Can Bearded Dragons Eat Collard Greens?

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Collard Greens
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Bearded dragons are omnivorous, meaning they eat both plants and meat. As for collard greens, you may wonder if your beardie can eat them.

So, can bearded dragons eat collard greens? Yes, bearded dragons can eat collard greens. Collard greens are a type of cabbage that makes for an ideal treat or snack for your pet. It has a mild flavor and is high in fiber and nutrients. When you’re choosing collard greens to feed your dragon, look for loose leaves without any holes or tears. Wash them well before feeding to remove any dirt or other debris that may be present.

This article will answer the question of whether bearded dragons can eat collard greens, and handle some other similar questions.

Do Bearded Dragons Eat Collard Greens?

Bearded dragons are omnivores, but their diet should primarily consist of leafy greens. They love to munch on collard greens! Collard greens are high in fiber so they help keep your pet’s digestive system running smoothly.

Be sure to feed your bearded dragon fresh collard greens, not frozen or pre-cooked. This will ensure that the vital nutrients found in fresh vegetables are preserved.

Is It Safe For Bearded Dragons To Eat Collard Greens?

When it comes to collard greens, it’s rich in nutrients and safe for bearded dragons to eat.

However, feeding them too much of it can be unsafe for them. This is due to a substance called ‘oxalates’ or ‘oxalic acid’.

Oxalate is a substance that naturally occurs in several foods, including collard greens. Oxalate is produced by the plants to themselves from the sun.

For bearded dragons, it’s bad for their health as oxalates are much like phosphorous. It binds to the calcium which prevents it from being absorbed by the body. When the body can’t absorb calcium and other minerals from the food, it will start to extract calcium from the bones instead.  This will eventually lead to metabolic bone disease (MBD).

To ensure collard greens are safe for them to eat, give them a small amount to eat at each feeding. Also, incorporate other greens into the diet, especially those that are high in calcium.

Is It Healthy For Bearded Dragons To Eat Collard Greens

Collard greens are a great source of nutrition. They are loaded with vitamins A, B, C, E, and K. Collard greens also contain beta carotene which has antioxidant properties that help prevent cell damage caused by free radicals. For that reason, collard greens make healthy food for your bearded dragon to eat.

Nutrition Facts

2 cups (72 grams) of raw collard greens provide:

  • Calories: 24
  • Carbs: 4 grams
  • Fiber: 2.8 grams
  • Protein: 2 grams
  • Fat: 0.4 grams

Source: USDA

Below are some of the health benefits of feeding collard greens to your bearded dragons:

Improve Bone Health

Collard greens are rich in calcium and vitamin K, which are both important for bone health.  These leafy greens also contain a good amount of magnesium which helps to strengthen bones. All of these nutrients will help keep your beardie bones strong and healthy.

Support Digestive Health

Collard greens are a good source of fiber, which is important for a healthy digestive system. Since fiber cannot be digested by the body, instead it will help bulk up the stool. This will prevent constipation and help move the food through the digestive tract smoothly.

Bearded dragons that eat plenty of fiber-rich food such as collard green will less likely develop any digestive issues.

Strengthen Immune System

Collard greens are an excellent source of vitamin C. Vitamin C is critical for immune system function, and collard greens have more vitamin C than any other leafy green vegetable. By feeding your beardie collard greens, they will get the vitamin they need for a strong and healthy immune system.

When their immune system is strong, they are less likely to become ill. If they do, plenty of vitamin C in their diet will help them recover quickly from the illness.

Can Baby Bearded Dragons Eat Collard Greens?

Baby bearded dragons grow very quickly and to help support their growth, they need plenty of nutrition. The two most important ones are calcium and protein. Calcium is to helps bones grow strong and healthy, while protein is needed for muscle growth.

Therefore, the majority of their diet should consist of live foods such as crickets, beetles, and worms. Live foods should make up 80% of their entire diet. The rest should come from vegetables and fruits.

As for collard greens, they make a great choice to feed baby bearded dragons. It has a very large amount of calcium, which they need for bone growth.

This is one of the vegetables that is a staple food to feed your baby beardie. They can be fed daily, but only give them a small amount at each feeding.

How To Feed Collard Greens To Bearded Dragons

Collard green will need to be prepared first before you can give them any. Not doing so could cause them to choke on it or develop health issues. Below are some tips to help prepare collard greens

Use Organic Collard Greens – If you’ve bought collard greens from the grocery stores, it’s likely that they will have pesticides. Most farms use pesticides to help protect the plant from pests. The chemicals used in pesticides are very toxic and can harm your beardie. For that reason, always try to buy organically grown collard greens, or even better yet, grow them yourselves in your garden.

If you do buy collard greens that are not organically grown, wash them thoroughly with water. This will help remove the chemicals from them.

Wash Collard Greens Thoroughly – No matter how clean the vegetable is, always wash them thoroughly with water. There could be pests and debris on the plant that you can’t see. Some could even harm your beardie so it’s best to wash it first.

Avoid Cooking Collard Greens – Bearded dragons are used to eating fresh veggies. Cooking them could prevent your beardie from eating them. Also, cooking the collard greens will remove a lot of their nutrients. 

Chop Them Up – The best way to feed bearded dragons collard greens is to chop up small pieces of the leaf. This will make it easier for them to digest and prevent them from choking on it.

Feeding Them Collard Greens – After it’s chopped into pieces, place it into their feeding bowl for them to eat. Another option is to mix them with other vegetables, fruits, or live food such as crickets or mealworms. 

If you have a picky beardie that won’t eat any collard greens, try adding some strawberries and apples to it. Bearded dragons love sweets and the fruits will encourage them to not just eat the fruits, but also the leafy greens as well.

How Often Can Bearded Dragons Eat Collard Greens?

You can feed your bearded dragon collard greens on a daily basis. Collard greens are considered a staple food for them.

While you can feed them daily, it’s best to diversify their food. This will help keep them healthy in the long term as they are getting the proper nutrients from different foods.

Other Vegetables That Bearded Dragons Can Eat

Cabbage

Bearded dragons can eat cabbage and will definitely enjoy this leafy vegetable. However, you need to be very careful when feeding them cabbage because it’s quite rich in calcium and phosphorus. That’s why you should only feed it to your bearded dragon once a week.

The good thing about cabbage is that it contains lots of vitamins such as A, B6, C, and K. So you don’t have to worry that your bearded dragon won’t get all the nutrients they need from eating cabbage. It also helps regulate blood pressure levels in humans and

Celery

Celery can be a great addition to your bearded dragon’s diet, especially if they are on the smaller side and don’t like to eat as much as they should. Adding celery to their diet will give them the nutrients that they need for healthy growth, and it also contains lots of water which is great for hydration. It is important not to overfeed your bearded dragon with celery however because it does contain a lot of fiber and isn’t exactly meant for them to eat in large quantities.

Lettuce  

Lettuce is a great source of vitamins A, K, and C, as well as minerals like manganese, potassium, and magnesium. Also, it’s low in calories. So if you are planning to feed your bearded dragon lettuce, make sure to remove the middle ribs of lettuce leaves because they can be dangerous for your pet!  

Conclusion

Fortunately, collard greens are an excellent source of vitamin C and fiber as well as minerals such as calcium and iron. This makes them a nutritious addition to bearded dragon diets.