Bearded Dragon Won’t Eat Greens? Try These 8 Easy Expert Tips…

Between the time and money spent at the grocery store, as well as the time spent washing and prepping, the last thing you want to see is a bearded dragon shun their greens! However, rest assured that if your bearded dragon won’t eat greens… you’re definitely not alone!

You see, bearded dragons are notoriously picky eaters and also downright stubborn sometimes! Put these two characteristics together and you get a recipe for potential frustration. So, what do you do?

Luckily, I’ve compiled the list below of awesome suggestions for how to get your bearded dragon to eat their greens and/or veggies!

This list is full of different suggestions you can try to get your beardie to not only eat their greens… but come to LOVE them! If you try one of the suggestions below to no success, simply just try another! I can almost guarantee after some time, you’ll achieve success.

So, with all of that being said, just keep reading if you’re looking to give your bearded dragon a major attitude adjustment towards their greens and veggies!

How to Get a Bearded Dragon to Eat Their Greens 

 Struggling to get your bearded dragon to eat their veggies? If so, don’t worry! The following 8 tips should whip their taste buds into shape in no time!

Tip #1: Mix Things Up

Okay, so you probably are already aware of this first suggestion on the list, but in case you’re not…

A great way to get your bearded dragon to eat more veggies and greens is to simply mix up their diet! Seriously. Sometimes the only reason bearded dragons are shunning their food is because they just don’t like the veggie selection.

I’ve had bearded dragons completely shun mustard and collard greens only to wolf down arugula and squash. So, don’t be afraid to switch things up!

And if you need a reminder on the many veggies and greens safe for a bearded dragon, I’ve got a wonderful article that breaks down everything about their diet you can check out!

Tip #2: Add a Pinch of Bee Pollen to Their Salad 

Did you know, bearded dragons LOVE the taste of bee pollen?! This all-in-one vitamin will not only help sweeten up the taste of otherwise bland and boring veggies, but will fuel your bearded dragon with extra vitamins!

I recommend adding just a pinch as you definitely don’t want to overdo it. I love and swear by this bee pollen powder for my bearded dragons.

Tip #3: Try a Reptile Salad Dressing

 Much like you might coax a seven year-old into eating their salad at the dinner table, you can also try and convince your bearded dragon that their salad is delicious with a great salad dressing!

This salad dressing by Nature Zone is a cult favorite for a reason! A little bit of this over your bearded dragon’s salad, and they’ll swear they’re chowing down on something much more appetizing. Seriously, be prepared with your phone the first time because you’re going to want to record their reaction!

But, how do you know how much to give? Simple. Just mix in up to 1 tbsp. into their veggies. Over time, I recommend slowly but surely reducing the amount of dressing used to avoid having them become dependent on it.

 Tip #4: Use Feeders in the Salad

How to get a bearded dragon to eat greens
The only time you’d want to find a roach in your salad? When you’re feeding it to your stubborn bearded dragon of course!

Can’t afford to buy anything extra but desperately need your bearded dragon to eat their greens? No problem! Simply add some live feeders to their salad bowel to increase the chances of them nabbing some veggies while they chow down.

But, one word of advice about this, you’ll need to disorient the feeders to avoid them simply jumping or crawling out of the bowl. You can add crickets or Dubias to a bag and simply give them a violent shake to get them moving slower.

Then, plop the little dizzy suckers into the salad bowl, add some greens on top, and voila! Your bearded dragon will come over to “hunt” their feeders, only to eat some greens in the process.

And should you feel a little uncomfortable at the thought of abusing the feeders beforehand? Well, you can always pop them in the fridge for a good 10-15 minutes first to slow them down as well. This should have the same affect and leave you feeling less guilty.

 Tip #5: Make Them a Slurry

 I’m sure we can both agree, drinking our veggies in a sweet and refreshing green juice is so much easier (and often times better tasting!) than eating them whole. So, why would it be any different for bearded dragons?

I’ve seen many a bearded dragon go from turning their nose up at their salad bowl to eagerly lapping up a slurry off a spoon. The secret? Add a tiny but of fruit and/or bee pollen to sweeten things up and trick your beardie’s palate.

Now, I’m not going to go super in depth here about slurries because I’ve actually dedicated an entire article to them, chock full of great recipes, feeding, tips, and more! Make sure to check out the bearded dragon slurry recipes for some great inspiration.

 Tip #6: Start ‘Em Young 

 Okay, this one is kind of a no brainer but it I seriously just had to mention it!

If you want your bearded dragon to eat their veggies and greens… you NEED to start introducing them into their diet while they’re still young!

I mean think about it like this, most bearded dragons view live feeders the way we would view a fresh-from-the-oven pepperoni pizza or juicy cheeseburger. Meanwhile, most vegetables are, well, just vegetables. See the difference?

If you expect your bearded dragon to even think about eating a vegetable as an adult, you better start developing their palate from a young age. Even babies as young as 1-2 months should still be given some finely chopped vegetables to sample here and there. 

After all, this is the ONLY food bearded dragons are allowed to eat as much of as they want all day long!

Tip #7: Hand Feeding

Hand feeding a bearded dragon
Some bearded dragons LOVE being spoiled with hand feeding. You can use your fingers if you’re brave or use reptile tongs to avoid being bitten.

 Although this is hardly my first recommendation, you can always encourage your bearded dragon to eat their greens by spending the time hand feeding them. Now, you’ll want to make sure you avoid being bitten by using the right tools, but otherwise hand feeding is a pretty easy process.

It allows you to simulate bearded dragon’s by capturing their attention as you present the food to them, even moving it around to ignite their predator instincts. The one bad thing about this is, bearded dragons can become dependent on being fed this way (I know, they’re such divas!), so be careful you don’t allow that happen.

I don’t know about you, but the last thing I have time for everyday is acting as my bearded dragon’s personal slave veggie feeder.

 Tip #8: Hold Your Ground

 Now, this last suggestion may sound a little harsh… but like a kid that’s forced to finish their peas and carrots before being allowed to leave the table, bearded dragons too will eventually crumble.

You see, sometimes to win the fight you simply need to exercise a little stubborn behavior yourself. And while I really only recommend this as a last resort, it can sure be pretty effective.

In this instance, I’m talking about just giving your bearded dragon greens for a couple days until they finally give in and eat. As long as they’re a healthy weight they won’t starve. And forcing them to eat greens may just open their eyes to how yummy they can really be!

Now, I DON’T recommend this approach with baby and juvenile bearded dragons who are still growing as they need their protein. But, you can certainly attempt it with any adult bearded dragon as a last resort if everything else on this list has failed.

Wrapping Things Up 

So, there you have it! I hope you found this article full of great ideas that you can practically implement as you attempt to get your bearded dragon to eat more greens and vegetables.

And while these suggestions should definitely help improve your beardie’s eating habits, one thing is for sure… your BEST bet is going to just be patient. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, bearded dragons can be SO unbelievably stubborn!

As such, it’s up to you to remain determined and patient on this journey with them. If one of the suggestions above doesn’t work? Well, just try another one! Keep going until you find what works, because as long as you don’t give up, I promise you’ll figure it out eventually.

13 thoughts on “Bearded Dragon Won’t Eat Greens? Try These 8 Easy Expert Tips…”

  1. so the white light the only light used? I was under the assumption that they needed the red light as well just to make this clear ..this is my first attempt at raising beardies and i want to do it right..also I have two beardies one very small baby and the other a little bigger but still a baby.. my question is can they both eat salads? and where can i buy a lot lot of crickets and roaches because i only go to pet co and they seem to only give out 15 at a time which i know is not enough

    Reply
    • Hi Penni!

      To answer your questions…

      1. Yes, white light is the ONLY light you want to use. No colors under any circumstance.
      2. Beardies of all ages can eat salads! It’s actually the one thing you can give them as much as they want of. Although, typically babies will have a primarily protein (i.e. insect) heavy diet comprising around 80% of total caloric intake. My Bearded Dragon Diet Guide here goes over literally everything you could ever need to know about feeding a bearded dragon at any age. It’s a really thorough and comprehensive resource if you want to check it out, I’m sure it would answer all your Q’s.
      3. I highly recommend you check out this post on where to buy crickets.

      I hope these answers helped you 🙂

      Reply
    • No no Penny –

      You do not need a red light. A Good uvb and a couple or one, depending on enclosure size, uva/heat lights. I would recommend Reptisun ho t5 for uvb and 1 or two uva/ ht lights , 50 or 75 watts. That is Incredibly important.

      Reply
  2. My bearded dragon won’t eat her greens or poop. I brought her home from bio club and she doesn’t seem to want anything except for live food. Is she just stressed out?

    Reply
    • Hi Noni!

      She could be stressed out from the transition, sure. But my guess is that she’s been spoiled to the good stuff (feeders) for too long. Beardies are notoriously stubborn when it comes to eating their salads, especially if not accustomed to it!

      If she’s younger than a year, I’m not surprised she isn’t fond of veggies as she’s likely been chowing down on insect primarily to help her grow big and strong. If she’s over a year, she should however, be making that transition to an 80/20 veggie to insect diet. As long as she’s a healthy weight, don’t be afraid to stand your ground and refuse to give her feeders until she’s finished her veggies.

      In the meantime, this salad dressing and mixing up her veggie selection can work wonders to stimulate her appetite.

      Reply
    • Put the dragon In the garbage disposal side of the kitchen sink in about 3 inches of warm water. After the dragon poops Play sit in the other side of the sink in the same temperature water then pull the plug on the poop side the poop goes down the drain. I give them a little bath after as well It works every time there’s a sprinkle you can put in there if you want to make it an enhanced experience for your Dragon. Really all you need is warm water this is a great way to keep your cage clean to you only need to do it once a week

      Reply
  3. My beardie is a 5 year old German giant hybrid, and he had been a big salad eater since I got him at age 3! But recently, he has started refusing all greens, even lettuce and his favorite food, celery leaves. He is also refusing Apple and carrots, as well as garbanzo beans, a small treat he loves normally. On a side note, he hasn’t been eating nearly as many bugs and is refusing crickets. He’ll eat roaches and maybe a few superworms, but no crickets? He hasn’t been acting any different, no digging or extra sleeping/signs of brumation, and we are approaching summer. Advice?

    Reply
    • Hi Savannah!

      I have a couple questions that may or may not help me pinpoint what could be wrong.

      Would you mind answering the following…?

      1. Is your beardie relieving himself at his regular rate?
      2. How long has it been since he had his UVB changed out for a new bulb?
      3. Any changes around the house or tank that could be causing stress?
      4. For how long has his appetite been different now?

      If he does’t appear to be losing weight, in pain or discomfort, black bearding, or totally lethargic, he could just be going through a phase. This happens sometimes as bearded dragons get older. Try feeding him some new foods to see if maybe he’s just gotten sick of the same old.

      This post on diet will walk you through everything you can (and can’t!) feed your beardie if you’d like some inspiration for how to perhaps peak his appetitie.

      Hope this helps!

      Reply
    • Feed him Dandelion Greens, Mustard Greens and Collard greens and yellow sqaush; all organic and dice the sqaush very teeny and make the greens tear into small pieces too. If u have to add some dubias or worms mixed in to the bowl of veggies mix all those veggies together and add the proteins!!! Lettuce has no nutritional value and casues diahrea and should be given once in a while for the water in it. But the greens I listed above are the best and spray them with bottled or filtered water so they get there water!!!

      Reply
  4. My Missy and Little Bit are about 6 weeks old and I have the basking light and for 5 days now no uv light(busted) now they are not eating their millworms nibbled on lettuce and Aloe Vera it is chopped and grinded up but their not growing and I don’t know what to do…….advice please

    Reply

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