Bearded dragons are small reptilians that originate in the deserts of Australia. If you are a new pet owner you must be excited to have a unique pet at home. However, one of the most common questions we hear from new owners is, “how much should I feed my bearded dragon?” The answer to this question lies in understanding your pet’s nutritional needs.
Bearded dragons are cold-blooded animals with very slow metabolism. These pets require protein and calcium in abundance while vitamins are the fuel for their survival. You must know what foods to serve your dragon to the different age groups to ensure that they grow into healthy adults.
DAILY FOODS FOR YOUNG BEARDED DRAGONS
Bearded dragon babies cannot have milk like other animal infants. These reptilians cannot digest lactose and they feed on liquids primarily made with vegetables and a calcium supplement. This supplement is packed with essential vitamins and minerals along with protein and calcium. Young bearded dragons cannot have insects in abundance either but as they grow a few months old, they love to munch on bugs and small insects.
The small dragons need more protein as they are growing and the more protein they have in their youth, the stronger they will be as they grow older. The best that you can do for these young bearded dragons is to develop their eating habits through an introduction of all the vegetables and fruits that are allowed to them. Once they get used to a particular diet, they become open to the daily dose and love to eat. If a bearded dragon is made a picky eater, it remains a picky eater.
Grate vegetables and feed your dragon when they are more than three months old. It is essential for them to learn how to chew and swallow at this stage. Young bearded dragons should get six meals a day and each of them must contain moderate amounts of vegetables, fruits, and insects. Some pet owners suggest estimating the consumption by feeding young dragons a particular amount to see how much their pet dragon will eat. Once you see that the dragon moves away from the feeding plate, the amount it consumed is the amount you should feed them at every meal.
However, other pet owners might think that this is a weak way and there has to be a measurement. The measurement for young bearded dragons is discussed in the table given at the end of the article. Also, check out How Long Can A Bearded Dragon Go Without Food.
DAILY FOODS FOR MATURE BEARDED DRAGONS
The maturity age for bearded dragons is between eight months to twelve months. This is the time when it will be a good idea to sex your dragon to determine if it is a male or female. This step is necessary because you will be able to design their diet with a mix of vegetables and fruits. Male dragons will require protein and calcium along with vitamins. While female dragon diet should contain more calcium because they have to lay eggs, which uses up a lot of calcium from their bodies.
Mature bearded dragons will need to be fed three times a day. These meals can be divided between insects and vegetables and fruits. You can ensure that each of the three nutrients is divided evenly.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF A BEARDED DRAGON IS UNDER-FED
If a bearded dragon is not fed enough, it will become weak and its calcium deposits will deplete over time. If a dragon loses protein, it will become lazy and will not be able to work a lot. Protein means muscle health and if your dragon loses muscle it will lose mobility.
Similarly, if the bearded dragon does not get calcium, it becomes weak due to soft bones. When this happens, the dragon can develop metabolic bone disease which softens the bones further, and the dragon becomes paralyzed. Moreover, this paralysis can lead to death. Therefore, it is best to feed your dragon according to its daily needs.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF A DRAGON EATS MORE
If the bearded dragon eats more, it will become obese and that leads to obesity, which can be a serious risk for bearded dragons. Due to obesity bearded dragons become lazy, and lose mobility. They can become paralyzed due to their extra weight and that can result in organ failure.
HOW MUCH FOOD TO GIVE BEARDED DRAGONS
Here is a chart that can help understand the amount of food you need to give your dragon.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Will my bearded dragon throw up if it overheats?
Yes, bearded dragons can vomit if they eat more than required. If this happens, make sure that you feed them one hour later than the usual time of their next meal.
What will happen if the bearded dragon does not eat one meal?
If the bearded dragon misses one meal it is alright. They will eat again. However, if they do not eat normally, you must take them to the vet.
Many new pet owners might ask how much they should feed their dragon in a day. The answer is that you should feed them according to their requirements at each age. Ensure that the diet remains according to their nutritional needs and they are not under-fed or overweight. Moreover, you may also want to know How Often Do Bearded Dragons Eat.
My name is Ashley, and I am an ardent bearded dragon owner. I have been writing about bearded dragons for the website for many months now, and each topic is close to my heart because it genuinely teaches me more as well. The enthusiasm of this team and the brilliance of the project make me write with more zeal.