Your bearded dragon is an omnivore so in short yes, he or she can eat spiders. However, you will need to be careful which spiders you feed your bearded dragon. The typical house spiders are generally ok for your beardie to snack on but you want to make sure you haven’t recently sprayed any pesticide that could contaminate the spider and then have him end up in your dragon’s stomach.
You will also want to make sure that spiders are only given as a treat. They are not recommended as a staple part of your bearded dragon’s diet. Check out the list of insects for bearded dragons.
Nutritional Components of Spiders
Spiders contain a good amount of protein and calcium. The downside is that they also contain a lot of chitin.
What is Chitin?
Chitin is an indigestible structural component in the cell walls of fungi, exoskeletons of arthropods or any other rigid substances surrounding cells.
When you feed your bearded dragon spiders, the chitin will pass through his system without being broken down into smaller components. This can lead to intestinal blockage if the spider has lots of legs.
There are a few precautions you will need to take when feeding your bearded dragon a spider treat. When doing so, make sure you do the following:
- Use a pair of tweezers or tongs to hold the spider – Bearded dragons have been known to eat live spiders and this can be dangerous for your dragon – Make sure the spider is fully dead before offering it to your bearded dragon – Check that he or she has fully chewed the spider. The legs of a spider can be sharp and they could cause injury if swallowed whole.
- It’s best not to feed spiders that are too large. In general, a spider should be no bigger than the size of your bearded dragon’s head.
- If you are unsure whether or not a particular spider is safe, google an image of it and check to see if it has two body segments and 8 legs. If so, then it is fine for your bearded dragon’s consumption.
Benefits of Feeding My Bearded Dragon Spiders
There are no specific benefits of feeding spiders to bearded dragons. They can be used as a treat but should not be fed on a regular basis, only once every week or two. You will also need to ensure that the spider is fully dead and chewed before you offer it up for him or her to eat. If any of these precautions aren’t met then there is a chance he or she could get injured so keep an eye out and if you see any sign of trouble, take away his or her treat!
Insect List for Bearded Dragons
- Can Bearded Dragons Eat Nightcrawlers
- Can Bearded Dragons Eat Red Worms
- Can Bearded Dragons Eat Roaches/
Okay, Can My Bearded Dragon Eat Spider Silk?
Yes, spiders do leave silk behind when they move and it’s generally fine for your bearded dragon to eat this kind of silk. It won’t hurt them at all and as such, it’s a nice treat that they’ll love to try! You can also collect silk from spiders and then give this as a treat. Remember that the silk needs to come from a non-poisonous spider.
What About Spider Eggs?
Yes, your bearded dragon can eat spider eggs and these make for another one of his or her special treats! Just make sure they are from a non-toxic spider and that the eggs have been removed from the mother’s body.
Risks of Feeding My Bearded Dragon Spiders
There are risks when feeding your bearded dragon spiders. The biggest is that they might eat a spider that is poisonous and in the process get poisoned themselves. This would not be good at all!
Be sure to take precautions when feeding spiders to your bearded dragon. The spider should be no bigger than his or her head, fully dead and chewed before being offered up for eating. You also need to make sure that it is non-poisonous. If you are unsure then google an image of it to see if it has two body segments and eight legs, if so then it is fine for consumption by your pet lizard.
Another risk of feeding your bearded dragon spiders is that they might eat a spider that has pesticides on it. Sometimes, spider owners will buy their pets live crickets and feed these to the spiders however these insects may be covered in pesticide which can then make its way into your beardie’s stomach when he or she eats them.
Which Spiders Can I Feed My Bearded Dragon?
As mentioned above, you need to make sure that the spider is non-toxic and has only 2 body segments and 8 legs. A good idea is to google an image of a spider before feeding it to your bearded dragon just in case!
However, there are some specific spiders which you should check up on before offering them as part of a treat for your pet lizard:
- House spiders
- Jumping spiders
- Orb-weaver spiders
Spiders to Avoid Feeding Your Bearded Dragon
- Brown Recluse
- Black Widow
- Huntsman Spider
Any spider that is venomous.
Alternative Foods For Bearded Dragons
There are a plethora of better foods to feed your bearded dragon. These include crickets, locusts, pinky mice and waxworms. As such, it is best to use spiders as a treat and not a staple part of your pet lizard’s diet.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Spiders? – The Conclusion!
So can bearded dragons eat spiders? Yes! Bearded dragons can safely eat spiders but only if they are the right kind of spider (no venomous ones) and have been prepared correctly. Only feed him or her a few times a month – not every week – and ensure that the spider is chewed up nicely before being offered to your pet lizard.
In addition to this, you should also give your bearded dragon some other treats from time to time such as crickets, pinkies or waxworms. These make for a lot healthier alternatives than spiders do!