The Bearded Dragon is one of the famous reptilian pets. It is relatively easy to care for and hardy. They feed on a variety of insects. They often benefit from a meat-based, live diet, this actually means serving them insects. Here a question arises, can the bearded dragons eat mealworms?
Mealworms are often considered a safe addition to the adult bearded dragon’s food, but they should not be given to the juveniles because they cannot deal with the exterior chitin of the insects. They also have high-fat content and phosphorus but possess low-level of calcium (Ca) and protein.
So, while these insects are safe, they are not considered a healthy addition. You can also dust them with the supplements, to enhance the mineral and vitamin content of the insects, but also feed other kinds of insects, such as crickets, as the bearded dragon’s primary (meat-based) food source.
The phosphorus and calcium content in the mealworms
When searching for healthy food for your bearded dragon, you must see the Calcium to Phosphorus ratio of the foods like veggies and insects. Bearded dragons need Calcium, and also require vitamin D-3 to assist their body to absorb the ingredients.
If it gets a large amount of phosphorus, it resists the formation and use of vitamin D-3 which, in turn, blocks the calcium absorption in a proper way. Experts suggest a Calcium to Phosphorus ratio of 1.5: 1 to 2: 1. The Ca-P ratio in mealworms differs but is 0.33: 1 at the peak, which is too low. Giant king worms and mealworms have almost similar ratios. So, you can give only a few mealworms at one time, and as also as a supplement, that is given in addition to the bearded dragon’s main insect diet.
High-fat content in the mealworms
Mealworms have a high-fat content. It means if you give too much of this insect to your bearded dragon, it can lead to weight gain and cause obesity. If you give additional meals and foods that contain too many fats, you should be very careful when serving mealworms to your beardie. Bearded dragons are attackable to become overweight, and the overweight beardies are tending to become unhealthy beardies.
They are addictive. Despite not having the proper nutritional ratio/value for your pets, your bearded dragon will develop a taste for mealworms. It means that your pet becomes addicted to mealworms. When you stop giving it, your lizard may be in search of the mealworm because of the addiction and also avoid the other foods or insects that are offered instead.
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How many mealworms can an adult bearded dragon eat per day?
Mealworms are a tasty treat but not a nutritious treat for the bearded dragon. You can give three or two mealworms to the bearded dragon as a supplement in their diet.
Can bearded dragons eat dried mealworms?
Yes, the bearded dragons can eat dried mealworms. Dried mealworms provide many advantages over live mealworms. Whether the mealworms were freeze-dried or naturally dried, they don’t need to keep cold in any way. It is safe to give dried mealworms to your bearded dragon, but they should be given in moderate amounts. These dried mealworms are only given to fully mature bearded dragons
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Can juvenile bearded dragons eat mealworms?
Juvenile Bearded Dragons are those that are under 18 months, and they should not feed any mealworm to beardies at this age. This insect has a coating of chitin that is difficult to chew and digest. Your young bearded dragon can become sick if you feed it mealworms.
Can baby bearded dragons eat mealworms?
Similarly, baby bearded dragons are too young and the mealworms have a hard coating that the baby bearded dragons can not digest. So, it should not be given to baby bearded dragons.
Bearded dragons usually thrive and survive on a mixture of leafy green veggies, insects, and fruit(on occasions), along with the supplements to put additional minerals and vitamins that they require. Crickets are a very common insect, and many owners like to give their pets a variety of foods.
Mealworms are not too dangerous for adult beardies, but they are low in calcium and have high-fat content. They are hard for young bearded dragons to digest, and can cause juveniles to sick, and they can only be given as supplemental and occasional treats for adult bearded dragons that can digest and chew them.
Similarly, the dried mealworm can be given as a treat to your bearded dragon but they can not offer the advantages of moisture. Generally, you can give up to 2-3 mealworms at the same time, but they can not replace the more beneficial insects such as roaches or crickets as the primary run of insects for the bearded dragons.
I am Nick James, I have been three male beardies since 2015. I love to take care of my pets and their diet. Here, I am sharing my personal experiences and strategies to grow up your cute pet.