Bearded dragons (Beardies), as they are nicknamed, are popular pets for many reasons. They are active, friendly, and relatively low-maintenance. However, like any pet, they require some care and attention. A critical aspect of their care is maintaining a healthy weight. Unfortunately, obesity is a common problem in them, leading to various health problems. If your beardie is carrying a few extra grams, don’t despair. With some simple diet and lifestyle changes, you can help your pet slim down and enjoy a long and healthy life.
In this article, you will learn if your bearded dragon overweight and how to balance its weight with the help of diet changes.
Symptoms of Overweight Beardies:
To help your pet lose weight, identify whether they are overweight. There are a few telltale signs that they may carry too much weight.
- Please take a look at their overall body shape. A healthy beardie should have a defined “waist” that is narrower than its hips and shoulders. They may be overweight if they appear more or less rectangular, with no noticeable waist.
- Another clue is the presence of skin folds on their sides or belly. These skin folds can trap moisture and provide an ideal environment for bacteria to grow, leading to infections.
- Finally, check your bearded dragon’s nails. If the nails curve under the toe pads, this is a sign of obesity.
Look for any of these signs in your bearded dragon, and if you notice they have these signs, then it’s time to take action to help them slim down.
Causes of Obesity in Bearded Dragons:
One of the most common is simply overfeeding. It’s important to remember that bearded dragons are naturally lean creatures and don’t require much food to maintain their weight. When they are overfed, they can quickly become overweight.
Another common cause of obesity is a lack of exercise. Naturally active creatures need opportunities to move around and explore their environment. If you keep the bearded dragons in a small enclosure with no chance to move around, they can become overweight.
Finally, some bearded dragons may have a genetic predisposition to obesity.
What can diet and lifestyle adjustments do for bearded dragons that are overweight?
Follow the tips below to help your bearded dragon if it is overweight:
- Feed them smaller meals more often: If they are used to being fed large meals, you will need to make some adjustments. Start by reducing the size of their meals and increasing the frequency. For example, if they are used to being fed once a day, try switching to two or three smaller meals.
- Cut down on high-fat foods: Bearded dragons are naturally carnivorous creatures, so they need some fat in their diet. However, you should avoid feeding them foods high in fat, such as insects high in omega-six fatty acids. Instead, focus on providing them leaner proteins, such as dubia roaches and hornworms. You should also avoid feeding them fatty meats, such as chicken skin.
- Increase their fiber intake: Fiber is an essential part of any diet, and bearded dragons are no exception. By increasing the amount of fiber in their diet, you can help them feel fuller after meals and prevent them from overheating. There are a few different ways to increase their fiber intake. One is to feed them vegetables high in fiber, such as leafy greens. You can additionally include a small amount of bran in their diet.
These simple dietary changes can help your pet lose weight and enjoy a long and healthy life. Just remember to make changes gradually so they can adjust to their new diet and lifestyle. You can also check out various websites and helpful guides on reptile care and bearded dragons for concerns about your pet’s health.