Can bearded dragons eat snails?
Yes, it’s secure to supply bearded dragons small farmed snails.
However, they’re not a pure a part of a bearded dragons food regimen, and so they’re fairly prone to refuse them.
Beardie house owners ought to assume twice earlier than providing snails from their yard, since these have the potential to hurt reptile pets.
Are Snails Safe For Bearded Dragons?
Everyone can image a snail, inching slowly together with its home on its again.
You would possibly get numerous them in your yard (particularly when you’ve got a vegetable or flower backyard there).
If you retain a skink or field turtle in addition to a bearded dragon, you would possibly already inventory snails as a tasty snack for them.
Perhaps you actually have a pet snail which has laid eggs!
There are numerous causes to be inquisitive about feeding these crunchy gastropods to bearded dragons.
But your beardie won’t share your curiosity, and in the event that they do, it’s necessary to be sure to provide snails safely.
Let’s look nearer at snails for bearded dragons!
Bearded Dragons And Snails
Bearded dragons are omnivores. In the wild, they eat a combination of leafy inexperienced vegetation, reside creepy crawlies, and even small mammals and birds!
In captivity, bearded dragons ought to be provided leafy vegetation like salad leaves daily. But there are conflicting opinions about how typically they should eat reside prey.
We’ll provide a idea about why that’s in a second!
Beardies additionally want loads of calcium of their food regimen to help wholesome bones. They can get this from little bits of cuttlefish, leaves dusted with calcium powder, or from reside prey fed a calcium-rich food regimen.
Snails comprise an terrible lot of water, however their physique can also be a supply of proteins, fat, nutritional vitamins and minerals.
Their shell is sort of completely fabricated from calcium carbonate – which is doubtlessly very helpful for beardies.
Do Bearded Dragons Like Snails?
Wild bearded dragons are opportunistic predators, which implies they catch no matter prey comes their approach, every time it presents itself.
This means their food regimen varies significantly by their location, and what time of yr it’s.
Which might be why captive feeding tips differ a lot too!
Wild beardies are particularly unfussy and unambitious hunters in winter, when cooler climate means their physique would possibly by no means totally heat up.
And by this customary, a gradual transferring snail seems like a perfect snack.
But wild bearded dragons are native to baking scorching central Australia, the place snails aren’t unprecedented, however they’re not terribly frequent both.
Which might be why this meticulous examine of untamed beardie consuming habits didn’t discover a hint of snail anyplace.
Will Your Bearded Dragon Like Snails?
It’s unclear whether or not wild beardies don’t eat snails as a result of they by no means encounter them, or as a result of they don’t like them.
Snails secrete mucus from their foot to assist them slide alongside.
It’s fairly disagreeable stuff – snails farmed for the well-known French dish escargot (translation: snails!) are made to crawl throughout dried straw or grape vines in order that they launch all their mucus earlier than cooking.
So it’s doable that snails’ mucus places bearded dragons off consuming them too (they’re none too eager on earthworms for a similar purpose).
But all beardies are people, so if you wish to attempt safely feeding your bearded dragon snails, you would possibly uncover yours is kind of keen on them.
Are Snails Bad For Bearded Dragons?
They could be slimy and unpalatable, however solely aquatic cone snails are literally venomous.
Unfortunately that doesn’t imply that snails out of your yard are sure to be innocent.
Wild snails will be toxic to bearded dragons if they’ve ingested fertilizers or pesticides earlier than they made it into your beardie.
They may also carry harmful parasitic infections, corresponding to lung worm.
Lungworm is a parasite extra generally related to canines. Indeed, lung worm an infection in reptiles isn’t very nicely studied.
However, proof that lungworm does infect frogs means that beardies won’t be utterly invincible to it both.
And it’s for that purpose alone that some vets say its higher to be secure than sorry, and preserve yard snails away out of your beardie.
The threat of impaction
Another frequent and related sickness of bearded dragons is impaction.
Impaction happens when beardies swallow one thing too large to comfortably digest, and it creates a blockage of their intestine.
The blockage may even press in opposition to the spinal wire, inflicting ache or lack of sensation within the hind legs.
To keep away from this downside in your beardie, by no means feed them a snail that’s larger than the hole between their eyes.
Are Snails Good For A Bearded Dragon?
All that being stated, snails will be an enriching a part of your beardie’s food regimen, in the event that they get pleasure from them.
And their shells is usually a useful supply of calcium.
So now let’s flip to the secure methods of feeding snails to a bearded dragon.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Farmed Snails?
Yes, that is undoubtedly the most secure option to provide snails to your beardie.
Farmed snails can be found on-line and from specialist pet shops, the place they’re extra usually considered a reside prey meal for skinks and field turtles.
Remember solely to supply the smallest ones to your beardie!
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Canned Snails?
Maybe. Some pet shops promote canned prey meals, together with snails and grasshoppers (which undoubtedly will likely be a success along with your beardie!)
These are secure, supplied they’re sufficiently small.
Some delis and specialist meals shops additionally promote canned snails for people to make use of in escargot or paella.
Check the scale of those earlier than providing them to your beardie, and likewise be sure that they haven’t been flavored or seasoned with different substances.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Aquatic Snails?
If your preserve an aquarium with a thriving inhabitants of aquatic snails, you may need thought-about whether or not you possibly can feed them to your bearded dragon.
This is a bit difficult since you’re unlikely to know precisely what micro organism they could have ingested within the tank, or earlier than you bought them.
On stability, we’d most likely go away them within the tank.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Snail Eggs?
If you retain two large African land snails collectively, you’ll know that they will produce hundreds of eggs each month.
Anecdotally, beardie house owners report that their lizards aren’t very within the eggs, though they’re secure to supply.
An fascinating various is providing the small hatchlings!
Don’t await them to develop a lot larger although, to keep away from the danger of impaction.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Snail Shells?
Arguably snail shells are essentially the most nutritionally beneficial little bit of a snail to a bearded dragon.
Bearded dragons want loads of calcium of their food regimen, and snail shells have numerous calcium in them.
However, they’re additionally onerous and spherical. Which will increase the danger of them inflicting choking or impaction.
Very small snails, or younger snails with mushy shells are the most secure to your beardie, from this standpoint.
My Bearded Dragon Ate Snails, What Should I Do?
If your bearded dragon has eaten snails, there’s no have to panic, or do something straight away.
Keep a watchful eye on them for indicators of impaction, together with
- Loss of mobility of their hind legs
- Loss of urge for food
If you witness any of those, prepare a session along with your vet.
If your beardie suffers any indicators of gastric upset after consuming snails, corresponding to diarrhea, keep on with onerous bodied reside prey subsequent time as an alternative.
Can Baby Bearded Dragons Eat Snails?
Growing bearded dragons want a number of reside prey meals every week to help wholesome progress.
Experienced beardie house owners suggest a wide range of fruit flies, small wax worms, and tiny crickets.
Snails eggs and hatchlings are on the precise scale, however they comprise extra water by quantity, which implies much less protein and different vitamins to help progress.
Their water content material may also trigger abdomen upsets and blockages.
So we predict these snacks are finest saved for grownup beardies.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Snails Every Day?
If your grownup beardie enjoys consuming snails, that’s nice!
But they’re finest saved as an occasional snack.
The finest day by day food regimen for a bearded dragon is one which mimics their wild food regimen as carefully as doable. So – a lot of salad leaves, and onerous bodied insect prey.
As far as we’re conscious, wild beardies haven’t been recorded consuming snails.
Also, since snails comprise numerous water, they’re cumbersome. Their shells make them cumbersome too.
So consuming too many in a single go may cause impaction.
Alternatives To Snails For Bearded Dragons
Live prey doesn’t simply meet a bearded dragon’s dietary wants.
It offers them a chance to follow behaviors they might use within the wild too, which is mentally enriching for them.
Here are some nice alternate options to snails that are undoubtedly secure to your beardie to eat a number of instances instances every week:
- dubia roaches
- and wax worms.
Small snails farmed in managed situations in order that they don’t comprise ingested chemical substances or parasites are a secure snack for bearded dragons.
However, they’re not one thing beardies often eat within the wild, and their slime will be fairly disagreeable tasting.
So you would possibly discover your pet beardie says ‘no thanks’ to this specific deal with!
Is your beardie the exception? Let us know if you happen to’ve tried feeding snails to your bearded dragon within the feedback field down under!
References and Further Reading
Oonincx, The food regimen of free‐roaming Australian Central Bearded Dragons, Zoobiology, 2015.
Rowland, Veterinary care of bearded dragons, In Practice, 2014.
Davies, Common Parasites of Pet Reptiles, Companion Animal, 2010.
Johnson & Adwick, Companion Animal Care and Welfare: The UFAW Companion Animal Handbook, Wiley, 2018.
McCormack, Lungworm in canines, however what about in reptiles? The Exotic Pet Vet Blog, 2014.
Slatyer et al, Between a rock and a dry place: land snails in arid Australia, Animals of Arid Australia: out on their very own? 2007