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Are Dead Crickets Safe For Bearded Dragons?

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We all know that live crickets are a scrumptious treat for reptiles, but what about crickets that are already dead?

Bearded dragon eating insect

In this article, we are going to be taking a thorough look at the relationship between bearded dragons and crickets as a food source for them, as well as the difference between feeding them, live crickets, and dead crickets.

Let’s get started!

Bearded Dragons And Crickets

Crickets are known to be a source of food for many different types of reptiles, including lizards, snakes, turtles, crocodiles, and even birds.

They have been used in reptile diets since ancient times due to their high nutritional value and easy availability.

However, while they are an excellent food for reptiles, there is one major problem with using crickets as a food item: they can carry harmful bacteria and parasites, which can cause illness or death to your bearded dragon.

That being said, there are ways to ensure you are providing your bearded dragon with the best possible diet without having to worry about any potential health risks.

Dead Crickets As A Food Source For Bearded Dragons

The first thing you need to consider when looking into adding crickets to your bearded dragon’s diet is the origins of the crickets.

If you don’t know where they came from, then you should probably stay away from them because they could contain harmful bacteria or parasites.

You should always make sure that the crickets you buy come from reputable sources, such as pet stores.

Frozen crickets or ones that are sold as dead are usually safe to feed to your bearded dragon, though.

Are Dead Crickets A Good Choice?

Dead crickets aren’t as good of a choice in comparison to living crickets because there is no way to tell if they were treated right before being placed on the shelf.

As convenient as dead crickets might seem- thanks to being easier to manage and handle in comparison to living ones- they still aren’t considered a healthy option for your bearded dragon.

Live crickets, however are much more nutritious than dead ones and will provide your reptile with vitamins, minerals, and protein.

Live Crickets As A Food Source For Bearded Dragons

If you want to feed your bearded dragon live crickets, then you will need to find some that are very small so that they won’t be too difficult to handle.

These crickets should be kept in a container that is large enough for them to move around freely.

You should also keep the container out of direct sunlight and heat.

When you do this, you will be able to ensure that the crickets remain fresh and healthy.

When it comes to buying live crickets online, this isn’t always ideal, as they tend to die during the shipping process.

Crickets that have died on their way to you come with a huge range of various issues, such as bacteria, parasites, and loss of moisture, which can make them tough and difficult for your bearded dragon to eat.

Live crickets are certainly a better choice than dead ones, but they are not perfect.

There are other things you need to take into consideration when choosing whether or not to feed your bearded dragon crickets.

First, though, let’s take a look at some of the benefits of live crickets.

The Benefits Of Live Crickets For Your Bearded Dragon

There are numerous benefits to providing your bearded dragon with live crickets as a part of its diet.

Some of these include:

Healthy Digestion

Crickets help to stimulate digestion by increasing the amount of saliva produced by your bearded dragon.

This helps to break down foods more easily and allows your reptile to absorb nutrients better than if he were eating dry food alone.

Better Immunity

Crickets are high in protein and fat content, which means that they provide your bearded dragon with essential vitamins and minerals that promote good health.

These nutrients help to strengthen his immune system and fight off infections.

They also contain high levels of zinc, iron, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and selenium.

All of these elements work together to boost immunity.

Improved Skin Condition

Crickets are rich in vitamin B12, which helps to improve skin condition and appearance.

This is especially important for bearded dragons, who spend much time basking under the sun.

Increased Energy Levels

Crickets are full of energy, giving your bearded dragon a boost of energy throughout the day.

This helps him to get through the day without feeling tired and sluggish.

Help Prevent Constipation

Crickets are high-fiber and low-calorie foods, which means that they help prevent constipation.

They also help to increase the water intake in your bearded dragon’s diet.

Protein Source

Crickets are an excellent source of protein and amino acids.

This makes them a great treat for your bearded dragon.

Faster Weight Loss

Crickets are extremely nutritious and packed with calories.

As a result, they are one of the best ways to lose weight quickly.

The insects are easy to digest and don’t require any special preparation before being fed to your bearded dragon.

Risks Of Feeding Crickets To Your Bearded Dragon

Close up bearded dragon eating

Despite these various benefits, there are still risks associated with feeding your bearded dragon crickets.

The main risk is that your bearded dragon may become ill or even die due to bacterial contamination.

If you choose to use live crickets, it is best to buy them from reputable suppliers who sell only clean and healthy insects.

Another issue is that crickets are a potential choking hazard for your dragon.

It is therefore recommended that you supervise your bearded dragon when he eats crickets.

Make sure that he has plenty of space to roam around and doesn’t try to swallow any of the bugs whole.

Impaction is also another problem that could occur if your bearded dragon consumes too many crickets at once.

This can cause blockage of the digestive tract and lead to serious complications.

You should be aware of this so that you don’t end up having to take your beardie to the vet for treatment.

Crickets biting your pet is also a risk, seeing as black and brown crickets can bite, and if left in an enclosure with your dragon, they can very easily bite at their legs, tail, or back.

This can lead to wounds that will need to be cleaned and kept well-treated in order to avoid infection.

Your dragon might even need antibiotics to deal with the wound.

Wild crickets are particularly prone to causing issues due to the high risk of contamination, so it is best to avoid feeding them to your bearded dragon.

You also need to be wary of any possible pesticides or herbicides that could be present on crickets.

This could cause poisoning if ingested by your bearded dragon.

Keeping Your Bearded Dragon Healthy When Feeding Them Crickets

The best way to be sure that you are receiving the healthiest possible crickets that will keep your pet in the best possible health is to purchase them from a reputable supplier.

These companies have been inspected by government authorities to ensure that they meet all standards set out by law.

They must also provide detailed information about the crickets sold, including the type of cricket, the method used to produce them, the amount of food offered per insect, and more.

If you decide to feed your bearded dragon crickets, make sure that you do so in moderation.

Don’t overfeed your bearded dragon because this would result in obesity.

Instead, give him just enough crickets to keep him happy and healthy.

He won’t eat them all at once but rather gradually consume them throughout the day.

Make sure that you monitor their eating habits closely and adjust their diet accordingly.

As mentioned earlier, crickets contain a lot of calories, so you need to watch how much your bearded dragon consumes each time they eat them.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Many Crickets Should I Feed My Bearded Dragon Every Day?

This depends entirely on what size your bearded dragon is.

If they weigh less than 5 pounds, you only need to feed them 2-3 crickets daily.

However, if they weigh between 5 and 10 pounds, you may want to increase the number of crickets you feed them.

You should always start off slowly with your bearded dragon and work your way up to the optimum amount of crickets that he needs to maintain good health.

What Type Of Food Do Bearded Dragons Need To Live Longer?

Bearded dragons require a diet rich in protein and vitamins.

The most important thing is to make sure that you feed your bearded dragon a balanced diet.

It shouldn’t consist solely of insects, though.

You should also include some fruits and vegetables in your bearded dragon’s diet.

You can find many different types of foods for bearded dragons online.

Some of these foods are specially designed for bearded dragons, while others are suitable for other reptiles, such as iguanas.

Which Insects Are Best For A Bearded Dragon’s Diet?

There are several different types of insects that are suitable for a bearded dragon’s dietary requirements.

The most common ones include mealworms, wax worms, silkworms, crickets, and grasshoppers.

These insects are easy to obtain and relatively inexpensive.

All you need to do is buy them from a reliable source and follow the instructions provided when buying them.

Insects are an excellent source of nutrition for your bearded dragon.

They contain high amounts of protein and essential nutrients, which help to build strong bones and muscles.

Final Thoughts

Dead crickets are not the best option for feeding a bearded dragon.

This is because they don’t offer the same nutritional value as live crickets.

In addition, they are often contaminated with bacteria or parasites, which could harm your bearded dragon.

Instead, choose live crickets that have been raised under controlled conditions.

Make sure that you buy them from a reputable company that has been inspected by government officials to ensure that they meet quality control standards.

That being said, frozen crickets are still acceptable for use as long as you thaw them before giving them to your bearded dragon.

You can also buy them as dead from certain pet stores, and in this case, it is recommended that you use them within a week.

However, live crickets are more nutritious and will provide your bearded dragon with a better diet.

If you are thinking of getting some cricket for your bearded dragon, then live crickets are definitely the right way to go!

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About the author


Kerry White is an avid dog lover and writer, knowing all there is to know about our furry friends. Kerry has been writing for PetDT for three years now, wanting to use her knowledge for good and share everything she can with new dog owners.Kerry has two dogs herself - a German shepherd called Banjo and a chocolate labrador called Buttons. Kerry knows more than anyone how adjusting to new life with a puppy can turn your life upside down, and she wants to ease some of the burdens through her articles.