As a bearded dragon owner, you know how important calcium is for your pet. You may also know that powder is one of the most popular types of reptile calcium supplement. Here's something else you probably know, from experience: Calcium powder is messy! So what is the best way to give your dragon calcium without making a giant mess? We've got you covered. Check out our tips on how to give bearded dragons calcium.
How Do You Use Calcium Powder for Bearded Dragons?
The most common way to use calcium powder is to coat insects with it. But it's not very effective to just sprinkle some on the insect as they scurry around the tank.
Here’s a simple way to do it:
- Place powder in an airtight container or bag.
- Add the insects to the container or bag.
- Seal it up and give it a shake.
- Feed your dragon in a designated container.
Calcium powder works great on salads or fruit too. Just put the fruit and veggies in a shallow container, sprinkle them with powder, and let your dragon eat inside the container. This way the powder that falls off stays in one place.
Pro Tip: Sometimes bearded dragons don't love the taste of calcium powder with salad. If your dragon is refusing to eat his greens when they're sprinkled with powder, you may want to limit the dusting to feeder insects and hide some berries in his next salad to make it a little sweeter.
How Do I Give My Bearded Dragon Calcium without Making a Mess?
A lot of bearded dragon owners aren’t sure about calcium because it can make such a mess. If so much calcium falls off the insects, for example, or the fruit, how can you be sure your dragon is getting enough?
Here are some tips to keep it clean:
- The type of feeder insect matters. If your dragon’s staple insect is crickets, dusting them can be extremely messy and it’s not always practical to use a designated feeding bin since crickets tend to escape. That’s why roaches and worms are generally easier to coat.
- Texture matters. Before dusting with powder, be sure to shake out any lumps you may see.
- Dust lightly! There is no need to bury salad or insects in calcium powder. It just makes a mess and wastes calcium since your dragon is very unlikely to eat powder that isn’t stuck on something edible.
What Else Can I Give My Bearded Dragon for Calcium?
Here are some tips to choose the right powder and make sure your dragon is getting a healthy, calcium-rich diet.
- Read ingredients before selecting a calcium powder. Avoid sugar and artificial ingredients, which are often found in reptile salad dressing. And keep in mind that ingredients that are difficult to pronounce are generally not good for your dragon. Instead look for a pure form of calcium for easy digestion, and healthy ingredients to promote your dragon’s overall wellness. With antioxidants, collard greens, and calcium carbonate, our reptile greens and calcium powder is a great option.
- Gut load feeder insects with calcium-rich fruits and veggies such as blackberries, papaya, mustard greens, and kale.
- A healthy diet is an important way for you to ensure your dragon is getting enough calcium.
- Proper lighting and UVB is vital for your exotic pet’s wellbeing. In the wild, Vitamin D3 from sunlight helps a dragon’s body absorb calcium so it can be used to strengthen muscles and bones. In a domestic setting, the UVB light serves this purpose. It’s important to make sure your dragon is not underexposed or overexposed to UVB through proper tank setup, which includes a basking spot and cool-down area.
- Regular vet checkups at least once a year are important to help keep your bearded dragon healthy. And of course, call your vet at any sign of abnormal behavior in your dragon. Metabolic bone disease is a very painful and serious repercussion of calcium deficiency. MBD can be treated, but the condition progressively worsens so it’s vital to catch it early before the damage is irreversible.
Bearded dragons just can't live well without calcium, and supplementing (along with a healthy diet) is the best way to make sure they get enough. Keep your dragon happy and healthy by giving your dragon calcium powder each day, mess-free!
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