The Flower Power Of Dandelions In A Bearded Dragon’s Diet
Can bearded dragons eat dandelions?
The short answer is yes, your beardie can eat dandelions. These plants are packed with nutrients and highly beneficial to bearded dragons.
If your bearded dragon is a picky eater in general, we recommend also adding dandelions to their diet to help entice them to eat other greens.
This article will cover all you need to know about feeding dandelions to your bearded dragon.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Dandelions?
Dandelions are easy to find and can be an excellent addition to your bearded dragon’s diet. The plant does not have any toxins and is packed with vitamins and minerals, making them a great source of vitamins A, C, K, and calcium.
Although dandelions are good plants to eat, you must be careful where you get them.
Keep reading if you want more information about the dandelion plant and its benefits to most bearded dragons.
Can You Feed Your Bearded Dragon Dandelion Greens?
Dandelion leaves have been seen as the go-to food by many bearded dragon owners. The leaves are the best part to eat. The leaves are packed with vitamins and minerals.
Let’s kick off by looking at the nutritional value of dandelion greens per 100g
Water – 85.6g
Energy – 45kcal
Protein – 2.7g
Total lipid (fat) – 9.2g
Fiber – 3.5g
Sugars – 0.71g
Cacium – 187mg
Iron – 3.1mg
Phosphorus – 66mg
Sodium – 75mg
Vitamin C – 35mg
Vitamin D (D2+3) – 0ug
Vitamin B6 – 0.251mg
Vitamin A RAE – 508ug
Beta Carotene – 5854ug
Vitamin E – 3.44mg
Vitamin K – 778.4ug
Dandelion leaves are a great source of calcium. Calcium, alongside vitamin D3, are essential nutrients for bearded dragons. With calcium, your bearded dragon will become vulnerable to a host of health conditions, including metabolic health disease. Metabolic bone disease can cause the following health risks:
- Bowed legs
- Decreased appetite
- Difficulting lifting the body off the ground
Dandelion greens have well-balanced phosphorus to calcium ratio. Phosphorus binds calcium and prevents absorption in the body. Dandelion greens contain much more calcium than phosphorus, meaning 75% of their calcium content is beneficial to your beardie.
Dandelion greens are also rich in vitamin A, C, E, and K. Vitamin A support bone and reproductive health, while vitamin K promotes bone health and wound healing.
Despite the benefits of vitamin A, you still need to practice caution because too much can lead to vitamin A toxicity. The leaves also contain folate and small amounts of vitamin B.
As for minerals, the leaves are rich in essential minerals that include magnesium, potassium, and iron.
What about Dandelion Flowers In Your Bearded Dragon’s Diet?
The bright yellow flowers are rich in beta carotene and antioxidants. Betta carotene helps bearded dragons to absorb the right amount of vitamin A. Antioxidants are essential in fighting cells that might be harmful to your bearded dragon’s body.
Dandelion flowers are soft and easy to chew. The flower makes for a great treat, and bearded dragons will love them. Try not to feed your bearded dragon too many flowers because they are very filling and not a complete meal in themselves.
Dandelion flowers are also not as nutritious as dandelion greens.
How About Feeding Beardies The Stem Or Seeds?
Unfortunately, no. The stem of a dandelion contains milky sap, which isn’t toxic. The milk sap is white and oozes out of the stem when cut. Consuming too much milk sap will lead to indigestion.
Sometimes you won’t be able to remove all the stems, especially those under the flowers. If there is a small amount of the stem left, your bearded dragon can eat it without issues.
You should not feed dandelion seeds to your bearded dragon since they aren’t very nutritious or digestible.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Wild Dandelions?
Wild dandelions are usually safe for bearded dragons to eat. The only problem that might arise is if the area it grows was treated with fertilizers, herbicides, or pesticides.
While watching out for chemicals, you should remember another thing to look out for is pollution from vehicles. Stay away from dandelions growing near roadways. Also, if there are factories nearby, it’s recommended not to pick them for your dragon.
Can Baby Bearded Dragons Eat Dandelions?
Baby bearded dragons can eat dandelion greens as part of their plant-based diet. Within the first year of a baby bearded dragon’s life, they grow up to 90% of their full size. To support their growth, baby bearded dragons will need a lot of high-quality protein and calcium.
Dandelion greens are an excellent source of calcium baby dragons need. As a baby bearded dragon owner, you should be looking to provide these foods in their diet regularly.
Preparing Dandalions For Your Bearded Dragon
As mentioned previously, it is safe to pick dandelions as long as they are pesticide and fertilizer-free and are not growing near roads. Since the leaves of the dandelion are very popular, it’s available at many grocery and even online stores.
The benefits of buying from grocery stores are that the size of the leaves is usually much larger. The other benefit is that the leaves are generally 100% organic.
Whether picking dandelions from your backyard or buying from a store, you must always make sure they are fresh. You can start preparation by cutting the flowers and leaves from the stems. Throw away the stems and cut the flowers and leaves into small pieces
Make a nice salad bowl for your bearded dragon by mixing other vegetables, plants, and even meat with the dandelion flowers and leaves.
Dandelions are some of the best plants you can feed your bearded dragon. They are not only rich in nutritional value but can also serve as a treat. The great thing is that they are locally available.
Before you decide to feed any food to your bearded dragon, please read before you feed.
Continue to read our main article “What do Bearded Dragons Eat?” for all the ins and outs on general diet questions, and get a further detailed breakdown of other popular foods in the articles below:
- Can Bearded Dragons eat tomatoes?
- Can Bearded Dragons eat oranges?
- Can Bearded Dragons eat parsley?
- Can Bearded Dragons eat blackberries?
- Can Bearded Dragons eat pumpkin?
- Can Bearded Dragons eat pineapple?
- Can Bearded Dragons eat cantaloupe?
- Can Bearded Dragons eat green beans?
- Can Bearded Dragons eat cherries?
- Can Bearded Dragons eat asparagus?
- Can Bearded Dragons eat mango?
- Can Bearded Dragons eat cauliflower?
- Can Bearded Dragons eat avocado?
- Can Bearded Dragons eat brussel-sprouts?
- Can Bearded Dragons eat collard-greens?
- Can Bearded Dragons eat wax-worms?
- Can Bearded Dragons eat nightcrawlers?
- Can Bearded Dragons eat earthworms?
- Can Bearded Dragons eat eggs?
- Can Bearded Dragons eat cicadas?
- Can Bearded Dragons eat basil?
- Can Bearded Dragons eat peaches?
- Can Bearded Dragons eat grasshoppers?
- Can Bearded Dragons eat sweet potato?
- Can Bearded Dragons eat hornworms?