Chinese water dragons are one of the most popular reptiles in the reptile community. It’s mostly due to their docile personality and tolerance to handling. In fact, they are one of the very few reptiles that actually like being held.
So, they’re friendly and great pets. But, what do Chinese water dragons eat? Well, just like most lizards they’re diet consists of mostly live insects. This includes crickets, grasshoppers, waxworms, mealworms, etc. You can also add some small amounts of veggies and ripe fruits in their diet.
In this article, I’m going to talk a bit more about the Chinese water dragon diet. You’re going to learn what to feed them, how to feed them and a bunch of other diet-related information that I think every first-time water dragon owner should know.
What to feed your Chinese water dragon?
While most reptiles like to chomp on only bugs and other creepy crawlies the Chinese water dragon needs some variety to their diet. Their diet consists of 85 – 90 percent protein and 10-15 percent fruits and veggies.
Protein (85% – 90%)
Insects should be the main source of protein for Chinese water dragons. They really like to eat live crickets. But you can mix up their diet with worms and grasshoppers from time to time to add some variety.
For large-sized water dragons, you can try feeding them small baby mice. But no more than once or twice a week. Baby mice are great treats but contain a lot of fat which can be harmful to your water dragon’s health.
Maintaining variety in their diet is important for keeping them happy and healthy. Feeding the same thing all day every day will eventually bore them out. They may even refuse to eat as a result.
Fruits and veggies (10% – 15%)
Chinese water dragons are omnivores. This means they can eat some fruits and veggies as well. They won’t really like to eat them but it’s good for their health.
They can eat carrots, collard greens, sweet potatoes, raspberries, figs, blueberries, and some other fruits and greens. It’s good to check out whether a certain food is safe for them before feeding. So, remember to do a quick Google search before trying anything new.
Chinese water dragons have a tendency to suffer from calcium deficiency while in captivity. Not getting enough calcium may lead to diminished bone density and various metabolic diseases. So, mixing calcium powder with their diet is necessary for ensuring your water dragon’s health.
But how much? Sadly, I don’t have a good answer for you. There haven’t been enough studies on their diet. So, the exact answer is really not available at this moment.
I suggest you to dust crickets or other food with calcium powder a few times a week and see what amount works best for your water dragon.
I use the Repti Calcium with D3 and it works great with my reptiles. If you think your pet is getting enough D3 from food sources then you can use Repti Calcium without D3.
How to feed chinese water dragons?
- Chinese water dragons, like all lizards, like to hunt their food. So, it’s best to provide them with live insects.
- The insects provided should be gut loaded. This means the insects should be fed properly with nutritious foods so that they can pass that nutrition to your water dragon.
- Avoid wild bugs. They may contain pesticides or other harmful substances.
- Breed the insects by yourself or collect them from a trusted breeder.
- Feed adult water dragons every 2 to 3 days.
- Baby water dragons will need daily feeding to grow fast.
- Add fruits and veggies to their diet for better nutrition.
- Mix up their menu often to prevent monotony.
- Provide enough water for them to drink and splash around. The water container should be at least twice as tall as them.
- Replace the water regularly.
The Chinese water dragon is a personal favorite of mine. If you are planning to get one as your first pet then I can assure you that you won’t be disappointed.
I’ve told you all that I know about the Chinese water dragon diet. If you’ve read through the whole article then I’m sure you’re ready to take care of a water dragon. Wishing you the best of luck.