My daughter has a bearded dragon and he is weak, has significantly low appetite and sometimes does not eat at all. She feeds him crickets with vitamins. We took him to the vet and he is now on a special diet for a couple of days.

What else can we feed him? Could it be that the light in his glass cage is too hot? Please help me, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

3 Answers 3


Bearded dragon setup includes:

  • 55 gallon (210 liters) tank.
  • Repti-Carpet or newspaper bedding.
  • UVA/UVB tube lighting with a mercury vapor bulb basking light (also includes UVA/UVB). These lights should not be blocked by screen or glass as it blocks most UV radiation. Also, the bulbs should be changed every 6 months to a year.
  • Large water dish for soaking/drinking (shallow for young dragons), some beardies prefer to defecate in their water dishes.
  • It should have at least 1 digital thermometer at his basking end of the cage to make sure it does not exceed 110 °F (43 °C) and does not go below 95 °F (35 °C).
  • Cooler side should be in the 80's °F (around 29 °C) while night time temperatures should not go below 75 °F (24 °C).

Picture below will give you an idea:

great bearded dragon setup

Larger beardies can eat superworms, waxworms, butterworms and hornworms. You can feed a dragon of any age vegetables (more veggies as adults and less insects). Some good choices of greens are bok choy, kale, butternut squash, zucchini, carrots and snap peas. You can even sprinkle pellets on their veggies as well.

99% of the time, reptile problems are because of poor habitat. If you have yet to bring a fecal sample to your veterinarian, please do! These guys almost ALWAYS have parasites which can cause inappetence, diarrhea (with blood in stool), weight loss and lethargy. My bearded dragon had 5 different parasites when I purchased him as a baby, I have yet to see a lizard/snake that did not have some sort of parasite.

If you're on oxbow carnivore care you can feed that until he gets his appetite back. Rule of thumb for supplementation: multivitamin once a week and calcium every second day.

Once he's done growing or if you've purchased him as an adult I recommend a survey radiograph to confirm that bone density is good.

  • A couple comments on this, I understand glass blocks most light in the uvb spectrum but why wouldnt a screen be alright over the basking lights in a similar fashion to your che? Also im not versed in beardies but do you need a thermostat for them like you do snakes?
    – Ian
    Oct 10, 2016 at 16:17
  • normal basking lights are fine without screen, MVB basking has UVB included - you would get the most out of it without screen. Thermostats are only necessary with under-tank heating, this type of heating isn't strong enough for bearded dragons (at least I haven't found one). The lamps produce immense heat for the warm end while cooler end you wouldn't need to add anything (assuming your house is relatively warm). Oct 10, 2016 at 17:05

Baby pinky mice are a fattening food for bearded dragons. Although these need to be alive when being fed to bearded dragons, so some people refuse to use them. You can also fatten up the crickets, roaches, etc., that you are feeding him. You would want to give the animals (as in the food for the bearded dragon) fresh fruits to fatten them up. I would avoid using mealworms because bearded dragons will often become addicted to them and refuse to eat anything else.


Young bearded dragon's diet should comprise of 60% to 70% protein. Meaning you need to feed him insect such as crickets, super worms, cockroaches or dubia roaches. Another note is never feed your bearded dragon anything that is wider than the space between his/her eyes. Anything larger than this space is too large and can cause health issues during the digestion process. Here is more information about feeding your baby bearded

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