Can Bearded Dragons Eat Spiders?

Should you worry if your bearded dragon snags a spider when you look away for a moment?

Is it safe to feed your bearded dragon spiders found in your home?

Like many bearded dragon parents, you probably allow yours to roam around the house on occasion. 

Monitoring your beardie’s every move at any given moment is a nearly impossible feat. 

You may have noticed it gobble up a tasty looking insect or household arachnid, only to worry if your bearded friend has just poisoned himself. 

This may make you panic and wonder:

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Spiders?

Yes, bearded dragons can (and probably will, given the opportunity) eat spiders; however, don’t allow this as a common practice. House spiders can carry parasites or pesticides, have less nutritional value than other insects like crickets and locusts, and some types of spiders are poisonous.

Read on to learn more about why spiders aren’t recommended for bearded dragons, which spiders to avoid specifically, and what to feed your beloved beardie instead.

can bearded dragons eat spiders

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Spiders?

While feeding household arachnids to your beardie may seem like a great way to get rid of spiders while providing a meal to your pet, it’s generally not a good idea. 

Here are a few key reasons to avoid using spiders as a snack for your bearded dragon:

Spiders may carry parasites.

As carnivores, spiders eat other bugs which may carry parasites or have contact with pesticides. 

This is also why you should avoid feeding your bearded dragon other household bugs.

Venomous spiders may cause illness.

Bearded dragons are highly unlikely to be harmed by venomous spider bites. 

However, ingesting a poisonous one could cause your bearded dragon to become ill.

They’re not nutritious for adult bearded dragons (or the babies!).

Spiders do not provide the ideal nutrition to keep your pet beardie happy and healthy. 

As omnivores, your bearded dragon will need a mixed diet of insects, vegetables, and greens.

Fruits served less frequently make excellent treats.

You may want to keep the household arachnids around.

Spiders are helpful to have around to catch and eat other pesky insects, such as flies.

What If My Bearded Dragon Eats A Spider? Should I Be Worried?

There is no immediate need to panic if your beardie eats a house spider. 

Just like any pet, sometimes animals eat things they shouldn’t. 

The bugs are certainly no greens, but it’ll be OK.

First, take a deep breath. 

The occasional household arachnid eaten by your bearded dragon is likely not going to become a serious problem. 

If your dragon does eat a spider and you’re feeling anxious, there are a few things to keep in mind to calm your nerves.

If you know what type of spider was eaten, look it up to see if it’s poisonous.

Color may give you a hint if the arachnid has harmful chemicals in its systems. Bright colors are the ones to look for, specifically reds and greens.

(Look below for some common poisonous spiders.) 

If the spider isn’t poisonous, you have little reason to panic. 

House spiders may carry parasites or pesticides, but consuming a single non-poisonous spider is very unlikely to harm your beardie. 

If you’re unsure what kind of spider was on the menu for your beardie, keep a close eye on your pet. 

You know your pet better than anyone else. 

For the next 24 hours, watch for signs of distress and contact your vet if you have any reasons for concern.

Poisonous Spiders

Here’s a list of common North American poisonous spiders to be sure to avoid. 

If your bearded dragon does consume a poisonous arachnid, it would be a good idea to contact your vet for further advice.

  • Wolf Spider (small black and brown spider)
  • Brown Recluse (light or dark brown, sometimes grey)
  • Black Widow (black with red marking on the underside of abdomen)
  • Hobo Spider (brown with v-shaped markings on their backs)
  • Yellow Sac Spider (yellowish-greens with darker legs)

Remember, these are North American arachnids to watch for. 

If you live elsewhere, you may need to research for other common ones. 

Note: The brown recluse is the most common one to watch for. 

Safe Foods For Bearded Dragons

With spiders off the menu, you may be wondering what you should feed your bearded dragon instead. 

Maybe you have his main diet down and want to mix it up, or you are worried he’s tired of the same old crickets day in and day out. 

Just like humans, your bearded dragon will appreciate a variety of foods. 

Your bearded dragon’s diet should include mostly insects, vegetables, and greens, along with the occasional non-citrus fruits to be used as treats for your beloved pet. 

Baby bearded dragons will need to eat more insects than veggies and greens while they’re still growing. 

Adults will eat more veggies and greens. 

In addition to variety, make sure you always have plenty of water available, and you’ll have one happy dragon!

While this isn’t a complete list, here are some bearded dragon-friendly food ideas to get you started or get you out of your normal rut:

Insects:Vegetables:Fruits (as treats):
crickets
locusts
dubia roaches
earthworms
redworms
acorn squash
butternut squash
mustard greens
bok choy
bell peppers
okra
celery
strawberries
peaches
apples
plums
pears
melons

Conclusion

Now you know if bearded dragons can eat spiders. 

While your bearded dragon may eat the occasional house spider while exploring outside of its enclosure without getting sick, it’s not recommended to feed these wild spiders to your pet on purpose. 

Watch even more carefully for spiders with venomous chemicals like the brown recluse, wolf spider, and the others listed above, especially their bites.

It’s very unlikely for your babies or adult bearded dragons to become ill from eating a household arachnid. 

However, spiders may carry pesticides or parasites from other bugs they’ve eaten, they may be poisonous, and spiders do not provide the healthiest diet for your valued pet bearded dragon. 

If your pet dragon does consume a spider, and you’re worried it might be poisonous, you might want to contact your vet. 

Even without spiders, there are still many healthy alternatives to feed your bearded dragon to keep him healthy and happy.

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