Chinese Water Dragons Diet: How Is Ideal

Chinese water dragons are omnivores. And as natural predators, they favor meat over fruits and vegetables whenever both are available or offered.

They are opportunistic eaters that prefer eating a variety of meals throughout the day, so you may need to devise a feeding plan to provide an adequate variety. 

If you suspect that your water dragon develops a bored attitude while being served food, it may exhibit signs such as loss of appetite, which you want to avoid.

This article contains the basic information on the diet of your Chinese water dragon. 

Cute Reptiles as Pets x
Cute Reptiles as Pets

What Can A Chinese Water Dragon Eat?

What Can A Chinese Water Dragon Eat?

A Chinese water dragon can eat a variety of whole prey such as crickets, roaches, mealworms, CalciWorms, waxworms, hornworms, Superworms, and earthworms; frozen and thawed pinkie or fuzzy mice and small common goldfish.

Fruits and vegetables can also be eaten by them. In the wild and in captivity, they are known to eat insects, small fish, and reptiles.

Chinese Water Dragons Diet: How Is Ideal

Chinese Water Dragons Diet: How Is Ideal

As a general guideline, the ideal diet for your pet Chinese water dragon should consist of 85-90% insects, with the remaining 10-15% made up of fruits and vegetables.

This translates to each meal including around 50% live insects, 20% worms, and no more than 15% vegetables.

85 -90 Percent Insects

Proteins are the basic components of life. A chain of amino acids makes up the fundamental structure of protein.

Even for reptiles such as the Chinese water dragon, it is required in the diet for the body to repair and replace cells. It is also necessary for development and growth.

Whole prey such as juvenile or infant mice may be a good source of protein, but they should only be served to your pet water dragon once or twice a week, and only if your dragon is big enough to manage them.

While Chinese water dragons will eat almost everything, not all meals are suitable for them. However, crickets, grasshoppers, locusts and worms such as wax, butter, earth and silk are safe for them.

You can feed your dragon Dubia roaches, hornworms, Black Soldier Fly Larvae (Nutrigrubs), butterworms, crickets, silkworms, other Roaches (Discoid, Turkestan, orange head), and earthworms everyday.

Only feed them superworms, king worms, and waxworms once or twice a week as they are high in fat which could be dangerous for your pet.

Regardless of your Water Dragon’s age, each meal should include at least three to four different feeder insects.

Chinese water dragons may eat tiny prey such as pinkie mice, and you may hear “feeder lizards” recommended as an optional feeder, but this isn’t a required element of their diet, and it’s entirely up to you if you want to include them. 

You can buy pinkie mice frozen from feeder insect suppliers and pet stores, but you don’t have to feed them other lizards since they haven’t grown any bones or hair that your pet will find difficult to digest.

Pinkie mice may be a good source of protein and calcium, especially if your pet is unwell and needs a boost, but they should only be eaten once every one or two weeks.

10 -15 Percent With Fruits And Vegetables

​​For your pet Chinese water dragon, it is critical to maintain their varied food in order to keep them happy and healthy.

They tend to get bored if the same meal is fed to them everyday. As a result, they may refuse to eat and lose weight.

Water dragons can eat fruits and vegetables. However, you may notice or you must expect that it may not be enjoying them as they do insects or meat.

Nonetheless, including them in the meals is important as they contain essential nutrients.

They are naturally low in fat and energy, rich in minerals such as potassium and calcium, and rich in vitamins such as vitamins A and C. 

Vitamin A is important to have have healthy eyes and eyelids, skin, mouth, trachea and lungs, muscles, bones, and reproductive system.

Vitamin C is for avoiding the risks for mouth rot and poor wound healing. They are also good sources of dietary fiber which aids in digestion. 

Carrots, collard greens, sweet potatoes, raspberries, figs, blueberries, and other fruits and greens can be offered to them. You may serve them pre-cut into bite-size pieces for easy consumption. 

It is a good idea to double-check whether a certain meal is safe for them before giving it to them. Thus, before you try something new, remember to consult with a veterinarian for accurate assessment and advice. 

Supplementation Food

Although a well-balanced meal should be enough to keep your dragon healthy, you may wish to augment its diet on occasion.

Calcium is essential because your dragon might get the metabolic bone disease (MBD) if it does not get enough of the aforementioned mineral in its food.

Sprinkle a little calcium powder on your pet’s meal twice or thrice every week to prevent this disease.

Finally, make sure your Chinese water dragon’s diet is nutritious. The easiest approach to protect your dragon from acquiring internal parasite diseases is to buy feeder insects and mice from a reliable pet store or supplier, or you can also raise them yourself.

You may use the Repti Calcium with D3 as it works great with many reptiles, including Chinese water dragons.

If you think your pet is getting enough D3 from food sources then you can use Repti Calcium without D3. 

Chinese Water Dragon’s Favorite Food List

Chinese Water Dragon’s Favorite Food List

Chinese water dragons are omnivorous so they eat meat, vegetables, and fruits. In the wild, they consume small animals such as lizards and fish.

Please note that they will also choose insects and meat over fruits and vegetables.

A tip to feeding is before introducing or serving meat, you may offer the vegetables or greens first so they will be able to consume them before devouring meat.

You can also try serving different bugs regularly for variety. 

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Foods To Avoid For Chinese Water Dragons

Mealworms and waxworms are particularly heavy in fat and phosphorus, therefore avoid them.

Aside from these, feeding grubs, pinkie/fuzzy mice, or larger and harder roaches to water dragons under the age of 12-18 months is not recommended.

Some foods that are not poisonous but tend to be toxic when fed too much to your pet.

These foods consist of insects such as bugs (lady, box), butterflies (monarch, queen), caterpillars, centipedes, millipedes, bees, wasps, hornets, ants, spiders, scorpions, lubber grasshoppers and fireflies (lightning bugs).

Fruits and vegetables such as eggplants, avocado, garlic, rhubarb, chives, leeks, leaves of tomatoes and potatoes are also included.

Because they contain a lot of phosphorus, bind calcium and lead to calcium deficiency over time.

Too much intake of foods such as radishes, rapini, rutabaga, turnips, kohlrabi and cabbage can cause thyroid issues to your pet as they contribute to the disturbance of their iodine absorption.

How To Build a Feeding Schedule: When To Feed And How Much

How To Build a Feeding Schedule: When To Feed And How Much

As the caretaker of water dragons, it is important that you develop an appropriate feeding schedule for consistency and guidance. 

Baby Chinese water dragons or ones with ages up to 6 months old should be fed every day.

Feed Chinese water dragons aged 6 to 18 months every two days, and dragons aged above 18 months every three days.

You may feed your Chinese water dragons on a daily basis if you provide lesser servings.

For dragons that are unwell or underweight, they must be fed everyday to supply them with adequate nutrients and energy. 

This will help in generally improving their health. If possible, you can feed them twice a day. To avoid obesity, individuals should limit their meal sizes.

Feed a few hours after the lights are switched on. This is to allow your Chinese water dragon to digest meals during the day, as well as to ensure that the enclosure is already heated to aid digestion.

Also read: Chinese Water Dragon Enclosure: A Detailed Set-up Guide

3 Feeding Tips

Green water dragons are mostly carnivorous reptiles that eat insects and rodents when they are young. Water dragons become more omnivorous as they get older. 

Fruits and vegetables are also eaten by many captive dragons, although they should only make up a tiny part of the diet. The young ones must be fed daily, while every 2 to 3 days for the adults.

Here are three essential tips that you need to know when feeding your pet Chinese water dragon:

  • A wide and shallow dish must be provided for your pet so it can soak in the water and stay hydrated. You must clean the dish and have it refilled daily with water. 

In captivity, Chinese water dragons are resilient creatures who will eat a wide variety of freshly prepared foods as well as live insects. They must be supplied with enough clean drinking water.

  • Just like humans, Chinese water dragons can get tired from the usual meals or ones that are served frequently. To avoid your pet from feeling bored and developing a loss of appetite, try mixing up the items on every meal. You can offer different insects every day, alongside some vegetables and fruits. 
  • You must be cognisant of trustable sources of food when it comes to safely feeding your pet. You may confirm this by checking the available stores so you will be confident that the food you acquire will not cause harm to your pet. You will also be able to reduce the risk for parasitic diseases when you obtain items from a clean and reliable supplier or source. 

FAQs

What fruits and vegetables can Chinese water dragons eat?

Chinese water dragons can eat basil, endive, escarole, fresh alfalfa, prickly pear, bok choy, butternut squash, chicory, collard greens, coriander, dandelion flowers, spaghetti squash, and turnip greens.

Fruits such as blueberries, raspberries, cantaloupe, and figs can also be eaten by them.

Do Chinese water dragons need live food?

Chinese water dragons consume live food but they do not need them.

These live prey are insects, crickets, mealworms, king mealworms, waxworms, earthworms, grasshoppers, butter worms, locusts, feeder fish, pinkies, and fuzzies.

How much should you feed a Chinese water dragon?

The young Chinese water dragons should have daily feedings while the adult ones should only have feedings every 2 to 3 days.

These meals can include the following: crickets, king mealworms, silkworms, and waxworms, as well as grasshoppers, roaches, and earthworms to water dragons. Pinky mice and tiny fish can be fed on a regular basis.

Can water dragons eat lettuce?

No, do not give your Chinese water dragon any lettuce as it has poor nutritional value.

Only offer them if you want to give them an extra boost of hydration.

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Wrapping Up

Chinese water dragons are not the simplest reptiles to keep, but they are among the most beautiful and well worth the effort.

Many problems with health or nutrition can be avoided and addressed with safe, adequate, and good food.

It is recommended that you supply them with insects, vegetables, and fruits for complete nourishment. Hope this article has been helpful in devising a feeding plan for your Chinese water dragon!