Bearded dragons, also commonly called Beardies, are popular pets because they’re peaceful and easy to take care of. When you handle them carefully, bearded dragons won’t act aggressively and can live up to 10 or 15 years.
But in order to keep your pet bearded dragon in perfect health, you need to make sure that you’re providing it with a balanced healthy diet.
So, can bearded dragons eat anoles? Are there any dangers associated with feeding your bearded dragon live prey?
Read this article to find the answer to these questions.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Anoles?
Typically, bearded dragons shouldn’t eat anoles.
In the wild, it’s pretty common for bearded dragons to feed on anoles and other small lizards, but you should avoid this in captivity.
To stay healthy, bearded dragons need a balanced diet that’s made of 80% vegetables, fruits, and even flowers and 20% animal protein.
In an enclosure, feeding live prey can result in injuries and might cause your pet bearded dragon to contract parasites that might be fatal. This is why small insects are usually preferred as a protein source.
What Are The Risks of Feeding Anoles to Bearded Dragons?
Bearded dragons can choose between different types of live prey in the wild, including spiders, bugs, and other smaller lizards. However, live prey like anoles can cause a lot of harm if your pet bearded dragon feeds on them.
Parasites and Pesticides
While they’re walking around, smaller lizards like anoles will carry parasites and traces of pesticides and herbicides. These can potentially kill the bearded dragon when it eats the anoles.
Anoles are bigger and more aggressive than insects. So when the bearded dragon is trying to feed on a live anole, it will try to fight back and might cause severe and even fatal injury to the bearded dragon.
Things will be more dangerous if you have a pet bearded dragon that has been born and raised in captivity. This pet will be less trained to fight off an aggressive anole.
The rule is that the food you choose to feed your pet bearded dragon should measure smaller than the distance between the eyes of your pet or the overall size of the head. This is why feeder insects are better choices for your pet.
However, live lizards like anoles are usually bigger, and your bearded dragon might not be able to swallow the small lizard.
There’s a common debate among pet owners regarding feeding live prey to bearded dragons. With the availability of high-quality pet food and live insects, feeding live prey like anoles and other animals like mice is unnecessary animal cruelty.
What Should I Do If My Bearded Dragon Eats An Anole?
There’s no way your bearded dragon will eat an anole in its enclosure unless you’ve put it there. In captivity, your pet lizard will only have access to the food you provide.
However, if you usually take your bearded dragon for walks outside or to supplement its food with nutrient-rich choices, it might feed on anoles and other small lizards.
Anoles are quite common in the wild, and your pet lizard might encounter a few while it’s spending time outside.
Even then, anoles and bigger animals like frogs don’t represent the bearded dragon’s first option. These animals will fight for their lives, and a bearded dragon might spend a few minutes or even hours trying to catch one.
If the bearded dragon feeds on anoles and nothing goes wrong, then your pet is mostly fine. In most cases, small anoles won’t cause any harm to an adult bearded dragon.
Nevertheless, it’s recommended to keep an eye on your pet lizard. Larger anoles can be quite aggressive.
This is why you should check your bearded dragon’s body for injuries and watch it to see if it’s breathing fine. If it’s choking, gagging, or seems injured, you need to take it to the vet.
The vet will also run some tests to check your pet’s stool for parasites, which are common when your bearded dragon feeds on live prey in the wild. Luckily, most of these parasitic infections are treatable with proper medication.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Captive Lizards?
Captive lizards are free from parasitic risks because you’re raising them in a controlled enclosure. However, they’re still not the best kind of food that you can offer to your bearded dragon.
Captive lizards are usually too large for a bearded dragon and will fight your pet and even attempt to bite it.
Moreover, many pet owners find it quite unpleasant and unnecessary to watch another animal fighting for its life.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Rodents?
In the wild, bearded dragons are opportunistic feeders and will eat a lot of food varieties, including mice and other rodents.
This is because food is usually scarce in their natural habitat, so these reptiles will target any animal that seems smaller or weaker than them.
They will feed on rodents, geckos, and even spiders and tarantulas.
However, when you keep a bearded dragon as a pet, you’ve total control over what to feed it.
Larger prey can be more dangerous to eat, especially if you have a younger bearded dragon. Moreover, some animal lovers don’t see it necessary to feed a larger animal like a rodent to a bearded dragon since there are other food options to keep your pet healthy.
Are Frozen Anoles Safe to Eat?
One of the reasons why you shouldn’t feed anoles to your bearded dragon is that they might bite it and cause injury.
This is why some pet owners opt for frozen anoles instead. They provide the same nutritional value and aren’t going to attack your pet.
However, frozen anoles aren’t typically the best food for your bearded dragons.
Frozen anoles can still be too big for your bearded dragons and can still subject them to the danger of choking. This also applies to other frozen animals like feeder mice.
These animals are better suited for larger animals like pet snakes. They won’t struggle with eating and swallowing larger prey.
Moreover, other options like live or frozen insects are cheaper and easier to obtain than rodents, anoles, and other larger prey.
What Should I Feed My Pet Bearded Dragon?
Live prey provides high nutritious value and will help your bearded dragon thrive. However, you should pay attention to the type you’re choosing to feed your pet.
Although anoles, along with other types of lizards and rodents, should be avoided, there are other live prey options that work perfectly for your bearded dragons.
Bearded dragons can feed on waxworms, silkworms, dubia roaches, fruit flies, and even small and medium-sized crickets. All these insects can be easily brought from the pet shop or bred at home.
To keep your bearded dragon healthy, you should offer a healthy mix of vegetables and animal protein on a daily basis. The insects you choose to include in your pet’s meal should be small to avoid the risk of choking.
These smaller insects are safe to swallow, especially if you’re getting them from a reputable source. They won’t attack your pet bearded dragon and won’t cause any fatal injuries.
Bearded dragons can eat anoles, but it’s recommended that you offer them another type of live prey. Anoles can be too big and might injure your pet bearded dragon or even cause it to choke.
Instead, offer high-quality insects to supplement the bearded dragon’s diet.
I have a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When I’m not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies, I’m at home with my wife, two daughters and a dog. Outside of family, I love grilling and barbequing on my Big Green Egg and working on projects around the house. Growing up, I had pet dogs, cats, deer, sugar gliders, chinchillas, a bird, chickens, fish, and a goat.