Thumbs Up Or Down For Arugula In A Bearded Dragon’s Diet
Can bearded dragons eat arugula? Yes, bearded dragons can eat arugula. Arugula is jam-packed with essential vitamins and minerals that can benefit your bearded dragon. But, as with all vegetables, you should feed arugula to your bearded dragon in moderation to prevent health issues.
In this article, we will break down the benefits and risks of arugula in your bearded dragon’s diet and much more.
Nutritional Value Of Arugula
If you are looking to add variety to your bearded dragon’s diet, it is essential to look at the nutritional value of arugula.
The Nutritional Value Of Arugula Per 100g Is As Follows:
|Lutein + Zeaxanthin||3555ug|
If you want to find out what benefits and risks arugula poses to your bearded dragon in terms of the abovementioned table. Read on.
Benefits Of Feeding Bearded Dragons Arugula
Great Source Of Calcium
Compared to other vegetables such as kale and spinach, arugula contains much more calcium.
When it comes to a bearded dragon’s diet, the level of calcium and phosphorus is essential. A high phosphorus level could block the absorption of calcium in the bloodstream. To prevent interruption of calcium intake into the body, bearded dragons require a Ca:P ratio of 1:1 or 2:1.
Arugula has a 3:1 calcium and phosphorus ratio, respectively. Sufficient calcium intake is vital for:
- Bone development
- Muscle contractions
- Proper egg development & good reproductive health in females
- Prevent metabolic bone disease
Decent Amount Of Fiber
Arugula is slightly high in fiber, which aids in digestion. Bearded dragons are omnivores and feed on insect and plant-based material.
Fiber assists bearded dragons in properly digesting chitinous exoskeletons from insects and breaking down other food materials in the digestive system.
Fiber also improves the gut flora of beardies and decreases your pet lizard’s chances of constipation.
High Water Content
Most bearded dragons are not keen on drinking water from a bowl and often need to be encouraged to drink water. Bearded dragons obtain water from their foods to keep them hydrated.
Bearded dragon owners need to be aware of the water content in their bearded dragon’s food. Also, ensure that there is always a bowl of fresh water in your bearded dragon’s terrarium if your beardie wants something to drink.
Potassium helps regulate blood pressure and the nervous system and also helps keep your dragon’s muscles working and retain proper water retention.
There is a high concentration of iron in arugula. The iron in this leafy green can be used as an additional source if there are not enough in your bearded dragon’s diet.
Although not much, arugula offers some proteins to bearded dragons. Protein is essential for the growth and development of your bearded dragon. These nutrients are valuable to young bearded dragons.
Vitamin C and A: This is key to a healthy immune system, vision, reproduction, and growth.
Vitamin E: Repairs damaged cells and prevent inflammation
Vitamin K: It is essential for tissue and blood cell maintenance
Antioxidants: Strengthen the immune system and your bearded dragon’s digestive system
Magnesium: Maintains healthy muscles and brain
Feeding arugula in small dosages to your bearded dragon can even strengthen their immune system and help them to avoid parasites.
Risks When Feeding Your Bearded Dragon Arugula
Although arugula is a nutritious vegetable, it can also be dangerous to your bearded dragon. Let’s take a look at some of these risks.
Oxalic Acid / Oxalates
The arugula plant has an anti-nutrient called oxalic acid. Oxalic acid is poisonous to your bearded dragon. This toxin will severely affect the kidneys or liver of a bearded dragon if they consume it in large amounts.
Oxalates generally interfere with the absorption of calcium and other minerals since they interfere with the absorption of nutrients in the body.
Yes, water in arugula can be beneficial to your bearded dragon by keeping him hydrated. However, combining the arugula plant with other high moisture foods can cause diarrhea and difficulty shedding skin.
Like most leafy greens, arugula has goitrogens. Goitrogens can be toxic to your pet lizard when given at high levels. Too many goitrogens will interfere with the functions of the thyroid gland, liver, and kidneys.
How Often Can A Bearded Dragon Eat Arugula
Keep your pet healthy. Avoid feeding your beardie too much arugula. When overfeeding your bearded dragon with these leafy green vegetables can result in health issues such as diarrhea, vomiting, or constipation.
Do not feed more than a quarter cup of arugula per day to adult bearded dragons and less than half a tablespoon every other day for juveniles.
Dietary rules for bearded dragons are as follows:
Baby Bearded Dragons: 80% insects and 20% plant-based foods
Juvenile Bearded Dragons: 50% insects and 50% plant-based foods
Adult Bearded Dragons: 25% insects and 75% plant-based foods
How To Prepare Arugula For Your Bearded Dragon
Follow these steps for preparing arugula without causing a choking hazard to your pet dragon.
- Choose young arugula leaves which are easy to chew and digest.
- Wash the arugula thoroughly using clean running water.
- Mix the raw arugula with other vegetables to provide nutrients not available.
- Serve the arugula to your bearded dragon.
Arugula is a healthy vegetable that can serve many health benefits to bearded dragons. It has plenty of calcium essential for the growth and development of beardies. We recommend that leafy greens and other veggies such as collard greens, dandelions, cauliflower, and others are mixed into a delicious salad.
Never feed your bearded dragon food without researching and studying the specific food’s nutritional value. If your bearded dragon has any underlying health conditions, speak to your vet before introducing new food into your beardie’s diet. Even the healthiest food can have risks.
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