Can Bearded Dragons Eat EarthWorms? Is It Safe?

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Grubs are as important to bearded dragons as vegetables are to you– they simply couldn’t do without them. There are several protein sources to feed your pet; from dubia roaches and crickets to worms, all of them contain specific benefits. Roaches and crickets majorly contain good levels of sodium and calcium which is highly essential for beardies to grow strong bones and the worms bring the protein and fat that help your beardie grow muscles. If worms are so good for them, you may be wondering if it’s okay to feed your pet earthworms, and rightfully so.

Beardies can eat earthworms occasionally. They are nutritious, hydrating, and would make a great part of your dragon’s meal. However, there are rules you must adhere to before you feed your pet earthworms, or else it could fall sick from the treat.

In this article, we’ll be talking about the benefits and detriments of feeding earthworms to your pet. There are a few important points you must acknowledge to ensure the earthworm buffet goes smoothly.

Are Earthworms Good For Bearded Dragons?

Earthworms are great for beardies depending on how they eat them. Remember, too much of everything is bad, so treats like earthworms should be fed sparingly. They carry a punch of healthy advantages that your pet can benefit from and some beardies find them absolutely delicious. Earthworms can also be gut-loaded with fruits or vegetables and used as a capsule to introduce vitamins into your beardie’s system. Overall, earthworms are a delicious healthy delicacy for beardies!

benefits of feeding earthworms to bearded dragons

6 Excellent Benefits Of Feeding Earthworms To Bearded Dragons

Since we’ve established that earthworms are a good food choice for your pet, you must be aware of the nutritional details and the specific roles they play in your beardie’s well-being.

1. Earthworms Are High In Protein

Earthworms are great sources of protein. They are made up of 60% – 70% protein which is a huge plus to your beardie’s diet. It would be terrific for baby beardies that require more protein to help them grow into adulthood.

2. Earthworms Are Low In Chitin

Chitin is the outer shell (exoskeleton) of insects that protects them from several environmental and predatory factors, and usually is tough work for bearded dragons to digest. Earthworms instead have more of a permeable thin barrier called the cuticle, which is a bonus. This, of course, is a much easier item to digest than their regular crickets and roaches and would make a good substitute for beardies that are bloated or impacted.

3. Great Source Of Calcium

Earthworms are saturated in calcium due to all the burrowing they do in the soil. They ingest the soil and the calcium becomes infused into their cuticles and organs. With how important calcium is for beardies, earthworms are surely a good treat for your pet.

4. Great Gut-Loading Material

In some cases, bearded dragons require extra vitamins that may be dangerous for them to consume in their natural form. Like vitamin C from citrus fruits. So, some worms serve as trojan horses to get the vitamins into the bearded dragon. While superworms and mealworms are the usual choices, you can also use earthworms to help digestion go much more smoothly.

5. Earthworms Are Hydrating

A large portion of an earthworm is made up of water – about 70% of it – allowing a good avenue for hydration. If your beardie is dehydrated and having difficulty drinking water, you can feed it some earthworms to help it through the discomfort.

6. Loaded With Vitamins

Earthworms are loaded with essential vitamins and minerals like Vitamin A & E, zinc, and magnesium that collectively ensure cellular health and communication. They also play a part in neurological harmony and cognitive functions keeping your beardie healthy and alert.

How To Feed Earthworms To Beardies – Dos And Don’ts

It’s highly crucial to ensure that you feed your pet their food the proper way. Several things could go wrong if they eat earthworms in excess, or if they eat the wrong kind of worm.

Don’tsDo’s
Don’t’sFeed earthworms in bite-sized pieces
Feeding dry earthwormsFeed occasionally to beardie
Feeding cooked earthwormsDust with calcium before feeding
Feeding earthworms regularlyGut-load earthworm to raise the nutritional value
Depend on earthworms for calcium and hydrationFeed with other protein sources

Donts (Never, Ever Do These)

  1. Feed Wild-Caught Earthworms To Your Pet: It is highly dangerous to feed the dragon earthworms that you picked from your yard! They could be hosting parasites or doused in chemicals that are absolutely dangerous to your beardie. A lot of beardie owners overlook this fact sadly, and sometimes the results get fatal.
  2. Feed Dry Earthworms: Dry earthworms can cause choking and impaction on your pet. They may be good for fish, but they would be absolutely bad for your pet.
  3. Feed Your Beardie Cooked Earthworms: Never ever cook any grub for beardies to eat. Cooking earthworms is just the same as feeding your pet chaff. It is a waste of nutrients and surely your pet wouldn’t appreciate the idea.
  4. Feed The Earthworms Regularly: Earthworms are treats, never a staple food item. Only feed it to your pet once or twice a week.
  5. Use The Earthworms As Sources Of Calcium Or Hydration: Earthworms may be hydrating and calcium-providing, but they are not enough to sustain your pet. Ensure that you practice proper hydration with your pet and get them a calcium powder instead for their daily meals.

Dos (The Things You Can & Should Do)

  1. Cut Up The Earthworm Into Bite-Sized Pieces: To avoid choking, ensure that you cut the worm into smaller pieces, small enough to fit in between your pet’s eyes.
  2. Ensure That The Earthworm Is Fed Occasionally: It could cause your beardie to fall sick if the earthworms are eaten regularly.
  3. Dust The Earthworms With Calcium Supplements: Supplements are necessary for your beardie’s optimum health. It improves their daily life and elongates their lifespan.
  4. Gut-Load The Earthworms Before Feeding Them To Your Pet: This is necessary to ensure that it feeds on a rich treat to replace the nutrients it’d miss from not eating the regular diet.
  5. Feed earthworms inclusive of the diet for the day: Even with feeding earthworms sparingly, you must feed them with other aspects of your pet’s diet for the day. It’s important to include the other proteins and necessary greens so that your pet is fully loaded with the required vitamins for the long run.

Where Do I Get Safe Earthworms To Feed My Bearded Dragon?

It’s dangerous to feed your pet wild-caught worms, so it’s important to feed them only bred earthworms. You can get fresh earthworms from your local pet store or online retailer. Remember to ask the retailer enough questions so that they can enlighten you on the best earthworm for your pet.

Also, select the best-looking worms; there shouldn’t be injuries, parasites, or strange discoloration on the bodies to avoid spreading diseases to your pet. If you’re getting the worms from an online vendor, ensure that you visit the reviews to confirm that the worms are safe and trusted.

dangers of feeding frequently earthworms to bearded dragons

3 Fearful Dangers Of Feeding Earthworms Frequently To Beardies

You should never consider earthworms to be a staple meal for beardies. Although they have benefits, your pet could fall sick from eating them frequently.

1. Metabolic Bone Disease

MBD is a common repercussion of malnutrition or the imbalance of calcium and phosphorus. Beardies require calcium to supersede phosphorus for their skeletons to stay healthy. If the phosphorus is in excess, it binds to calcium causing a shortage during metabolism and this gradually leads to metabolic bone disease.

Earthworms have a calcium-to-phosphorus ratio of 1:1.5 to 1:2.5. Although dusting the worms with calcium supplements could easily stabilize the ratio, continually feeding beardies earthworms is too big of a risk to take.

2. Obesity

Earthworms are high-fat foods and feeding them to your pet regularly can cause them to put on unhealthy weight especially because captive beardies are less active than they need to be. It’s important to keep their weight regulated; the chunkiness may be cute, but it’s highly dangerous and could cause your beardie life-threatening problems.

3. Malnutrition

Beardies need a healthy amount of protein to grow strong. Although earthworms are majorly proteinous food, they do not contain the proper amount of protein that your dragons need to develop. It’s dangerous to feed earthworms as a staple meal for bearded dragons.

Photo of author

Medi

EL Mehdi (Medi), the founder and voice behind Desired Reptiles, renowned for his dedication to bearded dragons. As a passionate reptile enthusiast, Medi has developed a solid background in caring for these lovely creatures. He gained extensive knowledge about their diet, behavior, and how to create environments that mimic their natural habitat