How do you get a bearded dragon to eat?

In this article, we are going to answer how you get a bearded dragon to eat, what a bearded dragon is, whether a bearded dragon should be a pet, what a bearded dragon eats, and how to keep a bearded dragon healthy as a pet. 

How do you get a bearded dragon to eat?

It is uncommon for bearded dragons to not want to eat but there are several factors that can affect a bearded dragon. To get your bearded dragon to eat you need to:

  • Consider the possibilities of why your bearded dragon is not eating such as
  • Changes in lighting, temperature, or diet. This can happen especially if they are missing enough UV light. 
  • Changes in the bearded dragon environment. 
  • Stress
  • Growing
  • Shedding 
  • Change in diet preferences
  • Two bearded dragons in the same tank
  • Malnutrition
  • Injury 
  • Disease
  • Once you know why he is not eating, fix the problem and you can try to offer a varied diet to see if he prefers another food. 
  • Try to make the experience of eating fun or try someone else to feed him
  • Keep feeding him until he eats. 

What is a bearded dragon?

bearded dragons or Pogona are reptiles that are omnivores, meaning they eat both plants and animals as a source of food. They have an average life span of 4 to 10 years, measure about 18 to 22 inches, and weigh about 10 to 18 ounces. 

They are named bearded dragons because they look like dragons. There are 8 species of bearded dragons in Australia and they have been domesticated making them a very popular pet reptile. The most common bearded dragon that is used as a pet is known as Pogona vitticeps. 

They are generally found in wild Australia because they prefer hot and dry weather such as deserts, savannas, and scrublands. bearded dragons are cold-blooded, meaning they do not regulate their temperature and depend on hot weather to keep warm. Cold weather can kill bearded dragons. 

bearded dragons are known to be territorial and fight for food. Males can be aggressive to female bearded dragons if not show submissive behavior toward them. The beard that is very characteristic in bearded dragons is used to communicate between them. 

Can a bearded dragon be a pet?

Yes, bearded dragons are excellent pets, especially for kids. They are very docile and gentle creatures and can be easy for kids to handle. They are easy to take care of but they do need attention, regular meals, attention, special lighting and space, and maintenance. 

What does a bearded dragon eat?

bearded dragons can eat a huge amount of vegetables, insects, and in a small proportion fruit. When they are in the wild, they can also eat flowers and in some cases lizards or small rodents. 

Veggies are a better option than fruit for bearded dragons because veggies do not have high sugar content. bearded dragons should eat about 80 to 90% of their diet based on veggies and flowers. 

Some veggies that are an excellent source for bearded dragons include

  • Peas
  • Green beans
  • Courgette
  • Butternut squash
  • Sweet potato
  • Bell pepper
  • Broccoli in small quantities, no more than once per week
  • Acorn squash
  • Cabbage
  • Parsnip
  • Yellow squash
  • Asparagus
  • Okra
  • Swiss chard
  • Kohlrabi

Veggies such as swiss chard, spinach, and beet greens should be given to bearded dragons just once in a while because they contain a high amount of oxalates that can prevent the correct absorption of trace minerals. 

bearded dragons can eat fruit but in small amounts and not every day because of the sugar content in fruit. If bearded dragons eat too many fruits they can gain weight and have health problems. Fruit should be no more than 10 to 20 % of bearded dragons’ diet. Some fruits that can be added as part of bearded dragons’ diet include

  • Figs
  • Watermelon 
  • Apples
  • Mango
  • Papaya
  • Dates

Citrus fruit should be avoided because it can cause stomach discomfort in bearded dragons. They can also eat Insects such as

  • Crickets
  • King worms
  • Waxworms
  • Earthworms

When giving insects to bearded dragons, it is recommended they are bought and not taken from your garden because they can contain fertilizers or insecticides and cause harm to your bearded dragon. 

How to keep a bearded dragon healthy as a pet? 

bearded dragons need special care when they are domesticated. Some special care you need to know includes

  • You need a special terrarium. When they reach adult life, you need a terrarium of about 122 X 61 cm. 
  • You need a heating source because they are cold blood and need hot weather to keep them warm. 
  • They need humidity between 20% to 30%.
  • Water needs to be changed daily
  • They might need some supplements such as calcium with vitamin D3 and multivitamins. 
  • They can also eat prepared diets 

Follow this link for common bearded dragon care mistakes. 


This article answered how you get a bearded dragon to eat, what a bearded dragon is, whether a bearded dragon can be a pet, what a bearded dragon eats, and how to keep a bearded dragon healthy as a pet.