Dandelions carry a lot of nutrients, and people eat them when cooked or raw. Many dragon owners ask if bearded dragons can eat dandelions. Well, this’s where to find the answer.
Bearded dragons are unable to distinguish poisonous foods from safe ones. They eat whatever they find, and it can be pretty terrifying if your pet consumes foods that you’re unaware of their safety.
So, should you feed dandelions to your dear friend or not? Continue reading this article and get my reasonings about dandelions and the beardies, and I believe you will learn something.
Are Dandelions Nutritious?
Now, if you want to know whether dandelions can be part of a bearded dragon’s diet, understanding its nutritional value will help you make the right decision.
See the nutritional aspect of dandelions below, according to the USDA Nutritional Database.
The table tells it all. You can see that dandelions provide both minerals and vitamins in abundance. They are extremely rich in vitamin A, C, and K, and essential minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, sodium, potassium, etc.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Dandelions?
I don’t see the reason why you would not want to offer dandelions to your beloved lizards. The massive nutrients in these greens will tempt you to feed them to your pet.
Bearded dragons can eat dandelions, and as far as I know, these greens don’t contain any toxins, so you can safely feed them. Dandelion greens are packed with nutrients that are considered to be crucial for the beardies.
A bearded dragon’s diet consists of several food ingredients, including greens, veggies, fruits, and insects. Having a couple of ingredients ensures the beardies get various nutrients, which is essential for their health.
So, adding dandelions as part of the diet provides a respectable contribution in terms of nutrients provision.
What Impacts Do Dandelions Have on Bearded Dragon’s Health?
Being high in nutrition is no doubt that dandelions offer many health benefits to bearded dragons, and many dragon owners are into these greens.
One key factor in dandelions that makes them a go-to food for the beardies is their great calcium content, accounting for 187mg/100g. And the most crucial thing is that dandelions have about three times more calcium than phosphorus.
Calcium is a great mineral and is responsible for the growth and well-being of bearded dragons. Apart from calcium, dandelions are a powerhouse of nutrients like vitamin A and K, with 508µg/100g vit. A and 778.4µg/100g vit. C.
In bearded dragons, vitamin A supports bone health and plays an essential role in growth and reproduction. Vitamin K is also a giant when it comes to bearded dragons. It helps to support wound healing and bone health.
These prove dandelions to offer a lot of goodness to bearded dragons, as far as health goes.
How Often Can Bearded Dragons Eat Dandelions?
After knowing that dandelions are powerful greens that provide massive amounts of nutrients to bearded dragons, the next thing that comes to mind is how often to feed them.
Of course, it is necessary to know what proportion of dandelions can bearded dragons eat and how often to feed to avoid any underlying risk due to overfeeding. Bearded dragons can eat dandelion greens regularly; some people will even feed them daily.
However, you need to be careful about the content of the dandelions you offer to your dragon. These greens are greatly rich in vitamin A; thus, feeding them in excess can cause hypervitaminosis A.
Thus, you should be cautious about the dandelions level, especially when providing vitamin A supplement to your lizard. Ideally, a handful of dandelions is enough for one bearded dragon per feeding time.
Why is it Important to Consider Ca:P ratio in Foods for Bearded Dragons?
Calcium is the topmost mineral that bearded dragons need, and we have seen that it is critical for good health, bone growth, and maintenance, plus muscle function. For best results, the beardies should be in a position to absorb sufficient calcium into the body.
The emphasis is on Ca and P’s level in bearded dragon’s food to ensure effective calcium uptake into the bloodstream. When in excess, phosphorus is an enemy to calcium as it binds to it and blocks its absorption.
As a result, the beardie’s body doesn’t get the required calcium, and therefore, it has to extract most of the bones’ calcium. Eventually, there is a calcium deficit in the body, and this tends to cause a severe condition called metabolic bone disease (MBD).
So, the primary reason for ensuring more calcium than phosphorus in the beardie’s diet is to prevent this deadly disease.
How to Prepare and Serve Dandelions to Bearded Dragons?
There is still a lot to learn about dandelions, as I haven’t shown you how to prepare and serve it. Knowing how to prepare foods for bearded dragons erases a lot of confusion that people undergo, and more importantly, having the easiest way to follow saves you time.
I have a few steps for you to follow, and this ensures that you come up with a delicious meal that your pet will enjoy.
- You can get dandelions from a few places, including a grocery store or a controlled environment where you grow your dandelions. Organic dandelions are most preferred since they are free from fungicides and pesticides.
- Always wash all the plant-based foods for bearded dragons, including dandelion greens. It ensures that you wash away all the dirt and any available chemicals.
- Cooking is not necessary; raw dandelions offer a lot of nutrients compared to those that are cooked.
- You may choose to chop the dandelions or leave them. But it is always important to cut them into smaller, manageable sizes for your lizard.
- Put a few dandelions into a salad bowl and mix with other nutritious greens and veggies. Then, bring the food to the pet and be sure to watch as it enjoys the meal.
Are you confident that you can feed dandelions to your bearded dragons? Aside from vitamin A toxicity that can arise due to feeding excess dandelions, there are no possible downsides about these greens.
Dandelions provide a lot of goodness to bearded dragons as they supply substantial moisture, vitamin A, C, and K, calcium, and other essential minerals. Always make sure to feed raw dandelions.