If you have a bearded dragon, no doubt that you love them and want the best food for them. When it comes to plants, there are many different plants that you can feed them. Bearded dragons do get bored with the same food every day so it’s a good idea to look for new food for them to eat.
One plant that comes to mind is the dandelion plant. You may be looking out of your backyard and see an abundance of them and wondering if your pet beardie can eat them.
So, can bearded dragons eat dandelions? Dandelions don’t have any toxins and it’s safe for the bearded dragons to eat. The plant is packed with vitamins and minerals, which makes them a great source of vitamins A, C, K, and calcium.
While the dandelions are a great plant to feed bearded dragons, you’ll have to be cautious about where you get them from.
If you’re interested in learning more about the wonderful dandelion plant and what it can do for your bearded dragon, keep reading.
What Part Of The Dandelion Can Bearded Dragons Eat?
The dandelion plant consists of four main parts: flowers, leaves, stems, and roots.
Below, we’ll go through each part of the dandelions and see if it’s good for the bearded dragons to eat or not.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Dandelion Flowers?
The dandelion flowers are very soft and easy to chew. Bearded dragons will definitely love them.
The flowers are an excellent source of antioxidants and beta carotene.
Even though they may seem great to feed your bearded dragons, you should try to limit the number of flowers to feed them. The flowers are very filling and could prevent the reptile from eating other foods.
Additionally, it’s not that nutritious as the dandelion greens. You don’t want to feed them too much of something that doesn’t have a lot of nutrition in them.
Therefore, feeding them the flowers of the dandelions should be given to them as a treat.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Dandelion Stems?
The stems of the dandelion should be avoided and not fed to the bearded dragons. The stem contains a high amount of latex in the form of milk saps.
This sap is white in color and will ooze out of the stem if it’s cut.
The milky sap itself isn’t toxic and will not hurt the bearded dragon. However, too much of it could cause them to have an upset stomach and indigestion.
Therefore, you should cut the stems off from the leaves and flowers before feeding them to the bearded dragons.
Sometimes, it can be difficult to remove all the stems, especially under the flowers. If there are a small amount of the stems still attached to it, the bearded dragons can eat it without any issues.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Dandelion Leaves?
Out of the entire dandelion plant, the leaves are the best part for the bearded dragons to eat. The leaves are packed with vitamins and minerals.
This part of the dandelion is an excellent source of vitamins A, C, E, and K. Additionally, the leaves contain folate and small amounts of B vitamins.
As for minerals, the leaves have a high amount of essential minerals that includes calcium, magnesium, potassium, and iron.
Since the leaves are the most popular part of the dandelion plant, it’s available at many grocery stores and online stores as well.
There are two benefits of buying them at grocery stores or online stores. One of the benefits is the size of it. The dandelion greens that are sold here are usually much larger than the ones you would find on your lawn.
The other benefit is that the leaves are usually 100% organic. This is great since you won’t have to worry about your bearded dragon eating anything that contains toxic chemicals.
Beside the grocery stores, you can pick the leaves yourself from your lawn. Just make sure you didn’t use any pesticides or any other harmful chemicals to treat your lawn. If so, it’s better to not pick it as those chemicals could cause your bearded dragon health issues later.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Wild Dandelions?
Dandelions that are grown in the wild are usually safe for bearded dragons to eat. The only problem you may encounter is if the area where it’s grown has been treated with fertilizers, herbicides, or pesticides.
While chemicals are one thing to watch out for, another thing to look out for is pollution from vehicles. If the wild dandelions are grown close to roadways or where there are a lot of vehicle activities, you’ll want to stay clear of it.
Also, if there are factories nearby, it’s best to not pick them as well. The pollution that they emit into the atmosphere will eventually fall onto the dandelions growing in the fields.
How To Prepare Dandelions For Your Bearded Dragons
Whether you’re picking the dandelions from the grocery stores or from your backyard, always make sure they are fresh. Fresh dandelions will have bright yellow flowers with dark green leaves.
Also, it’s best to pick young dandelions as they will have the most nutrition in them. As dandelions get older, they will start to lose nutrition so these won’t benefit your bearded dragons at all. The dandelions will just fill your bearded dragon up.
It’s important to always pick dandelions that are free of chemicals such as pesticides and fertilizers. If the dandelions have chemicals in them, they could get absorbed into the bearded dragon’s body which could lead to them having health issues.
If you’ve picked or bought whole dandelions, they will come with flowers, leaves, and stems. Take a sharp knife and start cutting the leaves and flowers off the stem. Throw away the stem as they are not good for the bearded dragons to eat. If there are some small pieces of the stem stuck to the leaves, it should be fine. Bearded dragons will have no problem eating it and it won’t cause any health problems.
Once you have just the flowers and leaves of the dandelion, cut them into smaller pieces. This will make dandelions easier for your bearded dragon to eat and digest.
Making A Dandelion Salad For Your Bearded Dragon
Making a salad for your bearded dragon is a great way to keep them interested in eating and get all the nutrition they required. This is also a great way to introduce dandelions to your bearded dragon as well. Some beardie is really picky and won’t touch anything that they are not used to seeing or eating.
In the salad, besides dandelion flowers and leaves, you can add many other vegetables, plants, and even meat to the salad mix.
It’s best to make a batch of salad at a time so you’ll save yourself time. At each feeding, put a portion of the salad onto their feeding bowl. The rest of the salad, simply place a cling wrapper over the salad bowl and place it into the fridge.
Other Flowers Bearded Dragons Can Eat
You want to feed your bearded dragons a variety of foods. It will keep them interested in eating and will help meet their daily nutrition needs.
Besides dandelions, other flowering plants they can eat are:
- Carnations (flowers)
- Marigolds (flowers)
- Chinese Lantern (flowers)
- Daylilies (flowers)
- Dahlia (flowerhead)
- Geraniums (flowers)
- Hibiscus, Tropical (flowers, leaves)
- Nasturtium (flowers, leaves)
- Pansies (flowers)
- Roses (Petals)
- Yucca (flowers)
Above are just some of the few flowering plants that they can eat. Some of the plants, only certain parts of them can be fed to the bearded dragons. If you are unsure about any of the plants and what parts they can eat, it’s best to consult with a veterinarian.
Chameleons can also eat some other plants like aloe vera, papaya, corn and grapefruit.
Are dandelions regarded as a staple diet?
Dandelion is not and should not be part of the bearded dragon’s diet. Instead, dandelions should be treated as a treat for your reptile.
Are the seeds of the dandelions safe for bearded dragons?
The dandelion seeds are also known as “parachutes”. It’s safe for the beardie to eat, but you don’t want to feed them too much of it though.