Bearded dragons are some of the most common animals kept as pets. They are quiet and beautiful, which makes them popular and perfect for first-time pet owners. However, as with any animal, there are many questions and concerns that you might have when adopting your first bearded dragon. One of the most important aspects of owning a bearded dragon is to ensure that you know what they should eat. There are many types of vegetables and fruits that your new pet should eat, and you even already have some in your fridge. For example, broccoli is a very common vegetable that many of us consume, so this begs the question: Can bearded dragons eat broccoli?
The simple answer is yes, you can safely feed your bearded dragon broccoli. These reptiles eat a variety of foods, and this green veggie ranks relatively high on the list. As a result, you can give them this vegetable as food, but make sure not to overdo it since it might make your pet sick or nauseous. On top of that, overdosing on the vitamins that broccoli contains can potentially cause many health issues, so it is important to control the amount your beardie eats.
What’s more, even though bearded dragons enjoy consuming this vegetable, it is also important to find out more about the bearded dragon diet and its specifications.
Broccoli’s Mineral and Vitamin Content
Broccoli – just like many other green vegetables – is primarily made up of water. Therefore, it is a great source of hydration and helps regulate temperature and prevent many diseases. Broccoli is also a source of many nutrients, such as vitamin C, vitamin K, as well as many sulfur-containing minerals.
In addition to that, broccoli contains lots of fiber, which improves digestions as well as the overall health of your beardie’s digestive system. As a result, this veggie is very popular in helping bearded dragons in maintaining a healthy stomach flora.
This vegetable is also filled with calcium, iron, magnesium, and zinc – all of which ensure bone health, brain health, and overall wellbeing. These nutrients are essential for bearded dragons and should always be present in their diets, especially in appropriate doses.
Additionally, broccoli is a great source of several B vitamins, such as niacin and riboflavin. These vitamins help maintain proper energy levels as well as contribute to healthy behavior. Broccoli isn’t too rich in these vitamins, hence it is very difficult to overdose, which makes this veggie a good source of these minerals.
Broccoli and Toxicity to Bearded Dragons
Broccoli is very high in vitamin K, which if consumed in high doses can be toxic. Vitamin K is found not only in this veggie, but also in spinach, kale, or brussel sprouts. Hence, it is important to limit the intake of these vegetables, especially if your pet already consumes vitamin K supplements.
The intake of vitamin C is usually not an issue as the dose is not too high and the vitamin is very essential in the bearded dragon’s diet. Vitamin C helps prevent many illnesses as well as it protects their teeth from infections.
All things considered, broccoli is a good option for your bearded dragon and can be safely consumed by them. However, it should only be given occasionally in order to prevent many health issues and indigestion that can come from an overdose of the vitamins it contains.
How to Prepare Broccoli for Bearded Dragons
As a rule, your bearded dragon should only consume raw broccoli. It provides these reptiles the opportunity to chew on something crunchy, which is crucial to their health. What’s more, this cooked veggie is too mushy for these animals and they not only don’t enjoy eating it, but they also don’t get many nutrients from it. Furthermore, it’s important not to add anything to the veggie, such as spices, as it can upset your beardie’s stomach.
In order to prepare this delicious and nutritious veggie for your reptile friend, wash the vegetable carefully and remove any dirt and chemicals that might be lingering on the surface. Such contaminants can upset the animal’s stomach as well as cause many illnesses. Additionally, it is also a good idea to separate the veggie into small portions so that your pet doesn’t consume all at once.
Similarly, these reptiles should only eat broccoli flowers, not the stalk. The stalk doesn’t contain many nutrients and it is too hard to chew on, giving your pet indigestions as well as potentially many other health issues. As a result, when feeding your pet this veggie, ensure that you cut the flowers into small pieces and completely discard the stalk.
How Much Broccoli Can Bearded Dragons Consume
Since broccoli is filled with high amounts of vitamin K, it is very easy to overdose on this vegetable. As a result, it is best to limit your pet’s consumption of this veggie to very small amounts (for instance, two or three small flowers daily) in order not to cause any health problems for your bearded dragon.
These animals love to eat a wide variety of vegetables, hence it is important to control their intake since they will eat without stopping, often poisoning themselves and causing themselves stomach issues. What’s more, broccoli alongside other vegetables should only be used as a “side dish” for your pet – the majority of its diet should comprise of meat protein in the form of crickets and worms.
Additionally, the amount of this vegetable that you choose to feed your bearded dragon largely depends on its size. Some larger versions of this pet can eat a lot more than others, and they also require more nutrients. Hence, always ensure that you use good judgement when feeding your pet and adjust the amounts to its needs and size.
What Do Bearded Dragons Eat
Bearded dragons are omnivores, which means that they consume both vegetables as well as meat. When giving your bearded dragons food, it is essential to ensure that their primary source of calories comes from meat, such as crickets, and many other insects. These reptiles need protein to survive, hence they need to eat meat in such forms. Conversely, you should never feed your bearded dragon any meat that you would consume, such as ground beef, chicken, or pork. This is due to the fact that their stomachs are not used to digesting such meat protein and they might become severely ill.
In addition to that, bearded dragons need to eat a wide variety of vegetables. Some of the best options that your pet can consume daily are lettuce, cabbage, carrots, or celery. If you feed your pet reptile these, it is important to wash them carefully and chop these vegetables finely in order to ensure that your beardie doesn’t choke on its food.
Alternatives to Broccoli for Bearded Dragons
Feeding your bearded dragon a wide variety of foods is essential in maintaining a healthy and balanced diet. Beardies love eating fruit and veggies, such as bell peppers, sweet potatoes, leafy greens (lettuce, spinach, arugula, and many more). It is imperative that you provide your pet with all the essential nutrients that they need, which means that you can’t feed your bearded dragon only broccoli.
In addition to vegetarian food choices, bearded dragons also love to eat live insects, such as crickets, mealworms, and kingworms. They supply them with protein as well as the crunchiness that they need in their food and should comprise the majority of the animal’s diet – fruits and veggies being only about 20% to 25%. Hence, broccoli, as well as many other veggies, should not replace the essential meat protein in their diets, as it can affect their health and behavior very quickly. What’s more, it is best to serve the vegetables alongside the crickets or worms since it helps in digestion and absorption of all essential nutrients, minerals, and vitamins – all due to the high water content that green vegetables have.
Similarly, if you’re looking for alternatives to broccoli that still provide similar nutrients and minerals, you can try feeding your beardie some blueberries, bananas, cauliflower or cabbage, since they all contain high levels of the same vitamins as well as lots of fiber. Such food is also filled with water, helping in digestion and maintaining proper hydration levels, which is essential for reptiles and their body temperatures.
Bearded dragons are very popular animals that many of us keep as pets. However, as with any new addition to our families, we have to ensure that we know what they need, what they should eat as well as how to best take care of them. Hence, even though the answer to the question “can bearded dragons eat broccoli” is yes, it is essential to keep an eye on your pet’s nutrition and maintain a balanced diet. Your beardie will definitely thank you for it with its happiness and overall health.