Typical bearded dragon food list has feeder insects, veggies, some plants/flowers, safe herbs, and fruit treats. However, there are many human and other pet foods that you may want to know if they are safe. Here are popular foods and whether they are safe or not.
Bread is a starchy food baked using a dough made of wheat flour, yeast, sweeteners, liquids, salt, and fats. Some may have eggs, butter, juice, cream, and other ingredients.
Can bearded dragon eat bread? No. They shouldn’t. Do not offer it to as it is an inappropriate type of food for these pets as it is not ok. While they are omnivores (munch, both plants, and animals), they don’t eat starchy foods even in the wild. Instead, the plant material they eat includes fresh veggies, fruits, and some safe plants.
However, if your beardie happens to eat a small piece of bread which just dropped down, don’t be worried, he or she won’t get sick.
Finally, the Reptile.guide adds that “bread can swell in the stomach and expand, leading to potential health issues.”
Meat, chicken turkey and poultry
These pets can eat meat or flesh from insects, some invertebrates, and small vertebrates as a whole prey and not in parts. These can be live feeder insects or dried ones, including crickets, roaches, black soldier fly larvae, superworms, silkworms, grasshoppers, fruit flies, butterworms, mealworms, pinky mice, and so on.
However, beardies shouldn’t have raw or cooked meat, chicken, turkey, pork, lunch meat, corned beef, and so on. This list includes any meat or poultry part, including viscera or organ meats, entrails, heart, liver, and so on. All meats are generally high in phosphorus when compared to calcium.
Ham and bacon
Bacon is salt-cured pork while ham is a pork leg cut wet or dry-cured. It can be smoked or not. It could also be similarly processed meat cuts from other animals or poultry such as turkey, goat, sheep ham, and so on.
Like meat, beardies should not eat bacon or ham. Also, don’t give them sausages, pate, hot dogs, salami, burgers, or any other food that has meat.
Fish including goldfish, salmon, tuna or feeder fish
While in the wild, these agamid lizards may eat fish, but on rare occasions, it is not one of their natural food. Water and Nile monitors are the ones known to eat fish. Therefore, you should not give your bearded dragon fish, including cooked, canned or raw tuna, goldfish, minnows, salmon, feeder fish, tilapia, and so on.
Raw fish carries a lot of parasites, harmful bacteria, and other germs. Furthermore, giving them excessive fish can deplete vitamin B3 (niacin) level leading to a deficiency since fish as thiaminase. However, a few feeder fish once in a while may cause much damage.
For the same reasons, don’t give your beardies other seafood, including prawns, crabs, shrimp, and others.
Finally, besides not being their typical food, not much research has been done to ascertain the benefits or effects of fish on these reptiles.
Hard-boiled, scrambled, or raw eggs
Eggs are an excellent source of proteins, fats, vitamin A, folate, vitamin B5, vitamin B12, and phosphorus, and selenium. They also have considerable amounts of vitamin E, and K, zinc, among other nutrients.
Scrambles, hard-boiled, soft boiled, fried, omelet, shirred, and poached eggs are a popular breakfast accompaniment. Can these pets eat them too?
Yes. Bearded dragons can eat eggs including chicken, quail, duck, and so on in moderation as an occasional treat or snack. A small piece of boiled eggs once in a while is ok, including scrambled eggs so long as they don’t have any other additive.
Remember, while looking at how to feed bearded dragons, we stated that an ideal food should have calcium to phosphorus ration of 2:1, an egg has more phosphorus than calcium. Therefore, these lizards cannot have a lot of eggs.
Finally, don’t give your raw eggs as they carry bacteria, especially salmonella, that may cause food poisoning. Avoid eggshells unless it is eggshell powder as they may be carrying pathogens and can cause impaction.
Beardies should not eat chocolate since it has theobromine, which causes poisoning in many pets like cats and dogs. Since reptiles have an even slower metabolism, they are unlikely to be able to eliminate theobromine faster like human beings.
In dogs, theobromine poisoning has symptoms such as “vomiting and diarrhea, increased thirst, panting or restlessness, excessive urination, and a racing heart rate. In severe cases, muscle tremors, seizures, and heart failure,” notes VCA Hospitals.
Cheese, milk, ice cream, and dairy products
While milk and these dairy products are a good source of protein and calcium, bearded dragons and other reptiles should not have cheese, yogurt, ice cream, milk, or other dairy products. These pets cannot digest dairy products well. They don’t even drink milk or eat dairy products while in their natural habitat.
How do you expect these reptiles to digest lactose that is abundantly present in milk, yet they don’t have mammary glands? It can cause stomach upsets, bloating, diarrhea, and so on.
If calcium is the issue, ensure you have a correct UV lamp, the right temperature, and heat lamps as well as dusting their food with calcium and multivitamin supplements. Do not forget to give them gut-loaded feeder insects.
Corn, noodle, rice nuts and cereals
Bearded dragons can eat sweet corn (harvested in milk stage), including baby corn occasionally as a treat. However, raw or cooked corn, rice, peanuts as well as peanut butter, pistachios, cheerios, cornmeal, as well as other nuts, seeds, and cereals as they are not their typical foods.
Their digestive system cannot handle these starchy foods. Some dried nuts, cereals, or seeds may also cause impaction.
Fries and chips
While a small bite of French fries or chips may not kill this lizard, fries have much fat, salt, are starchy, and not typical food for these reptiles.
Avoid honey as it is very high in sugar. These pets may not be able to handle that much sugar. However, if mixed with water, a little bit of honey is ok and has antibacterial properties.
Don’t give them mushrooms. While some varieties are not toxic, others are very toxic. Knowing the toxic and non-toxic ones is not easy. Steer off mushrooms
Coconuts are not their natural food, and they may not be able to digest them well. Avoid giving them to your beardies. There are many fruits, vegetables, plants, flowers, and feeder insects that these pets can have.
Dry or wet cat and dog food
While some dog and cat foods may not be harmful to bearded dragons, they may not benefit these agamid lizards that require mostly veggies and feeder insects nutritionally. Therefore, they will not meet their nutritional requirements. Give them only when it is necessary.
Furthermore, cat foods are often high in protein and fats, and some dog foods may contain a lot of starchy foods. Such are not appropriate to these lizards.
Wasps, scorpions, and bees
These are poisonous or stinging insects that can harm your reptile. Don’t let them eat these insects. They may even sting them.
Cicadas, slugs, snails, and lizards
While in the wild bearded dragons to eat snails, slugs, and smaller lizards. They also enjoy eating cicadas, among other insects, invertebrates, and small vertebrates.
However, they should not be wild-caught since snails, small lizards, and slugs may contain parasites and bacteria, while cicadas may have pesticides or insecticides. Don’t let your beardie catch them on their own.
Moss, like sphagnum moss, is not toxic. However, these pets are unlikely to eat it. Most bioactive bearded dragon substrates may have sphagnum moss, and these pets don’t munch it.
Bearded dragons may mistakenly eat their poop more often if you don’t feed them regularly and keep proper hygiene.
Human baby food
The typical baby foods are mashed fish, poultry and red meat, some vegetables (such as broccoli and lentils), rice cereal, oatmeal cereal, applesauce, bananas, avocados, squash, sweet potatoes, fruit puddings and so on.
Most of these foods are not healthy for these pets. The only kind of baby food bearded dragons can have safe fruits and vegetables without any additive.
If you need protein, give them staple insects and bugs as they are far much healthier than protein baby food, including chicken, fish, and meats. Instead, provide them with feeder insects like Dubia roaches, black soldier flies (Calci-worms or phoenix worms), crickets, silkworms, grasshoppers, and locusts.
Bearded dragon salad
Salad refers to a seasoned mixture of cooked or raw vegetables that may have dressings like mayonnaise, a source like ketchup. Salads may come with fish, meat, bacon, pork, and other ingredients. Some of the seasoning ingredients may include herbs and spices like garlic, onions, vinegar, salt, pepper, and so on.
Such salads are not healthy for beardies since some of the ingredients may be harmful to them. Avoid sharing them with your reptile friend.
However, you can also make your bearded dragon vegetable salad using the various vegetables that bearded dragon eat. Such a mixture is ok.
A mixture of turnip greens, squash, asparagus, alfalfa, collard greens, kales, endive, escarole, dandelion green, and other staple veggies can be great for theses pets.