Around 35% of your bearded dragon’s diet should be vegetables. But some vegetables are better for your bearded dragon than others, and some are even dangerous.
So, what works and what doesn’t? Here are 12 popular vegetables and what you need to know about them.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Kale?
Kale is one of the best vegetables for your bearded dragon. It’s high in calcium, which is vital to keep their bones strong and healthy. And it’s also low in phosphorus and oxalates, meaning that their bodies will be able to absorb the calcium much more easily.
It’s one of the few vegetables that’s safe to feed to your bearded dragon daily. However, you might want to mix it up with other vegetables alongside live food to give them a bit of variation.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Zucchini?
Bearded dragons can eat zucchini; however, there’s not a great deal of nutritional value in it.
If you are going to feed your bearded dragon zucchini, it’s better to serve it raw since cooking it will further strip it of its nutrients. And anyway, in the wild, bearded dragons eat raw plants and vegetables, so it’s better that way.
Make sure you remove the skin and solid outer casing and wash it with cold water. The outside will be too tough for their teeth and can cause broken teeth or long-term digestive issues if they try to swallow it. It’s best only to give them zucchini once or twice a month.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Parsley?
Bearded dragons can eat parsley in small amounts.
It contains lots of calcium and is low on phosphorus. The calcium: phosphorus ratio is essential for a bearded dragon. If the phosphorus outweighs the amount of calcium, it can stop the calcium from being absorbed correctly. Because there’s a good ratio in parsley, it’s an excellent veggie option.
However, parsley does contain lots of oxalates which bind the calcium and can cause kidney stones if they eat it too often. For this reason, you shouldn’t give it to a baby dragon.
For adults, a few leaves once or twice a week is the ideal amount.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Peas?
Bearded dragons can eat peas, but only as an occasional treat.
Peas straight from the pod are the best option and are easy to grow yourself. They should be eaten raw, never cooked and NEVER use frozen or canned peas. The pod is also too tough, so don’t try to feed them that.
Because of the high phosphorus levels in peas, they don’t make a great addition to an everyday diet, but they do have lots of vitamins A and K, which help your dragon’s immune system and eye health.
As you can only offer them on a treat basis, it might be best to use them as a bonding tool. Offer a few peas as a weekly treat.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Radishes?
Radish leaves are an excellent choice and are the brilliant accompaniment to kale for a nice daily salad.
They contain lots of amazing vitamins and nutrients that are great for a bearded dragon:
- Calcium: Helps boost their bone strength and avoid metabolic bone disease.
- Iron: Keeps a healthy balance of red to white blood cells to fight off infection.
- Vitamin C: Develops the immune system and keeps skin strong and healthy.
- Magnesium: Strengthens the nervous system.
- Vitamin B6: Helps with proper muscle development.
The radish itself can also be provided as a tasty treat, but not as part of the standard diet. It needs to be cut into thin slices to help your dragon chew properly. A few thin slices once a week should be enough.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Eggplant?
Eggplant or aubergine is quite acidic, much like citrus fruit, and causes a breakdown in your bearded dragon’s stomach lining. Making it not recommended at all.
It can cause stomach cramps and diarrhoea – eventually leading to dehydration.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Edamame?
Edamame has a high phosphorus content, meaning that the calcium fails to be absorbed. The oxalates can also bind any calcium that does get through that phosphorus barrier, creating longer-term issues such as bladder and kidney stones.
It also has a high percentage of isoflavones, which mimic estrogen hormones and can cause a hormone imbalance if consumed too often.
Although eating edamame very occasionally shouldn’t hurt, it’s best to avoid it altogether. There are much better options.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Nopales?
Nopales, or spineless cactus pads are great for your bearded dragon.
It’s one of the most natural foods, as it’s the sort of vegetation they’d be used to in the wild. There are online stores where you can purchase the dried version too.
You can feed them the cactus pads once or twice a week, and you could even place a small version in their terrarium for them to nibble at whenever they wish.
Make sure you never feed them cactus with spines in – for obvious reasons.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Quinoa?
This isn’t exactly a vegetable but it is a common question we get. Quinoa is not a replacement for the protein gained from live food!
It does have a decent amount of iron and potassium, which is essential for muscle development, but it’s no substitute for their natural food sources. It also has disproportionate calcium:phosphorus ratio and high acidity.
Overall, not a great choice.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Brussel Sprouts?
Brussel sprouts are great for changing up the diet, but you shouldn’t feed them regularly. They do have:
- Vitamin C which is great for the skin and immune system and helps fight off bacteria.
- Fiber which can help support your dragon’s digestive system.
But they also have some negatives, namely:
- Calcium. Sprouts lack calcium. The small amount that they do offer is usually unabsorbable due to the high amount of phosphorus.
- Goitrogen which affects the natural function of the thyroid, meaning that your dragon’s metabolism may become slower – causing weight gain.
Sprouts do offer some nutritional value, but not enough to justify daily feeding. Try once or twice a month.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Sweet Potatoes?
Bearded dragons love sweet potatoes! But you do need to be careful of how much you give them.
While sweet potatoes are tasty, they offer little nutrition. The trick is to feed it raw, which allows for better digestion. It does have a decent amount of vitamin A, which contributes to eye care, skin care and muscle development.
However, too much sweet potato could cause abdominal pain and longer-term digestive issues.
You can feed them a small slice every 2-3 weeks.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Swiss Chard?
You should avoid Swiss chard altogether! It contains a super high amount of oxalates, which bind calcium, causing digestive issues and eventually kidney or bladder stones.
There’s also little nutritional value in swiss chard for a bearded dragon. Fill them up with kale instead; it’s a much healthier option.
These are some of the most popular bearded dragon vegetables and what you need to know about them! We hope you found this useful, and if you did, check out our guide about fruits!