Beardie Eating A Green Bean

Beardie Eating A Green Bean

So your bearded dragon is being stubborn and not eating his vegetables, fruits, or greens?   You are not alone.  This happens to be a typical obstacle that beardie owners face, particularly when the dragon reaches that transition stage of its life when it goes from eating mostly insects as a baby, to eating mostly vegetation as an adult. In this post, I’m going to offer a few handy tricks to get your beardie to eat the green stuff. Every beardie is different, so not every method will work for all beardies.

However, I believe you’ll have success with at least one of these tactics, if you venture to try them all with patience.

First, it is essential to note that the age of your beardie matters a lot. Most bearded dragons begin to eat greens more regularly between the ages of 7 and 12 months.  Some may welcome the leafy ruffage sooner than others.  Regardless, when a dragon is under 1 – 1.5 years old, it is natural and healthy for him to eat mostly insects. Therefore, don’t feel bad if your dragon is taking longer to adjust. They all come around eventually.  If you have an adult dragon that is older than 1.5 years and is still refusing vegetables, you might have a more serious problem.  Even in that case, though, you should give these tips a shot.

How to Get Your Bearded Dragon To Eat Fruits & Vegetables:

TACTIC #1 – The Paper Towel –  Based on feedback from the bearded dragon forum community, this tactic works wonders for a lot of dragons, no matter what age they are.  What you do is place the vegetation on a white paper towel within reach of the beardie.  The paper towel may be placed inside the terrarium or outside, depending on where the lizard normally eats. If he or she is used to eating outside of the terrarium, then you may do it that way.  Otherwise, it can be placed inside the terrarium.  Your pet will be attracted to the sharp contrast of color between the white paper towel and the green or colored vegetable that sits on top of it.  For whatever reason, many bearded dragons are drawn to this color contrast and decide to eat veggies when they are laid on the white background.  Eventually, after the lizard is used to eating vegetation from the paper towel, you can start putting it in a regular food dish and he or she will eat it.

TACTIC #2 – Creepy Crawly Veggies – This is a very simple trick that dupes your dragon into eating his veggies. Basically, just mix the mealworms or any other kind of worm with the salad.  When the beardie goes to eat the mealies, he won’t be able to help getting the vegetation in his mouth at the same time.  Before long, he’ll be in the habit of eating his veggies, whether or not they are moving. 😉

TACTIC #3 – The Basking Spot –  Most beardies frequently lick their environment.  It is their natural way of exploring and identifying what is around them. You can take advantage of this behavior and use it to get the beardie to eat his veggies.  The basking spot is one of the most common areas that your beardie licks.  The key to this technique is to start small.  I recommend starting off with a small piece of leaf or fruit or vegetable, no larger than the beardie’s eyes.  Just place this piece of vegetation on top of the basking log or rock in front of your beardie.  Soon enough, as he licks around, he’ll pick it up.

In addition to the above tactics, you may also try hand-feeding small bits of greens one at a time.  Also, if the beardie is between the ages of 6 months and 1 year,  you can get away with skipping a day or two of insect feeding and only offer fruits and vegetables.  When he gets hungry, he’ll have no choice but to eat the veggies and fruits.

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