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Can Crickets Kill a Bearded Dragon?

Can Crickets Kill a Bearded Dragon?

The purpose of this blog is to share general information and is written to the author's best knowledge. It is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. For health concerns, please seek proper veterinary care.

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Bearded dragons are extremely popular pets that like to cuddle with their owners. As a matter of fact, a lot of celebrities keep this beloved lizard as a pet.

But you need to be careful if you plan to become a bearded dragon’s owner, as you might accidentally put it in danger if you don’t know how to take care care of it.

So, can crickets kill a bearded dragon? How can you protect your bearded dragons from the dangers of crickets?

We’ll help you find the answers in this article, so keep on reading.

Can Crickets Kill a Bearded Dragon?

A bearded dragon needs a balanced diet containing fresh fruits, vegetables, and animal protein.

Crickets represent the number one choice for most bearded dragon owners because they’re easy to buy and relatively cheap. A lot of pet owners also breed crickets to have a continuous supply of crickets to keep their pet bearded dragons healthy and well-fed.

However, crickets aren’t always the best choice to feed your bearded dragon as they can cause several health issues.

Here are some of the risks that crickets can cause.

Impaction

This happens when you’re not careful about the size of the crickets you’re feeding your pet bearded dragon.

As a rule, the cricket’s size should never exceed the distance between the eyes of the bearded dragon or the size of its head. If the cricket is too large, it might not be able to pass through the pet’s digestive tract.

This causes impaction, which can be fatal if you’re not paying attention. This is why you should always stick to smaller crickets instead of the bigger ones, even if you have a large bearded dragon.

Larger crickets can be eaten only by adult bearded dragons. Even in this case, you should better stick to the medium-sized ones.

Choking

Choking is another risk that you should consider, although it’s not as common as impaction. If you notice that your bearded dragon is coughing, gagging, or producing any weird noises, it might be choking on a cricket.

This usually happens when the bearded dragon attempts to swallow a cricket that’s too big.

In this case, you should try to clear its throat by opening its mouth and removing the cricket.

Because you might not always be present when your bearded dragon is eating, you should always feed it smaller crickets instead of the bigger ones.

Older crickets tend to have a denser exoskeleton, so they represent a bigger risk of choking.

Bites

Although your bearded dragon feeds on crickets, some of them can be quite aggressive.

These crickets will try to bite your pet bearded dragon when they’re left with it in the enclosure. Unless you pay attention to the wounds and treat them with a topical antibiotic, your pet can be subject to infection.

To avoid injuries, you should remove any uneaten crickets from the enclosure because they’ll try to bite your bearded dragon. The infections can be fatal if you have a sick, baby, or elderly bearded dragon.

Parasites

Store-bought or home-raised crickets are usually clean, but if you catch wild crickets, their bodies might contain harmful parasites that can greatly harm your bearded dragon.

Crickets can also be covered with pesticides and herbicides as they walk in the wild. These pesticides can potentially kill your pet.

Vomiting

Although your bearded dragon won’t die if it vomits, this can be highly upsetting. Bearded dragons are opportunistic feeders that feed on anything they find in the wild.

In the enclosure, your bearded dragon might overfeed and eat too many crickets, so it will eventually throw up. Unless it throws up, your pet might choke.

Bacterial Growth

The remains of the crickets in the enclosure, along with the feces and other food remains, can cause harmful bacteria to grow. This is why you should make sure that the tank is clean and discard any old food and water to prevent bacterial growth.

Can Your Bearded Dragon Eat Crickets Every Day?

Yes, your bearded dragon will safely eat crickets every day because they’re low on fat and high in proteins. Crickets and other insects should represent a portion of the cricket’s daily meal.

Baby bearded dragons need to eat multiple times a day, unlike adult pets. These can stay healthy by feeding only once a day.

If you’re not sure that your bearded dragon is eating enough crickets, you can spray the food with some reptile vitamins to guarantee that they’re healthy.

Can My Bearded Dragon Eat Dead Crickets?

If the crickets have recently died, they’ll be safe for your bearded dragon. Your bearded dragon can also feed on dried or frozen crickets.

However, if the crickets have been dead for a while and have already started to decompose, they can be extremely harmful to your pet.

The bacteria help decompose the bodies of crickets and other dead insects, but these bacteria can cause severe infections in the bearded dragon’s digestive tract.

Because you can’t be sure how long the dead cricket has been in the enclosure, it’s best to dispose of any dead insects before your pet bearded dragon tries to eat them.

Why Is My Bearded Dragon Only Eating Crickets?

This happens when your bearded dragon hasn’t been introduced to any other type of food. It might also not like the other alternative you’re offering.

If you’ve been offering crickets to your bearded dragon all its life, it won’t be interested in trying any other type of food. This is why you need to slowly introduce other types of food to see what your bearded dragon prefers.

It’s always easier to introduce a younger bearded dragon to other food alternatives than an older one.

Can A Bearded Dragon Live Without Crickets?

Yes, it can. Although crickets represent a popular food source for your bearded dragon, it can feed on other insects to stay healthy.

Your bearded dragon can feed on other insects like dubia roaches, earthworms, soldier fly larvae, locusts, waxworms, silkworms, mealworms, and fruit flies.

Why Is My Bearded Dragon Not Eating Vegetables?

To stay healthy, your bearded dragon’s diet should be made of 80% vegetables and 20% protein from insects. However, in some cases, your bearded dragon won’t be interested in eating its vegetables.

Here are a few things that you can do to encourage your pet to eat all its vegetables.

  • Spray the vegetables with water. When the bearded dragon is trying to drink the water, it might eat some of the vegetables.
  • Hand-feed your bearded dragon by wiggling some vegetables and fruits. This movement will encourage the bearded dragon to eat them.
  • Hide the insects in some vegetables and fruits. As your pet bearded dragon is attempting to eat the moving insects, it will munch on some of the vegetables and fruits.

Final Thoughts

A bearded dragon needs to feed on insects like crickets, in addition to vegetables and fruits. However, in some cases, crickets can be fatal and kill your pet if you’re not careful.

If the cricket is too large or has been contaminated with pesticides, it might make your bearded dragon sick or even kill it.

It’s recommended to breed your crickets at home to make sure that they’re safe and feed your pet only the small and medium-sized ones. You can also offer other insects if your pet doesn’t like crickets.