Can bearded dragons eat lettuce?

image of bearded dragon, lettuce and a text saying: can bearded dragon eat lettuce?

The Wide Green World Of Lettuce And Bearded Dragons

When thinking of introducing lettuce into your bearded dragon’s diet, you will find there are so many different kinds of lettuce.  There are Romaine lettuce, butter lettuce, Iceberg lettuce, and so much more.  Then you have to wonder: “Can bearded dragons eat lettuce?” If so, what kind of lettuce can your bearded dragon eat?

Lettuce is not the best vegetable for bearded dragons because of its low nutritional value and high water and low calory levels, among others.

This article will explore a few varieties of lettuce often found in salads and determine how safe they are for your bearded dragon’s consumption.

Nutritional Information Of Lettuce

The Nutritional Information Of Lettuce per 100g.

Nutrition NameAmount
Water95.64 g
Energy14 Kcal
Protein0.9 g
Total lipid (fat)0.14 g
Carbohydrate, by difference2.97 g
Fiber1.2 g
Sugars1.97 g
Calcium18 mg
Phosphorus20 mg
Sodium10 mg
Vitamin C2.8 mg
Iron0.41 mg
Vitamin D (D2+3)0 ug
Vitamin B60.042 mg
Vitamin A25 ug
Vitamin E0.18 mg
Vitamin K24.1 ug

Many experts advise that you should stay clear of nutrient-poor light green vegetables such as iceberg lettuce and head lettuce.

Benefits of Feeding Your Bearded Dragon Lettuce

Although lettuce does not have a lot going for them when it comes to nutrients, they have at least one advantage.

Low In Sugar

Lettuce is low in sugar.  It does not mean you can go ahead and add lettuce to your beardie’s salad bowl every day.  By being low in sugar, lettuce can help prevent problems such as obesity, digestion problems, diarrhea, and tooth decay.

Risks Of Feeding Lettuce To Your Bearded Dragon

Let’s take a look at why so many vets and reptile nutritionists are against feeding your beardie lettuce.

Lettuce Is Generally Nutritionally Poor

When looking at the nutritional data in the table mentioned above, you will notice that lettuce doesn’t offer much nutrition at all.  

Lettuce provides 94.98g of water per 100g.  It leaves little room for any other noticeable food.  This problem is more significant than meets the eye because bearded dragons have tiny stomachs and quickly get full.  Filling them with non-nutritious food instead of food with solid nutritional value can hinder their growth and health.

Lettuce Is Low In Calcium

Lettuce is also not recommended for your pet lizard because of its low calcium levels. Calcium is one of the essential nutrients in your bearded dragon’s diet.  Without a regular supply of calcium, they can likely suffer metabolic bone disease, a severe and very painful disease that can even lead to death.

We recommend that you fill your bearded lizard salad bowl with foods that are calcium dense and use a calcium supplement in your bearded friend’s diet.

Different Kinds Of Lettuce – Beneficial Or Not?

Not all kinds of lettuce are entirely devoid of nutritional value.  Lettuce can be a nice occasional snack making it into your bearded dragon’s salad bowl for a quick nibble.  

Lettuce should only make it into your beardie’s food bowl as an occasional monthly snack or when your pet dragon is exceptionally dehydrated.  

Let’s take a quick look at some of the different kinds of lettuce.

Can You Feed Your Bearded Dragon Romaine Lettuce?

Romaine lettuce does contain some nutritional value.  It adds crunch to any salad, is low in calories, consists primarily of water, Adds vitamin A, C, and K.  It also contains folate, calcium, potassium, and magnesium.  The phosphorus to calcium ratio is 1:1.1, making it a safer option for your bearded dragon, such as broccoli.

However, you must remember that your beardie needs a nutritionally balanced meal, including protein and plant-based sources.  Whatever vegetable you include must be packed with enough nutrients to fulfill your dragon’s nutritional quotient in just a few bites.

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Iceberg Lettuce?

Iceberg lettuce is 96% with nutrients such as folate, potassium, vitamin A, K, and C.  When your bearded dragon shows symptoms of dehydration like fatigue, sunken eyes, or loss of appetite, a few shards of iceberg lettuce might just do the trick and revive them.

Iceberg lettuce can cause diarrhea even if you have been sparing with the portions.

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Butter Lettuce?

Butter lettuce offers more nutrition to your bearded dragon than iceberg lettuce, as well as more vitamin A, C, and K.  It also has more potassium, carbohydrates, protein, and iron.

The calcium in butter lettuce is slightly higher than the phosphorus levels making it a healthier choice for your bearded dragon’s salad.

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Green Leaf Lettuce?

Green leave lettuce contains a little fiber, folate, and protein. It is also an excellent vitamin A, K, and C and potassium source.  Your bearded dragon’s body is not equipped to handle high amounts of Vitamin A.

Excess amounts of vitamin K in your beardies body will result in vitamin A toxicity with symptoms such as swelling, dehydration, loss of energy, and weight loss.  

Can Baby Dragons Eat Lettuce?

Baby bearded dragons should not eat lettuce for much of the same reasons as adult bearded dragons.  The need for baby bearded dragons to keep away from nutritionally poor food is even greater.  

Baby bearded dragons grow at an exceptional rate. Every food you offer is vital to their growth.  Offering nutritionally deficient lettuce will fill them with food that is not beneficial for proper growth and development.

How Much Lettuce Can A Beardie Eat?

Bearded dragon owners must make sure how much lettuce their bearded dragons eat.  As with most foods, you don’t want to overdo it. 

Too much lettuce will cause diarrhea in your bearded dragon.  For adult bearded dragons, one leaf will be plenty to satisfy their taste buds.

Avoid giving your baby bearded dragon any lettuce. It will block other nutrients from being absorbed into the body of a bearded baby dragon.

How To Prepare Lettuce For Your Bearded Dragon

When you decide to include a nice spring mix of lettuce in your bearded dragon’s diet, it is always better to stay with organic lettuce.  Organic food is generally free of pesticides and other harmful chemicals.

Ensure to wash the lettuce thoroughly under cold running water to get rid of any residue and impurities.  

As you prepare the meal, make sure to chop the lettuce into small pieces.  The smaller the dragon, the smaller the food should be.  Always use the gap between your beardies eyes to guide how big the pieces should be.

Always make sure to remove any leftover food from your bearded dragon’s tank to prevent anything from rotting.

Final Thoughts

It is important to remember that food you offer your bearded dragon can significantly impact their health and life.  If you decide to give your bearded dragon any type of lettuce, we recommend you do so in moderation.

Healthy greens that you can include in your beardies diet are dandelion green, Bok Choy, collard greens, and more.

Before introducing any new food into your bearded dragon’s diet, we recommend you research the food and, if unsure, discuss the food source with your vet.  Sometimes the safest food for humans is the most dangerous to bearded dragons.

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:

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I am a huge animal lover and have four dogs, a Labrador, Jack Russell, Pug, and Teacup Yorkie. I also have a cat and a Cockatiel. I have had pets since I was a toddler, and there was not a day when there wasn't an animal in my house.