Bearded Dragon

  • Pinhead Crickets

Pinhead Crickets are an excellent choice as a live feeder. Pinheads are small in size and soft-bodied making them suitable for baby dragons. They can be served dry or live. If you want to develop your dragon’s hunting skills at a very young age, you can start by placing one or two crickets in their aquarium. You’ll be surprised how fast your baby dragon can hunt. 

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Pinhead Crickets are very nutritive. They are rich in protein, water, and fiber. However, they need to be served with a lot of vegetables and fruits as their calcium content is not enough for a Baby Beardie. 

  • Locusts

Just like cricket, locusts have good nutritional values for Baby Bearded Dragon. It’s a great water source to keep your baby dragon hydrated. It is also rich in Protein and Iron that helps in growth, muscle development, and tissue development. 

However, Locust might not be an ideal live feeder for some Dragon owners. Careful size matching is needed to avoid choking and impaction. Locusts are also not available in some countries and are hard to come by. 

TIP: Choose locusts that are no wider than the gap between your baby bearded dragon’s eyes.

  • Dubia Roaches

Dubia Roaches is by far the most suitable live feeder for baby bearded dragons because they have a perfect size and are easiest to digest. They have 54% protein content and are very low in fat. Aside from that, the nutrients from Dubia roaches can be customizable by letting the feed veggies rich in vitamins and minerals you need for your Baby Dragon. Whichever nutrients are fed to Dubia Roaches will end up in your Baby Dragon’s body when you feed them to it.

  • Fruit Flies 

Fruit flies are also an excellent addition to your Hatching or Juvenille Dragons. They are really small in size and while there is not really much health value for fruit flies, they can be a  great way for your baby dragons to learn how to hunt even if they are not in the wild. 

TIP: To add nutritional values, you can put supplementary powder rich in minerals and vitamins in your fruit flies before feeding them to your baby dragon. 

Live Feeders NOT to Feed Your Baby Bearded Dragon

  • Mealworms should be avoided for Baby Bearded Dragons because the hard shell can be hard to digest. 
  • Spiders are a NO for Baby Bearded Dragon because they may carry pesticides and parasites from other bugs they’ve eaten.
  • Fireflies or any insects that glow are toxic to Bearded Dragons. These insects contain Lucibufagins which is toxic to reptiles and can cause heart failure in just minutes.
  • Caterpillars and Butterflies can be toxic to Bearded dragons because many of the plants they eat may contain compounds that are toxic to Bearded Dragons. 

Vegetables for Baby Bearded Dragon

  • Butternut Squash

© Image by Lebensmittelfotos from Pixabay

Butternut Squash is one of the few vegetables that a baby bearded dragon can eat raw or cooked. It is rich in VItamin A, C, B, and minerals such as Magnesium and Potassium. It has a 1:1 Calcium to Phosphorus ratio which is great for Bearded Dragons. 

Butternut squash skin needs to be peeled off before serving. It should also be sliced into tiny pieces.

  • Collard Greens

A lot of research shows that Collard Greens is the ideal leafy vegetable for baby bearded dragon as daily staple. It has high calcium levels which is essential to bearded dragons. Its also an excellent source of vitamins like Vitamins A, C, and K. Collard Greens also has fiber to help with digestion. 

  • Dandelion Green and Yellow

Dandelion green and yellow are another great addition to your Baby Bearded Dragon Daily Salad Mix. Dandelion is oozing for nutrients like Calcium, Magnesium, Iron, Potassium, Vitamins A, C, and K. Aside from that, Just make sure to avoid Stem as it contains a substantial amount of Latex which is harmful to Baby Dragons. 

One of the reasons why many dragon owners love Dandelion is because it is easy to come by and is available most time of the year. Grocery stores and online stores are now selling organic dandelions, You can also plant your own supply or get from the wild. 

  • Mustard Greens

© Image from Specialty Produce

Mustard Greens is one of the few leafy vegetables that surely your baby bearded dragon cant’ resist. It is soft, chewy, and has a distinct peppery taste. These nutrient-rich leaves stand out from other vegetables as a staple food for baby Bearded Dragons because they have the ideal Calcium to Phosphorus ratio of 2:1. Aside from that, they are also rich in beta carotene, vitamin A C and K. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: Baby Bearded Dragons, under 1 year of age should be fed more live feeders than vegetables. 

Vegetables NOT to Feed Your Baby Bearded Dragon

  • Spinach contains chemicals that block Calcium from entering the body and may lead to Metabolic Bone Disease.
  • Rhubard has high oxalic acid that is poisonous to Baby Bearded Dragons.
  • Onions and Chives are too acidic for Baby Bearded Dragon’s digestive system and are harmful to Adult and Juvenile Dragon alike. 
  • Mushrooms are toxic to Baby Bearded Dragon. 

Fruits for Baby Bearded Dragon

  • Apples

Apples can be fed to Baby Bearded Dragons. It is rich in fiber to aid digestion especially since Baby Dragon’s diet consists of Live Insects which is hard to digest. It also contains high amounts of Vitamins A and C for growth, eyesight, and immunity. However, Apples contain too much sugar that may lead to obesity or fatty liver disease. Additionally, Apple’s Calcium to Phosphorus ratio is poor having it at 2:1 which is the exact opposite of what a Bearded Dragon needs. 

Apples need to be peeled off and chopped before serving to your reptile. Seeds also need to be removed as they can be a choking hazard. 

TIP: Green Apples are better than red ones because they have less sugar content

  • Blueberries 

The antioxidant content of Blueberries reduces tendency for Baby Bearded Dragon to develop heart diseases. Blueberries also have 85% water for hydration which is one of the needs of your baby reptile. Additionally, it contains Carbohydrates, Manganese, Vitamin C, and K1. 

  • Peaches

Peaches are great fruits for Baby Bearded Dragons and can be fed more often than other fruits because it has low sugar content. It has high water content for hydration boost and fiber for digestion. It also has Vitamins A and C for growth and immune system and Potassium for Water Retention and healthy nervous system.

Just like Apples, skin and pit need to be removed before serving Peaches because it can cause choking for Baby Bearded Dragon.

IMPORTANT NOTE: While they are low in sugar and is recommended more than other fruits, Peaches should not be served on a daily basis as it has an off-balance Calcium and Phosphorus Ratio

  • Strawberries

Strawberries are juicy and sweet that is why Baby Bearded Dragons like them best. But more than its taste, Strawberries are great fruit treats for Bearded Dragon because of their nutritional values. It has lots of Vitamins C, Calcium, Potassium, Manganese, and Fiber, all are beneficial to a growing bearded dragon’s health. 

Unfortunately, strawberries have an improper balance of Calcium to phosphorus and is also high in sugar. This is why it is best to only feed strawberries occasionally to Baby Bearded Dragon.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Citrus Fruits are a big NO as it may upset your Baby Bearded Dragon’s stomach.

Fruits NOT to Feed Your Baby Bearded Dragon

  • Avocados are toxic and lethal to Bearded Dragons. 

Raising a Bearded Dragon from hatching to adult is a pretty simple process. Bearded Dragon needs fruits, vegetables,s and insects to have a completely healthy diet. As they grow old the ratio of plants to insects they need will change but the food they need will stay the same. By making sure that this basic rule is followed, domesticated Bearded Dragons can live their maximum life span of 6 to 10 years.

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