If you’ve recently brought home a beardie or are thinking of adopting your first, chances are you may be a little confused by this whole calcium for bearded dragons thing.
In fact, you may have even seen people recommending one brand over another, arguing over the safety of oyster shell, discussing D3, and other perplexing topics pertaining to the dos and don’ts of calcium!
So, what’s a new (or prospective) owner to do?
Well, rest assured if you’re looking for a little (or a lot) of guidance in regard to all things bearded dragon calcium powder, then you’ve come to the RIGHT place!
We’ll be breaking down not only the BEST calcium powders, but also discussing when you should or shouldn’t use D3, why bearded dragons need calcium powder in the first place, and so much more!
So, with all of this being said, buckle up and get ready to become a certified calcium powder expert in just a few minutes.
Table of Contents
Why Do Bearded Dragons NEED Calcium Powder?
Before we dive into our top recommendations for bearded dragon calcium powders, let’s first quickly address the MOST common question associated with this topic…
“Why do bearded dragons need calcium powder?”
Surely, this is a fair question. I mean, it’s not like wild bearded dragons are catching insects and then coating them in calcium powder in the wild, right?
So, why in captivity must we, as responsible owners, use bearded dragon calcium powder you ask? Well, to put it bluntly, it’s because the diet we feed them kind of sucks in comparison to what they get in the wild.
You see, the difference basically lies in the lack of varied diet…
In the wild, bearded dragons have access to TONS of insects chock full of a variety of nutrients and vitamins that most of us just can’t easily replicated in captivity.
In fact, here are some of the delicacies bearded dragons enjoy in the wild on a regular basis:
- Small Mice
- Leafy greens
- Small lizards
- & SO much more
Pretty varied diet they have there, right? It’s essentially because bearded dragons are believed to be opportunistic predators, eating whatever the season provides that will fit in their mouth.
Naturally, our inability to closely replicate a diet like that of what would be enjoyed in the wild leads to a calcium deficiency.
This is why calcium powders are SO important in a pet bearded dragon’s diet!
(On a related side note, it’s also incredibly important you know how much calcium powder your bearded dragon needs, regardless of their age!)
Unless your beardie is eating a TON of greens and munching on naturally calcium-rich bugs on the daily, then he’s probably a great candidate for calcium powder.
Best Calcium for Bearded Dragons WITH D3
Let’s now discuss the best calcium for bearded dragons without Vitamin D3.
Some of the following recommendations will contain other vitamins and nutrients, while others will be pure calcium, requiring you to still purchase a separate bearded dragon vitamin.
Also, please note that the BEST calcium powders for bearded dragons are going to be those WITHOUT phosphorous.
This is because bearded dragons need a healthy ratio of calcium to phosphorus (5:1 respectively) and tend to get plenty of phosphorus in their diet as it is.
As such, every suggestion in this article will be for reptile calcium powders without phosphorous.
And if you’re unsure of whether your bearded dragon’s calcium powder should or shouldn’t have D3, here’s a quick refresh on D3 and when to use it…
When to Use a Bearded Dragon Calcium Powder WITH D3
Vitamin D3 is essential for calcium absorption, and if your beardie is not getting enough (either in their diet or through their UVB light) then they can become deficient in calcium and potentially develop MBD (metabolic bone disease).
If your beardie does not have a mercury vapor bulb (think the REALLY strong expensive reptile bulbs, like the MegaRay brand) you can typically give them calcium WITH D3 in it and NOT run any risk of overloading them.
However, if your beardie gets a lot of sunlight (UVB will allow their skin to absorb D3) OR has a mercury vapor bulb, then you can probably skip the D3 in their calcium.
If you are uncertain about whether to use D3 or not, you can always alternate between a D3 powder and a non D3 powder as well.
Now, onto the suggestions!
Best Calcium for Bearded Dragons WITH D3 #1: Rep-Cal Calcium With Vitamin D3
So, what makes it SO great? Well, for starters, it is really finely milled which allows for it to effortlessly apply and stick to feeders.
It also is comprised of 100% natural oyster shell phosphorous-free calcium carbonate, which can be an issue for some purists who prefer pure calcium carbonate.
You’ll also be happy to know it’s formulated with ZERO added sugars, starches, additives, artificial coloring, or other nasty ingredients.
Best Calcium for Bearded Dragons WITH D3 #2: Repashy Calcium Plus
Another great option for calcium is the brand Repashy Calcium Plus, which is essentially a calcium D3 powder PLUS additional vitamins!
This powder is meant to be an “all in one” and as such, should probably only be given to your adult beardie once a week and baby beardie twice a week.
On other days, I recommend using a regular calcium powder. No need for a separate vitamin powder.
The reason you won’t want to go overboard on the Repashy is because it contains straight Vitamin A, along with other vitamins and minerals that can become toxic to your dragon if ingested too frequently.
So, once a week is typically more than enough to give your beardie some extra nutrients.
Best Calcium for Bearded Dragons WITH D3 #3: Zoo Med Repti Calcium With D3
If you’re looking for a REALLY pure calcium powder without impurities, then look no further than this bearded dragon calcium powder by Zoo Med!
What sets this powder apart from others is their strict calcium carbonate formulation with ZERO oyster shell.
Although oyster shell is predominantly comprised of calcium carbonate, some owners are purists and prefer supplementing their bearded dragons with calcium in its purest form with minimal to no additives.
If this sounds like you, consider this bearded dragon calcium powder your FIRST choice!
Lastly, this calcium powder gets bonus points for their apt use of cholecalciferol, which is an extremely safe AND nutritious form of calcium. Consider it the highest quality you could reasonably expect to find in these supplements.
Best Calcium for Bearded Dragons WITH D3 #4: Fluker’s Repta Calcium With D3
Your standard, run of the mill calcium powder, Fluker’s Repta Calcium is a tried and true choice for many. It’s also a great value, costing less than a cup of coffee for 4 ounces!
Buyer’s have noted that it coats feeders well. The one thing to be wary of? Some people have reported the container to be messy when it arrives, so consider that before ordering.
All in all, if you’re looking for pure value, you can’t really go wrong with this calcium.
But, if you can stand to pay a little more, perhaps opt for one of the recommendations above to incorporate extra vitamins and avoid a packaging disaster.
Best Calcium for Bearded Dragons WITHOUT D3
The recommendations below are primarily going to mirror that of those above, with the exception of the Vitamin D3.
So, naturally these will again be best suited for bearded dragons who either have an enclosure with a mercury vapor bulb OR get plenty of natural sunlight (like, daily).
Best Calcium for Bearded Dragons WITHOUT D3 #1: Zoo Med Reptile Calcium Without Vitamin D3
Much like it’s Vitamin D3 sister, this calcium powder by Zoo Med contains pure calcium carbonate, making it a FAVORITE amongst purists who prefer to not supplement with additives or less pure calcium sources.
Also, please bear in mind that because this is PURE calcium, you will absolutely need to supplement with a vitamin as well.
A tried and true calcium powder for bearded dragons, this Vitamin D3 free one by Rep-Cal has the same finely milled quality as its Vitamin D3 counterpart above.
This ensures it coats feeders nice and evenly to allow your bearded dragon to consume the most calcium possible.
It also contains ZERO added sugars, starches, artificial coloring, or other yucky additives.
Best Calcium for Bearded Dragons WITHOUT D3 #3: Zilla Calcium Supplement Reptile Food Spray
A unique recommendation, this liquid calcium supplement by Zilla offers you the ability to boost your beardie’s calcium intake in more ways than JUST feeders!
In fact, many owners report their bearded dragon eating this no problem on their salads.
This supplement is also great to have on hand if your bearded dragon needs a quick boost.
You can easily add a couple drops to any homemade slurry recipe if they’re sick or showing signs of MBD and could benefit from additional calcium.
A must-have for picky eaters or owners who hate dusting feeders, don’t overlook this helpful bearded dragon calcium spray, even if it means just having it on hand for emergencies.
Best Calcium for Bearded Dragons WITHOUT D3 #3: Fluker’s Calcium Without Vitamin D3
Much like its Vitamin D3 counterpart, this calcium powder by Flukers gets points for being extremely affordable and a comprised of pure calcium carbonate.
However, it does lose some points for a few customers claiming the package arrived in poor condition. So, once again, consider this before ordering if this is the product you choose to go with.
WORST Bearded Dragon Calcium Powders
Reiterating on some points made above, it is advisable that you avoid any calcium powder that contains phosphorus AND isn’t finely milled.
Powders that are not finely milled are going to have a difficult time sticking to feeders and therefore, give your dragon very little of the nutrients they actually need. Also, if you go overboard on the phosphorus, you run the risk of really throwing the ratio of calcium to phosphorus off.
As long as you are willing to buy quality calcium powder for your bearded dragon, their calcium needs should be sufficiently meet, given you have the right lighting set up as well!
Just remember, when it comes to caring for bearded dragons, it is SO important that their dietary needs are met, because they really can be quite fragile!
How Do I Get My Bearded Dragon to Eat Calcium?
When it comes to get bearded dragons to eat their calcium, m0re times than not, you’ll have the BEST luck by dusting their feeders.
Most bearded dragons do not put up much of a stink over calcium dusted feeders, so long as you do it right. This means, your feeders should have a light, even coating.
As your bearded dragon’s diet changes with age, you may want to consider dusting their salad with calcium as well. However, it isn’t uncommon for bearded dragons to shun their salad when this happens.
You see, many beardies can be quite picky eaters, so getting them to eat their greens can be hard enough WITHOUT the added difficulties sprinkling them with calcium powder provide.
In this instance, having a liquid calcium for bearded dragons supplement (The recommended Zilla Food Spray mentioned above will do the trick!) can come in handy!
Does Reptile Calcium Go Bad?
While calcium in its purest form is inert, meaning it won’t spoil, additives such as Vitamin A and D3 will lose their potency over time.
If you’re supplementing your bearded dragon with pure calcium and no other vitamins or minerals, then don’t worry about the product expiring, so long as it’s store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.
However, if your calcium powder has extra ingredients in it, as most tend to, then you’re going to want to abide by the expiration date on the container.
Wrapping Up Bearded Dragon Calcium Powders
It is my hope that by now, you not only understand WHAT type of calcium powder your bearded dragon needs, but also WHY they need it and how to BEST administer it.
Supplementing your bearded dragon’s diet with calcium is one of your surest ways to keep them healthy in the long run.
If you can nail their diet, supplements, and lighting, then your bearded dragon will essentially have every chance to live a long, happy life.