You’re shopping at the grocery stores and bought some lettuce to make a salad at home. Since you won’t be using all of the lettuce at once, you may wonder if you can give your bearded dragon some of it. After all, lettuce is a vegetable and vegetables do make up the majority of their diet.
So can bearded dragons eat lettuce? Bearded dragons can eat all types of lettuce. However, lettuce is usually not a great vegetable to feed your bearded dragon. Most of the variety of lettuce has little to no nutritional value and they are extremely high in water content. Feeding them too much lettuce could cause them to have diarrhea and other digestive problems.
Types Of Lettuce Bearded Dragons Can Eat
Bearded dragons can actually eat a variety of lettuce without any issue. Each type of lettuce has its own nutritional value. There are many different varieties of lettuce available, but only a few are readily available for you to buy. Below, we’ll go through the 3 most popular types of lettuce that are easily found in grocery stores or are easy to grow in your own backyard.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Romaine Lettuce?
Romaine lettuce can be fed to bearded dragons. These varieties are popular, which can be found at most grocery stores. They are easy to grow at home as well.
Romaine lettuce doesn’t have a lot of nutrition that the reptile requires on a daily basis. You’ll need to feed them a lot of romaine lettuce to meet their requirement.
Doing so could cause them to have health problems with their digestive system.
Feeding them romaine lettuce is fine if it’s given occasionally and in a small amount.
It’s best to feed them romaine lettuce as a snack or a source of hydration. This variety of lettuce should never replace their staple foods.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Butterhead Lettuce?
Butterhead lettuce can be fed to your bearded dragons. Out of all the variety of lettuce, this one is the most recommended. It has the highest amount of nutrition in them. They are a good source of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, thiamin, and riboflavin. Additionally, they are loaded with vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, and vitamin B6.
Like with any lettuce, it still has a high content of water. Therefore, feed butterhead lettuce to your bearded dragons once or twice per week.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Iceberg Lettuce?
Out of all the variety of lettuce, iceberg lettuce is the worse one to feed your bearded dragons. This is due to the low nutritional value that it has.
What it lacks in nutrition, it has a high amount of moisture. Iceberg lettuce is the only variety that has more than 96% of water content.
Therefore, when the bearded dragon is eating iceberg lettuce, it’s similar to giving them a bowl of water.
The only time when it’s a good idea to give them iceberg lettuce is when the weather is extremely hot or for some reason, water isn’t available. By giving them iceberg lettuce, it will keep them hydrated.
However, do not feed them too much of it or they will start having diarrhea.
Can Lettuce Be Bad For Bearded Dragons?
Like any other food, too much of it can be bad. When it comes to lettuce, feeding bearded dragons too much of it can be bad.
The reason why you should not offer them lettuce as regular food is their high content of water. While this may seem like a great thing, for a bearded dragon, it could be dangerous.
If the bearded dragons consume too much lettuce, they may get diarrhea. This is really bad for them as other foods they consume will not get absorbed properly into their body. Instead, all the food will go quickly through their digestive system in the form of diarrhea.
However, lettuce is great if it’s fed to them occasionally. This means once or twice per week.
Try not to feed them lettuce every day or part of their regular meal.
How To Feed Lettuce To Bearded Dragons
It’s generally fine to feed them lettuce by itself, but if you want to make something great for your bearded dragon, make them a salad! Besides lettuce, you can add other delicious vegetables and fruits to the mix. This way, they are not just getting nutrition from just the lettuce, but everything else in the salad.
To prepare the salad, you’ll want to gather all the vegetables. Make sure to wash and cut all of them into smaller sizes so it will be easier for them to eat.
In the salad, use only about 10% of lettuce in there. This way, they won’t get filled too quickly with all the water content from the lettuce.
If the room temperature is hot, you can mix iceberg lettuce in the salad. Since iceberg lettuce has a high amount of water, it will help them stay hydrated.
On the other hand, if the temperature is cool, it’s best to use another variety of lettuce to prevent diarrhea.
How Much And How Often To Feed Lettuce To Bearded Dragons
Lettuce of any variety should be fed to them occasionally. This means once or twice each week. Any more than that could risk your bearded dragons getting diarrhea or developing other health problems.
During the summer months when it’s really hot, you can feed them more than twice per week. Every other day should be fine but in small amounts. The lettuce will help keep them dehydrated during the hot weather.
If you notice they are having diarrhea, stop feeding them lettuce. In a couple of days, their poop will become firmer again.
The amount of lettuce to feed them will depend on their age. A single lettuce leaf should be sufficient for an adult bearded dragons. A half leaf of lettuce is enough for a juvenile beardie.
As for baby bearded dragons, it’s not recommended to feed them any lettuce. Baby bearded dragons need all the nutrition they can get to promote their growth. The lettuce will prevent other foods from getting absorbed by the body.
What Other Leafy Greens Can Bearded Dragons Eat?
Besides lettuce, there are many other leafy greens you can feed your bearded dragons with. They offer more nutrition and less moisture.
Below are some of the leafy greens that are great for feeding your bearded dragons:
- Carrot Tops
- Mustard Greens
- Dandelion Greens
- Swiss Chard
- Beet Greens
- Collard Greens
How long should lettuce be left in the bearded dragon’s cage?
If there are any uneaten lettuce after about 2 hours, it’s best to remove it. After that time period, lettuce will start losing its freshness and become soft. Also, bacteria can start growing on it which could make your bearded dragon sick.
What other vegetables bearded dragons eat?
Besides lettuce, bearded dragons can butternut squash, carrots, squash, mustard greens, sweet potatoes, sweet red peppers, and zucchini.