A direct answer to the questions above is yes, you can overfeed your bearded dragon. It will not be harmful till a certain point. But if overfeeding makes them lazy and sick, then it’s a sign for you to stop.
Can you overfeed a bearded dragon? All You Need to Know about the Eating Habits of a Bearded Dragon
Feeding bearded dragons and keeping them healthy is easy. As they are versatile with what they eat, they do not create a fuss about their diet.
However, what a juvenile or a young bearded dragon eat is somewhat different from what an adult bearded dragon is fed. Below is a brief description of the kind of diet they eat.
Young Bearded Dragons
As the name suggests they are young and still developing or growing. The amount of protein and vitamins they need to intake is more in comparison to adult bearded dragons.
They usually eat insects like mealworms, crickets, etc.
You should feed these younger ones twice a day with one heavy meal in the latter part of the day and a light meal at the start of the day.
Adult Bearded Dragons
As mentioned above these bearded dragons comparatively require less protein than the younger ones. Unlike the younger bearded dragons, they mostly survive on vegetables and eat lesser insects.
However, it is necessary for them to have insects as they are filled with protein which might give the adult ones more energy and keep them active.
These bearded dragons, unlike the younger, are fed only once a day, and the time of the feeding depends on their eating habits and also what they are fond of.
At both of these stages of their life cycle, you should be very strict about what you have set for your pet.
Once your bearded dragon has become used to an eating schedule, not getting food according to that timeline will irritate them and make them hyperactive and may cause some harm to you or themselves.
However, with protein and vitamins and with all other nutrients you should always keep in mind that what you are feeding him should be rich in calcium as they are too prone to bone diseases.
Are Bearded dragon teeth sharp?
Bearded dragons do have teeth, but they are not typically sharp like those of some other reptiles. Instead, their teeth are more peg-like and are used for gripping and grinding rather than cutting.
Top 5 Signs That Will Show That You Are Overfeeding Your Bearded Dragon
Overfeeding in bearded dragons happens only because of two reasons.
- Receiving extra love from you in the form of food
- You are unaware of the eating capacity of your pet.
But the second case is likely to be true only in younger ones if it is new to you. Below are some of the signs that you may notice and stop feeding them. These include:
Bloating is one of the first symptoms or a sign that you notice if your bearded dragon has been overfed. If you simply see that your pet has gained weight, especially in the belly then that’s a signal for you to stop over-feeding him.
Gaining weight just like humans is not very safe for these pet animals too. They may develop chronic diseases in their respiratory system or stomach.
A healthy or fat bearded dragon also has very weak joints as its body weight tends to put a lot of pressure on its joints which it might not be able to withstand.
- Metabolic Bone Disease
Bearded dragons need a balanced amount of calcium to keep their bones strong. They develop bone weakness or diseases related to bones very soon. Overfeeding them with food rich in other nutrients might disrupt the balance of calcium and may lead to weakness in bones.
A deficiency of calcium can be figured through its deformities or weakness in using its bones and might give you a signal or a sign to check on the diet you are giving to your pet.
Digestive problems are very common problems faced by these pet animals when they are overfed. When you overfeed them, they surely tend to take more nutrients and vitamins but their intestine or stomach might not be able to digest them at once.
So if your bearded dragon is producing a loose or watery substance then it is due to diarrhea. When you have figured that they are facing digestive issues you should immediately take them to a vet as they might need medicines to cure any uncomfortable situation or problem faced by them due to overeating.
When you have overfed your pet animal, they might face an issue in digesting it at that time. Due to this, they might throw up whatever they ate immediately or a few moments later. This is called regurgitation.
When you see your pet throwing up you should consider consulting your vet as they might be ill and not just overate as a cause for it.
- Lack Of Appetite And Lethargy
Eventually overfeeding will induce lethargy and make these bearded dragons less interested in food or eating.
As these bearded dragons are provided with the food only once or twice a day they are always excited to eat it. But if they are showing signs of ignorance towards food or they have suddenly lost their appetite then you have definitely overfed them or they have digestive issues.
If your bearded dragon is sleeping or being in one place without much movement then this lethargic behavior might be due to being overweight which in turn is an outcome of overfeeding.
You should take them to a vet as they might be feeling heavy or uncomfortable and might need some medications.
Disadvantages of Overfeeding These Bearded Dragons
Overfeeding is not at all bad for bearded dragons. But in exceptional cases where excessive overfeeding has been done to these pets, there are some health or body issues that they could face.
Below is a list of a few of them:
As discussed earlier while listing down the symptoms, gaining weight is one of the first and foremost signals for you to check on the diet of these bearded dragons.
Obesity is a condition where bearded dragons have drastically become fat or gained weight. Their belly becomes round.
This can happen if a bearded dragon consumes more calories than it utilizes in a certain time period.
Bearded dragons who are obese have a higher risk of developing respiratory difficulties, heart illness, and joint problems, and they may have trouble getting around. A bearded dragon’s qualitative life gets compromised and its longevity also gets shortened by obesity.
This video can help you determine if your bearded dragon is obese, and a few ways to fix it.
- Metabolic Bone Disease
Bearded dragons need an excessive amount of calcium as we know because they are too prone to bone and teeth weaknesses and to keep them healthy you should always keep this in mind while feeding them.
Overfeeding can cause metabolic bone diseases as while these pets are being overfed they are taking a lot of other nutrients and not calcium which can disturb the ratio of each nutrient to be taken.
As a result, they may experience bone weakness, deformities, and mobility issues. Metabolic bone disease is often fatal if left untreated.
- Digestive Problems
Bearded dragons might get gastrointestinal troubles if they are overfed. They are susceptible to a variety of digestive problems caused by overeating or the consumption of foods that are difficult for them to digest.
Bearded dragons may experience discomfort and lose their appetite or they start producing loose and watery substances or start throwing up and start feeling anguish from these issues, and their capacity to absorb the nutrition may be negatively impacted as a result.
- Behavioral Issues
Bearded dragons might develop behavioral problems if they are overfed. A bearded dragon that has gained too much weight, for instance, might not be as energetic as one that is at a healthy weight.
Because of their physical discomfort or anguish, they might additionally be more likely to exhibit aggressive or other undesired behavior.
In conclusion, when it comes to feeding and overfeeding these bearded dragons you should be very careful of their schedule and likes and dislikes of food. They love to eat if they are fed properly so you should give them a lot of fruits, vegetables, insects, and most importantly calcium.
When it comes to overfeeding these pets it is very easy to guess when they are being overfed as most of the symptoms are exterior and noticeable. So, if you see them being lethargic, becoming fat, or throwing up then you should keep a check on their diet.
On the other hand, if you notice anything related to bones or joint weaknesses then you should immediately visit a vet as the issue might be hurting or troubling these bearded dragons too much.