Vitamins and minerals are essential for the overall health of bearded dragons, just like they are for humans. In this article, we will be discussing the best vitamins for bearded dragons, including vitamin A, vitamin D3, calcium, and the vitamin B complex.
In the wild, bearded dragons have access to a diverse range of natural food sources that provide them with the essential vitamins and minerals they need to thrive. However, when they are in captivity, they may not have access to the same variety of natural foods, and therefore require a more controlled diet to ensure they are getting the right nutrients.
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for captive bearded dragons to suffer from calcium and vitamin deficiencies, even when their owners are providing them with the proper diet and lighting. One way to prevent vitamin deficiencies is by supplementing the bearded dragon’s diet with vitamins and calcium. This can be done by adding a calcium powder supplement to their food or providing them with a multivitamin supplement specifically formulated for reptiles.
Vitamins and Minerals Needed for Bearded Dragons
1. Vitamin A
Vitamin A is an essential vitamin for bearded dragons and plays a crucial role in maintaining the health of their eyes, skin, and immune system. A deficiency in vitamin A can lead to a variety of health problems, including eye infections, poor growth, and an increased susceptibility to disease.
Sources of Vitamin A
Bearded dragons can obtain vitamin A through their diet by consuming leafy greens, vegetables, fruits, and insects. It is important to note that not all vegetables and fruits are good sources of vitamin A, and it is essential to research which foods are high in vitamin A before feeding them to your bearded dragon. Some examples of vitamin A rich food include:
- Sweet potato
It is also important to note that not all insects are good sources of vitamin A. Some insects, such as mealworms, are low in vitamin A and should not be fed to bearded dragons as a staple diet.
While vitamin A is essential for the overall health of bearded dragons, it is also important to be mindful of the dosage. Over-supplementation of vitamin A can lead to a condition known as vitamin A toxicity, which can cause serious health problems.
Vitamin A toxicity can occur when the body is unable to excrete excess amounts of the vitamin, leading to a buildup in the liver and other organs. Symptoms of vitamin A toxicity can include weight loss, lethargy, and in severe cases, organ failure.
To avoid vitamin A toxicity, it is recommended to use a supplement that contains beta-carotene as an alternative to vitamin A. Beta-carotene is a precursor to vitamin A, which means that it can be converted into vitamin A by the body as needed. This allows for a more controlled and regulated intake of vitamin A, reducing the risk of toxicity.
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2. Calcium and Vitamin D3
Calcium and vitamin D3 are essential for bearded dragons and play a crucial role in maintaining the health of their bones and muscles. A deficiency in calcium and D3 can lead to a variety of health problems, including metabolic bone disease and soft-shell syndrome.
Sources of Calcium and Vitamin D3
Bearded dragons can obtain calcium and vitamin D3 through their diet by consuming leafy greens, vegetables, fruits, and insects. However, it is also important to provide them with UVB lighting, which helps their body to produce Vitamin D3 naturally. Some examples of food that are high in calcium and vitamin D3 include:
- Collard greens
- Mustard greens
- Turnip greens
- Dandelion greens
Unfortunately, diet alone cannot fulfil their calcium and vitamin D3 requirements. You will need to supplement their food with calcium and D3 to decrease the deficiency. There are quite a few great products available online. Some of the best calcium supplements with D3 are the following.
Best Calcium Supplement with Vitamin D3 for Bearded Dragons
1. Fluker’s Calcium Supplement with Vitamin D3
- Recommended for reptiles or amphibians that are kept indoors
- Promotes healthy bones and vital bodily functions
Fluker’s Calcium Reptile Supplement with added Vitamin D3 is a popular choice among bearded dragon owners for supplementing their pet’s diet with the essential nutrients of calcium and vitamin D3. This supplement is specifically formulated for reptiles and is designed to provide the necessary levels of these essential vitamins to help maintain healthy bones and muscle development.
The inclusion of vitamin D3 in this supplement ensures that bearded dragons are getting the correct balance of both vitamins for optimal health.
The supplement is also very easy to administer. It comes in the form of a powder that can be mixed into the food or sprinkled on top. This makes it convenient for those who may have difficulty administering supplements in other forms.
Another great feature of this supplement is that it is made with high-quality ingredients that are free of any fillers or artificial preservatives. This ensures that the supplement is safe and effective for bearded dragons.
In terms of effectiveness, many customers have reported positive results in their bearded dragons after using this supplement. Some have noticed an improvement in their pet’s overall energy levels and appetite, as well as an improvement in the overall health of their bones and muscles.
2. Exo Terra Calcium + D3 Powder Supplement
- Ultra fine powder calcium and vitamin D3 supplement for reptiles and amphibians
- Contains high levels of calcium to help ensure long-term health
- Contains balanced amounts of vitamin D3 for proper calcium absorption and is phosphorous free
- To serve mix with fruits and vegetables or coat insects according to feeding instructions
- Recommended in combination with Exo Terra Multi Vitamin Powder Supplement
Exo Terra Calcium + D3 Powder Supplement is a highly recommended dietary supplement for bearded dragons. This supplement is specifically formulated to provide a balanced ratio of calcium and vitamin D3, which are both essential for the health of bearded dragons.
It is easily digestible and can be added to food, making it convenient to administer. The powder form also allows for easy and accurate dosing, which is crucial to ensure that your bearded dragon receives the appropriate amount of calcium and vitamin D3.
The Exo Terra Calcium Supplement is also free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives, which is a significant advantage for pet owners who are conscious about the quality of the products they use for their bearded dragon. It is also lab tested and made with high-quality ingredients that ensure the safe use of the product.
Additionally, this supplement is suitable for both reptiles and amphibians, making it a versatile supplement for pet owners with multiple species.
3. Zoo Med Reptile Calcium with Vitamin D3
- Highly bio-available source of calcium carbonate
- Free of harmful impurities (not from Oyster Shells)
- Safe levels of Vitamin D3
- Use for additional supplementation
Zoo Med Reptile Calcium with Vitamin D3 is formulated to mimic the natural ratio of calcium to phosphorus found in a bearded dragon’s diet. This helps to ensure that the supplement is providing the appropriate amount of these essential nutrients. The supplement also comes in a fine powder form, which makes it easy to sprinkle on food or dust live insects, making the supplement easy to administer.
I have personally used this product for a few of my bearded dragons, and I have found that it is well-tolerated by the animals. My beardie is more active now and his appetite has also improved signaficantly. The powder is fine and easy to sprinkle on food and insects, and the color is also light, making it easy to see on the food.
Zoo Med Reptile Calcium with Vitamin D3 is a high-quality supplement that provides essential nutrients to bearded dragons. The balanced ratio of calcium and vitamin D3, as well as the fine powder form, make it easy to administer, and the resealable container helps to keep the powder fresh. I highly recommend this supplement to any bearded dragon owner looking to provide their pet with the essential nutrients they need to maintain optimal health.
3. Vitamin B Complex
Vitamin B complex is a group of eight essential vitamins that play a crucial role in maintaining the health of bearded dragons. A deficiency in vitamin B complex can lead to a variety of health problems, including poor growth, anemia, and nervous system dysfunction.
Sources of Vitamin B Complex
Bearded dragons can obtain vitamin B complex through their diet by consuming leafy greens, vegetables, fruits, and insects. Some examples of food that are high in vitamin B complex include:
Iron is an important mineral for bearded dragons, particularly for baby bearded dragons. However, it is important to be mindful of the dosage as over-supplementation can lead to long-term health issues. Iron is one of those supplements that should be given very sparingly.
Excessive iron intake can lead to a condition known as iron overload, which can cause damage to the liver, heart, and other organs. Symptoms of iron overload can include fatigue, joint pain, and in severe cases, organ failure.
Sources of Iron
To avoid iron overload, it is recommended to supply safe levels of iron through the diet, by providing leafy greens such as:
It is also important to note that adult bearded dragons may not require additional iron supplement as they may have sufficient amounts from their diet. If you are unsure whether your bearded dragon requires iron supplement, it is always best to consult with a veterinarian or a reptile specialist.
One of the most effective ways to ensure that your bearded dragon is getting all the essential vitamins and minerals they need is to give them a multivitamin supplement specifically formulated for lizards. These supplements contain a wide range of essential vitamins and minerals that are specifically designed to meet the unique nutritional needs of reptiles.
These multivitamin supplements can be easily found at pet stores or through a reptile veterinarian. It’s important to note that the dosage of multivitamin supplements may vary depending on the age, size and overall health of your bearded dragon, so it’s crucial to consult with a veterinarian or a reptile specialist to determine the appropriate dosage for your specific pet.
It’s also important to remember that multivitamin supplements should be given to babies no more than twice a week and no more than once per week to juveniles and adults. Additionally, remember that multivitamin supplements should not replace calcium and vitamin D3 supplements. These are essential vitamins that are required for maintaining healthy bones, so it’s important to continue to offer them regardless of the multivitamins.
Best Multivitamin Supplements for Bearded Dragons
1. HERPTIVITE Multivitamin for reptiles
- Multivitamin Supplement
- Contains Sea Vegetation
HERPTIVITE is a comprehensive multivitamin supplement that contains a blend of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, vitamin D3, calcium, and the vitamin B complex. These are all essential vitamins and minerals that bearded dragons need to maintain optimal health.
HERPTIVITE is formulated with beta-carotene, which is a precursor to vitamin A. This allows for a more controlled and regulated intake of vitamin A, reducing the risk of toxicity. It also contains Vitamin E and C which are also essential for beardies.
Another benefit of HERPTIVITE is that it comes in a powder form, which makes it easy to administer to bearded dragons. The powder can be mixed with food or water, and the dosage can be adjusted as needed. This is a plus for those who have picky eaters or have trouble administering supplements in other forms.
I have found HERPTIVITE to be highly effective in maintaining the health of bearded dragons. I have noticed improvements in their skin and coat, as well as an increase in energy.
While HERPTIVITE is a great supplement, it should be used in conjunction with a balanced diet and proper care. It’s always best to consult with a veterinarian or reptile specialist to determine the appropriate dosage and frequency of use for your specific bearded dragon.
2. Fluker’s Repta Vitamin Reptile Supplement
- A multi-vitamin containing beta carotene and essential vitamins, amino acids
- Easy to adminster
- Contains beta carotene and essential vitamins and nutrients
- Age range description: All Life Stages
Fluker’s Repta Vitamin Reptile Supplement has a wide range of essential vitamins and minerals. The supplement is formulated to provide bearded dragons with the necessary nutrients for proper growth and development. This includes vitamins A, D3, and E, as well as calcium and phosphorus. These essential nutrients are vital for maintaining healthy bones and muscles, and for supporting the immune system.
Fluker’s Repta Vitamin Reptile Supplement is ease of use. The supplement comes in a powder form, which can be easily mixed with food or water. This makes it easy to ensure that your bearded dragon is getting the necessary vitamins and minerals, even if they are picky eaters.
I have observed that bearded dragons who are given Fluker’s Repta Vitamin Reptile Supplement consistently show improved health and vitality. They have better appetite, their coat appears shinier and they have better energy levels.
3. Exo Terra Multi Vitamin Powder Supplement
- Stimulates growth, reproduction and other vital bodily functions
- Contains all the essential amino acids and vitamin A from beta carotene
- Perfectly balanced trace elements, minerals, amino acids and vitamins
- To serve mix with fruits and vegetables or coat insects according to feeding instructions
One of the things I appreciate about this supplement is its convenient powder form. It is easy to mix into food and can be used to supplement a variety of different diets. It contains a blend of vitamins and minerals that are essential for bearded dragons, including vitamin A, vitamin D3, calcium, and the vitamin B complex.
I also appreciate that it contains beta-carotene, which is a precursor to vitamin A. This allows for a more controlled and regulated intake of vitamin A, reducing the risk of toxicity. This supplement is also free of any artificial preservatives, colors or flavors, which is a plus.
It’s always important to consult with a veterinarian or a reptile specialist to ensure the best possible care for your bearded dragon. But based on my experience and expertise, Exo Terra Multi Vitamin Powder Supplement is a safe and effective option for providing your pet with the essential vitamins they need.
Bearded Dragon Calcium Supplements Schedule
The schedule of supplements will help you provide the right amount of vitamins to the bearded dragon by eliminating the factor of excess or deficiency of the vitamins. The schedule includes the right amount by keeping the bearded dragon’s age in mind, as the amount of vitamins depends on the age of your bearded dragon.
Hatchling calcium schedule
The hatchlings are the age of growth, and hence they need more calcium than the adult beardies. Their food must be dusted once every five days a week.
Juvenile calcium schedule
They are no different than a hatchling, for still being at a growing age; their food must be dusted 4 to 5 times every week. With no more than one dusting per day.
Sub Adult and Adult calcium schedule
The adult bearded dragons do not need much calcium compared to hatchling and juvenile; however, their requirement can be fulfilled by dusting their feeders 3 times a week with no more than once a day. The number of days can be reduced to 2 when the beardie reaches sexual maturity.
Bearded Dragon Multi-Vitamin Feeding Schedule
As mentioned earlier, there are a bunch of multivitamins that your bearded dragon requires for healthy living. Multivitamins are a solution to this problem, as they contain multiple vitamins and nutrients for the bearded dragon. It is recommended to provide multivitamins to beardies of all ages to ensure the bearded dragon’s good health.
In addition to this, the amount of multivitamins that you’re providing your bearded dragon depends on the age of the beardie. Some best-bearded dragon multivitamins are listed below.
Hatchlings Vitamin Schedule
Hatchlings need to be given the multi-vitamins twice a week for being in a crucial stage of life. However, make sure not to provide the multivitamins on the same day when you’re giving calcium and not more than once a day.
Juvenile Vitamin Schedule
Juveniles should also be provided multivitamins in a way similar to hatchlings, i.e., twice a week, with not more than one time a day, and on days when you’re not giving them calcium.
Sub Adult and Adult Vitamin Schedule
They should be provided multivitamins on the day when they are not getting calcium, and just once a week would do the needful.
Bearded Dragon Vitamin-A feeding Schedule
Vitamin A is quite toxic for bearded dragons, and hence its amount should be monitored strictly not to provide an excess of it. Beta Carotene can be provided instead of Vitamin A; this nutrient is converted naturally into Vitamin A inside the bearded dragon’s body.
Excess of vitamin A can cause osteoporosis, which weakens the bones and causes bumps in the body.
To provide vitamin A, you can use vegetables and fruits, as they have beta-carotene, covering beta-carotene deficiency. Furthermore, carrots must be provided occasionally only as they are dangerous for the beardie because of their high oxalate content.
All of the above can be summed up as mentioned in the table below.
|Age||Calcium with or without D3||Multivitamin|
|Hatchling 0-4 months||6-7 days a week||2 days a week|
|Juvenile 4-12 months||5 days a week||Twice a week|
|Above 12 months||4 days a week||Once a week|
|2 years||3 days a week||Once a week|
|A sick beardie of any age||6 days a week||Up to 4 days a week, depending on the severity|
|Gravid female||6 days a week||2 days a week|
|In the case of feeding bugs with high calcium content||3 days a week for a bearded dragon of age two years 2 days a week for beardie above two years||Once a week|
How to Give Supplements to Your Bearded Dragon
The first way of providing these supplements is by dusting the food of the bearded dragon with essential vitamins and calcium. You can dust the insects as well as the veggies that you’re planning to present your bearded dragon. This will have the bearded dragon consume all multivitamins without even knowing.
Dusting the supplements on the insects is the best way to pass down the nutrients, as the bearded dragons love to eat insects. Dusting the veggies might not be very effective, as they are wet, and the powder might wash off or clump up.
Furthermore, you must not put supplements in water, as they can stimulate the growth of bacteria in the water, which can be harmful to the bearded dragon’s health. The bearded dragons do not drink enough water for the whole day, so there are strong chances of the supplement getting wasted.
You can dust the insects by putting them in the shaker, adding a pinch of supplements, and then shaking the bottle gently to dust the insects evenly.
Gut Loading Insects
Another way to provide the aforementioned vitamins to your bearded dragon is gut-loading, which works by the famous saying, “You’re what you eat.” In this, the feeder insects are fed all the nutrients and veggies that you want to pass down to your bearded dragon. As the bearded dragon consumes the gut-loaded insects, he is munching down all the nutrients.
Bearded Dragon Gut-load Rules
Do not feed insects or feeders to your bearded dragon, which you have just bought, as they might not be gut-loaded or loaded inefficiently.
Load your insects and crickets with all the essential vitamins and minerals you want to pass down to your bearded dragon.
Start feeding nutritious food to your insects 24 hours before presenting them to your bearded dragon.
Do not provide water to the gut-loaded insects, as it can grow bacteria inside. Instead, you may give small pieces of oranges and apples as a water source.
How to Gut load Crickets and Other Insects?
Get a container to keep the crickets that you’re planning to gut load for your bearded dragon. Make sure to have a medium-sized container, as a bigger one will have more chances of escape for your insects.
You may use a cricket pen to store the crickets, which have a removable lid, dispensers, food and water bowl, and trap doors. You have to open the lid, fill the bowl with cricket gel water and food, put the crickets inside, and close the lid.
Keep the insects inside the cricket pen for 24 hours so they may eat and get enough nutrition. Finally, pull the side dispenser out to bring the crickets out of the cricket pen.
How long to Gut-load Feeder Bugs?
It’s a rule of thumb to gut-load the feeder insects 24 hours before presenting them to the bearded dragon.
Cricket Care for Gut-loading
Crickets are easily available from any store; however, it is suggested to buy as many crickets as you need in a week. Otherwise, they can create noise, escape or smell unpleasantly. You may provide a hiding spot to your crickets, but it’s unnecessary, as it can sometimes make it harder for the owner to catch them.
The room temperature where you’re keeping the crickets should be below 20 degrees Celsius, and do not use any substrate for them. You can use commercial food and quenchers to gut-load the crickets.
Roach Care while Keeping them in a Pen for Gut-loading
Roaches make an excellent choice for your bearded dragons, as they cannot climb the pen glass or escape it. Roaches must be kept in pen; however, do not feed them high protein foods as they contain high protein elements. Keep tropical roaches in warm rooms of 28-30 degrees celsius.
They also need dark hiding spots and ventilation of the place where they are kept.
Mealworm and King Mealworm Gut-loading
These insects are low maintenance and can be kept in a pen or other deep container. You may feed them the same food as crickets, including lettuce, fruits, and commercial quenchers. The temperature of the room or container where you are keeping these worms must be 21-23 degrees celsius.
You may use substrates such as oatmeal, flour, bran flakes for the mealworms; as they may eat the substrate too, it has to be something edible, as mentioned earlier. The tank where you have kept these worms should be filled at least 40-50% with the substrate.
Mealworms, after some time, may turn into adult beetles, which can also be fed to the bearded dragon.
Tomato Hornworm for Bearded Dragon Gut-loading
These bugs come with a cup of food, so you can keep them there for eating the food. Ensure their cleanliness before feeding them to your beardie. Keep the lid of the cup or container slightly open for ventilation.
Some General Rules on the Roach, Cricket, and Worm Care
Clean the pen or aquarium once you have removed the insects from it. Remove the uneaten or leftover and dead insects. Clean the glass by wiping it; otherwise, new insects may catch bacteria which can be harmful if passed down to your bearded dragon.
Ventilation is important for the insects that you are storing for your bearded dragon. Place a lid on the aquarium or container where you have kept the bugs.
Dust the food with supplements that you’re providing your feeder insects.
How much Powdered Supplement Do you Need to Use on Food?
You can use a pinch of the powdered supplement on the insects that you’re presenting in front of your bearded dragon. You may dust greens if your beardie is reluctant to eat the insects.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I give my bearded dragon calcium daily?
Yes, you may provide calcium to your beardie daily, as there are few chances of harm in it because of its low bioavailability. However, if your vet has given you special instructions about providing calcium, you must stick to those.
Can I give my bearded dragon multivitamins daily?
You may provide multivitamins daily, only if there is no Vitamin A in them. However, you must ensure not to overdo the number of multivitamins in the body of a bearded dragon.
What Supplements Do Bearded Dragons Need?
Bearded dragons need three essential supplements to grow and stay healthy while they are in captivity. These three supplements are Calcium, Vitamin D, and Multivitamins. You can get these supplements easily from online stores or pet stores, and they are inexpensive too. A part of these supplements is provided through a good diet, and supplements are used for the rest.
Why Do Bearded Dragons Need Supplements?
Calcium is essential for the growth of bearded dragons, and calcium deficiency can result in metabolic bone disease. This disease weakens the bearded dragon’s bones, which results in broken bones, limbs, and toes. This vitamin is provided through diet and calcium supplements. However, there is a trick to this; calcium cannot be absorbed in a bearded dragon’s body in the absence of vitamin D.
How Do Bearded Dragons Get Calcium in the Wild?
Bearded dragons eat a wide variety of food items in the wild, including greens, vegetables, and bugs. These bugs have been gut-loaded naturally, as they eat a wide variety of food too, which passes down the required nutrients to the beardie. It doesn’t imply that all wild bearded dragons are healthy; there can be health complications in the wild bearded dragons too.
Why Do Bearded Dragons Need Calcium?
This mineral is crucial for the healthy growth of the bearded dragon; it helps build strong bones, and during reproduction, it helps in the formation of the eggshell. The deficiency of calcium results in metabolic bone diseases, as the body takes the calcium from bones for performing different functions, which softens the bones and causes other health issues.
Can’t Bearded Dragons Get Everything in their Diet?
The bearded dragons are very picky eaters and eat only those food items which they like. This makes it hard for most of the owners to feed something which has all the required nutrients. Yes, food contains all the necessary nutrients; however, it’s very unlikely of your beardie to eat anything you’re offering them. This is why they have to take supplements for the required nutrients.
Can My Bearded Dragon Overdose on Calcium?
Your bearded dragon can have an overdose on anything which is provided in excess. If provide in excessive amounts, the beardie will get an overdose of calcium, which is as risky as the deficiency of this vitamin. This will calcify the bones of your bearded dragon and weaken its organs.
The bearded dragons who overdose on calcium can suffer from Hypercalcemia, which weakens the bones and organs, causing a hurdle in movement. This can even lead to death if not treated on time.
To avoid this, a strict schedule must be followed to provide enough calcium to the bearded dragon.
Providing supplements to your bearded dragon is important as it cannot get them all on its own while being inside the cage. You may use the supplements, as mentioned earlier, that are proven to be the best by many beardie owners and vets.
Providing calcium, D3 and multivitamins is important, with the quantity of each one varying by the increasing or decreasing age of the bearded dragon.
Furthermore, how you provide these supplements to your beardie is important too. Make lunchtime a little more interesting for them, having them munch down their essential nutrients without even noticing.