With the popularity of keeping bearded dragons as pets being higher than ever with bearded dragons currently being the most commonly kept type of reptile, the number of questions we see about bearded dragons is skyrocketing.
We do see a huge number of questions month in and month out about if bearded dragons can eat various different types of food or not but with bearded dragon’s salad becoming more and more popular, we have noticed a number of questions about this recently.
Due to this, we have decided to publish our ultimate guide to making a delicious bearded dragon salad that your pet bearded dragon will love to eat.
Now, there really are a huge number of different ways that you are able to make your own bearded dragon salad due to how many suitable food types there are.
In addition to that, your bearded dragon’s own taste preferences will also come into play as different bearded dragons tend to prefer different foods that other bearded dragons.
Still, this article should be able to help you understand the better ingredients that you can use in your bearded dragon salad as well as offer what we feel is the best bearded dragon salad recipe later in the article too.
What Is A Bearded Dragon Salad?
A bearded dragon salad is essentially a “salad” that is made up mainly of leafy greens and insects that are suitable for a bearded dragon to eat.
Most people do include small amounts of other vegetables in their bearded dragon salads with some people also including fruit too but we usually recommend against adding fruit but we will explain why later.
You would make your bearded dragon salad on a Sunday night and then keep it refrigerated all through the week taking parts out as required to feed your pet bearded dragon as needed.
Not only is this quick, easy, and cheap but it also offers your pet bearded dragon a very healthy and nutrient pack staple food source too.
Due to how much bearded dragons seem to enjoy having bearded dragon salad, the popularity of using this feeding strategy just keeps in increasing with more and more people switching over to using this method.
The Bearded Dragon Macronutrient Ratio!
Before you look at what you are able to put into your bearded dragon salad, you first have to get an idea of the macronutrient ratio that your bearded dragon requires to live a healthy life.
Although you can tweak it pretty heavily, a 50% carbohydrate, 25% fat, and 25% protein split is usually a good starting point.
That said though, we have seen some people totally ignore this and reduce the fat in their bearded dragon’s diet by a large amount.
If you are in any doubt, take your bearded dragon for a check up at your local veterinarian’s office and they will be able to offer you advice on any special dietary requirements your beardie has due to any potential health issues.
For the most part though, aiming for a 50% carbohydrate, 25% fat, and 25% protein split will usually be a great starting point and then you can test and adjust from there.
The Bearded Dragon Food Pyramid!
When thinking of making a bearded dragon salad, you also have to consider the different food stuffs your pet bearded dragon should be eating in any given week.
Our food pyramid above offers a rough breakdown of what you should be offering your pet bearded dragon to make sure that it is getting all the macronutrients as well as vitamins and minerals that it requires.
As you can see, the majority of bearded dragons should be having leafy greens every day and insects most days making these the two main food groups for your bearded dragon salad.
From there, you can add a small number of vegetables but the vitamin and mineral supplements will depend on the specific product that you are using. Still, most use a three days weekly split unless you have a bearded dragon with metabolic bone disease.
As you can see, you should only be feeding your pet bearded dragon fruit once per week and even then, it should only be a small treat with other food being offered on that day.
Due to bearded dragons having this restriction on fruit, we usually recommend that you use any fruit as a separate treat meal rather than include it in your bearded dragon salad if possible.
Although there have been some controversial discussions about keeping a vegetarian bearded dragon recently, we always recommend that you include various insects in your bearded dragons diet if possible.
How Do You Make A Bearded Dragon Salad?
There really are a huge number of different ways that you are able to make a bearded dragon salad but the best approach tends to be the once per week system.
This involved you making a large bearded dragon salad once per week, storing it in a refrigerator to keep it fresh, and then adding parts of the bearded dragon salad to your beardies vivarium as and when it’s needed.
Not only is this usually the most time efficient method on your part but it also allows you to save money by buying the various foods in bulk to get the lowest price possible.
You should work out the required weekly food intake for your pet bearded dragon as a part of your planning stage and then try to include it all in your bearded dragon salad.
Most people think that your bearded dragons nutritional requirements need to be met daily but it balances out over the course of a week or even a month so there is no need to waste time trying to balance everything on a day to day level.
You will know your pet bearded dragon better than anyone so you can usually stick to your beardy’s favorite foods and try to balance its leafy greens, insects, and vegetable ratio around the diagrams covered earlier.
We also have plenty of suggestions of different food you can add to your bearded dragon’s salad below as well as the recipe for what we feel is the best bearded dragon salad recipe available.
Our lists of ingredient suggestions below can also be used as a way to add new foods to your bearded dragon salad when needed to prevent your bearded dragon’s diet getting boring.
What Do You Put In A Bearded Dragon Salad?
The majority of people should be looking to keep the bulk of their bearded dragon salad based around leafy greens and insects if possible. You can then add small amounts of vegetables as required to help meet vitamin and mineral requirements.
Within the leafy greens and insect food groups there are a number of options that should only be used on occasion too.
You can use these as a sort of treat to tweak the standard recipe when needed to help make sure that your bearded dragon’s diet is always interesting.
We have the staple food and the occasional food groups clearly labeled below to try and make it as quick and easy to come up with ingredients for your own bearded dragon salad as possible.
Leafy greens should always be the bulk of any bearded dragon’s diet. Not only are they the only food type a bearded dragon should eat every day but most bearded dragons love their leafy greens.
There are a huge range of different types of leafy greens that you are able to use with your pet bearded dragon though and there is never any need to use all of them at the same time in a bearded dragon salad.
We usually recommend that you just choose two or three from our list below of the staple leafy greens and then mix insects and vegetables in too. If you really want, you can also choose one of the occasional leafy greens for your bearded dragon salad too.
Staple Leafy Greens
- Bok choy
- Cactus pads
- Celery leaves
- Collard greens
- Dandelion greens
- Mustard greens
- Oak choy
- Turnip greens
- Swiss chard
Leafy Greens To Use Occasionally
- Carrot greens
- Mint leaves
- Rose petals
The options on the list of occasional leafy greens really should only be used occasionally for the odd day here and there or as a small portion of your bearded dragon’s salad.
This is due to those foods having issues with macronutrient ratios being out of whack or issues with the vitamin and mineral profile but we go over actual examples in our article on bearded dragons eating cilantro.
We also want to bring our article going over bearded dragons eating spinach to your attention too. So many people include spinach in their bearded dragon salad but it is not a suitable food for bearded dragons to eat.
Although a bearded dragon can technically have small amounts of spinach without issue, it is usually best to just avoid spinach from your pet bearded dragons diet altogether if possible.
Insects are the second most important food type in a bearded dragon salad and there are two ways that you can go about adding insects.
Some people add the insects as they mix their leafy greens at the start of the week but other people add the insects on the day the feed their bearded dragon.
This will depend on if you are using live, frozen or freeze dried insects but as most people use freeze dried insects these days, you can just mix them in with your bearded dragon salad when you make it.
If you are using live or frozen insects then you should usually add them the day you actually put the salad portion in your bearded dragon’s vivarium.
Here are our staple and occasional recommendations for insects:-
- Phoenix worms
- Dubia roaches
Fatty Insects To Use On Occasion
The waxworms and morioworms really should only be used on occasion due to having such a high fat content that can cause havoc with balancing your bearded dragon’s macronutrient profile if too many are eaten.
Butterworms are in a grey area between staple and use on occasion but our article going over if you should give a bearded dragon butterworms should be able to help.
Mealworms and superworms should only be fed to adult bearded dragons too due to their tougher skin being harder to chew and digest. In younger bearded dragons they can cause impaction but our article on how many mealworms you should feed a bearded dragon should be able to help.
Technically, vegetables are not an essential food type in a bearded dragon salad but they are cheap and easy to use while offering an excellent vitamin and mineral profile too.
Due to this, we do usually recommend that you include vegetables in your bearded dragon salad if possible.
Here are our recommended foods for the vegetable portion of a bearded dragon salad:-
- Acorn squash
- Artichoke Heart
- Bell peppers
- Butternut squash
- Spaghetti squash
- Yellow squash
Most people will be able to choose one or two of these and then add the suitable amount to their bearded dragon’s salad as needed.
As we mentioned earlier in our article, we don’t recommend that you add fruit to a bearded dragon salad at all.
Bearded dragons only need a very small amount of fruit in their diet and even then, many people just miss fruit out of their pet’s diet completely.
Our recommendation would be to just offer your bearded dragon fruit on its treat day as a small portion of one meal rather than try to balance the fruit intake over the course of a week in a bearded dragon salad.
Still, if you are curious on the types of fruit that you can add to a bearded dragon salad, here are our main recommendations:-
The Best Bearded Dragon Salad Recipe!
Here are the ingredients for what we feel is the best bearded dragon salad recipe available:-
- Collard greens
- Dandelion greens
As you can see, it is quick, easy, and simple with the recipe being based on seven key ingredients.
You can change some of those ingredients out for alternatives covered in our list above if needed due to your bearded dragon not liking some of them though.
We usually go by the calory content in your bearded dragon salad should be around 40% leafy greens (collard greens, dandelion greens, and kale), 40% insects (crickets and cockroaches), and 20% vegetables (carrots and cucumber) but you can tweak it as needed.
All of these ingredients should easily be able to last for seven days when kept in a sealed container in a refrigerator helping to make your bearded dragon salad making process as time efficient as possible by allowing you to make it on one day of the week.
That brings our ultimate guide on how to make a bearded dragon salad to an end.
We hope that we have been able to help you better understand how you should be going about making your own bearded dragon salad as well as the better ingredients to use in one.
With a little planning, you can quickly, easily, and cheaply make a delicious bearded dragon salad that your pet will love that contains all of the vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients it requires to live a long and healthy life.