Can bearded dragons eat meat?

image of a bearded dragon, meat and a text saying "can bearded dragons eat meat?"

The Carnivorous Side Of Bearded Dragons

Walking into your local butcher shop and seeing all the variations of red meat, whether ground, cubed, etc., you might have found yourself wondering if the meat can be a good fit for your bearded dragon’s diet.  

So, let’s ask the big question, can bearded dragons eat meat?

The answer is yes, bearded dragons can eat meat as long as it’s an occasional treat and not excessive.

Meat should only be given if you cannot find any other protein sources for them such as crickets and other bugs.

This article will explore whether your bearded dragon can consume meat in various forms, raw or cooked meat, and more.  Please read on if you would like to learn more about the carnivorous side of your beardie.

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Raw Meat?

Yes, Bearded dragons can eat raw meat as long as it is an occasional treat.  Some bearded dragons eat raw meat such as minced beef, lean turkey, or chicken breast.  

Wild bearded dragons can eat small amounts of meat in their natural habitat, but they get more exercise than their captive counterparts.  Bearded dragons in captivity don’t need to have raw meat in their diet, but technically they can eat minimal amounts occasionally.

Raw meat can be helpful as an emergency protein source if you cannot get dubia roaches, superworms, and other live feeders.

Remember, bearded dragons eat both insects and greens.  Make sure you always provide them with a balanced diet to keep them happy and healthy.

Risks Of Meat In A Bearded Dragon’s Diet

High In Fat

Meat is high in fat, and you should only feed it to your bearded dragon in small amounts.  As a bearded dragon owner, if you give your bearded pet some meat, make sure your beardie digest it well, and there are no signs of impaction.

High Phosphorus Content

Remember, meat has a high phosphorus content.  The phosphorus binds to the calcium in a bearded dragon’s body and negatively impacts calcium absorption.  It can lead to a calcium deficiency and ultimately to a severe sickness called metabolic bone disease. 


Raw meat carries parasites and harmful bacteria that can cause disease and upset your bearded dragon’s digestive system.  

Dubia roaches are a much better and healthier alternative to raw meat.

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Steak?

Yes, bearded dragons can eat steak, but the key is to keep it in moderation and in small amounts.  Ensure that there is no seasoning on the meat when you decide to go this route.  

Steak should only be given on rare occasions when live feeder insects are unavailable.

Can Bearded Dragon Eat Cooked Meat?

Yes, bearded dragons can eat cooked meat like steak, chicken, and turkey.  Only feed cooked meat to your bearded dragon unseasoned and as an emergency protein source if needed.  

Cooked meats should not be a staple of your dragon’s diet as they lack proper nutritional value.  It will not do good as a staple and will likely cause digestive problems and diarrhea.

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Beef Or Beef Jerky?

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Yes, bearded dragons can eat beef in moderation, as a treat, or as an emergency protein source.  Avoid seasoning the beef when feeding it to your pet beardies.

While beef provides many minerals and vitamins to adult beardies, it also gives a lot of protein and fat that can lead to diabetes.

Beef Jerky

Bearded dragons could eat beef jerky if made without any seasoning and garlic powder.  Beef jerky treats are low in fat which is good for your beardie’s health.  However, beef jerky is very high in protein which can cause disease if fed too much too often.

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Beef Mince?

You can feed your bearded dragon beef mince, but only if cooked without seasoning.  Beef mince has a lot of protein and fat, which can make your bearded dragon sick when given too much meat often.

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Raw Beef?

No, bearded dragons cannot process meat well enough to eat any kind of beef. Raw or cooked, minced, cubed, dried, etc., beef can upset their digestive systems and make them sick.

Is Boiled Beef Liver Good For Bearded Dragons?

No, you should never give boiled beef liver to your bearded dragon. Like some of the other variations of meat we’ve mentioned, red meat contains too much fat and protein.  Over time, it can build up and cause diabetes and heart disease illnesses. It is not suitable for bearded dragons.

How To Prepare Ground Beef For Your Bearded Dragon

To feed your bearded dragon ground beef, you should cook the beef without adding any oil or seasoning.  Mix the cooked ground beef with healthy vegetables or a small boiled egg.  

Feed your bearded dragon vegetables like collard greens and other foods rich in calcium, vitamins, and minerals mixed with a small amount of beef.

You can also mix calcium powder into the mixture before feeding it to your pet lizard to increase its calcium intake.  

Wrapping Up

Bearded dragons can eat meat occasionally as a treat, in the event of an emergency, or when feeder insects are not available anywhere.  Keep in mind that beef, in general, are high in protein and fat, which is not suitable for bearded dragons.

Although meat is not toxic, we recommend that you feed your beardie healthier food options such as live-feeding insects and plant material.  Some options available are collard greens, hornworms, dandelions, cicadas, pineapple, sweet potato, and other food.

Please research the food you want to introduce to your bearded dragon.  Even food that you might think is the healthiest can be harmful to your bearded dragon.  If you remain unsure, it is always wise to consult your vet.

Continue to read our main article “What do Bearded Dragons Eat?” for all the ins and outs on general diet questions, and get a further detailed breakdown of other popular foods in the articles below:

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I am a huge animal lover and have four dogs, a Labrador, Jack Russell, Pug, and Teacup Yorkie. I also have a cat and a Cockatiel. I have had pets since I was a toddler, and there was not a day when there wasn't an animal in my house.