For bearded dragon owners, it’s no doubt raising them can be therapeutic and enjoyable. For owners that feed their bearded dragon crickets, one question they ask themselves would be:
“Can I leave crickets with my bearded dragon overnight? Would it be okay?”
Luckily for you, this article will cover it all. In this article, you’ll learn:
- Basic information about bearded dragons
- Feeding a bearded dragon
- If you can leave crickets with your bearded dragon overnight
- and more!
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Bearded Dragon as a Pet Choice
Bearded dragons are a popular reptile pet choice, second perhaps, only to turtles and terrapins. These lizards are not only pleasant to the eye but are also quite docile, easy-going, and thrive well under human care.
They belong to the rarest animal groups that bond with their human caretakers and even like to snuggle for body warmth.
Did you know? 💡 Like many exotic and unusual creatures, bearded dragons hail from Australia. They dwell in deserts and thus thrive in warm weather.
You can create a thriving habitat for your bearded dragon through proper lighting, temperature regulation, and a few intricate details in the terrarium.
They are low-maintenance and inexpensive to keep and also exhibit affection towards their owners over time.
Feeding a Bearded Dragon
Bearded dragons are omnivores and hence require both protein, preferably from live prey, and vegetables for sustenance.
You should know: Variety is key while drafting a diet plan for your little fellow.
Although it is preferable to feed them live insects, don’t overdo it or else you’ll end up spoiling up your beardie. Once fixated on a particular food item, a bearded dragon will refuse to eat anything else.
Mostly, a balanced diet includes both vegetables and meal insects.
You can create a vegetable mix with green vegetables, squash, carrots, and fruits blended with turtle chow; this will assure the availability of essential vitamins and minerals to your pet, which will keep it healthy.
Popular meal insects include crickets, super-worms, and hornworms. Most people commit the mistake of feeding their beardie these insects over and over; this ruins their hunger for other items and they’ll only want to eat insects.
Moderation is important here and so is a balanced diet program. If you’re raising your bearded dragon on a pure meal protein-based diet, then throw in some multivitamins to the mixture to avoid malnutrition.
Did you know? 💡 Crickets are the forerunners in meal protein sources for dragons.
They are easy to procure, breed extensively, and simple to rear. Live prey not only provides your pet with stimulation but also satiates their predatory instincts; however, several problems associated with crickets deter owners from feeding them to their dragons.
Not only are these little bugs very mobile, but they hide behind various objects placed in the terrarium and later annoy your pet.
Leaving Crickets With Your Bearded Dragon Overnight
Although crickets are a nutritious option, it is certainly not okay to leave crickets with your dragon overnight.
Here are some reasons why crickets and bearded dragons don’t do well together:
Crickets are tiny and fast. They quickly find hiding spots and evade detection. When they begin to starve, they’ll go to every extent to fill their bellies.
They are omnivorous and their bites hurt. Stirred by hunger, they might crawl upon the unwary lizard and attack.
Their primary targets are the beardie’s tip of the tail, toes, and eyelids. Despite their rough skin, cricket bites hurt them badly and can even open doors to infections and parasites.
The most common types of crickets available in the market are nocturnal brown crickets and diurnal black crickets; these crickets have a devastating bite and, if the wound is left untreated, there might be severe repercussions.
If your dragon gets bitten, it is imperative to immediately treat the bite marks with an antiseptic.
Some Crickets Carry Pathogens, Parasites, and Poison
Parasites and pathogens often hitch a ride with their intermediate host to the final one. Although it is uncommon for farm-bred crickets to carry such dangers, the threat is dire in wild specimens.
There is no way to verify whether wild cricket is infected or not. If the cricket was sprayed with a pesticide, it will carry the toxin inside your pet.
Pesticides are poisonous and can be lethal at certain doses. Even if ingested in smaller quantities, these toxins may cause severe damage to the poor creature.
While moving around in the terrarium, crickets may pick up bacteria from decaying food matter or fecal pellets and that can be detrimental too.
Threat of Impaction
It is a general rule of thumb to feed your pet with smaller crickets. The general idea is to choose the ones that are smaller than the gap between their eyes.
Smaller crickets are easier to ingest and do not clog up their gut tract, otherwise known as impaction. This problem can be fatal and hence you must avoid feeding bigger crickets at all costs.
Risk of Choking
You shouldn’t feed big crickets to your bearded dragon as it might choke. If your dragon is choking, you’ll notice a coughing or gagging sound; this is all the more reason for being present during feeding time.
You should immediately try to clear your pet’s throat; otherwise, take it to a vet.
Stressful For Your Bearded Dragon
Dragons, like all animals, respond to stress. If crickets are creeping and crawling over their body, they’ll get agitated.
This won’t be an issue if there’s a single unfortunate crawler as it’ll be eaten; but if a horde of them attacks at once, then that can be great duress for them.
They will shut their eyes and endure the discomfort, which will be worsened when they start biting.
Thoughts On Bearded Dragons And Crickets
If you wish to feed your dragon with insects, do so under your supervision and remain alert. Feed them smaller crickets and do so one by one so that none hideaway to attack later on.
Tip: A balanced diet consisting of vegetables and protein is the most effective one for beardies.
It is also beneficial to dust your crickets with multivitamins to boost your pet’s health. Always thoroughly search for any stray crickets in the enclosure after feeding time if you’re uncertain.
I would suggest not leaving any crickets in the terrarium if you’re not watching over your bearded dragon even for a little while, let alone overnight.
Your pet’s physical and mental health requires always being vigilant to anything that might cause them harm.
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