A Chinese Water Dragon can make a great pet. But before you buy one, there are some things you should know.
One of the biggest questions is what do Chinese Water Dragons eat?
Getting the right dietary balance is essential to making sure that your pet is healthy.
The Chinese Water Dragon eats small prey items like king mealworms, waxworms, earthworms, pinky mice, locusts, and feeder fish. Preferably, the prey will be live. The other dietary essentials are fruits and vegetables. This includes foods like raspberries, figs, carrots, green beans, and kale.
Generally, they will require 50 percent of the meal to be insects, 30 percent to be worms, and 20 percent to consist of fruits and vegetables.
For quick reference, you can use this simple table.
|Type Of Food||How Often To Feed It To Younger Dragons||How Often To Feed It To Older Dragons|
|Insects||Daily||Every 2-3 days|
|Vegetables||Daily||Every 2-3 day|
|Bigger Prey e.g. Mice||Twice per week||As a treat|
|Cockroaches/ Mealworms||Never||1-2 times a month|
|Commercial Diets e.g. dog/cat food.||Never||Never|
Let’s take a closer look at the Chinese Water Dragon diet, so you can make sure that your animals are kept healthy and happy.
How Often Should I Feed The Chinese Water Dragon?
Once you what food to provide, the next question is how often should you feed them.
This can often vary, depending on the age of the Chinese Water Dragon.
For younger Chinese Water Dragons, their bodies are still growing. So, they will require more nutrients. For this reason, it’s common for them to get fed once a day.
Juveniles will be able to eat the same food as adults. However, you will need to make sure that larger meals, like mice and fish, get cut up. This will make it easier for the water dragon to digest.
As they grow older, you can reduce the number of times you feed them. Often, one large meal every two to three days will be sufficient.
When feeding, make sure to monitor the types of food that you are providing and how often you are providing it. This will make it easier for you to change their diet in the future.
It will also give you a better indication of the types of foods that they like, and which ones they don’t. This can help you create a Chinese Water Dragon diet that your pet will love.
You should also keep an eye on the animal’s size. This can determine how much food you need to give them.
For example, if the animal is too skinny, don’t be afraid to increase portion sizes, or feed more regularly. However, if the animal is too fat, try to cut back on the amount of food they get.
By actively monitoring the amount of food they get, and how they react, you’ll be able to establish a feeding schedule that will keep your Chinese Water Dragon happy and healthy.
Why Won’t My Chinese Water Dragon Eat?
For many other breeds of animals, it would be rare for them to refuse food. Dogs are notorious for scrounging for any scraps they can find. But a Chinese Water Dragon has been known to deny food.
As you can imagine, this can be very alarming for their owners. But, before you book a vet appointment, consider the type of food you’re giving them.
This type of behavior is often caused by a lack of diversity in their diet.
When they only get the same foods over and over again, it gets boring. So, they decide to stop eating altogether.
To prevent this, you must vary the diet. For example, you might want to provide mealworms one day, then a meal consisting primarily of earthworms. You should also make sure to throw in some bigger prey items, like fish or pinky mice.
If this isn’t the case, a sudden loss of appetite could be a sign that they have a serious health problem. Make sure to take them to the vet to get them checked out.
A lack of appetite can also be caused by the environment. In this case, you might want to re-check your set-up, making sure that the tank is designed to create a comfortable living space. Remember, as the animal grows older, their environmental needs might change.
Does The Chinese Water Dragon Need Supplements?
When examining the diet, you will need to make sure that your Chinese Water Dragon is getting the right nutrients. This will help protect them from disease.
In most cases, you might need to use a nutritional supplement to do this.
One of the most common supplements is calcium. Even if you provide a balanced diet, it’s likely that the Chinese Water Dragon won’t be getting enough calcium. This can lead to serious diseases, like bone disease. To prevent this, it’s generally recommended that you apply a little calcium powder every few feeds.
This should be combined with “gut loaded” foods. These insects have been fed on a high-calcium diet before being turned into Dragon food.
It’s also important to think about the way that you obtain your food. Picking insects from the garden, or killing them yourself can seem like a great, if somewhat gruesome, way to save money. However, it might not be as good as it appears.
Often, these insects have been exposed to pesticides and other chemicals. These substances can easily make your Chinese Water Dragon feel sick. So, stick to insects and mice that you grow yourself. Or simply purchase the food from a pet shop.
How Often Should I Change The Water?
We’ve answered the question of what do Chinese Water Dragons eat? But poses another big question. what do they drink?
Thankfully, this question is much easier to answer. All they need to drink is water.
As the name would suggest, the Chinese Water Dragon is semi-aquatic. This means they need to have a large water bowl, which they can swim in. This will help them regulate their temperature, preventing them from overheating. It will also make sure that they are happy.
However, the amount of time they spend in the water can also bring some downsides. Often, the water gets dirty quickly. If it gets too filthy, and they drink from it, your Chinese Water Dragon can get sick.
For this reason, most owners will either clean or change the water each day. If your pet is especially messy, you might need to clean it multiple times during the day.
So, What Do Chinese Water Dragons Eat?
Hopefully, you now have a better idea of the types of foods the Chinese Water Dragon needs. Here’s a quick recap;
- They are omnivores, so they need a mix of insects, worms, fruit, and vegetables. You should also provide adult animals with bigger meals, like mice or small fish.
- Chinese Water Dragons are picky. If you don’t provide a varied diet, they won’t eat anything.
- To make sure they stay healthy, consider “gut loaded” insects and a calcium supplement.
- Change the water at least once a day.