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Joan, Veterinary Technician
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 18530
Experience:  35+ years experience as veterinary tech and 40+ years experience doing reptile rescues.
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My bearded dragon will not eat veggies. How do I get her to

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My bearded dragon will not eat veggies. How do I get her to eat them?


The trick to getting a Dragon to eat Veggies is to use something that is colorful as well as tasty. I sue berries like Raspberries mixed into the Veggies. I also rip up hibiscus flowers and mix them in. My Dragons are partial to the red color. The last thing I use is a fruit flavored baby food and use it as a salad dressing. These methods usually work and eventually the Dragon will eat them without prompting. Joan

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
She was eating veggies fine until about 5 days ago. She has completely stopped eating them all she wants is crickets and she is not having regular BMs and seems lethargic. What should I do?


Can you tell me about the set up?


Heat source and temp?


UVB light? How old? Type coil or tube?


Customer: replied 6 years ago.

She is in a 40 gal breeder tank with repti sand substrate. We have two light fixtures one with uvb/uba bulbs and the other with a 100 watt coil heat bulb. The temp avereges 95 on the hot side and arouond 85 on the cool side. We think our beardie is a female and we have had her for 1 1/2 years. She was approximately 6-8 inches when we got her.


A Dragon over the age of one year usually goes one a week to once every two weeks as far as passing stool. The first issue that you have is the Loose Substrate. Loose substrates are sold as a safe substrates, but are actually deadly to reptiles. I will give you a links for the two most deadly substrates, to give you an idea of what can happen:

Walnut shell Graphic: calci sand

I suspect your Dragon may be getting blocked from the substrate which would account for the lack of stool. We can try some first aid to get the stool going. Please put your Dragon in a solution of 50/50 warm water and Dioralyte. While in the soak please gently massage the abdomen. This should stimulate the passing of stool. The next issue is your Temps are too low as they should be at 110*F-115*F. If the temps are too low a Dragon will go off food. Your UVB should be changed every 6 moths and if it has not been changed it should be done asap. I suggest a Reptisun 10.0 tube type bulb. I am going to give you my care sheet to see if there are any husbandry issues that need to be addressed. Joan



Bearded Dragon Care Sheet

  • Bearded dragons should be housed alone.

  • Ages of bearded dragons follow these guidelines:

1. 0-3 months- baby
2. 3-12 months-juvenile
3. 12-18 months- sub adult
4. 18 months + -adult

  • Bearded dragons live as much as 10-12 years if well cared for properly.
  • Bearded dragons have a very good temperament as long as they are cared for and handled.
  • When you bring your baby home, it may be quite stressful to him/her to get use to new home. May not eat well the first 2-3 days. They may not need to be handled the first 2-3 days if skittish and nervous.
  • Never use sand or any other type of loose substrate: Loose substrates can cause impaction (not being able to go Poop) in all ages of bearded dragons- they lick their environment to explore .It is difficult to keep germ free and clean. Ceramic tile, newspaper, non adhesive shelf liner and reptile carpet is what is most recommended. Use paper towels for the little one and as they get bigger you can change to something else.
  • Be sure you keep your beardies home as clean as you can. Clean up by spot cleaning when needed. Clean & sanitize entire tank every 10-14 days. A good cleaning solution is a 20% bleach solution. If you choose to use wood climbing branches etc, these should be soaked in the bleach solution and rinsed well. Then bake in 250 degree oven for 30 minutes.
  • Need a climbing accessory: to bask and to warm up under basking heat light and lower branches or platforms to come down and cool off.
  • A hide of some sort like a cave.
  • A food dish and water dish.
  • Plastic spray bottle
  • Can use artificial plants when they get older- 3 months or so.
  • Digital thermostat and/or temp gun
  • Tank size: Minimal size tank for this age is 20 gallon long
  • Minimal size for older beardie: 4 months of age: 40 gallon breeder is the minimal tank size for older dragon. Can divide a 40 gallon breeder for a smaller dragon. Must have two lights for your beardie.

1. A UVB light source-best is 10.0 Reptisun that runs the length of your tank. Your dragon must have this light to metabolize calcium. If not he will get metabolic bone disease, a serious condition. You can also take your beardie outside to bask in the sun for 15 minutes each day if your temps are 80 degrees or above outside. You can purchase cages or reptariums from your pet store. Never leave a beardie outside unattended.
2. A basking type light that puts out heat and warmth above basking spot. Your beardie must have warmth to digest food & thrive.

  • Lights should be on for 12-14 hours each day. Follow the seasons and light timers are a great luxury if you can get them. 6 dollars at Lowe's. No lights or warmth needed at night unless your temperatures get below 62 degrees. If they do, there are ceramic heat emitters that put out no light, only heat. Use these at night if temperatures fall below 62 degrees.


  • Temperatures have to be kept at the following ranges during the day:

Babies: Warm basking log: 105-125 degrees F
Cool side: 85-90
Adults: Warm basking spot: 110-115
Cool side: 80-85
Measure temperatures with a digital probe type thermometer or a temp gun-these are most accurate. Stick on thermometers unreliable.

  • Feeding a Beardie: Beardies eat live prey consisting of crickets, roaches and/or silkworms. Never feed any size of mice to your beardie. Never feed meal worms. They also must be given greens/veggies everyday. The younger they are the more live prey they should have. As they grow older the live prey decreases and the veggies/greens should be the major part of diet. Never feed anything bigger, than the space between your beardie's eyes. This includes both live prey and pieces of veggies/greens,
  • A chopper or food processor is a huge help when your beardie is small. Always offer greens and veggies: collard greens, turnip greens, mustard greens, cabbage, red cabbage, fresh green beans, yellow summer squash, butternut squash, sweet potato, cactus pad. Apricots, strawberries, apples, blueberries, raspberries, cantaloupe- fruits are treats only.
  • What is live prey? The easiest and less expensive live prey is crickets when you have a young or first beardie. The other live preys you can feed are silkworms, and special types of roaches. You can learn to raise your own live prey. Treats can be wax worms, super worms, and tomato/Goliath worms. You may find that ordering live prey from the internet is the way to go..... Never leave live prey or greens/veggies in tank overnight. . Crickets can bite your beardie when sleeping.
  • Babies should get 80% live prey, and 20 % greens/veggies. But since the greens/veggies are a must when they are older, get them eating their greens/veggies very early. Give greens/veggies in small pieces everyday. You should eventually start decreasing your older dragon's protein intake when they are about a year to 15 months old. Their protein intake decreases to 20 % live prey and 80% veggies/greens.
  • A baby eat 50-75 crix a day depnding on the size of the crickets. Never feed crix or veggies bigger than the space between your beardie's eyes. Use this guide when buying crix or chopping your greens/veggies.
  • You must provide calcium dust without D3 and multivitamin dust for your beardie. You should dust the live prey with calcium one time a day, and vitamins 3 times a week. Just collect your live prey into baggie and add enough calcium and vitamin to dust them. Then pour a few at a time into your tank. Some people feed their beardie in a separate tank so that no crickets can hide. Or some take out "furniture" from tank and feed this way. As they get older, 4-5 months or so dust live prey with calcium 3 times a week.
  • Feed the veggies/ greens 1st thing in morning after lights on for one hour at least. Then after 2-3 hours offer crix. Then freshen green/veggies. Then give more crix. Make sure after last crix feeding there is at least 1-2 hours of lights so that they can digest their food before night time.

*Beardies over the age of one year old during the winter months will go into a Brumation like most Reptiles and Herps. It is a form of Hibernation that is governed by the weather and time of year. The lights should be on a shorter period at this time. Fresh greens should be available during this period. Do not feed live prey during Brumation.

Water: Mist your little one with the spray bottle 3-4 times a day. You can also offer a small dish of water in your enclosure but be sure your dragon is not too small to drown in it. It is recommended that when your beardie is 2 months old you can bathe your baby in a small plastic container with warm water- not hot. It will help them to stay hydrated. As they get older you can move up to the bathroom sink and then to the bathtub. Very important for bath enclosure to be thoroughly cleaned and rinsed prior to bath time. Clean between dragons too if bathing more than one.

If you have any further questions feel free to ask. I like to start people off with proper husbandry and then see if I can further assist. This is for fruits and Vegetables


sexing bearded Dragons:


compact UVB problems:

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Other than the fact that we are using sand and our temps are too low I think everything else is being done as you reccomend. We recently purchased a hide for her and she was not wanting to come out so we took it out, however if our temps are too low she may have been trying to hybernate or bermate I think it is called. We did bathe and massage her on Tuesday night and she passed stool on Wednesday and we did the same thing again tonight so hopefully we are on the right track. I will go tomarrow and purchase the things needed to get her habitate straightened out. How long should I wait before I seek a vet and should I hold off on crickets until she starts eating veggies?


I like to do the Veggies about an hour after lights on. I do 80% veggies and 20% Live prey. In the later afternoon I feed prey. If this continues, I would see the Herp Vet next week, as Reptiles Hid illness well, so if you notice signs early, it is wise to get them checked out. If you do not have a Herp Vet I can locate one for you with a City and State. Joan

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

We live in Shiner, TX and live prey is hard to come by. What are your thoughts on canned crickets? A vet recomendation would also be great.


We call canned prey can-o-garbage. with no nutritional value.

I will give you some links to order prey. super worms and crickets silk worms, phoenix worms, goliath worms, etc assorted feeders


This is a link to Herp Vets in TX:


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