A kitty-cat’s just not for you and a dog, well… they’re really a lot of work, and now you’ve got your heart set on a super-cool Bearded Dragon. These omnivorous, reptilian critters do make relatively low-maintenance pets (you’ll just need to brush up on the ideal environment to keep him happy, healthy and stimulated), and of course, they do require a well-balanced diet (don’t we all?) of plants and bugs (YUM!!!). So, if you’re a tad bit squeamish about purchasing and storing creepy, crawly insects and then feeding them to your little bearded friend, time to get over it!
So, just HOW many bugs are we talking about here? Well, the ratio of vegetables to bugs that your Dragon eats depends on his age; younger beardies will eat 80% insects and 20% veggies and fruit. And like most youngsters, they don’t ALWAYS want to eat their veggies, so you’ll need to leave them in his terrarium when he’s awake (no dessert until they’re all gone!… wait a second… just what does a Beardie like for dessert anyway?). On the other hand, older Dragons will eat a mix of 20% bugs and 80% fruits and vegetables. So, if this is your very first Bearded Dragon, you might just be better off with an older Dragon whose feeding regime is slightly easier to manage. As for exactly what types of insects to offer your Dragon, here’s a quick rundown of some delicious, mouth-watering options:
Now that your appetite is piqued, you just might be thinking that the creepy, annoying insects you find around your house will make an economical, yummy treat for your dragon, right?! (C’mon, admit it… there’s ALWAYS some little critter crawling around, no matter HOW meticulously clean you are!) BUT, these insects could very well be carrying parasites or may have even ingested some form of pesticide that you’ve so carefully strewn about in an attempt to eradicate the little creeps in the first place. So, don’t think of Mr. Beardie over there as a receptacle for any and all creepy-crawlies. Instead, you should purchase his insects from a trusted source that raises insects (or supplies them) strictly for the purpose of feeding reptiles. Your local pet store should be able to help you in this decision.
As for what fruits and vegetables to feed him... firstly, you’ll want to be certain that anything he eats is small enough to prevent a choking hazard (just how would you give the Heimlich manoeuvre to a Beardie?). So, ideally, any fruit or veggie should be no larger than the space between his eyes. And, here’s a short list of just some of the fruits and vegetables safe to feed him:
Of course, you’ll need to offer him fresh, clean water daily and be certain to thoroughly disinfect his water dish every week. If you’d like a little more information on how to care for your Bearded Dragon, check out: www.thebeardeddragon.org. Or has the thought of insects (the fear of which is known as Entomophobia) completely soured you on the idea of a Bearded Dragon? Well, how about a turtle? Check out this blog here to see if it’s time for a turtle: http://www.dkc.ae/post/81/time-for-a-turtle.
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