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Reptiles/Vitamin supplements for Dragons


Hi Tracie
I have two bearded dragons both are nine years old soon to be ten I worry about how much to give older dragons vitamin and calcium.  I use the rep-cal brand the the Herptivite and the Calcium with Vitamin D3.  I use the Calcium twice a week and Herptivite once a week.  Am I giving them enough or should I give them more supplements someone told me to cut back on the supplements because they are older.  How often should I use the Calcium per week and how often do I use the Herptivite.  Also I worry about not giving enough Vitamin B1 in their food I don't know if collard greens, carrots, and sweet potato has any.  I checked online and some sites say to go to a vitamin store and get a Vitamin B1 supplement and crush it up and give a tiny pinch, but I feel that doesn't seem right since those pills were made for humans, have you tried it before?  Do I need to worry about this or do you think the Herptivite has enough?  I tried looking up what foods has Vitamin B1 but it listed things that dragons don't eat.  His diet is Hornworms, Superworms, Waxworms, Collard Greens, Kale, Turnip, Apples, Sweet Potato, and Carrots.  

Thank you for your time.

Hello Thomas,

Wow, congratulations on your older dragons!  Do you have pictures of them I could see?
The herptivite & rep cal brand is very good.  The herptivite once weekly is fine, but the calcium should be given 3 times or so per week.  You can get a B complex vitamin for them, or bee pollen which is rich in B vitamins & has a nutty flavor they should like.
The collard greens have some vitamins, but carrots are not high in B vitamins.  The sweet potatoes are rich in minerals & vitamin A & have some B vitamins but butternut squash is particularly high in B vitamins.
Getting enough B1 should be pretty easy with a good diet though & maybe an addition of a B complex liquid.  You can crush up a B1 tablet & give a tiny pinch, as it should be safe.  I use human grade supplements also.  There are not many reptile supplements on the market.
The herptivite is pretty good so giving once a week should be sufficient, but you could add a B complex supplement if you wanted to.  They are water soluble & not stored so it wont become toxic.
Which UVB are you using & is it a tube bulb or a compact/coil light?
His diet sounds wonderful, you are doing a great job!  
Is he showing any calcium issues or other health problems or not?  



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Tracie Kretzschmar


I can answer questions pertaining to health, UVB specifics, overall husbandry care & supplementation, analysis of blood test results, and behavioral problems & handling. I can answer questions pertaining to bearded dragons, leopard geckos, iguanas, uromastyx & ball pythons. I can answer adeno virus related questions in bearded dragons, & then specifically about the testing methods as well. I am beginning an Pogona Adeno Testing Society in 2008 which will help to begin to start some standardization within the bearded dragon colonies of the breeders who choose to test.


I have been working with bearded dragons for over 5 years now, as well as leopard geckos, too. I am currently doing rescues, as well. I hope to be able to educate people prior to them purchasing an exotic pet in order to avoid any health crisis with them.

I have a master's degree in sports medicine & physiology, & 1 year of vet tech schooling, & am currently working on a reptile certification through the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council.

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