All loving and responsible bearded dragon owners will likely agree that calcium powder is a MUST HAVE staple in any beardie’s diet!
Calcium is a necessary component of any bearded dragon’s diet because it helps maintain their bone health, just as it does in humans.
But with so many options available, it can often be a little difficult to find the best calcium powders for bearded dragons!
The Best Calcium Powders for Bearded Dragons are Going to be Phosphorus-free. Why?
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.
Also, the best calcium powders are going to contain a form of calcium known as cholecalciferol, which is extremely safe and nutritious.
The product most bearded dragon owners will recommend you purchase is Rep-Cal Phosphorus-Free Calcium Powder, which comes with and without Vitamin D3 respectively.
When to Use a 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 (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.
As long as you pay close attention to your beardie and understand how much UVB exposure they get, there really is no reason to be too worried here.
Just adjust as you go, if need be!
Why Bearded Dragons Need Calcium Powder
This is a fair question, I mean, it’s not like wild bearded dragons are running around in the arid deserts of Australia catching insects and then coating them in calcium powder, right?
The difference basically lies in the lack of varied diet, and calcium deficiency that exists for a lot of live food.
Unless your beardie is eating a TON of greens, and munching on calcium-rich bugs on the daily, then he’s probably a great candidate for calcium powder.
So, What Are the BEST Calcium Powders for Bearded Dragons?
Again, most avid reptile owners are going to point you in the direction of the brand Rep-Cal, which is actually really affordable considering how long the calcium powder will last you!
Rep-Cal is really finely milled, which allows for it to effortlessly apply and stick to feeders.
Lastly, Rep-Cal is also phosphorus-free and comes with and without Vitamin D3.
Repashy’s Calcium Plus
Another great option for calcium is the brand Repashy’s 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.
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.
What are the WORST Calcium Powders for Bearded Dragons?
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!
But, if you stay diligent in observing them and provide a proper enclosure set up and diet, then you’ve honestly handled the hardest parts of caring for a beardie!