Bearded dragons make wonderful pets; they are charming reptiles and taking good care of them is rewarding. Providing a suitable and healthy diet is key in the happiness and health of your pet beardie. Naturally, owners – or perspective owners – may have some questions about what bearded dragons can and cannot eat, including whether or not grasshoppers are a suitable food source.
So, in answer to the question can bearded dragons eat grasshoppers? Bearded dragons can eat grasshoppers, so long as they have been specially and purposely bought from a reputable pet store or retailer. This is true for any insect in which you look to provide your pet. It is important that you only offer insects raised specifically for consumption by reptiles and other pets. Bearded dragons cannot and should not eat wild-caught insects as these can contain or have come into contact with harmful chemicals such as pesticides and herbicides.
From time to time, we want to treat our pets. Offering treats to your beardie can help you to build trust with your pet and develop and build a special bond together. Treats should be given to supplement a healthy and varied diet for your pet.
A healthy diet for a bearded dragon typically consists of a variety of different animal based and plant-based food sources owing to the fact that they are omnivores.
Understanding the balance of what your beardie needs to be fed will allow you to provide a diet that is of optimal nutrition. For example, a bearded dragon is more carnivorous in youth and requires more protein. This changes as they age as they become more herbivorous and favor plants.
The health and wellbeing of our pets is in part attributed to their diet, there are of course other factors but, diet is key.
A healthy diet for a bearded dragon typically consists of vegetables, insects and occasionally some non-citrus fruits. Grasshoppers are a source of insect protein that your beardie is likely to enjoy.
Let us now take a closer look at whether bearded dragons have a fondness for this insect, along with the benefits and why you would want to do so!
Do Bearded Dragons Eat Grasshoppers?
The variety of different foods that you can safely feed your bearded dragon is vast. Knowing exactly what to feed your beardie can therefore be a little confusing and overwhelming at first.
In the wild, bearded dragons will eat plants, fruits and insects, including grasshoppers from time to time. Therefore, owners should try to replicate this as much as possible. Insects such as mealworms, crickets, grasshoppers, dubia roaches and super worms make great sources of protein for your bearded dragon.
Owners should remember that all insects, intended to be food for your bearded dragon should be specifically bought from a pet store as they will be safe for consumption. Owners should never feed their pet beardie wild caught insects as you cannot be sure of where they have come from or what they have been in contact with (for example chemicals and pesticides used by farmers or gardeners).
If ingested chemicals and pesticides may harm and could even be fatal for your pet bearded dragon, hence why it is much safe to avoid wild insects altogether.
All good pet stores will stock a variety of insects intended as a food source for pets like bearded dragons. Owners will likely be able to select whether they want live or dead insects to feed their bearded dragons with.
Bearded dragons will eat both live and dried grasshoppers, and owners often rave about how much their beardie enjoys grasshopper as a treat! Most bearded dragons will enjoy the challenge of catching and consuming live insects, whilst others will prefer to have their food handed to them on a platter (literally!).
Availability may be something to consider if you are wanting to feed your beardie grasshoppers, as they might be slightly challenging to find in pet stores. Most petstores will carry live crickets, meal worms and roaches, and grasshoppers can be harder to come by.
If you are unsure, it is best to call or enquire with your chosen pet store before visiting to check their availability of grasshoppers.
These Fluker’s Freeze-Dried Grasshoppers available from Amazon come highly rated by owners who report that their beardie absolutely loves them!
Benefits For Bearded Dragons Through Eating Grasshoppers
Bearded dragons enjoy an omnivorous diet: a mixture of plants, insects and fruit. The variety of these different food sources keeps your dragon interested and prevents boredom.
Can you imagine what it would be like to have the same meals day-in-day-out every day for your whole entire life? You would get pretty bored and fed up right?
Well so do bearded dragons! A benefit of feeding grasshoppers to your beardie is that they can provide variety when alternated with different insects like meal worms and crickets for example.
Grasshoppers contain a good amount of protein as well as the necessary vitamins and minerals that are so healthy for your bearded dragon. Roughly 20% of a fully grown bearded dragon’s diet should be made up of insect-based food sources, to ensure they are getting enough protein.
Owners will find that younger bearded dragons need more insect-based foods to provide them with increased protein as they are growing. Grasshoppers are a great source of protein and hence as suitable for bearded dragons to eat.
Bearded dragons are likely to enjoy their diet being varied, that being said drastic changes in what you choose to feed your beardie should not be made continually as this can lead to stomach upset.
Instead, offer your beardie a variety of insect protein over a period of time. Maybe their staple protein is meal worms and other insects, such as grasshoppers, are offered as a treat from time to time?
Another benefit of feeding your bearded dragon grasshoppers is that they are low in cholesterol.
Beardies are charming creatures and their health and wellbeing is of vital importance to owners. Providing nutritious variety in their diets is a good way of ensuring that their nutritional needs are met and also that they are intrigued and excited by their meals and treats.
How To Feed Grasshoppers To Your Bearded Dragon
There are several different ways that grasshoppers can be fed to bearded dragons. The different ways for doing so depend on whether the grasshoppers you are providing are alive or dried.
If you are choosing to treat your beardie with freeze dried grasshoppers, simply take a few out from the container and either place them into your beardie’s food bowl, offer them to your beardie from your hand or hide them round your beardie’s enclosure!
By placing grasshoppers in your bearded dragons food bowl, you are providing a great source of protein that your beardie will enjoy as part of their meal.
If you are looking to build a bond of trust with your beardie, hand feeding them treats from time to time is a great way of doing this. Over time your bearded dragon will learn that you are not a threat and should begin to associate you with treats – forming a positive association in their mind.
Hiding dried grasshoppers around your breadies enclosure is likely to provide stimulation and entertainment for your pet. They will likely be able to smell them in their home and spend time hunting for them!
Feeding your bearded dragon live grasshoppers can take a little time and patience. Grasshoppers are called ‘hoppers’ for a reason: they can (and do) jump. If you are choosing to feed your bearded dragon live grasshoppers, which we would recommend as this is stimulating for them, first catch a couple of grasshoppers from the container that they are in.
Some owners will do this by hand whilst others prefer to use a small net or bug catcher, like this Carson BugView Quick-Release Bug Catching Tool available from Amazon.
When you have caught the grasshoppers you want to feed to your beardie, simply release them into the enclosure with your dragon. It is fascinating to watch your beardie go to work hunting down their prey and eating the grasshoppers usually with one great chomp!
Other Insects Ideal For Bearded Dragons
Variety is key when it comes to offering your bearded dragon a healthy diet. Grasshoppers make a great insect protein food source for your dragon, but there are also other insects that are just as beneficial for your pet.
If you are looking for other insects to feed your bearded dragon, try:
- Roaches (ex. dubia roaches
- Horn Worms (or Goliath Worms)
- Phoenix worms
- Wax worms
It is important to remember that all of the insects that you feed your bearded dragon should come from a store and should be specifically intended and safe for consumption by animals.
Bearded Dragons are typically known to enjoy grasshoppers. Anecdotal evidence from owners suggest that most beardies relish this tasty treat and cannot get enough grasshopper!
As well as being enjoyed by your bearded dragon as a treat, there are many nutritional benefits to grasshoppers as well and they can help to vary your beardies diet.
When feeding your beardie grasshoppers, or any insect in fact, stick to store bought insects rather than wild ones. This will ensure they are not ingesting any dangerous herbicides and pesticides which these critters are likely to have come into contact with!