How to Get Veggies into Your Bearded Dragon

Bearded dragons (or ‘beardies’) are a species of lizard so called because of a kind of ‘ruff’ around the lower half of their necks. They are omnivorous with non-static eating habits. When young, they will mainly require protein or meat as food to help them grow. Once they are a certain age, however, they will shift to mainly greens, but you need to encourage this transition.

Sometimes it is easy to get your beardie into the greener pastures. At other times, the little blighters can be really stubborn. If you’ve got a stubborn beardie then you’re going to have to use a few tricks to get them to ‘eat their peas’ so to speak. (Please note at the start: certain vegetables are just outright bad or lethal for your beardie and these include kale, cabbage, avocado, rhubarb, lettuce and spinach. Please do a quick search online or get advice from your vet before feeding the beardie anything.)

The first little trick to try is actually quite simple. Make sure the beardie can see its food. If it can’t see the little green leaf in the corner of its cage, try putting it in its water-bowl or hanging it in front of the beardie so it can bite off chunks. Try moving the veggie around a bit as well to make it look alive, as beardies like to consume live food. You can also drop it from on top so the beardie might want to ‘catch’ it. Once a beardie finds that greens are edible, they will continue eating with some relish.

You might also want to try the whole ‘Trojan horse’ technique. If you’ve been feeding the beardie crickets, then you can actually stuff a whole bunch of greens into the cricket before giving it to your pet. Like a Christmas turkey except with a cricket. When the beardie eats the cricket it will be eating the greens as well. Or, just mix up a lot of cricket and insect food with the veggies so that the beardie ends up eating a bit of both.

Then of course there’s the ‘tough love’ method where you don’t feed your beardie anything for a couple days and then shove some greens into the cage. This is hard to do, watching your beardie go hungry and looking up at you with those imploring eyes, but that’s why it’s called ‘tough’ love right? So anyway, starve your dragon, mist the vegetables and then wave them around in its face. They might just eat them for the moisture, but they will eat them and start to develop a taste.

Don’t hesitate to use any little tricks you can to get your dragon eating greens and vegetables; it’s extremely important to the lizard’s health and growth. Hopefully after one or two weeks using the above methods or any others you may have thought of, your dragon will be happily munching away like a little cow.

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