Cilantro is a common herb, and we often use it to add flavor to our dishes. Since there is plenty of cilantro and a favorable price, you may wonder can bearded dragons eat cilantro?
Herbs are famous for their nutrition, but not all of them are safe for bearded dragons. Likewise, some herbs can harm your beardie if you offer them in large amounts.
Now, let’s narrow down to cilantro. Are these herbs safe for the beardies? Well, bearded dragons can eat cilantro but only on an occasional basis.
Read on to know the benefits of cilantro to bearded dragons, how to feed cilantro to the beardies, and a lot more.
What are the Nutrients Found in Cilantro?
Before you choose to feed cilantro to your pet bearded dragon, consider checking its calcium, phosphorus, sugar, water, fat, fiber, and protein content. Knowing its nutritional value determines whether it’s worthy of feeding cilantro to your lizard friend or not.
Below are the primary nutrients in 100 grams of raw cilantro leaves, according to USDA.
- Water: 92.21g
- Energy: 23kcal
- Dietary fiber: 2.8g
- Sugars: 0.87g
- Protein: 2.13g
- Total fat: 0.52g
- Calcium: 67mg
- Phosphorus: 48mg
- Potassium: 521mg
- Sodium: 46mg
- Magnesium: 26mg
- Vitamin C: 27mg
- Vitamin A: 337µg
- Vitamin E: 2.5mg
- Vitamin K: 310µg
- Ca:P ratio→1.4:1
Cilantro is a good source of antioxidant substances such as lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene. It is also rich in vitamins A, C, E, and K, and I’m glad you can see that in the nutritional list above.
The calcium to phosphorus ratio in cilantro is positive, as you can see. More calcium than phosphorus in the diet provides room for proper absorption of calcium. Otherwise, a high level of phosphorus works against calcium, thus hindering its intake by the body.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cilantro?
Yes, bearded dragons can eat cilantro occasionally. Cilantro is a safe food for your beardies, it has many benefits for bearded dragon health. Let’s see the benefits that these herbs provide to bearded dragons and why they are safe for them.
The bottom line is that cilantro has an ideal range of calcium to phosphorus ratio. So, when you add them to the diet, you are assured that the lizard is getting calcium without any interference.
Another good thing about cilantro is that they are extremely low in sugar, which makes them ideal herbs for the beardies. Foods that are high in sugar expose bearded dragons to health issues like obesity.
Moreover, cilantro is more beneficial in boosting hydration in bearded dragons since it contains too much water, which is about 92%. However, the high-water content can be destructive if you feed them in excess.
Antioxidants in these herbs play a significant role in preventing inflammation in the beardies. Cilantro is rich in other minerals like manganese and potassium, which helps regulate metabolism and regulate blood pressure, respectively.
Vitamin K is responsible for blood cell maintenance, Vitamin A for vision, and Vitamin C is vital for a healthy immune system and growth.
With all these nutritional values, cilantro is indeed superb herbs for the beardies, and they do eat them.
How Often to Feed Cilantro to Bearded Dragons?
Cilantro is a useful herb, but it can harm your dragon if you feed them in excess. There are too much water and low calcium in cilantro, making them unsafe if used as staple foods.
Feeding too many cilantros to bearded dragons is dangerous because of their excess water, causing diarrhea. This is a severe condition, and if it continues for a long time can lead to dehydration.
The calcium content in cilantro is insufficient for bearded dragons, and that’s why it cannot serve as a staple food.
So, don’t feed cilantro more often to your lizard; it doesn’t have much nutritional impact. You should provide a few sliced cilantros to the bearded dragon every other week. This is the safest level, and it will not harm your pet at all.
Can I Feed Cooked Cilantro to My Bearded Dragon?
When it comes to bearded dragons, giving cooked food is not a viable option because they are low in nutrients and may contain some spices.
Bearded dragons are accustomed to eating raw and fresh foods, and you should respect it that way.
Additionally, cooked foods can cause diarrhea and other health issues in the beardies, especially when you give them consistently.
So, I would advise you to avoid cooked cilantros and go for fresh ones at all times. All in all, fresh foods are highly nutritious and remains to be the best option for bearded dragons.
You might also like: Can bearded dragons eat broccoli?
Are Canned Cilantros Good for Bearded Dragons?
Canned foods, including vegetables, fruits, and greens, contain preservatives and chemicals which increase their lifespan. These substances can have detrimental effects on bearded dragons as their stomachs are pretty sensitive.
Another downside about canned cilantros is that they are low in nutrients compared to fresh cilantros. Therefore, don’t offer any canned cilantros to your beardie; they are not good for them and can cause unpleasant reactions.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cilantro Stems?
Yes, bearded dragons can eat cilantro stems as they are soft and nutritious as well. You will only want to cut the stems into smaller pieces and incorporate them together with the leaves as part of the beardie’s diet.
Bearded dragons will not be able to devour the whole stems of cilantros as it is hard to chew for them and can cause a choking hazard to your dragon.
In every food you give your bearded dragon, always make sure it is smaller than the dragon’s eye width. It helps to prevent choking and ease chewing.
Is it OK if I Feed Frozen Cilantros to My Bearded Dragon?
Feeding the beardies with frozen cilantros directly from the freezer is not recommended because the herbs are too cold for them and can lead to choking.
If you have frozen cilantros, you should thaw them to room temperature before feeding them to the beardie.
Frozen cilantros are relatively low in nutrients and contain a lot of moisture, which remains even after thawing. Hence, they are not an ideal option for the beardies because of too much water, which tends to cause diarrhea.
You can feed frozen cilantros to your bearded dragon as long as they are at room temperature, but the better if you can access fresh ones. At least you are sure that fresh herbs cannot harm your lizard.
Preparing Cilantros for Your Bearded Dragon
It is clear that cilantros are safe herbs for bearded dragons to eat, but that is not enough. The key thing is to know how to prepare them to avoid many mistakes that people often make.
Preparing cilantros is pretty straightforward and requires a little time. Check the steps below.
- Choose only fresh cilantros, and you can get them from the grocery or your garden. Please avoid wild cilantro since they may contain harmful parasites.
- The next thing is to wash the cilantros well with clean water to remove any available chemicals.
- Chop them into appropriate sizes before feeding to prevent choking in the beardie.
- You can choose to dust the cilantros with a calcium supplement.
- Mix them with other veggies and fruits. Then serve your lizard and watch as it enjoys the meal.
Cilantros are excellent herbs to feed bearded dragons: they are nutritious and have several health benefits. It is recommended to provide the beardies with a little cilantro and include them in the diet once every other week.
However, you should only feed fresh cilantros, wash them thoroughly, and cut them into smaller sizes. Bearded dragons can even eat cilantro stems and seeds (coriander).