In addition to the feeding of prey and vegetation, bearded dragon supplements should be regularly included. Providing suppplements will help your dragon get the calcium and vitamins they need. It is very important to make sure your dragons
diet is supplemented with calcium and vitamins.
In the wild, bearded dragons are exposed to different kinds of food. These different food types provide certain vitamins and minerals that they need to be healthy. In captivity, though, we only have so many things to feed our dragons. Most of the food items we feed them do not supply ample amounts of vitamins and minerals. This is the reason why we have to add vitamin and mineral supplements to our dragons diet.
Providing bearded dragon supplements for you pet will ensure they stay healthy, but too much of a good thing can cause problems. Supplemental vitamins and minerals can become toxic if given in large amounts. If given the right amount, though, your dragon will be healthier and happier.
How to Use Supplements
The main way to get vitamin and mineral supplements to your dragon is through “dusting”. Dusting can be done to either live feeders or greens and vegetables. Dusting feeder insects, though, is the most common method of providing supplements. You usually won’t have to dust greens and vegetables, because they provide their own nutrional value.
It’s fairly easy to dust feeder insects. All I do is place the insects to be coated in a plastic bag with a small amount of the supplement. Then I gently shake the bag for a few seconds until the insects are covered with the bearded dragon supplement. You don’t neccessarily have to use a plastic bag. Some people use different things to dust their insects. The concept is the same, though, no matter what you dust your feeder insects in.
Types of Bearded Dragon Supplements
There are different brands of vitamin and calcium supplements specifically made for reptiles out there such as Rep-Cal and Herptivite. There are different opinions as to which is the best bearded dragon supplement. It’s good to listen, though, and learn from what other dragon owners have to say.
There are some things to look for in choosing supplements that will be adequate. The supplement should contain beta carotene instead of vitamin A, beta carotene is converted into vitamin A as the body needs it (vitamin A is toxic in high amounts). Also, it should have a 2:1 ratio or higher of calcium to phosphorus, if the phosphorus is higher it will interfere with calcium absorption.
I prefer to use seperate calcium and vitamin supplements (Repcal & Herptivite). This helps prevent degradation of vitamins and minerals that can happen if vitamins and calcium are pre-mixed. It also allows me to administer calcium to youger dragons without giving too many vitamins at the same time.
After learning about what supplements are and how to get them into your dragon, we have to talk about how much do you give your dragon. The dosages of supplements will vary on the age of your dragon. Bearded dragons that are young and growing rapidly need more calcium and vitamins than older dragons that aren’t growing at all.
As much as not providing supplements will hurt your dragon, providing too much will also harm them. There is almost a fine line to walk when giving dietary supplements. It is the exact same way for people. If you get too much of a certain vitamin, it can be toxic. The same applies to bearded dragons, and pretty much any animal. Be careful not to over supplement your dragon.
This is what I do for supplement dosages:
- 0 to 2 months get calcium and vitamins daily. Usually just one of their feedings of crickets get dusted.
- 2 to 4 months get calcium daily and vitamins daily to every other day.
- 4 to 6 months get calcium daily and vitamins every other day.
- 6 months to 1 year get calcium every other day and vitamins 2 to 3 times a week.
- 1 year + get calcium every 2 to 3 days and vitamins 1 to 2 times a week.
These are just some guidelines to go by. Nothing is ever set in stone. These are just dosages that I use with my dragons. As always, feel free to see what others have to say about this subject.
Bearded dragon supplements are very important to providing a healthy diet for your pet reptile. Providing the right amount of supplements will keep your dragon healthy, but over supplementing will harm your dragon. What’s the right amount? I’m not entirely sure. I try to get my dragons enough supplement without over doing it.
There are different types of bearded dragon supplements out there and the choice of what to use is up to you. There are differing opinions on this and it really comes down to personal choice. Whatever you choose, always make sure that it is benefitting your bearded dragon.