Should my bearded dragon eat dried food? Feeding dried food to bearded dragons is a viable option when you are away or rushing for time.
More importantly, when your bearded dragons can eat dried foods, they will comfortably access the food from an automatic feeder on your vacation. It prevents you from too much worrying that your pet may be starving when you are not around.
Just in a second, I’m revealing to you a practical way of “how to train a bearded dragon to eat dried food”.
Bearded Dragon Food
One of the best cares to give your bearded dragon is to provide a healthy and nutritious diet frequently for excellent health results.
Bearded dragons are omnivores and can primarily feed on a variety of vegetables, fruits, and insects. The food for the captive bearded dragons should be a replicate of what they can eat in the desert.
Before we cover the bearded dragon foods, I want you first to understand the diet requirement of the beardies, which changes with age. It will help you to provide what is necessary at all times.
The baby bearded dragons, up to 5 months, require 60-80% insects and 20-40% plant products. It is that way because they are rapidly growing. They need a lot of proteins and fats which they obtain from live insects.
The level of the juveniles’ diet changes slightly to 50% insects and 50% plant materials. For the adults, the requirement will shift to 80% insects and 20% plant matter. The higher percentage of vegetables in adults is important for overall health and nutrition.
Here are the possible foods for your bearded dragons:
Bearded dragons eat meat in the form of insects. Examples of their favorite insects are Dubia roaches, locusts, crickets, black soldier fly larvae, super worms, cockroaches, butterworm, phoenix worms, silkworms, earthworms, and redworms.
All these insects are safe to be a staple food for your bearded dragon, and they are readily available. Through gut loading, you can also provide highly nutritious insects to your bearded dragons.
Favorite Veggies and Leafy Greens to Bearded Dragons
Veggies provide essential minerals and vitamins to keep your beardie healthy and strong. The beardies feed on a wide range of vegetables and greens. Examples include cabbage, peas, sweet potatoes, parsley, clover, coriander, okra, kales, green beans, bell pepper, mustard greens, among others.
Safe Fruits for Bearded Dragon to Eat
Fruits are a perfect choice treat for your cute pet. It can feed on various fruits such as mango, melon, kiwi, papaya, grapes, guavas, peaches, apples, strawberries, pears, etc. Give the fruits occasionally, particularly the soft ones like kiwi because they tend to be sugary.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Dried Food?
Yes, bearded dragons have a good appetite for dried foods, especially if you mix them with fresh veggies and fruits. But the dragon tends to enjoy eating live food, which they can see moving around.
The majority of commercial foods are dry, and they are the replicates of the favorite foods to bearded dragons. There are so many brands of dry commercial foods available from the local markets and online platforms. Good examples of the best brands are Fluker’s, Exo-Terra, Rep-Cal, etc.
However, you should not give solely dried foods to your beardie, particularly the young ones. At such a critical stage, when they are growing, they need fats and proteins from live feeders.
Only use dried foods infrequently to feed your pet. They are superb foods to give your animal using an automatic feeder when you will be away from home. It is best when you use these foods once in a while.
Another important thing that you should not forget is to provide sufficient water to the beardie when giving dried foods. Unlike veggies and fruits, which are moisturized, dried foods can cause your pet to become thirsty quickly.
What is Bearded Dragon Dried Food?
Bearded dragon’s dried foods are ready to use commercial foods that have removed moisture completely. The food comes in different forms, which include; tasty dried food or soft pellet foods.
Dried foods are good sources of vitamins, minerals, and calcium, which are paramount staples to keep your bearded dragon looking well and active.
The foods are prepared specifically for reptiles, and they can form a crucial part in a well-balanced diet. There are those dried foods that are designed exclusively for adults and others for babies and juveniles.
Dried food may contain a specific insect type, or a mix of the veggies, fruits, and freeze-dried insects.
Can They Eat Dried Food?
Just to iterate, bearded dragons can comfortably eat dried foods. However, some beardies will only want to have live feeders, while others prefer only dried foods. The best thing to do is to mix the dried foods with other staples like vegetables, greens, and fruits.
Don’t give dried foods exclusively to your bearded dragon. Also, it may turn out that your beardie likes some brands of dried foods and dislike others. It is very normal, even us humans, we have our likes and dislikes.
Dried foods are easy to use because they come when they are ready, and you can use them for a long time under proper storage. When buying any dried food, always be sure to check on its features, to help you purchase what is ideal for your dear friend.
You may need to apply some tricks to help your bearded dragon to start eating dried food. I am going to show you how to train a bearded dragon to eat dried foods, it will be helpful.
What Should You Not Feed Bearded Dragons?
Not everything that your bearded dragon can consume is safe for them. These animals will eat almost all foods that are edible to them. Therefore, this is a task ahead of you; you always need to ensure that your pet gets what is safe to them.
There are certain foods that you should completely avoid and keep them away from your beardies. Such foods may be unhealthy or toxic and can be lethal to your pet. The following is a list of foods that you should avoid feeding your bearded dragons.
- Wild Insects.
You may not be sure that the insects you collect in the wild are safe for your pet. Perhaps, they have parasites which might be dangerous to your bearded dragon. Avoid them completely; you can obtain a product of live or dead insects from the market.
Avoid avocados as much as you can; they contain poisonous chemicals that are dangerous for the bearded dragons. Even a single portion of avocado can make the beardie sick.
Fireflies and all other insects such as lightning bugs that glow are harmful to all reptiles, including bearded dragons. Never use them in your pet’s diet.
- Iceberg Lettuce.
The greatest part of the iceberg lettuce consists mainly of water, while it contains very minimal nutrients. It has very little or no nutritional value to the beardies.
Spinach is a popular nutritious food, but it is not safe to feed to bearded dragons. When the beardie is digesting its food, calcium tends to bind to spinach. Calcium becomes unavailable for absorption, which results in calcium deficiency and eventually to metabolic bone disease.
An important point to always remember is, if you are not sure whether a certain food is approved for bearded dragons or not, don’t even dare to feed it.
Training Bearded Dragon to Eat Dried Food.
Bearded dragons normally don’t accept dried foods the first time you give them. It might be challenging to train them to eat the foods, and can even take a long time before they adapt.
However, in most cases, bearded dragons behave differently; some of them get used to the food after a few days of training. Whichever the case, ensure you apply the correct training method, and they may eventually accept the food.
In case your dragon fails to accept the food after training them repeatedly, you can try other brands. Some beardies tend to have an aversion towards specific brands. They will never take such food even if you force them, which is rather not good.
I know you want the best for your pet, you need to act so and give what is best for them. Don’t just give up; in the end, the dragon might take the food.
Preparing: What to Have to Train?
More importantly, you need to be smart when training your bearded dragon to eat dried foods. Ensure you know how your pet behaves when it is feeding, where it prefers to eat from, and its favorite food. Does she prefer to eat live or dead food?
When you understand all those factors, you can easily trick the dragon using the new food. Ensure you have the following materials when planning to train the bearded dragon to eat dried foods.
- Buy a brand of dried food of your choice.
- Favorite food to your beardie.
- If your pet loves eating live insects, then you need a shaker.
- The dragon should be there with you.
- A plastic tweezer to deliver the food to the pet, or you can use your hand.
- Get something to scope the dried food.
Steps to Train Your Bearded Dragon to Eat Dried Food
The best thing you should do during training is to take your time and remain patient. The process may need much time, but don’t be frustrated. Some beardies will respond well to the training, but others won’t. Bearded dragons are not the same; every dragon is unique.
Below are the steps to train your bearded dragon to eat dried food.
- It is best to introduce the bearded dragon to dried foods at an early age. Start with small amounts.
- Find their favorite food, such as vegetables and greens.
- Mix that food, which they normally love with the dried food. Provide the food to the beardie. It will eat the veggies without knowing they have taken dried foods. Vegetables will moisten these foods.
- Another practical method is to make the dried food, for instance, dried crickets, to look alive. You can simply do that by shaking the food on your hand or use plastic tweezers. Shake the food to capture your pet’s attention. You can vibrate it using other means available to you.
- Following the above steps carefully, it will help to entice your pet to eat the dried foods.
- Some beardies will take dried food right away when you give them. You don’t have to train them. You can watch this video.
Why You Might Need to Train Your Bearded Dragon To Eat Dried Food
Many people who own bearded dragons will prefer to have live food for them. They choose to give live food, referring to it as having more nutritional value than dried foods. It is true, anyway.
But believe me, you need to have a second food option for your pet, dried food will be effective for that matter.
Dried foods will be helpful in many circumstances. It will be the best food choice when you run out of living foods, during your vacation, and when you are rushing. It is always good to train your pet to eat dried food for such reasons.
Frequently Asked Questions About Bearded Dragon Dried Food
It is okay to feed both live and freeze-dried crickets to the bearded dragons.
But, limit the amount of dried food you give to the baby dragons and juveniles. They both need more live foods to provide the necessary proteins and fats for growth. It also makes them active and gives them the interest to hunt.
Pellet foods are a good choice for beardies, but you should use them infrequently.
They are dried foods with minimal water and do not have fiber and fat. If the beardie consumes pellet food alone, it can cause digestive disturbances because of the lack of important fiber and fat.
Give pellet food together with fresh vegetables and greens. The dragon can obtain water from the veggies.
It is well to feed dried fruits to bearded dragons, but only those which are safe to them. The only limitation of dried fruits is that they are quite low in nutritional value than fresh foods.
Use dry fruits as a treat, just like when using fresh fruits. They should both make the smallest part of the diet. Feed them irregularly because they are too sugary, and the high sugar level is not good for your pet.
How to train bearded dragons to eat dried food is not something new to you now. It is crucial to have this good knowledge with you; you can comfortably train your dragon at home.
Bearded dragon dried foods are popular and are great alternatives when the dragon owner is away.