Do Bearded Dragons Need Calcium?
Bearded Dragons are a popular pet choice in the reptile world. In order to keep your bearded dragon in optimum health, it’s important to understand their dietary needs, including calcium intake.
Why is Calcium Important for Bearded Dragons?
Calcium is essential for bearded dragons because it helps them build and maintain a healthy skeletal system and also to bulk up their reserves for pregnancy. For an adult bearded dragon, approximately 30-50% of their diet should be in the form of calcium rich fruits and vegetables. Younger bearded dragons have a higher need for calcium than adults because of their faster rates of skeletal development.
How to Provide Adequate Calcium Intake
Bearded dragons can get increased levels of calcium from commercial foods, as well as from their regular diet. It is essential to provide multivitamins and calcium supplements to your dragons’ diet. Some recommended sources of calcium for bearded dragons include:
- Calcium rich vegetables—kale, collard greens, and turnip greens are ideal choices.
- Powdered calcium supplements—these can be sprinkled onto fruits and vegetables as part of the diet.
- Calcium-dusted prey—insects such as mealworms and crickets can be given to your bearded dragon by first dusting them in calcium powder.
In addition to providing adequate calcium in their diet, you must also be sure to limit factors that can deplete your dragon’s calcium reserves. Excessive exposure to UVB lighting can cause an elevated rate of calcium depletion. Be sure to turn off the UVB lighting at night and only keep it on for 12-14 hours/day. Additionally, lower temperature levels also stimulate calcium depletion, so keep your bearded dragon’s environment at a comfortable 75-80F.
It is essential to provide your bearded dragon with an adequate level of calcium to ensure their health and development. If you’re wondering whether or not your dragon requires calcium, the answer is definitely yes. By following the steps outlined above, you will be able to provide your dragon with a healthy and balanced diet that contains adequate levels of calcium.