Bearded dragons have been increasing in popularity over the last five years or so at an extremely rapid rate with breeders in some locations struggling to keep up with demand. Although it is good to see so many people adding a bearded dragon to their family, we think that it is even better than we are seeing a large increase in the number of people reaching out to try and ensure that they are offering the best care possible for their new pets. Every month we see an increase in the number of questions that we see based around how to best care for a beardie so we have decided to make one of these questions the main subject of today’s article.
As you can probably guess, we constantly see people reaching out and asking questions about the best bearded dragon diet with a large number of the questions that we see being based around things such as “What do bearded dragons eat?“. That said though, that is a very broad question and we have posts covering it online already so we decided to focus on the questions we see based around “Can bearded dragons eat carrots?” as we are seeing it be asked more and more frequently with each passing month.
Thankfully, there are a large number of fruit and vegetable foods that you are able to use to supplement your pet bearded dragons diet that is absolutely jam-packed with nutrients and carrots are one of them. That said though, the bulk of your pet bearded dragons diet should be made up of various insects such as high-quality crickets or high-quality mealworms so make sure to only occasionally offer your bearded dragon carrots for some varied eating.
We would only recommend that you let your bearded dragon eat carrots once or twice a week at a maximum as it does have some potential issues with vitamin A if they have carrots too often and are also on a bearded dragon vitamin supplement. Although if you are new to keeping bearded dragons, you may be wondering why you would ever need to put your pet on a multivitamin but as your bearded dragon gets older, it can have a number of issues with vitamin deficiencies. We would always recommend HERPTIVITE Multivitamin for reptiles to our readers as it has everything your pet requires while also lacking vitamin A to prevent toxicity issues.
Anyway, just like the vast majority of fruits and vegetables that can be used to supplement your bearded dragons food, carrots offer a ton of benefits that we will not be taking a look at below. We always like to try and actually explain the benefits of a food for our reader’s pets so they actually understand why they should be including it in their diets. We will be covering all of the main upsides of feeding your bearded dragon carrots throughout the article but have the benefits listed in descended order.
Can Baby Bearded Dragons Eat Carrots?
Although you will usually be fine to add small amounts of carrots to the diet of a baby bearded dragon, the high vitamin A content in carrots means that you should only use them sparingly. Although a baby bearded dragon does require vitamin A in their diet, they are more susceptible to toxicity due to their smaller size and the high vitamin A content in carrots may be a problem. Due to this, until your bearded dragon is an adult, we would only recommend that you use carrots to supplement a baby bearded dragon diet once every two weeks at a maximum.
Packed With Vitamins And Minerals
Carrots are extremely nutritional for your bearded dragon and offer a ton of essential vitamins and minerals that are able to offer it a number of health benefits. On top of this, carrots also contain a number of minerals that bearded dragons need but are hard to source from other foods so feeding carrots to your pet can be a quick and easy way to get them into their diet without you having to use any of the multivitamin supplements too.
When it comes to the vitamin side of things, carrots offer plenty of the following vitamins for your pet bearded dragon:-
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin B6
- Pantothenic Acid
As we touched on earlier in the article, some bearded dragon will likely end up having issues with various vitamin deficiencies in their older age with many owners turning to bearded dragon vitamin suppliments to help to their intake up. That said though, adding carrots to the diet of your pet bearded dragon once or twice a week can be a great way to help top up their vitamin intake with ease.
When we look at the mineral side of things, carrots come packed with the following minerals making them a great food source to add to the diet of your bearded dragon:-
As we touched on, carrots are an excellent source of both Magnesium and Copper for your bearded dragon with both essential minerals being found in high amounts relative to what bearded dragons require for their recommended daily intake. On top of coming jam-packed with all of the nutritional goodness that we have covered above, carrots also come with a number of additional health benefits when you add them to your pet’s diet that we will cover below.
Plenty Of Fiber
Although there is a ton of essential nutrition in carrots, they also offer a solid source of fiber too allowing you to ensure that your bearded dragon is getting plenty of fiber. Although a bearded dragons digestion will usually be fine with less fiber in their diet then that actually requires, we would always recommend that you ensure that keep feeding carrots to your bearded dragon as a treat due to their solid fiber content. This is due to bearded dragons being susceptible to both constipation and impaction with the later potentially becoming a serious issue.
As bearded dragons eat carrots willingly, they act as a great way to top up your bearded dragons total fiber intake and minimize the risk of your pet suffering from either constipation or impaction. Although keeping your pets fiber intake as high as possible is not a guarantee that it will not supper from either of these issues, aiming to get your recommended fiber into your bearded dragon each day can help to minimize the chances of either issue occurring.
Although constipation is a relatively easy issue to fix in bearded dragons, impaction can be extremely serious and end up leading to serious issues and potentially even death. The older a bearded dragon gets the more likely it is to suffer from impaction too so additional fiver sources should be included in the diet of older bearded dragons. One thing that many people add to their pets diets is a reputable source of Hornworms.
We would always recommend that you get commercially farmed Hornworms rather than wild ones as wild Hornworms may have ingested foods that have pesticides on them potentially causing an additional health risk to your pet. That said though, each Hornworm is just shy of three percent fiber and can be fed to your bearded dragon three times a week in servings of three to five worms to act as an excellent fiber source that bearded dragon really enjoys the taste of.
Great Water Content
Although most beardies will never suffer from this issue, some older bearded dragons have been known to drastically decrease the amount of water that they will drink from their primary water source. A number of members of the reptile family sem to develop this issue the older they get for some reason but a carrot has a sold water content and can be used to supplement your pet’s water intake. As bearded dragons eat carrots quickly due to their taste, it acts as a quick and easy way for you to top up your pet’s water intake to help prevent any issues with dehydration.
How Do I Feed My Bearded Dragon Carrots?
Although some people do leave the skin of a carrot on prior to feeding them to their pet bearded dragons, we think that removing it can be a solid option depending on where you sourced the carrots. This is not due to there being anything natural in the carrots skin that may harm your pet bearded dragon but it serves as a quick and easy way to remove any pesticides that may have been sprayed onto the carrots during the farming process that may cause issues with your pet. Some people like to just wash them under a cold water tap for around thirty-seconds but you can usually remove the skin in the same amount of time and know that the risk has been removed.
After that, we usually recommend that the carrots are chopped into small cubes that are much easier for your pet bearded dragon to consume without presenting a choking hazard. As we mentioned earlier in the article, bearded dragons tend to really enjoy the taste of carrots and will likely try to wolf it down as quickly as possible. This is where additional care is required hen repairing the food for your pet to ensuring that there is no choking hazard in the carrots when feeding them to your bearded dragon.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Carrot Tops?
Although you can feed your bearded dragon carrot tops in very small amounts, we tend to recommend that our readers avoid it due to the extremely high oxalate content in them. Too many oxalates in your bearded dragons diet can present a number of issues so we prefer to just avoid foods high in oxalates as best as possible meaning we recommend that carrot tops are not added to your pet’s diet. That said though, a number of people do feed their pet bearded dragon carrot tops in small amounts occasionally without issue so it will come down to you and your own choices.
Alternatives To Using Carrots
As we mentioned earlier, carrots are high in vitamin A that can lead to toxicity levels if overfed to your pet bearded dragon. When people find this out we usually see them asking for viable alternatives to add to their pets food so here are some other vegetables that your bearded dragon can eat instead of carrots. Broccoli, turnip greens, alfalfa hay or chow, bok choy, kale, parsley, Swiss chard, watercress, clover, red or green cabbage, savory, cilantro, kohlrabi, bell peppers, and green beans. They are all nutritionally dense and are solid options to add to your pet’s diet to help supplement their nutritional needs without having the potential issues with vitamin A toxicity.
Due to seeing so many questions based around things such as “can bearded dragons eat carrots?” we just wanted to publish a dedicated article for our readers on the subject. Bearded dragons can eat carrots as we have covered but carrots do come with some minor risks depending on the other foods that are eating as explained above but in our opinion, the trade-off is worth it due to the great nutritional profile in carrots. Although vitamin A toxicity is a real issue, it can usually be avoided by planning out your bearded dragons meals for the week to minimize its vitamin A intake.