Bearded dragons eat a couple of vegetables, but you need to make sure that what you are feeding is healthy and benefits the beardie’s health. So, can bearded dragons eat lettuce?
From baby dragon to the adults, the level of vegetables in their diet varies dramatically. The adults are more into plant matter, while babies eat fewer veggies and many insect feeders.
Note that not all veggies or greens are suitable for the beardies; thus, it is necessary to research every food you feed your lizard and know its nutritional value.
Keep reading to know the nutritional profile of lettuce and if it is safe to feed to bearded dragons, and more.
Is Lettuce Nutritious?
Before we even decide if you should feed lettuce to your beloved dragon, let’s first look at its nutritional aspect.
Lettuce is nutritionally deficient, and you can see that for yourself in the table. It is super high in water and has low calcium plus other essential nutrients that bearded dragons need.
However, I’m good with the ratio between calcium and phosphorus in lettuce. It is within the range that works best for the beardies of 1:1 or 2:1. That can be a positive point if you decide to feed this veggie to your best friend.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Lettuce?
Some dragon keepers tend to feed lettuce and other veggies such as kales, etc., to their beardies. However, note that lettuce is mainly water in the vegetable form, and it offers pretty little nutrients to bearded dragons.
If you provide lettuce to your dragon pet, your beardies will surely eat the veggies, but in reality, this is not something you should be feeding to your bearded dragons who have a stomach of small capacity, and it gets full pretty quickly.
Lettuce and other foods that don’t have many nutritional benefits will only fill the stomach but have no value. That’s why you need to keep off lettuce from your pet’s diet. Also, lettuce is extremely rich in water and has the potential to cause diarrhea to bearded dragons.
If you can avoid lettuce at all costs, that will be the best option. As you can see, this veggie doesn’t benefit the beardies but exposes them to health issues. But you might want to use lettuce when your lizard is dehydrated or constipated.
Can Baby Bearded Dragons Eat Lettuce?
Baby dragon’s diet comprises 80% insects and 20% plant matter. Vegetables and greens provide most of the water that the beardies need due to their high-water content. But the babies eat fewer veggies, and most of them have a problem drinking water from the bowl.
Lettuce is famous as a great source of water, and because of this, you might be wondering if it is suitable for hydrating the baby dragons. But you should know that, even if you are looking for foods to hydrate your pet, they should at least have decent nutritional value.
Baby bearded dragons should also not eat lettuce because it doesn’t provide any benefit. There are other veggies and greens which are healthy and good for bearded dragons, such as kales, dandelions, mustard greens, collard, swiss chard, etc.
What Health Issues Can Lettuce Cause in Bearded Dragons?
Taking a deep in-depth about lettuce, let’s see the reasons why lettuce isn’t good for bearded dragons and the problems it’s likely to cause.
First of all, lettuce has about 96g water per 100g. The beardies don’t require excess water because it can result in bloating, diarrhea, and digestive problems. Having come from the desert, bearded dragons are accustomed to staying for a long time without water.
They don’t need too much water either from food or drinking it directly from the bowl. Secondly, lettuce is incredibly low in calcium, an essential mineral that bearded dragons need in greater amounts.
If the beardies don’t get enough calcium from the diet, the body extracts this mineral from the bones. Eventually, this will cause many health complications, and the worse thing is that your dragon will get metabolic bone diseases (MBD).
MBD is costly to treat, and it may even kill your lizard friend. You can see that there are many downsides about lettuce than the benefits it can have to the beardies.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Butter Lettuce or Iceberg Lettuce?
If you didn’t know, there are different lettuce types, including iceberg, romaine, green leaf, and butter lettuce.
All kinds of lettuce contain a lot of water, but they vary in other nutrients. For instance, romaine lettuce is more nutritious than all other lettuces as it is high in vitamins A, C, and K and has a healthy balance between calcium and phosphorus. It makes a great salad.
Iceberg lettuce is extremely low in nutrients and is also a poor calcium source, thus catalysts MBD and other health complications. On the other hand, green leaf lettuce is super high in vitamin A and beta-carotene and can put the lizard to vitamin A toxicity risks.
It can happen mostly to bearded dragons that get a vitamin supplement because of too much vitamin A. Also, butter lettuce doesn’t offer many nutrients; it contains fewer nutrients than iceberg lettuce.
There are many food options to choose from, which have high nutritional value and great benefits instead of lettuce. Look for foods that you know will not harm your beloved lizard.
Baby bearded dragons, together with juveniles and adults, need healthy and beneficial foods and cannot eat lettuce. This veggie isn’t an excellent choice for the beardies because of its excess water and minimal nutrients.
Instead of lettuce, you need to explore other veggies and greens to feed to your cute lizard. Some foods, like endive, kale, dandelion greens, escarole, etc., have more calcium than phosphorus and are good sources of calcium to bearded dragons.