Bearded dragons are omnivores which means that their natural diet includes both “meat” (in their case, mostly insects) and plant material. Therefore, at least half the diet of a captive/pet Beaded Dragon should consist of insects such as crickets, grasshoppers and cockroaches, as well as mealworms and mealworm beetles as an occasional snack.
The second half of a Bearded Dragon’s diet should consist of a combination of shredded or torn vegetables, fruit, flowers and flower leaves. A wide variety should be offered, in a shallow container placed in the cooler part of the terrarium – and yes, beetroot is a suitable vegetable to give Bearded Dragons. However, if giving beetroot salad, be aware of what is contained in the rest of the salad as there may be certain things which Bearded Dragons should not eat, namely cabbage and spinach-type vegetables, as well as onions. These should be avoided as they can potentially cause a type of anaemia or – in the case of spinach which binds with free calcium, therefore rendering it unavailable to the body – lead to a hypocalcaemic state. So make sure you check through any pre-prepared salads and remove any unsuitable vegetable types.
Suitable fruits, vegetables and flowers include:
• kiwis • grapes • strawberries • raspberries • bananas • papayas • melon • apple • peach • pear • orange-fleshed squash • mango
• nasturtium • lucerne/alfalfa • carrot tops • parsley • celery • rosemary • oregano • basil
• baby marrows • patty pans • pumpkin • green beans • peas • corn/maize • broccoli • carrots • beatroot
• nasturtium • lucerne/alfalfa • hibiscus • dandelion • panzies • carnations • rose pedals
Young Bearded Dragons which need more protein may need more insects relative to the plant material in their diet but as they approach adulthood, the ratio should approximate 50:50. Young Bearded Dragons will probably need to be fed 3 to 4 times a day (certainly not less than 2 times a day) but adult Bearded Dragons can be fed once a day or even every other day.
Finally, don’t forget to always have fresh water freely available. Despite Bearded Dragons being desert reptiles and despite the fact that you will probably never see one drinking, it is important to always provide a shallow container of fresh, clean water.