Training Your Bearded Dragon to Eat Vegetables
#1) Introduce Vegetables at a Young Age
At a young age, Bearded Dragons will rely more on live food (as they should). Once they become older, they will show more interest in vegetables. However, sometimes this is not always the case and it can be difficult getting a pet Bearded Dragon to eat vegetables (espicially if they’re hooked on live food). Regardless, to make things easier, you should start a Bearded Dragon on vegetables as soon as possible. Ultimately, Bearded Dragons are omnivores. For that reason, live food and vegetables should be included in their diet in general regardless of their age. Overall, if you get them interested in vegetables at a young age, then the transition will be easier later down the road.
2) Use Colorful Foods
Bearded Dragons are easily attracted to colorful foods. If you make a salad and top it off with colorful foods such as grated butternut squash (squash can be used daily), then your Bearded Dragon may show interest in the salad. For my Bearded Dragons, this works quite often. Some other examples of colorful foods would be strawberries or blueberries. Keep in mind, fruits should be offered occasionally (use them as treats).
3) Offer Food by Hand
Bearded Dragons love getting food offered to them by hand. Although, be warned that it can make them extremely lazy! As a result, I would only recommend offering food by hand once in awhile. With that said, sometimes offering food by hand will get a Bearded Dragon interested in what you have to offer. In summary, it’s worth a try.
4) Use Live Food
When all else fails, resort to live food. For example, try mixing live food into a salad such as phoenix worms. Be sure to mix the live food into the salad really good. Otherwise, your Bearded Dragon may try to only grab the live food. In short, the goal here is to try and make the reptile pick up some of the salad while attempting to eat live food.
5) Use Freeze Dried Food
An alternative to live food, freeze dried food can also be used as a way to attract interest in a salad. For example, Fluker’s Buffet Blend includes tiny red pellets along with freeze dried crickets and mealworms. As stated earlier, colorful foods and live food (in this case, an illusion) may help your Bearded Dragon gain interest in eating its salad. It’s worth noting that live food and fresh vegetables should never be replaced by freeze dried food. In other words, use these products as something extra as you try to get your reptile interested in vegetables.
6) Don’t Let Vegetables Spoil
Make a habit of replacing old vegetables (within the Bearded Dragon’s enclosure) with fresh vegetables. The goal is to make a Bearded Dragon interested in vegetables, so their salads have to look amazing 24/7!
7) Have a Routine and Patience
The most important thing is to have a routine and patience, don’t get frustrated if the vegetables are going to waste and your Bearded Dragon still isn’t interested. Every day, make a habit of offering fresh vegetables and treats. Eventually, the reptile should come around. Overall, it takes time and patience.