Nutrition is an important aspect of inland bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps) health, and improper diet is thought to be a predisposing factor for many health disorders. The objective of this study was to survey owners of bearded dragons to learn more about their feeding practices and supplement use. Self-selecting bearded dragon owners were invited to participate in the survey if they were >18 yr of age or had guardian consent and resided in Canada or the United States. A survey titled “Nutritional Survey of Bearded Dragon Dietary Habits in North America” was available online following research ethics board approval from the University of Guelph, Canada. In total, 405 responses representing subadult and adult bearded dragons were evaluated. The most common diet offered consisted of 1–25% larval and adult insects (each) and 51–75% plant material. Approximately one half of the survey participants, especially the younger respondents, were feeding diets with <50% plant material and >50% insects. Berries were the most common plant material offered, superworms (Zophobas morio) and hornworms (Manduca sexta) were the most common larval insects offered, and house crickets (Acheta domesticus) were the most common adult insects offered. Insects were commonly dusted with calcium, vitamin D3, and multivitamins, but plant material was not dusted. These results highlighted the requirment for the development of clear nutritional guidelines outlining the type, quantity, and frequency of food items and supplements offered and the requirement of further investigations to determine the ideal diet for this common pet lizard.

You do not currently have access to this content.