Broccoli is a popular vegetable with many uses in cooking. It can be eaten raw in salads or sliced into sticks to dip in hummus or enjoy with guacamole. It can also be steamed or boiled before being used as an ingredient in soups, casseroles, stir-fries, and side dishes.
If you enjoy eating and using broccoli in your cooking, you may wonder, can bearded dragons eat broccoli?
Yes, bearded dragons can eat broccoli. This super veggie is packed with nutrients that your beardies can benefit a lot from. It also contains oxalate and a high amount of phosphorous, which can harm them. To ensure your bearded dragon doesn’t have any health issues from eating broccoli, feed them in moderation.
Is It Safe For Bearded Dragons To Eat Broccoli?
Broccoli is safe for your bearded dragons to eat, only if it’s in moderation. Feeding them too much broccoli could cause harm to their health.
The reason why it’s unsafe to feed them a large amount of broccoli is due to the phosphorous and oxalic acid found in the vegetable. Broccoli has a high amount of phosphorous and too little calcium. Phosphorous in small amounts is healthy for them, but in large amounts, it can be harmful.
Phosphorous prevents calcium from being absorbed into the bloodstream. Bearded dragons need calcium to remain healthy. Over time, if their body is not able to absorb calcium from the food they eat, the body will start to take the calcium away from the bones. This will result in metabolic bone disease, which can cause pain for them. It will cause your beardie bones to become brittle, twisted, distorted, and could even paralyze them. If it’s left untreated, your beardie will succumb to the disease and die.
As for oxalic acid, it can be deadly for the bearded dragon as well. Like phosphorous, oxalic acid will bind with the calcium, which will prevent it from being absorbed by the body. Also, oxalic acid can cause them to suffer from kidney stones.
Is It Healthy For Bearded Dragons To Eat Broccoli?
Broccoli offers many vitamins and minerals, which makes them healthy food for your bearded dragons to eat. It’s a good source of fiber, folate, manganese, potassium, and vitamins A, C, and K1.
1 cup (91 grams) of raw broccoli are:
- Calories: 31
- Water: 89%
- Protein: 2.5 grams
- Carbs: 6 grams
- Sugar: 1.5 grams
- Fiber: 2.4 grams
- Fat: 0.4 grams
Below are some health benefits of feeding broccoli to your bearded dragons:
Strengthen Immune System
Broccoli has a good amount of vitamin C. This vitamin helps strengthen the immune system of the bearded dragons. By having a strong immune system, the beardie will be less likely to become ill. If they do become ill, plenty of vitamin C will help them recover quickly.
Promote Healthy Digestion
Broccoli is a good source of fiber. Fiber is a carbohydrate that cannot be digested by the body. Instead, it helps bulk up the stool, which will allow the stool to move smoothly through the digestive tract.
Good For Hydration
Broccoli is an excellent source of water, which will help keep your bearded dragon hydrated. During the summer, you can give them broccoli to prevent them from becoming dehydrated.
Can Baby Bearded Dragons Eat Broccoli?
Baby bearded dragons can eat broccoli, but it’s not recommended to feed them any. The reason for that is that broccoli doesn’t have all the nutrition that the baby beardies need to grow and thrive. Also, broccoli is too tough and could cause them to choke on it.
Instead, it’s best to feed them staple vegetables, which will help them grow strong and healthy. Some baby-safe veggies are:
- Acorn squash
- Bell pepper
- Butternut squash
- Cactus leaves
- Collard greens
- Mustard greens
- Yellow squash
How To Feed Broccoli To Bearded Dragons
Broccoli is very tough and will be difficult for your bearded dragon to eat. For that reason, always cut the vegetable into very small pieces. This will prevent them from choking on it.
To prepare broccoli for your bearded dragons, follow the steps below:
- Always use fresh broccoli to feed your beardie.
- Wash the broccoli thoroughly to remove any pest and debris that may be on the vegetable.
- Cut the broccoli into small pieces. It should be the size no larger than the diameter between both their eyes. Discard the stem or stalk as it is too tough for the beardies to eat.
- Place the chopped broccoli into their feeding bowl and let them enjoy it. You can also add broccoli to other vegetables to make a salad for them.
It’s best to use raw broccoli to feed your bearded dragons. Cooking the vegetable first will remove a lot of the nutrients.
How Often Can Bearded Dragons Eat Broccoli?
While broccoli contains plenty of nutrients that the beardies can benefit from, it also contains oxalic acid and phosphorus. Both of these in large amounts can harm your bearded dragon.
Therefore, give them just a couple of small pieces of broccoli, once or twice per month. This is enough for them to enjoy and not put their lives at risk of developing any health issues.
Other Vegetables That Bearded Dragons Can Eat
Bell peppers are high in vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to bearded dragons. Unlike other peppers, bell peppers don’t contain any capsaicin. This means you can feed them every day if you want, but only a small piece at each feeding.
Kale is a good source of calcium for bearded dragons, and as such, it should be included in their weekly diet. For both adult and juvenile bearded dragons, kale is entirely safe and nutritious if eaten in little amounts, once or twice a week.
Bearded dragons can eat yellow squash, and it’s one of their staple food. This means you can feed yellow squash to your beardie on a daily basis. It’s a good source of calcium, and vitamin A and C.
Broccoli is healthy and nutritious for your bearded dragons to eat. To ensure the vegetable doesn’t cause any harm to them, only give them a small amount, once or twice per month.