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What Should Be Included in a Water Dragon's Diet?

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  • Written By: Marjorie McAtee
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 06 November 2016
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A water dragon's diet should generally include about ten percent calcium and phosphorous-rich vegetables and fruits, as well as some insects, and feeder animals, including baby mice, baby birds, or fish. Most water dragons will need their food coated in a mineral supplement powder at least once a week, unless they are eating a diet rich in whole prey. Insects should generally make up a smaller portion of the water dragon's diet, since overfeeding of insects can cause dangerous intestinal blockage in water dragons. In addition to a proper, balanced diet, most water dragons need to be exposed to UVA/UVB light for about 12 hours daily. This allows their bodies to assimilate and use the calcium they eat.

Reptiles like the water dragon generally need a lot of calcium, protein, and phosphorous in their diets. That's why herpetologists generally recommend feeding these animals a diet heavy in feeder animals. Baby mice, baby rats, small baby birds, and small fish are considered good types of whole prey for these animals. Young rodents who are just old enough to have grown a little fur are considered the best source of protein and other minerals for water dragons. Animals such as these should usually make up between 20 and 40 percent of a water dragon's diet.

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Most experts recommend feeding water dragons only dead rodents. Live rodents may attack or fight back against the water dragon. This can cause the reptile injury, infection, and even death.

Some types of vegetables and fruits can make a healthy addition to a water dragon's diet. Strawberries, figs, cantaloupes, and raspberries are examples of fruits that can offer the water dragon plenty of the vitamins and minerals it needs for good health. Squash, parsnips, green beans, and dandelion greens are usually nutritionally appropriate as well. Not all water dragons will partake of these foods, however. Water dragons that do not eat vegetables or fruits can be fed an additional ten percent feeder animals instead.

Earthworms are generally considered a beneficial part of a water dragon's diet, since they contain large amounts of the protein, phosphorous, and calcium that water dragons usually need. Some experts suggest that earthworms alone can make up as much as 20 percent of a water dragon's diet. Other types of insects, generally meal worms and crickets, can make up 40 to 50 percent of the lizard's diet. A mineral supplement for reptiles should usually be sprinkled over the insects at least once a week, to ensure that the water dragons get enough calcium and phosphorous in their diets. Without adequate mineral intake, these creatures can become seriously ill.

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