Vegetables are an extremely important part of a bearded dragon’s diet. Many times once a pet bearded dragon begins eating a bunch of insect feeders, it will not even touch the vegetables that you offer.
That’s why it is very important to start offering your bearded dragon vegetables as soon as you bring it home. Every bearded dragon may develop different tastes for different vegetables. Sometimes you can easily figure out what it likes and what it doesn’t like very quickly.
Here are five vegetables a bearded dragon will love.
Bearded dragons simply enjoy dandelions. Most people think of dandelions as a weed that grows in the lawn (which it is), but many people in the Mid-West of the United States eat dandelions in meals.
There are some grocery stores that carry dandelion leaves in the produce section (the dandelions offered in stores are typically much bigger than the ones found in lawns).
If you decide to pluck dandelions from your yard make absolutely sure they are pesticide and herbicide-free. You don’t want your bearded dragon to ingest any chemicals.
Turnips are a fantastic vegetables to feed a bearded dragon! The leaves and the white-purplish root can be offered – just make sure the root bulb is chopped up well.
Alfalfa sprouts are a great vegetable to feed your bearded dragon. They are highly nutritious and most bearded dragons gobble them up like nothing else.
Chop up some alfalfa sprouts and watch your bearded dragon dive in after them. These whitish-green sprouts can be found in many supermarkets and salad bars.
Green beans are reveled by many bearded dragons and are a good source of beta carotene and vitamin B. Make sure to chop the green beans up well before offering them to your bearded dragon.
Most bearded dragons really go after colorful foods, and yellow squash is a great vegetable choice. The unique yellow color of the squash is very appetizing to most bearded dragons.
The great thing about yellow squash is it is also very nutritious. They contain good levels of magnesium, potassium, and vitamin C.
If you want to spark your bearded dragon’s taste for vegetables, try offering some chopped yellow squash.
Vegetables To Avoid
Although most bearded dragons love a variety of vegetables there are a few you should avoid.
These vegetables are lettuce, spinach, beets, and Swiss chard.
Lettuce offers no real nutritional value and can lead to some digestive issues like diarrhea.
Spinach, beet greens, and Swiss chard contain a calcium-binding chemical that can prevent bearded dragons from metabolizing calcium. This can lead to Metabolic Bone Disease even when the bearded dragon is given a good source of calcium.
It is best to leave these vegetables off the menu, or in very limited quantities.
Preferred Ways To Offer Vegetables
The best ways to offer vegetables to a picky bearded dragon is to chop them up in a food processor, or small food chopper, and mix them up really well. This way the bearded dragon can’t pick and choose its favorites.
It’s also a great idea to offer a wide range of vegetables. Try to supply a chopped up mix of vegetables, not just one or two vegetables. For example, don’t offer just dandelions, or just turnips.
Offer a mix of kale, turnips, squash, green beans, green peas, collards, and carrots. By blending a large assortment of vegetables you increase the chances of your bearded dragon accepting and enjoying them.
If purchasing and chopping an assortment of vegetables is too expensive or time consuming for you offering canned mixed vegetables is another good option. Just make sure the vegetables are small enough for your beardie to comfortably chew and swallow.
You can also add Nature Zone’s Salad Dressing for Bearded Dragons as a topping for fruits and vegetables. This dressing is a mixture of fruits and other scents that bearded dragons are attracted to. It really helps to entice them to eat their vegetables!
For a complete lisat of the best foods for your bearded dragon (and those to avoid) please read The Best Foods for a Bearded Dragon.