Bearded dragon owners find it hard to pinpoint what is suitable for them, and what is not. Most of their diet consists of insects, which are the main source of protein. Seeing this trend one may wonder, ‘can bearded dragons eat meat?’ Let’s find out what these reptilians eat to know more about what they can eat or not.
Bearded dragons are reptiles and they belong in hot, dry areas where the vegetation may be scanty but insects can be found in abundance. These reptilians are not like cats and dogs that they sniff the food and if they do not like it, they will move away. However, if the pet owners know their choices, you would understand their behavior better too!
Is Meat Suitable For Dragons?
Bearded dragons can eat meat because they need protein, and meat is rich in protein. However, this has to be an occasional treat because of the numerous other nutrients and high calories. Moreover, meat is high in fat that can be difficult to process. Meat comes from lambs, cows, chickens, and other kinds of mammals. Whether you select white meat or red meat, the protein content is going to be favorable.
Meat For Pet Dragons
Many bearded dragons can eat minced meat on occasions, and this will be refreshing in some ways because it will boost their protein intake.
The bearded dragons living in the wild can eat meat but that is more suitable because they will also be burning it out due to higher physical activity. On the contrary, pet dragons live in captivity and have limited physical activity which can mean a low requirement of calories and an inability to burn fat.
Due to the limited activity indoors, the meat consumption for your bearded dragon will have to be fed a particular amount of calories that suit their physical activity. However, the good thing is that if you cannot feed them insects because of unavailability or inconvenience, you have a good alternative lying in the freezer.
Meat is a rich source of protein, and minerals, and can be a great way to fill up on iron deficiencies. Meat, whether red or white, can provide consumers with a good immunity score as well. However, bearded dragons require protein and calcium, and they get it in abundance with meat.
Some Precautions With Meat
Meat can be rich in parasites as well and that is something that your bearded dragon might not be able to take well. Many pet owners feed their dragons pork, which can become parasite-infested very quickly.
The bearded dragons have a slow metabolism and parasites or any other kind of bacteria that multiplies and slows down the digestion will not be acceptable on a regular basis. This is why you must feed your dragon pet only on rare occasions. There are no negative impacts of meat, except parasites and high calories.
One major concern is the high phosphorus content which can be a threat to the calcium deposits for bone health.
Is Meat Better Than Insects?
Most of you may believe that meat is better than insects due to its high protein content. However, meat is not better than insects for dragons because of the fat content. The high protein advantage can be met by feeding insects like dubia roaches and superworms. The high phosphorus content and the fat content do not mean good news for pet bearded dragons.
Imagine that due to the high protein requirement, you feed meat to your dragon every day. The high fat, calories, and phosphorus pose a bigger risk than the benefit of protein! This makes insects a better choice than meat.
Pet Dragons Are Not Like Wild Dragons
Many pet owners keep comparing their dragons to the dragons in the wild. The truth is that this comparison is baseless since the physical activities and the immunity of wild dragons are many times more than pets. Meat can be an option for wild dragons and they enjoy it as well. However, that is due to their adaptation to their environment.
How To Feed Meat To Bearded Dragons?
Should the meat be cooked or can you give your dragon a raw piece of meat? You can feed meat in any form but make sure that if you are giving cooked meat, it does not have seasonings. Like all of us, bearded dragons like diversity and would like meat as a rare treat due to the variety of flavors and the diversity of food choices that they have.
Simultaneously, owners must make sure that they keep their pet’s diet designed in a way that when they eat meat, they take other calcium-rich and vitamin-rich foods to balance out the high phosphorus in the meat. Moreover, you must make your bearded dragons climb a few rocks or walk a little farther when they eat meat so that they can burn the extra calories easily!
The Right Portion
Meat must be given in the same amount as insects. The size of each meat chunk should be very small. It is best to give bearded dragons minced meat so that they can swallow it easily.
Meat is a good option for bearded dragons but only as an occasional treat. Bearded dragons will like the protein and minerals in the meat but the high fat and caloric count is not an ideal intake for pet dragons. Make sure your feed meets rarely and without any other seasoning or flavor.
Bearded dragons can have chicken as well as red meat?
Bearded dragons can have all kinds of meats. Whether you feed them red or white meat, they will be able to eat it.
Can I give minced meat to my dragon?
Yes, minced meat is a good way of serving meat to the bearded dragon. However, ensure that you do not give them a big dose as they will eat it slowly and it may become parasite-infested when it is lying in the open.
Emma is a pet enthusiast, and her way with words makes her an expressive writer. Her interests lie in healthcare and planning nutrition for various pets. She has two girls, and she’s passing her passion to them through occasional volunteer projects in the small neighborhood zoo. Emma joined our team as an enthusiast and has added more years to her experience by researching more about various creatures!