If you want this cute little creature as a pet, you should first find out what to feed Water Dragons! Their diet includes quite a variety!
Water Dragons make good beginner pets. If you feed yours a nutritious diet, your chances of encountering health issues are slim.
In this article, I share what to include in your Dragon’s diet to keep them healthy and explain the health problems your pet might encounter if you neglect their food.
What To Feed Water Dragons: The Best Diet
Water Dragons need a variety of whole prey to stay healthy. This can include crickets, calciworms, earthworms, roaches, mealworms, and waxworms. You can feed these to your Water Dragon daily. Most Dragons will also enjoy thawed baby mice and goldfish.
Baby Water Dragons: You should feed your newborn Water Dragon small crickets and soft insects every day.
Juvenile Water Dragons: Once your Water Dragon is 6 months old, you can start feeding them small mice about twice a week. Young growing Water Dragons need nutrients and calcium, which are very important for the optimal growth of their developing skeletons. Juvenile Dragons need food daily.
Adult Water Dragons: You can feed your adult Water Dragon protein sources, but start including more fruits and veggies in their diet as they age. Adult Water Dragons only need food 2 to 3 times a week.
There are many fruits and veggies safe for Water Dragons to eat, and you can include these in their diet from birth:
- Mustard Greens
- Sweet Potato
- Green Beans
Remember that all reptiles need supplements like calcium and vitamin D3. You can sprinkle these supplements onto your Dragon’s food or buy it in liquid form to add to their water.
Water should be readily available and changed daily.
How Much Should Water Dragons Eat?
Water Dragons will eat only until they’re full. If your Dragon hasn’t eaten all the food in their bowl within 5 to 10 minutes, you can remove the leftovers from their cage.
Some Water Dragons will eat more than others, so feed according to your pet’s needs. As you get to know your Water Dragon, you’ll learn how much they consume per meal and can plan accordingly.
How to Help Your Water Dragon Gain Weight
If your Water Dragon is a little underweight, you’ll need to help them gain body fat. The best way to do this is to feed them more often!
You should include fatty foods in your Dragon’s diet to help them gain weight. Great sources of healthy fats include:
- Six-Spotted Roaches (legs removed)
- Land Snails
- Buffalo Worms
- Beetle Grubs
Some insects are toxic to Water Dragons and should be avoided. These include:
- Queen or Monarch Butterflies
- Boxelder Bugs
- Lubber Grasshoppers
Health Issues That Underweight Water Dragons Experience
Underweight Water Dragons can face various health issues. You should ensure your pet eats enough healthy foods to maintain their weight.
Metabolic Bone Disease
If your Dragon has a metabolic bone disease, they’re not getting enough calcium. In mild cases, your pet may show lethargy and appetite loss symptoms. A more severe case will include fragile bones, tremors, and twitching.
Underweight Water Dragons are more susceptible to developing abscesses. An abscess filled with infected material can occur under their jaw, inside their mouth, and even on their limbs.
If your Dragon has an abscess, you’ll need to get them to the vet. Your veterinarian will likely open and drain the abscess and treat it with antibiotics.
Nasal discharge is usually exhibited when there is an underlying respiratory illness. This needs antibiotic care under the supervision of an experienced vet.
An underweight Water Dragon has a higher chance of housing parasites. This puts a cruel strain on their already weak body, and if left untreated, it could lead to their death.
Mature, underweight female Dragons can suffer from egg-binding. This is usually caused by a lack of calcium-rich food and supplemental UVB lighting.
If your pet suffers from this, eggs will develop abnormally soft shells or even no shells at all. Your female Water Dragon will be unable to lay these eggs, and surgical intervention will be the only way to save your Dragon’s life.
The symptoms of health issues developing due to weight issues can mimic other diseases. Whenever your Water Dragon seems lethargic, has no interest in eating, or changes color, you should get them to an experienced reptile vet for examination.
Water Dragons are herbivores, making it easier to feed them than many other reptiles. You can keep their meals interesting and ensure they get all their needed nutrients through different types of foods.
Your pet Dragon will appreciate big portions of protein and veggies and fruits on the side while they’re young. As they mature, insects and worms become harder to chew, so you can up their greens when this happens.
I hope you liked this article and found it helpful. If you have any more questions, ask them in the comments!
What fruit do Water Dragons eat?
Water Dragons can eat many different fruits, but the best to give them include apples, cantaloupe melon, mangos, and papayas.
How much should I feed my Water Dragon?
You should feed your Water Dragon as much as they want to eat. Keep the portions you serve small and feed more frequently instead of big meals only once daily. As you get to know your Dragon, you'll figure out their perfect portion size.
How do you take care of a Water Dragon?
Water Dragons are relatively tame and easy to handle. Taking care of them isn't too complicated, and if you have a suitable enclosure, nutritious meals, and lots of love to give, you're already off to a great start!
Can Water Dragons eat bananas?
Yes. Water Dragons can eat bananas, but they shouldn't consume too much since it's high in sugar.