Bearded dragons will get a lot of what they need from their diet but there are some vitamins and minerals that they require in higher concentrations. These are normally provided in the form of powdered supplements that can be added to the vegetation and live food before they are presented to your dragon. There are many different supplements that will include or exclude certain vitamins and minerals and it can be difficult to know why. Please read on for our recommendations.
What are the different types of supplement?
There are many different types of supplements all containing nutrients, vitamins and minerals in varying proportions. When buying supplements for a bearded dragon we normally just look for a pure calcium supplement and a vitamin/mineral supplement. The main decision to make is whether or not to include synthetic vitamin D3. Vitamin D3 is required by your dragon to utilise the calcium and phosphorous in their diet to reinforce their bones. Healthy dragons will naturally make their own D3 when exposed to the correct range of Ultra Violet light so it’s not always necessary. Before T5 UVB lamps were available and lighting wasn’t as good or reliable every reptile keeper would have supplements that included a little synthetic D3 for their dragons. A small amount of D3 is a good way to make sure that the dragon remains healthy even if the lighting isn’t perfect. (Please note that synthetic D3 IS NOT a suitable replacement for correct lighting!)
Now that hobbyists are much more aware of the UVB requirements of their exotic pets and UV products are much better and more reliable some people prefer to use supplements without any vitamin D3. It’s a more natural approach to keeping the dragon but it does require frequent checks to ensure the lights are working properly and constant vigilance to make sure the dragon doesn’t become deficient in calcium. Consequences of calcium deficiency can include metabolic bone disease and impaction (when the dragon tried to eat it’s bedding).
So which is better?! In short, if you have a radiometer to measure UVB, you are able to check at least a few times per week and you have a good understanding of the species then supplements with no D3 are a brilliant choice. If you don’t have a device to measure the output of your lamps or your a bit unsure then a pre-balanced supplement with some D3 would be a better option just to be safe. The main downside to synthetic D3 is that overdosing could cause a deficiency in vitamin A but as long as you have a good pre-balance multivitamin it’s unlikely to be an issue.
Which calcium supplements do we recommend?
If you are looking for a calcium supplement with some D3 then the Zoo Med Repti Calcium with D3 would be great:
If you would prefer a calcium supplement without synthetic D3 then the ProRep Calci Dust would be a great option:
Which vitamin supplements do we recommend?
If you are looking for a vitamin/mineral supplement with some D3 then Nutrobal would be great:
If you would prefer a vitamin/mineral supplement without synthetic D3 then the Zoo Med Reptivite would be a great option:
If you would like to browse our entire range of calcium please click here, for our entire range of vitamins please click here. If you have any questions about the items recommended or need any advice on how best to care for your dragon please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01604753823