Keeping Your Bearded Dragon Strong and Healthy: The Importance of Calcium

If you're the proud parent of a bearded dragon, you're probably well aware of the joy these scaly friends bring into our lives. They're like little, less cuddly, dogs that can't bark or fetch, but make up for it by being incredibly cool and, let's face it, a bit exotic. But, like all pets, bearded dragons require specific care to keep them in tip-top shape. Today, we're going to focus on one of the most important aspects of bearded dragon health: calcium.

The Role of Calcium in Bearded Dragons

Calcium is not just for humans to build strong bones and teeth. It plays a vital role in the health of our bearded buddies too. Calcium helps in the formation of a bearded dragon's bones, teeth, and vital bodily functions such as muscle contraction and blood coagulation. Without adequate calcium, your bearded dragon could suffer from a variety of health issues, including the dreaded metabolic bone disease (MBD).

MBD is a serious condition that can lead to deformities, paralysis, and even death. It's like the boogeyman of the bearded dragon world, and it's something we want to avoid at all costs. Ensuring your bearded dragon gets enough calcium is one of the best ways to prevent MBD.

How to Provide Calcium to Your Bearded Dragon

Now that we know why calcium is important, let's talk about how to make sure your bearded dragon is getting enough of it. There are several ways to provide calcium to your bearded dragon, and it's not as simple as just tossing them a piece of cheese (although, wouldn't that be nice?).

Firstly, you can dust their food with a calcium supplement. This is a common method and is as simple as it sounds. You sprinkle the supplement onto their food before feeding them. It's like adding a little seasoning to their meal, except this seasoning is essential for their health.

Choosing the Right Calcium Supplement

Not all calcium supplements are created equal. Some contain additional vitamins and minerals, while others are just pure calcium. It's important to choose a supplement that is right for your bearded dragon's specific needs.

For example, some supplements contain Vitamin D3, which helps the body absorb calcium. However, if your bearded dragon gets plenty of UVB light (which they should), they can produce their own Vitamin D3. In this case, a pure calcium supplement may be the best choice.

Feeding Calcium-Rich Foods

Another way to provide calcium to your bearded dragon is through their diet. Many fruits, vegetables, and insects are rich in calcium and can be a great addition to your bearded dragon's diet.

Some calcium-rich foods include collard greens, turnip greens, and dandelion leaves. Insects like silkworms and phoenix worms are also high in calcium. Remember, variety is the spice of life, so try to offer a mix of these foods to keep your bearded dragon's diet balanced and interesting.

Monitoring Your Bearded Dragon's Calcium Levels

Providing calcium to your bearded dragon is one thing, but how do you know if they're getting enough? Monitoring your bearded dragon's calcium levels is an important part of their care.

One of the best ways to monitor their calcium levels is through regular vet check-ups. Your vet can perform a blood test to check their calcium levels and make sure they're in the healthy range. If they're not, your vet can provide guidance on how to adjust their diet or supplement routine.

At home, you can keep an eye on your bearded dragon's behavior and physical condition. Signs of calcium deficiency can include lethargy, loss of appetite, and physical signs like a soft jaw or bent limbs. If you notice any of these signs, it's time to take a trip to the vet.


Can I give my bearded dragon too much calcium?

Yes, it is possible to give your bearded dragon too much calcium, which can lead to health issues like hypercalcemia. This is why it's important to monitor their calcium levels and consult with a vet about the appropriate amount of supplement to give.

How often should I give my bearded dragon calcium?

The frequency can vary depending on your bearded dragon's age and health. Generally, juvenile bearded dragons need calcium more frequently than adults. It's best to consult with a vet to determine the appropriate schedule for your pet.

What if my bearded dragon doesn't like the taste of the calcium supplement?

If your bearded dragon doesn't seem to like the taste of the calcium supplement, you can try mixing it with a little bit of their favorite food. If they still refuse to eat it, consult with a vet for other options.


Keeping your bearded dragon strong and healthy requires a bit of work, but the reward is well worth it. By providing them with the right amount of calcium, you can help ensure they live a long, happy, and healthy life. Remember, when in doubt, consult with a vet. They're the real experts, after all.

Now, go forth and be the best bearded dragon parent you can be. Your scaly friend is counting on you!

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