We all know and love bearded dragons – the small and lovely reptiles that we keep home as pets. They are quiet and beautiful to admire and, as opposed to cats and dogs, do not require walks or special forms of exercise. As a result, they are some of the most popular pets out there, both for adults and children. However, even though they are easy to raise, they still require special nutrition and they need to have certain needs met. When acquiring your first bearded dragon, you might wonder what bearded dragons diet looks like and what they eat. For instance, what types of greens can you feed them? Can they eat kale?
Bearded dragons love to eat kale, and it is one of the most common types of leafy greens that should be part of their diet. Bearded dragons are omnivores, which means that they need to eat both meat and veggies, so kale is a great and healthy addition to their diet.
However, even though kale is wonderful and nutritious for these reptiles, it is also essential to know a lot more about the bearded dragon diet and what they should consume. What’s more, there is a lot more to know about kale, too.
Nutritional Value Of Kale
When it comes to nutrition, kale leaves are some of the best ones out there. It is rich in vitamins, minerals, and a wide variety of nutrients – all while being very low in calories. Hence, this popular green vegetable is considered to be a superfood, both for humans and pets.
Kale is incredibly rich in vitamin K and considered to be the best source of it. This vitamin is essential in blood clotting and binding calcium to certain proteins. What’s more, a single cup of fresh raw kale contains over 7 times the daily recommended amount, making it a fantastic source of this essential vitamin.
Furthermore, this leafy green is filled with vitamin C – an essential micronutrient in ensuring good immunity and preventing various ailments, such as scurvy and anemia. This vitamin is also responsible for the synthesis of collagen, which is the building block of protein thus essential in maintaining proper health.
This superfood can also lower cholesterol levels due to its uniquely high levels of antioxidants, which lowers blood pressure. As a result, this veggie can benefit in preventing such conditions. What’s more, this leafy green can also help fight cancer, containing compounds that prevent negative molecular binding that can potentially cause cancerous mutations – especially in animals.
Moreover, this vegetable is a source of many minerals that both humans and pets usually do not get enough of. For instance, kale contains high amounts of calcium, magnesium, and potassium. These minerals help maintain a proper balance of electrolytes in our systems as well as reduce blood pressure and lower the risk of various cardiovascular diseases.
Most importantly, kale is rich in lutein, which is a powerful nutrient essential in maintaining good vision and protecting our eyes. Both humans and pets do not consume foods rich in lutein as part fo our diet, so all of us can benefit from including this green veggie in our diets a lot more. Similarly, studies show that if you consume enough kale, you are less likely to suffer from vision degeneration and cataract – two of the most common eye illnesses.
Kale is also low in oxalates, unlike many other vegetables. This makes these green leaves good bearded dragons food since these reptiles do not do well with diets high in oxalates. Hence, it is very beneficial to feed this superfood to your beardie.
Should Bearded Dragons Eat Kale Every Day?
Since kale is considered to be a superfood and contains plenty of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, it is absolutely safe to feed it to your bearded dragon. However, just like with every type of food, moderation is key. There are a lot more leafy greens that are just as healthy – or even more – for your beardie and should also be incorporated in its diet.
In addition to that, kale can lose its taste to your bearded dragon over time. As a result, it is important to spice things up when it comes to your beardie’s diet. This will ensure that your reptile friend will have all the essential nutrients as well as still enjoy many tasty meals. On top of that, this will also help in maintaining a healthy appetite in your bearded dragon.
One great way to ensure that your beardie will not get bored with this delicious and nutritious superfood is to mix kale leaves with other leafy greens and feed these to your bearded dragon. This will guarantee that your bearded dragon will consume a wide variety of foods as well as maintain proper health.
Another key aspect to remember is that bearded dragons’ main diet should comprise of meat protein coming from crickets, worms, or other insects. Such nutrients are essential to your pet’s health and proper activity level. As a result, feeding your bearded dragon kale should be limited and – along with other leafy greens – comprise only about 20%-30% of your pet’s diet. The rest should come from insects that your beardie enjoys eating anyway.
How To Prepare Kale For Bearded Dragons
Kale is one of the best leafy greens to feed to your bearded dragon. It has plenty of nutrients and lots of flavors, so these reptiles love chewing on it. What’s more, feeding your little friend kale does not require too much prior preparation.
The most important thing you should remember is to wash the kale leaves thoroughly. This will ensure that there are no chemicals or pesticides on the outside of the leaf. Such substances are harmful to bearded dragons and can cause many health-related issues, including diarrhea, constitution, nausea, or even more serious ailments. Hence, this is a very necessary step. Moreover, make sure not to use any harsh chemicals when washing the leaves – plain water will suffice.
After that is done, you can simply give your bearded dragon the leaves. In general, kale leaves are relatively small, which ensures that your beloved pet will not choke on them so they do not require any prior chopping or cutting into smaller pieces. Therefore, you can simply place the leaves into a bowl and give them to your bearded dragon without any fuss.
Additionally, you may want to consider buying organic or ecological kale, both for yourself and your pet. This makes sure that there are no free radicals on the leaves and provides even more nutrients. The leaves are also not sprayed with any pesticides, making them healthier and less likely to cause stomach issues. As a result, organic and ecological leaves are a way safer option for your beardie.
Alternatives To Kale For Bearded Dragons
Kale is one of the most beneficial types of greens that should be used as food for your beardie. It should be consumed by your pet very often and in relatively high amounts. What’s more, this veggie does not contain any dangerous or harmful substances, hence it can’t be overconsumed. However, your pet’s diet should not only consist of kale and should be balanced, including all other essential nutrients and minerals. As a result, you might wonder, “What do bearded dragons eat?”
For instance, a great alternative to eating kale for your bearded dragon is spinach. It contains similar vitamins, such as vitamin K and vitamin A as well as is high in calcium and potassium. This makes spinach another very good food to include in your bearded dragon’s diet. What’s more, spinach is also low in oxalates, so it can be consumed regularly and with no harm to your pet.
Kale can also be substituted with rocket leaves, which are rich in antioxidants and many essential minerals. These green leaves are also incredibly tasty so your pet will definitely enjoy them. However, this leafy green is rather bitter so it should only be fed to your bearded dragon occasionally.
Another great alternative to kale can be regular green lettuce. It is filled with minerals and lots of water, which also ensures proper hydration for your beloved pet. What’s more, lettuce is full of fiber, promoting gut health and good digestion, which, in turn, helps in preventing many illnesses related to stomach health and digestion. Feeding your bearded dragon food rich in fiber also helps you make sure that your pet will not suffer from diarrhea, constipation, or nausea.
Kale is a wonderful superfood for your bearded dragon. It is very good for their health as well as delicious to taste. However, there are a lot more healthy veggies that should be included in your bearded dragon’s diet. It is always important to ensure diversity when it comes to the food that you feed your pet. Through that, you will be sure to have a happy and healthy little pet.