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Bearded Dragons And Canned Food

Have you found yourself wondering if it is safe to feed your pet bearded dragon canned food?

Most experts say to feed your reptiles live insects, but does this mean it is unsafe to provide them canned protein sources?

If you do feed your bearded dragon canned foods, what should you be looking for? 

Are there any benefits or drawbacks of feeding them this type of food?

As fellow beardie owners and lovers, we want to help you get to the bottom of these questions.

This article will answer whether or not bearded dragons should be fed canned food, what canned foods are considered we will provide ” good” and “bad,” and a list of suggested foods sold on Amazon.

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Bearded Dragons And Canned Food: Can They Eat It?

As a responsible owner, you should always strive to feed your pet bearded dragon live insects and fresh plant matter. Canned food is not a recommended part of a beardie’s diet, but it is good to have some canned foods on hand for certain situations.

It is always recommended to feed your pet dragon live insects like crickets and grasshoppers.

And we have a guide on how many crickets bearded dragons can eat daily that pairs well with all the information in this post we recommend you come back and read.

There are several reasons live food is a better option for reptiles than dried, canned insects.

First, feeding your animal live food provides it with mental stimulation. 

This simulates what their feeding habits would be in the wild and will get your pet excited to eat. 

Live feeding will also encourage movement in your animal.

A balanced diet for an adult comprises approximately 70% plant matter and 30% insect protein. 

With plant matter being such a large portion of their diet, the best fruits and vegetables to provide are fresh and organic.

It is essential to note your bearded dragon may suffer from long-term health issues if their fresh and live foods are supplemented regularly. 

For instance, a can of green beans does not carry the same nutritious value as a fresh salad made up of kale and collard greens.

A nutritious diet is vital for a healthy dragon, and preservatives found in processed and canned goods will hurt their long-term health.

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What Kind Of Canned Food Is Acceptable?

We know canned food is not a recommended food source; however, it may be acceptable in certain situations. 

Let’s take a closer look at what some of these instances look like and what qualifies as “good” and “bad” when discussing canned insects, fruits, and vegetables.

Some possible situations where canned food is your best or only option for reptiles include:

  • Food shortages
  • Natural disaster/Intense storm
  • No access to live food
  • Accidentally ran out

It is a good idea to keep some canned reptile food on hand in case of emergencies. 

For example, if there were ever food shortages at your local pet store, you know you have a backup plan.

If you live in an area where blizzards are common or are at risk of being affected by a flash flood, you will need to have an emergency supply of food for your beardie.

Stocking up on emergency dragon food is just as important as making sure you have enough bread and canned beans before an intense storm hits. 

It is always best to have backup food on hand, so your bearded dragon is never at risk of going hungry.

Some other scenarios where canned foods are needed include the reptile keepers’ inability to obtain live food. 

If the preferred food is not a viable option for one reason or another, having dried or canned food on hand will keep your pet beardie from starving.

You may run out of food and not realize until it is too late. 

Many people live busy lives, and remembering to buy reptile food on the way home may not be the number one errand to come to mind at the end of a long day.

Whatever the reason may be for feeding your bearded dragon canned or processed food, it should always be food made specifically for reptile consumption. 

Never substitute their food with commercial food intended for human consumption. 

These animals have different qualifications for a nutritious diet than we do.

Good Foods

You want the foods you provide to be rich in nutrition and appropriately sized for your beardie. 

When feeding insects to your bearded dragon, the total size of the insect should be no larger than the space between the dragon’s eyes.

Inspecting the nutrition facts to see if any vitamin D3 and calcium are present in the food you are purchasing is an excellent idea. 

Vitamin D3 and calcium are two of the most critical nutrients for these lizards and should be a part of their daily diet.

If this healthy vitamin and mineral combination is not present, food supplements like phosphorus-free calcium powder are an excellent addition to your nutritious food blend.

Fluker’s sells Gourmet-Style Grasshoppers on Amazon, which are described as a moist, nutritious meal. 

The moisture content is listed as 80% on its packaging, astonishing for a jarred insect option.

Zoo Med is another distributor with a great food option for reptiles. 

Gourmet Bearded Dragon Food is a fitting choice for baby dragons as well as adults. 

The listed ingredients for this food include vitamin D.

Zoo Med also sells pet food options such as Can O’ Worms and Can O’ Crickets

If the insects in these cans are too large for your baby bearded dragons, be sure to cut them to the appropriate size before feeding them.

All worms, including wax worms, mealworms, and super worms, should be kept as a treat and should not be fed to your beardie as part of their daily diet. 

Insects like super worms tend to be higher in fat content than grasshoppers and crickets.

When deciding to feed your beardie processed insects, be sure you are giving them protein sources with healthy vitamin levels.

Bad Foods

Although no canned food is considered the perfect food for a bearded dragon, some foods are better to steer clear of altogether.

Soft foods are one of these bearded dragon foods to stay away from. 

Although these foods likely have a higher moisture level than dried insects, soft foods run the risk of damaging this insect-eating reptile’s teeth.

Bearded dragons have very delicate teeth, and soft foods allow bacteria to stick to the teeth more easily than dry foods. 

If you feel the commercial food you have is too dry, make your own moisturized food by adding a little water to the food dish.

Keep softer insects such as silkworms reserved for an occasional treat.

Avoid feeding canned fruits or vegetables to your lizard. 

Bearded dragons are only meant to have a small portion of their diet dedicated to fruit. 

You want nutritious fruits to be the only fruits you provide.

There are some tropical fruit mix-ins available to add to your beardie’s diet, but it is best to stick to fresh, nutritious fruits.

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Final Thoughts

The list of perfect food for adult and baby bearded dragons does not include canned food. 

Sometimes it is necessary to provide commercial food, so it is best to keep some on hand.

Always serve dried food with water and avoid feeding any canned vegetables or tropical fruit mix-ins. 

Nutritious fruits may be treated every so often, but the nutrients provided by canned fruits do not outweigh their negative aspects.

The only canned foods we recommend purchasing for your insect-eating reptiles are canned or dried insects. 

These animals should be primarily fed live food, saving the canned choices for emergencies.

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