In the wild, a young bearded dragon’s diet would primarily be carnivorous, while an adult’s would be herbivorous. The ideal diet for an adult beardie in captivity should contain proteins, greens, vegetables, and a few fruits, with an approximate split of 25% insects and 75% fruit and vegetables.
Good-quality commercial foods can replace some of the live food or be fed in addition to their standard diet, depending on the beardie’s age and dietary requirements. Commercial foods are usually made up of mealworms or wax worms with calcium and other additives. These should be species-appropriate, and they will need to be appealing to ensure that your beardie is interested in them.
There are many options out there when it comes to choosing the best bearded dragon food and multiple factors to consider. To help, we have included reviews of 10 of the best commercial foods, so you can choose the one that is best for your bearded dragon.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorite Picks in 2023
|Best Overall||Zilla Reptile Munchies Omnivore Mix||
|Best Value||Fluker's Gourmet-Style Mealworms||
|JurassiPet EasiDragon Bearded Dragon Food||
|Fluker's Buffet Blend Adult Bearded Dragon Food||
|Nature Zone Bites Bearded Dragon Food||
The 10 Best Foods for Bearded Dragons
1. Zilla Reptile Munchies Omnivore Mix — Best Overall
Bearded dragons are omnivores, which means that they eat a combination of meat, fruit, vegetables, and greens. The Zilla Reptile Munchies Omnivore Mix meets these requirements with a dehydrated combination of fruits, vegetables, crickets, and mealworms.
Dehydration helps preserve nutrients in the ingredients and means that the food can be stored without having to refrigerate it, making it more convenient for you. The food can be easily rehydrated by adding water, as per the instructions, and then serving.
The resealable bag is easy to store, and this omnivorous commercial food can be fed in combination with leafy greens or on its own as an occasional treat. The food is suitable for all omnivorous reptiles, including bearded dragons, water dragons, box turtles, etc.
The food is convenient, most beardies enjoy its flavor, and it does offer reasonable vitamin and mineral variety. However, it is quite expensive, and when rehydrating the food, it will turn to mush if you aren’t careful.
2. Fluker’s Gourmet-Style Mealworms — Best Value
Fluker’s Gourmet-Style Mealworm Food is a tub of mealworms. These feeder insects grow to a couple of inches in length and have a hard outer shell. As such, young beardies can struggle to get through the shell and may end up swallowing the worm whole. The size and texture of the worm can mean that it can get stuck, causing impaction, which can prove fatal because your bearded dragon may struggle to breathe. Adults and mature bearded dragons do not have this problem and are capable of breaking down the outer layer to successfully consume and digest the mealworm.
In any case, mealworms should not form a staple part of a bearded dragon’s diet and should only be given as a supplementary treat. Feed up to half a dozen mealworms in addition to a single, standard feeding.
Mealworms are approximately 20% protein and contain modest amounts of calcium. Fluker’s Gourmet-Style Mealworms come with a sealed cover to ensure that the contents remain fresh. They are reasonably priced, making them one of the best foods for bearded dragons for the money.
3. JurassiPet EasiDragon Bearded Dragon Food
JurassiPet EasiDragon Bearded Dragon Food is a wet food that can be given as part of your bearded dragon’s diet or as a supplementary treat. It is made from dragonfly larvae, but rather than dehydrating the food, which leaves it hard and requiring rehydrating before you can feed it to your pet, these are roasted before being sealed and packed.
This means that they do not need any preparation before being fed to your beardie, and they can be kept for up to three weeks if covered and stored in the refrigerator. Generally, it is advised to feed a couple of the large larvae at a time, once per day, to a beardie. At this rate, the tin should last between 1-2 weeks.
Most bearded dragons seem to appreciate the treat, but not all, and the larvae are expensive compared to other treats like mealworms.
They also need storing in the fridge, which will not appeal to all owners, although the case is covered, which should prevent the smell from transferring to food.
4. Fluker’s Buffet Blend Adult Bearded Dragon Food
Fluker’s Buffet Blend Adult Bearded Dragon Food is a pellet combination food that contains freeze-dried crickets and mealworms, and the pellets are formulated to contain vitamins and minerals as required by your dragon.
Crickets and mealworms typically make up the insect content of a beardie’s diet. Pellets negate the need for live food, or they can be used when you are unable to get hold of live crickets or other foods. The food is aimed at adult bearded dragons and should not be fed to juveniles because they have different nutritional requirements.
This is inexpensive food and does a decent job of offering the levels of calcium, vitamins, and minerals that your beardie needs. It can also remove the need to live-feed. However, beardies benefit from being given calcium-loaded live insects rather than freeze-dried ones.
Some beardies, when presented with a choice of insect or pellet, will eat the crickets and ignore the pellets, while others require the movement of live insects to even consider striking and eating their food. The red coloring of the pellets also gets somewhat messy when it gets wet, and this can transfer around the cage and even onto the beardie itself.
5. Nature Zone Bites Bearded Dragon Food
Nature Zone Bearded Dragon Food consists of bite-sized chunks of gel cube. They contain whey and soy protein, combined with whole egg, soluble carbohydrates, fiber, and vitamins, and minerals. The food enables your beardie to take on a healthy level of calcium. The manufacturer claims that it has a similar moisture ratio to the insects and vegetables that a beardie would eat in the wild. The food has also been infused with a prickly pear aroma to encourage your beardies to eat it.
Nature Zone Bites have been enhanced with essential vitamins, like D3, and it offers bioavailable calcium. Bioavailable means that the body absorbs and uses the calcium. The company claims that these bites can be fed on their own or sprinkled over food as a treat. It is reasonably priced, considering the size of the jar, and it is considered suitable for young and adult beardies.
However, it should only be fed as a treat or supplemental addition to a standard diet. The tub will keep up to 6 months if stored properly. Considering how picky bearded dragons are, it can prove difficult to convince them to eat foods like this, and the ingredients are not necessarily species-appropriate.
6. Zilla Reptile Munchies Mealworms
Zilla Reptile Munchies Mealworms is a tub of freeze-dried mealworms that are suitable for bearded dragons and other reptiles. They can even be used as treats for fish and wild birds.
The resealable bag is convenient and easy to store, and because the mealworms are freeze-dried, they will keep it for months, without having to throw them out or waste them. The bag is a decent size, negating the need to buy replacements too often, and the food is convenient.
Mealworms are considered fine as an occasional treat for your beardie, but freeze-dried ones are less appealing than fresh ones. These are quite brittle, which means that they can break apart in the bag and may shatter when your beardie attempts to grab one.
7. Rep-Cal Adult Bearded Dragon Food
Rep-Cal Adult Bearded Dragon Food is bearded dragon food that has been formulated for adult beardies. It contains vitamin D3, calcium, and a host of other vitamins and minerals.
Rep-Cal says that the food is meant for pairing with vegetables and live insects, rather than being fed as a solitary source of food at mealtimes. When combined with leafy greens, vegetables, and crickets, it does help deliver all the required vitamins and minerals that help sustain a bearded dragon’s growth during their adult years.
This is a convenient supplementary food that can be used as a treat, added to a diet as a tasty extra, or incorporated into a daily feeding schedule. It is worth noting that beardies are notoriously picky little eaters and don’t always like these additional treats. Try introducing it a little at a time over several days to get your bearded dragon used to the look, smell, and taste of the food. This is especially true of pellets and dry foods.
While the movement of insects will grab your beardie’s attention, the same can’t be said of pellets. Also, this should not be fed as a sole food source.
- Related Read: How Often Should a Bearded Dragon Poop?
8. Zoo Med Gourmet Bearded Dragon Food
Zoo Med Gourmet Bearded Dragon Food is a large canister of beardie food pellets. It is a reasonable price and is meant to supplement an existing diet, so it should not be fed as a solitary food source. It contains ingredients like blueberries, mealworms, and dried rose petals.
These ingredients are considered species-appropriate and are among the foodstuffs that a beardie would eat in the wild. The ingredients have been fortified with vitamins and minerals too, ensuring that they offer everything that your little lizard needs. Zoo Med does not use artificial colorings, flavorings, or preservatives, and the tub itself has a convenient screw lid so the food will keep for weeks once opened.
The food combines pellets with dried insects, and this can lead to beardies cherry-picking the dried insects and pushing the rest of the ingredients aside. Although not all beardies will take to this food, especially picky eaters, and some may leave the pellets, it may still be worth trying as an additional source of vitamins and minerals and to add variety to their diet.
9. Mazuri Bearded Dragon Diet Food
Mazuri Bearded Dragon Diet Food is designed to replace the live insect portion of your bearded dragon’s diet, which means that you should still feed them leafy greens and vegetables. The ingredients of this food are primarily made up of chicken meal, which is not considered species-appropriate.
It also contains ingredients such as soybean hulls and ground wheat, which add to the protein levels but are not considered high-quality or appropriate for bearded dragons. Because beardies are not accustomed to eating dry food, you will need to slowly transition them to this food. Start by mixing it with a little water, and gradually moving over to feeding it dry. This can be a great deal of effort.
The price is reasonable, the food does replace the need to live-feed if this is not possible, and it is fortified with vitamins and minerals to ensure that your beardie is getting a full and balanced diet. However, your dragon will benefit from live food and will probably prefer species-appropriate insects over chicken. If you do have to feed them an alternative, some others require less effort than this one.
10. Healthy Herp 71905 Veggie Mix
Healthy Herp 71905 Veggie Mix is a jar of freeze-dried vegetables and greens that are quite expensive, even compared to more exotic feeds. It is freeze-dried, which means that it has to be mixed with water in preparation for feeding. Many of the pieces are small and remain so even after rehydrating them.
Because it is freeze-dried, though, the veggie mix can be kept and stored in the cupboard for emergencies if you are unable to buy fresh vegetables and greens. As with all freeze-dried and dry foods, it can be difficult to convince a bearded dragon to try this food, even if you leave it to soak beforehand.
Bearded dragons are picky eaters and have specific dietary and nutritional requirements. They need a combination of greens, vegetables, and insects — ideally, live ones. They should also be given additional vitamins and minerals, especially calcium and vitamin C, to ensure that they grow to a healthy size and that maintain a healthy weight and body.
You should look to feed them a combination of fresh vegetables and greens, along with live insects, although you can also feed them supplementary foods and treats such as mealworms or freeze-dried insects. When buying bearded dragon food, do ensure that it is species-appropriate, which means that it is food that a beardie would naturally find in the wild. Also, make sure it offers the vitamins and minerals that they require without containing too many calories, because beardies can suffer from weight problems.
We have listed 10 of the best bearded dragon foods so you can choose the one that best matches your beardie’s feeding pattern and nutritional requirements.
Zilla Reptiles Munchies Omnivore Mix is a combination of dehydrated vegetables and insects. It can get a bit messy when rehydrating the mix but is otherwise a good backup or supplementary feed. Flukers Gourmet-Style Mealworms are a good treat that is inexpensive and considered suitable for bearded dragons.
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