How to Get Baby Bearded Dragon to Eat
Bearded dragons are fascinating reptiles and make great pets. However, getting a baby bearded dragon to eat can sometimes be a challenge. If you recently acquired a baby bearded dragon and are struggling to get them to eat, here are some tips to help stimulate their appetite and ensure they are getting the nutrition they need.
1. Create a comfortable environment: Provide a warm and spacious habitat for your baby bearded dragon. Make sure the temperature is maintained between 95°F and 105°F during the day, with a cooler side of around 80°F. A comfortable environment will encourage them to eat.
2. Offer a variety of food: Provide a diverse diet for your baby bearded dragon, including live insects such as crickets, mealworms, and dubia roaches. Additionally, offer leafy greens and vegetables like collard greens, kale, and carrots. Variety will help to entice them to eat.
3. Gut-load insects: Prior to feeding insects to your baby bearded dragon, ensure they are well-fed. Gut-loading involves feeding the insects nutrient-rich foods such as leafy greens or high-quality commercial gut-loading diets. This way, your dragon will receive more nutritional value from the insects they consume.
4. Dust insects with calcium and vitamins: Dusting live insects with calcium and vitamin supplements is crucial for the development of a healthy baby bearded dragon. Calcium is essential for strong bones and overall growth. Dust the insects with calcium powder at every feeding, and use a vitamin supplement a few times a week.
5. Offer small, appropriately-sized food: Baby bearded dragons have small mouths, so make sure the food you offer is small enough for them to eat. Cut leafy greens into small pieces and ensure insects are no larger than the space between their eyes.
6. Feed in an appropriate container: Using a separate feeding container can help stimulate your baby bearded dragon to eat. Place them in a shallow dish containing their food, ensuring it is easily accessible. This can also help prevent substrate ingestion.
7. Establish a feeding routine: Creating a consistent feeding routine is beneficial for baby bearded dragons. Offer food at the same time each day to establish a routine and make them feel secure. This will help encourage an appetite.
8. Hand-feeding: If your baby bearded dragon is particularly reluctant to eat, try hand-feeding them. Use small tongs or forceps to offer the food directly in front of their mouth. This can help stimulate their hunting instincts.
9. Monitor behavior: Keep an eye on your baby bearded dragon’s behavior. If they are lethargic, have a decreased appetite for an extended period, or show signs of illness, seek veterinary guidance. It is essential to address any health concerns promptly.
10. Be patient: It may take some time for a baby bearded dragon to adjust to their new environment and start eating regularly. Be patient and persistent in offering them food and creating a comfortable environment.
11. Proper hydration: Ensure your baby bearded dragon has access to fresh, clean water at all times. Mist their enclosure regularly to provide humidity and allow them to drink droplets from the surfaces.
12. Seek professional advice: If you are experiencing ongoing difficulties in getting your baby bearded dragon to eat, consult a reptile veterinarian for expert guidance and assistance.
1. How often should I feed my baby bearded dragon?
Baby bearded dragons should be fed 2-3 times a day.
2. Should I feed my baby bearded dragon only insects?
No, a balanced diet for a baby bearded dragon includes both insects and leafy greens/vegetables.
3. What are some common feeding mistakes to avoid?
Avoid feeding your baby bearded dragon food that is too large, using inappropriate substrates, and insufficiently dusting insects with supplements.
4. How can I entice my baby bearded dragon to eat leafy greens?
Try offering a variety of greens, cutting them into small, manageable pieces, and mixing them with insects.
5. Can I feed my baby bearded dragon fruits?
Fruits should be given as an occasional treat due to their high sugar content.
6. How long should I wait for my baby bearded dragon to eat before seeking veterinary help?
If your baby bearded dragon hasn’t eaten for several days or shows signs of illness, consult a reptile veterinarian.
7. Can I feed my baby bearded dragon dead insects?
It is generally better to feed live insects as they provide more mental stimulation and mimic natural hunting behavior.
8. Should I remove uneaten food from the enclosure?
Yes, remove any uneaten food after approximately 15-20 minutes to prevent spoilage and bacterial growth.
9. What are some signs of a healthy appetite in a baby bearded dragon?
Signs of a healthy appetite include actively hunting for food, showing excitement at mealtime, and eating a variety of food items.
10. Can I feed my baby bearded dragon earthworms?
Earthworms can be fed to baby bearded dragons as an occasional treat, but they should not make up the majority of their diet.
11. How long does it take for a baby bearded dragon to adjust to a new environment?
It can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks for a baby bearded dragon to adjust to a new environment.
12. Can I feed my baby bearded dragon baby food?
Baby food is not suitable for baby bearded dragons as it lacks the necessary nutrients and may contain ingredients that are harmful to them.
Remember, ensuring a healthy and balanced diet for your baby bearded dragon is essential for their growth and well-being. By following these tips and being patient, you can help your baby bearded dragon develop a healthy appetite and thrive in their new home.