The Chinese water dragon is an amazing and unique lizard that you will find in the market because it is a beautiful-looking creature and also a species that is not so common throughout the world. The Chinese water dragon needs special care so that they can live a comfortable and safe life. You should be aware of the fact that when it comes to the food of the Chinese water dragon you need to be careful because not all food is safe for them. Some food items can be toxic for the Chinese water dragon and can lots of issues to them.
So when you are choosing food for the Chinese water dragon make sure that it is a healthy option. In this guide regarding Chinese water dragons, we will discuss the topic that what Chinese water dragons eat so that we can feed them with food that is most suited for them and does not cause any issue to them. Also, it will help us understand them in a better way and both the owner and the Chinese water dragon can live at peace with each other.
What do Chinese water dragons eat?
The Chinese water dragons are basically omnivorous in nature which means that they eat both plants and animals. So on being omnivorous in nature they have lots of food options on which they can feed. But that does not mean that you can feed them with anything or everything. The primary diet of the Chinese water dragon comprises insects and small animals on which they can prey upon. Also, they eat plants but that is only a smaller portion when compared with the animal part. So they usually feed upon protein-based food and that is what makes them healthy and keeps them fit.
Also, the Chinese water dragon does not like to eat the same food daily because they get bored with their regular diet and then do not like eating the same food. So in such a situation, you need to give them a variety of food and change their diet at regular intervals so that they can eat their food properly and also do not have to face any type of issue while having food.
What insects should you feed to the Chinese water dragon?
The insect forms the part of the main diet for the Chinese water dragon and that is why you need to be sure about what insects you should feed them with because not all insects are good for them. Some insects can be poisonous which can be toxic for the Chinese water dragon and can cause lots of health issues and in some cases, it can also prove fatal for them. So be careful when you are choosing insects for the Chinese water dragon, it should not only be safe for them but also full of nutrients that can give them a healthy life. The list of insects that you can feed to the Chinese water dragon as part of their main diet is listed as below:-
- Dubia roaches
- Butter worms
- Black Soldier Fly Larvae
- Discoid roaches
- Turkestan roaches
- Orange head roaches
These are some of the common and safe insects that you can feed the Chinese water dragon with, make sure that you do not catch them from the wild or the kitchen garden because they can be poisonous too. You need to buy them from the breeders as they breed them in a proper manner and also in a safe environment which makes them safe and non-toxic for the Chinese water dragon to consume.
Also, there are some insects that can be fed to them as a treat which means that it does not comprise a part of the main diet but you can feed them once or twice a week as a treat so that they can get variety in their food and also because these insects are not so nutritional that they can be part of the main diet for the Chinese water dragon. Some of the insects that can be used as a treat for the Chinese water dragon are Super worms, King worms, mealworms, and wax worms.
All these insects are high in fats and cannot be fed to the Chinese water dragon on daily basis and that is why they are only fed as a treat to them these are not good insects as their nutritional value for your water dragon is not so good and also too much consumption of these insects can cause lots of health issues to them. As they taste good and also in small quantities they do not harm the Chinese water dragon which is the reason they are being fed to them.
What animals do the Chinese water dragon feed on?
The Chinese water dragons not only feed upon insects but also small animals that they can prey on easily and also that are easy to consume by them. In this list, the name that is common is the pinkie mice that usually the Chinese water dragon feeds upon and also they like eating it, and also it is good for their health as it is a rich source of proteins and calcium for them. But it does not form part of their daily diet and you need to feed them with pinkie mice once a week or once in two weeks not more than that.
Also, the Chinese water dragon can also feed upon snails and other mollusks, and also they have been seen feeding upon the meat of crabs. They can also eat small fishes which they can digest easily. But you need to make sure that you do not overfeed them with these animals. They should be fed to eth Chinese water dragon rarely and also in the cleaned form without bones or shells so that they can digest it easily and also so that they do not have to face any type of health issue because of these food items.
What fruits and vegetables can you feed to the Chinese water dragon?
As we know that the Chinese water dragon is omnivorous in nature which means that they feed upon both plants and animals and that is why you need to also know what type of plants they can feed upon and also that are non-toxic for them. Though plants are not part of the main diet for the Chinese water dragon and also it has been seen that some Chinese water dragons can even live without eating plants. But still, it is a healthy practice if you will feed them with various fruits and vegetables because it helps in maintaining a balanced diet for them and also they can get a diet that is full of nutrients and also another reason behind this is that this will also bring variety to their food because they get bored eating the same stuff every day and does not enjoy eating it again.
The plants only comprise 10 to 15% of the diet of the Chinese water dragon which is too low but is still essential for them. Also, another way to make them eat plants is to gut load the insects that you are going to feed them with, in this way they can eat plants and that also without creating any type of hassle and the balance in their diet would also be created. So of the plants (vegetable or fruits) that you can feed the Chinese water dragon with are listed as below:-
- Turnip greens
- Bok Choy
- Collard greens
- Butternut squash
- Spaghetti squash
- Fresh alfalfa (only fresh)
- Dandelion greens and flowers
- Mustard greens
- Prickly pear
- Hibiscus (flowers and leaves)
These are some of the common plants that you can feed the Chinese water dragon with and also you need to make sure that they are fresh and free from any chemicals which means that these plants should be organic in nature so that the Chinese water dragon does not have to face any toxicity due to the pesticides or insecticides present on it.
These plants are healthy and safe for the Chinese water dragon and they will not face any problem while eating them but you need to feed them with limited quantity, which means not as a part of their regular diet and the best way to feed them is gut load the insects of the Chinese water dragon, in this way lots of nutrients can be fed to the Chinese water dragon and that also in one go.
Also, there are some plants which you can feed them as a treat or you can say like on the occasional basis and some of these plants are pumpkin, rocket, bell peppers, watercress, acorn squash, scallop, chickpeas, Hubbard, and green beans. These are some of the plants that you need to be careful with, as they can be fed to the Chinese water dragon but rarely and overconsumption of these plants can be dangerous for them. So be careful when you feed the Chinese water dragon with these as they would love to enjoy eating it but it is the duty of the owners to regulate the consumption of these vegetables.
The Chinese water dragon needs some special care for their well- being and that is the reason they are not so popular among beginners but other than that they are popular reptile species among reptile lovers. You will also notice that these animals are social and affectionate if you will provide to the best of everything and also they will enjoy their time in captivity if they are happy and satisfied inside it.
The more you will take care of them, the more they will bond with their owners and will not face any issue and also they will try to understand their owners. Providing them with good food is a must because that will provide them with proper health and also they will enjoy eating such type of food which will make them live a disease-free life. The more time you will spend observing them, the more you will be able to understand them and both the pet and the owner will live a comfortable life with one another.